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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old March 14 2013, 05:09 PM   #16
CorporalCaptain
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

Christopher wrote: View Post
Sure, in the rejected pilot version, Gary Seven was a time traveler, but in the version we know, he wasn't.
Really? I mean, do we know for sure that the Gary Seven in Assignment: Earth hasn't been on time traveling adventures?

From http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/55.htm:

Assignment: Earth wrote:
SEVEN: Please identify yourselves.
KIRK: This is the United Spaceship Enterprise. I'm Captain Kirk, commanding.
SEVEN: (to the cat) Yes, I heard him, Isis. We're aboard a space vessel. From what planet?
KIRK: Earth.
SEVEN: That's impossible. In this time period, there weren't (notices Spock) Humans with a Vulcan? You're from the future, Captain. You're going to have to beam me down to Earth immediately.
(Security arrive.)
KIRK: Phasers on stun.
SEVEN: Careful, Isis. All right. Captain Kirk. My name is Gary Seven. I am a human being from the twentieth century. I was on my way
KIRK: Humans of the twentieth century do not go beaming around the galaxy, Mister Seven.
SEVEN: I've been living on another planet far more advanced. I was beaming to Earth when you intercepted me.
KIRK: The location of that planet?
SEVEN: They wish their existence kept secret. Even in your time, it will remain unknown.
SCOTT: It's impossible to hide a whole planet.
SEVEN: Impossible for you, not for them. Captain Kirk, I am of this time period. You are not. You interfere with me with what I have to do there, and you'll change history. You'll destroy the Earth and probably yourselves, too.
SPOCK: If what he says is true, Captain, every second we delay him could be dangerous.
KIRK: And if he's lying?
SEVEN: This is the most critical period in Earth's history. The planet I'm from wants to help Earth survive.
KIRK: What if it turns out you're an invading alien from the future?
SPOCK: A most difficult decision, Captain.
With the certitude that Gary's aliens will remain unknown in Kirk's time, Gary is displaying knowledge of the future. Additionally, Gary speaks of "this time period" as if he has knowledge of other time periods. Together that sounds like Gary's aliens can time travel. Perhaps Gary has even been to the future himself, or that is to say, to the future that he's trying to make sure that Earth makes it to.

And a little later.
SCOTT [on monitor]: Still unable to analyze it, sir. It was so powerful, it fused most of our recording circuits. Could have brought him back through great distances, could have brought him back through time. There's no way for us to know.
Scotty's remarks are consistent with the idea that Gary's beam could be used for time travel.

Accepting that Gary is from the 20th century time period, as he and the Beta Five say, there is still evidence in support of his aliens being able to time travel.

Some people even think "Assignment: Earth" was a deliberate copy of Doctor Who, but that's rubbish. It's unlikely that anyone in Hollywood at the time was familiar with DW, since it didn't begin showing in parts of the US until the '70s; and most of the similar elements -- the Earth-based setting, the sonic screwdriver -- were introduced to DW after they were conceived for A:E. (The sonic screwdriver made its screen debut just 13 days before "Assignment: Earth" aired, but as stated, the original A:E pilot was written over a year and a half earlier, and it did feature the servo and Gary's other familiar gadgets.)
For the record, when I mentioned Gary's "sonic screwdriver" upthread, I was teasing. I didn't think for a second that either ripped off the other.
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Old March 14 2013, 05:27 PM   #17
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

Christopher wrote: View Post
It might look something like this...
That was actually rather cool. And it sounded so period authentic. I liked it.
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Old March 14 2013, 06:15 PM   #18
Christopher
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Really? I mean, do we know for sure that the Gary Seven in Assignment: Earth hasn't been on time traveling adventures?
In the novels and comics, he certainly has, thanks to my colleagues Greg Cox and Howard Weinstein. And I've built on their work to flesh out Gary's organization a bit more in one of my own novels, Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock. But I'm talking about the actual episode. The very passage you quote makes it clear that the version of Gary we got in the episode was a native of the 20th century, just not a native of Earth. Time travel would've certainly been a possibility had A:E gone to series -- indeed, probably an inevitability, as it has been in most SF shows over the decades -- but the point is that the final version of Gary Seven was not fundamentally defined as a time traveler the way the Doctor is, or the way half-hour/non-Trek pilot Gary would've been. Nor was he an independent operator or a vagabond like the Doctor. He was a trained and disciplined operative of a powerful alien organization, sent to operate undercover on the planet where his ancestors had been born.


