Friday, September 08, 2006

To Boldly Go...

From Star Trek:

"It was the new television season, just like any other, and NBC was about to debut their new science fiction show. That in itself wasn't a novel idea: CBS had Lost in Space, ABC had contemporary shows like The Time Tunnel and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. It was pretty standard that networks had something on the air that fell into the general category of science fiction. And while these other shows had their own quaint charms, they lasted a few seasons and mostly drifted off into memory, and later syndication. (The other one-hour drama that every network had was a Western; NBC already had a bona fide hit in Bonanza and CBS, with Wild Wild West, neatly combined the Western with sci-fi.)

On the evening of the 8th of September, following Daniel Boone, this new NBC show premiered with an episode called "The Man Trap." The angle of the story was different, to say the least: It was a love story with a sci-fi twist, borne of a relationship from the doctor's past, featuring a monster that, in the end, just wanted to live. It was moving, tragic and anything but cheesy. The viewers — at least the ones who were paying attention — were hooked."

Star Trek Trivia from IMBD

  • James Doohan ("Scotty") lost his right middle finger during WWII Most of his scenes are shot to hide it. However, it is very noticeable in the episode "Catspaw." Scotty is hypnotized and holding a phaser pistol on Kirk & Spock in Korob & Sylvia's dining hall. When Scotty is in the shot, only two fingers are holding the butt of the phaser.

  • In only one episode ("Mirror, Mirror") does Scotty address Kirk as "Jim".

  • "Shore Leave" is the only episode in which the U.S.S. Enterprise is seen orbiting a planet from right to left. The I.S.S. Enterprise also does this briefly in the parallel universe, in the teaser to "Mirror, Mirror", but by the beginning of Act I, it is again orbiting from left to right.

  • "A Piece Of The Action" is the only episode in which the Enterprise phasers are used to stun.

  • Due to budget constraints, the element of "parallel" or "mirror" Earth planets was used on several occasions to keep set and make-up costs down. (i.e. "Miri", "Bread and Circuses", "A Piece of the Action", "Patterns of Force" and more.)

  • Martin Landau was originally offered the role of Spock, but declined. (Ironically, Leonard Nimoy, who accepted the part, took over the role of disguise-expert on "Mission: Impossible" (1966) when Landau left that show.)

  • Mission Impossible was also filmed on the same lot as Star Trek, therefore when Star Trek ended, Lenoard Nimoy merely crossed the street to go to his new job.

  • Shortly after the cancellation of the series, the staff of the marketing department of the NBC TV network confronted the network executives and berated them for canceling Star Trek, the most profitable show on the network in terms of demographic profiling of the ratings. They explained that although the show was never higher than #52 in the general ratings, its audience profile had the largest concentration of viewers of ages 16 to 39, the most sought after television audience for advertisers to reach. In other words, the show, despite the low ratings, had the precise audience advertisers hungered for, which was more than ample justification to consider the show a big success.

  • In 2000, the show was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the largest number of spin-off productions, including the feature film series and the numerous TV series.

  • Many elements of the Spock character were improvised by Leonard Nimoy during production. For instance, the "Vulcan neck pinch" was his suggestion during filming of "The Enemy Within" for how Spock could subdue an opponent. The "Vulcan salute" was created during the production of "Amok Time" using a version of a traditional Jewish religious hand gesture as a distinctive Vulcan greeting.

  • Sulu and Uhura didn't have first names in this series. Sulu did get a first name (Hikaru) but not until Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). In Season 2 DVD Special Features, Nichelle Nichols reveals that she and Gene Roddenberry accepted the first name "Niota" for her character, which is a Swahili word meaning "Star". Uhura is a variant of "Uhuru", Swahili for "freedom".

  • Lloyd Bridges and Jeffrey Hunter (who had played Captain Pike in the original pilot) both turned down the role of Captain Kirk.

  • Gene Roddenberry originally conceived the Klingons as looking more alien than they do in the series, but budget restriction prevented this. When the show moved to the big screen, he was finally able to make Klingons look more alien. The resulting continuity break between TOS and the movies and later series was addressed in the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993) episode "Trials and Tribbleations" in which the character of Worf confirms that something did happen to make the Klingons appear human, but he refuses to elaborate. In the final season (season #4) of the fifth "Star Trek" series "Enterprise" (2001) an episode dealt with the exact nature of why some Klingons (that would be the Klingons form the original series) did not have the "knotted" forehead that visually characterized all Klingons portrayed starting with _"Star Trek The Motion Picture" (1979) . The premise was that a group of Klingons on a Klingon-populated world separate from their home world are exposed to a virus that modifies their appearance to that of the way they looked in TOS (and the crew, especially the ship's doctor in "Enterprise" manage to discover and generate a medical fix for the malady, of course).

  • Gene Roddenberry once hypothesized that the Enterprise carried a platoon of Starfleet Marines, but they never appeared onscreen in the original series. The Starfleet Marines would eventually make an appearance, but not until Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993). The idea was revived with the addition of a group of "space marines" beginning in the 2003-2004 season of "Enterprise" (2001).

