|Creator:||Gene Roddenberry and Samuel A. Peeples (writer), Clive Donner (director)|
|Date(s):||21 May 1977|
|Country of Origin:||UK|
|External Links:||at IMDb|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Spectre was a 1977 British made-for-television horror film by Gene Roddenberry and co-written by Samuel A. Peeples -- who wrote the Star Trek: TOS episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Spectre was one of several unsuccessful pilots created by Roddenberry, and one of several pilots in the 1970s in the occult detective subgenre.
The pilot follows the adventures of William Sebastian (Robert Culp), a former criminologist and occult expert, and his colleague, Dr. "Ham" Hamilton (Gig Young), a physician and forensic pathologist, as they visit the United Kingdom to investigate a case involving the aristocratic Cyon family.
Lead characters William Sebastian and Dr. "Ham" Hamilton were modelled after Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, although there are also some aspects that recall the relationship between Roddenberry's own Spock and Leonard McCoy. Roddenberry previously revisited this relationship in an earlier failed pilot, The Questor Tapes.
The cast includes John Hurt, James Villiers, Gordon Jackson, Ann Bell, and Majel Barrett.
A novelization of the movie was written by Robert Weverka, and published by Bantam Books in 1979. (ISBN • 0-553-13302-0) The Spectre novelisation is 154 pages long and adds significant background information not present in the script.
Have you all heard about "Spectre"? It's another Roddenberry brain-storm, a very fun-sounding, original new series concept. The script outline, concept notes, and teleplay are all available from Lincoln Enterprises (formerly "Star Trek" Ent.) along with those from "Genesis II" and "Questor."
...if bought as a series, it would follow the adventures of three characters, William Sebastian, Doctor Hamm, and Cyon (part-man, part weretiger), "as they travel the world battling vampires, man-made monsters, black magic, demons, and worse in a fight between Mankind and the 'others' who have been striving for thirty centuries to take over planet Earth. The series... (would establish) how the 'others' came here, what rules of existence they live by, defines their powers, defines our defenses against them." (Quoted material from Lincoln Ent. catalog)
According to the blurb, "one of the networks bought the idea and script, then decided not to go ahead with it. 'Too frightening for TV,' they said." ((That should give you some insight into the network brain, or non-brain.)) It's now being eyed with great interest by the other two networks, and Gene has the go-ahead from Warner Brothers to expand it into a possible future theatrical release. ((I take this to mean that he's being paid to lengthen the script to run 1 1/2 to 2 hours. This doesn't mean that it will necessarily be produced. We can only hope.)) However, GR said, "I'm certain it will be in a movie house in 1973[note 1] or a TV Movie-of-the-Week series pilot next season."I hope "Spectre" makes it as a series. It's right down my alley. I've been really despondent ever since Barnabas Collins hung up his fangs. ((Hey, Gene do you maybe need another script writer, if and when, huh huh?) 
- "Beyond "Star Trek": A Look-Back at Gene Roddenberry’s Other Sci-Fi TV Adventures, Archived version by Herbie J. Pilato (Aug 11, 2020) (discusses "Genesis II," Planet Earth, Questor, Spectre, and Strange New World
Notes and References
- Twice -- once corrected -- this film is marked as shown in 1973, a likely misunderstanding, but all online information proves it was released in 1977.
- Farinas, Mark (December 1, 2016). "Forgotten Roddenberry: Spectre". TrekMovie.com. United States: SciFanatic Network. Archived from the original on September 18, 2021. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- "Robert Weverka | occultdetective.com". Authorbobfreeman.wordpress.com. 2012-02-15. Archived from the original on September 18, 2021. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
- Extracted excerpt from Metamorphosis #1