“Assignment: Earth” Remastered Review + Video & Screenshots | TrekMovie.com
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“Assignment: Earth” Remastered Review + Video & Screenshots May 6, 2008

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Review,TOS-R Screenshots/Video , trackback

by Jeff Bond

Long before The Jeffersons, Rhoda and Private Practice, Star Trek got an early start on the idea of spin-off series with this peculiar but very entertaining stealth pilot for a series that would have starred Robert Lansing as Gary Seven, a human being trained by aliens to keep a secret watch over Earth during one of the most dangerous periods in its history.

The last broadcast episode of Trek’s season two, “Assignment: Earth” takes the once shocking concept of time travel as depicted in “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” and “The City on the Edge of Forever” and makes it so commonplace that it’s merely another routine task for the Enterprise to slingshot around the sun and travel back to 1967. What’s not commonplace is Seven himself, a seemingly superpowered humanoid who appears on the Enterprise transporter pad with his cat, almost overpowers Spock and some security guards before succumbing to a phaser stun.

The opening scenes with Seven are well done, effectively establishing an urgent aura of mystery around the man and emphasizing Kirk’s anxiety at the potential disaster inherent in messing with history. Once Seven escapes the Enterprise and Kirk and Spock don civilian Earth clothing to pursue him, the episode shifts easily into comedy with Teri Garr’s scatterbrained and amusing secretary Roberta Lincoln trying to make sense of her strange new boss and the two oddball strangers who invade his office. Yet there’s still room for some interesting dramatic moments, as when Seven broods over the death of two fellow agents “in something as meaningless as an automobile accident.”

It’s interesting to wonder how this might have played out as a television series, a kind of earthbound companion piece to Star Trek (one fan went so far as to design a title sequence and record a piece of theme music for the show that “Assignment: Earth” might have been…see below for more). Robert Lansing was always a popular and intriguing television performer in everything from Twelve O’Clock High to his role as Control on The Equalizer. At the time of “Assignment: Earth” Terri Garr had primarily found work as a dancer in Elvis Presley pictures—her Star Trek guest shot was a breakthrough role for her and demonstrated a quirky comic presence that would later be used to great effect in films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Tootsie. And Trek staple Barbara Babcock conspires with art director Matt Jefferies, Trek special effects guru Jim Rugg and the Trek sound effects editors to create a memorably bitchy computer in the Beta 5, an obvious first cousin to Richard Daystrom’s M-5 unit.

Oddly Kirk and Spock get very little comedy to play in this episode as they spend the bulk of the story in hot pursuit of Seven, But Kirk’s anguish and tension over the mystery of Seven and what kind of havoc he might wreak in Earth’s past is well played and the missile detonation countdown finale, simply staged though it is, is a nice suspense sequence.

As for CBS-D’s contribution to this episode I have only one thing to say: AGAIN with the Earth-like planets! I’ve had it up to HERE with you people—I mean show some imagination for once! Would it kill you to show a planet that wasn’t—what? Oh, this IS Earth?

Never mind.

Some nice shots here, and placing the moon into several of them really helps differentiate these not only from the original shots but also from other Remastered episodes that feature Earth. There was a lot of talk on the boards about replacing the gantry shots or other stock footage of Saturn boosters intended to stand in for nuclear missile launch platforms or whatever—I suppose some of that could have been done but I don’t remember really being bothered by the stock footage use in the original episode. The quality of the original rocket footage was good enough and the episode does a rather clever job of putting Mr. Seven into the gantry environment, so the few orbital shots done here are more than sufficient for the episode.



(higher quality version at YouTube)

by Matt Wright

Gary Seven and his ‘cat’ Isis

The plucky Miss Lincoln

The crew confounds yet another poor 20th century law enforcement officer

We could say they have some interesting experiences in store for them…or not.


Bonus Video: Assignment: Earth…the series
Here is a glimpse at a possible opening theme for the Trek spin-off that never was…

This was created by musician and school teacher Andy Patterson (with help from his brothers Michael and Phillip). Andy wrote the music for the theme and recorded the original music using real live musicians. There is also an alternative ‘jazzier’ version at YouTube. Visit Andy’s Gary Seven Website for more.


Seasons One and Two discounted at Amazon
The Season Two box set is now available at Amazon for pre-order, discounted to $63.99 (Amazon has a low price guarantee that if they drop the price before ship date of August 5th you will get that lower price). Amazon has also discounted the Season One DVD / HD DVD combo disk is to $96.95 (retail is $194.99).

Seasons One and Two of TOS-R ($96.95 and $63.99 respectively)



1. Trekboi - May 6, 2008

first? hmm- always wondered what the show would be like if they had done it?

2. SirMartman - May 6, 2008

A lot of the screen stills make great desktop pics you know

:o )

3. photoshop chick - May 6, 2008

i have one spanned across both my monitors at work! they are all lovely. :)

4. toddk - May 6, 2008

that policeman should have gotten his own show!

5. Al - May 6, 2008

Justman tells a great story about Roddenberry making Teri Garr’s skirt shorter and shorter. It’s why it looks so peculiar in the episode

6. fakesteve - May 6, 2008

Star Trek started it’s run in germany with “Tomorrow is yesterday”, all three seasons were shown totally mixed up over the years. So I was quite surprised that it was no problem no more to go back in time, should star fleet command ask for it. But the funniest part about this ep was that the dubmeisters of german TV called Gary “Seven Rock”…

7. DJT - May 6, 2008

One of my favorite episodes.

“That, Ms. Lincoln, is only my cat.”

I could’ve use that line once or twice.

oh and re: earth type planets & cbs-d ……LMFAO.

8. ReallyMan - May 6, 2008

I would have enjoyed CBS-D’s work on “Assignment: Earth” much more if they just didn’t have the Earth rotating in the WRONG DIRECTION throughout the whole episode.

The original had it right… why make that dumb change?

If the had to change something, I would have liked the Big E heading toward the sun at the fade-out.

9. SirMartman - May 6, 2008

Yip,,Good old 20th century Earth,,,

It must of been a good place,, their always going there

( I love that poster )

10. Buckaroohawk - May 6, 2008

ReallyMan (#8),

Holy Cow! You’re right! The Earth is spinning in the wrong direction in those clips. I can’t believe it.

Actually, yes I can. In the original FX (as well as many of the remastered ones) the Enterprise always seemed to be orbiting against the rotation of the planet below it. This despite the fact that the ship was supposedly in geosynchronous orbit over some significant point on the planet’s surface.

The folks at CBS-D probably disn’t even consider the planet’s rotation when they rendered the new FX. Whoopsie!

11. diabolk - May 6, 2008

It’s spinning in the wrong direction… because.. they, uh, went BACKWARD in time! Yeah! That’s it!

12. Jim Smith - May 6, 2008

I always liked ‘Assignment Earth’, it’s groovy. Shame they didn’t find a way to fix that dreadful shot of Gary lying across a gantry near the rocket by compositing in a new background or whatever.

13. RTC - May 6, 2008

‘Assignment: Earth’ would make a good series today.

14. neonknights - May 6, 2008

This was a nice episode. It gave us a break of the “starship Enterprise discovers strange new worlds in the future” routine. Also we got a powerful guest star in Gary Seven. Some of Kirk and Spock’s troubles on 20th century Earth prefaces Star Trek IV.

15. FlyingTigress - May 6, 2008


Actually, it was a really bad day that day.

That just happened to also the day when arch villain Lex Luthor attempted to devastate the United States, and dramatically improve the value of his otherwise worthless real estate purchases, by launching two re-programmed missiles to induce a major earthquake.

What you couldn’t see in those orbital shots was Superman speeding around in orbit, reversing the flow of time.

It was a two-fer cross-over episode. Two aliens: one Kryptonian, one of ancient human ancestry reliant on technology, working to save Earth.

