Dylan Hunt, a scientist, puts himself into suspended animation in a NASA cavern in 1979 to establish if he could be brought back to life in a couple of days to research into extending the process to astronauts. However the cavern collapses during an earthquake and Dylan doesn't recover until the year 2133. During the 154 years he had slept, war has broken out and the world's scientists rebelled against the war-loving military and developed a society known as the Pax, whose goal is to keep the spirit of mankind alive. However there are also the mutant Tyranians who plan to be Nazi-like rulers of the slowly recovering world. Dylan is tricked by the Tyranians who plan to use his knowledge of the past to rebuild their nuclear generator and therefore make their plans complete. Can the Pax and Dylan stop them or will the man from the past destroy the future?...
Directed by: John Llewellyn Moxey
. Starring: Alex Cord
, Mariette Hartley
, Ted Cassidy
, Percy Rodrigues
, Harvey Jason
, Titos Vandis
, Bill Striglos
, Lynne Marta
, Harry Raybould
, Majel Barrett
, Leon Askin
, Liam Dunn
, Scott Graham
. Music by: Harry Sukman
This was the first of 3 pilots which started with Roddenberry's theme about someone from the past waking up in a post apocalyptical future. Roddenberry also wrote a second movie, Planet Earth with the same concept and characters. But despite the fans love for Roddenberry, he really missed the mark on this one. This theme was just the opposite of what the baby boomers wanted to see and the opposite of the Star Trek Utopian society. Even the third film without Roddenberry, had the same problems.
The reason Star Trek was so popular was because it was a Utopian futuristic society which had risen above wars, violence, disease, poverty, racism and discrimination. It depicted mankind learning from its mistakes and building a peaceful society of exploration, cooperation, invention and forward progress. That Utopian approach appealed to the war weary viewers of this era.
This Trilogy about Pax did exactly the opposite. It showed the degradation of society. Each film, while claiming Pax peace... was filled with violence, segregation, themes of hatred and slavery. Themes of technological regression. These were the very things that this generation of viewers hated. No one wanted to see shows depicting societal disintegration and backward momentum into archaic, violent existences. These were offensive themes which no one wanted to view even once, let alone on a weekly episode.
Even worse, the interpretations of ideal societies as depicted on these shows such as an ancient Rome type of society... were the perceptions and desires of people born in the 20's instead of the views of the generations who were the target audience... the baby boomers.
Our generation hated wars and poverty, discrimination, big brother, environmental damage and establishmentarianism most of all. They wanted to see peace, progress, no poverty, no disease, clean air, no fossil fuels, technological advancement... just like Star Trek.
This trilogy was just the opposite of the themes preferred by both the peace generation or the yuppie generation that followed. Both generations were antiwar. Conversely, this PAX series was one violent conflict after another despite the fact that they called their society by a name for peace. It was just the opposite. Even worse, the core character from the past was a violent man who managed to judge and then destroy one society after another. In this story, it is the Mr Macho main character against an entire Amazonistic society. This kind of macho mentality did not go over well with the baby boomers either.
The first 2 movies written by Roddenberry had the same core problem as the last version which he was not affiliated with. Don't get me wrong. I also idolized Roddenberry but it seemed like no one involved with these movies understood why these three movies failed to generate a series. They simply did not get it... which is surprising considering that Roddenberry was the one who originally understood the concept of the Utopian society during the strong anti-war, pro-peace sentiment of the 60's and 70's.
Perhaps if they had created a truly peaceful, technologically advanced, futuristic society for this series... it might have worked. But all three of these movies were simply unpleasant to watch. Most of us watched them out of respect for Roddenberry in the hope that he had come up with a new series. We continued to hope that they would learn their lesson in the 2nd and third movie but no such luck. It just went downhill from the onset.
At the time these pilot movies were made, we had no conception that society would truly degrade as it has over the past 10 years. Who could imagine that it would go backward and not learn from its mistakes. Fortunately, Roddenberry never saw what society finally became in the 21st century. But when these shows were made, our generations still believed it would improve. How could we have guessed otherwise. While there may be some truth in how a post apocalyptic society might degrade in some distant future... our target generations were not interested in seeing it. We wanted to see forward momentum and progress... not the opposite. Thankfully, they brought back Star Trek until Berman finally managed to destroy that as well... with the same narrow minded thinking as was depicted in this violent trilogy.
Review by midge56 from the Internet Movie Database.