You know whats the secret behind Star Treks longevity? Its not the actual stories themselves, but the stories that could have been. With Star Trek, a writer doesnt have to struggle to come up with a new story because of the wealth of possibilities that every iteration of Gene Roddenberrys creation offered. Star Trek survives because of the fluidity and varieties infinite diversity in infinite combinations, if you fancy a bit of Vulcan logic. Dropped plotlines abound endlessly, just waiting for some devoted fan of a writer to pick them up and spin them into some great tale that revisits favourite characters or exciting theme that fans really want to see again. Here are a few that might be interesting to see re-examined...
10. An Entire Premise Scrapped - Assignment: Earth
Its well known that this episode was actually the pilot to a prospective series that never materialized. It was about an agent working on behalf of benevolent aliens, who were interested in steering mankinds development in the right direction, ie: away from nuclear self-destruction. A typical 1960s cold-war mentality theme, but it held a lot of promise and there was definitely a lot of mystique about these unknown benefactors of humanity and how Gary Seven (played by Robert Lansing) and his lovely assistant Roberta Lincoln (Terri Garrs very first role). The Enterprise is sent backwards in time to research the period of Earth's cold war. An orbital launch platform armed with nuclear missiles was supposed to malfunction and the Enterprise's mission is to uncover the reasons why and other important details. As they approach 20th century Earth, they intercept a transporter beam that deposits a middle-aged human and a cat on their transporter pad. He identifies himself as Agent Gary Seven and the cat as his companion, Isis. Though Seven was born on Earth, he was raised by these aliens on a distant planet in the future. He was supposed to be their liaison in order to protect Earth from its own mistakes and to provide them with a better understanding of humanity. This wasn't just a dropped plotline - this was an entire premise and ultimately a series that had a tremendous amount of back-story to it. It had potential time-travel stories and alien invasions along with endless possibilities of cold war spy tales. This was a gem of a series that sadly never saw the light of day.
John Kirk is a Teacher-Librarian and currently a History/English Teacher with the Toronto District School Board.
But mostly, John teaches Geek.
Comics, Sci-Fi (Notably Star Trek), Fantasy and Role-Playing and table-top games all make up part of John’s repertoire, There is a whole generation of nerds-in-embryo who rely on him to make sense of it all, to teach that with great power comes great responsibility, that the force will be with us always and that a towel IS the most useful thing to have in one’s possession.
When John isn’t in the classroom, he can be found in his basement writing comic reviews for www.popmythology.com and features for Roddenberry Entertainment's www.1701news.com.