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.


Anonymous said...

Great to see Nichelle get such a nice write up and shown off with so many tremendous photos. What a multi-talent she is, and one can only guess how much more she could have brought to the original series if only she'd been allowed. One brief correction - that image of Nichelle in the pilot-era uniform is actually a fan photo manipulation that AFAIK was done for a TrekBBS project. Still, its fun to see Uhura as she might have been pre-The Corbomite Maneuver. And itsn't it a crying shame she never had her first name uttered on film? Surely somebody could have slipped it into dialogue sometime!

Frederick said...

Thanks for the correction! I wuz fooled! I'll removie it now. And I too am hoping that with all the Uhura we get in the new movie, that the name is canonized finally!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Frederick - no corrction intended, just thought you might want to change the caption. I really enjoy your blog and just thought I would pass that along. Its a nice pic, regardless of its origin. For many of us, those characters have had a life in our imaginations outside the confines of 79 episodes and 6 movies for many many years, so we know Uhura must have been wearing that outfit at some point in her fictional career - and its nice to see regardless of how it came into being! Still, hard to picture a young Uhura in anything other than a miniskirt ...

girl6 said...

Excellent post!

VulcanSprite said...

What a lovely article on Uhura! I agree, she didn't get the screen time she deserved, but your write up nearly made up for it.

Bravo! :D

Anonymous said...

Hey Jay! I stumbled upon your scrapbook by accident. I absolutely love it! Thank you!
~Fenna (from Trekspace)

Pat said...

Beautiful woman

Unknown said...

Great scrapbook and what a gorgeous woman!!! I always loved her.