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Trivia / Star Trek S1 E27 "The Alternative Factor"

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  • Executive Meddling: The original script had a subplot about a romance between Lazarus and Lieutenant Masters (Janet MacLachlan). It was cut when network heads objected due to the actress playing Masters being black.note  At the same time, John Drew Barrymore, originally set to play Lazarus, quit abruptly after script rewrites changed his character too drastically. The last-minute casting of Robert Brown and the hasty rewrites that followed were one cause of the uneven story we ended up with.
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  • Troubled Production: Good grief. John Drew Barrymore had been cast as Lazarus, the main guest role ... and then didn't show up on the first day of filming. His agent and lawyer couldn't find him, so they cast someone else in a big hurry (Barrymore's absence led to him getting suspended by SAG for six months after Desilu filed a grievance). The beard for the replacement was improvised (Barrymore would not have a beard in the role), and it shows. The script has howler lines like "It occurred in every quadrant of the galaxy and far beyond...." It also had a subplot in which Lazarus became romantically involved with a black member of the crew — which admittedly seems out of place on the eve of universal Armageddon and didn't have much to do with anything. That was hastily edited out in rewrites when NBC got paranoid about how the Southern affiliates would react, resulting in the finished episode's choppy feel.


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