Pioneers of Television: Season 2, Episode 1

Science Fiction (18 Jan. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary
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This episode looks at the development of the science fiction genre on US television in the 1950's and 1960's. Gene Roddenberry had long been working as writer in television but realized ... See full summary »


(as Steven J. Boettcher)


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Episode credited cast:
Lt. Gen. Heywood Kirk in Time Tunnel (archive footage)
Herself / Penny Robinson in Lost in Space
Herself - Guest Star in Lost in Space
Robert Colbert ...
Dr. Doug Phillips in Time Tunnel (archive footage)
Dr. Tony Newman in Time Tunnel (archive footage)
Alexander in Star Trek: Plato's Stepchildren (archive footage)
Himself / Major Don West in Lost in Space (archive footage)
Narrator (voice)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself / Dr. Zachary Smith in Lost in Space (archive footage)
Fred Staples in Patterns (archive footage)
Himself / Dr. McCoy in Star Trek (archive footage)
Herself / Judy Robinson in Star Trek


This episode looks at the development of the science fiction genre on US television in the 1950's and 1960's. Gene Roddenberry had long been working as writer in television but realized that the industry was not prepared to deal with major social issues such as race relations, drug addiction and war. By setting his stories in a fictional future, he was able to do that and thus Star Trek (1966) was born. Somewhat surprisingly, its greatest competition came from Lost in Space (1965) produced by Irwin Allen who was also responsible for The Time Tunnel (1966) and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964). The classic series Twilight Zone (1959) set a very high bar that the others had to follow. Written by garykmcd

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18 January 2011 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

train wreck in space
26 January 2011 | by (Berkeley, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

Season 1 of Pioneers of Television struck a tone of nostalgia and thoughtful insight that was really special. Season 2 begins with this absolute train wreck. This could be a primer on how not to make a documentary.

With so much great footage to work with, and endless promotional and publicity materials to illustrate the narration, why on earth is so much of the doc made up of hokey, completely unconvincing "re-enactments"? These boring intrusions really break the mood. They're an embarrassment.

The writing is also off, nowhere near the quality of Season 1. The background music is often ridiculously inappropriate. And perhaps some of these talking heads (Shatner, Nimoy, et. al.) have already told their anecdotes one time too may; they seem stale.

This show does not have the stature of PBS programming. It feels like something from a third-tier cable outfit with commercials for Chamwow. This is out of my TiVo queue.

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