February 14, 2018 at 12:03 am #22424
Unearthed: Pre-Roddenberry ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Pitch Was A Wildly Different Show
Today’s episode of Larry Nemecek’s “Trek Files” focused on a newly unearthed document from the days when Star Trek: The Next Generation was under development at Paramount. The document outlining the premise for the planned series, dated September 12, 1986, was sent by Paramount executive John Pike to Gene Roddenberry, and makes clear the studio was determined to move ahead on a new Star Trek series with or without a creative contribution from Roddenberry, who was reluctant to return.
The 8-page concept pitch, entitled “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” was conceived by producer Greg Strangis (War of the Worlds, Falcon Crest) over the summer of 1986 and is set during a 10-year war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. It tells the story of the U.S.S. Odyssey, a ship ferrying a group of cadets on their first deep space assignment and tasked with delivering a document to Organia that could ultimately change the course of the war.
Summer of 1986? This means that this pitch pre-dates the release of Star Trek IV.
“We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene KranzFebruary 14, 2018 at 11:10 am #22427
I know we have some non-Facebook peeps here, so here’s a copy of the document in question.
It’s a series premise that’s really hard to take seriously when you have a female character whose skills and abilities as a Starfleet officer are barely described, but her character sketch goes into great length about how “painfully beautiful” she is. Oh, and the Vulcan Captain who would be killed in the pilot, but a holographic projection of his disembodied head would be generated by the ship’s computer to advise them on their mission, anticipating both Rimmer and Holly from Red Dwarf (which wouldn’t appear until two years later).
Or maybe they cribbed the idea from Quark?
In the podcast itself, Nemecek says that Trek IV had tested well enough that Paramount knew it had a hit on its hands, and it wanted to do a new series to capitalize on the anticipated flood of mainstream publicity for Star Trek’s 20th anniversary.
The biggest bombshell to be found here, aside from the almost laughable premise, is that Rick Berman was involved at this early stage, before Roddenberry was.
Gene’s response to all of the above was reportedly a four-word memo: Get rid of it.February 17, 2018 at 12:53 pm #22440
Yes, that pitch was cringe-worthy.
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