Strange New World, a 1975 TV pilot that just hit DVD, is based on concepts from Gene Roddenberry. And this post-apocalyptic saga is full of amazing Seventies cheese, plus some fun nods to Star Trek. Check out our favorite moments.
In Strange New World, three astronauts are sent up to a space station for an experiment into suspended animation. Why do they have to be in space to be put into suspended animation? It's never entirely clear. But while they're asleep, meteors threaten to make the planet all but uninabitable. So NASA decides to extend their sleep remotely, to 180 years. (There's nobody on their space station who's not in suspended animation, because why would you do that?)
So our heroes wake up 180 years later to find an Earth that's been reduced to ruins. We find all this out in a three-minute prologue that feels like an extended opening credits. And then our heroes ride their shuttlecrafts down to Earth, where they have two adventures. We'll call them "Plato's Stepchildren with Clones," and "The Omega Glory with Tigers." In the first one, our heroes are dressed up in togas for no particular reason, and trapped in a perfect society, which has one evil secret — involving clones!! In the second one, two tribes are fighting a centuries-old conflict as they descend into barbarism — and one tribe has tigers!
Oh, and Roddenberry didn't actually write or produce this show, but it was based on his concepts and seems to do a pretty good job of copying his usual style.
Anyway, it's fun for anyone who loves mid-1970s SF, and especially worth checking out for anyone who loves Star Trek. We collected some of our favorite moments above, including a couple snippets of the prologue, Captain Tony freaking out over his toga, a campy weird funeral, and the revelation... of CLONES! Also, a fight scene and one of the barbarians announcing that HE'S GOT THE SHOOTER.
You can buy it on DVD only from the Warner Archive, here.