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Звёздный путь Assignment: Earth (1966–1969) Online

Звёздный путь Assignment: Earth (1966–1969) Online
Original Title :
Assignment: Earth
Genre :
TV Episode / Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
Year :
Directror :
Marc Daniels
Cast :
William Shatner,Leonard Nimoy,DeForest Kelley
Writer :
Gene Roddenberry,Art Wallace
Type :
TV Episode
Time :
Rating :
Звёздный путь Assignment: Earth (1966–1969) Online

When the Enterprise is assigned to observe Earth's history in 1968, suddenly it intercepts a transporter beam which originates at least a thousand light-years from Earth, bringing aboard a humanoid alien 'agent Gary Seven' holding a black cat called Isis, who warns them to step back and let him go to accomplish his mission to save Earth; initially phaser-struck down, he manages to beam himself away, actually on a mission to prevent a nuclear rocket being launched at McKinley base because earth is socio-politically not ready for its technological progress. He assumes a classified identity to override a powerful computer, and mistakes the wrong girl, Miss Lincoln, for another agent; the computer reports both other agents he seeks are deceased in an accident. Meanwhile Kirk and Spock beam down to investigate if the alien isn't hostile, realizing the risk of changing their own past. When they get on his trail, the girl sees Spock's ears, calls the police and Seven gets away; they must ...
Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner William Shatner - Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy Leonard Nimoy - Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley DeForest Kelley - Dr. McCoy
Robert Lansing Robert Lansing - Gary Seven
Teri Garr Teri Garr - Roberta Lincoln (as Terri Garr)
James Doohan James Doohan - Scott
George Takei George Takei - Sulu
Nichelle Nichols Nichelle Nichols - Uhura
Walter Koenig Walter Koenig - Chekov
Don Keefer Don Keefer - Cromwell
Morgan Jones Morgan Jones - Colonel Nesvig
Bruce Mars Bruce Mars - First Policeman
Ted Gehring Ted Gehring - Second Policeman
Paul Baxley Paul Baxley - Security Chief

Teri Garr had such an unpleasant time filming this episode she refused to ever talk about Star Trek again. One reason was Gene Roddenberry's frequent clashes with the costume designers over the length of Roberta's skirt; Roddenbury wanted it shortened to the extent that Ms Garr's underwear is glimpsed on occasions.

The script called for Isis, when in cat form, to make various cat sounds on cue (meows, purrs, growls, etc.) Since finding appropriate real cat sounds for the soundtrack proved problematic, the director discovered that Barbara Babcock, who was hired to do the voice of the Beta 5 computer, could vocalise convincing cat sounds, Barbara was called upon to vocalise Isis' cat sounds as well.

This episode served as a "back door" pilot for a proposed new series. Gary Seven was an Earthman from the future who had been sent back in time to combat the Omegans, an evil alien people who'd mastered time travel. The pilot however didn't sell and was never made into a television series.

Gary Seven's computer display is the same one used as Dr. Daystrom's M-5 computer in Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer (1968), as well as being used by Mr. Atoz, the librarian, in Star Trek: All Our Yesterdays (1969).

Spock mentions all the events which are to occur on that date the Enterprise travelled back in time to the 20th century and met Gary Seven. Among the events mentioned was an important political assassination. As it turned out, there were ultimately two important political assassinations in 1968: just six days after this episode aired on March 29, 1968, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, and two months later, on June 6, 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was killed in Los Angeles, California on the night that he won the California Democratic presidential primary.

This is the only episode of Star Trek (1966) in which a guest star is listed after the opening credits rather than in the end credits: "Guest Star Robert Lansing as Mister Seven" is displayed when the character is first shown in the transporter chamber.

While at the launch base and showing his ID to the security person, Mr. Seven shows a National Security Agency credential card. The NSA was one of the worst kept government secrets, but was not publicly acknowledged until nearly 25 years after this episode originally aired.

This is the only episode of Star Trek in which time travel is treated as "routine." The Temporal Prime Directive does not yet appear to have been proposed, least of all taken effect.

This episode features one of the first uses of stock footage of the first test launch of the Saturn V moon rocket in November 1967.

Three black cats were used for the role of Isis.

Barbara Babcock supplied the voice of the Beta-5 computer, as well as the cat Isis' vocalisations. However, Victoria Vetri, Playboy Playmate of 1968, is often credited as portraying Isis in human form. However, this is not the case. Victoria has brown eyes as opposed to the black eyes of the unknown actress who actually portrayed her.

No scenes for this episode were actually shot at Cape Kennedy itself. The illusion of being in Florida was achieved by using a combination of stock footage and Paramount studio locations.

Gary Seven's "servo" is used in this episode in ways not unlike Doctor Who's "sonic screwdriver", which had been 'invented' for the now-famous BBC series just a couple of years earlier. Whether this is coincidence or the writers had some awareness of Doctor Who's now-iconic tool is unknown.

This is the only episode where a Federation transporter system is used to intercept and re-direct another transporter beam.

This episode takes place in 1968. Along with Enterprise: Storm Front (2004) (which takes place in 1944), this is one of only two "Star Trek" episodes to take place entirely in the 20th century. Furthermore, both episodes take place mostly in and around New York City.

The aliens which Gary Seven represents call themselves "The Aegis" - another word for "shield". Gary's tool/weapon is known as a "servo". The Marvel Comics, fictional agency S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage & Logistics Directorate) was depicted as S.E.R.V.O., which sounds like "brain" (cerveau) in French.

The sound when Scotty was zooming in on Gary seven's position is the same as the one used for the poison dart flower in the Apple.

