Last Century's 'Prophecy'By Amy
February 7, 2001 - 6:03 PM
It might come as something of a suprise to discover that tonight’s Voyager episode, ‘Prophecy’, is actually based on a pitch sold to UPN last century. Slightly melodramatic, yes, but the truth of the matter is that one of the last ever Voyager episodes was actally pitched and sold for $8,000 to Paramount by husband and wife team Larry and Janet Nemecek in December 1994, one month before the ‘Caretaker’, the Voyager pilot episode aired. Even more incredible is they were "first-time storytellers" without even the benefit of an agent.
The intitial pitch consisted of three stories the couple threw together over one frantic weekend, shortly after their move from their previous home in Norman, Oklahoma to Burbank, California. To the couple’s surprise, former producer Jeri Taylor picked the story idea that Janet, at least thought was the weakest – concerning a “generational ship of Klingons and focused on the manipulation of the B'Elanna Torres character, a half-Klingon and half-human crew member played by Roxann Dawson.” While there’s no word as to what the other, rejected pitches were, but what we now know as ‘Prophecy’ got the green light – of a sort. Unfortuantly, the couple found their episode being delayed not once, but twice – first by ‘Faces’, an episode on a similar B’Elanna Torres theme, and then by the addition of Worf and various other Klingons to Deep Space Nine – and then was shelved and more or less forgotten, with the continued evolution of Torres as a character making the pitch almost unusuable... until the summer of last year when new Executive Producer Ken Biller asked if they still had the original notes – which they did – and thus ‘Prophecy’ finally saw the light of day. Larry and Janet even had the opportunity in November of last year to see parts of the episode being filmed – though, despite having read the script, they haven't seen it in it's entirety for themselves so no doubt they’ll be tuning in tonight, along with their fellow fans.
To find out more about the couple, the pitch and their other involvement in Star Trek, please read the original article in the Norman Transcript, which, incidentally, Larry is a former entertainment editor of.