LMRS, Sundancer, Bailey (jtr-at-ykt) the G-Man and August discuss the origins of Cleo
Topic: Semi-Off Topic; Roddenberry and cryonics

Author august
Member posted July 09, 2000 06:29 PM
Back when this board was new, and the show hadn't even premiered yet, I mentioned a couple of old, failed Gene Roddenberry pilots from the early '70's, one called "Genesis Two" and the other called "Planet Earth." Both featured a hero waking up in afuturistic, post apocalyptic world with some componment of underground civilization.

The former was described thus at the Internet Movie Database:

Dylan Hunt, a scientist, puts himself into suspended animation in a NASA cavern in 1979 to establish if he could be brought back to life in a couple of days to research into extending the process to astronauts. However the cavern collapses during an earthquake and Dylan doesn't recover until the year 2133. During the 154 years he had slept, war has broken out and the world's scientists rebelled against the war-loving military and developed a society known as the Pax, whose goal is to keep the spirit of mankind alive. However there are also the mutant Tyranians who plan to be Nazi-like rulers of the slowly recovering world. Dylan is tricked by the Tyranians who plan to use his knowledge of the past to rebuild their nuclear generator and therefore make their plans complete. Can the Pax and Dylan stop them or will the man from the past destroy the future?

Dylan Hunt was played by Alex Cord.

The latter was described thus:

A man awakens from suspended animation and finds himself in the 22nd century, where he finds that women rule the world and that men are slaves called Dinks. He is captured and sold as a slave, but escapes and hooks up with a male rebel movement.

The hero was again named Dylan Hunt, and played by John Saxon.

Lo and behold - turns out it wasn't "Cleo" that was borrowing from it!

Check out the description of the new Kevin Sorbo series, "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda:"

Dylan Hunt is the captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, a ship which serves in the military force of the Systems Commonwealth, a monarchy which spans several galaxies. Hunt and his ship are subsequently frozen for several centuries. Revived by a passing salvage ship, Hunt is horrified to find that the Commonwealth has collapsed and all known galaxies have descended into barbarism. Hunt decides to take his ship and crew on a trip around the cosmos to attempt to restore order to the known galaxies.

Sorbo plays.....Dylan Hunt!

Member posted July 09, 2000 08:36 PM

hmmm, looks like it could be fun I guess, strange planet of the week and so on ... they already have an official site it seems:

Member posted July 09, 2000 09:03 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by borrowing from the old Dylan Hunt stories. Andromeda hasn't borrowed from the old Roddenberry scripts. It is one of the old Roddenberry scripts, just brought back out and reworked years later.

Member posted July 09, 2000 09:10 PM

right. I meant that originally, I had wondered if Cleo was borrowing from it, since Genesis II featured vast underground tunnels, and Planet Earth featured futuristic amazons. But I guess now it's cryonics that are in space, rather than underground.

Member posted July 09, 2000 09:41 PM

Ah, now I understand. I believe since maybe the late '60's cryonics has been a science fiction catch-all for a method of transferring a person from one time period to another. The same with locating underground. And under the sea is another good location for science fiction series. Any place which hasn't been explored. As for Amazons--Roddenberry liked any excuse he could come up with for a chance to include scantily clad women, which you know that they would have been.

Member posted July 10, 2000 12:26 AM

I wonder if Andromeda is going to have the same problem that Cleo/JOAT have been having conscerning Baseball. If it is anywhere near the time slot it probably will. I hope I get it on another station besides WGN.

Keeper of Cleo's Betrayer clone

Member posted July 10, 2000 11:25 AM

You can bet on it. Baseball will always be there to ruin television.

Member posted July 10, 2000 04:20 PM

I believe that ANDROMEDA is the latest version of Gene Roddenberry's GENESIS II concept. A concept that was made into three TV pilots in the seventies. GENESIS II and PLANET EARTH were the two pilots with Gene Roddenberry as producer. The third pilot, STRANGE NEW WORLD, he had nothing to do with.

In STRANGE NEW WORLD, John Saxon and two other people awake in the far future. They travel the world in a vehicle called a Vesta in search of the city of Pax. The two hour pilot consisted of two seperate, one-hour adventures. This time, nobody was named Dylan Hunt.

IMO, CLEOPATRA is more like Gene Roddenberry's concept of GENESIS II than GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA. So there.

Member posted July 10, 2000 09:33 PM

By the way, somewhere, in a collection of pulp-era short stories and novellas edited by Isaac Asimov, is a story called "Tumithak of the Corridors." This supposedly is the actual inspiration for Cleo.

New Member posted July 11, 2000 11:34 AM

Roddenberry had a lot of ideas that he pitched, and of the SF ones, they were using staples of SF that had been around since the 1920's.
Roddenberry's Star Trek and later Ripley's Alien echoed the themes that were explored in A.E. Van Vogt's Voyage of the Space Beagle

The idea of someone somehow frozen in time for centuries was first notably explored in Armageddon 2498(?) which would later become Buck Rogers. Weinbaum used it in his Black Flame novel, and these were written in the late twenties.