The name "Roberta Lincoln" is a feminine version of Robert Lincoln. Robert Todd Lincoln was a lawyer, politician, and businessman who had a long career and was present at or near the violent deaths of three USA Presidents: Abraham Lincoln (his father), James A. Garfield, and William McKinley. It is unknown if the writers intended any such allusion, as Roberta has very little in common with Robert Todd Lincoln. Possibly the idea is that in the unproduced series she would "just happen" to be near a lot of historical events including assassinations.

Not only is Gary Seven's servo reminiscent of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, he also has a device that appears to be able to take him anywhere in space (if not time), originates from an advanced alien race, and has a young, attractive human companion. Coincidence?

This episode is used as the background for the 2013 e-book "Star Trek: The Original Series - From History's Shadow" by Dayton Ward.

There is some debate over the identity of Isis. Victoria Vetri has always denied playing the role of Isis in human form, and the character does not resemble the actress at the time of filming.

The team from Larry Nemecek's podcast The Trek Files identified the actress playing Isis in her human form as April Tatro in March 2019.

Roberta Lincoln was born in 1948.

Star Trek: Voyager: Prime Factors (1995) was originally going to be a continuation of this episode. David R. George III and Eric A. Stillwell's original story involved the crew of Voyager encountering the race that had dispatched Gary Seven. However, this was declined as the Aegis' technology could transport individuals over thousands of light-years.

47 Reference: While scanning Kirk's and Spock's location on earth from the Enterprise, Scotty tells them to proceed 5 meters, 247 degrees true.

The art on the wall in the office is from Reginald Pollack.

Bruce Mars: Finnegan from Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966) can be briefly seen as a New York Police Department officer.

"Assignment: Earth" was written to introduce a hoped-for spin-off series of the same name which never materialised. The series would have featured Robert Lansing as Gary Seven, Barbara Babcock as Isis, and Teri Garr as Roberta Lincoln. In the new series, the intrepid trio would have worked to make sure humanity achieved the destiny glimpsed via the Star Trek (1966) characters and Seven's mysterious extraterrestrial information.

Captain Kirk's comment - "I'm sure they'll have many interesting adventures together" - refers to the "Assignment: Earth" series that never materialized. Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln would have been up against aliens called the Omegans who had mastered time travel, and they would work to make sure mankind achieved the glorious destiny that Gary Seven's alien masters intended it should. To this end, Gary Seven's office computer would have had the ability to turn back time and cancel out any damage that had been done by the Omegans in their attempts to alter Earth's history.

User reviews



The Enterprise travels back in time to observe Earth during a particularly tumultuous period in it's history. However, upon arriving they intercept a mysterious alien transmission and end up beaming aboard a man wearing a 20th century business suit and carrying a cat. So begins "Assignment: Earth", a Star Trek episode that was actually a pilot for a proposed series, a marrying of Ian Flemming's James Bond with Gene Rodenberry's socially relevant themes.

Robert Lansing plays Gary Seven, a human trained by an unnamed alien race to protect humanity against threats to world peace. In this story, his mission is to transport to earth and prevent the US from shooting a military satellite into space that could set off a nuclear exchange between the US and the Soviet Union. But when the Enterprise captures Seven en-route to Cape Canaveral, Kirk is reluctant to let him go, fearing Seven's mission may not be as altruistic as he claims. Mr. Seven then escapes the ship, beaming down to the city of Manhattan with Kirk and Spock in hot pursuit.

Next we are introduced to Mr. Seven's hapless new secretary, Roberta Lincoln, (played by the unmistakable Terri Garr). Though Roberta is definitely a scene-stealing sidekick, and a quintessential '60's "dippy blonde", Rodenberry fleshes her character out having her express concerns, both about her country, and her generation's future during that strife ridden period of the 1960's. Of Garr's performance you can see that even at so young an age (in the episode they state she is 20), her comedic timing was already impeccable and she seemed to have genuine chemistry with Robert Lansing. Lansing is effective here, too, both as an action star, and as a straight man to Garr. His deep voice and those unique, vaguely sinister looking eyes of his made him well suited to play an enigmatic hero. His screen presence reminds one of Patrick Magoohan with an American accent.

Rounding out the trio is Mr. Seven's black cat, Isis, which he talks to as if it's purring is actually a language- which it is. Isis, we learn later, is really some sort of alien female in the form of a cat. We only learn this at the end when she reveals a glimpse of her true self in order to tease an already jealous Roberta.

"Assignment: Earth" had some high quality production values including the swanky office apartment Seven worked out of complete with a huge vault that was actually a teleportal like the Enterprise's transporter system. Mr. Seven's weapon of choice was a fountain pen that could short out electrical mechanisms, temporarily neutralize suspicious guards, and, if necessary, kill. His snooty female-voiced super computer looked very much like the M-5 unit from an earlier episode, "The Ultimate Computer", but that's okay. It's still a cool prop.

Veteran "Star Trek" director Marc Daniels keeps things moving at a nice pace and maintains the right balance between the straight-up action and the more comedic aspects of the episode. There is some particularly effective usage of stock footage from NASA, too. The incorporated shots of the rocket being prepped for launch are quite awesome.

Overall, as a "Star Trek" episode this one is a fine entry. As a pilot however, "Assignment: Earth" serves as a tantalizing indication of what might have been a great series. Such a shame it was not picked up by NBC, but then this was also the network that decided to axe "Star Trek" after 3 years so, *shrug* guess we shouldn't be all that surprised by this additional boneheaded decision.


