As we all know, 13 full storylines were commissioned, scripted and completed (or, at least, reached 'early draft' status). Only three of those stories ever reached the screen, although the Phase II bible was clearly a launching point for The Next Generation
My question is in regards to the early TOS movie era. Do we think that Phase II would have been a viable option, if The Motion Picture
hadn't been financially successful enough to warrant a movie sequel? Or do we think that TMP (hypothetically) being a failure would have simply torpedoed Star Trek's chances of coming back to TV?
I've seen it suggested that even as late as The Wrath Of Khan
, Paramount still had their eyes on the possibility of pitching Star Trek for TV again using the Phase II scripts. This is why, the theory goes, we got David Marcus and Lt. Savvik as possible series' leads in the potential absence of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy (as Shatner was probably less inclined to commit to television Star Trek in 1982 than he had been in 1977; while Nimoy hadn't been willing to commit to Phase II at all). Not sure how that works, as David Marcus clearly isn't a Starfleet, so would not be a viable replacement for either Will Decker or
James T. Kirk in the unproduced Phase II scripts. But I can definitely see Savvik in the role of Starship Commander. Maybe Marcus could have been the Spock replacement?
I don't think Phase II would have been on the radar for subsequent movies. I think the success of TWOK
secured Star Trek on movie screens, and the possibility of resurrecting Phase II wouldn't have even come up in the planning stages of instalments III through VI.