Watch Footage From The 70s Star Trek Series That Never Aired
Star Trek's long forgotten 1970's series, Star Trek: Phase II, has recently been unearthed and fans can now see the show that never aired.
Long before the days of J.J. Abrams‘ foray into the universe, Star Trek: Phase II was one of the greatest “what if’s” in the history of the franchise. The series, which was never fully produced or brought to air after creating a series of sets, casting actors, and producing some finalized footage, was pronounced dead on arrival in favor of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1978. Now some of the original footage has been made available on Youtube, and unearthed courtesy of Twitter user @Portalrealm.
Portalrealm is a niche fan account for Star Trek, with a specific focus on deconstructing and dissecting Star Trek sets as well as set design art. The account, which links to an impressive gallery of set blueprint art courtesy of a website called frogland.co, posts behind the scenes information and details with incredible accuracy and insight. This makes the page a wonderful destination for any fans yearning to dive deeper into the immersion of their favorite franchise, or any future set designers who wish to break into the industry.
Earlier this week, the account shared a Youtube link to some of the unearthed footage from the doomed Star Trek: Phase II sessions, with an emphasis on the set design within the footage. Most of the scenes shown are silent, grainy, and not final cut quality, but the account makes specific note of the warp core, which can be seen repurposed in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The footage was posted in conjunction with a series of Tweets referencing the behind the scenes photos of construction of the iconic bridge set.
Every major Star Trek character was set to reprise their role in Phase Two, save for Leonard Nimoy‘s Mr. Spock, who evidently had contract disputes with both show creator Gene Roddenberry and Paramount. The show was meant to serve as both a sequel and continuation of Star Trek: The Original Series, often shortened to ‘TOS’, which starred William Shatner, and ran from 1966 to 1969. Phase Two underwent a series of dynamic changes in scheduling due to studio uncertainty, which eventually left the show canceled before it even began.
The Phase Two test footage available on Youtube is rife with comments from Star Trek fans arguing that this show would have been incredible, and agreeing that the set decoration choices are truly out of this world. Portalrealm has also posted a series of construction photos revealing the extensive detailing of both the corridors and on-screen graphics created for the computers by the set team. With the Star Trek franchise continuing to resonate heavily with fans now nearly 60 years after The Original Series’ premier, it’s a wonder more isn’t known about the extensive history of Phase Two.
Eventually, despite the failure to air of Phase II, the Paramount Network was led by a flagship Star Trek series in January 1995 with Star Trek: Voyager. One great thing about the Star Trek series is that its continued intellectual property expanding into new shows and stories lends itself to recycling resources from previous outings. Most of Phase II was able to be repurposed to create Star Trek: The Motion Picture, keeping many of the crew and laborers of the show employed, and keeping fans such as Portalrealm pressing their magnifying glass to the screen for decades to come.