Thursday, January 18, 2024

ReBook: Star Trek - Phase II (Reeves-Stevens)

Star Trek - Phase II
― The Lost Series ―

Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Pocket Books


There was an almost-filmed Star Trek II television series of 1977. It is also known as "Phase II", its original name. I remember seeing TV Guide's end-of-book yellow teletype page noting that Paramount was to produce a new ST series. This probably would have been early-to-mid 1977. Too bad the property didn't stay on television at that time, instead of going to the big screen. Star Trek works best on television.

The book Star Trek - Phase II is a good overview of the almost-series. Authors Reeves-Stevens are weakest when they editorialize, saying that the show would have failed. I disagree, even if I have the benefit of hindsight: Star Trek: The Next Generation was predicted by many to fail, but it survived. Admittedly, popping it into syndication gave it a little more time and room to breathe and find its place in the universe. Had ST:TNG been a "big three" (ABC, CBS, NBC) show it would have enjoyed a larger budget, but it also would have been more scrutinized ratings-wise. Star Trek II was earmarked as the flagship series for the planned Paramount Television Service, a network, but one on par with a syndication service and a platform that would have provided a comfort zone to its star series. A big reason why I feel that Star Trek II would not have failed: with the exception of Leonard Nimoy's Mr. Spock, since the actor was not interested in reprising his famous role at the time, it featured the original cast of characters. Any reincarnation with that stellar crew would have given the show extra impulse power.

1 comment:

Jon said...

The 64,000 light-year question: were there good stories lined up to be filmed?