In an bygone era, it was difficult for ethnically challenged actors (ie. non-white) to get roles in television and the movies. Then along comes Star Trek, and everything is busted wide open. Russians (Checkov), Asians (Sulu), African American (Uhura) and a wide variety of aliens came into the living room once a week for three years.
Ground breaking television that challenged the ideas of the past and inspired generations (see how I worked that in!) to aspire to greatness. Astronauts, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs, doctors, scientists and more were inspired by a single television show.
Cellphones, medical beds, computers, warp drive (at least in theory) all developed by people that watched that show and thought “why not?”
Even those characters we thought infallible, like Spock, eventually showed a more ‘human’ side. One of the best, and most memorable, episodes to me was ‘Amok Time.’ This episode featured Arlene Martel as T’Pring, Spocks betrothed.
Life, sex, politics, orders, disobeying orders, love triangles (really a quadrangle if you include Nurse Chapel, Stonn, Spock and T’Pring), raging hormones (REALLY raging hormones), jealousy, new weapons and a fight to the death, all mixed in a one hour episode (with commercials) that left everyone wondering what happened until the final scene.
All because of one woman. Arlene’s portrayal of T’Pring is one of the most fascinating for me as I watched her out Spock Spock. Logical love..who knew.
If this episode was done today, it wouldn’t be the season opener, but the season finally and the last part you would have seen was Spock beaming up to the Enterprise after apparently killing Kirk…and then fade to black. I think it would have been the Sci-Fi equivalent of “Who shot JR?”
As time passes by, I still look fondly on these episodes and Arlene’s passing is a bitter sweet reminder of my youth. I think I need to break out my DVD collection of Star Trek TOS and review them a little more closely.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +