Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 26

Assignment: Earth (29 Mar. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
7.7
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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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Cast

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 ...
First Policeman
Ted Gehring ...
Second Policeman
Paul Baxley ...
Security Chief
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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

The name "Roberta Lincoln" is a feminine version of Robert Lincoln. Robert Todd Lincoln was a lawyer, politician, and businessman who had a long career and was present at or near the violent deaths of three USA Presidents: Abraham Lincoln (his father), James A. Garfield, and William McKinley. It is unknown if the writers intended any such allusion, as Roberta has very little in common with Robert Todd Lincoln. Possibly the idea is that in the unproduced series she would "just happen" to be near a lot of historical events including assassinations. 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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User Reviews

 
The Mission of Gary Seven and Ms.Lincoln
30 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An anomaly among the episodes of the original series, this finale to the 2nd season functions both as a sequel to "Tomorrow is Yesterday" and as a pilot for a new series which never came to be. Rather casually stated by Kirk's voice-over in the beginning, the Enterprise crew has purposely traveled back to 1960's Earth, following up on their accidental visitation in the previous episode from the 1st season. I wonder what Federation bigwig(s) greenlit this mission - everyone's always concerned about the Prime Directive but they think nothing of possibly altering Earth's history and wiping away the past couple of centuries of progress - I guess 'Murphy's Law' no longer applies in the 23rd century. Sure enough, the ship intercepts someone beaming to Earth from over 1000 light years away - so much for non-interference. The episode is at its best in these early scenes, when we meet the mysterious Gary-7, who, tho apparently human, can resist Spock's Vulcan nerve pinch and has knowledge of the future. Kirk, the one who is in the wrong time, still behaves like it's his job to police the spaceways above Earth and treats Gary-7 as guilty until proved innocent. The shots of '60s New York City now appear as strangely primitive, just as Gary-7 describes them; it's a weird play on perspective since the viewer is in 'futuristic mode' when watching this show.

The episode has some slow spots, especially with all the stuff about the rocket waiting to be launched, but it makes up for a lot of this with the intriguing Gary-7 character, played by actor Lansing with gravitas, an aura of solemn heroism and possible menace (note: Lansing's credit appears in the beginning of the episode rather than the end, also anomalous). The interesting backstory for such special agents as Gary-7 was created, of course, with the intent of an on-going series on present day Earth, probably as a combo superspy/alien visitors storyline, complete with futuristic gadgets and self-aware computers. There was a whole new modern mythology waiting to be launched with the premise presented here and I still sometimes visualize an alternate universe where we were treated to a season or two worth of adventures concerning agent Gary-7 and his daffy secretary, Ms. Lincoln. Oh, yes, Ms. Lincoln - this was an early role for the unusual actress Teri Garr, who brings her now well-known pert spunk to the part - she was deliriously eccentric and quite beguiling right from the start. I really would have liked to have seen the further interaction between her and the black cat, as well as Gary-7, a possibly odd menage-a-trois, to say the least. By the way, check out Kirk's swift beam out of the two cops from the Enterprise; seems he did learn one thing from his misadventures in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" - beam 'em out pronto!


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