There was a way to save the scene without paring it back so much. I remember writing out a proposed rearrangement back before I had Final Cut (otherwise I'd have offered to take a crack at editing it). Part of it was just re-arranging some of the conversation to flow better. Having the actress loop a couple of Richard's lines to get a different tone would have helped a lot, too. The problem I have with the scene as is that it feels truncated, and the endless Captain's Log is out of character with the TOS style that the production was aiming for.