The first failed PAX pilot by Gene Roddenberry.
Although Star Trek had been cancelled in 1969, it had great ratings in syndication and by 1972 was considered a cult hit. Gene Roddenberry was in demand again and created a pilot for Warner Bros & CBS…
1979: The lab of Dylan Hunt a scientist who is experimenting with suspended animation is hit by an earthquake trapping him underground “asleep” in his experimental pod.
While he sleeps, “The Great Conflict” occurs, pushing mankind back to a primitive state and producing races of mutants.
2133: A group calling themselves PAX find and wake Hunt and working with them and using an underground shuttle than links the world (built in the late 70s) Hunt explores this new world.
Like Star Trek, the show offered Dylan and his team the chance to travel (via sub-shuttle rather than starship) to visit and explore new cultures.
The pilot tells the story of Hunt’s experiment and his rescue by PAX. He then gets involved in a conflict between the peaceful
PAX and totalitarian Tyranians (superhuman mutants with two navels). The Tyranians offer Hunt a great reward to fix their nuclear reactor, but he instead deliberately causes it to explode. The Pax, although saved by his action are upset with him for taking the non-peaceful path. He promises to change his ways for later adventures…
A number of story ideas for episodes were suggested.
- Poodle Shop – Based on “The Pet Shop”, an idea suggested in the 1964 “Star Trek is…” pitch for the original Star Trek series. It would later form the basis for the second PAX pilot Planet Earth.
- Robot’s Return – would be used for Alan Dean Foster’s pilot for Star Trek: Phase II “In Thy Image” and later reworked into Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- The Apartment – would be used for Star Trek: Phase II‘s “Tomorrow and the Stars”.
CBS played the movie length pilot on 23rd March 1973, but instead of going ahead with the 20 episode series they went with the live action series based on The Planet of the Apes.
Gene Roddenberry reworked Genesis II as Planet Earth, again with Dylan Hunt and Pax. Later Warner Brothers reworked the idea again as Strange New World.
Much later Robert Hewitt Wolfe would use Roddenberry’s notes from this and other projects to create Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, featuring Dylan Hunt and Harper.