Another great thing about the Warner Archive has been the release of the various failed works of Gene Roddenberry to the small screen. Most of these shows were different from the more optimistic Star Trek and all of them failed. Many of us might have seen them when they first came out or remixed as a commercial filled Sunday afternoon movie. Well no longer. I already had the opportunity to watch Genesis II and Planet Earth, both of which I enjoyed thoroughly, although I cannot tell if it sheer nostalgia lust and Roddenberry fandom that fueled the enjoyment. It is probably partly the nostalgia (I have that tendency), but who cares, enjoyment is enjoyment, right? With that clarified… I was very happy to get my hands of a copy of the third attempt to bring a Roddenberry vision to television, Strange New World.
Strange New World first aired on March 23, 1975. It stars John Saxon, who was also in Planet Earth, as Captain Anthony Vico (team leader), Kathleen Miller as Dr. Allison Crowley (team navigator and communications expert), and Keene Curtis as Dr. William Scott, M.D. (Team Physician/Doctor). The three of them are astronauts who have been cryogenically frozen aboard a space station before asteroids pummeled Earth. After nearly 200 years they return to Earth to help revive the civilization they once knew.
Now I have to admit that this particular attempt feels like a retread after watching Genesis II and Planet Earth, but it is still decent SF and by the end I was itching to rewatch Planet Earth. As it turns out Gene Roddenberry was not involved in the production of Strange New World. I guess he was exhausted after the previous 2 incarnations of his vision. Because of this, many of the character names and plot points were altered to avoid potential litigation.
I enjoyed Strange New World. The writing is not as sharp as Genesis II or Planet Earth, but it is good and it is always fun to watch Saxon in stuff, especially in Roddenberry inspired Sci-Fi.
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