In 1968, at the end of the second season of Star Trek the Original Series, Gene Roddenberry, seeing the writing on the wall when the show was about to be canceled (before the famed letter writing campaign that brought it back for a third season) wrote an episode finale called Assignment: Earth that he hoped would be a spin off for a new series of the same name. It was ingeniously centered around a character that the crew of the Enterprise comes in contact with who is essentially James Bond from outer space.
The character, played by Robert Lansing, was called Gary Seven. (It took me years to see the correlation with 007 -- I know...it really it did. I wonder if it was subconscious on Roddenberry's part. Surely not. It seems too obvious now.) At any rate, Seven was a human whose ancestors had been plucked from Earth thousands of years ago, brought to another planet to train for generations until this time in Earth history. The product of all this training was Supervisor 194 -- codename Gary Seven. And as he said, he was here at "the most critical time in Earth's history." He was here to help us poor dumb humans from blowing ourselves up and such.
Mr. Seven had a black cat named Isis, his companion,we find out is more than she seems. Also, In her first TV appearance, a young Teri Garr as his, 60's youth point of view, nice to look at, bit of a comedic foil, assistant. And a whole arsenal of gadgets and devices that the Star Trek episode cleverly displays within the confines of a single episode. In fact the episode cleverly and efficiently introduces all the key players and premise of this new show while leaving the viewer wanting the answers to many more intriguing unanswered questions.
Among these gadgets was a powerful computer with artificial intelligence known as the Beta5 computer (voiced by Barbara Babcock -- who also did the growls and meows for Isis the cat).
This show was primed perfectly for the 60's. It was the height of the fascination with all things Bond; with gadgets and gadgetry. Admittedly and unapologetically there was a certain amount of chauvinism, style and sensibility that I think would have worked to make this show unique just in this time period. Also in the 60's the imagination of things to come and the understanding of technology (or lack of knowledge of what was possible) of the times that could have really made this show unique. I really think this show would have worked best in the 60's. Although if Paramount wants to update it I hope they consider doing it in a retro 60's type of way.
Now we come to why this site exist.
Late one night in Feb (05) I was up at 3:00 in the morning. It was the middle of the work week, I was beat and still couldn't sleep. I got up as to not wake the woman with my stirrings and went in and sat at the computer. I typed Gary Seven into Google for whatever reason. I noticed lot's of references and sites discussing the character. I had long thought, along with my brothers and friends what a cool episode that was and what a cool show it could have been had it been picked up. As I sat there sleepy eyed at 3:00 in the morning I thought all the things outlined above. The 60's was really the only time it could have been done right,...sensibilities of the time...all things Bond...cool gadgets...and then it hit me like a bolt of lightning.
"What a cool theme song it would have had!"
That really was the impetus. Having kind of been a student of TV themes and movie music...I thought "Wow." "Who would have written it?" "Dave Grusin (Baretta, theme)?" "John Williams (Lost in Space, Time Tunnel, themes and killer incidental music...check out those old Lost in Space sometime)?" "Stu Phillips (The Monkees, incidental music, Battlestar Galactica theme)?" "Gerry Goldsmith(Twilight Zone, incidental music)?" "Elmer Bernstein (Magnificent 7, Ghostbusters)?" I knew that given the times and the subject matter it would have been super cool. Let's face it...the theme song and opening credits of some shows have elevated TV shows in the minds of viewers and vaulted them to legendary cult status. A mediocre show can be made fun and faddish by a good opening theme. A good show is made a classic by a great opening theme. I'm convinced that's why I watched some shows as a kid that I hated like Cagney and Lacey. I wanted to hear Ernie Watts multiple sax lines of that show's theme. It's always to me, about the theme song.
I would have watched The Incredible Hulk anyway because I was a Marvel Comics fan and a fan of Bill Bixby, however it just wouldn't have been the same show without Joe Harnell's sad piano theme called "The Lonely Man" at the end of each show.
This to me this is crucial. The music.
For the next few days I was consumed by this notion of a theme song for a show that never was. Ideas just came popping through my head all day at work. "What would this song have sounded like?" I decided, "I'll write one myself."
For the next three days I wrote one theme song a day. I actually have four versions but settled on just two. The first was more of an espionage "Man From Uncle", "Mission Impossible" style theme. Seven was slick looking, to the point; a cool customer in a suit and tie. I tried to write something appropriate to that approach to the show. That cold war feel. This version's credits would have been very straight forward, with pictures of armies and bombs, explosions, action sequences with perhaps some of the above mentioned soldiers, and of course all the gizmos Seven has at his disposal.
Then I thought, since it was apparent to me they were trying to sell Lansing's as a cool looking playboy type towards the end of the Assignment: Earth episode with his groovy red turtle neck
These are my two approaches to a theme as they might have sounded with the show going in two slightly different directions. In each case I tried to write something that sounded appropriate of the genre and something that might come out of 1968.
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