Kitumba Script

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Arpy, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Anyone know where I could find a copy of it online? I’ve been searching for a while without luck. All lead me to physical scripts for sale, but I just want to read it, not own it. Thanks!
     
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  2. FreddyE

    FreddyE Captain Captain

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    I didn´t know this got as far as script stage! I thought it only went to exposé stage.
     
  3. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    There is a draft script. I have a copy labeled "Writer's Work Draft" dated 1/27/1978 on both Part One and Part Two.
     
  4. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    Ooo, could you please share? I want to explore reading these scripts. I heard there was a script where Roddenberry wanted to explore reverse slavery. There's other scripts and outlines I would love to read, "The Protracted Man" and "The Godhead" which are some interesting concepts, and Kitumba is another one I would love to read.
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    The truly appalling and repellent “Portrait In Black and White” by Barry Trivers. NBC rightly turned it down flat and it should be burned with fire.

    @Harvey will back me on this.
     
  6. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  7. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    You mean story outline?
     
  8. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What was bad about it?
     
  9. King Bob!

    King Bob! The King of Kings! Premium Member

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    I think the story concept and the name should tell you everything you need to know. :eek:
     
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  10. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Everything. It has not a single redeeming quality.
     
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  11. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmmm all I know about it is this article I just Googled. But I don’t see what the issue is. If things had been a little different on Earth a while ago, things could have turned out drastically different, let alone on an alien planet. If on some other world “blacks” were in the majority, in resource rich or temperate parts of the planet, and their civilizations technologically surpassed those of whites in others, why wouldn’t they act more or less as other human beings have?

    If the story were told not in a way of showing them as barbarians and our heroes needing to liberate the noble whites from their oppression, but as a tale about human nature and circumstance, it could have been an interesting episode. Maybe it’s the execs who didn’t like it for all the wrong reasons.

    EDIT: also, this happened.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  12. Christmas Corps

    Christmas Corps Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    White Man's Burden happened almost thirty years later, and it bombed hard.

    Maybe it's premature to jump to conclusions about why "the execs" didn't like "A Portrait in Black and White," without, you know, having actually read the script or knowing what reasons "the execs" had.

    "A Portrait in Black and White" is based on "Kongo," one of Roddenberry's ideas that he pitched in 1964 in Star Trek is.... In the end, it was one of many ideas involving visiting Earth, but with a twist. Role reversal got done in "The Omega Glory," with the Yankee-stand-ins as savages to the Communist-stand-ins, and white-people-as-slaves got done in "Bread and Circuses." Given how these two outings were middling at best, "A Portrait in Black and White" would have had to have been outstanding, or else I doubt we missed much at all.
     
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  13. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And yet, I remember it still time to time and wonder. If Trek had done it better thirty years earlier, that might have been something.

    Not making any definite judgments, just nodding to some of the more probable possibilities.

    How dare you. I'd take another three years of "Spock's Brain" level dreck if it were found in some old Paramount vault and the cast & crew's non-disclosure agreements expired.
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Umm...that article cites Stephen Kandell who wrote "Mudd's Women," not Barry "The Conscience of the King" Trivers , who actually wrote it. (Perhaps Kandell pitched his own version of the "Kongo" premise, but if so it appears to have never gone beyond a pitch, as Trivers got the assignment and actually went to script.)

    Trust me, we know this POS.
    Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 10.21.54 PM.png

    A few quotes from Fontana on the script,
    • "Dialog so far: Unspeakable...in many senses. But mostly I strongly object to the negro masters and the slaves using minstrel show accents and pronunciation. "
    • "Pages 17-19 - Camus's dialogue: reeks of Watts last summer. Do we want this?"
    • "Jean Messerschmidt has already requested that I send her two copies of the first draft, rather than her usual one, because higher authorities in NBC will be reading it."
    Pardon my saying so, but you "don't see what the issue is"? Consider the climate of the time. This story was in development a year and a half after "Bloody Sunday", barely a year after the Watts riots, 8 months after Julian Bond Denied was denied his seat in GA Legislature, 7 months after Malcolm X was assassinated, and given the racial climate of the time portraying in inverse Civil War where blacks are just as bad as whites woulda killed Star Trek dead.

    I'm looking at the script right now. There's no clever allegory there, it's just "Kirk gets caught as a runaway slave and must try persuade the family enslaving him to give up their lost cause as they've already lost the war. There's a truly awful wanna-be Twilight Zone ending, and the script literally ends with Kirk saying, "Man may change the date of History, - but not its course...Just as we had a rendezvous with this planet, -so does this planet have a date with Destiny!... Let's go home..."

    And the crew does nothing.
     
  15. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't see what the issue is now. If it could be done well, the role reversal isn't immediately a problem for me.

    What war had his black owners lost? Was Kirk still their slave after the "South" lost the war?

    I dunno, it would be a bit strange to have Kirk save they planet and end slavery/racism by the end of the episode while the Civil Rights Era is still going. Kirk also said, "Let's get the Hell out of here..." at the end of "City on the Edge of Forever" because he couldn't do anything else but leave. The line here reads to me like him saying that this planet will ultimately change as his did, regardless what the slave-masters of the day think. Isn't that Star Trek 101 (even if we today doubt that there may be a natural arc of history/ascent for man)?
     
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  16. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    Please, share the script?
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Can't share. Sorry. Some of these scans we get are from private collectors.
     
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  18. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    I have no idea what your point is about now. I was referring to why NBC was wise to look askance at it in 1966.

    The Civil War. It was in the process of ending. The Northern troops had cut off the slaveowners Kirk was held by. But the south had not surrendered.

    I was not suggesting Kirk should save the planet.

    Kirk takes no action means he's passive in the story. He watches and talks and the only thing he does is to repeatedly try to escape. He makes no decision except to wash his hands of it and leave this society to follow the exact path ours did, including presumably Jim Crow. That's not a story, it's a maze Kirk must navigate. There is no interesting characterization. There is no theme. Ergo there is no point. It's a ham-fisted metaphor in search of a reason to exist. Flipping blacks and whites is an empty metaphor in of itself.

    It's a shit script.
     
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  19. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why is it an empty metaphor?
     
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  20. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    I would love to read this script despite the critiques, I still believe any story could be rewritten to have substance. These works shouldn't be kept in a vault so no one can see, there's a rich history where I feel inspired writers and fans should be able to have access to these materials. What a shame?