16. FlyingTigress - May 6, 2008


1. …BE the day…

2. LL didn’t launch the missiles, but, just re-programmed them

(shakes head) time to get some coffee for myself…

17. Andy Patterson - May 6, 2008

13. RTC – May 6, 2008

‘Assignment: Earth’ would make a good series today.

Yes it would.

You know,…knowing this episode as well as I do,….being very aware of the rhythms and pace of this show, makes me very aware of the seconds they shave off to make it fit in today’s commercial. Kind of jarring.

Did anybody notice the sound effects still left in from I Mudd and transplaned at the beginning of this episode?

18. Andy Patterson - May 6, 2008

Thanks for the mention Jeff. If Darren is out there,…any chance my theme two will ever be shown at the conventions you speak at? I’d really like to get the fan reaction to it. I’m starting to like it more and more after all this time.

19. The Underpants Monster - May 6, 2008

#13 RTC –

I always thought that the 1997 show “The Visitor” with John Corbett must have been an attempt to realize “Assignment: Earth” as a series.

20. cd - May 6, 2008

The main problem I had with “Assignment: Earth” was the contrived uselessness of Spock, to make Kirk’s choice more dramatic. Spock could not destroy the platform in time, so the only logical choice was to let Gary Seven try. Spock’s lack of logical thinking was very out of character.
Otherwise, I wish they would have made a series out of this. Very similar to Doctor Who in many ways. Had Roddenberry recently travelled to England and happened to watch some of their science fiction tv? Hmmm, I wonder…

21. marbpl - May 6, 2008

Re Terri Garr and comedy, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is a better example than CLOSE ENCOUNTERS.

Also, notice that Roddenberry gets the ‘producer’ credit at the end. Did John Meredyth Lucas quit by then?

22. Daoud - May 6, 2008

Gary Seven… always made me wonder about Gary One, Two, Three… etc.

Perhaps it’s not too late to have a series about Gary Eight, Nine or Ten…. I mean, c’mon if Andromeda and Earth: Final Conflict can be scraped off the bottom of the frying pan, certainly a series “Assignment: Earth” starring Jamie Bamber as Gary Nine, Nicki Clyne as his flighty secretary Jane Henderson, and Kim Kardashian in a non-speaking role as Isis the… “cat”… could be filmed in Vancouver starting next week for the Sci Fi channel…. It could even play in the Star Trek universe as we sort of know it, and reference all sorts of things. They could be busy revising history to eliminate all incidences of Khan, the Bell Riots, WW III, you name it. The Ultimate Trek Retcon, yep.

Good call by everyone on Earth rotating the wrong way. It’s simply stupid, inexcusable, and impossible. Yes, you could make a perspective argument, but only IF the darkened limb was moving westward. It’s not… you can see the shadow creeping eastward.

Furthermore, the ending flyby should have been on a heading for the Sun. After all, the return to the 23rd century should have been hinted at, following Tomorrow is Yesterday’s effects.

23. cugel the clever - May 6, 2008

This is one of my favourite TOS eps. Great acting, story, suspense, and humour.

The only problem is that it was a huge mistake to make time travel so easy (further compounded in ST:IV). It’s a hard enough leap of faith to accept warp drive, transporters, cloaking devices, etc. But at least once you accept their existence, ST does a pretty good job of using these gimmcks in logical and consistent manners.

Time travel is another story – ST is all over the map (and usually completely ILLOGICAL) in explaining the paradoxes inherent in the concept. They covered the whole spectrum from saying that there was only one “real” timeline (City on the Edge of Forever, Yesterday’s Enterprise, etc) all the way to saying that there were an infinite number of coexisting timelines (Parallels) so in fact it doesnt matter whether someone messes with the past, because all possible realities exist anyway!

They should never have opened the time travel can of worms in the first place.

24. diabolik - May 6, 2008

Roddenberry revisited the Gary Seven idea when he did “The Questor Tapes.” Which he revisited again when he created Data.

He sure did a lot of “revisiting” of earlier ideas…

25. DJ Koloth - May 6, 2008

I loved this show as a kid…Gary Seven and all his gadgets, going back in time, etc. I still like it today.

I liked that they didn’t change much in this episode (the new shots of Earth were a nice touch, though).

26. cugel the clever - May 6, 2008

Further to this idea – the only time travel explanation that really makes some sense is the coexisting timelines idea. This one does the best job of avoiding the embarassing paradoxes. It means that when someone goes back in time and “changes” the past, all they are really doing is jumping to a different alternate timeline. The “original” unchanged timeline still exists somewhere in the multiverse – it’s just that our heroes are now existing in a different reality.

27. Lyle - May 6, 2008

Well, how do you expect me to type, with my nose?

Hey, wait a minute – the typewriter is typing everything I….

Stop it.

Stop it!


28. Izbot - May 6, 2008

Again, very disappointing. CBS-D didn’t even both removing the very noticeable dirt from the (twice-shown) still close-up of the rocket. No exploding rocket shot. The earth rotating in the wrong direction?! A stock footage snore-fest.

29. Garovorkin - May 6, 2008

This was supposed to be spin off , I wish this one had happened.

30. British Naval Dude - May 6, 2008

it’s a hopeful spin-off, that’s why ole Gene was credited as the producer… so as to beam away from unemployement if ST were to walk tha’ plank after season two…

arrrr… isn’t Terri Garrrrr so darn adorable here that ye just wanna hug tha’ stuffin’ outta her? I do… awwwww…

Gary Sieben be interesting character, James Bond meets Spock meets Doctor Doolittle meets Mr. Bic… arrrrr

CBS-D could have made Spock more able ta’ control a secretary rather than push her down inna huff and run away… playground flashback?

Kirk: There’s a man on the rocket girder… and there’s a monkey on the plane’s wing… Spock, if you didn’t like the tribbles, why are you petting the kitty cat? Get those coppers outta here!

ahhhhh, but I kid… actually better than I remembered it ta’ be…

31. Robogeek - May 6, 2008

As 20 cd points out, The Gary Seven / Doctor Who parallels are utterly uncanny, right down to his attractive young female companion and sonic screwdriver. Very intriguing, and more than a little suspicious! (Come to think of it, I wonder if that had anything to do with it not becoming a series.)

I’ve always been very fond of this episode, though, just because Lansing’s so cool and Garr is so fun (and young and cute!), and it’s a delightful, unexpected departure from the Trek norm — though, yes, the overly casual use of time travel is cringe-inducing, as it begs the question… if time travel is that easy, why aren’t all warp-capable starships in Trek (Federation, Klingon, Romulan, you name it) time-traveling all the, er, time, and frakking things up? A huge can of worms.

Anyway, I hadn’t seen this episode in years — not since discovering the joy of Doctor Who, in fact — so it was a treat, as well as a completely new experience given the Who-ian lens I now view it through.

Damn shame about the Earth rotating in the wrong direction, though. They’re never gonna live that one down. ;-)

32. Joshua J. Slone - May 6, 2008

It always weirded me out that in the original version Earth was having a completely cloudless day. Now THAT’S a problem for an advanced space ship to work on.

Those of you interested in what this would’ve been like as a series, might I recommend the Eugenics Wars books? Gary Seven and company are pretty key players, and it’s weird hearing them refer to the supposed adventures they’ve had on Earth in the last few decades… like they’re some sort of Star Trek Torchwood.

33. Thomas Jensen - May 6, 2008

Backwards rotating Earth? They must have rushed out the last episodes to save money after Toshiba backed out.

I own Gene Roddenberry’s original treatment for “Assignment Earth” courtesy of the Profiles in History Auctions a few years back. It’s quite a thing to have from the production of the original show.

It’s interesting that Bob Justman really doesn’t consider this episode as a good pilot or even just an entertaining episode. I’ve always liked this one and I wish that the Saturn V could have been replaced with something else, but that’s really wishful thinking considering the limits of this project.

34. Turgenov - May 6, 2008

Gary’s office and the Cape… Why- those are the most detailed sets that TOS ever had! Wonder why?

