Fans of Star Trek: The Original Series recently had reason to bow their heads in mourning after George Clayton Johnson, writer of the very first episode of the show, passed away. But now there’s a reason for fans to cheer, as a virtual smorgas-Borg of creator Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek documents have been recovered from around 200 floppy disks that haven’t been accessed in around 30 years. Will it be a treasure trove of insightful information, or just a bunch of random junk?
As it happens, we might not find out any specific details for a while. The painstaking recovery process was performed by data recovery service Drivesavers, and there was likely a non-disclosure agreement or something similar in place when the company’s employees started on the job. But while director of engineering Mike Cobb wasn’t exactly forthcoming with information, he did tease future possibilities. Here’s his non-cryptic answer to what was found on the disks.
Indeed. After a troublesome journey from concept to creation, Star Trek debuted on September 8, 1966 on NBC, where it ran for three seasons before an untimely cancellation. I’m betting something huge is being planned to celebrate such an iconic anniversary, and it’s definitely possible that these disks contain things that will be utilized in some way. Will there be unused scripts that get turned into table reads with some of the series’ original stars like William Shatner and George Takei? Possibly some concepts for new characters and new planets? Will we find out that Mr. Spock’s original saying was actually “Live for a suitable amount of time, and if you happen to prosper, that’s all the better?” Probably not that last one.
Almost as interesting as the disks themselves is the complicated process that went into getting to the information on them. Gene Roddenberry, who died in 1991, used a pair of custom-built computers when doing a lot of his script-writing and note-taking; one of them was auctioned off years ago, and the other wasn’t working anymore. Because the latter device utilized a one-of-a-kind operating system and word processor, DriveSavers ended up spending three months just developing the software capable of reading the disks, and according to the press release, that was followed by nearly an entire year of extracting the information off of them. This isn’t the first time some of Roddenberry’s rare projects have come to light, but it’s definitely the most important.
Until we actually get a hint of what’s on those disks, we’ll just keep hypothesizing things, like maybe there are a few movie ideas he had that never panned out that will get utilized for a future sequel in the current franchise, or maybe even the upcoming CBS series. What do you guys hope is on there?
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.