for is right here:
The tendency in Hollywood is to replicate success. With that in mind, Roddenberry and writer Gene L. Coon took all of the best elements from Star Trek and jammed them into one character: Questor.
Produced for Universal, Questor was basically Mr. Spock in a buddy show format. Cast in the lead role was none other than Leonard Nimoy, who posed in makeup for production photos and agreed to do the weekly series if Questor was picked up.
Between script and shooting, Roddenberry inexplicably dumped Nimoy without bothering to tell the actor. In fact, Leonard Nimoy believed he was still attached to the project even after Robert Foxworth was hired for the role and only found out otherwise when he ran into Foxworth on the studio lot.
The pilot film aired on NBC in 1974 as The Questor Tapes and told the tale of an emotionless, super-powered, synthetic man who is paired with one of the scientists who assembled him to search for his mysterious programmer.
Instead of a spaceship, Questor and Dr. Jerry Robinson (played by Mike Farrell) could look out over the entire world from their high-tech "Information Center," spying on just about anybody in the world while videotaping their comings and goings.
A private jet could get them to hotspots fast, but as with the "Prime Directive" from Trek, the artificial man could not interfere in the lives of humans in any significant way. The android's brainwaves were activated by tapes (just like the TRS-80) that come from a suspicious source, so the series would trace Questor's efforts to find out more about his creator.
Scripts were ordered that had Questor walking underwater to disable a boat; delving into the world of ESP; eerily assuming the identity of a surgeon; and flying to Switzerland to investigate a scientist being held captive for his nuclear waste formula.
Like Mr. Spock, humor would come from the android's inability to understand slang and a tendency to take things too literally. He had the ability to change his face to resemble others, but "lying will always be difficult for Questor since the logical answer to any question is the truth."
Roddenberry's concept further detailed that "information is converted by Questor's computer mind into probabilities, not certainties. He can only estimate the odds on whether certain events will occur or not. His powers of observation are substantially better than human and his computer memory is that of total recall.
Since love, empathy, and hate cannot be computed, Questor is totally and completely dependent on Jerry Robinson to help guide him in such areas."Roddenberry actually began work on Questor in 1972 but passed it over to writer/producer Gene L. Coon (who was responsible for some of Star Trek's best scripts) so he could concentrate on Genesis II. Coon died in 1973 before the Questor script could be filmed.
The series was green-lighted and slated for Friday nights at ten. That's right, the "timeslot of death," the same night and time that did in the original Star Trek.
Once again Roddenberry was forced to battle NBC over changes large and small. For one, the network demanded that the Jerry Robinson character be dropped. They liked the show's overall concept, they insisted, they just wanted to tweak it a bit. Instead of being a two lead show, Questor should be centered around one character.
The network took control of the show and re-wrote the writer's guide to make it more like The Fugitive, with the robot not only looking for his creator, but also on the run from "a five nation combine" of secret agents.
"Questor is on the move," the new NBC format dictated, "He has no contacts with the human world. Questor cannot stand by and let a human be injured. The fact that he may give himself away by doing so becomes less important than the fact that he can't delay while a human dies." Basically, the complete opposite of the original idea.
Farrell asked for and was granted a release from Questor to wisely take another series that was offered to him - M.A.S.H. Not wanting to work on what amounted to a tiresome chase series, Roddenberry reluctantly let the project languish.
Ultimately unsatisfying, The Questor Tapes is still considered by many to be Roddenberry's best effort after Star Trek.
In May, 1975 Roddenberry was brought in by Paramount to develop a possible Star Trek movie but his script was rejected and the project shelved. Gene worked on a pilot that year called The Nine, a bizarre, semi-autobiographical concoction that combined a screwed-up TV producer with a commune of telepathic creatures.
This was another no-sale, as were Magna One, about a race of future people who live undersea and Battlefield Earth, which had humans living in "fat and happy" slavery under alien control. None of these storylines were fully realized, it would be two years before another Roddenberry concept made it to the screen.
Preaching to the choir and passing the plate, Roddenberry recorded a record album in 1976, Inside Star Trek, where he expounded on Trek philosophy and history. He also talked about his battles with the NBC censors and his frustrating efforts to launch Questor and Genesis II.
Further afield from his previous work, Spectre was created, written, and produced by Gene Roddenberry for airing on NBC May 21, 1977. This supernatural thriller starred Gig Young and Robert Culp as two paranormalists battling a great and powerful force plaguing a wealthy London financier. Directed by Clive Donner, Spectre had little in common with Star Trek or any previous Roddenberry project.
concept promised "horrors unimaginable, a descent into a corner of
hell" but rattled off as an anemic, talky 1970's melodrama.
