I’m going to hit upon some key points here.
The first season was a tremendous opening season. Out of 29 episodes I had 11 with 5 stars. Only one episode was under 3 and that one was at least interesting. Some of the most classic episodes are in Season 1 but we have more in Season 2. We will also see a new crew member Pavel Chekov, a Russian who joins the crew in the 2nd season. The Monkees were huge at the time so the producers wanted to have their own “Davy Jones” for the girls watching.
Lucille Ball... without her, it might not have happened. She wasn’t in on the creative side of the show but she and her studio Desilu did help finance Star Trek. A studio accountant named Edwin “Ed” Holly is on the record saying “If it were not for Lucy, there would be no Star Trek today.”
Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Janice Rand… only after 8 total episodes Yeoman Rand just vanished from the series. Janice Rand was supposed to be a major character on Star Trek but was written off the show after season 1. Gene Roddenberry once stated that Whitney’s firing was purely financial. Whitney tells a different story. Only a few days before her firing, she was sexually assaulted by a studio executive on the Star Trek set. Whitney discussed the incident in her autobiography years later and, although she deliberately did not mention the executive by name, stated that she had a hard time believing the assault wasn’t at least in some way related to her exit from The Original Series.
Gene Roddenberry later apologized for giving in to pressure from the network to let Whitney go, even going so far as to say that writing Janice Rand off “was the dumbest mistake” he had ever made. To show how much she was loved by the fans and cast…she returned when the movies started in 1979.
William Shatner once said that their budget was lower than what it takes to cater a cast and crew in today’s time. What they had were great writers and good actors who had extremely good chemistry. The leading three men will always be known for their roles in this series. William Shatner as Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, and DeForest Kelley as “Bones” or Doctor McCoy. The supporting cast was great also…with Majel Barrett as Nurse Chapel, Nichelle Nicols as Nyota Uhura, George Takei as Hikaru Sulu, Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov, and James Doohan as Scotty. I can’t forget Grace Lee Whitney who should have been in the entire series.
Thank you all for reading each Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. We have some more in front of us and I’m looking forward to it.