This was one of the more topically relevant episodes when aired. The topicality was helped by the setting--Earth in 1968. It deals with the Cold War arms race, the burgeoning space program (remember that this was before the first man landed on the moon; the first lunar orbit and return, via Apollo 8, would arrive 9 months after this episode aired), and an early version of a satellite-based nuclear defense system, the Sentinel Program, similar to what came to be known by the tag "Star Wars" during the Reagan Era.

These subjects are broached by again employing a time travel plot. Captain Kirk and crew head back to conduct historical research to "find out how our planet survived desperate problems in the year 1968". They intercept a transporter beam (a "beam down"/"beam up" signal), and end up bringing on board a strange man in a 1968 business suit holding an even stranger cat. He claims that he's Gary Seven, a human being from the 20th Century, but one who has been living on another planet, far more advanced. He demands to be sent to Earth immediately, and says that if the Enterprise interferes with what he has to do, the Earth will be destroyed, and probably the Enterprise crew, too. He won't give Kirk and company details. However, he does seem to be more advanced, as he relatively easily escapes the Enterprise's security and beams himself down to Manhattan to begin his assignment. Kirk and Spock eventually follow.

One of the slight flaws with this episode is that the set-up of both the Enterprise's and Gary Seven's missions is a tad murky. The Enterprise usually doesn't do "historical research", and the plot is a fairly transparent way to just do a topical show. As such, it doesn't have the same impact that it would have had in the late 1960s, but on the other hand, it's not as if multilateral weapons build-ups are not a problem any longer. Another oddity is that for much of the episode, Kirk and Spock aren't given much to do. For one extended sequence, they pretty much just stand around and watch. And Scotty shows us one of the worst "zooming" systems you could imagine, all thanks to the limitations of the stock footage on hand.

Well, it turns out that the motivations for all of the above are explainable by this being effectively a pilot episode for a spin off series, tentatively called "Assignment Earth", about Gary Seven (and presumably other agents if the series were bought). Presumably, the spin off show would have been set in a sci-fi present, on Earth. This was the last episode of "Star Trek's" second season, and earlier in the year, Star Trek had already been threatened with cancellation. Only a letter writing campaign gained a commitment from NBC for one more year. Roddenberry hoped that if "Star Trek" ended up getting axed in the near future, "Assignment Earth" would keep him employed. That explains some of the problems this episode has as an episode of "Star Trek", but it doesn't exactly excuse them.

On the positive side, Assignment Earth has one of the more unique "Star Trek" plots. Gary Seven is intriguing--kind of a "Mission: Impossible" character with a strong sci-fi twist. Terri Garr plays an unwitting Manhattan secretary who becomes wrapped up in the machinations of Seven, Kirk and Spock and she frequently steals her often-funny scenes. The different, well-known locations are achieved by integrating sets with stock footage, but except for Scotty's zooming, they are very well done, especially for the limited budget available to Rodenberry and crew. This isn't one of the best "Star Trek" episodes, but it's good. "Assignment Earth" would have been a fun show, had NBC gone for it. As it stands, it's more of a curiosity that gives the Enterprise a surprising historical footnote in the "Star Trek" universe.


An anomaly among the episodes of the original series, this finale to the 2nd season functions both as a sequel to "Tomorrow is Yesterday" and as a pilot for a new series which never came to be. Rather casually stated by Kirk's voice-over in the beginning, the Enterprise crew has purposely traveled back to 1960's Earth, following up on their accidental visitation in the previous episode from the 1st season. I wonder what Federation bigwig(s) greenlit this mission - everyone's always concerned about the Prime Directive but they think nothing of possibly altering Earth's history and wiping away the past couple of centuries of progress - I guess 'Murphy's Law' no longer applies in the 23rd century. Sure enough, the ship intercepts someone beaming to Earth from over 1000 light years away - so much for non-interference. The episode is at its best in these early scenes, when we meet the mysterious Gary-7, who, tho apparently human, can resist Spock's Vulcan nerve pinch and has knowledge of the future. Kirk, the one who is in the wrong time, still behaves like it's his job to police the spaceways above Earth and treats Gary-7 as guilty until proved innocent. The shots of '60s New York City now appear as strangely primitive, just as Gary-7 describes them; it's a weird play on perspective since the viewer is in 'futuristic mode' when watching this show.

The episode has some slow spots, especially with all the stuff about the rocket waiting to be launched, but it makes up for a lot of this with the intriguing Gary-7 character, played by actor Lansing with gravitas, an aura of solemn heroism and possible menace (note: Lansing's credit appears in the beginning of the episode rather than the end, also anomalous). The interesting backstory for such special agents as Gary-7 was created, of course, with the intent of an on-going series on present day Earth, probably as a combo superspy/alien visitors storyline, complete with futuristic gadgets and self-aware computers. There was a whole new modern mythology waiting to be launched with the premise presented here and I still sometimes visualize an alternate universe where we were treated to a season or two worth of adventures concerning agent Gary-7 and his daffy secretary, Ms. Lincoln. Oh, yes, Ms. Lincoln - this was an early role for the unusual actress Teri Garr, who brings her now well-known pert spunk to the part - she was deliriously eccentric and quite beguiling right from the start. I really would have liked to have seen the further interaction between her and the black cat, as well as Gary-7, a possibly odd menage-a-trois, to say the least. By the way, check out Kirk's swift beam out of the two cops from the Enterprise; seems he did learn one thing from his misadventures in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" - beam 'em out pronto!