  • One of the writers, D.C. Fontana, was told to use the initials "D.C." by Gene Roddenberry because networks at the time generally wouldn't hire women writers. Her first name is Dorothy.

  • Contrary to popular belief, Captain Kirk never said, "Beam me up, Scotty," in any episode.

  • Grace Lee Whitney was supposed to be the lead female character, hence her prominent role as Yeoman Janice Rand in the first season. However, the producers let go of the character after the first season, much to the fans' relent. Whitney, however was asked back for most of the Star Trek movies, reprising her role as Janice.

  • Stardates were established in order to keep the audience guessing as to when the series takes place. A calendar year for the adventures of the Enterprise crew is never given in any episode, and Gene Roddenberry said the series could have taken place anywhere from the 21st to the 31st Centuries. By the time of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987), however, calendar years for Trek adventures had been established and the official Star Trek Chronology now indicates that the original "Star Trek" TV series takes place between the years 2266 and 2269.

  • In the hallways of the Enterprise there are tubes marked "GNDN", these initials stand for "goes nowhere does nothing".

  • The series' opening credits has lyrics that were never used (although they were published in the book "The Making of Star Trek", by Stephen J. Whitfield They were written by Gene Roddenberry so that he would receive a residual for the theme's use alongside the theme's composer, Alexander Courage.

  • Actor Mark Lenard, best known for his role as Sarek, Spock's father, was the first actor to play a member of all three of the major alien races: Romulan, Vulcan, and Klingon (he is the commander of the Klingon attack group at the beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).

  • The slanting crawlway that leads up to the warp-drive nacelles is referred to as a "Jefferies tube." This is a reference to art director , Walter M. Jefferies.
  • When NBC was promoting "Star Trek" (1966) in magazines, all shots of Spock's pointed eyebrows and ears where airbrushed out of the pictures because NBC thought that no one would watch the show due to Spock's resemblance to the Devil.
  • On at least two occasions ("Miri" & "City on the Edge of Forever") the exterior Mayberry set from "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960) was used. In "City," as Kirk walks Edith home, they pass by the easily recognizable courthouse, Floyd's barbershop, Emmett's repair shop, and the grocery.
  • In several episodes, prop beverage bottles were modified from existing alcohol bottles. Aldeberan Whiskey bottles were Cuervo Gold 1800 Tequila bottles. Bottles used for Saurian Brandy were George Dickel Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey carafes.
  • According to official blueprints of the Enterprise, published in 1975, among features on the ship that were never mentioned on the TV series were two auxiliary bridges, a second sickbay area, a swimming pool, a garden, and a six-lane bowling alley. This last item, no doubt included in the blueprints as a joke, is the earliest known case of humor creeping into the background of the show's designs; this would become commonplace in the other "Star Trek" TV series of the '80s and '90s.
  • After viewing the popularity of characters such as Robin on the _"Batman" (1966/II)_ series and shows like "The Monkees" (1966), the producers decided to introduce Ensign Pavel Chekov in the second season in order to attract more teenage viewers, especially girls, to the show. 'Walter Koenig' was selected due to his resemblance to Davy Jones.
  • A bowling alley aboard the USS Enterprise, as shown in the 1975 blueprints, was actually mentioned in the episode "The Naked Time. " In that episode, Lt. Riley declares that "a formal dance will be held in the bowling alley at 1900 hours tonight." However, he was also quite delusional, so it's not certain that the bowling alley he spoke of actually existed.
  • Mr. Spock was played as much more emotional and "human" in the original rejected pilot, "The Cage". This is very noticeable during the flashback sequences of the two-part episode, "The Menagerie". The flashbacks were simply scenes from the original pilot, re-edited into the new episodes.
  • Leonard Nimoy (Spock) is the only actor to appear in every episode of the series.

  • The uniforms were color coded to show what division of the ship that the crew member was assigned to. The colors were: gold - command, navigation, and weaponry; red - engineering, security, and ship's services; and blue - science and medicine. In practice, the gold uniforms often appeared apple green, which some have attributed to local interference with television signals. However, what actually occurred was that the peculiar green tunic was green, but under the lights on the set it appeared gold in most lighting conditions. However, the true color can be seen in Kirk's special "wrap-around" tunic and to some extent in the special occasion "dress" uniforms, both of which were made out of different materials which reflected the light differently. The uniforms were dry-cleaned, but the velour tended to shrink, so they had to constantly be altered which is why they often looked short on the actors.

  • Each starship and starbase had its own insignia, which was worn on the left breast of the uniform. The Enterprise's insignia was the now well known boomerang-shaped device.

  • Gene Roddenberry originally conceived Spock's skin color to be red, which would have meant extra hours in make-up for Leonard Nimoy. Fortunately for him, an early make-up test showed that the red color merely appeared as black on black-and-white televisions. Since most televisions in the '60s were still black-and-white, the idea was dropped.

  • According to William Shatner's Star Trek TV memoirs, DeForest Kelley was the first one considered for the role of Spock.

  • Leonard Nimoy modeled Spock after George Burns and his cigar. George's amused and unflustered acceptances of Gracie Allen's ramblings influenced Spock's interactions with Dr. McCoy.

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