Gene Roddenberry’s PLANET EARTH (1974 Failed Pilot)

There are a lot of unmade films, television shows and episodes out there.  Gene Roddenberry is best known for being the creator of Star Trek.  But some of his ideas weren’t nearly as successful, for example 1974’s Planet Earth…

GR Planet Earth

BACKGROUND

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 called Genesis II.  CBS went with Planet of the Apes, and Warner and Roddenberry tried again at ABC…

CONCEPT

The concept remained the same as from Genesis II, Dylan Hunt was a scientist who was put into suspended animation in 1979 and was revived in 2133 after “the final war of the 20th Century” by an organisation known as Pax.  He still works for them going on missions using Sub-Shuttles.  The plot feels like an episode of Genesis II, even using an idea (“The Poodle Shop”) from the show’s pitch (although the idea appeared earlier as “The Pet Shop” in the original Star Trek pitch)

Gene Roddenberry's Planet Earth (Dylan Hunt)

But this time togas and caves Pax had have been replaced by Star Trek style jumpsuits and a futuristic looking city.  Hunt (now played by John Saxon) now leads an Star Trek away team style “Pax Team 20”

PLOTkreeg2

On a mission to explore the people and areas around Southern California, Pater Kimbridge is wounded by the mutants called the Kreeg.  Now there’s just 60 hours to find Dr Connor who disappeared about a year earlier in an area where women keep their men as drugged docile pets (and apparently wasn’t important enough to look for until now).  Star Trek’s Kirk-style, Hunt heads in, romances the head female, undermines their society and saves it from the Kreeg, proves how great men are and saves Dr Conner just in time to save Kimbridge.  And everyone’s happy and ready for the next adventure.

CANCELLATION

ABC played it as a movie of the week, but never picked it up.

LEGACY

GR PAX Hunt

Roddenberry would abandon the idea, but Warner tried one more time, keeping Saxon but changing the name and altering the premise to become Strange New World.

The Kreeg make-up would be later used for Klingons in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The name Dylan Hunt would be used as the name of the main character in Andromeda.

~ DUG.

startover

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6 Comments

  1. Pingback: UNMADE SF – Index of Unmade Things | Unmade Speculative Fiction

  2. Pingback: STRANGE NEW WORLD (Failed 1975 Pilot) | Unmade Speculative Fiction

  3. Pingback: TIMELINE – Gene Roddenberry’s Dylan Hunt & Pax | Unmade Speculative Fiction

  4. It’s funny how sometimes a bad idea simply refuses to die. ‘The Pet Shop’ was a bad pitch in the 60s, bad when used in ‘Planet Earth’, and just as bad when resurrected in the 80s as the TNG episode ‘Angel One’ – three decades of misogynist twaddle!

    • It’s true. It’s an idea that reeks of Roddenberry though. It’s no surprise that he seems to have been behind all 3 of those.
      That’s something you see in all of these that the bad ideas seem to be kept (the hiding in a fridge from a Nuke in Indiana Jones 4 seems to have survived a number of scripts) or that an OK idea for one project is kept and kept until it is pointless/no longer works.

  5. Pingback: Unmade Series Poll | Unmade Speculative Fiction

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