|Novelization by D. C. Fontana|
|The Questor Tapes|
In an alternative universe, The Questor Tapes might have become a late 1970s science fiction television program about an ancient alien intervention into Earth's history. The star of The Questor Tapes (an android named Questor) was a "friendly robot" similar to the character Data in the late 1980s Star Trek: The Next Generation. I suppose that Questor ruined his own chances of staring in a 1970s television series by stating calmly and logically: "I am not programmed to kill."
|Hollywood go boom!|
Lost in Hollywood
To me, it seems miraculous that Star Trek was on television in the 1960s. As it was, Roddenberry had to fight to defend core features of his futuristic vision against the mundane and conventional preferences of Hollywood executives. It is fun to fantasize about an alternate Reality, the Roddenberry Reality, where in 1970 there could have been a television show based on Assignment: Earth, while in our world we got dystopian drek. In 1975 we could have had a new television series called Questor, but we got The Lost Saucer. In 1978 we almost had Star Trek: Phase II, but we got Cylons.
|Teri Garr (left) as Roberta Lincoln in Assignment: Earth|
Reggio has had fun imagining an alternate Reality in which Assignment: Earth became Roddenberry's best known creation while Star Trek was quickly forgotten. Riggio suggests that we, "Just imagine Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman) playing Roberta", and Nimoy as Gary Seven.
|Barbara of Get Smart|
Does Assignment: Earth work as a television show about time travel? I have my doubts. Would anyone like the idea that the history of Earth is being kept on track by Gary Seven, an agent in a time travel war, an endless struggle against evil aliens?
Somehow Art Wallace was a good fit for Assignment: Earth, able to produce a fun episode that held promise as a possible new series. In contrast, with a terminally ill Gene Coon working on The Questor Tapes, the result was rather cringe-worthy. For example, the middle part of the pilot movie with Dana Wynter seems contrived to allow Questor to explain that he has a functioning penis. It is fun for me to image that in the Ekcolir Reality, the entire course of the history of science fiction television shows could have been different, allowing both Assignment: Earth and The Questor Tapes to be produced as long-running television shows.
The Thomas Effect
|deviantART image credits|
This is Daneel with the galaxy.
|Sut'hiro and Number One (Natalie Wood)|
In the Ekcolir Reality, Star Trek began as a spinoff from Foundation of Reality. The transgalactic mission in Star Trek was an attempt to reach the Galactic Core and find worlds such as Hemmal and Klyz where the pek had long worked to design new human and Fruthwa variants. In this Star Trek, there was no Vulcan, but there was a Fruthwa crew member (Sut'hiro). Natalie Wood was second in command as the captain's "Number One". In the Ekcolir Reality, television technology was about 20 years ahead of what we have here in the Buld Reality, so the original Star Trek was in many ways similar to Voyager.
|Roberta Lincoln and Gary Seven|
Staring Lindsay Wagner and Steve McQueen
Thomas, Jack Vance, Roddenberry, Art Wallace and Gene Coon all wrote episodes of the long-running 1950s television series The Phaeton Effect, inspired by Robert Heinlein's 1949 story in Future Science: "Pathfinder".
|Questor the pek,|
usually played by
Thomas recruited Lindsay Wagner to play the role of Roberta Lincoln in the 1970 television series, Assignment: Earth. Many of the episodes concerned environmental problems, particularly the chronic problem of rising sea level that was a serious issue in the 1970s of the Ekcolir Reality. As a spinoff of Star Trek, the star ship Voyager, having reached the black hole at the center of the Galaxy, was propelled through a time warp back to 1970s Earth. Its crew played a role in Assignment: Earth that was similar to the Buld who reach Earth in Exode.
In the Ekcolir Reality, Questor was a spinoff series from Assignment: Earth. In a bold move, the alien android Questor was played by Erin Gray in the television series. Questor's human companion was Dr. Rachel Tajneb, played by Gretchen Corbett.
Related reading. More television from the Ekcolir Reality.