I noticed a few comments regarding Robert Lansing not being in the acting credits for the Assignment: Earth episode. Lansing was actually listed in the show's opening credits, along with the episode title. I believe he's the only Star Trek guest star to be introduced in such fashion, perhaps giving an early clue that the episode was indeed intended as a pilot for a new show. What's sad about Gary Seven (Lansing's character) not receiving his own show is that we missed out on a chance to watch Terri Garr develop her role as unwitting secretary Roberta Lincoln. Garr has since gone on to establish herself as a fine actress, both in comedy and drama. And she came back to science fiction with her role as Richard Dreyfuss' wife in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Among the best shots from the Assignment: Earth episode is the NASA footage of a rocket's stage separation high above the Earth. And who could forget the (all too) brief shot of Victoria Vetri as Gary Seven's mysterious cat in humanoid form? That appearance of Playboy's 1968 Playmate of the Year (as Angela Dorian) was just another in a long line of guest appearances of sexy '60s sirens on Star Trek.


This could have been have been a great series. Very good episode. Why was Robert Lansin as Gary Seven uncredited? He was wonderful. Teri Garr was also very good. Together they brought a higher level of acting to the show.

This "Star Trek" episode is one of the best. The "Assignment: Earth" pilot could have gone on to push the space adventure line into a stronger direction. It was ahead of its time. It would take a decade before TV realized just how powerful and deserving this genre is.

NBC, blew it again. They dropped "Star Trek" after 3 years. They had it all right there for a franchise that would last decades and this episode could have been the foundation for an entirely new direction and yet another franchise. Sad it never worked out. Someone should give it another try as a movie!


This was a pilot episode of a new series produced by Gene Roddenberry about a time traveler named 'Gary Seven'. And the idea was introduced by having the stars of this potential series appear on a Star Trek episode. Robert Lansing appears uncredited as this main character (why he wasn't listed in the credits is odd considering he was obviously the star). I liked Lansing's cold and somewhat rigid style--I really thought it worked for his character, but I also realize this might have also left some feeling rather cold about him. He wasn't exactly 'Mr. Personality' in the episode. Instead, the major emoting was done by his ditsy assistant played by Teri Garr. It seems the spin off series was to have been about a man who traveled from a far more advanced world to secretly help mankind.

However, when Mr. Seven accidentally lands on the Enterprise, they are shocked to see him and think he's up to no good. You see, the Enterprise actually meant to go back to the 20th century to do some unobserved data collection for historical reasons and there is no conceivable reason why they should intercept a space traveler all the way back then. How all this is resolved is something you'll have to see for yourself.

As for the strengths of the show, the acting was very good and humor was infused now and again to make the show seem not so heavy-handed--which I appreciated. Unfortunately, the pilot was never picked up--and Roddenberry had a lousy track record in trying to bring other sci-fi shows to television (such as his two attempts with the character Dylan Hunt). And considering that it was pretty entertaining and a very interesting concept, I always feel a bit wistful when I see this episode.


The thing about this episode that stands out for me is my reaction to it when I saw it premier in early 1968, when I was 14. Terri Garr's character, far from playing as a ditzy blonde, instead read to all of us as a member of the baby boomer generation saddled with the hypocritical bs of those over 30, who we were learning to Not Trust. Thus her character suspiciously blowing the whistle on one and all, ultimately leading to her fine peroration toward the end where she expresses the hopes and fears of a generation. We all marveled at this episode in school during the course of the following week, and all boomer trekies have a soft spot in their hearts for Terri Garr on the strength of this performance. I'd also add that you have to remember we were all too close in memory to the Cuban Missile crisis of Oct 1962 for comfort. The notion of a nuclear war was physically felt back in those days in a way that it hasn't been since, well, 1962.


This is a decent episode and yes, I'm sorry we didn't get to see Gary Seven do more in 1968/9's earth. Would have been a cool show for sure, but since this is a Star Trek episode and came from my favorite season, season two, I question why they made this the season and possibly show's finale. From Trek stuff I've watched, this show was practically canceled after season two and only a letter writing campaign saved it. Had it not been saved for season three, Trek was said to have died a death not being shown in reruns because it wouldn't have had enough episodes to sustain it. So with all of that in mind, was this the way we wanted to remember Trek? Granted Turnabout Intruder is several notches below in my opinion from Assignment Earth, so I guess that point is mute. I just hate the way TV producers played with us and didn't give us finality with the shows we are so attached to to just give us a another average episode when it could be the shows last, a freaking spin off even! OK why it doesn't rank all that high to me. First off, (than the geeky stuff), since this is a spin off pilot attempt, character banter between Kirk, Spock and McCoy are at a minimum, McCoy is hardly seen! Thats why Trek was great and this episode puts them in the background, thanks TV Executives! OK now Geeky stuff, this episode shatters the premise that time travel is a unique occurrence, they casually say they did it for research purposes. HUH, whats up with that? The ramifications of time travel on demand totally change this shows universe, this is lame writing! If they wanted to do this they should have done another angle, my suggestion is a higher evolutionary being transports them (Kirk and a few others or the whole ship, it doesn't matter) to this time saying that another entity is messing with your continuity. That still leaves the time travel option a special case. OK other things I picked up, Scottie using a weather satellite to view the earth close up, OK I'll buy into that, EXCEPT when the camera angles are from the ground up! How about when Kirk and Spock get beamed over to Sevens place at the end, I didn't see them grab the phasers and extra communicator; oh brother another "Piece of the Action" deal! OK getting really geeky here and this isn't specific to this episode, but why cant they do the transporter control thing from the bridge? I mean they would still beam into the transporter room but can't they have extra controls on the bridge to do that? Scottie is doing a whole lot from the transporter room with communications using that weather satellite so he didn't have to go to the bridge, so I wonder why the same concept was never applied with the transporter? Anyway, I'm ranting a little, decent but not not great episode; yes I wish a series was made as a spin off, but this one kind of cheapens Trek TOS in my opinion.