And Terri Garr was so darn cute with her gestures and expressions that she made Mary Tyler Moore look like a pile of puke….

Oops… mixing sentiment…

And Robert Lansing- hey, they hired actors for guest stars! Wow.

Overall- highly enjoyable and fun… starnge it’s an attempt at a pilot rather than a TOS-like ep… I mean who the hell was that Kirk guy who sort of just stood around? the villain?

35. British Naval Dude - May 6, 2008

arrrrr… Terri Garrrrrr be so cute…

oops I did say that alreday…
I mean better than an Orion whose juzt lookin’ fur condoms and a switchblade…

36. hitch1969© - May 6, 2008

I’m sorry but the Earth spinning backwards is a major problem that undermines this entire remaster project.

Very disappointed.


37. Andy Patterson - May 6, 2008

I’ve always dug the idea of cat being. Cool concept. Dig the gantry scene. Lansing is add-libbing dialogue with the cat that makes the whole scene.

Also….I think they cut out, to make time, the reaction shot of McCoy in the sickbay when Kirk asks for his analysis of Seven. It seems DeForest Kelly wasn’t even told what line he was reacting to. “It’s like they said “just look perturbed De”. Which he does. It’s also interesting to see so many shots of actors reacting to things that are’nt there. It’s clear that Shatner and Nimoy are’nt even in the room with Lansing and Garr in the final scene. Both sides are reacting a little off.

And do people notice Barton Larue (Guardian of Forever) and Doohan’s voices on the Mission Control floor?

38. jr - May 6, 2008

The earth was spinning in the wrong direction because this episode was supposed to be a “spinn-off”.

39. Robogeek - May 6, 2008

33. Thomas Jensen — Dare I ask if you’d consider scanning and posting that “Assignment: Earth” treatment to share with the rest of the class? ;-) I’d dearly love to see/read it.

40. JL - May 6, 2008

Nice write-up, Anthony. Thanks!

I also enjoyed reading everyone’s commentary, as always.

41. JL - May 6, 2008

38 – LOL

42. Cervantes - May 6, 2008

AAARGH! Yet another ‘Earth-like’ planet… ;)
And spinning the wrong way at that. Doesn’t surprise me at this point, as it’s been a bit of a backwards project from the start where certain factors have been concerned.

#28 Izbot – And yeah, they could at least enhanced any obvious artifacts on the stills you mentioned…

Another sub-standard effort guys, but those that are not bothered, enjoy!

43. COMMANDER KEEN - May 6, 2008

I liked this episode. However, was it just my broadcast or did some of the scenes look washed out and overexposed. I noticed several scenes where the quality was pretty poor. Not the FX fault as it was likely the original film. Just wondering if anyone else noticed anything like that?

One of my favorite scene was the launch of the Saturn V. Such a beautiful rocket!

Would also love to learn more about the Aliens that took the humans 5000 years ago. That would be some cool stuff to see in a movie…

44. TrekkyStar - May 6, 2008

Great Effects!!!!!!!!!!!

45. Steve J. - May 6, 2008

Were any scripts written for the spin-off series? If so, are any in existence today?

There is a Star Trek novel, Assignment: Eternity, that brings Gary Seven and Roberta into the TOS time for an important mission. I read it a while back, and as I recall, there are mentions of Gary & Roberta getting involved with The Prisoner/The Village and The Avengers. And one of the Strange New Worlds books has a story about them rescuing Capt. Christopher from an obsessed Men-In-Black agent who has photos of the Enterprise from its visit to 1968 and who was present when Quark & company visited Roswell back in 1947.

46. eagle219406 - May 6, 2008

I would like to ask what people have against “Earth-like” planets. DOn’t they make sense to be there with what they look like on the surface. If It has life on it, doesn’t it stand to reason that it would be earth-like?

47. Cousin Itt - May 6, 2008

I agree with #43 – the transfer on this ep was all over the place, with contrast and saturation changing from cut to cut in alot of the scenes. Kind of disappointing given how great many of the remastered transfers have looked.

Oh, and if I could go back in time, I’d go back twenty years and make sure TNG did a Gary Seven episode with Robert Lansing…

48. Decker's Stubble - May 6, 2008

I t’ond kniht eht htraE gninnips sdrawkcab sah dah yna tceffe no su……

49. Smitty - May 6, 2008

Loved this episode and loved Teri Garr as Roberta though she does not love us Trek fans!

But I won’t be harsh on her nowadays, dear lady is living with MS and I wish her the best.

Assignment: Earth series you will not find a bigger proponent than I!

Forget Earth: Final Conflict and Andromeda, they should have dusted off A:E and revived it as a series instead!


50. Adrian - May 6, 2008

I always hated this episode, it is so cheesy and probably has the worse staying power of any TOS episode.

51. TrekkyStar - May 6, 2008

48. Decker’s Stubble your trying to say:
I don’t think the Earth spinning backwards has had any effect on us…..

Rouy ynnuf!

52. Robert Bernardo - May 6, 2008

Thomas Jensen wrote:

> I’ve always liked this one and I wish that the Saturn V could have been
> replaced with something else…

The Saturn V was the height of NASA technology at that time. FWIW, the Saturn V had just had its first successful launch a few months before the broadcast of this episode, and so I have no problem with Star Trek using the latest and greatest of its time. Ah, those were exciting, space race times in the 1960’s!

53. Mark Wynkoop - May 6, 2008

Another “woot!” for Andy Paterson’s “Assignment: Earth” theme music. He’s a cool guy with a good ear for musical styles.

RE Earth Spin: I do multimedia for a company that performs Launch and Early Orbit phase telemetry. There is no reason that the camera is not tracking the Enterprise in a retrograde orbit, although this would not explain the precession of the terminator shadow (there’s a setup for a joke, someone!).

–Although I liked #38’s comment about this being a “Spin-Off”.

54. diabolik - May 6, 2008

There are events that feature Seven and Lincoln in the Khan novels as well.

55. FlyingTigress - May 6, 2008


Not to mention the obvious “D’uh” of why risk cultural contamination by taking your Vulcan (yes, half-Vulcan… but by predominant physical appearances) down on the first search for Gary Seven (other than to set up the Robert Lincoln moment of seeing Spock’s ears) — and then, again, when transporting down to a secure area at McK?

(during which, you’ll note, the security guards never bother to remove Spock’s hat — when they did enough of a search to come up with communicators and phasers)

Don’t get me wrong. This is one of my favorite eps. And, it would have been nice to see an A:E series with Lansing and either T.G. or an equivalent actress.

But, some of the original plot holes were always disturbing. And, at least locally, the cuts for broadcast of the remastered ep made the boo-boos (those that have been discussed) more painful.

56. Cyberghost - May 6, 2008

hi Anthony

Thanks for the youtube link, I like you have an iPhone and its nice to be able to view the video of the SFX, its to bad that all your vids are not on youtube.


57. Dr. What - May 6, 2008

Anyone note that there’s a small Enterprise/TOS crossover in the launch shot? Same shot is used in Enterprise’s title series.

58. Thorny - May 6, 2008

Another FX goof… The moon goes from a thin First Quarter (in the viewscreen shot) to Last Quarter (the exterior shots) in something less than a day’s time.

It is a shame they couldn’t replace the Apollo spacecraft on top of the Saturn V and put replace it with SkyLab’s launch shroud or something more imaginative (look at the Khan novel cover with the Botany Bay launched atop a Titan III rocket!). This was static footage with no interaction with the cast, so it shouldn’t have been difficult to replace. The military using Saturn V to launch a nuclear platform is easy enough to accept, but there wouldn’t be an Apollo up on top! At the time of this episode (Mar 1968), only one Saturn V had flown (in a fairly dark, early morning launch probably unusable for Star Trek’s purposes) so those photos are actually of the non-flying Saturn V Facilties Checkout Vehicle (AS-500F) from 1966, superimposed over the Launch Control Center building. CBS-D could have superimposed something else easily. Another missed opportunity.

