Amok Time is one of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series
But it wasn’t the best in the original script. It had to go through several rewrites to become the episode that gave Spock more depth. Originally written by Theodore Sturgeon, the script had some issues according to NBC’s Stan Robertson and when changes were suggested, it took quite awhile for Sturgeon to deliver just the first two acts, which was a bone of contention for Robert Justman.
But, according to These Are The Voyages by Marc Cushman, it was the fight scene that both Justman and Dorothy Fontana took issue with and for good reason. The original had Spock going way overboard preparing for the fight scene, which including him beating his chest while snorting, something Fontana said would cause Leonard Nimoy to kill himself.
The original Amok Time script also include some unfortunate Vulcan language
Along with having Spock play King Kong, Sturgeon had included some Vulcan language Justman didn’t find appropriate which he specified in a memo to Gene Roddenberry.
"“Spock starts acting like King Kong. I believe that this is the wrong way for Mr. Spock to behave…I think that we should still attempt to play the fact he is barely keeping himself under control—but he shouldn’t snort and beat himself on the chest and exclaim loudly, ‘Kikki-nee Klart!'”"
So that part of the scene was replaced with Spock looking toward Kirk with no sign of recognition in his eyes, indicating he’s not the Spock that he is aboard the Enterprise. The ‘kikki-nee Klart’ was replaced with “Klee-fah,” which, admittedly sounds much better than the original. And after Fontana did yet another rewrite, the script earned Leonard Nimoy’s approval.
"“Have just finished reading ‘Amok Time’ and am very, very happy with it. I think that the story very successfully involves all our central characters in strong and meaningful relationships. There’s a strong line of suspense and emotional conflict throughout the script.”"
We have to be thankful for the behind-the-scenes work that was done on the script that kept Spock from turning into something unrecognizable while shouting equally unrecognizable words. It’s no wonder Fontana believed Nimoy wouldn’t have liked the script. I’m not sure it would have gone over well with fans, either.