The idea of people living underground was explored by HG Wells, with his Morlocks who provided and maintained the Garden in which the Eloi lived in The Time Machine. Coincidentally, the Marginot Line built by the French in the 1920's-1930's; this was a multilevel underground tunnel connecting a series of fortresses along the French-German border, and it had it's own trains, food-supplies, air-conditioning and all the comforts of home. In the post-war years, looking at the German underground factories, et al., and in light of the threat of Nuclear War, magazines had postulated entire underground cities. In Forbidden Planet the surviving Krell structures were all underground. So this wasn't original either.

Roddenberry's pilots that have been mentioned, merely echoed the Science Fiction being printed at that time. In the Sixties, the post-apocalyptic future was often explored in SF Literature, and in the movies The Omega Man and Planet of the Apes carried the same theme that were being explored in his series, that is a man out of time being thrust into an unfamiliar setting. In the book Logan's Run we had the world where humans were separated from their environment with their domed cities and an extensive underground transit system, and had adopted measures to counter over-population.

And scantily clad babes adventuring in a bizarre world was a staple of pulp covers since the 1920's. Though Ron Miller did an actual survey of SF stories from that period and noticed that in many instances the women were fully clothed, although the costumes were tight-enough to reveal their figures.

So, like Roddenberry, the creators of CLEO2525 took the staples of Science Fiction, shook it up, and produced our show. I do not think they looked at the failed pilots of Roddenberry for their inspiration, the material was already out there for them to draw from. I hope that the above shows that Roddenberry was merely employing the SF staples that were being written about, and adapting them to TV. I think that the creators of CLEO2525 have done Roddenberry one better, in that their tales are not nearly as preachy as Roddenberry's tended to be.


The G-man Himself

Member posted July 11, 2000 11:16 PM

Is the info that Tumithak of the Corridors supposedly the inspiration for Cleo from an interview or a Starlog article or something of the sort? Also: any idea what collection it might be in?

Member posted July 11, 2000 11:46 PM

Director Josh Becker at his website referred to it in passing a few months ago. It was written by Charles R. Tanner, whom some sci-fi website describes thus:

Charles R. Tanner (19 Feb 1896-9 Jan 1974) American author who started with contest-winning "The Color of Space" (Science Wonder, Mar 1930) and is best known for the "Tumithak" series, which started with:

"Tumithak of the Corridors" (Amazing Stories, Jan. 1932; reprinted Feb. 1967), a novella which Isaac Asimov particularly liked and recommended.

The series continued with "Tumithak in Shawm" (Amazing Stories, June 1933) and "Tumithak of the Towers of Fire" (Super Science, Nov 1941).

Another one describes it like this:

"about mankind's subterranean resistance movement against the Venusian sheiks who now dominated Earth."

It is reprinted in "Before the Golden Age," ed. by Isaac Asimov (Doubleday, 1974, hc)

I need to read it!

Member posted July 13, 2000 09:13 PM

should have a copy of "Before the Golden Age" early next week (inter-library loan) ...

Member posted July 13, 2000 10:54 PM

That's so cool! Let us know if there is any similarity. I'm guessing that the Valley-girl-from-the-past part is probably not there, as that was probably grafted in from "Amazon High." But I wonder if the women protagonists part was in the original?

New Member posted July 15, 2000 02:26 AM
I knew a guy who froze some woman's head and carried it over the mountains. She had paid 60.000 in the hope of being revived later.

Member posted July 19, 2000 10:06 PM

(Kali, you mean you knew this guy personally? or this was a story you heard? pretty weird, either way)

OK, back to Tumithak of the Corridors, which I read yesterday -- sort of feel like I'm back in elementary school, handing in a book report -- here is my report, Mr. August:

This is the setting for the story "Tumithak of the Corridors", Charles Tanner, 1931 -- no spoilers (in case anyone ever reads the story), just the information you get in the first few pages. Remember that in 1931 it wasn't known that the surface temperature of Venus is about 900 deg. F; it was thought possible that beneath its permanent cloud cover it might be somewhat Earth-like. Also, it's shelks of Venus (with an "l"), not sheiks (that "sheiks" above sounded very puzzling -- sheiks from Venus? what?).

The story starts off with Tumithak, a 14 year old adventurous boy, finding an ancient book, which he reads to two of his friends. Turns out the year is about 5200, and for the last 2000 years the surface has been ruled by the shelks of Venus. The underground consists of a vast world-wide labyrinth of caves and tunnels; different tribes inhabit different regions; sometimes friendly with each other, but more often at war, only not all-out war, more on the order of periodic raids.

He finds out from the book that originally men ruled the surface (this has been totally forgotten in his time); there was a long period of increasing technological advances ("From pole to pole, man's mighty cities grew, and from pole to pole man was supreme"); there were also wars, but eventually the wars ceased, and man "began to look out to the other worlds that swung about the sun." Tumithak has no idea what other planets are; he doesn't even have a clear idea of what the surface is; the interesting thing to him is that men used to be in power (he and all other tribes are terrified of shelks, although his particular tribe is relatively safe from shelk raids since they're very far below the surface).