59. Denise de Arman - May 6, 2008

Things I loved about this episode:

Spock’s fascination with Isis the cat. Spock just loves to pet small, furry animals (tribbles – “Fortunately I am…immune..to..its..effects.”).

The way anyone zapped by Gary Seven’s pen gets a goofy grin on their face as they sink into unconscious oblivion. One cannot help wondering what the hapless victim is feeling as they smile and nod off.

Seven’s dialogue with Isis throughout the episode – one wonders if the writer had a pet with which he conversed in like manner.

Spock’s awkwardness when faced with a yelling, struggling woman. If Roberta had been a man, Spock could have simply neck-pinched him; however, Spock is too much of a gentleman to do that to a woman, so Roberta exposes the viewer to a never-before-seen side of Spock which is funny and endearing.

Isis’s appearance as a seductive, beautiful woman to Roberta. If this had become a series, there would have been endless opportunities for comedic conflict between Roberta and Isis. One can just hear Roberta complaining to Seven in the midst of a dangerous mission situation: “Would you please tell your cat to stop staring at me”.
Seven: “Isis, stop staring at Roberta”.

There was a wealth of writing material potential attached to these characters – it is a shame the series never got off the ground. And who knows what other technological gems Seven had at his disposal, including the computer with an additude.

60. Ralph F - May 6, 2008

I love the stills too; would use them as desktop pics but they’re just too low res for it.

61. Captain Robert April - May 6, 2008

Re: Gary Seven’s servo pen vs. the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver.

This episode was in 1968, whereas the sonic screwdriver wasn’t introduced in Doctor Who until the Jon Pertwee era, about a year later, at a time when virtually nobody on this side of the Atlantic had ever heard of Doctor Who.

If anything, someone should look into whether or not the Doctor Who writers pinched the idea from Star Trek. ;)

62. bdrcarter - May 6, 2008

Hey…was the second cop Finnegan? (Chaaaarrrrrrrrlie.) He sure looked like him. Didn’t even get a scripted line this episode? (Unless it was cut for syndication timing.) How the mighty have fallen.

63. Captain Robert April - May 6, 2008

As for other spin-off ideas, according to Roger Carmel (at a StarCon Denver appearance shortly before his death), they were playing around with the idea of a “Harry Mudd, Space Pirate” spin-off, but it never got anywhere.

64. British Naval Dude - May 6, 2008

59 –
Yeah… DdeA, I could concur wit’ ya’ on all points
Tho I thought Spock didn’t like tha’ tribbles… ‘cept dat scene…
Playground flashback, as I said above, wit’ Spockie and Roberta… I kept thinkin’ why not kneck-pinch her? He sure looked daft, but funny ta watch

34 “Gestures and expressions” har! right on, mate… “highly enjoyable” ta boot… Yer so wise and right… oh wait… I’m Turgenov!! Yikes- and I was gunna complain about folks talking to cats bein’ bonkers…

earth spinnin backwards no bother me… should it? Me compass gunna go bonkeroo or somethin’ mate?

65. CmdrR - May 6, 2008

If you were threatened by a nuke so big it needed a Saturn V booster to carry it, you’d back off the controls and let Seven Rock handle it, too!

Kirk’s opening observation that the sole reason for travelling back to 1967 is to discover how Mankind survived this turbulent time is bittersweet, when viewed from a post-911, Bush-War-infested world. The E could easily have chosen many points in history. I get the feeling those ‘choices’ won’t stop anytime soon.

Is someone at The Sarah Jane Smith Adventures sending Rod Jr., Jeffries, and Rugg a check?

Also — somewhere, Barbara Babcock gets a credit not only as the voice of the puter… but of Isis the Cat. She has a decidedly human prrrr.

66. FredCFO - May 6, 2008

Some background information on Assignment Earth:

Notes on the changes to the final script:

Notes on the original pilot (no Star Trek elements):

67. Gary - May 6, 2008

I wish they would make AE a new series along with Questor (another great Roddenberry concept). Perhaps one day someone will dust them off and try anew.

68. CmdrR - May 6, 2008

Gary — agreed. The basic ideas could easily be refitted with new camera work and sfx. Good Sci-Fi needs only the opportunity to drop characters we like to watch into difficult situations. Would love to see them wrestle with making small changes, but not big ones. Speaking of wrestling, I think Roberta would quickly learn Isis’ true identity and the two of them would wind up wrestling. (Oh wait, that was my dream last night. Denise — quit appearing in my dreams in a cat suit. I’ve told you before.)

69. Garovorkin - May 6, 2008

#67 the way they are doing remakes of things nowadays it’t not out of the realm of possibility that could happen.

70. richr - May 6, 2008

Not to nitpick…but I’ll do it anyhow…

Always wondered why the Enterprise didn’t sinply change its orbit when things started to go haywire and BLOW THE MISSILE UP USING PHASERS! Especially once Kirk agreed that it had to be destroyed. There was one throwaway line on the bridge to that effect by Chekov to Scott, but no action was taken. (Believe it or not, on an original episode of BSG, Adama used the Galactica to do exactly that during an attempted nuclear exchange on a planet.)

And…how about checking those “record tapes” either before or early in this type of time travel mission, Spock? That way you’d know that some kind of nuclear missile was going to get blown up 104 miles up in the atmosphere during a “Sh*t in your pants, near Apolcalyptic” moment in Earth history!

But other than that…I always liked this ep!

71. non-belligerency confirmed - May 6, 2008

for more on terri garr’s first screen roles see the monkee’s movie “head” (which was written by bob rafleson and jack nickleson!)
she has about one line (to mickey dolenz):
“quick, suck it before the venom reaches my heart.”

72. Denise de Arman - May 6, 2008

CmdrR#68- LOL!

73. Andy Patterson - May 6, 2008

71 Seen it. Nearly took some images from it for our Assignment: Earth project. Decided against it.

74. Dr. Image - May 6, 2008

#71- That Monkees movie SUUUKED!
Saw it a long time ago. Won’t ever again.

Robert Lansing was like an alternate universe James Coburn, but both cool as hell.

75. British Naval Dude - May 6, 2008

since Finnegan was cop number two, how come he didn’t take a swing at ol’ Jimmy boy?

ya think Jimmy boy and Spocko woulda investigated tha’ kitty cat more? Maybe large Halloween kitty’s paw left a bad taste in thar’ mouth an’ they thought “alien, shmalien… let Roberta take care o’ her… one chic turnin’ inta cat’s enough” … cute trick tho
(i know thye didnt see her as a human-she, only kitty-she)

did I mention her facial expressions, me little green friend, rubbin’ hands before tackling safe… ahhhhh…. cute…

arrrrrr Whoda thunk Gary 7’s ep would have such a profound effect upon me?

76. The Underpants Monster - May 6, 2008

I would totally go back in time to 1968 to stop “Harry Mudd: Space Pirate” from being made. I even have a black cat.

77. CmdrR - May 6, 2008

Your criticisms can easily be explained by a quick review of Doc Brown’s “Back to the Future” physics. The phasers didn’t exist in the 1960’s, so the phaser buttons didn’t work. The history tapes didn’t show the outcome of the apocolyptic moment until after it happened. See how easily that works? Oh, and Marty McFly’s polaroids don’t show his smiling face until after Teri Garr’s skirt gets hiked up way high.

78. CmdrR - May 6, 2008

Love the Monkees.
Hated “Head.” drugdrugdrugdrugsuicidedrugdrugsuckymusicdrugdrug drug movie.

79. I am not Herbert - May 6, 2008

59. Denise de Arman – May 6, 2008

Things I loved about this episode:

Spock’s fascination with Isis the cat. Spock just loves to pet small, furry animals.

Isis’s appearance as a seductive, beautiful woman to Roberta.

