Monday, January 26, 2009

The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise

Back before YouTube on the internet and affordable home video, fans wishing to see past content of old TV shows had to pretty much wait til that show was re-run. So although the Saturday Night Live skit on Star Trek featuring John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Dan Akroyd was famous, there were many fans who hadn't seen it, but were curious about it. Like me. So it was with great delight that I found the complete transcript, with cartoon illustrations, in the June 1978 Issue #14 of Starlog magazine. It was several years later before I actually got to see the video of it, so the article was very welcome at the time. Here it is, scanned in for your ocular enjoyment! Oh, and kids... it makes for good reading too, so if you have TV-generated ADD, try it anyway, you might enjoy it.

And below are some screen captures hitting some of the comedic highlights of the skit. Of course, if you haven't seen it yet either, you can look it up on Youtube easily enough, but where's the fun in that? Back in our day, all we had were magazines and still photos, and we had to imagine what it was like to watch it, and we liked it that way! It made the actual experience more meaningful! You kids today have it too good, and don't appreciate it as much! I'll bet I have to tell you that the "Promise" reference at the end alludes to a margarine commercial that Shatner did after Star Trek! I've got Happy Meal boxes older than you kids. And get off my lawn, you young whippersnappers!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nyota Uhura: The Woman In Red

I'll go ahead and say it right up front; I loved Nichelle Nichols as Uhura. I still do.

I became a Star Trek fanantic about the same time I hit puberty... so it's probably no coincidence that I very quickly took notice of the egyptian-eyed beauty back there behind Captain Kirk in almost every bridge shot. The way she moved, her dulcet voice, those gorgeous legs posed oh-so-sexily as she swiveled... yes, just about the first real crush I had was on Uhura. I'm sure many a red-blooded white boy like me had their first real taste for race relations after laying eyes on this red-mini-skirted babe!

As time passed my admiration and long-distance love for this petite, intelligent, curvy-figured goddess only grew. Every time she was in the scene, my eyes were on her. And when she got a chance to shine, I reveled in it. Hearing her sing "Beyond Antares," which I had on my trusty cassette tape, sent me into a daze, and I played it till the tape was almost worn out.

How she moved! Every motion to flick a switch, to touch her earpiece, to turn and report, was like watching an artist at work. When she walked to the turbo-lift, it was like a dance. Her grace, style and charm was evident in the slightest action.

Oh, sure... Kirk and Spock were my heroes, and still are. But there was something special about Uhura, and I always wished she had been given more to do. The rare episodes that she went on a landing party were always a treat; and there was none better than "Mirror, Mirror." This lovely lady shone when she was thrown into a hostile environment among familiar strangers. And that bare-midriff dress! It was the only time we got to see those chiseled dancer's abs, and that skirt really plunged, showing part of her body in a style that female singers today are only now emulating.

One of the greatest mistakes made in the original series was the constant marginalizing of the secondary characters, especially Uhura, since she was the lone female in the regular crew of seven. As much has been made about her contributions at the time, how much more they could have been had a certain star not constantly suggested cuts in the lines of the secondary actors. Her talent and charm were largely wasted, left to be mere window dressing in the background.

There's more to come soon; I have a People magazine article on Nichelle published in the 80's that I'll post next.

Below are some various photos and screen captures that your eyes will thank me for.
(Screen capture source: Trekcore)

From "Arena":

From "The Changeling":

From "The Man Trap":

From "Charlie X":

From "Conscience Of The King":

And my all-time favorite episode, "Mirror, Mirror":

Brittney, eat your heart out!

Even nearly 16 years later during "The Search For Spock," she is still one hot mama.

For more Uhura (and really, who can get enough?) click on the "Uhura" tag on the right side of this page.