Star Trek: Phase II
After the disaster of Planet of Titans, Paramount regrouped with a new Star Trek idea. This time the focus was on getting the show back on television. Paramount intended on launching a completely new network around the series, confident that Phase II would be a hit.
Right from the beginning, Paramount decided to give the show the budget it never had, with new spaceships, extravagant sets, and cool uniforms. Thirteen episodes got written by some of the top sci-fi writers telling exhilarating stories of space civilizations, robots, and time travel. It was the perfect get-together for the characters we loved, and lots of new characters to fall for too.
Well, um, the issue was with the old cast. Shatner, being the Shatner everyone knew, asked for a big paycheck. His fee was so high, Paramount didn’t know if they could manage to pay for him for a whole series. They developed a new character, Captain Will Decker, that could strangely replace Kirk if Shatner got too greedy.
At the same time, Leonard Nimoy just didn’t know if he wanted to do Trek anymore. So, a 2nd Vulcan science officer was developed just in case.
Paramount’s Insane Decision
Phase II was about to go on-screen when Paramount made a foolish decision (that’s their M.O.). Out of nowhere, they chose to make a film instead, even though they had just rescinded their 1st Star Trek movie concept.
The executives put all the money into the new film, wrecking any dream for Phase II. Lots of characters and elements got reused for what became Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which was a production nightmare. To be honest, it’s a wonder Paramount completed any of their Star Trek ideas.