GENESIS II (1973)
Article 4437 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey
Featuring Alex Cord, Mariette Hartley, Ted Cassidy
What it is: Failed science fiction TV pilot
A man being used to test suspended animation is sealed alive in a chamber during an earthquake and revived 150 years later. He tries to adjust to the post-apocalyptic world in which he has returned.
Gene Roddenberry made a couple of stabs at TV series during the early seventies in which a man from the present ends up in the world of the post-apocalyptic future. I rather wish one of them had made it to a series, if for no other reason than to see if it would have have flown on its strengths or foundered on its weaknesses. It’s obvious that he was trying to an earthbound version of “Star Trek” in which the hero could encounter a variety of cultures; at least, I hope this one wouldn’t have ended up being just a continuing conflict between the people of Pax and the tyrannical mutants. That being said, I am somewhat disappointed here at the choice of the mutant society here as the society he encounters, as it’s just another oppressive dystopia. What I really wonder is whether an engaging group of characters would have emerged from the series; in many ways, I think the main appeal of “Star Trek” was that we got quite attached to the characters, and based what I saw here, I didn’t see that happening. For me, the most interesting character was Lynne Marta’s character, whose belief that lust was what caused the apocalypse and whose mention of Saint Freud was one of my favorite moments of the movie. Granted, I also liked Ted Cassidy, but that’s less because of the character he was playing and more because he was Ted Cassidy. Overall, I thought this pilot was okay, and I enjoyed it well enough. I did notice one logical flaw, though. Mariette Hartley’s half-human half-mutant character had two navels, the result of the fact that the mutants had a two-heart circulatory system. This is all very well and good, but it’s also revealed that her mother was the human half of the union… and wouldn’t that mean that daughter would have only had one navel?
The reason that Mariette Hartley’s character sports two navels is because her role as Zarabeth on STAR TREK (“All Our Yesterdays”) precluded her to have even one, so Gene Roddenberry made up the difference.