Nichelle Nichols - Star Trek Uhura passed

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Charles Fout, Jul 31, 2022.

  1. Charles Fout

    Charles Fout Active Member

    SteveFoerster likes this.
  2. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    SteveFoerster and Charles Fout like this.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Nichols was in decline for some time apparently. RIP.

    Now only Shatner, George Takei and Walter Koenig remain.
    Rich Douglas, Charles Fout and Garp like this.
  4. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    She was an absolute legend.

    Watching old TV, it's easy to fool oneself into thinking that it was a simpler time back then. Maybe it was for some people, but definitely not for everyone. It was a BIG deal to have a black character on a TV show, especially a black woman, just being a regular part of the cast and treated like a normal person by the other characters. Not a stereotype or a punching bag. Just a character with a personality. There was even a scene when Kirk, a white man, kissed Uhura. Crazy to think about, but Jim Crow laws were only, finally, put to an end one year before the first episode of Star Trek. Seven months earlier, Malcolm X was assassinated. Less than two years later, MLK was assassinated.

    Beyond that, she was a talented and compelling actress. Can't say enough about that. She wasn't just some token. She was charismatic, versatile and had a powerful camera presence. It helped that she was also ridiculously hot.

    Absolutely one of a kind.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Could argue against Koenig. He wasn't an original cast member, not joining the show until the second season.

    Desilu had moved Roddenberry "up" to executive producer and the network (NBC) wanted a character who appealed to younger viewers. That's how we got a very young Chekov in a Beatle haircut (originally). The story goes that the Soviets were none to impressed with the lack of Russians in the future, thus Chekov-as-Russian.

    Another change in Season 2: DeForest Kelly was added to the opening credits.

    Another (big) change in Season 2: About halfway through the season, Gene Coon (the real genius behind the show, along with Dorothy Fontana) left. There was a marked drop-off in the second half of that season. (Season 3, too, but that had more to do with a severely cut budge than anything else.)

    There were constant tensions between Desilu and NBC. NBC wanted more "away" episodes where the crew went down to some planet. But that was incredibly expensive to film (even with the best dodge ever, the transporter), and Desilu pushed for more stories on board the ship. Look at Season 3 and you'll see a lot more of these than in the first two seasons. Again, budget cuts.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Every word -true. I can't say enough, either. There was at least one other lovely and supremely-talented Black TV actress I remember, from roughly the same time: Diahann Carroll. She starred in the show "Julia" - about Julia Baker - the widow of a US pilot shot down in Vietnam, her job as a nurse, her young son - and her romances. IIRC the show started in 1967. Significantly, her bio. (wiki) says:

    "Her title role in Julia, for which she received the 1968 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress In a Television Series, was the first series on American television to star a black woman in a non-stereotypical role, and was a milestone both in her career and the medium. (Emphasis mine - J.)

    Nichelle Nichols and Diahann Carroll were both incredibly talented - pioneers in their field - and also two of the most beautiful women it has ever been my privilege to see. They will always be well-remembered and very much missed. Diahann died at the age of 84, in 2019.
    Maniac Craniac and Rich Douglas like this.
  7. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    IIRC, that's just an urban legend. It was during the Cold War, and Russia was "the enemy", so why would anyone care what the Soviets thought about some random TV show?
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Fans are funny people. Chekov's in, even though he wasn't in the first season. Janice Rand is often considered in even though she was only in eight episodes. But Lt. Leslie, played by Eddie Paskey, is mostly forgotten even though he was in sixty episodes (albeit with lines only in a few).
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That is why I couched my language. "As the story goes..."

    I don't think it has been established to have happened.
    Rachel83az likes this.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    IIRC, Paskey stunt-doubled Shatner and hand-doubled Doohan, so it made sense to have him suit up in a red shirt (oh no!) whenever they needed crewmembers in the background.
    SteveFoerster likes this.

Share This Page