In 1979, NASA researcher Dylan Hunt volunteers to become the first human test subject of a process of suspended animation that he has helped to develop for long space journeys. Rather than freezing its subjects, Hunt’s process relies on a special combination of drugs and a chamber pressurized with a mixture of gases that shut down the body’s metabolic processes without killing the subject. During the pressurization of Hunt’s sleeping chamber, a major earthquake strikes the underground facility, forcing the scientists there to evacuate. Dylan Hunt is left behind, buried alive beneath Carlsbad Caverns.
Hunt is awakened by a team that obviously isn’t working for NASA, and is told that it is now 2133. The underground caverns are occupied by an organization called PAX, but Hunt’s caretaker, Lyra-A, isn’t a member of PAX. She’s a mutant – as can be seen by her second navel – and claims that PAX is a civilization of warmongers, masquerading as pacifists, lurking underground and waiting to strike at the more civilized people who live on Earth’s surface. Hunt accepts Lyra-A’s offer of an escape to her city, Tyrannia, only to find an oppressive mutant regime enslaving humans.
written by Gene Roddenberry
directed by John Llewellyn Moxey
music by Harry Sukman
Cast: Alex Cord (Dylan Hunt), Mariette Hartley (Lyra-a), Ted Cassidy (Isiah), Percy Rodrigues (Primus Kimbridge), Harvey Jason (Singh), Titos Vandis (Primus Yuloff), Bill Striglos (Kellum), Lynne Marta (Primus Harper-Smythe), Harry Raybold (Slan-n), Majel Barrett (Primus Dominic), Leon Askin (Overseer), Liam Dunn (Janos), Scott Graham (Tyranian Teacher), Ed Ashley (Wehr-r), Linda Grant (Astrid), Robert Swan (Lahyn-n), Beulah Quo (Primus Lu Chan), Dennis Robertson (General), Ray Young (Tyranian Teacher #2), Tom Pace (Brian), Teryl Willis (Cardiologist), David Westburg (Station Operator), Robert Hathaway (Shuttle Car Operator), Tammi Bula (Teenager)
Notes: If Gene Roddenberry liked working with you that one time, Gene Roddenberry will hire you again. Cases in point: Ted Cassidy played Ruk in the Star Trek episode What Are Little Girls Made Of?, while Mariette Hartley guest starred in one of the final original Trek episodes, All Our Yesterdays. Percy Rodrigues put Captain Kirk on trial in Court-Martial, and appeared in other genre series such as The Starlost and the television incarnation of Planet Of The Apes before going on to become one of the 1970s’ most frequently employed movie trailer voice-over artists. Dylan Hunt would be recast in his next TV adventure (1974’s Planet Earth), and would be renamed (but not recast) for one last try-out in the 20th century, 1975’s Strange New World; Roddenberry’s Dylan Hunt/PAX concept wouldn’t be revisited further until a space-based revamp transformed it into the 21st century syndicated series Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, for which all of the earlier attempts nearly 30 years earlier can be regarded misfired pilots.
LogBook entry by Earl Green