What would a TOS spin off look like

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

  1. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Yes! Or Exeter. WHEN will we be treated to the finished episode?!?

    Such a fun production!
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You know, despite my choice in Watching the Clock, I wonder if it really was meant to be a number. After all, it was always written as Gary Seven, not Gary 7. So it's evidently supposed to be a name.

    And there actually are people in reality with the surname Seven. It's one of several variant surnames derived from the name of the river Severn. It's not a common name, but it's a real one. (And it's not the only name that sounds like a number. Remember the kid from the Alien Nation TV series, Sean Six?)
     
  3. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    George Costanza is also quite fond of the name Seven.
     
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Christopher, I never said that "Gary Seven" was his "real name". If you're characterizing my position as that, then that's a mis-characterization, because I never said it. All I said was a code name assigned at birth seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea, based on everything we saw. I also said I don't see any reason why "Gary" couldn't be his given name.

    Maybe his parents gave him the name Gary Moonwatcher, or whatever, or something that would translate into that, and the aliens gave him the code name Gary Seven, meaning seventh subject named Gary, right then and there, all before he was even out of the maternity ward. That's actually precisely what I always thought all along. To me, it's the obvious possibility. Naturally, there are others, based on what we know from A:E.

    I also acknowledged that the flip side of "don't see any reason why not" is "maybe not".

    And, if you don't want to follow what I wrote, that's your prerogative. But this is a discussion board, and I'm just posting my opinion. I thought we were discussing things, but if you don't want to have a discussion like adults, then that's fine, too. I don't take your decision not to read what I say personally. But I don't see why you should feel that you have any grounds to complain, assuming four question marks in a row is—as it would seem—some kind of rhetorical complaint, when all I'm doing is posting my considered opinion and civilly responding to your posts, which I assume you're investing time and putting effort into too, as if trying to have a civilized discussion.

    And anyway, I don't think it's frivolous to point out that real world spies don't put their code names on their fake IDs. Nor is it frivolous to point out that, in the real world, sometimes the code name is the first name assigned to an object, and sometimes things never get any other name besides a code name.

    Heck you even said:
    Emphasis on presumably is mine.
     
  5. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm actively involved in alternate history discussions on the alternatehistory.com website, so I think I may have a special view on this topic.

    "Assignment: Earth", were the back door pilot still made and still the exact same thing in this world where Star Trek was somehow a big success, would be the obvious spin off possibility. It would also have the strongest chance of any listed. Like a lot of shows of the era, it was related to what it was spun from, but properly not the same thing so I do get a vibe that it would work.

    The ideas some people are proposing about a show on a different starship are ideas I disagree with. That thought process comes from the TNG era, where that show spun off Voyager and Deep Space Nine and Enterprise. I do not believe the same thing would have happened had Star Trek (TOS) been successful. Think to what actually happened when TNG was being talked about and went on air: people were saying how could a show without Kirk and Spock work and nearly everyone expected it to fail. In this alternate universe, Star Trek is a success, putting even more pressure on not doing a different space ship since the thought of "how can you do it without the Enterprise and Kirk and crew" will be even stronger in that case.
    The most possible of those is a space station based show, and I also disagree with that because the same criticism will be with that show as was aimed at DS9 before it went ahead: how are you going to have adventures when the space station doesn't go anywhere? For those of you who will say "character development and complexity" or something to that effect, this is the 60s. Not only that, but this is the 60s with Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek. Roddenberry was against strong character changes, story arcs, etc even in an era when they were not especially strong (story arcs especially), because he wanted people to be able to watch any episode out of order and have it still work. Roddenberry and the era won't let a space station show work.

    The most likely thing for a spin off would just be a follow up series at some point. Just to have Shatner and the rest of the cast, with some new people or replacements here and there, brought back sometime in the 1970s and put aboard the Enterprise or a refit Enterprise or an Enterprise II or whatever it would be.

    If you're interested in this topic, I highly (highly) recommend an ongoing alternate history timeline called "That Wacky Redhead". It's about Lucille Ball deciding not to sell Desilu to Paramount, and thus she cheerleads Star Trek and gives the show the chance no one else did and it becomes a success. One of the things covered is a spin off (I can't remember if "Assignment: Earth" is made into a spin off in the story, though). It covers not just Star Trek, but the various other changes to history that come from that initial point of change, such as Laugh-In being canceled, a different outcome in the 1968 election, and Shatner's ego inflating even more.

    You can find it here:
    http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=220395

    And a simple chapter list (to avoid jibbah jabbah) here:
    http://wiki.alternatehistory.com/doku.php/timelines/that_wacky_redhead
     
  6. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I watched Assignment Earth for the first time in a long time recently and the back door pilot nature of it all really distracted me. I could see where the show might be all right on its own but I wanted it out of Trek.

    "Using the lightspeed breakaway factor, the Enterprise has moved back through time to the twentieth century. " -- my ass!


    You could have occasional visits by the Enterprise and the musical numbers would probably be more contemporary than those of DS9. :)

    I could see a fun show made from this if done right.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't think I agree with that. If you look at the actual spinoffs (and failed backdoor pilots) we did see in the '60s and '70s, they often were more of the same but with different characters, e.g. The Six Million Dollar Man spinning off The Bionic Woman, or the Hooterville trilogy of The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres. A lot of TV was formulaic at the time (although the same is true today -- look at how many variations of Law & Order and CSI and NCIS we've gotten), so I don't see there being that much problem with the idea of revisiting the same formula with different characters.

