Assignment: Earth - Is it Really a Star Trek Episode?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Irishman, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    ^Or they could have teamed up and fought Malcolm McDowell on the rocket gantry.... :p
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Oh, yeah, there's some nice conflict built into the concept. Seven's entire mission on behalf of his alien sponsors is in direct conflict with the Prime Directive, which means there's always going to be a degree of friction between his mission and whatever Starfleet crew he runs into. As well as, conceivably, some chewy moral dilemmas.

    As I recall, this was something I tried to address directly in my aborted Seven/Picard project, but we never quite licked the problem of how to have Picard and Seven on opposite sides of the Prime Directive without one of them looking bad.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't really mind if Gary Seven looks a little bad. I mean, as designed, he's distant, arrogant, and somewhat condescending toward humanity, and is capable of making cold, calculating decisions if he thinks it serves his mission. While he's technically human, he's essentially an alien in mentality and background, and that gives him some license to be unsympathetic, to get away with choices and priorities that seem strange or inappropriate to us. After all, he has Roberta to be the audience-identification figure, the more sympathetic one.
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I suspect my versions probably had Picard looking bad . . .which is probably why Ordover kept rejecting them! :)
     
  5. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Please.....no.

    How about McDowell and Shatner chasing Stewart (as Jack the Ripper) around present day San Francisco?
     
  6. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Doesn't this episode use the same type of framing device "The Menagerie" did with "The Cage"?

    Kirk and Spock are always talking about Seven, but does Gary have scenes with Roberta specifically about the Enterprise? Are all four stars (Shatner, Nimoy, Lansing, Garr) ever in the same master shot?
     
  7. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Its an amazing coincidence that Gary 7 and the Enterprise were sent to the same place at the same time.

    Could the Temporal Dept in Section 31 have guessed something about the Gary 7 thing and got Starfleet to arrange to have the Enterprise there. Maybe with an operative on board?
     
  8. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    :rofl:
     
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Not really the same thing. The whole episode was shot at the same time, and the climatic scene at Seven's office involves all four characters. And Kirk and Spock and Seven and Roberta (and Isis) do interact on and off throughout the story.

    There's no framing device involved.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    TrekCore's screencap gallery for the episode:

    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/thumbnails.php?album=57

    Kirk and Seven (and Isis) are in the same shot for much of the first transporter-room scene. In the long shots, including the fight sequence, we see Gary in the same shot with Kirk, Spock, Scott, and two guards. We also see a 3-shot of Gary in the foreground with Spock and Scott in the background. (Screencap pages 5ff)

    Later, in Gary's office (pages 22-23), we see Roberta in the same shot with Kirk and Spock as she tries to stop them from going in. They get into a scuffle, so there's definitely direct interaction between them.

    In the climactic scene (pages 43ff), first we see Kirk and Spock in the shot with Gary, but Gary has his back to the camera so I can't be certain it's Lansing. But we then cut to a 3-shot of Gary, Roberta, and Kirk. Later there's a brief 3-shot of Kirk, Spock, and Gary, then we intercut between a shot of Roberta and Kirk and a shot of Gary and Spock, and yes, there is briefly a 4-shot of all of them standing in front of the Beta 5 (p. 45).

    Also, there's that call sheet in the Discovered Documents page linked to earlier. It shows that Shatner, Nimoy, Lansing, and Garr all worked on that same single day of shooting, and on the same sets, Gary's outer office and library.

    So no, this isn't like "The Menagerie." It's not two things shot at different times and then cut together. It's just the opposite -- one thing shot all at once but designed so that parts of it could be cut out later.
     
  11. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Assignment Earth would never (in my opinion) have worked as a half-hour comedy (what, like Get Smart?) I think it would have been suited far better as an hour action/drama like Time Tunnel, with some humor thrown in (at the expense of Miss Lincoln).
     
  12. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    You know, let's look at the time frame. Batman came out in January 1966 and a lot of shows tried to copy it. In September 1966, Batman producer William Dozier got another half hour show on, The Green Hornet. It had the same production values but the shows were more or less played straight rather than Batman's absurdity factor.

    Maybe Roddenberry was trying to do something in that style.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which is more comprehensible when you realize that both shows were faithfully adapting their source material. The Batman comics of the mid-60s were every bit as goofy and comedic and bizarre as the TV series, and indeed even more so because they had aliens and time travel and Superman frequently showing up to play sick pranks on Batman or compete with him over women. Whereas the Green Hornet was mainly known from a radio series and two movie serials that were straight-up crimebusting dramas with high-tech, pulpy gadgetry, so the TV series followed in the same vein.


    Interesting thought. Still, it's hard to tell from the script whether he was intentionally trying to do a sitcom or was trying to do an adventure show with humor and went overboard on the humor. The pilot script is either a very unfunny comedy or a somewhat ridiculous drama.
     
  14. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A.K.A. The Kato Show, as it was known in Hong Kong.
     
  15. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    The show did help Bruce get name recognition in America prior to his martial arts movie stardom.
     
  16. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    Burt Ward vs. Bruce Lee...biggest mismatch in television history.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^The crossover was weird. The Green Hornet and Kato were presented as real within Batman's universe... even though Batman existed as a TV show within the Green Hornet's universe. Plus the GH & K had made a prior window cameo in a Batman episode wherein Batman recognized them as fellow crimefighters, but now he thought they were villains.

    (And will someone please explain to me what stamps and alphabet soup have to do with each other thematically?)
     
  18. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    Indeed, DC comics ran with this idea for a movie-era encounter between Kirk and Gary, with plot elements that seemed to lead into the political situation with the Klingons in TUC. Gary is an "intervention" agent working for a group called the Aegis, who can travel through time as others do through space. His mission, and that of other agents, is to ensure that the histories of their planets are not altered by outside influences and that potentially lethal conflicts don't destroy them. But some interventions fail, and this led to a group of agents going rogue and trying to destroy the Aegis.
     
  19. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    More historical context: A lot of the spy-fi shows of that era were at least slightly tongue-in-cheek in tone. The Avengers, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., etc.

    (As I've mentioned before, I used to play the soundtrack to Our Man Flint when writing Gary Seven scenes, just to capture some of that cool Sixties spy vibe.)
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Indeed, and Howard Weinstein's creation of the Aegis has provided fodder for later novelists, notably Greg in his Gary Seven novels Assignment: Eternity and The Eugenics Wars Books 1 & 2, yours truly in Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock, and most recently Dayton Ward in the just-released From History's Shadow. In my case, I incorporated the Aegis as one of the combatants in the Temporal Cold War (since the way Howie portrayed them in the comics fit perfectly with the TCW even though he came up with it ten years beforehand), and Dayton builds on that in FHS.

    John Byrne's IDW comics portray Gary's agency differently -- they're not called the Aegis there -- but his stories do depict Gary using time travel once or twice.