Onto the Next Phase - A Star Trek Production Timeline

Chapter 1: Introduction
Onto the Next Phase
A Star Trek Production Timeline

Phase II Enteprise Refit concept art by Michael Minor

February 1973
Filmation Offices
Los Angeles

Lou Schiemer sat down at his desk, ready to get to work. He just couldn’t help but grin. He had secured a great contract that was going to help continue his company’s growth. Filmation had done plenty of projects before, and even some of note. But this, this would help propel them to the top.

Filmation now had a deal with Paramount Pictures and Gene Roddenberry to produce an animated continuation of Star Trek. They were on incredibly generous terms, Roddenberry would handle script writing and have creative control, Paramount would finance 75,000 dollars per episode, and all Filmation had to do was make the episodes. That is to say, voice work and animation. He already had a plan in mind for how production would go. They would hire Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelly to do the main trio, then hire James Doohan and Majel Barret to voice everyone else.

Though many didn’t see it, he knew Star Trek was a strong franchise to produce for. So long as they could balance appealing to older fans and younger kids, this would be a big hit. And considering the writing team Roddenberry was reassembling, Schiemer knew they could.

His assistant poked her head into his office. “Uhm, Mister Schiemer?”

He snapped out of his daydreaming and looked at her. “Yes?”

“Leonard Nimoy is on line one.”

Lou frowned. “Thank you.”

What could he want? They were all but finished with actor negotiations, and none showed any sign of desiring more money or wanting to drop out. Curious, he picked up the phone.

“Mr. Nimoy! How may I help you?”

“Hello Mr. Schiemer, I trust you are having a pleasant day?”

“I am, thank you.”

“Mr. Schiemer… It has come to my attention that you intend to remove George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and Walter Koenig from your upcoming animated Star Trek…”

“Well…. Yes… we… we don’t have a ton of money, see-” Lou attempted to interject. He now had a hunch where this was going, and it was concerning.

Nimoy continued. “...I believe these three characters, and their actors, are the strong proof of the utopian diversity of the future Star Trek professes. Where men and women are treated equally. Where people of all races and all nationalities are treated equally. To remove them would remove a core aspect of Star Trek…”

Again Lou attempted to jump in. “Well, y-yes, I agree. I-it’s just-”

Nimoy continued unimpeded. “... And I will not play Mr. Spock on your show unless all three are hired and receive fair wages.”

Lou hung his head. He had to think, fast. He couldn’t loose Mr. Spock, and he certainly couldn’t recast him, the fans would be up in arms. Yet the budget couldn’t fit 3 more regulars. Roddenberry would be up in arms if he lowered the animation budget any further. Would Paramount increase the budget? He doubted it. Think, think, think!

“I’ll… uh… I’ll see what I can do.” He said, decidedly unsure of himself.

“Thank you. I promise you Mr. Schiemer, you will not regret this decision.”

Lou sat back and rubbed his temples. He just hoped Leonard was right. Because this had thrown a significant monkey wrench into his plans.

Several Weeks Later

Lou Schiemer was both elated and deeply stressed. After some tense negotiations with the actors, Paramount, and Roddenberry, Paramount agreed to cover the actor’s salaries. Now the series had an 82,000$ per episode budget. That was easily the highest ever for an animated show. The studio really wanted to get Star Trek back on air. And Filmation had to deliver.

The good news was this actually left him with another character and three more actors to use, along with a few extra dollars to spend on animation. Though, this was no longer a simple animated spin-off of a popular show. It was now an investment from Paramount, and it would be seen by fans as the direct continuation to their favorite show. If it flopped, Filmation would have serious financial problems, and probably blacklisted by Paramount. This show had to be perfect.

Lou had spent far too long agonizing over the first few episodes with Ms. Fontana, the show’s script editor, producer, and de facto showrunner. Minute dialogue changes, episode order, budget allocation, titles, all of it was being picked through with a fine toothed comb. Meanwhile, Roddenberry and Paramount were still bickering about what to call the damn thing.

The first recording date in July loomed over him like the Sword of Damocles.

Right now, he had a different concern. Hal Sutherland, the director of the first season, had an early animation test to show him. Due to Filmation’s small size, Sutherland was also in charge of the animation and did all of the colorizing himself . He had seen some stills, some character art, and some early work, but this was beyond that. A near finished version of the opening. If he gave the greenlight, they would send this off to Paramount and Roddenberry for approval.

“Sword of Damocles… that’d be a fun episode title. Maybe too out there?” He mumbled to himself as he stepped into the conference table. It had a projector to display animation mounted in the center of the table.

“What was that Lou?” Hal called to him as he set the film into the projector.

“Nothing Hal.” He sat down and looked up his subordinate and friend. “I'm just worried about the show, that's all."

"Don't be. We got a great cast, we got great writers, and we got amazing animators," He gestured to himself. "It'll be great!"

"Right. Yeah. It will be. It will be." Lou let out a deep breath and turned his head towards the screen. Hal seemed to finish playing with the projector. "You all set then?”

“Just about. I think we did a bang-up job. It’s almost a one to one recreation of the original opening, you’ll love it.”

He smiled and let go of some of the tension he was holding. Everything was going to be okay. This would prove it. “I bet I will.”

Hal pressed play and sat next to him. A field of stars appeared, and though there was no sound, he could easily fill in Kirk’s monologue with his mind. The Enterprise made a flyby in all of her glory. Except...

Except she was pink.

Oh god.

He had long known about Hal Sutherland’s colorblindness, but he never thought it would become this much of an issue. He turned to his subordinate and raised an eyebrow. Hal looked back at him and smiled obliviously. All of that stress and worry fell back on him with twice as much force.

“Hal…” He buried his face in his hands. He didn’t even know where to start on this.

“Yeah Boss?”

“I’m really sorry to say this… but I think we’re going to have to hire a new colorist.”


Hello and welcome! This is a Star Trek timeline that’ll explore an alternate development of the franchise. As you can probably guess from the title, it’ll be connected to Phase II in some capacity. The usual disclaimers are present, I do not own Star Trek, that is the property of Viacom-CBS. Everything I say here are my own words, not the words of anyone mentioned. Fair use and all that.

There are two PoDs here, both tied to making the animated series a bit better, or at least, a bit more successful. One is that Leonard Nimoy insists the entire cast is brought back, and is successful. OTL, he insisted that Nichelle Nichols and George Takei be brought back, but Walter Koenig was left out. And the second is a rather unusual problem. The animated series had several colorization problems in its first season, notably making grey things like Starships or hostile alien uniforms pink. This was due to the colorist for the first season, Hal Sutherland, being colorbind. Here it’s spotted sooner and seen as a problem, so he’s replaced and it’s fixed. Thus, no pink tribbles.

With a slightly higher budget, another cast member, and more care going into it, the animated series is certainly going to develop differently. And who knows what this spells for the future of the franchise.

Any thoughts or advice or criticism, please, let me know.
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The real issue of no budget for animation is still up in the air, but you’ve laid some groundwork for a solution!

An intriguing start indeed…

Edit: I’m not wild about any double PODs, but there’s enough butterflies with a few extra dollars to solve the issue so I disagree there is in fact even a double POD lol :)
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I’m not sure how you can solve the real issue of no budget for animation, but a good start on it!

An intriguing start indeed…

Edit: I’m not wild about any double PODs, but frankly even a few extra bucks for testing has enough butterflies to solve the issue so I disagree there is in fact even a double POD lol :)
Thank you! And The Animated Series will be far from perfect, just, better. And that is fair. Though, as far as I know, no Pink Enterprises ever happened in pre-production, so it is still a second POD. At one point it was in actuality a part of the butterfly effect. IE, that Hal Sutherland had made the slip up because of the added stress on the production team. But I thought it might be too much of a stretch, so I decided to rule it a second POD. Though they are certainly intertwined.

Watched. This thread has a lot of potential.

Thanks! I'm gonna try my best.
Chapter 2: The Animated Adventures Pre-Production
Star Trek: The Animated Adventures

Following cancellation in 1969, Star Trek had developed a loyal fanbase and was doing consistently well in syndication. Fans had sent in letters begging for the show to be revived. Gene Roddenberry and many of the behind the scenes staff wanted it revived, as did most of the cast. For Roddenberry and many of the writers, it was a passion project. They simply loved writing the show. For many of the actors, it was more practical. Star Trek was the only time they had a reliable source of income and any modicum of fame.

