Could you ace this quiz from the 1967 guide for Star Trek writers?

Contributed by
May 14, 2013

If you wanted to write for the original Star Trek series, you had to read the manual.

In 1967, as Star Trek was entering its second year on television, an anonymous author on the show's staff wrote a 31-page writer's guide meant to help existing Trek writers and those hopeful writers penning spec scripts with the show's technical lingo, plot structure and characterization. The guide is now in the collection of Harvard University's Houghton Library, and features a number of interesting tidbits, including this description of Capt. Kirk:

"...a space-age Horatio Hornblower, constantly on trial with himself, a strong, complex personality”

The guide also includes notes on costumes (there are no pockets on Starfleet uniforms, so don't write directions for characters to place items in their pockets), stardates ("pick any combination of four numbers plus a percentage point ...") and pacing ("avoid long philosophical exchanges or tedious explanations of equipment"). There's even a pop quiz to make sure readers of the guide understood the directions.

Check it out and see if you can figure out the answer.

Give up? The answer is the fourth choice. Kirk wouldn't waste time comforting crew members if the Enterprise was about to go down. He'd find a way to fix it. 

Unfortunately, you'll have to visit Harvard if you want to see the whole writer's guide, but there are a couple more pages below. What do you think? Could you have kept all this together enough to script a decent Trek episode back in the day?


(Via Slate)


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