Planet Earth (1974 TVM)
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The time: the 22nd century. The place: the Confederacy, a matriarchy where men are enslaved and impotent. The hero: Dylan Hunt (John Saxon), a handsome, vigorous 20th-century scientist awakened from suspended animation - just the "breeder" a Confederacy dominatrix (Diana Muldaur) has been waiting for! In this sequel to Genesis II, Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek) puts a reverse spin on women's lib in an action-filled tale set in a gleaming world of futuristic cities, underground sub shuttles, palm-sized computers and skintight uniforms. Can Hunt defy the Confederacy and free his downtrodden fellow males, or is he doomed to slavery on Planet Earth?
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Too bad the story (the case calls it a sequel to Genesis II, it's not…it's a complete rewrite) doesn't match the disc quality. On viewing it I remembered some details from the original broadcast but found this to be a weak example of Roddenberry's TV work. This time Dylan Hunt's story (revived from a 1979 suspended animation accident it's now 2133, the train system built in 1992) has him already settled into the new world as a member of PAX. This time around the mutants are uglier and lower tech, more warlike. A PAX leader is critically injured escaping from them, Dylan and his team must go into a female dominated society to rescue the only doctor capable of saving him.
Most of the rest of the story is pretty badly handled (the women learn the error of their ways, the- briefly appearing- Kreeg are quickly defeated thanks to Dylan).
I don't think this would have survived as a series yet the studio tried 3 times; Genesis II, Planet Earth and Strange New World (that one without Roddenberry) to get it going!
Planet Earth, and it's predecessor "Genesis 2", told the tale of a world after great social cataclysm, and how a former US Serviceman, with a lot of help from a central good society, goes about knitting frayed or over turned cultures gone awry. It was, in a sense, meant to be a kind of travelling policeman/therapist who visits homesteads that have malfunctioning social structures and norms. It might have been a good show. I would have watched it because it was compelling.
But, both premiers never caught on because people were tired of social messages being shoved in their faces that didn't deal with family. Ergo Planet Earth fell in with all the other would-be TV series that had their moment in the sun when aired.
This particular film is respectable, though the knowing viewer who lives in the LA area will recognize the campus on which much of the film was made. Oh well.
check it out and see what you think
I had seen an earlier movie by Gene Roddenberry called Genesis II that used many of the same characters, though not with all the same actors, and I much preferred "Planet Earth" to "Genesis II," which I thought came on a little too heavy-handed and preachy. "Planet Earth" was a lot more fun to watch, the plot being cerebral enough to be taken seriously and yet action-driven at the same time. "Planet Earth" painted a more hopeful view of our possible future than "Genesis II," and in the midst of all the doom and gloom of the daily news (now as well as then back in my youth) the movie provides a bit of pleasant escapism for about 90 minutes or so.
My favorite character? I absolutely loved Isiah, the gentle giant played by actor Ted Cassidy--well, gentle enough but still able to swing a few good punches in the name of protecting others, too. (Interestingly, Ted Cassidy's portrayal of Isiah is one of the roles that transfered over from Genesis II. Other characters that were used in the second movie were portrayed by different people.) I would have thoroughly enjoyed a series from this movie if for no other reason than to see the character of Isiah grow and develop.
This is a good addition to anyone's collection who loved Gene Roddenberry's work in particular or science fiction in general.
I will say my copy has a back ground noise through out the program. Kind of like if one was watching TV and the channel is not coming in well. The video was quite good however.
The noise will not keep me from watching the DVD again (it is not very loud ) but I wish it wasn't there.
Please let me know if you have a clean copy without the noise. I am curious if there are any or if this noise is on all copies.
Update 5-26-12 :
The first time I watched this I used head phones. The second time I watched it I listened to it through the surround system. The back ground noise was much less noticeable through the surround though the person watching it with me noticed it at one point and commented on it. The noise seemed to come and go and after a while we forgot all about it.
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