Enter Lou Schiemer of Filmation. He had been attempting to get an animated spin-off developed since 1968 when the show was still on air. And in 1972, he thought the time was ripe for an animated revival. At the same time, Paramount and NBC were coming to realize Star Trek was far more popular than it’s ratings indicated. Thus, after several different pitches and some behind the scenes conflict, the show would be revived in an animated adaptation of its live action form.

Now Star Trek was to be a strange hybrid of cerebral sci-fi and Saturday morning cartoon. The producers hoped to strike a balance between appealing to fans and appealing to children, with both thought provoking content and simpler plots with a more family friendly tone. And animation allowed them to do many things that were simply impossible in live action. Truly alien aliens, landing parties on inhospitable planets, more action in space, the works. By simply adding a 'life support belt' and drawing a yellow outline around a character, you could now put them on a volcano planet, or under water, or in space. All things a 1960s TV show with routine budget problems couldn't dream of.

That isn't to say the animation was of the highest quality. It wasn't. It was quite stiff and limited, and frequently reused stock shots. And it is near universally agreed to have aged very poorly.

“I won’t lie, the early days of working on The Animated Adventures was a nightmare. Production errors, cast disputes, studio meddling, Roddenberry in general, you name it. Paramount, Roddenberry, NBC, and Filmation and the cast all had a different idea of what the show was, and they frequently fought about it. The casting of Chekov, Uhura, and Sulu is well known, and I take the blame for that. But you know what isn’t well known? We had to delay the announcement of the show from March to May because Gene Roddenbery kept trying to push Paramount to put his name in the title.”[1]
-Lou Schiemer, 1994 Interview.

The show was in many ways the fourth season of the Original Series. The entire cast was returning, veteran Trek creator D.C. Fontana was the functional showrunner, and many veteran Trek writers submitted scripts. However, there were some notable differences. Roddenberry had a more hands off approach to the series, animation is a quite different format from live action, and the crew were not nearly as burnt out as they were in 1969. Fontana also changed the tone of the show. Gone is anything more than a nod at romance, with children being one of the target audiences. And with 4 years of reflection, all sorts of new ideas had bubbled to the writer's heads. Yet to many people this was TOS season IV.

“The writers were paid like dirt. I was paid like dirt. I think most of the Filmation people were paid like dirt. But at the time, it didn’t really matter. We all thought this was it, this was our last chance to ever write for Star Trek. Oh how wrong we were.”
-D.C. Fontana, 1979 convention appearance

Hopes were high for the series in the fan community. This was it, this was the continuation of the show they loved. And once those Studio Executives saw how successful it was, they would instantly bring back the show.

Season 1 Cast

Lt. Arex Action Figure, Sealed, Mint, 1975, Gold Shirt Misprint.
8,500$ USD, Sold.
-Ebay Auction, 2012

In addition to the returning 8 core cast members, two more were added. The head of security Lt. Arex, and relief bridge officer Ensign M’Ress. These officers had designs only possible in animation, they expanded the show’s appeal, filled in niches not filled by the standard cast, and made the bridge look more exotic.

Lieutenant Arex, a three-armed Edoan, served as the security chief. In combat, he was shown to be able to wield three phasers, one in each of his hands. On the bridge, he replaced Sulu and Chekov as the crewman who fired phasers. Personality wise, he is shown to be quiet, wise, and patient, with his tender side clashing with his strong protectiveness of the crew. Chekov jokingly calls him ‘dedushka’, or ‘grandfather’. His exact age is never stated, and evolves into a running joke. Arex is also shown to be able to play the lute and is a skilled chef.[2]

Ensign M’Ress was a Caitian, a standard fantasy-style anthropomorphic cat. Narratively she worked as an audience POV character, asking questions for the other characters to explain to the audience. In universe she was a ‘relief bridge officer’ and thus filled whatever chair on the ship was empty. With ridiculous cat-like voice and mannerisms, M’Ress was hard to take seriously and was often relegated to comic relief. And with little screen time to boot, her personality was pretty undeveloped. But she was generally shown to be inexperienced, excitable, and eccentric. She was bunkmate and friend of Mr. Chekov.[3]

Chekov’s role was heavily edited for the animated format. He was given more boyish features, was made notably shorter than the other characters, and was overall much more eccentric, humorous, and dumb. He used his ‘made in Russia’ catchphrase almost every episode. Though this made him and the show as a whole more appealing to kids, it did stir some in the fanbase up. [4]

“I actually didn’t mind how they changed Chekov. Obviously the animated series was going to be different from the live action one. I knew that going in. I know some people complain that he doesn’t really act like a Starfleet officer, he acts like a 12 year old. And that’s fair. But we had to get little kids to like it. Or else it’d be cancelled. And truth be told, I was just happy to have the job.”
-Walter Koenig, Convention Q&A, 2000

The rest of the cast was more or less the same as they were in the Original Series. The biggest difference was to Nurse Chapel. She was now a regular, and was promoted to Lieutenant and Head Nurse. Well, it would be more accurate to say she was finally given a stated rank and role beyond 'nurse'.

William Shatner as Captain Kirk
Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock

DeForest Kelly as Dr. McCoy

Also Starring
James Doohan as Mr. Scott and Mr. Arex
George Takei as Mr. Sulu
Nichelle Nicholes as Uhura
Walter Koenig as Mr Chekov
Majel Barret as Nurse Chapel and M’Ress

And so on September 8th, 1973, the first episode of of the first season of the first Star Trek spin off would air. On that Saturday morning, millions of Trekkies and kids alike would tune in to watch Yesteryear.

And thus we have the first third person update. A bit dry, but I wanted to set the stage before we begin to slide away from OTL. Comments, criticism, and concern is always appreciated.

[1] The OTL title of the show was 'The Animated Adventures of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek'. Here, with a higher budget, and thus higher investment, Paramount pushes for a way less wordy and more memorable title. Roddenberry of course takes this like a gentleman.

[2] OTL, Arex was the show's replacement for Chekov as a navigator. However, considering Chekov is still around here, he is now the Security chief. Thus, he's a redshirt. He sits in the spot right of Uhura and behind chekov, a spot not occupied by any named character OTL.

[3] M'Ress is also a bit different here Because of an early decision to bunk her with Chekov, she is made to be an Ensign. And due to the sheer number of characters on the bridge, she is made to be a more generic officer and fill in for any of them, instead of just being a communications officer. Other than that, she is more or less as OTL.

[4] This is how I assume they'd write Chekov. He's written to be a lot more boyish, but that plays into targeting one of their demographics, 8-12 year old boys.

[5] Credit to nick_crenshaw82 for this image
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But will Filmation be as gay as it was IOTL?
It's got the same writers and producers, just with one colorist swapped out. So take that as you will lol.

Does Star Trek butterfily away Filmation's Master of the Universe? I know it's odd question. I'm watching this by the way.

This timeline will be fairly focused on Star Trek, but I'll occasionally touch other franchises, especially things it directly impacts. As for right now, I'll say that's a spoiler, but probably. I'll make use of a bit of a butterfly net outside of what I cover.
Chapter 3: The Animated Adventures Season 1 Response
Season 1

Premiering on September 8, 1973, on the NBC network, Star Trek the Animated Adventures (TAA in the community) was an instant success. The series managed to balance adventure, humor, and bigger morality plays to create a sci-fi television show with a wide range of appeal. It’s animation, timeslot, and lighter tone successfully appealed to children. And yet being a reunion of the whole Star Trek cast, answering trivia questions, and touching on bigger themes appealed to older, returning fans.

In addition to being a commercial success, it was strongly received critically. At the 1974 Emmy awards, series premiere Yesteryear was awarded with the 'Outstanding Entertainment-Children's Series'. It beat out fellow Filmation produced show 'Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids', PBS's 'Zoom', and CBS's 'Captain Kangaroo'.[1]

"That Emmy win would be such a big double edged sword. We were trying to walk the razor's edge between our two target demographics. We were a show for both kids and adults! Anyone can watch our show and have a good time. Then the Emmy's show up and toss us into one category against our will, without our knowledge even. Sure that emmy brought us a lot of press, it brought us a nice budget increase, but it firmly established to Trekkies that this was a kids show. This wasn't for them. For the rest of the Animated Adventures' career it was fighting to be recognized by Trekkies as equal to what came before and after."
-Lou Schiemer, 1994 Interview

By the airing of the 16th episode, The Jihad, the show was a clear, strong success. Another 22[2] episodes were ordered, and plans for a tie-in toy line began[3]. Rumors abounded in the community of Star Trek’s imminent return to the silver screen. But that's all they were for the time, rumors. Following the premiere of the season finale, a mass write-in campaign as organized by Star Trek fan communities demanded their show get back on the air, in it’s proper live action form, with the budget it deserved. Thus from January 13-20th, 1974, The Paramount's mailing department was left overwhelmed and unable to function properly, due to the sheer amount of Star Trek mail they were receiving.