One of the best Star Trek episodes was this one where the Enterprise has troubles reconciling past, present, and future when it interferes with a transporter beam that takes a man from the future on the ship and the whole ship and crew are beamed to 1968.

The man from the future is Robert Lansing, code name Gary Seven and he's there to find what happened to a pair of agents from his time which is a thousand years ahead of the Enterprise future. He has a mission and he's on a deadline having to do with an orbiting satellite with an array of impressive nuclear weapons.

The dilemma for William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy and for the whole Enterprise crew is what to do. They follow Lansing down, but of course aren't sure how their actions might change history. The not knowing makes this a most tense episode.

Also Teri Garr gives a wonderful performance as a young woman who'd been hired by the two missing agents whom we learn were killed as a secretary. She's a bright but somewhat spacy girl who isn't quite sure what she's caught up in. Every scene she's in, Teri Garr steals.

Another thought provoking episode from Star Trek prime.


This isn't one of the better Trek episodes, but Teri Garr brings the zaniness to Roberta Lincoln that she would bring to many other roles in her career. There are an awful lot of deux ex machinas in the plot--particularly Scotty's ability to use a single weather satellite to view seemingly anywhere in the United States, from any angle--and one serious hole.

When Kirk and Spock arrive at Gary Seven's offices, Roberta calls the police, then tries to stop them. Spock holds her, and, when the police arrive, holds her until Kirk gains access to the inner offices, then runs after Kirk, leaving her free to let the police in--in other words, he passes up a zillion opportunities to put her to sleep with the Vulcan Nerve Pinch.

Pour quoi, M. Spock?


Season 2, episode 26. The Enterprise is ordered to travel back in time to 1968 Earth in order to monitor their communications and study how they survived desperate times. They have their deflector shields up so they will not be detected. The ship shakes violently and Mr. Spock calls to Kirk that something or someone is trying to beam aboard the ship which is seemly impossible because the technology was not developed in 20th century Earth. That transporter beam from where it originated is at least 1,000 light years away and as Scotty reminds Spock that is impossible, not even in their own century can a transporter beam reach that far - but it has happened. Kirk arrived to the transporter room only to find that Mr. Spock is correct - a man beams aboard holding a black cat named Isis, agent Gary Seven. Agent Seven tells them he is from 20th century Earth and was on another planet when they intercepted him, to step back and let him do what he must do in order to accomplish his mission or it will alter Earth's history and maybe even the lives The Enterprise - the future altered. Kirk is in a dilemma, what if all Gary Seven says is true? Bu what if he's lying and really an alien from the future trying to destroy Earth? Kirk must find out before he can let Seven go - that will require a medical examination, all the crew's help in analyzing how Seven got on the ship and for Kirk & Spock to beam down to 20th century, 1968 Earth.

A most interesting episode captain. It deals with Earth's technology progressing faster than it's social and political maturity. Time travel, possible future aliens, secret agents, 1968 Earth, the prime directive, a black cat that Spock is strangely attract to and Kirk's suspicions over Gary Seven.



An enjoyable episode but I've decided to focus on a few perhaps lesser known points.

The Policeman who says 'Charlie' to his colleague (when beamed aboard the Enterprise) is the actor Ted Gehring who had a long career appearing in many well known series (Bonanza - The Virginian - The Fugative) to name but a few. He also met Mr Shatner again in TJ Hooker.

Meanwhile his sidekick was none other than Bruce Mars who played Finnegan in Shore Leave. He played that role very well but I cannot find a reason why his career ended in 1969.

Footnote Bruce is now known as Brother Paramananda, he is a senior monk in the Self-Realization Fellowship.

One other point which I do not understand is why - after the CGI enhancements - they left the rather obvious 'still' photographs of the rocket in the episode.


Often, Star Trek like other series would borrow premises from other shows. In this case, the time traveling theme is borrowed from Irwin Allen and the Time Tunnel which was running during this period. This episode is definitely themed like Time Tunnel.

Robert Lansing whose fame on TV came from 12 O'Clock High is borrowed here to be Seven, a man transporting into 1960's earth. Luckily this does not go too far and have anyone wind up in the Arizona Desert near the tunnel. The theme of changing history of this show is pretty well done regardless.

Some say this was a pilot by Roddenberry for another series, but if that is the case, I wonder why he would borrow the premise from Irwin Allen? Everything here turns out like Time Tunnel as at the end of the show the Enterprise erases the history meddling in 1968 like that show did.


This episode sees the Enterprise return to 1968, the present day when this was made, to perform some historical research from orbit. The ship is shaken at the transporter activates and a man materialises; he has come from over a thousand light-years away but is dressed like a '60s businessman and carrying a black cat. He identifies himself as Gary Seven and claims that he is on a mission to prevent an event that could destroy the Earth. Kirk takes him into custody but is unsure what to do; if the man is telling the truth it is vital that he is released to finish his mission but if he is lying he could be plotting world destruction. Seven manages to escape from custody and beams down to Earth. He materialises in an office equipped with an advanced computer and sets about finding out what happened to the two agents who should be there. Soon a woman, Roberta Lincoln, arrives and he assumes she is the female agent; it turns out she is merely the secretary and she is more than a little surprised when she sees the futuristic technology he has. It turns out his mission is to cause a new US orbital nuclear defence platform to fail. Kirk and Spock beam down but they are still uncertain about his motivation; ultimately Kirk will have to decide whether to trust him or not.

