Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

The God Thing, by Gene Roddenberry, was one of numerous never-produced scripts that were written with the intention of being made as the first Star Trek movie. It served as the precursor of likewise-undeveloped Star Trek: Phase II pilot episode "In Thy Image" and, ultimately, Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Summary Edit

In "log entries" in Starlog (vol. 2, no. 3, January 1977, p. 60), Gene Roddenberry summarized the storyline of The God Thing as follows:

"Generally, the situation is that the five year mission is over and that it has been over for some time. Most of the regular crew have been promoted and, for the most part, are pretty unhappy with shuffling papers and other administrative jobs. Scotty has become an alcoholic, and McCoy has given up treating Human patients to become a veterinarian, loudly proclaiming animals as the only sensible patients he has ever had […] In the story, there is a threat that brings [these people] all back together again."

In the same "log entry", Starlog noted, "Gene said that the main thrust of the story deals with the meaning of God and whether or not God is much more and further beyond merely some entity that visited the Garden of Eden."

History Edit

In mid-1975, Paramount Pictures announced they would be producing a Star Trek movie for theatrical release. Though Gene Roddenberry's first story idea for the film concerned the formative years of the TOS main characters and never made it to the submittal stage, the first script he completed for the movie concerned a different subject and was rejected. Roddenberry later explained, "What I think bothered Paramount was that I had a little sequence on Vulcan in which the Vulcan masters, the people Spock studied under, were saying: 'We have never really understood your Earth legends of gods. Particularly in that so many of your gods have said, 'You have to bow down on your bellies every seven days and worship me.' This seems to us like they are very insecure gods.'" (Starlog, vol. 1, no. 2, November 1976, p. 13) Despite the negative response from Paramount, Roddenberry himself was proud of having written The God Thing, remarking, "It gives us kind of a fun look at these people's strengths and weaknesses." (Starlog, vol. 2, no. 3, January 1977, p. 60)

It was later announced, in "log entries" in Starlog (vol. 2, no. 3, January 1977, p. 60), that Roddenberry was adapting his first script treatment into novel form for Bantam Books. In the same "log entry", Starlog reported, "Though confident of publication in the near future, Roddenberry wasn't exactly sure when he would complete the book." Ultimately, the novel was never completed.