"-Do you remember how many letters the mail department dumped on us?"

*Both laughing*

"Yeah, yeah I do. The suits were so pissed that a group of intrepid Trekkies had disabled their mailing system. I just felt so honored that my work had inspired such a passionate response."


"That was around the time Paramount was realizing Star Trek was something they could do more Than an a Saturday morning cartoon with."
-David Gerrold and D.C. Fontana at a TAA 20th anniversary Reunion panel

Season 1 Episode List
Ep#Episode TitleRelease DateNotes
1Yesteryear9/8/73Slighter Higher quality
2The Survivor9/15/73New B Plot
3Mudd’s Passion9/22/73As OTL
4Beyond the Farthest Star9/29/73As OTL
5More, Tribbles, More Troubles10/6/73As OTL
6One of our Planets is Missing10/13/73As OTL
7The Infinite Vulcan10/20/73Not rewritten
8The Magicks of Megas-Tu10/27/73As OTL
9Once Upon a Planet11/03/73As OTL
10The Terratin Incident11/10/73As OTL
11The Lorelei Signal11/17/73As OTL
12The Eye of the Beholder11/24/73As OTL
13The Ambergris Element12/1/73As OTL
14The Time Trap12/15/73As OTL
15The Slaver Weapon1/5/74No Pink Kzinti
16The Jihad1/12/74Slightly higher quality

Episode Descriptions [4]

Though every episode is at least somewhat different, these are the most starkly and noticeably changed.

Due to production butterflies, Yesteryear is made the first episode of the season. And as such, it has a bit more money thrown into it. Later it would be widely regarded as the best episode of the Animated Series, and one of the best Star Trek episodes ever produced.

The Survivor
The Survivor serves as our reintroduction to much of the cast and the more typical episode style. It also introduces Arex and M’Ress. The B-plot for this episode involves newly minted Ensign M’Ress being transferred to the Enterprise and being bunked in with Ensign Chekov. The two struggle to fit in together, and it is only the wisdom of Arex that helps them come to a mutual understanding.

This episode also introduces us to ‘Belka’ and ‘Strelka’ Chekov’s pet (neutered) Tribbles, and ‘Slither’, M’Ress’s pet 3-headed alien Snake. They were rather obviously made with the intention of selling toys. [5]

"This Episode, I think more than anything else, shows the tone the writers are trying to strike with The Animated Adventures. On one hand, you have a very traditional Star Trek episode, a plot with the Romulans and this guy who made it over the neutral zone and stuff, you know, very traditional Star Trek.... And on the other hand you have two kids who live in an enclosed space who just have to learn how to cohabitate together. I think many young siblings who shared a bedroom liked this episode, and not because it had the Romulans in it."
-Majel Barret Convention Appearance, 1974

The Infinite Vulcan

Due to Walter Koenig having a bit more power as a cast member, his script is not rewritten 12 times, and thus lacks certain elements like the Phylosians. It's a bit more focused and is overall a bit more well received. Spock II is definitely still a thing though.

The Slaver’s Weapon
With his role as Security Chief, Arex participates in Spock's mission in this episode as well. This episode confirms his species name is ‘Edoan’ and that he was granted a field commission in Starfleet 4 years ago to serve on the Enterprise’s 5 year mission. It also establishes that there is 'bad blood' between the Edoans and the Kzinti.

The Jihad
As the series finale, this one also has a bit more money thrown into it.

And this wraps up the first season of The Animated Adventures! And this wraps up all of the chapters I had (mostly) pre-written, so don't expect any updates for a few days. Thoughts and comments are always appreciated.

[1] Yesteryear is the series' pilot, it has a higher budget, and there is more buzz around it. So it manages to eek out an Emmy win.

[2] The show was more commercially and critically successful. I mean, it won an Emmy. It's a no brainer to greenlight more episodes.

[3] Alas, in the saddest of butterfly purges, there is no Spock Helmet ITTL.

[4] These are just the most notable changes, every episode is minorly different as they have an extra cast member. The butterfly effect being what it is many of these episodes would be unrecognizable. To give myself a baseline, I kept this season more or less the same.

[5] Though this detail is something I completely made up, it seems in character for Chekov and something Filmation would like to do.
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Chapter 4: The Animated Adventures Season 2 Production
Season II

Following the greenlighting of more episodes and the May Emmy win, The Animated Adventures was in a strong position. Spirits were high at both Filmation and Paramount. The Animated Adventures had finally proved to be a financially viable Star Trek product. Being a critical darling didn't hurt either. So when D.C. Fontana desired a budget increase to 90,000$ dollars an episode, Paramount was willing to hear her out. They would deny her, but they would hear her out. Instead, the show received a more moderate 3,500$ dollar budget increase, or around 85,500$ per episode.

"Fontana was smart with our money. She knew we couldn't hope to get great animation. It was always going to look... well... substandard, but that was just how animated TV was back then. No matter how much of the budget we threw at it. She wanted us to lean into our strength, our writing. We were consistently praised for scripts, and for good reason. With that money she was able to establish a staff writing team, and raised the payment for script purchases. And just like that we became the best written, smartest Saturday Morning Cartoon. And people took notice, both kids and adults. It didn't matter if Kirk's mouth looked janky when he talked, every show had that problem. What did matter is that he was delivering one powerful monologue."
-Lou Schiemer, 1994 interview

For the second season, D.C. Fontana managed to hire three full time 'associate producers', while her own title was changed to the more accurate 'executive producer'. Though in reality, they functioned more like a writing team. They rewrote and improved scripts that came in for consistency and quality, and contributed scripts of their own, but they had little control over the creation of the show itself. That was handled by Filmation. First hired was David Gerrold, a fairly junior (and thus, cheap) writer who wrote The Trouble With Tribbles for the Original Series and More Trouble More Tribbles for the Animated one.

"I thought David was a bright kid with a lot of clever ideas. He had kind of been snubbed when making the Original show, so I felt bad for him as well. Plus, with both Tribble episodes, he showed an ability to write humor and appeal to all audiences, exactly what this show was looking for."
-D.C. Fontana, Star Trek Fan Magazine Interview, 1974

The other two Associate Producers hired were Russell Bates and David Wise. Bates was a protégé of Gene Coon, a Kiowa native American, and had attempted to submit a script for the show before. Wise was only 20 years old and brand new to the industry. Following Bates dropped script, the two cowrote the critically acclaimed episode 'How Sharper the Serpent's Tooth'. More importantly they were industry unknowns and thus very cheap.

"Bates had been recommended to me by Gene Coon, and his first script was... good... but it was not what The Animated Adventures was looking for. When He and Wise collaborated and submitted for a second time, I knew we had struck gold. You guys are gonna love it. Trust me. I interviewed a few other people, but not many worked within the budget we were dealing with. So a short time later, they were hired full time. And what a relief it was. I went from being the sole producer to one of 4. Now we can do so much more, and what we will do will be of an even higher caliber. And I don't have to tear my hair out."
-D.C. Fontana, Star Trek Fan Magazine Interview, 1974


With the popularity of the Animated Adventures, specifically with younger boys, it was only natural that a toy line would begin. Hasbro, famous for their GI Joe line, was licensed to produce Star Trek action figures and toys. They created the Star Trek: Landing Party line of action figures. Starting small, it would grow into one of the most notable toy lines of the 1970s.

All 9 main characters received action figures. In reality, there were two figures. Male and female. They were simply painted differently and given different haircuts to simulate the different characters. Arex proved incredibly difficult to design a figure for. Thus he was delayed for an entire year after the main characters. In addition, an array of accessories like phasers, tricorders, and communicators were created, along with sets like The Bridge, the Transporter Room, and a shuttlecraft.

The line's art style was a bit of a hybrid of the Original Series and The Animated one. Due to, let's say... less than high standards, many of the figures created were less than perfect. Famously, an entire batch of Chekovs from the summer 1975 line had the colors on their skin and shirt mixed, resulting in a tan-suited, gold skinned officer. And any of the less prominent figures like The Gorn received fairly questionable designs.

