So, Eme (sometimes Eme Kay), Basket of Kisses reader and frequent discussion chime-in-er, purchased herself the production script of the Wheel (how did we survive before eBay?), and was terrifically kind enough to share it with us truly. I was expecting to enjoy it for the cool factor, but what I didn’t expect was to come across lines that were cut. And I’m not talking about lines that were chopped out by AMC after the original broadcast; the version of the Wheel that I have recorded is in fact the uncut one (with the ‘deleted scene‘). No, I’m talking about lines that never made it to air. Possibly never made it to shoot.

There’s plenty in this treasure chest, but let me start with this:

(I omitted stage direction– Cooper flips through book— but left in character direction; emphasis mine for lines that were not included in the episode as it aired.)

DON
Are those the legendary secret files of Bert Cooper?

COOPER
No. I have to write a report to the board. My sister Alice is quite a business woman. It’s hard to be scrutinized by your sister.

DON
Those reports are always the same. This year, big, next year, bigger.

Okay so can I just say, Alice? Let’s hope we get to meet her in Season Two! Fascinating premise, and this goes back to the discussions we’ve had regarding acceptable (by BoK standards) celebrity cameos.

COOPER
(laughs)
I got a call from Abraham Menken. I’m sure you know that his daughter will be unavailable for the next three months– taking some sort of ocean voyage to Paris and whatnot.

Don tries to hide his surprise.

DON
I hadn’t heard that.
(then)
But otherwise?

COOPER

(irritated)
There is no otherwise. Why is this man calling me?

And I take a moment right here to appreciate the acting. And acting in general. You read the words on the page, and then you hear how much the actor breathes into it. A primitive insight, perhaps, but there you go.

DON
(firmly)
I don’t know. Was he unhappy?

COOPER
Roger told me you had difficulty working with this woman. As a partner, I do not expect your personal preferences to interfere with our business.

DON
Who says they have?

COOPER
It was the tone of his voice. He’s her father.

That’s it, cowboy. If I don’t see you, have a nice holiday.

Holy! So it seems that, as it was originally scripted, Cooper did not see all when it came to Rachel and Don’s affair. Which, for the record, I had never been convinced about; the words ‘personal preferences’ hearkened directly back to everyone’s take on Don’s relationship with Rachel based on their first horrible meeting in the pilot. It was Cooper’s “cowboy” that cast doubt, for me.

But I’m wondering… am I better informed now, or was the line cut for the purpose of giving the impression that Cooper knows?

This is one of those times I wish I could speak to Matthew Weiner. I am generally quite content with the nebulous nature of this show; all the gray areas and answers that Mr. Weiner may not specifically have. But this one is specific and I think there’s an answer.

(Wait. ALICE COOPER??? HA HA HA HA HAAAHH!!!!)

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