Gene Roddenberry’s Spectre by Robert Weverka

Post-Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry made a series of pilots in the 1970s: Genesis II (1973), Planet Earth (1974), The Questor Tapes (1974) and Spectre (1977).

None were picked up for series, and as Star Trek Phase II (1977) morphed into Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), the 70s pilots receded into the background.

Spectre is the only one of the pilots that has not received a commercial release on home video. For more information on Spectre and Roddenberry’s other pilots, visit AssignmentEarth.ca.


With Spectre, Roddenberry had wanted to do a version of Sherlock Holmes, but did not come to an agreement with the Conan Doyle family, and created William Sebastian and Dr. Amos ‘Ham’ Hamilton as modern criminologists instead.

Spectre was produced through 20th Century-Fox Television and aired on NBC as a Movie of the Week on Saturday, May 21, 1977. It was also released as a theatrical film in the UK with added scenes of nudity at the film’s climax.

In 1979, presumably to tie in with Star Trek: The Motion Picture‘s release, Bantam Books commissioned Robert Weverka to write a Spectre novelisation based on the teleplay by Roddenberry and Samuel A. Peeples. Unlike his other adaptations – including The Sting, The Waltons and March or DieSpectre commands a higher price due to its rarity. I can only guess that without using the movie’s key art or promoting the actors in it, the book’s generic supernatural packaging blended in with dozens of similar books of the time, resulting in lower sales. And it had been two years since the movie aired.

Here’s some design exploration with Spectre, resulting in covers for an ebook version of the novel.


Spectre adaptation by Robert Weverka

As published.


Spectre adaptation by Robert Weverka

Formatted for eBook display.

Spectre adaptation by Robert Weverka

Back cover.


Book design by Scott Dutton

The title card from the movie, incorporating Hieronymus Bosch‘s 1499 work The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Book design by Scott Dutton

Based on the title card from the movie.

Book design by Scott Dutton

Back cover.


Book design by Scott Dutton

Manipulating a frame capture from the movie.

Book design by Scott Dutton

Back cover using a manipulated image of a Roman sculpture of the God Pan combined with an image of an ornate wall of sculpted Christian imagery.


Book design by Scott Dutton

A movie marketing tie-in version using a production still and frame captures.

Book design by Scott Dutton

Back cover.


THE LEFTOVERS

The other ideas which came out of the design process.

Book design by Scott Dutton

Book design by Scott Dutton

Book design by Scott Dutton

Book design by Scott Dutton

Book design by Scott Dutton

Book design by Scott Dutton

Book design by Scott Dutton

Book design by Scott Dutton