For the record, when I mentioned Gary's "sonic screwdriver" upthread, I was teasing. I didn't think for a second that either ripped off the other.
Good for you. But there are other people out there who have made that assumption, so it's worth remarking on just in case any other readers of this thread are unclear on the matter.
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Old March 14 2013, 07:08 PM   #19
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

Christopher wrote: View Post
but the point is that the final version of Gary Seven was not fundamentally defined as a time traveler the way the Doctor is, or the way half-hour/non-Trek pilot Gary would've been.
No, clearly not the way the Doctor is, of course.
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Old March 14 2013, 07:35 PM   #20
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

I think people want to project time travel onto Gary Seven because they perceive Doctor Who parallels, and because the ST episode used time travel as a plot device to enable the crossover. But if A:E had gone to series, it would've been a present-day, Earthbound show in the vein of something like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. -- a pair of operatives with a secret HQ and high-tech gadgets which they use to tackle threats to world peace. In fact, the series pitch document called it "Have Gun -- Will Travel 1968," a reference to the Western that Roddenberry had been story editor for years earlier, a series about a highly intelligent, refined, capable "champion for hire" who travelled around solving people's problems. The pitch also heavily stressed that the show's setting and focus would be contemporary, that it would deal with very human crises and antagonists. There isn't a single mention of time travel anywhere in the pitch document, except in mentioning that the Trek episodes where they travelled back to the 20th century were among the show's most popular -- but that was to support the point that A:E would be interesting because of its present-day, real-world setting.
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Old March 14 2013, 08:08 PM   #21
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

Well, like I said: they all but come right out and admit that his organization is capable of time travel in the backdoor pilot. Again, besides the Enterprise sling-shotting back to the 1960's, they had Gary himself ride in on a beam that's probably capable of time travel. They said so. How is it projecting to notice what's right in Assignment: Earth? Heck, that's all stuff that I noticed 35 years ago or so, definitely years before I saw an episode of Doctor Who.

But maybe I'm misunderstanding you again.

When you say "people want to project time travel onto Gary Seven", do you mean "some people want Gary Seven to be constantly whisking about from future to past and back again"? Because I already agreed that that's not how Gary Seven was shown to be.

But, if when you say "people want to project time travel onto Gary Seven", you mean "some people want Gary Seven to be capable of time travel", then I'd have to say, yeah in the context of his organization that's gotta be true, because that's based on what they fed us in A:E.
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Old March 14 2013, 08:57 PM   #22
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

Garrovick wrote: View Post
Star Trek: Deep Space K-7. Starring Stanley Adams, William Campbell, and William Schallert as Nilz Barris.
That's what I was thinking.

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Old March 14 2013, 09:03 PM   #23
Christopher
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
But maybe I'm misunderstanding you again.

When you say "people want to project time travel onto Gary Seven", do you mean "some people want Gary Seven to be constantly whisking about from future to past and back again"? Because I already agreed that that's not how Gary Seven was shown to be.

But, if when you say "people want to project time travel onto Gary Seven", you mean "some people want Gary Seven to be capable of time travel", then I'd have to say, yeah in the context of his organization that's gotta be true, because that's based on what they fed us in A:E.
I'm responding to the comment in post #7, to wit, "Really Assignment: Earth is Dr. Who but primarily Earth-based as a cost saving measure." My point is that equating A:E with Doctor Who is completely incorrect, and that the reason people tend to make that mistake, aside from superficial similarities like the servo vis-a-vis the sonic screwdriver, is that they tend to assume that A:E would've been a series driven by time travel, or misremember the details of the episode and believe that Gary was from another time to begin with. Which is simply not the case. The original, half-hour version was time-travel-based (and had some rather problematical bits with Gary using his temporal technology to undo bad things that happened), but the later, Roddenberry/Wallace version was not.

So I'm not saying that Gary wouldn't have been capable of time travel on occasion. I mean, come on, time travel is the most overused trope in all of SF, so of course there would've been some time travel if the show had gone to series, as I have already acknowledged in post #18. Hell, Star Trek did time travel three times in the first season alone. But the point is that the series wouldn't have been defined by time travel any more than ST was, and thus 22 Stars's assertion that A:E was "really" Doctor Who is simply not true. It's a common belief about A:E, but it's a myth.
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Old March 14 2013, 09:10 PM   #24
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

I can't source this, but I recall reading somewhere that a spin-off featuring Harry Mudd had been thought of/considered at one point during the run of TOS.

