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The Lieutenant

Three years before Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock set off to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where no man has gone before, Gene Roddenberry brought us The Lieutenant.

The Lieutenant, Gene RoddenberryNow on DVD from Warner Archives, The Lieutenant follows a brash, charming Marine lieutenant (Gary Lockwood, 2001: A Space Odyssey) as he serves under a by-the-book captain (Robert Vaughn, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) at Camp Pendleton, the famed military base near San Diego, California.

The Lieutenant features an amazing cast of people who would go on to be major stars, and even gave us a few glimpses of Roddenberry’s future shows and characters. Lockwood’s title character, for example, is named William Tiberius Rice. Yes, Tiberius. As in James Tiberius Kirk.

The show features other TV greats, such as James Gregory (he went on to play Inspector Frank Luger on Barney Miller) and Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman on The Six Million Dollar Man), and a young Richard Donner directed many episodes. He went on to helm Superman, The Goonies and the Lethal Weapon franchise.

The Lieutenant is divided into two sets: The Lieutenant: The Complete Series – Part 1 and The Lieutenant: The Complete Series – Part 2. Worth a look to see early Roddenberry, as well as some future TV greats. Love the vintage black and white, too.

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