LETTERS to the BURROUGHS BULLETIN
Regarding Elaine Casella's excellent article on Roddenbenry's Tarzan script. Roddenberry gave me a copy of the script just after he'd written it. He asked me to look it over. I did, but I didn't think much of it, although some parts did have merit. My judgment may have been influenced by some inexcusable errors re. names and events in the Tarzan canon. Later, I found out that Roddenberry really didn't know the books. He'd sent out a man named Hank Stein to research Tarzan for him. Stein spent an afternoon in the library and handed in his notes to Roddenberry. Thus, the errors and mistaken references. That's how I remember the manuscript I never reread it, and I sold it long ago. It's only fair to tell you, however, that a movie director I knew thought that Roddenberry's portrait of Tarzan as a man whose great ape upbringing overrode the "human" part of him was superb. De gustibus non disputandam.
It's possible, no sure thing, that I might be writing an original Tarzan book for DARK HORSE. If I do, it will be based on the incident in TARZAN THE UNTAMED where the apeman finds the skeleton of a Spanish soldier in 15th or 16th century armor. Tarzan also found a map in the cylinder the soldier had been carrying. Tarzan took this with him, then there was no more of it. My plan is to have Tarzan return to the desert where he almost lost his life, and to follow the map. Ever since I first read UNTAMED in 1925, I've wondered why Tarzan didn't do that. So, now, maybe I'll have a chance to write my own version. But I'll be doing it in Burroughs spirit and as near his style as I can manage.
Philip Josť Farmer