Initially the Enterprise only stood in opposition to a generic band of Klingons. In subsequent waves, they would expand the roster of antagonists. Species like the Gorn, the Romulans, and the Kzinti, in addition to named antagonists like Harry Mudd, Kang, and Cyrano Jones. And pretty quickly supporting characters like Sarek or Walking Bear received figures as well.

And of course you could buy your own Belka and Strelka. Mock tribble pets and pet cages briefly became a popular fad Christmas present in 1974. [1]

“It’s a little plastic version of me. Ain’t that cute.”
-Roger Carmel, Upon being asked to sign a Harry Mudd action figure. 1975.

"The Pet Tribble Christmas gift fad was easily one of the highlights of my career so far"
-David Gerrold, convention apperance, 1980


The biggest casting addition this season was recurring character Lieutenant Walking Bear. He is the 'Deputy Science Officer' and is also a cultural anthropologist who specializes in the native peoples of North America. He is of the Comanche tribe, and appears in 3 episodes this season. 'How Sharper the Serpent's Tooth', 'Predestination', and 'Lines on a Map'. His voice was provided by Walter Koenig. [2]

'Dorothy was interested in including an American Indian character in the show. I had one in my first episode pitch, but that one ultimately didn't come to fruition. For my second episode, How Sharper the Serpent's Tooth, I revived the idea. And following the success of the character we got to write him into a couple more episodes."
-Russell Bates, 1974 Convention interview

Due to fan requests to know more about the new characters, Arex and M'Ress, they are a bit more prominent this season. In ‘There is No Backup', we visit Arex’s home. In ‘The Purfect Mate’, the season’s comedy episode, we catch our first glimpse of the Caitian High Kingdom.

"I was pleasantly surprised at the positive fan response to the new characters. And when people began asking me 'Oh, where did Arex come from'? Or, 'What's M'Ress's species called? What are they like?' I was more than happy to oblige."
-DC Fontana, Star Trek Fan Magazine Interview, 1974


The biggest change with this season was creating episodes that revolved around characters other than the main three. This was done because of availability. Shatner and Nimoy were inconsistently able to record dialogue and thus occasionally had to have smaller parts. This is evident in episodes like ‘Night Shift’, which revolves largely around Sulu, 'Brothers in Arms' which focuses on Sulu and Chekov, and 'Predestination', which focuses on Scotty. However, still the vast majority of episodes focused on the main trio.

Season 2 Episode List [3]
Ep#Episode TitleRelease DateNotes
1The Pirates of Orion9/8/74As OTL
2Bem9/14/74As OTL
3The Practical Joker9/21/74As OTL
4Albatross9/28/74As OTL
5How Sharper The Serpent’s Tooth10/5/74As OTL
6The Night Shift10/12/74New
7Brothers in Arms10/19/74New
8There is No Backup10/26/74New
9In the Jester’s Court11/2/74New
10The Purfect Mate11/9/74New
11The Game11/16/74New
12Deep Mudd11/23/74New
13Recursive Loop11/30/74New
14The Joy Machine12/7/74New
15Two Tribbles, Two Much Trouble12/14/74New
16The Kzinti12/21/74New
17Enterprise Squared12/28/74New
18The Star Trap1/4/75New
19Lines on a Map1/11/75New
20Heavy Lies the Head..., Part I1/18/75New
21...That Wears the Crown, Part II1/25/75New
22The Counter-Clock incident2/175Slightly Higher Quality

Episode Descriptions

The Night Shift
Lt. Sulu, the night shift Watch Officer, must investigate a series of strange readings happening on the ship, all while being careful to not awaken the rest of the crew. Out of the main cast, only Sulu, M'Ress, Chapel, Arex, and Scotty have lines. This episode was made due to actor availability, and it's rather obvious. Only George Takei, James Doohan, and Majel Barret could record for this episode, so of course only their characters work on the night shift. Still, it's an early and rare example of Star Trek focusing on someone other than the main three.

This episode has a bit more characterization for M'Ress. Here it's established that she only has to sleep 4 hours a day, and that she has night vision.

A time travel episode with a notable role for Mr. Scott. The civilian ship SS Expedient is destroyed by a micro-black hole it was carrying. The Enterprise has to travel a few hours back in time to save it. However, when Scotty attempts to in doing so, they are the cause of the Expedient's destruction. Thus, they are in a pre-destination paradox. Notably, Scotty figures this out, not Spock, do to Leonard Nimoy's unavailability for this episode.

There is No Backup
The Enterprise visits the home of Lt. Arex. Except it's not a planet, but rather a massive fleet of Starships. The episode itself largely just an exploration of this concept, as The Enterprise is attempting to track down a smuggler in the fleet, requiring them to explore it. We learn that the Edoans destroyed their planet by polluting it and dropping nuclear bombs on each other over minor squabbles, and that they were forced to flee to the stars. Now they eek out a hard and dangerous life on thousands of Star vessels grouped together in a loose alliance.

This episode establishes that Arex has a wife and family, and that he worked on civilian Edoan vessels before accepting a field commission in Starfleet to 'see the stars and all that lay beyond them.'

The episode's name has a distinct double meaning. While in Kirk's final battle with the smuggler it turns out he lacks any backup. However, In reality, the episode ends with a pollution PSA and Kirk tells us that "There is no back up Earth."

In the Jester’s Court
The Enterprise is studying a planet populated by near-humans with a medieval era society. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Chapel beam down to study the planet, however Spock is blamed for a murder. Kirk has to defend him in the court of The Jester, a mysterious nobleman who never shows his face, dresses and acts in an eccentric manner, rules the planet, and is a tyrant. Meanwhile McCoy and Chapel attempt to deduce who actually committed the murder. In the end, surprise surprise, it turns out The Jester was a computer. This episode brings back Sulu’s swordplay ability, as he gets into a fencing match with a knight of the Jester.

The Purfect Mate
The Enterprise has rendezvoused with a Caitain space station, as they are in need of repairs following a skirmish with the Romulans. Mr. Scott is moving to go meet with the Caitians to organize repairs, and he asks Ensign M'Ress to come with him. M'Ress hesitates, but ultimately follows. Here is where we learn that M'Ress is Caitian nobility, disgraced Caitian nobility at that. That she left Caitian space to join Starfleet to escape an arranged marriage, and that by reentering Caitain Space the marriage was back on. A fairly comedic episode, considering it's about Captain Kirk saving his cat crewmember from other cats. But it comes with a lesson about choosing your own path in life, not those set out by your seniors.

"The Idea that the Cat people place a huge deal of emphasis on prestige and grooming and being prim and proper, yeah, that was totally influenced by the way cats act."
-David Wise Q&A

The Game

A mysterious alien only known as 'The Gamemaster' puts The Enterprise on Trial. Kirk has to play a game of chess against him. If he wins, the crew gets to live. If he looses, everybody on the ship will be killed. However, there is one small hitch. The game is also using his crew as pieces. And if they are eliminated, they will die. Based on an older TOS pitch.

Brothers in Arms
The Enterprise is assisting in the development in the New Italy colony. Scotty and Spock are installing equipment in their city, while Kirk coordinates from the bridge. Sulu and Chekov are delivering a supply of food and other goods to the surface in a shuttle craft, when an unexpected ion storm strikes them and the Enterprise. Our intrepid pair crash into a hostile environment, miles away from the colony. With the Enterprise disabled and out of contact, only their wits, cunning, and friendship can help them get back to safety.

Depp Mudd
A resurrection of a TOS script planned for season 4. Though here it has been rewritten to account for the new tone and the events of Mudd's Passion. The Mudd episode for this season.

Recursive Loop
A standard time loop episode. Spock notices as he is going about his shift that things seem to be odd. He is feeling Deja vous. His shift on the bridge begins, and as he steps out of the turbolift the ship is buffeted by asteroids. Kirk calls red alert, but there are so many and they are being hit so hard Sulu is struggling to pilot the ship away. A variety of suggestions are thrown out, and as they try one the ship is torn apart and destroyed. And Then Spock wakes up and begins to go about his shift again.

The Joy Machine
Another resurrection of a TOS script, this would have been the 25th episode of the 3rd season had the show not been cancelled. Albeit, it's had it's rough edges and everything non-childfriendly about it torn away. In this story, who's message has been boiled down to 'Don't do drugs kids!', the Enterprise visits a far off earth colony afflicted with widespread addiction to a Dopamine giving Machine. Then, Spock and McCoy get addicted! Kirk has to fight his friends, who are now the slaves of the machine.

