Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Number Ones

I'm sipping my coffee, and watching Star Trek on TVLAnd. I think mostly because anytime ST is on I will watch it. It's the episode where the recycled the original, non-Kirk pilot into a two part episode where Spock may or may not have committed treason or mutiny or whatever to get his old Captain back to a scary planet. It's the scary planet where aliens with heads like giant asses use their formidible telepathic powers to create illusions to confound, terrify or delight, but mainly confuse as they are trying to keep pre-Kirk captain of Enterprise in their Menagerie with a pretty blonde. To have more humans around, I guess. What's interesting about this original pilot that only went to air as a chopped up flashback is that Majel Barrett, known to most of us as Nurse Chapel, space Blonde who secretly burned for Mr. Spock, plays the First Officer in the original pilot. As in, first officer who wore pants and gave orders to people. The other women are also wearing pants. Clearly, the pilot was filmed, and network execs put the kabosh on a pretty but serious girl in a bad brunette wig able to give orders. I'm sure Gene pitched it as "she's like the captain's secretary" but Majel comes off as anything but. And clearly the pants were going to go because space minis were about become de rigeur star fleet uniform. The original pilot sets a more "Forbidden Planet" straight-up Sci-Fi tone, whereas the series we grew to knew and love was much more of a wild west program. Don't get me wrong, I still like it a whole lot. But it is interesting to wonder what would have happened had Gene been allowed to unfold his vision more - a galaxy of women in positions of power, wearing pants.


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