Planet Earth (1974)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action  |   Run Time - 78 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Planet Earth was essentially a "reboot" for a past Gene Roddenberry pilot, Genesis II. The end result is an improvement on its predecessor but one that still has some key problems. On the good side of things, the script has a stronger, more action-oriented plot and packs an impressive but workable amount of story into its slender running time. Unfortunately, said plot borrows heavily from the camp classic Queen of Outer Space and its attempt at a message about the battle of the sexes has an smarmy, macho attitude that short-circuits its more noble impulses. That said, Planet Earth can be fun if approached in a B-movie frame of mind. Marc Daniels' direction keeps things rolling at a fast clip and the action is plentiful. Better yet, John Saxon makes a great, square-jawed hero and his performance gets nice support from Janet Margolin as his thoughtful, pacificist colleague and Diana Muldaur as Saxon's imperial, control-freak nemesis. The end result is basically the 1970's television equivalent of a 1950's B-movie - and Planet Earth delivers pulpy thrills to make up for its thematic confusion, at least for genre fans.