Assignment: Earth, the Star Trek spin-off that never happened

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I can see why NBC didn’t pick it up at the time. It didn’t seem to have enough of a draw. I suspect a whole series would have been disappointing.


Gary Seven had a great In Like Flint/James Coburn vibe.

And his character was in a lot of other Trek media that would have been interesting to mine.

“ Gary Seven was a central character in the first two Eugenics Wars novels, beginning with the discovery of a secret laboratory beneath the deserts of India in 1974, where Khan Noonien Singh and his fellow Augments were created. Seven, who had rescued Khan and his fellows from the laboratory before its destruction, had hoped to groom him as part of his work to safeguard Earth, but Khan’s superior ambition led to the two men eventually becoming adversaries. During the Eugenics Wars of 1992-1996, Seven worked to prevent the conflict between Khan and his superhuman opponents from endangering the world, and ultimately provided Khan and his followers with the SS Botany Bay after his defeat. He retired shortly after Khan’s departure, leaving his supervisory position on Earth to Roberta Lincoln.”

Definitely some Section 31 and Enterprise cross over potential there.
It would be great in the streaming media age.


I’ve wondered why the character was never reused by TNG or later.


That would have been interesting but it’s all after-the-fact stuff incorporated into the lore. The Gary Seven ST episode itself always struck me as a bit forced and strained.


It was shoehorned in. But I think the concept has real possibilities today. Especially with Section 31 and Strange New Worlds.

Edit: the definitive resource :slightly_smiling_face:


Lore says:

someone sucks GIF


I honestly thought this episode was even worse than “Spock’s Brain.” I think I’m in the minority though.


I had forgotten about this episode, it’s one of the least typical of the original series episodes.


It’s striking how similar the character of Gary 7 is to The Doctor - at least his earlier incarnations. Gary even has his own version of a sonic screwdriver!


A friend of mine had described this as Roddenberry’s attempt to create an American Dr. Who. So the similarities in setup and situation may be more than coincidental.


I liked it (as well as back in the day: 1970’s reruns and since). It kind of combines vague Trek-universe scifi with a Mission: Impossible vibe, with just a hint of Doctor Who (Gary Seven’s servo), but in a stoic, reserved guy in a suit & tie. It was also nice to see the main characters not take center stage for one episode.

Plus Robert Lansing and Teri Garr’s characters bounce off each other well. It might’ve worked as a 1960’s tv series.


I never noticed it before, but Terri Garr definitely had some TV series experience at this point. She must have been in every 70’s series of note before her film career took off.


100% agree with all this.

I mostly think of the original series as simplistic and corny now (and I grew up with the reruns like you), but there are some episodes that stand out as non-corny, and this is one (it also seemed to be one that appeared in reruns the least.)

(And to be fair, some of the episodes I consider corny are actually great fun-- “The Way to Eden” hippy episode, and the “Piece of the Action” gangster episode for example.)


The episode’s closing dialogue just seems kind of sad knowing how it played out.

Mister Seven: What else do your record tapes show?

Captain Kirk: I’m afraid we can’t reveal everything we know, Mister Seven.

Mr. Spock: Captain, we could say that Mister Seven and Miss Lincoln have some… interesting experiences in store for them.

Captain Kirk: Yes, I think we could say that.

[All look directly into camera with hopeful eyes, which quickly turn crestfallen as cigar-chomping executive raises arm to give “thumbs down” sign]


I love “A Piece of the Action”. Just fun moments and the show not taking itself that seriously for an episode. (In fact, Star Trek’s own light humor - also seen in “The Trouble with Tribbles” and “Shore Leave”, and others - did a lot to make the show very palatable … humor as a tool to lighten the load is well-demonstrated in other genres like action movies and horror too.) And although it was demonstrably goofy as you mentioned, I liked “The Way to Eden” too for the same fun factor. Bringing other characters in to play off the main crew was always entertaining. : )

I agree. “Assignment: Earth” had a kind of energy to it that always made me notice it too. It really felt like it was introducing a new environment and setting for a new show (which Roddenberry was trying to do, of course) — surely it must’ve had the same fan reaction & interest in the 60’s. The network not picking up on that is unfortunate … (but then, they didn’t have a good handle on Trek’s popularity back then as a whole, so …)


There are a lot of Gary Seven comics, many of which are available on Comixology. Those I’ve read are really good, although I’m a huge Assignment: Earth fan (third favourite ST episode after Balance of Terror, and City on the Edge of Forever).

Here’s the Comicvine page: Gary Seven Comics - Comic Vine

Edit: unrelated, but in the linked Star Trek Archives, Best of Peter David, there is an unbelievably good Scotty story about his wife that honestly made me tear up.


I recall the episode opened rather arbitrarily with “So, yeah, we decided to have a lil’ old nip back in time today and have a peek at what was going on.” I’d like to see them explain that away in the greater lore.


I would love to see a show about Starfleet’s Department of Temporal Investigations and their dealings with the Aegis.


Hadn’t thought of it before, but yeah there is a Derek Flint vibe!

As story hook for a new series, I thought it showed promise, and would have loved to see Terri Gar as one of the leads in a sci fi series.