Gene Roddenberry has one truly crowning achievement in his lifetime: Star Trek. Unfortunately, he did not stop working after Star Trek went off the air, but he did stay in science fiction, and the results are… well… memorable if you’ve seen them. Essentially, Roddenberry attempted to make the same pilot not once, but twice, and then somebody remade it again.
All in the space of three years.
The first one, Genesis II, tells the story of Dylan Hunt, who thanks to a cryogenic accident is thrown forward from 1979 to 2133, where he’s rescued by the descendants of NASA technicians (calling themselves PAX, thus showing all of Roddenberry’s usual subtlety) to fight an evil race with two navels.
It was insanely hard to find, even clips online, but here’s some pornstached brilliance for you:
Somehow, some way, this just wasn’t seen as TV series material. But, undaunted, Roddenberry retooled the series, rewriting the script and recasting Dylan Hunt, and also changing the title to Planet Earth. Now it is, no kidding, about John Saxon, 22nd-century stud from PAX, fighting the Confederacy of Ruth, a society where it’s the women oppressing the men.
Who are called Dinks. Oh, also the leader of the Confederacy is better known to you as Dr. Pulaski from the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Unlike Genesis II, this you can find on YouTube, and it’s every bit as hilarious as it sounds:
That, also, was not series material, and Roddenberry was out. But that didn’t stop Warner Brothers from taking a third stab at it. This time it was about three astronauts, from PAX, one of whom is still John Saxon, and yet another post-apocalyptic landscape. Believe it or not, it’s actually worse than the other two:
The good news, for cheese fans, is that Warner Brothers is finally issuing these things on DVD. Yes, for $14 a pop, these are yours!
We’d consider them worth it. They’re highly entertaining ’70s cheese, and fans of both latter-day Star Trek and Andromeda can see the early form some of the ideas from both took.