Wednesday, 16 March 2016

m-class planet or studio-system

Frequent contributor to Neatorama, Miss Cellania, brings us the story of the first Star Trek cinematic adaptation that was never extracted from pre-production limbo. The original pitch from Gene Roddenberry himself concerned an encounter with a godlike plenipotentiary that had a beat that spanned all of creation, seeding worlds with religion and worshippers—leaving Spock unimpressed and probably too risky a statement for the studio to stand behind.

Other writers, with a lot of smarting egos, championed bringing Star Trek to the theatres. One alternate screenplay put forward involved dinosaurs fiddling with the timeline to retain their dominance over mammals and simians and the crew of the Enterprise also travelling back in time via a black hole to set matters straight, and another was to focus on the Vulcan-Human hybrid’s silent but anguished duality. Eventually, however, the committee of auteurs furnished something that seemed tenable in The Planet of the Titans. Expanding on the episode Who Mourns for Adonais? wherein the Enterprise was confronted by an alien pretender to the godhead of Apollo (escalated by Scotty wanting to protect his lady-love and McCoy lamenting that they could not be hailed by primitive civilisations in the same fashion), the crew travels to the home world of these elder figures of mythology where they had retreated after the twilight of the gods on Earth, only to find that they had been exterminated and an even greater threat, again escaping in the distant past through a black hole. A lot of creative minds were concocting space operas around this time and it was the box-office dominance of Star Wars that ultimately tabled the big screen debut of the Star Trek franchise for a few years.