When I watched this episode I didn't realise it was intended to set things up for a new series; I wasn't surprised when I learnt it though as Gary Seven and Roberta are very much at the centre of the story with Kirk and Spock playing a significantly smaller role than usual. The story is interesting and right up until the end I was unsure whether Gary was a hero or a villain. Robert Lansing did a fine job in the role and Teri Garr was likable and cute as Roberta; the two of them developed a good chemistry over the course of the episode. As well as a good drama there are some nicely humorous moments such as when a couple of rather surprised policemen are beamed up to the Enterprise. Overall I found this to be a really enjoyable episode; it is just a pity that the series following the adventures of Mr Seven and Roberta didn't materialise; I have a feeling it might have been good.


Teri Garr, as cute and young as I have ever seen her, plays the "temp" secretary to a human "alien" named Gary Seven (Robert Lansing). He is an undercover secret agent from an unknown planet sent on a peaceful mission to keep Earth "on-track" so it doesn't destroy itself before maturing into an advanced society centuries later. He crosses paths with The Enterprise, which is on a historical fact-finding mission to update and correct 20th century knowledge of Earth, circa 1968. Cleverly done using a lot of "stock" NASA footage, some of which matches well, and some that looks very generic and grainy. Gary Seven's assignment in this "pilot" episode is to cause the U.S. nuclear satellite to almost start WWIII, by malfunctioning with a live warhead. This will somehow prevent the actual war from ever happening. A fun episode. His cat, "Isis" transforms to human-like form, momentarily, at the very end. (She still purrs.) Of course, she is a "knock-out"! A glimpse at a TV series that could have been a lot of fun but never happened. The last episode of the original series season two. Season three was in jeopardy and almost didn't happen! Gary Seven's multipurpose pen devise looks a lot like Men-in-Black's memory zapper, doesn't it?


The final episode of the second season was unusual as it was also the pilot for a proposed new series, 'Assignment: Earth,' which also serves as the name of the episode. Robert Lansing and a very young Teri Garr were to star in the new show, which was never picked up by the network. Gary Seven (Lansing) is a time-traveling human from the future, sent to 20th-century Earth to help mankind through various difficulties, and Roberta Lincoln (Garr) is his somewhat ditsy secretary. Gary Seven is ultra-cool, ultra-strong, and ultra-smart, sort of an intergalactic James Bond. His first assignment is to destroy a nuclear warhead in orbit before it crashes back to Earth and starts World War III. The Enterprise gets involved because it has traveled back in time too, to do 'historical research.' It is the only time that 'Star Trek' treats time travel as being so routine. In other episodes, it either occurs as an accident or through some alien force and is only attempted by the Enterprise as a last resort to set things right. Here, it is presented as standard procedure. At any rate, 'Assignment: Earth' is entertaining and one can see how it would work as a stand-alone series. No doubt there would have been a surfeit of dumb blonde humor provided by Ms. Garr, but even then the actress was so appealing, she transcended the stereotype. (Fast-forward to 'Tootsie' and consider her take on a similar character.) Kirk and Spock don't really do much but get in the way, which Kirk at the end says they were supposed to, according to the history books. ??? I never really understood that bit, but thanks, Captain.


This episode is riddled with plot holes, implausible events, and annoying political commentary, but the acting of Gary Seven and Ms. Lincoln is good enough to overshadow all of this. Points to consider:

1. The Enterprise obeys a strict non-interference dictum, yet they are willing to endanger the entire future of the earth by traveling back in time, just to do historical research.

2. The Enterprise decides it must travel back in time to figure out how the earth survived the 1960's, and yet all they could ever want to know about the 1960's is available in their ship's computer archives of 1960's newspapers, magazines, TV news reports, and declassified military reports. It's not like the 60's were literally prehistoric.

3. Kirk stumbles upon Gary Seven and for no good reason decides Gary must be a bad guy. He decides to hunt down Gary and stop him even though he has no idea who he is or what he he is doing, despite all the risk in altering the future.

4. The lack of millions of time traveling tourists bumbling all over 1960's New York means that time travel is very hard or is in most cases forbidden by time cops. Yet, the Enterprise crew treat time travel like it's a walk in the park.

5. A single weather satellite cannot give you different-angled views of an object on earth's surface, no matter how powerful it's zoom lenses.

6. Using teleportation, Kirk and Spock could beam right to where Gary Seven is and stop him. The argument that they don't know where Gary is and therefore don't know where to beam is invalidated at the beginning when Scottie verbally leads Kirk and Spock to Gary. Scottie could simply beam them to Gary instead of telling them directions.

7. This episode makes political commentary with the subtlety of a sledge hammer: "Nukes are bad!" Political commentary in fiction can be thought provoking, but when the audience is bashed over the head with a political viewpoint, it becomes annoying propaganda. Besides the lack of subtlety, this viewpoint is also naive. Nuclear armaments prevented World War III ("peace through strength").

8. If a foreigner sabotages a powerful U.S. military asset, it is considered treason - a serious crime specifically mentioned in the constitution and often worthy of the death penalty. And, yet we are supposed to be cheering for Gary Seven as he sabotages a missile. Why? Apparently, being trained by advanced aliens gives you license to play God and subvert the will of the people, because they don't know what's best for themselves.

9. There's no better way to take the Star Trek shine off of Kirk and Spock than to put them in normal clothes, wandering around regular New York, accomplishing nothing, and having no comedic run-ins or witty exchanges. I see this every day (it's called "commuting"), and it's not terribly interesting.


