Friday, 2 December 2011

Space: The Final Frontier

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On August 1st of 1966, just weeks before NBC's season premiere of the original Star Trek series, two of the programme's producers — Bob Justman and John Black — contacted Gene Roddenberry and asked him to quickly write the show's now-famous opening monologue (see clip above), to be recorded by William Shatner. For the next week or so the three men exchanged drafts by memo, a couple of which can be seen below. Roddenberry came up with the final draft on August 10th, an hour before it was recorded.

Transcripts follow. Images courtesy of Star Trek Prop Authority.






Transcript
DATE: AUGUST 1, 1966
SUBJECT: STANDARD OPENING NARRATION
TO: GENE RODDENBERRY
FROM: BOB JUSTMAN

Dear Gene:

It it important that you compose, without delay, our Standard Opening Narration for Bill Shatner to record. It should run about 15 seconds in length, as we discussed earlier.

Regards,

Bob

RHJ:sts
cc: John D.F. Black

---------------------------

DATE: AUGUST 2, 1966
SUBJECT: STAR TREK Opening Narration
TO: GENE RODDENBERRY
FROM: JOHN D. F. BLACK

Gene....

Think the narration needs more drama.

Follows an example of what I mean... at about 15 to 17 seconds

KIRK'S VOICE

Space...the final frontier...endless...silent...waiting. This is the story of the United Space Ship Enterprise...its mission...a five year patrol of the galaxy where no man has gone before...a STAR TREK.

John D. F.

cc: R. Justman
JDFB/ms

---------------------------

DATE: AUGUST 2, 1966
SUBJECT: STAR TREK OPENING NARRATION
TO: GENE RODDENBERRY
FROM: BOB JUSTMAN

Dear Gene:

Here are the words you should use for our Standard TEASER Narration:

"This is the story of the Starship Enterprise. It's mission: to advance knowledge, contact alien life and enforce intergalactic law ... to explore the strange new worlds where no man has gone before".

Regards,

BOB

RHJ:sts
cc: John D.F. Black

[Roddenberry's handrwitten notes]

---------------------------

DATE: AUGUST 10, 1966
SUBJECT: STANDARD OPENING NARRATION
TO: GENE RODDENBERRY
FROM: BOB JUSTMAN

Dear Gene:

As per our conversation last night on the phone, it is absolutely imperative that we record with William Shatner the Standard Opening Narration for the STAR TREK Main Title as soon as possible.

Need I say more? ?

Love and kisses,

XXXXX

BOB