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March 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Cawley as Kirk

Plans to film an episode of Star Trek that was written for the original 1960s series but was never produced have been blocked by CBS, which claims that the production would violate its copyright. The episode, “He Walked Among Us,” was originally penned by frequent Star Trek writer Norman Spinrad and was to have starred Milton Berle, television’s first superstar, in the lead. But Spinrad reportedly objected strenuously to changes in the script by producer Gene Coon, which, he told the CBS-owned website, turned it into an “unfunny comedy.” While Spinrad gave permission for the script to be filmed for an online tribute series, “Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II” (he also reportedly offered to direct it), CBS, which owns the rights to the series, objected, firing off a cease and desist demand to James Cawley, an executive producer who also plays Captain Kirk on the online series. The New York Times quoted one Star Trek fan, Harmon Fields of Manhattan, as saying, “These executives should be phasered on heavy stun.” Another fan, lawyer Erik Pless of Green Bay, WI, remarked, “It strikes me as heavy-handed. No one is profiting on this.”