Yes, I know about the show being a pilot for a new show. I just never got into this one. I'm frequently bored by a convoluted plot designed to join characters from one show with that of another. CSI has been doing this ad infinitum. Anyway, when time travel occurs (especially backwards) it never seems to work very well. We do have formidable adversary who isn't an adversary, really. Teri Garr who went on to be great in "Young Frankenstein" not too long after and the Enterprise people trying not to screw too many things up. Back and forth, to the ship, away from the ship. Police who come and go. For me it is so jerky and unfulfilling that I am always disappointed when this episode shows up. Apparently, they didn't worry about narrative hooks in this day. Personally, if I were a new viewer of Star Trek, I probably wouldn't have looked forward to the next season if this was an example to go on.


One of my favourite 'Star Trek' episodes.

The U.S.S. Enterprise has hurtled back to 1968 A.D. on a mission of historical research. The world came perilously close to nuclear war and Kirk wishes to learn how it nearly happened. Intercepting a beam travelling through space, the crew are startled when a man ( Robert Lansing ) wearing a smart 20th century business suit and carrying a black cat materialises on board. He is just as surprised to see them as they are him. He gives him name as 'Gary Seven', a human being returning to Earth following time spent on an alien world. He is a fully trained 'Class One Supervisor', a sort of inter-galactic detective. The cat is called Isis and is unusually intelligent by feline standards. Contact has been lost with two other Supervisors. Kirk does not trust Seven and throws him in the brig, but he escapes and transports himself to Earth. Materialising in a plush New York office, he learns from his computer that his predecessors died in a car crash whilst trying to stop the arming of America's first orbiting space platform, countering a similar launch by other powers...

'Assignment: Earth', the final episode of Season 2, was a back-door pilot for a series which never was. The late Robert Lansing was an actor of the Michael Rennie school; tall, handsome, authoritative. Fans of the '80's show 'The Equaliser' will remember him as Robert McCall's boss 'Control'. A series based around 'Seven' probably would have been fun, sort of like an American version of 'Dr.Who'. As his daffy secretary 'Roberta Lincoln', we have the lovely Teri Garr, a decade before becoming Richard Dreifuss' put-upon wife in 'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind'. At times this episode feels strangely like 'Mission: Impossible', the plot moves from New York to a rocket base and back again. The orbiting space platform idea had been done the year before in 'In Like Flint' starring James Coburn. Seven has some cool gadgetry at his disposal, including a pen that can kill/stun, a matter transporter concealed behind a vault door in his office, a talking computer ( how prophetic! ) and a typewriter that takes dictation all by its itself. What of Isis? She appears to be an alien woman masquerading as a cat.

Kirk and Spock get to dress up in city clothes to try and find out what Seven is up to, leading to an amusing scene where Roberta accidentally knocks off Spock's hat, exposing his distinctive ears.

By the end of the adventure, Kirk and Seven have become friends and Spock tells the Class One Supervisor that both he and Ms.Lincoln have some 'interesting experiences' ahead of them. What exactly these were fans never found out until the '90's, when Greg Cox featured the pair in his novels 'Assignment: Eternity' and 'The Eugenics Wars' parts 1 and 2.


While the aborted series, which was to feature Robert Lansing and Teri Garr as a team devoted to undermining aliens trying to fracture Earth in the past, never made it to fruition, this standalone episode did show signs of what could have been a spirited and clever sci-fi series. As is, this episode remains a curio of what might have been. Lansing is Gary Seven, a human from the 20th century who comes from a hidden planet containing a race that cares also about Earth's survival. The Enterprise time travels back to 1968 to research Earth's history, considering all that was happening at the period. They intersect a transporter beam that shakes the ship, introducing them to Seven. Garr is a secretary who has no idea Lansing is this interstellar agent working to maintain Earth's stability amidst such a hotbed of developing global turmoil. A rocket launch containing a warhead must be diffused and Kirk is unsure Seven is looking to prevent potential WWIII or encourage it...Spock admits to Kirk that his decision on trusting / distrusting Seven has no facts to depend on, just his human intuition. I enjoy these time travel episodes a lot, and although this focuses on a rocket blasting from Cape Canaveral as the big event needing assistance from Seven, instead of preventing an assassination or government initiative, seeing Kirk and Spock in 1968 New York and held by security while NASA conducts their launch is neat. Lansing, all business, and Garr her bubbly, flighty secretary astonished by all his gadgets and alien technology, make for a fun team, while the cat, Isis, always by her man's side, becomes herself an amusing supporting character. Spock, holding and petting Isis, finds himself "strangely drawn" to her! With Scotty standing by the transporter so he can get Kirk and Spock where they are needed, and humans from 1968 finding themselves inadvertently involved (two police are accidentally beamed aboard the Enterprise while a security guard at the Cape gets the "funnies" from Lansing's servo and the Vulcan neck punch from Spock!). Isis briefly seen as a sexpot by Garr while no one else notices, adds new dimension to her close contact while in feline form with those petting her! Lansing not succumbing to the Vulcan neck pinch, easily escaping the brig, and wrestling multiple officers in the transporter room before Kirk got him with a phaser stun sure establishes him as a formidable opponent. The Beta computer and Lansing's frustrating dealings with it provides a highlight.


1) They mention a "suborbital" nuclear platform several times in this episode. The first 2 manned Mercury flights were suborbital, and perhaps the 2 flights with the monkeys. You really don't want your nuclear missile platform to come crashing down shortly after launch. 2) The views of the Saturn rocket show it at various places and stages of preparation for launch (one of the goof comments mentioned it was on the big transporter platform part way to the pad). 3) They mentioned bouncing a signal off a satellite - they were trying to see where Mister 7 was. You can't get the really close up side views of the man in the gantry from way up in an orbit.