So according to the book, which Tumithak continues reading out loud, there was an expedition to Venus, where the crew made initially friendly contact with the shelks, large spider-like creatures (ten legs, a body, and a head on top of that). The shelks are just as technologically advanced as humans, if not more so, however because of the permanent cloud cover it never occurred to them that there were other planets (sound slightly familiar? trivia question: in what work is there a planet called Krikkit?). The way the shelk mind works is that the only reason they can think of for the expedition to Venus is preparation for an invasion from Earth; when they find out there is only one spaceship they imprison the crew and start building hundreds of thousands of copies of the ship, so they can invade and conquer Earth instead. They don't kill the crew, hoping to get more information; part of the crew escapes, and makes it back to Earth just in time to give a warning. Humanity starts preparing for the massive invasion by digging tunnels and caverns using disintegrating rays; they hold them off for a while but eventually lose the surface to the shelks.

After this introductory bit the story continues with Tumithak now "of age", twenty years old. Ever since he read the ancient book he got the idea that it should be possible to journey to the surface and kill a shelk, which he now intends to do. This is unthinkable to the rest of his tribe; they think he's nuts; but he's a man now and can do what he wants. Although his father thinks he's committing suicide, and will never see him again, he gives him three gifts (ancient artifacts, passed down over the generations): a flashlight, an explosive device, and a type of gun. The rest of the story is about Tumithak's quest.

There are no mutants exactly, however in progressively going through levels closer to the surface he does run into a tribe that has adapted to permanent darkness in a strange way. Then in the level closest to the surface there is a group of people that deal with the shelks and think of them as Holy Masters; this is slightly analagous to the Dwork/Bailey situation, although the shelks have a somewhat different use for these people than the Baileys have for the Dworks (hint: pass the salt, please -- OK, one spoiler, sorry, couldn't resist).

IP: Logged

Member posted July 21, 2000 02:56 PM

That's pretty cool! So there's some vague similarity, in several different ways!

Member posted October 03, 2000 01:51 AM

Decidedly worthy of a bump.

Member posted October 03, 2000 01:35 PM

Dramatic drumroll, and Trumpet Fanfare:
This is Post #1000 for me. Yay!

Now, onto the topic. In re-reading the opening posts on this thread, it stikes me that Gene Roddenberry was trying to sell a concept. First was Genesis II, the second was Planet Earth, and apparent reworking of the premise that drove the first one.

As we know, neither flew as a TV Series, so he probably went back to re-work the concept again, and came up with Andromeda, which took the premise and tossed it into outerspace. Now, if the Andromeda idea was floating around in the 1970's, the concept of a "Post-Apocalyptic" Interstellar Civilization would have been a relatively novel theme. While this theme of the collapse of an Interstellar Empire, and the effects, was explored in SF-Literature, it was not coupled with a "Man-Out-Of-Time" story. So Andromeda definitely has hope as a series if the writers fully explore the potentials of the concept, and not try to do a Star Trek knockoff.


Proudly celebrating his 1000th Post.

Member posted October 03, 2000 01:56 PM

I'm definitely going to search this library to see if there are any books containing these TUMITHAK stories. They sound impressive.
I get the feeling that Gene Roddenberry had nothing to do with the re-wroking of this new version of Dylan Hunt's adventures. I think these new developments were the result of the people putting together the new ANDROMEDA series. The whole thing seems to be Gene Roddenberry's show in name only.

In STARLOG, the producers admitted that the whole The Dwork/Bailey deal was ripped-off...err, sorry...their tribute to the British TV series, THE TRIPODS.

The bit where our heroes fall from place to place was originally used in a Canadian, syndicated TV series from the seventies called THE STARLOST. Technology at the time being what it was, they weren't able to pull it off as well as they did on C25.

Member posted October 10, 2000 03:57 AM

Just a note about Gene's stories. Most have been reworked over the years. The original Star Trek started out more intellectual (some thing like Earth Final Conflict), he had to rework it by making it somewhat of a 'space western' (in his words) before the studio execs would buy it.

August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
An excerpt can be found at:

A little discussion on the roots of Cleo (no not dark ones :tongue: ) that Antha may enjoy....
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
Wow, that's some fascinating discussion there. I never saw Andromeda as a man out of time story, because for viewers the universe that Dylan Hunt woke up in is not visibly more or less tech advanced than the Andromeda--Dylan goes to sleep as futuristic spaceship captain battling other spaceships and wakes up as futuristic spaceship captain still battling other spaceships.

The Starlost:: So Canadians came up with falling heroes :tongue: Half the guest stars on the Canadian Lexx fall or get pushed of the (very high) Lexx bridge.

Who had the idea for elevator shafts?

Quote:Cleo:: Where the hell are the elevators?

Sarge:: *SLAP* shaddup
Okay SCREAM. Joy and Enlightenment [NO LONGER] await you Sunday mornings 5AM USA StarGate Channel
... bumping up the old Tumithak thread ...
collecting Tumithak threads ...
Both Genesis II and Planet Earth are coming out on dvd - some details here.
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !

MYCode Guide

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