Eugene Wesley "Rod" Roddenberry Jr, the son of the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, is producing a reboot of an old 70s television pilot of his father's, called The Questor Tapes, as a potential series. This goes so far back, I only have a flickering image in the back of my brain, but it's burned in there none the less: the image of rows and rows of bodies going back as far as the eye can see.

Intended as the pilot for a television series in 1974, the movie followed an android who goes searching for his creator, a robot designer named Dr. Emil Vaslovik. Following clues left in his creator's "programming tapes," the robot, named Questor, travels the world being hunted by an evil organization. The pilot had a twist ending that literally blew my two-year-old mind. *** Spoiler Alert: After a long world-wide search to a hollowed out volcano, Questor finds out his creator was himself an android from a long line of robots that went back to the "dawn of time" each programmed to create a successor to protect mankind. *** Roddenberry abandoned the project over creative differences with the studio, but Rod said repeatedly that the concept behind the character lived on in Star Trek: The Next Generation's Data and Star Trek: Voyager's Doctor.

This is one of those few ideas that actually deserves a reboot, since the original is kind of derivative, although Rod insists that it will be faithful to his father's vision. The original concept is full of possibilities in that 70s drama theme of a single man wandering the world doing random acts of kindness, but a reboot could expand on the concept and really make something happen.

Gene apparently believed "the show had the potential to be bigger than Star Trek." Unfortunately, Roddenberry was kind of a one-hit wonder when it came to television. His other science-fiction shows Genesis II, Planet Earth and Strange New World all crashed and burned. Two shows based on  unproduced screenplays Earth: Final Conflict and Andromeda had modest runs, but didn't exactly set the world on fire. Still, if you're going to be a one-hit wonder, you could do a lot worse than the global phenomenon that is Star Trek. I'm looking forward to it and, as aside, you can watch the whole TV movie in all its seventies glory on YouTube.

[Image from Roddenberry.com]

What do you think of another Gene Roddenberry series? Let us know in the comments!


Monkey Migraine said...

I don't remember that movie at all. But I supposed it could be a good show. Roddenberry was a one-hit wonder, but kind of like George Lucas is a one-hit wonder.


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