Looking at unmade science fiction, fantasy, horror and superhero films, television shows and episodes.
Gene Roddenberry is best known as the creator of the series Star Trek. However, he had a lot of other ideas and this timeline follows a thread through those ideas, the character of Dylan Hunt and Pax and the shows that they are most connected to.
- 11th March – The date of the original pitch for Star Trek (entitled “Star Trek is…”). The pitch document includes an episode idea called “The Pet Shop” about a planet where women dominate men who are kept as pets.
- GENESIS II – With the success of Star Trek in syndication, Roddenberry creates Genesis II a show about Dylan Hunt, a NASA scientist in the late 1970s who accidentally gets frozen until 2133, when “Pax” (cave dwellers who survived “the great conflict”) revive him. A movie length pilot was made for CBS but never picked up. Unused ideas for episodes include “Robot’s Return” about a NASA robot returning to Earth and “The Poodle Shop” a reused idea from the “Star Trek is…” pitch.
- PLANET EARTH – A reworking of Genesis II for the ABC with Pax now a much more advanced organisation. This episode uses the “The Poodle Shop” idea. John Saxon is cast as Dylan Hunt. The make-up for the mutants “the Kreeg” is the first appearance on screen of the make-up later used for Klingons in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (and beyond. Once again it did not advance beyond a movie length pilot.
- STRANGE NEW WORLD – Roddenberry left the project, but Warner Brothers made one last attempt, again for ABC. No longer using the name Dylan Hunt, John Saxon was recast as Capt Anthony Vico who is frozen in a space station with 2 other scientists when Pax (this time a pre-catastrophe NASA-type organisation) when asteroids hit the Earth. They are revived years later and set out to find Pax HQ again where their friends and family are also frozen. Once again, it did not get past a movie length pilot (this time an introductory piece and two episodes sown together)
- STAR TREK II – Work began on a second Star Trek series with the working title Star Trek II, one of the commissioned scripts was by Alan Dean Foster and used the unused Genesis II idea, “Robot’s Return” as the movie length pilot “In Thy Image.” The series was never made.
- 7th December – Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released. The movie was based on the “In Thy Image” script and included Klingon’s with the Planet Earth Kreeg make-up.
- 24th October – Gene Roddenberry dies.
- STARSHIP – Originally a post-Star Trek idea by Roddenberry, possibly to reuse unused Trek material, this was announced as a animated series. Early announcements included Dylan Hunt as the main character.
- ANDROMEDA – Robert Hewitt Wolfe used Roddenberry notes on a variety of shows to create Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda which ran until 2005. Dylan Hunt was the captain of the starship Andromeda Asc
endant which was trapped in a black hole, but escaped many years later and tries to reform the Systems Commonwealth (A Pax/Star Fleet substitute) and reunite a choatic universe. Unfortunately Wolfe was fired from the show, but he has written a Coda telling his intended arc.
Articles for the unmade projects mentioned above:
- Star Trek: Concept & Development.
- Gene Roddenberry’s Genesis II (Failed 1973 Pilot)
- Gene Roddenberry’s Planet Earth (Failed 1974 Pilot)
- Strange New World (Failed 1975 Pilot)
- Star Trek II (aka Star Trek: Phase II)
- Gene Roddenberry’s Starship
- Robert Hewitt Wolfe’s “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” Coda