    After all, those objections to TNG that you're referring to came from fans who'd been living with Kirk, Spock, and company for 20 years in reruns, who'd grown up with them as iconic figures engrained in pop-culture history. While the show certainly had its devoted fans while it was on the air, the fans' perception of a 3- or 4-year-old show would not have been quite the same as later fans' perception of a show that had been part of their lives for two decades.

    Then again, a lot of spinoff attempts were for shows that would've been more distinct from their source material -- for instance, Gomer Pyle was pretty different in its focus from The Andy Griffith Show, even though it did spin off a popular character from that show. So other TOS spinoff attempts might've been in the same vein as "Assignment: Earth," i.e. trying to use ST as a launch pad for a different sci-fi premise.


    But there were plenty of '60s TV series that were set in a fixed location, like Gunsmoke or The Virginian (the latter of which has already been mentioned as an inspiration for DS9), or just about any cop show. Roddenberry's The Lieutenant was set on a Marine Corps base.

    Besides, the answer to your question would've been just as easy to answer in the '60s as it was in the '90s: Set your show at a hub of activity or transportation so that adventure comes to you. Make it a large and important station that has people from many different cultures with conflicting agendas. Make it Casablanca in space and have mystery and intrigue. It would've been as easy to do an ongoing series aboard a space station as it would've been to do an ongoing series set in New York City or San Francisco or 19th-century Tombstone.


    I think you're confused there. It was the network that wanted the freedom to run episodes in any order; after all, scheduling was their department, not Roddenberry's. And there were very rarely any story arcs or character growth in '60s TV, except in soap operas; that was an industry-wide practice. If anything, TOS paid a bit more attention to character continuity than most shows of the era -- for instance, giving returning guest actors the same character names they'd had before, or even (gasp!) referencing past episodes like when the events of "A Taste of Armageddon" were alluded to in "By Any Other Name." That was incredibly rare at the time.

    I think you must be thinking of the TNG-era Roddenberry and his rules against character conflict, which arose from having bought too much into his own reputation as a visionary and wanting to portray a perfected humanity. The Roddenberry of the 1960s still thought of himself as a producer/writer first, and as such had no desire to put any restrictions on character-driven drama.


    You do know they actually did that, right?
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Regarding Gary Seven, I've always seen him as more Klaatu than Doctor Who. It seems to me that The Day The Earth Stood Still is to "Assignment: Earth" as Forbidden Planet is to Star Trek.

    Granted, there's no way to know for sure that Roddenberry was thinking of Klaatu when he invented Gary Seven, but the characters seem to be cut from the same cloth. They're both somewhat austere, dignified visitors from a more advanced civilization whose missions are to save mankind from itself. Even their speech patterns and mannerisms are similar, and they both have the same sort of rueful bemusement at the "primitive" society they've come to save. And they both find themselves requiring the assistance of an ordinary Earthwoman, who is a little freaked-out at first, but who eventually rises to the occasion . . . .

    And, yeah, the line about time-travel probably served two purposes on the Trek episode: it generated some uncertainty and suspense about Seven's origins, in order to justify Kirk's suspicion of him, and it also kept their options open if and when Gary Seven got his own tv series.

    Like Christopher, I doubt that "Assignment: Earth: The TV Series" would have centered around time-travel like "Doctor Who," and that most of the time he and Roberta would've been running around protecting the 20th Century, but, yeah, why not leave yourself the option to do a time-travel ep once and while, just like Trek did?
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think Assignment: Earth was too little too late. The spy-craze had already crested by that point, and there had been a lot of secret agent shows. It had a good choice of lead actors, but the story aired wasn't going to convince anyone to make it a show, and what material we've seen of it as a separate pitch wasn't really that good.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's a good point. The series pitch presented Seven as a modern-day version of Richard Boone's Paladin, as I said, but maybe that was just to sell it to the Western-crazy execs, much like the "Wagon Train to the stars" elevator pitch for ST. It does seem quite possible that Klaatu was an influence. It's hard to believe he wasn't.


    I think it was mainly just about grafting the pitch for a present-day series into a Trek episode, which required time travel to set it up. And as you say, it was mainly about giving Kirk a reason to mistrust Gary's story, to wonder if he could be a temporal interloper like themselves and thus someone they needed to stop.


    On the other hand, it was only 5 years later that The Six Million Dollar Man came along and sparked a new wave of superpowered secret-agent shows. Maybe it wasn't too late but too early. Of course, in the same year that the first 6M$M movies aired, Roddenberry made what was essentially his third stab at the A:E concept, The Questor Tapes. Although he replaced the advanced human agent from another world with an android, Questor's mission was exactly the same as Gary's, to shepherd humanity through its most turbulent phase with help from advanced alien technology. That almost went to series, but Roddenberry abandoned it because the network demanded changes he wasn't willing to make (or at least that's his story).
     
  11. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Gary Seven was an all Human from the past so how could he be Klattu? unless he was a trans Human or what ever and a machine combination or what have you like Q or Questor but A:E was Earth: Final Conflict to me as it would have included the Evil Omegans or whatever the alien race from the future was called that wanted Earth to destroy it self or what have you. Were they called Omegans? I'm too busy to google memory alpha.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They were called the look-it-up-yourself.
     
  13. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Omegans it is.
     
  14. Nero's Shadow

    Nero's Shadow Captain Captain

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    Into Darkness !!!
    How about the vanguard series based on the books liked to have seen that ??? Or something to do with the conny ships that were lost in the TOS !!!
     

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