Before Trek’s Data, there was Questor!

A few years ago I watched part of a film about an android who was hunting for his creator. Sadly I missed both the start and end of the film, and it was banished to the back of my mind. Until that is, I read a recent review of The Questor Tapes, a 1974 Gene Roddenberry TV movie made by NBC.

The plot from the DVD distributors website explains things perfectly:

From the creators of Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry??s The Questor Tapes follows the incredible journey of one seemingly superhuman android as he attempts to find his creator. Project Questor (Robert Foxworth) is cutting-edge android technology: brilliant, resilient and able to outwit the human race??s greatest minds. But the one question the android cannot solve is the location of its genius inventor, Dr. Vaslovik (Lew Ayres), and half of the tapes that provide detailed instructions on how his creation can best help humanity. With a nuclear bomb counting down in its chest, Questor must rely on the help of another scientist, Dr. Jerry Robinson (Mike Farrell), to solve the mystery of its origin.

Project Questor

Sadly, Youtube is devoid of any significant footage from the movie, but I did manage to find this brief Japanese trailer which confirmed that this was indeed the film I watched:

With the film now out on general release, I hope to track it down and see this proto-Data in action. Have any of you seen the full movie already?

Hayden Yale

Child of the 80's. Born, raised and living in the Cheshire countryside, England.Lover of fan art, especially if it is based on my childhood heroes from Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, Transformers and TMNT. Penchant for almost anything retro, especially movies, games and art.

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2 thoughts on “Before Trek’s Data, there was Questor!

  1. I watched the whole movie, although I forget what shady part of the Intartubes I ventured into to do it. It’s really a fantastic movie with a great ending… it must be the best of Roddenberry’s defunct post-Trek exercises. It’s also interesting to witness the obviously direct lineage between Questor and Data.

  2. I saw nearly all of it when it was on TV years ago. When Data squeezed the dice in the episode “The Royale” it reminded me of “The Questor Tapes” and I wanted to see the movie again.

    It wasn’t until nearly twenty years later that I did get the chance to see it when I discovered that it was released on DVD a few years earlier. Wow, I had no idea how much Data paralleled Questor; I figured it was just the Casino scene.

    I also found most, if not all, of the other pilots and movies Roddenberry created in the years between TOS and TNG. Not as good as the Questor Tapes but I enjoyed them.

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