What would a TOS spin off look like

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by AggieJohn, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I had a thought today. Lets say that the TOS had received the proper fan base that it enjoys now back when it was originally airing, to the point that they created spin offs like they did for the TNG. What concept or episodes would have made for good spin off material?

    I understand that spin off's were not common in the 1960's but just humor me. DS9 played heavy on the Borg and Cardassian occupation episodes of TNG, as did Voyager to a lesser degree. Was there any reoccurring characters or overarching plots that they kept coming back to?

    One that came to mind was the border dispute between the Klingons and Federation, perhaps taking place on K-7. The show being like DS9?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It might look something like this...

    There were actually a fair number of spinoffs in the '60s. For instance, The Andy Griffith Show was one of several spinoffs of The Danny Thomas Show and in turn spun off Gomer Pyle. (There's also Mayberry R.F.D., which was just a continuation of TAGS after Griffith left.) The Man from U.N.C.L.E. spun off The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. And so on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  3. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    If the ratings had been high, the network might have said "Let's give Spock his own show." That's how the suits think, it seems to me.
     
  4. Jim Gamma

    Jim Gamma This space left blank intentionally. Premium Member

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  5. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Assignment: Earth still sounds like a pretty good idea for a science-fiction show. I don't see why it shouldn't be considered.
     
  6. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    I also think the concept would continue to work, today. It is too bad that it didn't take off in the 60s and even now I don't really know why NBC didn't run with it. I'd love to hear what the 'suits' said when they were discussing it.
    I clicked on the link provided by Christopher, above, and listened to the 2 imagined theme songs. I like the first one the best.
     
  7. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

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    Inspector Space Time.

    Really Assignment: Earth is Dr. Who but primarily Earth-based as a cost saving measure.
     
  8. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    It's perfect for today's market, since it takes place "now" and has a male female team of investigators.
     
  9. Garrovick

    Garrovick Commander Red Shirt

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    Star Trek: Deep Space K-7. Starring Stanley Adams, William Campbell, and William Schallert as Nilz Barris.
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Gary Seven even has a sonic screwdriver! ;)
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    What they evidently wanted was for Spock to be the star of the show he was already on. They kept pushing for more Spock-centric episodes, seeing how hugely popular he was with the fans. If Roddenberry and Shatner hadn't fought so hard to keep Kirk in the lead (and if Isaac Asimov hadn't made the suggestion to GR to play up the Kirk-Spock friendship so that the two would be inseparable), then Spock might've ended up taking over the show the way Fonzie later took over Happy Days.


    In fact, Assignment: Earth was originally a pilot for a standalone, non-Trek-related half-hour series that Roddenberry wrote in 1966, during TOS's first season. In it, Gary Seven was a time traveler from 2319, sent back to prevent the demonic Omegan aliens from changing Earth history to prevent the rise of a Federation-like interstellar civilization. You can read about it here. I've read the script, and it was pretty bad, playing more like an attempt at a sitcom in the vein of My Favorite Martian than an adventure drama. After it was -- quite rightly -- rejected, Roddenberry worked with Art Wallace to develop a second version as a Star Trek spinoff, writing a series pitch for the spinoff in early December 1967 and then writing the script for the ST episode as a backdoor pilot for the spinoff. This version would've made a much better series than the half-hour pseudo-sitcom version.


    I believe there were some efforts a few years back on the part of Majel and/or Rod Roddenberry to develop an updated (and presumably non-Trek-related) version of A:E, along with their efforts to develop new series based on other Roddenberry properties.

    And I agree -- a rebooted version of A:E (or The Questor Tapes, which was basically a rehash of the exact same premise but with an android lead) could make for an interesting series. There was an attempt by TQT's co-developer Herb Wright to make a new series of that, but sadly the project fell through when Wright passed away in 2005.


    I don't know why people say that. Sure, in the rejected pilot version, Gary Seven was a time traveler, but in the version we know, he wasn't. There are some coincidental similarities to the early-'70s phase of Doctor Who where the Third Doctor was exiled to Earth and working with UNIT to defend present-day Earth, but that was not a typical period of Who history, and it was itself something of an imitation of the popular Professor Quatermass serials. I guess there's a vague similiarity in the formula of a superhuman male lead with advanced technology and alien knowledge working with a young female human companion who provides audience identification, but Gary's specific personality and agenda are very, very different from any incarnation of the Doctor.

    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.)
     
  12. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    While TNG and ENT wouldn't have worked at the same time as TOS was on, the concepts for DS9 and VOY could have formed the basis for shows. The first is alluded to above with the idea of a "K-7" series.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The problem with the idea of a Voyager-like TOS spinoff is that it would've been kind of redundant. The premise of Voyager was meant to be about getting back to a TOS-style series, with the ship and captain off in the wild frontier and being entirely on their own rather than constantly calling on Starfleet for help and guidance. (Which, ironically, was what TNG itself was originally meant to be; that series started with the Enterprise-D at the most remote Federation outpost in existence and travelling outward from there. But almost immediately, you had the E-D helping another Starfleet ship in jeopardy, delivering a vaccine to a Federation world, and so on, so that premise never really got started.)

    Not to mention that Lost in Space was already on the air, so a Trek series about a lost ship trying to get home would've seemed very derivative.

    A DS9-like premise could perhaps have worked. After all, the idea behind DS9 was to do The Rifleman in space, analogously to how TOS had been pitched as Wagon Train in space. So it would've fit right in to the Western-dominated TV landscape of the '60s. Although it wouldn't have had the serialized elements that DS9 had.
     
  14. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, but TOS didn't have the Enterprise constantly on its own away from the federation, in fact it ran into other Starfleet ships and facilities several times.

    Except thats what TOS did on occasion.
     
  15. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, and we remember how well that worked: Fonzie solves all problems like a resident psychologist...and the "aaayyyyy!!" business. Thankfully, TOS focused on the friendship/teamwork of Kirk and Spock.


    I was going to post something along the same lines, but thanks for adding the historical perspective. Some fans honestly forget--specifcally, the Doctor's third incarnation (Pertwee) and hip, somewhat flummoxed assistant (Jo Grant of his three companions) could be said to be patterned after Gary 7/Roberta than the other way around, since the Roddenberry/Wallace story predated the Pertwee Who by some time.

    Then, there's the G7 Servo / Sonic Screwdriver matter, which you covered. There's no reason for anyone to believe G7 was based on Doctor Who.
     
  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    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:

    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.
    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.

    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.
     
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    That was actually rather cool. And it sounded so period authentic. I liked it.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.


    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.
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    No, clearly not the way the Doctor is, of course.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.