ASSIGNMENT: EARTH (Backdoor Pilot in STAR TREK)

Looking at unmade Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror films and television…

Assignment Earth

Season 2 of the original series of Star Trek ended with the episode “Assignment: Earth” backdoor pilot for a spin-off series.

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Star Trek – Concept & Development

“Star Trek is…” – The original pitch.

Gene Roddenberry’s original pitch for Star Trek is available a number of places online and was to tell of the voyages of the USS Yorktown.

Characters

Many characters in the pitch were reworked or renamed into “The Cage” (the original pilot) and then again into Star Trek itself:

  • Capt Robert M April -> Capt Christopher Pike -> Capt James Kirk
  • Number One -> Number One -> Mr Spock.
  • José Ortegas -> José Tyler.
  • Dr Philip “Bones” Boyce -> Dr Philip “Bones” Boyce -> Dr Leonard “Bones” McCoy.
  • Mr Spock -> Mr Spock -> Mr Spock.
  • Yeoman Colt -> Yeoman Colt -> Yeoman Rand.

Episode Concepts

Some of the episode concepts were used, some only have thematic successors.

Used in Star Trek:

  • “The Next Cage” -> “The Cage” (unaired pilot)
  • “The Day Charlie Became a God” -> “Where No Man Has Gone Before”/”Charlie X”
  • “President Capone” -> “A Piece of the Action”
  • “The Women” -> “Mudd’s Women”
  • “The Man Trap” -> “The Man Trap”
  • “100AD” -> “The Omega Glory”
  • “A Question of Cannibalism” -> Star Trek: The Cattlemen (unmade film).
Other usages:
  • “The Pet Shop” -> Planet Earth (Second Genesis II pilot)

Legacy

Obviously, the progression shown above, as well as:
  • Admiral April appeared in a Star Trek (The Animated Series) episode as the first Captain of the Enterprise, the one thing from the animated series Roddenberry said was canon.  April is also listed in a number of non-canon sources as the original captain of the Enterprise.
  • The USS Yorktown appears or is mentioned a few times in the original series and movies.  Roddenberry said that the Enterprise-A is the USS Yorktown refitted and renamed.
~ DUG.