AGREED: Isis is HOT!! Maybe Spock “sensed” this…

…good cat acting too, BTW… ;-)

80. Mr. Atoz - May 6, 2008

62, 75

Agree, the second cop sure looked like Finnegan!

Yep, pretty sure that’s him. No lines though.

81. James R. Kirk - May 6, 2008


I just noticed how much of a babe you are.

82. Andy Patterson - May 6, 2008

74, 78

I HATED it HATED it too the first time I saw it. Now…years later I can appreciate it for different reasons. The dance number with Davy and his partner (dance coreographer) was a then young Toni Bassil of “Oh Mickey, You’re so fine” fame. The song is by Harry Nillson. Davy going back and forth from black tux to white tux is very pscychadelic. All that and Terri Garr. Frank Zappa even makes an appearance.

83. FredCFO - May 6, 2008

The second cop was indeed Bruce Mars who played Finnegan in “Shore Leave”. He also played the beserk redshirt in engineering in “The Tholian Web” (no lines there either).

IMDB also lists a credit for “The Corbomite Maneuver” as a crewman. Don’t remember that one.

84. Enc - May 6, 2008

#8 #10
i didnt notice the planet spin problem i was too busy looing at the poor job they did on the planet itself.

thats the ticket :)

i agree. it was crap. they should have made new shots for the rocket. but instead they leave them inplace. and to to make it worse they didnt even clean em up. bad bad bad.

#31 etc
if you look back at the other ree planets. in the tos youll see a reeversed image, when SBC-D did their tos-r work they matched it. they copied the reverse image mistake of those planets. prob trying to honor that old tos imagery and so on. but this earth was terrible.

well its not just an H-bomb. it s an orbital launch platform. itll have some kind of nukelear batery, solr panels, radio antenae, some kind of ome/thrusters and fuel for positioning oh and at least the one H-bomb. also they may need the saturn to get this rig up to a proper alt in case of any opposing starwars system….

85. Denise de Arman - May 6, 2008

I Am Not Herbert#79- LOVED the cat – ever notice that the rhinestone choker around its neck was also around the woman’s neck when she appeared to Roberta – women notice that kind of thing…

86. cd - May 6, 2008

70 – I always took Kirk and Spock finding out what had happened in their history tapes AFTER the events in the episode to mean that those events DID change history, so NOW it is part of their history tapes.

87. Oregon Trek Geek - May 6, 2008

Rumors abound about finally making this series. For some reason, Keifer Sutherland comes to mind for Gary Seven…

…now, who for Roberta Lincoln….

88. bdrcarter - May 6, 2008

I wonder how much that globe cost them for the Enterprise orbiting shots back in 1967? Had had discovered that the earth had an atmosphere by then right? Maybe they could have painted on some cloud cover?

I shouldn’t pick on TOS. They did some amazing things with the limited resources they had to work with. The point is, even though CBS-D didn’t have a lot to do in this episode, it’s amazing what a difference those handful of shots make. So much of the “aging” of the show is gone. (Too bad they couldn’t do anything about the beehive hair styles.)

89. Jim Profit - May 6, 2008

I hate to say that almost every week, but why do you headline the article

“Assignment: Earth” Remastered Review + Video & Screenshots

if what comes is just

“Assignment: Earth” Remastered Review + Streaming & Screenshots

instead? I still don’t understand why you capture HD material but show it with the LD (better: vLD, very Low Definition) quality of YouTube clipses. When this site started, there were wmv-files in pretty good quality every week.

90. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 6, 2008

#86—It always bothered me that they could not just find out through their own records if the incident was supposed to happen one way or another, and aid or disrupt Gary Seven’s efforts accordingly.

91. Katie G. - May 6, 2008

85. Denise

“…ever notice that the rhinestone choker around its neck was also around the woman’s neck when she appeared to Roberta…”

Oh, yeah! Always thought that was an interesting concept.


92. the prime directive - May 6, 2008

non belligerent…thank you.

93. Spockanella - May 6, 2008

Wish I was Isis the cat in this episode…Spock could always make me purr.


94. COMMANDER KEEN - May 6, 2008

58. Thorny
“It is a shame they couldn’t replace the Apollo spacecraft on top of the Saturn V and put replace it with SkyLab’s launch shroud or something more imaginative ”

You have to remember this episode is time specific (1968). Skylab was not launched until 1973. The Saturn V is such a beautiful rocket, IMHO, I wouldn’t replace it if I could. The only thing I would consider doing is use some different stills. The ones they used were grainy. There are better pics in the archives than that. I guess CBS decided it was not worth the effort. That’s my only complaint, besides some of the washed out scenes.

95. cvalin - May 6, 2008

Gary Seven rules! They definitely should have turned this into a series.

Andy Patterson: YOU ROCK! I’m a big fan of your faux opening for the show.

Anyone else notice that one of the Enterprise security guards from the first scene with Gary Seven is also the head security guard at mission control? I think he’s a stunt man.

96. Andy Patterson - May 6, 2008

Cvalin. Thanks. I appreciate that. After dealing with junior high students all day it’s nice to hear that someone thinks I “rock”. Have you heard the second jazz version?

97. The Underpants Monster - May 6, 2008

#87 – Lindsey Lohan?

98. cvalin - May 6, 2008

You’re more than welcome, Andy. I used to teach junior high, too, so I can relate (I couldn’t handle it any more and moved up to high school).

99. I Love My Moogie - May 6, 2008

#88: “Too bad they couldn’t do anything about the beehive hair styles”

I thought Terry Farrell never looked yummier when she wore a TOS beehive on DS9.

100. SciFiMetalGirl - May 6, 2008

I never realized how many different “Seven’s” there are in all of Star Trek! :)

101. Thorny - May 6, 2008

94. Commander Keen… “You have to remember this episode is time specific (1968). Skylab was not launched until 1973.”

True, but I’m talking about 2008 remastering, not 1968 stock footage. A Saturn V launching a large satellite (the nuclear warhead deployer of whatever it was) wouldn’t have an Apollo spacecraft and launch escape system on top in 1968 any more than it did in Real World 1973. The Apollo 5 launch (Lunar Module with no Command Module) a month before this episode aired is another example of what a military Saturn might have looked like. No Apollo on top, just a cone over the top of the spacecraft/launch vehicle adapter. Something bigger like a weapons platform would have needed a bigger payload shroud, such as those routinely flown on Atlas, Delta and Titans of the period. Much larger (like the later SkyLab shroud, which still holds the record for largest shroud) but still basically a shroud.

It also would have been nice to add the US Air Force insignia and maybe “USAF” somewhere on the Saturn V in the remastering job. I’m really surprised CBS-D made no effort whatsoever to modernize that rocket.

102. Spocko - May 6, 2008

To bad “Gary Seven” was never made into a show, I have the feeling that it would have been very interesting.

103. Enc - May 6, 2008

im all for the rocket scenes to have been updated with new fx and all that.
but lets remember that the rocket was not the only file footage. there was also the city. it would contrast to up date one and not the other. maybe they didnt have the money to do both. forcing them into an ALL or notheing deal and without the budget they had no choice but to go with nothing.

104. eagle219406 - May 6, 2008

I often wondered WHAT WAS WITH THESE SCI-FI GUYS AND HAVING CHARACTERS WITH THEIR LAST NAME BEING A NUMBER? There was Gary Seven, there was also Anon Seven in ATOA, plus Barbara Babcock’s character also had a number as her last name. Plus their was the movie “Logan’s Run” where his last name was Five, and the woman also had a number. What was up with that?

105. Andy Patterson - May 6, 2008

100. SciFiMetalGirl – May 6, 2008

I never realized how many different “Seven’s” there are in all of Star Trek! :)

He was the first though.

104. eagle219406 – May 6, 2008


Well that is a good point. However, this was like 00seven. He was an outerspace answer to James Bond.

102. Spocko – May 6, 2008

To bad “Gary Seven” was never made into a show, I have the feeling that it would have been very interesting.