I am surprised that they didn't get into one of the classic time travel conumdrums - while trying to see why man survived the nuclear crisis, it may be that THEY (the Enterprise crew) were partly responsible, thus setting up a kind of loop in time.


Star Trek

Assignment: Earth

A cultural hub and by far one of the most loved and respected tale, Star Trek is created by Gene Roddenberry who wrote this brilliant concept, ahead of its time and is probably why it still doesn't fail to entertain us after these many years. It was written "for the future" in many aspects as it even though is smarter, wiser and powerful it still seeks for emotion and the force that binds it all. The relation between Spock and Kirk; despite of its premise, is the most human thing in this majestic tale where the adventures are endless. Encountering this original series, at this stage makes the execution look petty and a bit loose (the small technical aspects can be negotiated) but the writing is smart, gripping and hence completely overpowers it.

After a good run on its first season, the second season has more expectations to fulfill and hopefully they will try to develop the character a bit more and focus on the relations between the crew members on the enterprise to blend in and communicate easily with the audience despite of just focusing on more mind-numb missions that sometimes feel like they are filling their time and work in.

Assignment: Earth is the perfect finale for the second season as it is witty, gripping and unpredictable that follows up to its way down through parallel plotline shot with decent execution and amazing background score that ups the ante for the series and increases the expectations.


Let me count the ways.

Failure as Star Trek: 1, Enterprise is back in 1968 for historical research. That is the reason given in the opening. Nonsense. As other more intelligent critics than I have pointed out, they make it seem casual for time travel to take place.

2, Prime Directive, non-interference, especially of the timeline - out the window. The way 007, I mean Secret Agent Gary Seven transports to the Enterprise - nonsense. Leading to Kirk's dilemma if he should trust 007. More nonsense.

3, Not much for Kirk and company to do. Their reason for being there #1, Bogus. Kirk's trust of 007 #2, Bogus. Kirk running around with Spock in business suites - Bogus

Failure as Pilot for new show: 1, 007's back story is lacking and confusing. He was raised on another planet, a descendant of abducted humans from 6000 years ago, for the purpose of helping the aliens help earth overt destruction from mankind's technological achievements outpacing their love of peace, or some such nonsense. Sounds like a bunch of convoluted contrived nonsense. To give the producer/writers credit, there are some decent ideas here, however, they are half baked, non-ready for consumption.

2, The characters are boring. We have 007, he's all business, not fun. This is our lead? Then the cat. The best part of this character was when the cat turned into a hot chick on the couch for two short shots. The cat did nothing. Terri Garr is dumb and her character is dumb. This is the cast of the new show. A boring spy/dude, a ditzy secretary, and a cat/chick that does nothing. And what are they going to do? Save mankind from itself?

So, watching it as Star Trek, it's probably one of the worst. We don't get to see Kirk and company enough. Not great acting. The story has too many holes. The "guest" stars are boring and their story is boring. The chemistry from these actors sucked as well. I mean they spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how a typewriter types itself. I'm glad they didn't turn this into a series. And it's an insult to Star Trek and all the actors and everyone involved that they were forced to participate in the garbage.


I am not a fan of this convoluted and contrived episode, that has long spells of several minutes where we see neither Kirk, Spock or McCoy. It was reportedly a pilot for another series, which flunked with good reason. Again we are back on 20th century earth, trying not to interfere with history. Thankfully this time, Jim's girlfriend doesn't have to die, but his attitude toward the time-traveling alien is somewhat strange. After spending the entire episode trying to thwart him, in the end, Kirk allows the alien to complete the mission, thus saving the day. Mr Spock also doesn't seem quite himself in this. Who knew he had such a proclivity for black felines? Who turns out to be a sexy calendar- girl type. Such a surprise. Currently in prison for attempting to muder her husband. I do love the street scenes of NY, where we see a large number of women parading around in apparently real fur coats on an average afternoon. A fur coat was the height of sophistication, class and luxury in that era. That is one of the things I love about Star Trek- it is a window into 1960's culture.

Definitely not one of the best episodes. The writers are clearly running out of original ideas. A harbinger of what was to come in Season 3.


I must confess that time travel is one of my favorite subjects, but both the acting and story-telling in ASSIGNMENT EARTH are exceptional. This is one STAR TREK tale that should be re-visited in a feature film. The regular STAR TREK cast is joined by the fabulous Teri Garr and the ever combat-ready Robert Lansing, veteran of the 12 O'CLOCK HIGH series, a cult classic about the U.S. Army Air Corps of World War II that went downhill as quickly as Lansing's character was killed-off in the second season. Lansing was a very fine actor who was sort of a rougher, tougher, American version of Michael Rennie, the splendid star of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951).

I won't spoil the story for you, but this episode features some splendid B-toll of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, and a REAL Apollo Saturn V rocket.

This episode offers a delightful combination of magic and speculative science. We are talking about people back in the late 1960s telling a story about people from their future visiting them. Well, we are also people in their future, but we are still far behind the 23rd century characters from the Star Trek Federation of Planets.

Overall, ASSIGNMENT EARTH is a quaint, very pleasant look back at ourselves at a time when there was a lot of optimism about technology and the future in spite of the dark clouds of a potential nuclear holocaust hanging over our heads. The Cold War was raging back then, with Soviet tanks rolling into Czechoslovakia and the brutal North Koreans seizing the crew of the USS Pueblo and their ship. TV science fiction like this offered us a hopeful glimpse of a possible future. Thank you, STAR TREK. Watch this episode, if you haven't already, and you will emerge a little smarter than you are right now.