Greg Cox wrote:
Therin of Andor;8340583
In reflection, I fear it may not have gotten past the 13 episodes. The cast, as described in the "Phase II" Writers' Bible, seemed way overextended for a 70s show. Especially after the original series essentially concentrated only on three cast members. "Phase II" was to have "the big eight" (ie, including Chapel, but with Xon standing in for Spock), [I wrote:
plus[/I] Rand. And Decker and Ilia. Although Xon was a whole new, quite different Vulcan, I'm sure fan outrage about "Where's Spock?" would have been strong.
I think you're right, if they'd tried to feature everyone every week. It might have worked if they'd gone for more of an ensemble approach, like you see in Deep Space nine, for example. In DS9 they had a large number of regulars, plus a pretty big list of recurring characters. But you didn't see everyone all the time, just whoever was needed for a particular story..
But did that kind of ensemble storytelling really exist back in the late seventies? Hill Street Blues
was still a few years away and that sort of approach didn't really catch onto until later--in the eighties and nineties. TV science fiction at the time was largely represented by Glen Larson-type shows. Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica,
that kind of thing.
We can't assume that a DS9-like show would have worked back in the those days--or would have even occurred to anyone. There's a reason that I Love Lucy
isn't more like Seinfeld.
Different times, different expectations.
Battlestar Galactica had quite a large ensemble and not every character appeared in every episode. You also had Mission Impossible in the sixties and Space 1999 in the seventies. I doubt that the approach to the show would have been that different - most likely two male leads with a male and female support lead like in the early days of TOS plus the others as secondary support. Certainly from the scripts we've seen, not every character is mentioned in every episode, although they may have had cameos.
Seventies and eighties writing was generally quite weak though, even if there were some decent shows at the time. I think the first season of TNG is what we could have expected, which wasn't great overall. Even so, I think Phase II would have made a fun addition, especially if they did put a bit more effort into the support cast every now and then.