The original pitch for Star Trek has been unearthed from series creator Gene Roddenberry, and with it comes some interesting details on the show. Star Trek first premiered on Sept. 8, 1966, and boy, were there a lot of changes between the pitch and the show's air date:
- The original captain was not James Kirk or Christopher Pike, but Robert April
- The ship was named U.S.S. Yorktown and not Enterprise
- The navigator was not a young Russian hotshot named Pavel Chekov; instead he was a South American hotshot named Jose Ortegas
- Spock was the "first lieutenant" and described as having a reddish complexion and, of course, pointed ears, and was likely"half Martian"
The 16-page outline also contains Roddenberry's now-famous description of the show as a sort of sci-fi Wagon Train and makes no mention of a transporter beam. Instead the crew would travel to and from planets via small recon vehicles. Early ideas for communicators, universal translators, and phaser weapons are also found within.
The most interesting part is one of the story ideas included in the pitch from Roddenberry—many of which formed the basis for or at least planted the seed for classic episodes like "Charlie X," "Shore Leave," "A Piece of the Action," "The Return of the Archons," "The Savage Curtain," "Mirror, Mirror" and what eventually became the show's first pilot, "The Cage." Some of his dicier ideas—like a planet where slavery is the norm, except that whites are the slaves—never made it to the show at all (probably just as well).
If you are consider yourself a super fan of Star Trek, keep reading and prepare to be possibly surprised. Check out the link to an online copy of Roddenberry's initial outline for the series, dated March 11, 1964 courtesy of Between the Pages.