Two Tribbles, Two Much Trouble
Belka and Strelka, Chekov’s pets, are accidentally exposed to 'Delta-triband radiation' by Ensign M'Ress. This causes them begin a non stop growth, and a non stop hunger. If Spock and McCoy can't whip up a cure, the two adorable creatures will literally consume the ship.

The Kzinti
This episode features the return of the popular Kzinti villains. This episode goes into more depth about who they are, at least in the Star Trek universe [4] . Here we find out they are essentially to the Caitians what the Romulans are to the Vulcans. That generations ago a group of racial purist Caitians attempted to 'improve' themselves, and became the snarling, violent, monstrosities we see today. Since then, the Caitian High Kingdom and Kzinti Empire have been brutal enemies who fought numerous wars together.

The episode itself concerns The Enterprise hosting a peace conference between the two, and all the ways it goes upside down.

Enterprise Squared
The second contribution by Walter Koenig, and an expansion on the topic of cloning covered in his last episode. Here, the Enterprise is studying an odd spatial phenomena, when the sudden appearance of a hostile Klingon battlecruiser forces them to fly through it to escape. However, instead of one Enterprise, Two emerge out of the phenomena. An identity crisis ensues, until one of the Enterprise crews sacrifices itself to destroy the Klingon battlecruiser.

The Star Trap
This episode features a return of the of the Delta Triangle from the last season, making it a soft sequel to The Time Trap. Here, the Elysian council contacts Kirk and tells him a group of Romulans are plotting to overthrow the government of the Council, and they need the Enterprise to come back to the Triangle to help them.

Lines on a Map
Another Episode written by Bates and Wise. Here the Enterprise has come to aid Commodore Pierce of the USS Saratoga, NCC-1712. They have discovered a planet rich in dilithium, a rare resource used in warp travel. However, it is inhabited by a small group of native aliens who worship the dilithium and would never allow them to mine it. Thus Starfleet command has ordered them to move the natives off of the planet, a move that Pierce hesitantly is willing to do and Kirk is strongly opposed to. Conflict ensues.

This episode also features Lt. Walking Bear, and rather obviously is a direct parallels to Native American forced migrations. Controversial, this episode is viewed as one of the Animated Adventures Best and worst, depending on who you ask.

Heavy Lies the Head... Part I
The episode begins with Kirk beaming up from an away mission and complaining of a headache. Ubeknownst to the crew, the aliens he met on the mission left a psychic implant in his brain. In a few hours, he goes off duty and falls asleep, and never wakes back up. In the real world, this is found when he never reports for duty, with Nurse Chapel checking in on him. Discovering him completely unawakenable, she takes him to sickbay. There She and Doctor McCoy attempt to diagnosis what's wrong with him while Spock takes command.

Inside Kirk's head, he is waging a psychic battle. The parasites want him to give in so they can take his 'brain power'. This is where most of the episode takes place. He finds himself on a trippy and stylized version of the USS Enterprise. The crew represent different, largely negative aspects of his psyche. Spock is his self-doubt, McCoy is his self preservation instinct, Scotty is his hostility, Chekov is his ignorance, Uhura is his empathy, Arex is his laziness, and Chapel is his anxiety. Coming together with the different parts of his brain, he has to turn this motely crew in a force that can save his life. The thing that is keeping him going is the thought that the crew of the real Enterprise needs him. That they will be helpless without their captain.

The episode ends with a cliff hanger. Kirk manages to fight the parasites off for a bit and wakes up in Sickbay, only to learn that Spock has taken command and that everything is fine. Feeling like his fight was for naught, that he is unneeded, he collapses back

The episode deals with themes of self doubt and mental health. It shows that even the great James T. Kirk doubts himself and has moments of weakness. Though not well received at the time, this two-parter would become one of the Animated Adventures most popular decades later.

...That Wears the Crown Part II
We pick up with Kirk in a pit of despair. He feels useless. The crew doesn't need him. Maybe they never needed him. Spock is twice the captain he'll ever be. Just when he's about to give up, his negative psyche pieces teach him an important lesson. He taught them how to be positive. Now it was their turn. You can't live for other people. You have to live for yourself. Even as a leader, you can't fret about what your group thinks about you. If your self worth is so tied up within your own social bubble, eventually it's going to pop like this. With a pep talk, Kirk is renewed, and his mental crew help him fight off the pyschic parasites once and for all.

"Ah yes, those episodes. The conflicts and anxieties of being a leader, you know. The fear that if you fail you could ruin the lives of those under you. The fear that you could be replaced by someone else who could do a better job than you. All that came from me. It was what I was going through as co-owner of Filmation. I figured Captain Kirk, being the leader of the Enterprise, had many of the same concerns. I pitched it to Ms. Fontana, and she did the rest. The script was so good and so long we made it a two parter."
-Lou Schiemer, 1994 interview

The Counterclock Incident

With the overall higher budget Filmation has, this episode looks quite a bit more impressive compared to OTL.

On September 8th, 1974 for the second season of Star Trek The Animated Adventures would premiere to consistently strong ratings. And the strong response to the Second season would quell any doubt in the minds of naysayers. Trek could work. And with the sheer amount of fan mail they received, the fans of this show were rabid in their enthusiasm. So on one October night, Paramount sent out a call to Eugene Roddenberry.

"Would you be interested in reviving Star Trek for the 1975 Fall season?"

I initially wasn't planning to post an update so quickly, but I was inspired by the positive response this TL. I had some free time at work, and then when I was halfway done I couldn't leave it like that. Next Update will be about the response to the second season, both in and out of studio. Thoughts, questions , criticism, are always appreciated.

[1] This whole section is completely made up on my part, but I think everything makes sense. I am not an expert in the history of toys though.

[2] He's a science officer because this show has Helm and Navigation covered. And Koenig seems like a better fit to voice a younger man than Doohan.

[3] Some of these episodes are sequels to other ones, some are based on what behind the scenes info I have, and some are based on discarded TOS scripts. Other than that, these are all completely made up by myself.

[4] The Kzinti are actually not originally from Star Trek, but are an original creation owned by Larry Niven and were just leased to the franchise. With their increased prominence in this series, I'm sure nothing can go wrong.
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Good work. Also good to see the Kzinti get some love, as to any issues loaning them out? Well Niven wasn't bothered OTL and there were plans to revive them on Ent. In any case the Kzinti were the main thing Niven allowed others to play with (via Man Kzin wars) and one gets the feeling he'd said all he had to say about them by the mid 70's. Here he may have to designate some other area for ascended fan fiction if the Kitty's are busy on the telly instead of lying fallow.
Good work. Also good to see the Kzinti get some love, as to any issues loaning them out? Well Niven wasn't bothered OTL and there were plans to revive them on Ent. In any case the Kzinti were the main thing Niven allowed others to play with (via Man Kzin wars) and one gets the feeling he'd said all he had to say about them by the mid 70's. Here he may have to designate some other area for ascended fan fiction if the Kitty's are busy on the telly instead of lying fallow.

True! But it is just an added wrinkle to the franchise's development I wanted to mention.

Only Paramount is dumb enough to ask Gene Roddenberry back—checks out!

Nice update :)

Lmao, true. But Roddenberry is Star Trek at this point and time to most people . The good news is, he won't be as infirm as in 1987, so the show won't fall into the care of his personal lawyer like TNG did. And back in 75, he may still listen to the people around them instead of driving them away.

This is really good.

Thank you! It means a lot that people are liking this timeline. I had a lot of worry at first that people wouldn't care.

Also I'm trying to catch every spelling and grammar mistake. I've gone through and I think I've caught almost all of them of them. But if you see anything incorrect feel free to point it out.
Chapter 5: How to Revive a Franchise
TAA Season II

The Animated Adventures continued to have strong ratings going into season II. On episode premiere there was a minor dip, but on syndication it continued to do well. As with other animated shows of the era, episodes were incredibly frequently rebroadcast. Sales on the Landing Party line continued to grow, along with other Star Trek merchandise. With it's success proven, Paramount sold Broadcasting rights for the show to air in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Critically, the series continued to be well received. Though some Trekkies had begun to complain that the show was too child-like and needed to appeal to them more, others still enjoyed it. In one of the earliest ruptures in the fandom, fan magazines began to split into ones that saw the Animated Adventures as legitimate, and those that didn't. Though treated at legitimate at first, the official canonicity of TAA would be something of a question in later yeas.

At the 1975 Emmys, the episode How Sharper the Serpent's Tooth would win the series another 'Outstanding Entertainment-Children's Series' award. It fended off weak competition, and the award was one of the least prestigious Emmys. However, it was still impressive the series had done twice what the original could not. Following the second Emmy win, the show was green lit for 2 more seasons and 44 more episodes.

