Captain Anthony Vico is the leader of a team of researchers aboard a space station operated by the scientific agency PAX, conducting experiments in subjecting human beings to suspended animation. The station is moved into a different orbit when a swarm of asteroids is detected nearing Earth, and the computer is set to awaken Vico and his crew in a few days is given new orders: don’t revive them for another 180 years, and then give them instructions to return to Earth to reunite with any PAX remnants that may still exist. Upon
returning to Earth, Vico and his team follow an intermittent PAX homing signal until they’re all but sitting on top of its source, at which point another signal renders them unconscious.
When Vico and his team awaken, they find themselves in an idyllic city populated entirely by young, fit people, whose leader seems intent that the PAX team should stay there. Vico loses his patients and attempts to escape, discovering that the seemingly young population consists of humans kept alive by cloning; as their organs age or fail, they are replaced by organs harvested from the clones. The PAX team is imprisoned to serve as a supply of fresh blood, with a strong immune resistance, for the clones, until Vico leads them in an escape.
The PAX survivors then run across a desert oasis filled with fresh fruit and spring water, but this find is naturally too good to be true: two primitive tribes battle over the resources of this small area of land, and one of the groups takes PAX navigator Allison Crowley hostage, leaving Vico and PAX’s Dr. Scott little time to negotiate her release – or start a local war by trying to free her before she comes to harm.
written by Ronald F. Graham, Alvin Ramrus and Walon Green
directed by Robert Butler
music by Richard Clements and Elliot Kaplan
Cast: John Saxon (Captain Anthony Vico), Catherine Bach (Guide), Norland Benson (Hide), Martine Beswick (Tana), Reb Brown (Sprang), Keene Curtis (Doctor Scott), Dick Farnsworth (Elder), Gerrit Graham (Daniel), Bill McKinney (Badger), Kathleen Miller (Allison Crowley), James Olson (Surgeon), Ford Rainey (Cyrus), Cynthia Wood (Arana)
Notes: Produced without any participation from Gene Roddenberry, Strange New World is Warner Bros.’ third and final attempt to launch the PAX saga as a series, since the studio owned the rights to the format Roddenberry developed. To avoid legal entanglements, the character of Dylan Hunt was renamed Anthony Vico, though John Saxon was again cast in the role. The only other common element is the name of the PAX organization (used as a proxy for NASA here), and the basic premise of Hunt/Vico being frozen in suspended animation, only to be revived in a destroyed world which he vows to rebuild to its former glory. This was the last attempt to bring Dylan Hunt to TV in the 1970s; the next attempt, the 2000 premiere of the posthumously-produced Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, restored Hunt’s name and retained the “man frozen in time awakens to rebuild his world” log line, but shed the PAX concept and the not-so-distant-future-of-Earth setting. The writing talent brought to bear on this final attempt to salvage the Genesis II concept was considerable: Walon Green co-wrote the classic western The Wild Bunch (1969), while Ronald F. Graham (1941-2010) wrote many episodes of UK TV series like The Professionals, The Sweeney, and Dempsey & Makepeace. Al Ramrus wrote episodes of Rat Patrol, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and The Avengers.
8LogBook entry by Earl Green