Daddy Todd wrote:
ST III was actually rejiggered very late in the editing process - check out either of the adaptations (comic or novelization) and it's clear the film was meant to lead off with Grissom arriving at the Genesis planet, then cut to the Enterprise, back to Genesis, then back to the Enterprise. That's why the special effect shot of Grissom has the stardate subtitle -- it was supposed to appear immediately after the opening titles.
I wonder if test audiences were asking who those people were on the Grissom, leading the studio/producers to decide to lead off with Kirk's log entry. I've always wanted to see that version, to see how it would play.
I'm not sure how friendly this site is towards fanedits, but you might be interested in seeing bionicbob's edit of the film. He starts it out with Grissom arriving at Genesis, and continues from there, much as how it is described above. I found I preferred the way he arranged the scenes.