That could have been a fun show, I think.
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Old March 14 2013, 09:11 PM   #25
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

I for one didn't care for Assignment Earth. It was just a backdoor pilot riding the coat tails of Star Trek to get off the ground. It also ignored the stars of the show which made it even more bad. I'm so glad the series didn't end with this episode. It would have been cool to see a Christopher Pike spinoff prequel or something along those lines but sadly Jeffery Hunter died in 1969.
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Old March 14 2013, 09:21 PM   #26
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

CaptainMurdock wrote: View Post
I for one didn't care for Assignment Earth. It was just a backdoor pilot riding the coat tails of Star Trek to get off the ground. It also ignored the stars of the show which made it even more bad.
True, it was not an especially good episode of Star Trek. Nor was it a really good episode of Assignment: Earth, for that matter. It was trying to be two things at once, and both suffered for it. But I think the idea behind the series had a lot of potential.
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Old March 14 2013, 09:28 PM   #27
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

Christopher wrote: View Post
CaptainMurdock wrote: View Post
I for one didn't care for Assignment Earth. It was just a backdoor pilot riding the coat tails of Star Trek to get off the ground. It also ignored the stars of the show which made it even more bad.
True, it was not an especially good episode of Star Trek. Nor was it a really good episode of Assignment: Earth, for that matter. It was trying to be two things at once, and both suffered for it. But I think the idea behind the series had a lot of potential.
But would American viewers be interested in a show about an advanced human saving Earth from nuclear disasters brought on by human race?
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Old March 14 2013, 09:39 PM   #28
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

Assignment: Earth has about as much of a connection with Trek as Mork did with Happy Days, which is very little. However, Mork & Mindy was a popular spinoff, and A:E probably would have worked, because it was a Cold War type of story about preventing WWIII that was more accessible and identifiable to people in many ways than the more abstract concepts in Star Trek. Not only that, Robert Lansing and Teri Garr were well cast and memorable in those roles, that here we are today still thinking about it. I think in retrospect the show dates because the cold war is long over and a typewriter that types by itself is highly anachronistic, not futuristic, but within the context of its time, and in reruns in the 70s when it popped up again, it was pretty hip. I always enjoyed it as a kid and I didn't mind that the main cast were "wasted" within that one episode, since it was always going to be an unusual one.

I also think that by canonizing G7 as a time-traveler, it opens doors to have him show up elsewhere in Trek, which I think Trek fans just want to see happen, regardless of Gene's original intention. Since the series didn't happen, he can (in theory) be an occasional guest star elsewhere, which is interesting to ponder.
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Old March 14 2013, 09:45 PM   #29
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

CaptainMurdock wrote: View Post
But would American viewers be interested in a show about an advanced human saving Earth from nuclear disasters brought on by human race?
The nuclear disaster was just the premise of the first episode. According to the series pitch, stories could've been about any number of different things. They could've been about taking on the Mafia or the Kremlin, or catching a modern-day Jack the Ripper, or preventing a dangerous experiment from going awry, or something on a more personal scale like keeping a young scientist from ruining his life before he could make a great breakthrough.

And like I said, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a similar premise; the U.N.C.L.E. was an international organization dedicated to defending against threats to world peace and stability. And that show ran for four years, albeit mainly on the charisma of its leads.

As for Gary's advancement, the pitch document specifically addresses whether his superiority would be alienating to viewers, and argues that audiences actually responded positively to "superhuman" characters like Spock or James Bond (or Have Gun -- Will Travel's Paladin, who, again, was Roddenberry's template for Gary Seven).


mos6507 wrote: View Post
I also think that by canonizing G7 as a time-traveler, it opens doors to have him show up elsewhere in Trek, which I think Trek fans just want to see happen, regardless of Gene's original intention. Since the series didn't happen, he can (in theory) be an occasional guest star elsewhere, which is interesting to ponder.
Sure, and that very thing has been done in the novels and comics, and I've personally drawn on it in my own Trek fiction. So I've got nothing against taking the character in that direction in the context of Trek tie-ins. I'm just pointing out that there's a difference between that after-the-fact fan interpretation of the premise and what the creators of the show actually intended.
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Old March 14 2013, 09:59 PM   #30
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Re: What would a TOS spin off look like

Assignment: Earth could work as a series today, set in the Sixties, against the backdrop of the Cold War. Austin Powers has proved that sixties nostalgia is still viable. "The Americans" has proved that Cold War stories can work. I see Robert Patrick as Gary Seven and Lisa Kudrow as Roberta Lincoln. I don't care who plays the cat.
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