I decided not to wait until DVD Tuesday to write about this. TrekMovie.com has revealed that Warner Bros. will release two of Gene Roddenberry’s 1970s telefilms that served as pilots for potential weekly series. Both dealt broadly with the same concept, that of a group known as PAX working towards peace in a future that finds Earth in ruins. These telefilms are being issued by Warner Archive, an “On-Demand” enterprise in which DVD-Rs are produced as ordered. Read more about Warner Archive here. Each of these releases will likely cost $19.99.
Gene Roddenberry tried numerous times during the 1970s to launch a new television series and five made-for-TV movies were aired between 1973 and 1977. Two of them will now be commercially available (they’ve circulated among private collectors for years). The first of these telefilms, Genesis II, was broadcast by CBS on Friday, March 23rd, 1973. It starred Alex Cord as Dylan Hunt, frozen in the 20th century only to awaken in 22nd to a world nearly destroyed by war. He joins up with PAX, leads a slave revolt and saves the day. The second, Planet Earth, saw John Saxon take over the role of Dylan Hunt. This time, Hunt and his merry band of PAX scientists stumble upon a matriarchal society. It aired on ABC on Tuesday, April 23rd, 1974.
A third version, titled Strange New World, was produced without Roddenberry’s involvement by ABC and broadcast on Sunday, March 23, 1975. It also starred John Saxon and once again involved PAX and a devastated Earth sometime in the future. In January of 1974 a telefilm called The Questor Tapes was aired on NBC; it came very close to becoming a weekly series. And in May of 1977 yet another made-for-TV movie (this one co-written by Roddenberry), Spectre, was broadcast by NBC.