And Yay, brother. I’m with you. I do too.

106. CmdrR - May 6, 2008

eagle — it may have to do with sublimation. You notice Gary Seven and Anon 7 are both very confident, while Logan 5 is running scared?

107. Enc - May 6, 2008

Stargate had a charactor named 5th

would you count 3po or r2 or iq9 :)

108. Andy Patterson - May 6, 2008

And I’m just going to say for the record again, especially to all those musicians out there…..DIG “Crazy” Carly Brower on those french horn lines about 47 and half seconds in there. He really put it down and gave me some great lines there. He’s no doubt going to be playing in a major symphony some day.

109. COMMANDER KEEN - May 6, 2008

#101 Thorny

I might go for a Apollo 13 FX, which were pretty good. No harm there. I suppose, now that I think about it, I suppose inserting the 1973 Saturn V launch of Skylab would not be a bad thing. What I find funny is when you look at the different views during the episode a good amount of them show the vehicle during transport on its mobile crawler, not on the pad. Oops!

#104. Is Barbara named Maya3? Just off the top of my head…. Good point about the last name being numbers. Maybe related to the Borg? The Borg have a number for their first and last name :) 7 of 9….or in order of last name 9,7?

110. Enc - May 6, 2008

damn i forgot

111. Thorny - May 6, 2008

109. Commander Keen… “What I find funny is when you look at the different views during the episode a good amount of them show the vehicle during transport on its mobile crawler, not on the pad. Oops!”

The movie “Apollo 13″ made the same mistake, showing rollout a day or two before launch. Rollout was typically a month before launch (and still is for the Shuttle.)

112. Ripped Shirt Kirk - May 6, 2008

In the review why the rant about CBS doing another Earth like planet? Isn’t the planet suposed to be Earth?

113. Gary Seven - May 6, 2008

I want to thank everybody for their kind words about me. I should point out, however, that I’m just doing my job as a Class One Supervisor.

114. New Horizon - May 6, 2008


It was a joke.

115. Finny - May 6, 2008

I’m looking forward to the IDW Comic book mini-series based on this episode.

Only wish John Byrne wasn’t doing the artwork.

116. Donald - May 6, 2008

#61- Re: The Doctor’s sonic screwdriver vs. Gary Seven’s servo.

The Doctor’s sonic screwdriver was introduced in the 1967 Patrick Troughton story, “The Fury from the Deep”, which has since been wiped from the BBC archives. The early sonic screwdriver looked more like a modified pen-torch than the prop used later in the ’70s.

It is still very unlikely that any STAR TREK designers had seen any WHO, though.

117. OM - May 6, 2008

…A couple of points:

1) Some have commented on how time travel is made to be “commonplace” by the teaser opening to this episode. Keep in mind that this episode was thrown together at the last moment by Gene Roddenberry in an effort to get a “back door” pilot for Assignment: Earth produced. What’s only been revealed in the past few years – specifically by Justman and Solow – is that Gene shopped the A:E concept around and got turned down cold by all three networks almost a year before he decided to recycle the pitch into the last episode of the season. TOS’s future was really shaky at that time, and Gene figured any last quatloo he could make on the show wouldn’t hurt. Hence some of the holes and rough spots people have noted and flawed over the past four decades.

2) Some of the space history discussion forums, in the middle of the bitching at See-BS-D skimping by not doing a new CGI booster sequence for the missile platform have noted something that appears to now be confirmed: Assignment: Earth is the first time the famous SA-504 launch and S-II interstage jettison sequence was used as “stock footage”. Another *first* for Star Trek!

…Now, as for what *I* would have done if I were in charge of the remastering team in this case, I would have gone out to my space history colleague Mark Wade’s excellent site, http://www.astronautix.com, picked one of the Saturn V variants, done up a mesh, and then filmed an entire replacement sequence. Sure, it would have cost more, but in my universe CGI is cheap, unions are banned under penalty of death by torture and/or sex with Roseanne Barr, and hundreds of Trekkers would donate their CPU time to help with the rendering much in the same way SETI@home searches for intelligent life on other planets.

118. OR Coast Trekkie - May 6, 2008

I have to agree that the earth rotating in the wrong direction is a little bothersome. And someone said they saw a bad copy of the episode. I saw a bad copy too, so yes, the color seemed a bit faded. I also think it would have been nice to have shown more of the moon, rather than just a sliver.

Overall, this episode is a prime example of some of the things that were wrong with the remastering project… the careless oversights and half-hearted efforts…

119. c5maier - May 7, 2008

Unfortunately, the link you post doesn’t seem to work. Would love to see the material mentioned!

120. Lti - May 7, 2008

Holy crap!
They have made Earth rotate backwards!

121. The Underpants Monster - May 7, 2008

#104 – You forgor The Prisoner!

“I am not a number! I am a free man!”

122. thebiggfrogg - May 7, 2008

#45 Yuck, sounds like a fanboi mess (wouldn’t it be cool if. . . and. . . and. . . and. . . and ) or an episode from the final season of Enterprise. ; )

123. DesiluTrek - May 7, 2008

62, 75, 80 … just to confirm what you already surmised, that was Bruce Mars.

Maybe because it was a quasi-pilot, maybe because Gene Roddenberry was the hands-on producer, and maybe both, but “Assignment: Earth” always feels like it’s more polished than some of the other latter second-season shows. Superior makeup, lighting, direction, even having the episode credits in the corners made it seem a cut above.

This also was one where (the lack of Earth clouds notwithstanding) the Enterprise looked great in the original effects. The CGI updates look nice, but this is the first show where I felt they were superfluous. The original Enterprise shots feel like they meshed better with the NASA footage, even though we never saw the Enterprise and the rocket together. And for whatever reason, maybe becase Kirk’s “light-speed breakaway factor” log voice-over is so memorable, maybe because of the music and its pacing, but the new CGI that opens the teaser doesn’t live up to the original Enterprise orbiting shot. I felt the timing of the slow zoom in on the saucer in the new shot didn’t match the music well.

One other thing I always looked for in Assignment: Earth’s original effects: Sometimes the Enterprise is orbiting over southeast Asia and the peninsula that includes Vietnam is plainly visible. I never knew but always suspected that that was some effects artist’s subtle anti-war statement. That absence in the CGI feels like a loss to me, but it is understandable since there’s no proof that there was anything intentional in those “Vietnam” orbiting shots.

124. Andy Patterson - May 7, 2008

I felt the timing of the slow zoom in on the saucer in the new shot didn’t match the music well.

That’s always been one of my big objections. There’s a rhythm to the show and it’s effects that I grew up with. When even those little things are off it unbalances me. I like that Darren Dochterman tries to adhere not only to that but the angle and trajectory of the original effects. That’s all part of it to me. That’s a point I tried to argue with Dave Rossi at a convention.

The crowd was deaf to my arguments.

125. Thorny - May 7, 2008

117. OM… “2) Some of the space history discussion forums, in the middle of the bitching at See-BS-D skimping by not doing a new CGI booster sequence for the missile platform have noted something that appears to now be confirmed: Assignment: Earth is the first time the famous SA-504 launch and S-II interstage jettison sequence was used as “stock footage”. Another *first* for Star Trek!”

You mean SA-501, “Apollo 4″.

126. Commodore Z - May 7, 2008

Regarding the orbital direction. Notice that the stars are moving, too. This suggests that the camera is orbiting with the Enterprise, so it’s hard to tell which way the Earth is rotating with respect to the stars.

127. New Horizon - May 7, 2008

#124 – That’s a point I tried to argue with Dave Rossi at a convention.
The crowd was deaf to my arguments.

Good for you! From what I’ve read of Dave Rossi, he doesn’t seem to have a very clear understanding of the relationship between these effects and the existing materials. It all has to fit…otherwise, it’s out of character. He strikes me as someone who is simply impressed by spectacle.

