April 22 2024


An archive of Star Trek News

Space Seed Lost Scenes

2 min read

Going through the papers of Star Trek Writer/Director Nicholas Meyer, college professors John and Maria Jose Tenuto uncovered plenty of behind-the-scenes information from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan that has not been released to the public.

A further search through UCLA archival materials uncovered information about lost scenes, both filmed and unfilmed, for the original series’ Space Seed episode.

The duo, Star Trek fans themselves, sometimes includes Star Trek-related material in their sociology classes, and found the material when they decided to expand their search beyond the Meyers papers.

Space Seed may be the most important episode of the original show,” said John Tenuto. “If there was no Space Seed, there would be no Wrath of Khan and if it weren’t for Wrath of Khan being successful, there would be no more Star Trek. Because while the first Star Trek movie was commercially successful, it was very expensive and a lot of fans weren’t happy with it.”

The lost scenes discovered included a scene that was intended for Space Seed, but would ultimately end up in The Wrath of Khan. In the scene, Dr. McCoy “teaches Captain Kirk how to use a pair of old-fashioned eyeglasses.”

Another scene that was cut from the script before filming showed Spock getting “busted after programming the ship’s computer to let him win at chess.”

“In the very, very early story treatments, Spock acts differently from the Spock we know,” said Tenuto. “We have to give the writer a break though, because this script was written only two weeks after Star Trek went on the air and the characters weren’t firmly established yet.”

The Tenutos will present their finds at an event at the Aspen Drive Library, in Vernon Hills, Illinois on March 21 at 7 PM.

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8 thoughts on “Space Seed Lost Scenes

  1. I have a magazine called Starblazer, published in Jan of 1985, that had an article on TWOK. On page 53 is a picture of a cut scene, showing an infant crawling up the transporter steps towards the activated Genesis device. It’s captioned “Meyer directs a cut scene; Khan’s baby son in the transporter”. This has always fascinated me since this is the only spot I’ve ever seen this mentioned. I’d love to know more about how much of Kahn’s son was filmed, what part it was to play in the overall movie, and why it was cut.

  2. Of course, the whole computer reprogramming scenario reappears at least twice in TOS. in “Courtmartial” Spock discovers the computers have been reprogrammed when he suddenly is able to beat them at chess. And most famously, Kirk “cheats” (and/or gets a special commendation for beating) the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

    I didn’t realize the eyeglasses scene was originally written for Space Seed. i’m glad it waited for WoK. Kirk wasn’t anywhere near old, yet, in the orignal run.

  3. As Arte Johnson used to say on Laugh In, “Verrrry interesting!” Or as Carson used to say (in Dana Carvey’s impression) “I did not know that”.

  4. Hi Jeff, thanks for the reply about our talk! The Starblazer article had some details wrong, although the picture is great. We have some more wonderful photos from the set of “Khan Baby.” It wasn’t Khan’s baby, but rather meant to show that his people were having children.

  5. Hi Nathanael, thanks for the reply about our talk. The journalist of the article made a slight mistake with that quote from us about the glasses. The eyeglass scene is from TWOK, not Space Seed (although we are fortunate to have found some great pictures of other deleted Space Seed scenes, such as Khan and his people in the transporter room of the Enterprise beaming in, and an extension of the McCoy/Khan interaction). Our research however did uncover many photos of the “lost” McCoy teaches Kirk glasses scene from TWOK. In the film as we know it, Kirk just basically looks at the glasses and the scene continues. In these photos and the scene as scripted, McCoy teaches Kirk how to use the glasses. It is a nice moment and Shatner is really great playing Kirk’s unfamiliarity with the technology! We are showing those photos this summer at the May Star Trek convention by Creation Entertainment if interested thanks to Mr. Meyer, CBS, UCLA, and the University of Iowa collections!

  6. Fascinating! It’s a shame that scene didn’t survive, it would have been a great addition to the TWoK director’s cut DVD release.

  7. Couldn’t agree more. It also would have given additional meaning to the bridge scene later when Kirk whips out his glasses, pausing and glancing around somewhat embarrassedly. And, come to think of it, when he utters, “I see your point,” while holding the glasses rather noticeably in his hand — could that have been some sort of double entendre?

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