"Paramount was smart to get dotted-line signatures on the last two seasons at once. Every year the cast's wages grew, and I can only imagine how they would balloon after the revival came out. By signing them now, they kept the show affordable enough to keep on air for a few more years."
-Lou Schiemer, 1994 interview

By the end of 1974, it had become evident for the executives at Paramount that Star Trek could be revived. Between the strong critical and commercial response to The Animated Adventures, the strong ratings of the show in syndication, and the constant badgering by fans, it would be a mistake not to try. Plus, assembling a production team and cast would be incredibly easy, as almost everyone involved in the Original Series production was willing to come back. And even if the season flopped, it would still be a win for Paramount. As they could add it to the syndication package for the Original Series, making it that much more lucrative.

Star Trek II

President of Gulf Western Charles Bludhorn, Paramount's parent company, was strongly in favor of a Star Trek revitalization. Be it on the small or big screen. In 1974 he replaced the president of Paramount with Barry Diller, a man who had his reservations about Star Trek but would go along with the word of his boss. In October 1974 Diller approached Roddenberry to discuss a revitalization. [1] Roddenberry accepted, and negotiations continued throughout the fall. Roddenberry desired a movie, while Diller doubted Star Trek's box office potential. With the success of TAA, he believed the future of Star Trek laid on television. Ultimately a compromise was reached. A 2-hour long TV movie was greenlit, and that would serve as the pilot to a 13 episode long season 1. If successful, a 3 season contract would be arranged.

Known as 'Phase II' in pre-production and the community, Star Trek II would be officially greenlit on December 4th, 1974. Principle photography was scheduled for spring and summer, 1975, with a planned release in September on NBC. The budget for the pilot-movie was placed at 1.4 Million dollars. While the pilot had a budget of 425,000 and the series itself had a budget of 297,500 dollars per episode. This was only a bit larger than the budget of the notoriously cheap season 3 of TOS. However, the cost of creating most of the sets and props were folded into the movie, freeing up a large portion of the budget for future episodes. [2]

Only Roddenberry was attached at that point, and once the contract was signed he began to reassemble the production team. He had to move quick, as the series was due to premiere in the fall, less than a year in the future.

Production Team

Robert Justman
Justman was second only to Roddenberry himself in importance for creating Star Trek. Early negotiations allowed him to return to his role as co-producer, as he was liked by Roddenberry, and loved by the fanbase. The studio saw him as a useful counterbalance to Roddenberry. A tempering influence, someone to reign in many of Roddenberry's more... wild ideas, and helped him keep the budget and time in check. [3]

Robert Goodman
Goodwin was a Paramount producer who had a record for turning projects in early and under budget. Diller had pushed for his inclusion on the basis that he would serve as an 'inside man' for the studio. He was also seen as a fallback producer should Jutsman and Roddenberry prove incapable of managing the show. Goodman had never seen an episode of The Original Series and had no experience working in science-fiction. Thus he held his own reservations about being attached to the project, and was disrespected by Roddenberry. But there was little Roddenberry could do. Diller wouldn't let the show air unless he knew they would be more responsible with their money this time. [4]

Goodwin would watch the entire Original Series to prepare for his role and did his best. Though initially disliked, he would become affectionally be known as 'The Other Robert' or 'ToR' in the community.

D.C. Fontana
Fontana was contracted to work on the Animated Adventures for at least two more years, and thus was not an official part of Phase II's early development or it's first season. However, she gave recommendations, attended meetings, submitted a script, and was promised a position should she become free.

Matt Jeffries
Matt Jeffries was a production designer who had designed the original Enterprise model, The Enterprise's bridge and sickbay, the Klingon D7 Battlecruiser, the Romulan Bird of Prey, and numerous other sets and props. He was Art Director for The Original Series, and had a reputation of being able to make impressive models and sets possible on the increasingly shrinking budget of the show. Held in high esteem by everyone who worked with him, he was offered his old position as art director for the new show. Unfortunately, he was already contracted as Art Director for Little House on the Prairie. He recommended Joe Jennings, assistant Art Director for the The Original Series's second season for the role, and Jennings was quickly hired.

In addition to recommending his replacement, Jeffries provided a series of concept art sketches and oversaw the design of the refit Enterprise model.

Jesco Von Putamaker
Putamaker was a NASA manager known for his outreach in improving knowledge of space in the greater public. He was hired as a scientific consultant, to help writers understand space and give the series an air of scientific legitimacy.

John Povill
John Povill had helped Roddenberry get set back up in the early days of Phase II's development. He himself was a hopeful Hollywood screenwriter and a fan of TOS. Initially he was 'assistant to the producer' but following the submission of the script 'The Child' he became an associate producer and script editor, entirely because Roddenberry liked the script so much. He was not seen as qualified by Justman or Goodwin.

A variety of other production crew members would be brought back into the fold. The two other associate producers were unit production manager Gregg Peters, and director of photography Jerry Finnerman. In addition, special effects artist Jim Rugg, costume designer William Theiss, makeup artist Fred Philipps, and production illustrator Michael Minor were all hired. With the exception of Minor, all were TOS alumni taking back their old jobs.

The Enterprise Refit

The original Enterprise model was over 10 years old at this point, and needed to be completely reworked to be shown on modern television. A new, 8 foot model was ordered. There was greater detail along the whole thing, more more hull livery and mechanical bits sticking out. The nacelles were swapped out with a sleeker design, the secondary hull was given a more barrel-like shape, and a torpedo control room was added along the neck.

Like the last series, they filmed a handful stock shots of the ship and then reused them for the rest of the series. If they were lucky, they could add a handful of new or episode specific shots a season.


OTL TMP Poster with the Phase-II Enterprise


As all of the original series sets had been demolished or repurposed by this point, everything had to be rebuilt. Besides, many of them looked outdated. starting essentially from scratch, 10 new sets were created. With concept art from Jeffries, Jennings and Rugg set about designing the refit Enterprise's interior. Roddenberry's new vision for the show was that the Enterprise would have a colder, more muted color scheme. No longer filled with reds and blues and greens, the new interiors were white with grey and black accent colors.

Set List

Engine Room
Cargo Bay
- A Cargo Bay set was planned, but last minute had to scrapped as it was deemed too expensive
Kitchen-Officer's Mess / Conference Room
- With minimal work, the Officer's mess could be refit into a conference room, getting two sets for the price of one.
Recreation Deck
Medical Bay
Generic Quarters
- A multi-purpose set. This one could be rearranged to be anyone's quarters.
Transporter Bay
Corridor, Jeffries Tube, and Turbolift
Type-K Shuttlecraft


OTL Phase II Set Concept art.
"Well, the show will in fact have more sets than the original. Some, like the transporter room, are just touched up versions of the original. Others, like our new Rec Deck, are completely new. We know how cramped and mechanical the old show could feel, especially in the third season when location shoots were limited. So we're adding an arboretum."
Jo Jennings, 1974 convention Q&A


The Costumes for Phase II were by an large reuses of the TOS era costumes. This was mostly a cost-saving measure. However, there were several updates. One, the material was of higher quality, with the rank bands and insignia improved. Two, the green command uniforms formally became golden. Three, taking advice from James Doohan, the pants now had the division color as a pinstripe running down their length.

The biggest change came at the suggestion of Roddenberry. The environmental belts of TAA were to make their way into these costumes as well. They were black belts that ran along the waist, with a large black device in the front of them. They were supposed to project an invisible 'environmental field' allowing one to beam down to non-M class planets without the need for a spacesuit. Thus, freeing the writers from one of their biggest constraints. This was widely seen as ugly and were uncomfortable to wear for long period of time, and after only a few episodes the belts instead became equipment sometimes worn on away missions.

The women's costumes were also completely reworked. The plunging neck-line, miniskirts, and high heels would not fly in the modern era. So they were updated. Now the women's uniform cut was a two piece like the men's. Instead of a miniskirt, it had a knee-length black skirt worn on top of a top identical to the men's. Women's collars were now the same as men's, and women no longer wore heels. Some background women wore pants, but the main characters only did so on landing parties. [5]

Medical officer attire was also changed for Phase II. Now medical officers wore white uniforms, their own color, with their own divisional insignia. Previously the red cross had only appeared on Chapel, but now it was standard for all of them. In addition, Chapel and other nurses wore nurse's caps, and McCoy had a red lab coat he occasionally wore.