128. COMMANDER KEEN - May 7, 2008

#117, 125

I think the points you bring up are great. Now, if they put that much effort in the S-V into the rest of the show, it would have been amazing. However, given they are only budgeted a couple weeks or so per episode, there’s no time to completely redo the saturn V shots all together. Like I said before, at the very minimum, they should have found some cleaner shots of the rocket from the NASA archives and be more consistent about it. Many of those already digitized. Would have not that difficult. Like I said, something they should have done as a MINIMUM.

Yes, Apollo-13 had the rocket rolled out way too late. At least they did not pretend it was at the launch pad. I love that movie!

Great discussion folks.

As for the earth rotation. I have to admit, I did not even notice it the first time I watched it. Usually, I focus on the ship in orbit and not the planet. My bad!

129. COMMANDER KEEN - May 7, 2008

#123. DesiluTrek

Great catch on the E orbiting over Vietnam. I cannot believe that was a coincidence.

130. Mr. Bob Dobolina - May 7, 2008

Quiet..isn’t it, George….Michael…Dolenz….

THe Monkees film HEAD is pure genius, although riding the backs of giraffes for laughs is alright for awhile.

131. Devon - May 7, 2008

#119 – Just remove the comma out of the URL and the link will work.

I.E. : http://www.astronautix.com/

132. JL - May 7, 2008


“I wish they would make AE a new series along with Questor (another great Roddenberry concept). ”

Don’t you need a prescription for that?

133. JimJ - May 7, 2008

#124-To a certain extent, I hear what you are saying. BUT, if you mentioned Daren Doc., I don’t blame people for tuning you out. Can we all agree to stop this crusade for Daren? It borders on ridiculous. Gobble up his work on Phase II, if you need it in your life. (in my opinion, of course)

134. Andy Patterson - May 7, 2008


Well to be perfectly honest I didn’t even know Daren or his work at the time. I wouldn’t have known to mention him at the time. I just speak of it now from what I know and what I think I know about his sensibilities.

The only crusade I’m on is to be rich and famous when I grow up.

135. Jeff Bond - May 7, 2008

Yes, that is Bruce Mars as the cop, but Mars was not in “Tholian Web”–that was Ed McReady, who’s also an insane victim in “Dagger of the Mind” and the crazed creature-man early on in “Miri.”

136. diabolik - May 7, 2008

Ain’t It Cool has an image from “Court-Martial” up now! And we hear that we finally learn where the ion pod was located.

137. miriam bancroft - May 7, 2008

Where are you seeing the images from Court Martial on ain’t it cool? I don’t see them there.

138. Daoud - May 7, 2008

#126 Ummmm, watch the precession of the terminator shadow in the wrong direction… the shadow dividing sunrise from yet-to-sunrise should move from the east to the west. In CBS-D’s A:E new footage, the shadow moves from the west to the east. This would mean the Earth is rotating backwards. Simple astronomy. Or, rather, a great example of Bad Astronomy (regards to Phil Plait).

No explanation from “perspective” solves this problem… unless we missed Clark Kent in orbit around the Earth making it spin the wrong way.

That’s about the only explanation.

139. Andy Patterson - May 7, 2008


me either.

140. Jon - May 7, 2008

Greatest TOS line ever: “Mr. Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That’s the only planet in this galaxy that can make that claim.” :0) “Elllan of Troyus”

141. I love kittens - May 7, 2008

yeah but men still want us anyway. ;)

142. OM - May 7, 2008

…Several points:

1) Thorny: Good catch on the correct designation for Apollo 4. That was exactly what I’d typed in, but I’ll be fracked as to how it disappeared after I hit the “Say It” button.

2) Kids, I think we’re forgetting something. TOS happens not on our Earth, but on a parallel Earth where another famous movie took place. This is the Earth where The Green Berets occurred, featuring John Wayne and George Takei as Sulu’s ancestor, Col. Nim. Anyone who’s seen the ending of the movie knows about the Sun setting in the *east*, right? Well, while this was happening, guess where the Enterprise was? :-)

3) On a side note about the A4 interstage footage, there were actually two camera pods on that mission, one on each side of the S-II stage. Both were recovered, but the other side footage had a slighly less optimum sun angle – read: it didn’t look as purty as the one we’ve all seen. Apollo 6 also had two camera pods, and although only one was recovered, the reason most people haven’t seen that footage is that it’s about the same quality as the A4 camera pod footage that’s not used.

4) And everyone’s seen the S-IVB ignition footage, right? The one that also looks like the main guns of the original Battlestar Ponderosa? Well, there’s an equally spectacular earlier version that hardly anyone’s seen from a Saturn I launch, where we get to see an S-IV stage and its six RL-10 engines zoom off in the same angle. There’s an accompanying shot that looks straight across the top of the first stage, showing the full fury of those same six engines as the S-IV stage detatches and the “interstage” of the S-I – actually a series of “kickout panels” as opposed to a solid ring – blast outward as well.

…There’s a series of DVDs out by the guys at Spacecraft Films with digially-remastered footage from the NASA archives, and one of the best one is The Mighty Saturns. You can order it online here:


…And there’s a disk set for each of the manner Apollo missions, as well as sets for several of the Mercury missions, and one for the entire Gemini program. Sadly, the guys doing this haven’t done an Apollo-Soyuz Test Project set despite three years of begging/pleading/demanding from yours truly, but every single one of these disks are worth getting ahold of, especially if you’re a space historian of any degree.

(Actually, there’s only one drawback I’ve found so far with any of these sets: the guys at Spacecraft have never been able to find the infamous “beer can” tank test footage from the development days of the Saturn I – AKA “Cluster’s Last Stand”. Apparently there were major fuel sloshing issues in the first stage that became worse as the tank emptied during ascent, and the solution was to dump about three dozen empty beer cans as slosh bafflers. There was a camera mounted inside the center tank to monitor the effectiveness of the cans, and some old NASA engineers I’ve met over the years claim the footage is a hoot – especially if you’re trying to spot which brands were used!)

143. Hat Rick - May 7, 2008

Man, the guys at CBS Digital really should read this thread. I’m not a particular stickler for canon, but the rotation thing is a bit much. How much overtime would they have to put in to revise that footage? And what would it be called? TOS Remastered, the Sequel?

144. diabolk - May 7, 2008

Aint it cool imgae here:


145. sean - May 7, 2008

I’ve always had a hard time sitting thru this one for some reason…I think because it seemed too obvious they were attempting a spin-off. The story seemed a bit weak too. As though they were so enthused about a new show they didn’t think through the details.

146. Enc - May 7, 2008

what botherd me about this ‘earth type planet’ waws that theree was too many clouds.

yeah i saw it too, i was wondering why arte the stars moving?
at that alt shouldnt there be fewer stars?

ok lets see
the planet spins the wrong way, the night side is on the wrong side, theree are too many clouds, the stars move and are too many, the archival rocket, cape,cityscpae fottage wasnt replaced, the computer screens werent replaced, oh and the reason for doing this in the first place was to clean things like the dirt on the lens and they didnt even do that.
so what did they do? replace the orbit scenes? (spacestarsplanetmoonship)?

147. 790 - May 7, 2008

Very insightfull Cugel the Clever.
I think you nailed it.

148. Sean4000 - May 7, 2008


“””the planet spins the wrong way, the night side is on the wrong side, theree are too many clouds, the stars move and are too many, the archival rocket, cape,cityscpae fottage wasnt replaced, the computer screens werent replaced, oh and the reason for doing this in the first place was to clean things like the dirt on the lens and they didnt even do that.
so what did they do? replace the orbit scenes? “”””

What a gem this remaster turned out to be, huh? Sad. So sad.

149. I Love My Moogie - May 7, 2008

This all another perfect example of our pasts being digitally erased for ‘newer & better’. There was NOTHING wrong with the original footage.

