Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?
Among them was an extensive scene where Kirk is briefed by Admiral Nogura, where it is specified that the fleet is close to Earth but is just slightly too far away to arrive in time (V'ger is going to get to them in 8.6 days, but the nearest other heavy cruiser is nine days away). There IS also one other ship close enough to intercept V'Ger, the USS Aswan, but Kirk says she's a "light cruiser" with "less than half" the weapons and defence systems of the Klingons that V'Ger has already licked. The Enterprise is the only ship available with the technology to maybe take on the intruder, which is why she gets pressed into service (and Kirk, against his better judgement in this draft, accepts command of her and rushes to try and pull together a crew with enough experience to take out as quickly as possible).
Hindsight is 20/20, but I'd much rather have watched this scene than the endless shots of V'Ger's interior and crew reactions. It could easily have been re-written to depict Kirk's arguing that he'd be a better choice for commanding the mission than Decker.
"He clapped his captain—his friend—on the shoulder. Yes, this man was very much like James Kirk, in all the ways that mattered." --Christopher L. Bennett-- Star Trek: Mere Anarachy, The Darkness Drops Again