"As far as I know, McCoy getting a different uniform came from the studio. With him and Spock being so prominent together, they wanted a way to distinguish us clearly. We had identical uniforms and now identical ranks. Giving me a different uniform made us stick out more."
-DeForest Kelly, 1975 interview

Dress uniforms make no appearance in the first season, simply due to a lack of money. And background characters continued to wear uniforms identical to the ones found on TOS.


The entire cast was offered to reprise their role in the revival series. And all but one would come back with ease. However the casting story of Leonard Nimoy will be covered in a future chapter. DeForest Kelley managed to secure a formal spot as one of the three leads, with the pay that came with it. [6] Early negotiations by Doohan, Takei, Nichols, and Koenig saw them as contracted regulars instead of the day workers they were in the old show. This secured them names in the opening credits.

In addition, two new characters were added for the series. First was William Decker. Decker serves as this show's POV character. Initially, he was going to be the ship's XO, but following Nimoy's return, his role changed. He became a very young and fresh-faced ensign. Inexperienced and not very bright, Decker is a mix of comedic and charming. Things are frequently explained to the audience through him. And the other addition was Ilia. Ilia was a Deltan, a telepathic alien species with a propensity for circlets. She was also the ship's physiatrist and a love interest of Decker.

Though the main 7 appear in all 13 episodes, Chapel and the new pair appear less frequently. Decker is in 11 episodes, Ilia in 10, and Chapel in 7.

The descriptions of the new characters sent out to casting agencies were:
"Ensign William 'Bill' Decker. Early 20s, Caucasian male. Decker is the youngest member of the Enterprise crew. He is the ship's navigator, but he is a frequent member of away teams and is handy with a phaser. His father was a Starfleet captain who died in the line of duty, and Decker entered the service in honor of him. Decker should be charming, attractive, and heroic, but also naïve, inexperienced, and even vulnerable at times. He looks up to Captain Kirk as mythic hero, and has a complicated romantic life with Lt. Ilia. [7]

"Lieutenant Ilia. Early-Mid 20s, female, any ethnicity. Ilia is the ship's physiatrist. She is a Deltan alien and as such she should have an exotic beauty. Deltans posses powerful ESP senses, including the ability to read minds. Because of this, Ilia keeps herself at a distance from the rest of the crew. The exception is Bill Decker, who she has a complicated romantic life with. Ilia is second only to Mr. Spock in terms of brainpower, and she comes into conflict with her superior officer, Doctor McCoy." [8]


Name: James T. Kirk
Rank: Captain
Role: Commanding Officer
Played by: William Shatner

Though Kirk's personality goes mostly without saying, this series would lean into his separation from the rest of the crew. He maintains a professional wall he can only somewhat drop when around Bones. To quote the series bible, he is 'Always on Trial with himself' and is 'The loneliest man on the ship.'

Name: Spock
Rank: Commander
Role: Senior Science Officer, First Officer
Played by: Leonard Nimoy

Spock is much more Vulcan at the start of the series. After the five year mission, he attempted to purge his emotion and achieve Kolinahr as a monk on Vulcan. No one saw him in the interim years, and a key plot point in the pilot is him rekindling his old friendships. Over the course of the movie and then television series he has a loose arc, where he slowly comes to accept his two halves as part of one, and manages to balance both his logical and emotional sides.

Name: Leonard 'Bones' McCoy
Rank: Commander
Role: Ship's Surgeon, Senior Medical Officer
Played by: DeForest Kelly

Though McCoy is the same personality wise as OTL, he has a new relationships. The pilot movie would touch on his complicated relationship with his daughter and granddaughter, and future episodes would go into more detail about the McCoy family.

Name: Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott
Rank: Commander
Role: Chief Engineer
Played by: James Doohan

Scotty is as OTL.

Name: Sulu
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Role: Senior Helmsman
Played by: George Takei

Sulu's personality gets a bit more development here. He is now shown to be a 'serial hobbyist' or renaissance man. His interests ranging from fencing to botany to Andorian cuisine. He's also shown to be talkative, and at the very least he thinks he is suave. His friendship with Chekov appears in higher prominence, as they have a somewhat comedic duo. A running joke in the series is that despite both claiming to be skilled ladies men, all of their dates end in disaster.

Name: Uhura
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Role: Senior Communications Officer
Played by: Nichelle Nichols

Uhura is a bit more prominent in Phase II. She has a noted intelligence, and is skilled with computers and code-cracking, something never seen on TOS. It is also said she is a skilled actor. She is able to impersonate the voice of several crewmembers on a dime.

Name: Pavel Chekov
Rank: Lieutenant
Role: Senior Tactical Officer, Security Chief
Played by: Walter Koenig

Out of all of the TOS crew, Chekov receives the biggest overhaul. His role on the ship is changed, he's gone quite far up in rank, and his personality is very different. He now has a serious, gruff, militaristic and headstrong persona. To quote the series bible 'Chekov believes it is his duty to protect his ship, his crewmates, and his captain at all costs.' He balks at any suggestion that throws his comrades in danger, but leaps at the opportunity to do it himself. Even his appearance is different, he now sports a buzzcut and scar along his cheek.

When with Sulu, his older personality shines through a bit more. Much of the show's comedy now comes from the contrast between him and Sulu. Chekov is now the very serious straight-man to the antics of a slightly more eccentric Sulu.

"I have no proof or anything, just a gut feeling. But I do feel like they made Chekov almost a completely different character because of his depiction on The Animated Show. They didn't want to, in the eyes of Trekkies, be connected to someone so childlike. So they went in the complete opposite direction. You know what I mean?"
-Walter Koenig, convention Q&A, 2000

Name: William 'Billy' Decker
Rank: Ensign
Role: Navigator

Decker in this show is very similar to Chekov in TOS. Though he is more charming, more of a dashing hero as opposed to a comedic one. Much of his success rided on casting of an actor who could simultaneously .

His Father was captain of the USS Independence before dying in battle with the Klingons 15 years ago. Will was only 5when this happened, and thus does not remember his dad very well. But it left him with big shoes to fill, and for his whole life all he's wanted was to become a Starfleet officer. This ambition lead him to become one of the youngest cadets in Starfleet Academy's history at 16, and one of the youngest officers in the fleet, at 20. He carries a chip on his shoulder about Kllingons,

He's wide-eyed and eager, though he doesn't quite have the experience to back up his skill. This makes him the perfect audience view point character. Though he presents himself professionally as he can on duty, off duty he is shown to be softer and more vulnerable when off duty. His enthusiasm means he's frequently put on away missions, in fact he spends more time on the ground than navigating the ship. Will is always amazed by the wonders of space.

He has had a boyish crush Ilia since the academy, which she initially rejected, then accepted, then called off when she graduated. They remain friends and bunkmates, and Will constantly is scheming to get her to 'fall back in love' with him. He is frequently mentored by Captain Kirk, and he looks up to the senior officers as gods, The Enterprise's mission being required reading at the academy. While Kirk is happy to mentor Decker, he is uncomfortable with the narrative of him as a legendary hero, as he feels he is just human like everybody else.

Many of the characters have different names for him. To Kirk, he's 'Ensign'. To Bones, he's 'Kid'. To Ilia, he's 'Will'. To Spock, he's 'Mr. Decker'. To Sulu and Chekov, he's 'Billy' and to Chapel and Uhura, he's 'William'.

Name: Ilia
Rank: Lt. JG
Role: Ship's Psychiatrist

Ilia is arguably the most unique character on the cast outside of Mr. Spock. In continuing with Star Trek's history of progressivism, she is the ship's psychiatrist and a woman not written to be a sex object. Though, she is quite frequently a damsel-in-distress. She is intelligent, and has a personality atypical for female roles at the time. Like Decker, due to her odd role much of her success relied on casting a skilled actor.

Deltan ESP abilities are left vague, and serve the plot rather than internal logic. She can read minds, but with discipline this can be blocked. She can always sense someone's emotions, and can tell the 'emotional and mental signatures' of people apart, allowing her to locate people through walls and over miles of distance. She can communicate telepathically, placing images, thoughts, emotions, and words into someone's mind, but this requires concentration and has a smaller range of effect. According to the pilot, there is a 'Telepathic privacy act' preventing non-consensual use of her abilities, and that she is licensed by Starfleet to use them as her captain orders.

