When I started really watching Trek as a young teen, I was enamored of the possible romance between Nurse Chapel and Mr. Spock. I felt sympathy for her unrequited love for the tall cool Vulcan, and wondered if she’d ever melt his heart.
The original series only hinted at anything more between Spock and Chapel than mutual respect. Chapel was given her puppy-love moments in The Naked Time and Amok Time, but by the time she finally got an (albeit forced) lip-lock with Spock, the original series was doomed to cancellation. Sometimes I wonder if the series had continued if anything more would have become of Chapel’s infatuation, or even if she would have been given more than just the job of Enterprise Mom.
A recent discovery revealed a lot more insight within the Spock/Chapel consciousness-sharing in Return to Tomorrow. The scene was cut for length, and maybe just as well because what starts as a sweet sentimental moment ends as a somewhat stereotypical 60’s view of a woman’s mindset. Here’s the scene: (found at Star Trek:The New Voyages)
CHRISTINE: It was beautiful. (to Spock) I felt the same when I shared my consciousness with you.
Spock reacts; McCoy turns toward him:
McCOY: That sounds almost immoral, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: I assure you, it was a most distressing experience. (to McCoy) Doctor, you could not believe the torrents of emotion I encountered…the… jungle of illogic…(Spock almost shudders) It was like being in the mind of an alien.
CHRISTINE: (smiles) Why, thank you, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: (puzzled) I don’t understand. Thank me?
KIRK: You just paid her a high compliment, Spock.
McCOY: Yes, you do turn a nice phrase
now and then, Spock. (to Christine) Thank the stars women are that different from us.
ANNE: (to Christine) Come along, fellow alien. If
he doesn’t understand, I doubt if we could explain.
SCENE 119 ANOTHER ANGLE
Kirk moving to his command chair. Spock is still standing there puzzled.
SPOCK: Captain… I really don’t understand.
KIRK: Sargon did, Spock. ‘Together… forever’. I hope some day with someone you’ll be able to
know what that means.
SPOCK:(considers it) Sargon was enormously advanced, Captain. I will consider this. Spock moves off to his station. Kirk and McCoy exchange looks; then Kirk turns toward the helm.
KIRK: Take us out of orbit, Mister Sulu.
SULU: Leaving orbit, Captain.
As they look up toward the Main Viewing Screen:
SCENE 120 – INSERT MAIN VIEWING SCREEN
Leaving the planet, heading into star-studded space.
I think I’m happy with the way it was edited; her smile infers that her mind connection with Spock was quite a ride! But then again, it’s nice to see Kirk wish Spock well with his future and Ann and Christine summing up Spock’s reaction to the meld.
I’ve heard that Roddenberry wanted Spock to end up with Chapel, but it was never to be in any current incarnation. I’m sure there’s fan fiction about it, but my imagination is enough for now. We heard about Spock’s wedding in an episode of The Next Generation; Picard says he attended but we don’t know the identity of the bride. Maybe I’ll write a tale someday!