150. THX-1138 The Fandom Menace - May 7, 2008

Moogie, you’re smarter than that. At least I presume you are. You should know full well that nothing has been erased. They didn’t get rid of any special effects. You can watch episodes of Star Trek on your computer on CBS.com with all the original shots or, as I suspect, you can just pop in your own copy on DVD or VHS which I’ll bet you have. You’re just being a hater. Dislike the remastered episodes on their own merit if you want, but please be less hyperbolic. Next you’ll say your childhood is being raped or other such nonsense.

151. I Love My Moogie - May 7, 2008

THX, my friend–remastering the TOS FX is no different than rewriting Shakespeare or colorizing classic movies, it’s been with tampered & that invalidates the original version. The issue is about greed, not artistic enhancement.

152. Enc - May 7, 2008

im sorry i thought we setteled that a long time ago.
some dont like it and some dont mind it.
as long as tptb but both versions on what ever format wins the war, or release em’ seperately. at good price.

153. Mark - May 7, 2008

I haven’t taken the time yet to read all the comments, so someone may have already said this.

I generally like the remastered episodes, but I think I prefer the original on this one. The E looks white instead of gray, and it doesn’t look like it’s made of hollow tubes of flimsy sheet metal. One of my favorite episodes (time travel, what else?)

154. I Am Morg Not Eymorg - May 8, 2008

Don’t never…and I mean never, make fun of no cripples!

HEAD rocks. One of the best psychedelic movies ever made.

155. THX-1138 The Fandom Menace - May 8, 2008

Moogie, I’ll counter that it has always partly at least, been about greed. Gene Roddenberry didn’t pitch Star Trek to the studio out of his sense of charity. He didn’t agree to do TMP to further the human condition. He did it for the money. Not unlike many great artists. And just because some classic movies have been colorized does not mean that they are invalidated. Where do you come up with such a statement? They are not erased. And I seem to recall a rewrite of Shakespeare’s that was quite good, actually. Many consider it a classic. It’s called West Side Story.

For me, the proof of the remastered eps effectiveness can be found no further than my 6 yr. old son. His level of interest is markedly higher when I have the eps with the new FX than when I watch one of my old DVD’s. Simply put, it catches his “accustomed to the visuals of today” six year old eye. In this manner, I can share a show with him that enthralled me at his age.

156. non-belligerency confirmed - May 8, 2008

#130 (mr. bob dobolina)
nobody ever lends money to a man with a sense of humor!
…and china kept-a calling alemeda, btw.

157. nognE - May 8, 2008

?htraE ekil kool ot evah stenalp eht lla od yhw tub ,em ot enif skool noitator ehT

158. Enc - May 8, 2008

And just because some classic movies have been colorized does not mean that they are invalidated. Where do you come up with such a statement? They are not erased. And I seem to recall a rewrite of Shakespeare’s that was quite good, actually. Many consider it a classic. It’s called West Side Story.

And what do you call the KJV of the bible?

159. Cervantes - May 8, 2008

#144 diabolik

Thanks for that link – It had a comment by someone who called this project ‘Star Trek Rebastard’! I think that about sums a lot of it up for some of us… ;)

160. Mr. Bob Dobolina - May 8, 2008

#156 & #154….

..Never mind the further more, the plea is self defense!

161. Andy Patterson - May 8, 2008

154 HEAD rocks. One of the best psychedelic movies ever made.

Again, I have a new appreciation for it after all these years. I don’t laud it for it’s hallucinatory benefits. It’s mixed with nostalgia on my part.

162. COMMANDER KEEN - May 8, 2008

As I recall, when the decision was made to remaster the old series, they were not INITIALLY going to redo the FX. The ideas was to restore the original prints and convert them over to HD digital. I believe they felt it would look pretty bad so they went ahead and redid the ship, etc. I do not have a problem with redoing the FX, it is the inconsistency of what they redo and not redo that drives me crazy. You can tell which episode they liked because it had more work done on it. Some phaser (handheld) were redone and some not.

Whether changing the external shots, etc were good or bad, you have to admit, with the exception of the last episode, the imagery is just absolutely fantastic. They did a great job bringing back the sharpness and color. In fact, it may be better than the original film. One question to ask is if they did copy over they old effects. I believe they did. So I suppose it is possible to reverse the process. I do love the new Doomsday Machine. You can really tell how huge that badboy was.

163. falvoant - May 8, 2008

I recently had the pleasure of viewing Daren Dochterman’s Doomsday Machine episode…
CBS has done us all a disservice by not letting him and his crew remaster the TOS episodes…
you can see samples of his work at his website ….trekenhanced.com
but then again we have gained from their loss…

STP2 Crew Member

164. Enc - May 9, 2008

right about the reeason.
the current std dvd is nothing moree then a reprint of the old vhs master copy of the film print and those tapes or over a 1/4 cent old or some such.
now the tos-r thats another matter. this time their going back to actual film stock itself and burn that into the coumputer where they can play with the color values and airbrush out the dirt, scratches, shadow, etc.
now heres the catch with the old fx to the new fx. the old film reels are only a final print of the ep in question. and the fx there of are perm on that film. there is no raw footage pre edit/postproduction in known exsistance that is clean of any 60’s fx work.
so sbc-d have to work only with what they have. they can airbrush and contrast a little to fade it real thin and then insert a new fx ontop of the old. basical the wide phaser beam was a wide band of color and now they thin that out a bit and insert a pencil thin line. and say ‘well thats the best i can do’

165. COMMANDER KEEN - May 9, 2008

I too liked Darren’s Trek Enhanced. He did a lot of work and it looked great. I would say he too good of a job. His version look almost exactly like the old one but with much better quality. The one thing I like about the CBS version is that they removed a lot of the matte errors, like the stars moving with the DD. They also made the machine’s scale match the enormous size of this thing. I will not put down any of Darren’s work because I am a huge fan of his. His heart was in making it as true to the original as possible. With that, he succeeded beyond belief. If he would take the take some of those things into account, his product (or products if he did the whole TOS) I cannot think of anything better than that!

If Darren’s around, Don’t give up Bro!

I understand and agree with what you said. I think they need to go back to a few of these episodes and redo the exposure (yes, I am harping on that again). It looked horrible! They should be able to do something with that. Not worried about some of the phaser shots. There are a few that they could improve on.

166. I Am Morg Not Eymorg - May 9, 2008

156 & 160: Zilch!
It is of my opinion that the people are intending.

A manufactured image
With no philosophies.
We hope you’ll like our story,
Although, there isn’t one,
That is to say, there’s many,
That way, there is more fun.
You’ve told us you like action,
And games of many kinds,
You like to dance, we like to sing,
So, let’s all lose our minds.
We know it doesn’t matter,
‘Cause what you came to see,
Is what we’d love to give you,
And give it 1-2-3.
But, it may come 3-2-1-2,
Or jump from 9 to 5,
And when you see the end in sight,
The beginning may arrive.
For those who look for meanings,
In form, as they do fact,
We might tell you one thing,
But we’d only take it back.
Not back like in a box back,
Not back like in a race,
Not back so we can keep it,
But back in time and space.
You say we’re manufactured,
To that we all agree,
So make your choice and we’ll rejoice
In never being free.
Hey, hey, we are the Monkees,
We’ve said it all before,
The money’s in, we’re made of tin,
We’re here to give you more,
The money’s in, we’re made of tin,
We’re here to give you…
(We want The Monkees!!
We want The Monkees!!)
Gimme a “W”,
Gimme an “A”,
Gimme an “R”,
What does it spell?

167. I Am Morg Not Eymorg - May 9, 2008

161: Fair enuff. Trust me I have nostalgia for it as well. But its a great trip as well.

168. Jeremy - June 23, 2008

“Assignment Earth” would be a GREAT series today – totally cutting edge too.

I can see the first scene…”watching unnamed people ‘beam’ away….”

169. Steve - July 15, 2008

OMG, Earth IS spinning in the wrong direction.

This is laughable.

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