The 1970s were a great time for super-powered government agents and private detectives. There was Wonder Woman, fresh from the pages of DC comics. There was Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man. Patrick Duffy played The Man From Atlantis, handy for ocean, lake and river missions. Gemini Man had a watch that could make him invisible for fifteen minutes. Bill Bixby was a professional stage magician who solved crimes on the side. Even Kolchak had the twin powers of amazing luck and complete credulity which kept him alive through multiple supernatural encounters.
A natural addition to this crew, it would seem, would be Leonard Nimoy, fresh from stints on Star Trek and Mission Impossible. Surely anyone would want to watch him catching criminals with his special powers. The only question was what powers to give him.
The answer to that question? Precognition.
While other investigators were using their incredible strength, water breathing, mastery of illusion and invisibility, Nimoy’s character was to be a professional race car driver who received visions of future violent events.
This is not to say a television series about precognition cannot succeed; the show based upon Stephen King’s The Dead Zone demonstrated it can. Dead Zone wasn’t merely blessed with good actors and solid writing, though; it was fundamentally a suspense series, not an action series.
“Hey, I think that person is going to be shot to death at some indeterminate point in the near future!” seems like the gymkata of superpowers.
Nevertheless, for those who are curious… Leonard Nimoy in a TV movie pilot which never grew into its own series, Baffled.
Question of the night: What’s your favorite non-Star Trek role from a Star Trek cast member?