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GENE RODDENBERRY'S SCI-FI TV-MOVIE PILOT FOR PLANET EARTH

That Sexy Girl is not on the Show but it's Cool Artwork YEAR: 1974
Following our surprisingly popular "thiral" writeup on EARTH II, during the next month or longer we'll be covering more Science-Fiction TV-Movies from the 1970's, some that go where one man went during that particular decade... 

Gene Roddenberry's 1960's three-season gem STAR TREK was beginning to gather a big cult following, and yet, before the progressive doors opened up for another possible TREK series or, what happened instead from the financial success of STAR WARS, a trail of movies, Roddenberry attempted several entirely new science-fiction shows, and one of the better winds up like an episode of TREK: The Earth, PLANET EARTH, is a couple hundred years older... Like Woody Allen's SLEEPER in 1973, John Saxon had been awakened from a two-hundred-year slumber  we learn this through the main character's narration.... By the time the show starts, it already fee like another pilot had aired and this was the first episode of that series...

PlanetEarthScore: ***1/2
The important ironical twist is: Earth is now run by women. Paraphrasing Saxon's Dylan Hunt, it's Feminism turned Fascism. All men are slaves, bought and sold to either work the farm fields, clean up inside, or the best job, breeding. Which is what the handsome, fit Dylan Hunt is sold for as he goes undercover in plain site after his beautiful sidekick Harper... TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN ingenue Janet Margolin... feigns the role as his master: both searching for an important scientist who was kidnapped by the tribe.

Saxon, Margolin & Cassidy
It's a good pilot since all the same elements of a TV-movie are intact, along with suspense and a lot of primal fighting which leads to an escape plan finale. Of the harsh female slavers, Diana Muldaur stands out as the sexiest and, at first, most cold-hearted and cutthroat: obviously making an impression on Roddenberry as she'd become the "new ship" doctor on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION over a decade later...

Also on board is Ted Cassidy who, like Richard Kiel (one had been originally cast as THE INCREDIBLE HULK while the other provided the voice), is a sort of exploitation in himself being practically seven-feet-tall with a low, droning voice and limitless strength. Alas, this character doesn't match up to the visual potential since he drinks the bitches' brew that turns all men into saps, for a while... But there's enough basic camaraderie/chemistry among the troupe to make the story work for its own sake, which may have backfired since it's somewhat weak as an attempted series  by the end there's not much to anticipate. Like Westerns were cheaper to film given their sparse location and open space, this kind of Post Nuclear Wasteland (albeit with lush green valleys) were often the template of "space shows" on the ground. Making the coolest aspect a monorail/tram system that runs within the interior of PLANET EARTH for a few seconds allowing Roddenberry's TV-pilot to truly live up to its genre.
A future where tall men walk with lions and a city dwells upon the landscape of a mountain

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