Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Assignment: Earth

And hey, speaking of Star Trek (which we were yesterday), here's a trivia question for you: Which episode of Star Trek: TOS (The Original Series) took place in Florida?

Give up? That's okay, it is a trick question, sorta.

Episode 55, "Assignment: Earth", doesn't actually mention Florida by name, but in the Star Trek universe NASA's fictional McKinley Rocket Base must be part of Cape Canaveral (then called Cape Kennedy), as that is the location for the stock footage used for the episode. The glimpse of the map showing the base, however, doesn't quite correspond with the actual shape of the coastline, but whaddaya want - it's science fiction, pal, where's your suspension of disbelief?

For me, one of the greatest tragedies of the original Star Trek is not so much that the show was cancelled, but that the spin-off show, for which this episode was intended as a pilot, never came to pass. It's about a mysterious interstellar secret agent named Gary Seven (played by Robert Lansing), who has been sent to Earth to help shape its history, guide its survival, and protect mankind from its own self-destructive impulses. His cat, Isis, is actually a shape-shifting woman who, for reasons unclear, prefers to spend most of her time in feline form. Teri Garr plays a secretary who accidentally discovers Seven's secret, and would have been a co-star in the show had it been greenlit.

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