What would Star Trek be like today if Phase II had happened?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by The Rock, May 24, 2019.

  1. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 5, 2013
    I'm not so sure why people think Phase II wouldn't have been successful, TNG essentially is Phase II with the names changed. I think Star Trek was popular enough that Phase II would have been OK, but probably wouldn't have lasted more than three or four seasons as that was more common duration for shows of the time. No 80s movies, but there probably would still have been a TNG-like TV show in the late 80s, since a lot of older TV properties were being rebooted or having new continuations around that time (although, i suppose some of those shows were probably greenlighted due to TNG's success). However, I think such a TNG show would actually have been the "next generation" using older Phase II characters and not 100 years in the future.
  2. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2006
    Georgia, USA
    True, there are similarities, but with "Next Generation" it was a cleaner "break" with all new characters. But with a hypothetical "Phase II" series, the presence of most the original cast would have made the absence of Spock all the more frustrating for many viewers. I fear a substantial number of people would have refused to watch out of spite. (Embarrassingly, I admit I would have likely been one of those people. Hey, I was just an impetuous teen at the time.) Then with the plan of having Shatner appear in fewer episodes, possibly leaving by the second season, Decker replacing him in the captain's chair, I suspect the show would have lost even more viewers.

    By the time "Next Gen" arrived, it was a good ten years later and mot of the original cast were in their 50s or older. Whether or not fans would openly admit it, privately they knew the "classic" cast couldn't do this for much longer, at least believably, so they were at least a bit more accepting of new characters. But in the mid to latter 70s, I fear fans would have demanded Kirk and Spock and switched off the TV if they weren't present.
    Lord Garth likes this.
  3. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 18, 2017
    The clinic located by the Q Continuum
    If Phase II had happened, it would have coasted by for a couple years, fizzle out once the next fad (like an oil lamp or pet rock) took off, not develop a robust movie series using a loose arc to tie in its movie series with, and within three decades be just enough for someone to waltz in saying "Let's reboot that old show, remember that one, it was 'My Mother The Car'." :(

    If there was no Star Wars, the chance of all that would be far higher.
    JonnyQuest037 likes this.
  4. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    Because I’ve read the scripts they wrote for the first 13 episodes. They’re not good. At all.
    Ryan Thomas Riddle and ATimson like this.
  5. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2008
    Clinton, OH
    And, yet, two of those scripts made it on TV as TNG episodes.

    Those 13 episode ideas would have gone through the complete writing process, tweaked and polished before final production and airing. We can't judge the final result based on those initial ideas. Heck, a couple of final episodes may not bear much resemblance to their initial concept.
  6. Steven P Bastien

    Steven P Bastien Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Mar 8, 2018
    3 steps ahead of where I was 2 seconds ago
    I think you are basically correct, but there are limits. I can't help thinking of the example of Galactica 1980.

    There is something to be said for "leave them wanting more". If you do more, then do it well enough so they still want more.

    It's hard to argue against this one. Even Galactica 1980 could not prevent the reboot of Battlestar Galactica
    Galileo7 likes this.
  7. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Jul 31, 2001
    My mansion on Qo'noS
    Frankly, "Devil's Due" and "The Child" most definitely do not make me long for more Phase II. I like to imagine that those episodes aren't an indication of how good the show might have been.

    Daddy Todd likes this.
  8. Ricky Spanish

    Ricky Spanish Canon Warrior Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2001
    I actually ended up liking both of these episodes. Not the best of the franchise by any stretch, but solidly entertaining.
  9. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    Well, two of those scripts got adapted into TNG episodes. Neither particularly good, IMHO. And the pilot script became TMP, so four of those 13 hours of scripts eventually went before the cameras.

    I understand, there was probably lots of writing still to be done on all 13 hours. As was done for the STII scripts that got produced. But would you point to any of those three productions when asked to identify “the best Star Trek stories ever”? I wouldn’t.
  10. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 5, 2013
    Other than a couple of bright spots, the first season and a half of what they actually aired of TNG was mediocre to terrible (including in the first half of season 1 “Code of Honor” and “Angel One”, which might be two of the worst episodes of Trek ever); so hard to say that Phase II wouldn’t have survived similar growing pains.
  11. Jonathan Hayes

    Jonathan Hayes Ensign Newbie

    Dec 30, 2018
    I think Phase II's quality would've largely depended on which Gene Roddenberry that it had to deal with: the producer or the visionary. Much of what made TNG awful was Gene's vision of the future getting in the way of having any conflict amongst the characters that drama relies on. Remember, during Gene's strong control of TNG, writers were leaving right and left. If Gene the visionary was in charge of Phase II, it might have suffered the same fate.
    KennyBOO likes this.
  12. Karswell

    Karswell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 22, 2010
    Now something to think about. Phase II was not going to be in a vacuum, but be part of a new network:

    What if Larson had done Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica there. Three way cross-over maybe? Or maybe something across networks. Buck at NBC. Galactica at CBC, Trek at ABC. A Larson helmed Paramount TV network might have been something to see after all.
    Steven P Bastien likes this.
  13. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    What a horrifying thought! Larson was the worst kind of low-talent Hollywood hack who ground out unwatchable drek like Galactica and Buck. I tried — god, how I tried to like his stuff, as a starving Trekkie in my late teens, desperate for the tiniest shiver of my Sense of Wonder. Alas, all I got from Larson was “bee-dee-bee-dee-bee-dee.”
  14. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 28, 2001
    Suburban Mos Eisley
    With a bit of polishing I think the Kitumba two-parter could have made a good movie. Of course, looking back the Klingons have developed in an entirely different direction.
  15. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Where No One Has Gone Before
    A few of the scripts had potential, but needed a lot of work to make them filmable episodes. But PII was abandoned long before that could happen.

    "Kitumba" had an interesting premise and its clear that JML's script was a working draft, needing a lot of heavy-lifting. The fan film version, however, is horrid.
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 21, 2005
    On the USS Sovereign
    What if ratings dropped enough to have Shatner in every episode and Nimoy came back as Spock?