"I recently found something interesting about this film which I and several other film historians I know never knew. There was a European version of this film with extra footage and, in particular, nudity. It has always been known that many films added nude and violence for the European market. It was also known that many us TV movies were aired theatrically in England and Europe, but the addition of nudity to a TV movie is rare. In the case of this film, unknown, until recently when the Fox Movie Channel aired the film several times - mostly overnight - I hadn't seen the film for years and was surprised when I found that the print they were airing must have been the overseas version because of the several nude women that appeared in the black mass scene at the end of the film. Not just in the background but in full topless and bottomless (from the back) closeup. Not that it hurt the film, in fact, it made the scene less choppy as it originally appeared. I guess to cut out the nudity, they had to splice the scenes closer together. I hope they get around to releasing this version to disc."
After Spectre, Gene Roddenberry gave up on getting another TV series off the ground.
Star Wars hit the movie houses in 1977 and suddenly science-fiction was hot again. Star Trek fandom was a far-reaching, big business on its own and a revival of the series in some form was already in the works.
At one point, it was announced that Star Trek would return in syndication with the original cast, but all of the sets would be miniatures, even the Enterprise interiors. To save production costs, the actors would be working entirely against a blue screen.
idea never came about but in mid-'70s convention appearances, James Doohan
and others talked about a new series in development at Paramount called
Star Trek II.
Subsequent television spin-offs and aggressive merchandising over the years have combined to make Roddenberry's creation one of the most valuable franchises in the world, more popular than it ever was in the '60s and '70s, securing his place in history as the Ray Kroc of outer-space.
Gene Roddenberry, the visionary who kept his dream alive against all odds (with a little help from uncredited contributors, pills, pot, cocaine, alcohol, a massive ego, and the adulation of thousands) died on October 24, 1991 just a few days before fellow sci-fi producer Irwin Allen (Lost in Space) took his last flight to the stars.
Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s - Part One
Gene Roddenberry - Star Trek Animated Series
Gene Roddenberry - Genesis II & Planet Earth
Gene Roddenberry's Questor & Spectre
Please consider a donation
so we can continue this work!
Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Gene Roddenberry TV Shows / TV Blog / Classic TV Blog / 2007 New Fall TV Shows / Classic TV / I Love Lucy / Television Shows / TV on DVD / TV Shows on DVD / Prime Time TV / TV Blog / Television Blog / TV Show Reviews / TV Shows on DVD Reviews / TV DVD Reviews / Amos and Andy on TV / Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek
Local Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog
|TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments|
Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / 1977-1978 Superhero & Science Fiction TV Shows / Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview / Best Season of Dallas Ever? / Ken Berry Interview / TV Show Book Tie-Ins / Kathy Garver Interview / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / Bruce / Caitllyn Jenner? / Bill Cosby - WTF?!? / Ed Asner Interview / Emmy Award Multiple Winners / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / That Girl & TV's Single Working Women / Can You Identify These Stars? / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows / Dark Shadows Movies / Dark Shadows Novels / Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson / Dawn Wells / Betty White : An Appreciation / Gavin McLeod / The Next Step Beyond / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Connors Remembered / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / Carson Tonight Show / Jackie Gleason Show / 1973 TV Shows / Thriller / Post Modern Sitcoms / Elvis in Greensboro / Remembering Dick Van Patten / TV Dating Shows / The Jacksons TV Show / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Actor Ed Nelson / Death of Archie / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Country Music TV Shows of the 1960s & 1970s / Betty White Show / Ron Palillo / Shirley Jones Interview / Tom Bosley / Rodney Dangerfield / How Sanford & Son Ended / Sanford & Son Spin-Off Grady / Great Memoirs / Virginia Graham Show / The "N" Word on TV / 10 Classic Comedy Routines You Have To Laugh At Before You Die / Hollywood Squares / 1970's Teen Idols & The Hudson Brothers / TV Stars with 3 Hit Shows / The Rookies / Unsold Pilots / Jackie Cooper / The Good Guys / Match Game / Make Room For Granddaddy / Mannix & Gail Fisher / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Silent Star Marion Mack / Biff Burger / 1970s Fast Food Chains / Latin Casino / Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire / 1970's Daytime Talk Shows / The Fess Parker Show / Love, Loss & What I Watched
|Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / George Lindsay / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!|
for is right here: