Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 26

Assignment: Earth (29 Mar. 1968)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 818 users  
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While back in time observing Earth in 1968, the Enterprise crew encounters the mysterious Gary Seven who has his own agenda on the planet.

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Title: Assignment: Earth (29 Mar 1968)

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Roberta Lincoln (as Terri Garr)
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Mission Control Director Cromwell
Morgan Jones ...
Colonel Jack Nesvig
Bruce Mars ...
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Ted Gehring ...
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Paul Baxley ...
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Storyline

When the Enterprise is assigned to observe Earth's history in 1968, suddenly it intercepts a transporter beam which originates at least a thousand light-years from Earth, bringing aboard a humanoid alien 'agent Gary Seven' holding a black cat called Isis, who warns them to step back and let him go to accomplish his mission to save Earth; initially phaser-struck down, he manages to beam himself away, actually on a mission to prevent a nuclear rocket being launched at McKinley base because earth is socio-politically not ready for its technological progress. He assumes a classified identity to override a powerful computer, and mistakes the wrong girl, Miss Lincoln, for another agent; the computer reports both other agents he seeks are deceased in an accident. Meanwhile Kirk and Spock beam down to investigate if the alien isn't hostile, realizing the risk of changing their own past. When they get on his trail, the girl sees Spock's ears, calls the police and Seven gets away; they must ... Written by KGF Vissers

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29 March 1968 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Spock mentions all the events that would happen the week of 1968 that they arrived in. Among the events he mentioned was an important political assassination. As it turned out, there were ultimately two important political assassinations in 1968. Just six days after this episode aired on March 29, 1968, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, and two months later, on June 6, 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was killed in Los Angeles, California on the night he won the California Democratic Presidential Primary. See more »

Goofs

The black markings on the rocket change from shot to shot, because some views are of the prototype facilities checkout vehicle rather than an actual rocket. On the prototype the black stripes on the first stage are longer and are linked at the top by a black ring. Additionally, the prototype third stage has four black panels at the top and a ring at the bottom: the version seen lifting off has only a black ring at the top. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain James T. Kirk: Captain's log. Using the light speed breakaway factor, the Enterprise has moved back through time to the 20th century. We are now in extended orbit around Earth, using our ship's deflector shields to remain unobserved. Our mission - historical research. We are monitoring Earth communications to find out how our planet survived desperate problems in the year... 1968.
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An interesting example of what could have been
8 December 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This was a pilot episode of a new series produced by Gene Roddenberry about a time traveler named 'Gary Seven'. And the idea was introduced by having the stars of this potential series appear on a Star Trek episode. Robert Lansing appears uncredited as this main character (why he wasn't listed in the credits is odd considering he was obviously the star). I liked Lansing's cold and somewhat rigid style--I really thought it worked for his character, but I also realize this might have also left some feeling rather cold about him. He wasn't exactly 'Mr. Personality' in the episode. Instead, the major emoting was done by his ditsy assistant played by Teri Garr. It seems the spin off series was to have been about a man who traveled from a far more advanced world to secretly help mankind.

However, when Mr. Seven accidentally lands on the Enterprise, they are shocked to see him and think he's up to no good. You see, the Enterprise actually meant to go back to the 20th century to do some unobserved data collection for historical reasons and there is no conceivable reason why they should intercept a space traveler all the way back then. How all this is resolved is something you'll have to see for yourself.

As for the strengths of the show, the acting was very good and humor was infused now and again to make the show seem not so heavy-handed--which I appreciated. Unfortunately, the pilot was never picked up--and Roddenberry had a lousy track record in trying to bring other sci-fi shows to television (such as his two attempts with the character Dylan Hunt). And considering that it was pretty entertaining and a very interesting concept, I always feel a bit wistful when I see this episode.


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