Genesis II (1973)

Genres - Adventure, Science Fiction  |   Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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This stab at a series pilot by Gene Roddenberry manages to be overambitious and underrealized all at once. The biggest problem of Genesis II is that it is too big in conceptual terms for its television limitations. The script has a promising plot and plenty of interesting ideas for its post-apocalyptic world but it simply tries to cram too much into too tiny a space. As a result, there's more than one moment in the story where important developments are either clumsily delivered via dialogue or breezed through in a too-hasty fashion. John Llewellyn Moxey's direction handles the action and drama components nicely but is hampered by the limited scope of a t.v. budget. Some of the sets and costumes look distressingly cheap, adding an unintended element of camp to the proceedings (look out for the really awful wigs on the male Pax characters). The best element of Genesis II is the acting: Alex Cord fits the retro-macho style of a Roddenberry hero nicely and Mariette Hartley delivers a highly effective turn as the inscrutable, possibly dangerous romantic interest for Cord. The end result delivers a certain amount of b-movie-style fun for sci-fi fans in the right forgiving mood but even they would have to admit that Genesis II isn't Gene Roddenberry's finest hour.