Deltans normally communicate telepathically, with their vocal chords vestigial. Thus she has an odd cadence to her voice, and doesn't speak often. When she does, it's direct and to the point. Deltans, unable to hide their thoughts from one another, don't really understand the concept of obfuscation or lying. Emotions are contagious in their society. They will feel happy if they sense happiness, they will feel sadness if they senses sadness, and so on. And because this can be crippling, Ilia holds the rest of the crew at arm's length. She is not emotionless like Spock, she feels emotions more powerfully than everyone else on the ship, she just has to cover them up.

The exception is Decker. He is the one human to get her, and the only one she can let her walls down around. But, despite his insistence, she does not feel like she can pursue a romance with him, as he is a non-Deltan. She is an officer under Doctor McCoy, and frequently comes into conflict with him over how to treat patients. She is a kindred spirit to Spock, as they are both aliens on a crew of humans who supress their emotional sides. They also frequently come into conflict, sparring with words over topics like

Name: Christine Chapel
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Role: Head Nurse
Played By: Majel Barret

Chapel has a bit more of a presence in Phase II, but not much more characterization. Compared to Bones's old country doctor routine, Chapel is more modern and less technophobic. And she has better bedside manner. But this rarely means much. She is largely there just to split medical exposition into a conservation instead of a monologue.


William Shatner as Captain Kirk
Leonard Nimoy as Commander Spock
DeForest Kelley Doctor McCoy

Also Starring
James Doohan as Commander Scott
George Takei as Lt. Commander Sulu
Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Commander Uhura
Walter Koenig as Lieutenant Chekov
Majel Barret as Nurse Chapel

??? As Ensign William 'Billy' Decker
??? As Lieutenant JG Illia

Production Crew
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Co-Producer: Robert Justman
Producer: Robert Goodman

Associate Producers
- John Povill (& Script Editor)
- Gregg Peters (& Unit Production Manager)
- Jerry Finnerman (& Director of Photography)

Makeup Artist: Fred Phillips
Art Director: Joe Jennings
Assistant Art Director, Production Illustrator: Michael Minor
Special Effects Artist: Jim Rugg
Costume Designer: William Theiss
NASA Consultant: Jesco Von Puttakamer

Sorry for taking so long, this was a lot of writing, and a fair bit of research. Next Update is titled Chaos on the Bridge. It'll go into detail on the production nightmare that was Phase II, the casting of the two new crewmates, and the TV movie. Then we'll cover the release and reception to Star Trek II and The Animated Adventures season III.

[1] Minor correction from last update. OTL, talks to revive Star Trek began in October, not December. And OTL, Roddenberry attempted to play Studio politics and put Diller on hold for 6 months. This angered Diller, who subsequently held a strong negative opinion of him and the franchise in general. This lead to him rejecting two different scripts for a revitalized Star Trek movie. ATL, Roddenberry accepts much quicker, as he's seen the success of the Animated Adventures and want's to capitalize on them as quickly as possible. Thus the negotiations are earlier, with a positive studio head, and with a stronger track record behind the franchise. This is why it blossoms into a successful show so quickly, as opposed to a movie 4 years later.

[2] OTL in 1975 a theatrical movie with a 3 million dollar budget was discussed, but the script was rejected.

[3] With Diller and Roddenberry on better terms, Justman gets to come back with Goodman. OTL he was completely replaced by Goodwin.

[4] Outside of Justman, this is the OTL production crew of Phase II along with some guys from TOS.

[5] Though this is not what was planned OTL, I'm going to say the butterfly effect and a desire to keep the show for all ages leads to a less revealing female uniforms.

[6] With no Spock for a time, he was the second biggest star. So here he is on more equal footing with Shatner and Nimoy.

[7] As he's no longer the XO, he has a similar role to what had Chekov in TOS. He's a young ensign and navigator who primarily appears to teenage girls and little boys.

[8] Justman manages to reign in a lot of Roddenberry's uh, for lack of a better term, horniness, when writing Ilia. In the OTL series bible, most Ilia's page is describing how beautiful she is or how Deltan life revolves around intercourse above all else. Here Ilia is very similar to Counselor Troi. Though Troi was distinctly a secondary character, and Ilia gets more to do than people like Chekov or Uhura. Her dynamic with Decker is also definitely not a ploy to get in that lucrative teenager market.
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Dammit, no Catgirls, err, Caitians.
Caitian's in Live Action in 1975? At best your looking at the Cat People from Survival (Doctor Who), probably best to keep M'Ress in animation for now I think. The write up for Phase 2 is good although the budget is storing up trouble. OTL even though it cost so much alot of what was built for TMP was used in one way or another all the way though to the end of VOY and in a few cases even later. Its only for ENT that the infrastructure for sets finally had to be completely rebuilt (and with sliding budgets its notably simpler that those on VOY or TNG) and only with the current revival that the show has had to have massive budgets to look good.

With out that gold mine your at best looking at a show that looks much like oBSG, or more like TOS itself as there are no million dollar budgets this time.

That said with TV SF becoming common again so much sooner I wonder if Larson will be able to sell "Adama's ark" earlier and without needing Star Wars to inspire a studio to pick it up? The major issue with the original BSG (other than going to series to quick and running out of decent scripts between episodes 5-about 10) was having to keep up with Star Wars without having the ability to do that. The result being the same spectacular pilot effects shots were recycled over and over again and the show collapsed due to how much even that cost at the end of season one. If its only got to look as good as Phase II then keeping up with the Jones becomes far easier and as counterprogramming for Star Trek it might be kept around longer. What that would do though is probably butterfly Buck Rogers as with BSG on air there would be no need for a new show that's made on the cheap by recycling the equipment and models from BSG.

One interesting thing will be if this ends the long drought in Sci-fi on US TV. In the sixties there were a number of shows alongside Trek (Lost in Space, Land of the Giants. ETC) but they largely faded out by 1970. Both because they cost rather alot, space interest was waning and ratings were low (at least until TOS went to syndication). Excepting the Superhero shows ,most 70's shows were either shortlived movie spin offs (Apes, Logan's run.ETC) or failed pilots (like Roddenberry's) and after Star Wars the interest was in the big screen rather than on the telly. That saw Phase II mutate into the Movie and as we know both BSG and Buck collapsed after a single season and while revived later their second series are both near universally reviled (excepting one episode of each). After that sci fi was mostly techno sci fi (Knight Rider, Airwolf) with one futuristic device but a grounded modern universe otherwise until TNG arrived in 1987. That then led to the 1990's boom with B5 and the like and which spawned a long run of Sci Fi shows that ran until Stargate finally collapsed about ten years ago and then of course science fiction started becoming more common again in recent years spawned by the return of both franchises with Star in their name. Perhaps here that happens earlier and keeps going longer?
Dammit, no Catgirls, err, Caitians.

Yeah, they would be impossible to do in live action on a TV show's budget at the time. I will though (minor spoilers) they will get more play ITTL

To be honest I thought Star Trek's budget ITTL was pretty generous. 1.8 million dollars for a TV movie and the pilot. At the same time OTL they were considering 3 million dollars for a theatrical release. Diller and other execs would never give much cash to what seems to them like a white elephant.

And your comment about sets is totally right. Despite a new color scheme for the aesthetics of the 70s, this show has the look and feel of TOS's production language. Things like aliens being identical to humans, extreme reuse of the same few stock flybys, and infrequent location shoots, all of those will be common in STII. Even things like starbases or shuttlecraft can't be stolen from a film, because no film exists to steal from yet. It's going to take a lot of production wizardy and some heavy suspension of disbelief to get into this show.

About the wider development of sci-fi as a whole, all I can say is this will cause some butterflies.
Caitian's in Live Action in 1975?
Did have one season of _Planet of the Apes_ in 1974, in both USA and Japan, different productions. Seriously, look that one up, it's bonkers.

Anyway, makeup wasn't a huge issue as it was even 5 years earlier, and Dr. Who was notoriously cheap.
Did have one season of _Planet of the Apes_ in 1974, in both USA and Japan, different productions. Seriously, look that one up, it's bonkers.

Anyway, makeup wasn't a huge issue as it was even 5 years earlier, and Dr. Who was notoriously cheap.
To be fair Apes had a huge advantage (much like occurred with Trek itself post TMP) it had all the stuff done for the Movies to draw upon. Also the Ape suits are very much "man in a suit" while M'Ress is probably one of the Ur examples of an anime Catgirl. Getting that right in live action is very hard even now and I think either "human caked in make up and a cat ear headband" or "she's wearing a Cats head!" would probably go down badly with fans. Probably safest to keep her off the live action show until CGI comes along.