Earlier this month I introduced Max Headroom, the fictional show starring the computerized celebrity of the same name. If you’ve read that you know I had a pretty high opinion of the series itself, a fine example of 80’s cyberpunk on its own and one of the only TV programs to venture into that territory at the time. However, it seemed the world wasn’t quite ready for the dystopian adventures of Max, and the show met with cancellation after two exceptionally short seasons. Production was still in full swing at the time, though, so what did we miss out on by this abrupt ending? or Max Headroom season 3? And hell, even in spite of the cancellation, their plans for Max’s world weren’t done–a Max Headroom theatrical movie, anyone?
So last week I introduced Earth 2 in the Primer, a series about colonizing an alien world with a heavy dose of environmentalism mixed in. Earth 2 had a strong start in the ratings but gradually crashed; the production company, however, wasn’t quite ready to cancel it yet, and decided to investigate the possibility of a retool first. With a change in showrunners, an Earth 2 season 2 continuation was pitched. While it ultimately didn’t get that renewal, we do have the leaked plans for what that second season pitch looked like. Big changes were certainly in store, but were they good ones?
Needless to say, a few spoilers for season 1 follow.
This month’s What Could Have Been comes as a special request. The Tomorrow People was a 2013 series about a group of people who developed superpowers (the eponymous Tomorrow People), who are being hunted down by a group called Ultra. It was a CW series, and as such has more of a YA bent to it than what we’ve mostly covered so far on the site. It was also a remake of a 1970s British sci-fi series, one that actually lasted quite a while (8 seasons). The modern incarnation wasn’t so lucky and got canceled after its first. Now, I should admit I’ve never actually watched The Tomorrow People myself, so if there are any silly errors you’ll have to forgive me. But, I was able to dig up a little info on where the series would have gone, and it sounds like it would’ve been quite the shakeup. Without further ado, let’s look at The Tomorrow People season 2 that could have been.
We’re going to try something new this month. Instead of a season for a show that was canceled, it’s going to be a look at the plans for a series that never actually materialized at all. Hopefully it’s just as popular, as I’ve got a few more of these we can examine in the future, and let’s face it–there are a lot of canceled shows, but not all of them had enough planning and forethought put into them that they could fill out a full article. And what better place to start out than in the franchise that featured in the first “What Could Have Been?” That’s right, we’re looking at a Star Trek series that never got produced: a continuation of the original series, with new characters and an upgraded ship called Star Trek: Phase II.
This month’s “What Could Have Been” is brought to you by special request (a while ago, actually, but I wanted to cover Odyssey 5 in a Primer first). As it turns out, Odyssey 5 doesn’t have a whole lot of information out there on how it would’ve progressed; Manny Coto, the show’s creator, has been fairly tight-lipped about his plans and still has a fervent belief that he may be able to resurrect or remake the show some day. It’s hard to argue with the idea that the show would likely be far more successful if it were made today than it was at the time, although ratings weren’t behind its cancellation. Almost everything I’ve found comes from one source: the DVD commentary for episode 1. However, there’s still enough tantalizing tidbits here that we can reconstruct some of the series’ plot and eventual resolution. Let’s look at the plans for Odyssey 5 Season 2 and beyond.