What would a TOS spin off look like

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

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  2. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's what I was thinking.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. CaptainMurdock

    CaptainMurdock Captain Captain

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    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. :(
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. CaptainMurdock

    CaptainMurdock Captain Captain

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    But would American viewers be interested in a show about an advanced human saving Earth from nuclear disasters brought on by human race?
     
  8. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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).


    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.
     
  10. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  11. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Well, to be clear, Scotty offered a theory that the beam "could've brought him back through time," but he was simply guessing--probably due to another advanced being (other than themselves) suddenly appearing at the same point in old earth history, when he assumed (due to a lack of knowledge) that no humans time travelled in the 20th century. Taking all into consideration, I do not believe the script suggested time travel was any true ability of Gary Seven (or his commanders).
     
  12. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Roddenberry liked to claim that he had been the "head writer" of that Western series, but in actuality he was just a freelancer (albeit a prolific one, penning 24 episodes of the program).

    (Because the internet is for being picky over trivial details) ;)
     
  13. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Time trek. He and his nemesis are capable of time travelling and therefore know the future and past but you never see it on screen like Voyagers did - it all takes place on contemporary Earth. Q was in effect also a time traveler as was the Traveler in TNG itself, with Wesley playing the part of Roberts Linclon. I liked the music but I had the intro pegged as 'I've faced villians from across the galaxy and mind boggling alien technologies and killer robotic weapons from other dimensions, but you Ms. Lincoln are another matter.' Or something like that.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Thanks for the correction. Still, he was tied with Shimon Wincelberg as the most prolific writer for the show, apparently, so while "head writer" is an exaggeration, there is some basis in truth for it. Anyway, it's the one series he worked on the most prior to creating his own, so it was influential on his later work, and evidently it inspired him in creating Gary Seven. (Or maybe he just thought it was a good idea to pitch the show to networks by reminding the executives of a successful show he'd been associated with.)

    Indeed, talk about trivial details: HGWT is the one show that Roddenberry has the most actual writing credits for period, even more than Star Trek. Of course GR did uncredited rewrites on all the first- and second-season TOS scripts and at least the first-season TNG scripts, but he only has onscreen writing credit for 12 TOS and 3 TNG episodes. That's surprising.
     
  15. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    I would've liked to see an Assignment: Earth series.

    Another idea would have been to use the Guardian of Forever as a time travel based show.
     
  16. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There was a comment in one of the Youtube clips that Kaley Cuoco from Big Bang Theory should be Lincoln, and I think that would work really well. These days the semi-sitcom idea that Gene was flirting with might actually work better with today's audiences. I know it will never happen, but it's fun to speculate. It is just one of the few loose ends in the Trek universe that is just sitting there waiting to be picked up again.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, it could've worked as a sitcom at the time, in theory; there were plenty of '60s sitcoms about strangers in a strange land with superhuman abilities, like My Favorite Martian and Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. And there were spy and crimefighter sitcoms like Get Smart and Batman too. So potentially an Assignment: Earth sitcom could've fit right into the '60s TV landscape. It's just that this particular pilot script was really bad.
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I disagree. I believe we have to interpret the line in the context of a backdoor pilot. "Could have brought him back through time" equals "we're going to leave our options open for time travel episodes on our spin-off". It doesn't mean that it will be used that way, but rather really to make it clear that Gary can pull literally anything out of his hat that the Enterprise can do, time travel included. Otherwise, why even feed us the "theory" in the first place.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^As I've said repeatedly, of course it was possible that the show would've occasionally done time travel stories. I never denied that. But that's a totally different conversation from whether it's valid to equate A:E with Doctor Who -- which it isn't. Most SF shows dabble in time travel occasionally, but that doesn't make them fundamentally about time travel the way DW is.
     
  20. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    To add mystery and tension to the character early in the episode. If Gary Seven revealed everything up front, the story loses the element of intrigue and character development. "Space Seed" works in a similar fashion; Khan's true identity is only theory in the first act--nothing confirmed, so it adds mystery to a character who was compelling, but the full story was not revealed.

    In G7's case, the early dialogue--from Spock's history notes & Scotty's theory to G7's vague replies about his mission were the mystery/threat set up for the audience. We do not really know much until he explains himself to Roberta late in the story, but at that point, it remains clear that time travel is not one of his skills, despite his recognition of the Enterprise being from the future. That last bit just as easily can imply G7's commanders have met other time travellers, but not necessarily have the technology to do the same.