346 – Spectre

In 1977 Gene Roddenberry created a pilot for a potential new TV series starring Robert Culp and Gig Young – Spectre.

Ben and Eugene discuss this piece of television…  history.

8 thoughts on “346 – Spectre”

  1. Did Gene Roddenberry seriously believe that this was going to be picked up as a series? I understand the “Asmodeus is not defeated!” angle, but it’s difficult to see where this could go for 22 episodes. Demonic-possession-of-the-week is an even tighter straitjacket than Kolchak had to wear. Was the series to be 70s-softcore-porn of the week? Was this just an all-expenses-paid junket in the UK? Who knows?

    The ominous/mysterious chauffeurs … was that supposed to go somewhere?

    I kept wondering whether the family name was Scion (sorta kinda makes sense, in a family tree way) or Psion (spooky!) … but it turned out to be Cyon, which the dictionary informs me is an asiatic wild dog. Did Roddenberry think this sounded like a typical posh British surname?

    My eyes bugged-out in surprise at the stunt with the Boob Burning Book of Tobit. Stunt surprises seemed to be the only fuel that Spectre had in the tank – the dominatrix scene, the mad woman chained to the wall, the sacrificial dwarf orgy. Everything else was very dreary.

    I think the biggest problem was the casting. Robert Culp has enough gravitas to pass as an expert in paranormal detection, but the role also needed mystery and charisma. Bill Bixby would have been perfect for the role, but I presume he was busy hulking-out at the time. Gig Young was only there to have exposition spouted at him. Gordon Jackson must have been hard-up for a quid to sign on for this.

    Although ludicrous, I was (very, very) modestly entertained by Spectre. I only occasionally leaned on the fast forward button – so it surpassed my expectations.

  2. I forgot to mention … during the final battle, was it an accidental or deliberate in-joke when the demon transformed in the Gorn?

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