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There was a series or limited pilot that never took off about a dystopian future where human regressed to caveman like people that lived on the earths surface due to a vaccination gone wrong. There was a split among the humans with the strong aggressive (some of them smart) cave people living on the surface, and the regular weaker humans (scientists and the lot) in a more advanced underground city.

No it was not Roddenberry’s Genesis II or Planet Earth, but very very similar. I need to know the name of that show. I have searched the internet to find someone that is a bigger SciFi geek than me.

The difference between this show and Genesis or Planet Earth was that the vaccine that changed the above ground people left some with high intelligence and caveman like appearances (they were a strange color too,) but the underground city folks had some of the caveman people come down to help them. One big strong caveman was fairly smart and an underground woman started to like him.

This knock off came on channel 11 (WPIX) or 9 (WOR). I can not remember the name. Anyone have any suggestions? I don't think Roddenberry had anything to do with it, and it was a knock off of the other two shows I mentioned.

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    My memory of these stations in the 70s was that WOR showed mostly British sitcoms and movies ("Thames on 9"), and WPIX showed mostly US sitcoms and movies. I don't recall any original programming from either one. Perhaps what you saw was an older movie.
    – Davo
    Commented Apr 29, 2022 at 15:23
  • These are both New York City Area Independent TV Stations, as opposed to most TV stations at the time which were associated/affiliated with one of the big 3. ABC, NBC, or CBS.
    – NJohnny
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 14:48

2 Answers 2

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Do you think it might be Island City as per 90s (or earlier) SciFi movie - glowing lights in chests to indicate attraction?

In the future, humanity develops a "fountain of youth" drug, but as many people around the world begin to take it, most begin to mutate into a barbaric proto-humanoid state. The few people immune to this side-effect of the drug band together and live in a futuristic city while the mutants live in the vast wasteland outside its gates.

Opening Credits

As you can see in the credits, one of the members of the military squad has the enlarged cranium of the "proto-humanoids", but is articulate, and indeed has a romance situation with one of the female squad members. And apparently a plot point of the pilot was that one of the members of their team was kidnapped by the "proto-humanoids". Things which don't match include the timing — this came out in 1994 — and that the eponymous Island City is, well, on an island, not underground. Other plot points are that everyone has lights implanted in their chest to designate who you can mate with (there's some genetic factor such that, if two people with different lights have a child, the child is likely to be a "proto-humanoid"), one of the female cast leads took the treatment, and looks in her 30s, but her husband refused it, and looks in his 70s, and that it's eventually revealed that much of their military is cloned, but that the cloning process tends to result in mental instability.

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  • This sounds like a close match, but the timing seems off.
    – DavidW
    Commented Apr 29, 2022 at 2:14
  • This is extremely close and it seems that this 90’s show took a page from the 70’s show I spoke of. FuzzyBoots this was a great catch and seems this failed pilot/ then turned movie took a page from the tv show I spoke of. So very close but the show I was trying to find did not have the special effects seen in this 90’s show (which are not all that great). Thanks for the embedded video. Now I am using your information to try and find what show influenced this “island city” show.
    – Propel
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 15:41
  • @Propel: There's no obligation to accept my answer if it's not the right one. If you want to click the checkmark to unaccept it to make it clear that you're still looking, I won't be offended at all.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 17:23
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This sounds similar to "The Time Machine" (possibly the 1978 film version).

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Time_Machine_(1978_film): "During the devastation humanity retreated underground. Eventually some decided to return to the surface. Those who did so became the Eloi. Those who remained underground became the Morlocks."

It does not, however, seem to mention a vaccine.

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  • No not the Time Machine. I am very familiar with the book and the movie. But thanks… the de-evolved humans lived underground, but in this TV show the de-evolved lived on and control the surface while the regular humans lived underground.- Not genesis or Ark- they kept repackaging this show and it did not take off.
    – Propel
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 15:34

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