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Old December 21 2008, 07:48 AM   #1
Lord Garth
Star Trek (TOS) FAQ

Version 4.0
December 21, 2008

Written by Lord Garth


The purpose of this FAQ is to provide basic information about the original and animated Star Trek that's either of general interest or might not be remembered. It's not intended to be comprehensive, even though it probably looks that way.

FAQ History

Version 4.0: December 21, 2008
Version 3.1: June 15, 2005
Version 3.0: December 27, 2004
Version 2.1: September 1, 2004
Version 2.0: August 31, 2004
Version 1.0: April 17, 2002

Table of Contents

Part I. The Original Series
Part II. The Animated Series
Part III. Subsequent Production

Part I. The Original Series (TOS)

1. Who created Star Trek?
Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991). His second wife, and girlfriend during TOS, was Majel Barrett (1932-2008).

2. How long did Star Trek last?
Despite having the Enterprise on a "five-year mission", Star Trek only lasted for three seasons, from 1966-1969. There were a total of 79 episodes, 80 if "The Cage" is included.

3. When did Star Trek first premiere?
September 8, 1966.

4. Who starred in the original Star Trek?
William Shatner... Captain James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy... Commander Spock
DeForest Kelley... Dr. Leonard McCoy, a.k.a. "Bones"
Grace Lee Whitney... Yeoman Janice Rand (Season 1, first half)
James Doohan... Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery Scott, a.k.a. "Scotty"
Walter Koenig... Ensign Pavel Chekov (Seasons 2-3)
Nichelle Nichols... Lieutenant Uhura
George Takei... Lieutenant Sulu
Majel Barrett... Nurse Christine Chapel

5. Is it Dr. Spock or Mr. Spock?
Mr. Spock. The confusion in the fictional Spock's title likely arose because of real-life child psychologist Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998), whose controversial child rearing philosophies made headlines during the time of the series' original production. -- Answer provided by Sir Rhosis.

6. How many roles did Majel Barrett play total?
In addition to Number One and Nurse Chapel, she was also the Enterprise computer’s voice. She played the Starfleet computer voice in every Star Trek series from 1987-2005 and several of the movies, up to J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, released theatrically in 2009.

Majel Barrett also played Lwaxana Troi, a recurring character on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

7. Where can I find out more information about the cast?
You can find out on the Internet Movie Database. It has information on their birthdays, other film or related projects they've done, and much more.

8. What is "The Cage"?
"The Cage", starring Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike, is the first episode of Star Trek. A pilot episode to show NBC what Star Trek would be like. It was produced in 1964 and had a mostly different cast. The only two familiar cast members are Leonard Nimoy (as Spock) and Majel Barrett (as "Number One"). NBC rejected Star Trek for being "too cerebral" and ordered a second pilot.

Footage from "The Cage" was later re-used in "The Menagerie”, during the first season. “The Menagerie” was the first and only two-part episode in the series.

9. What is the second pilot?
"Where No Man Has Gone Before", starring William Shatner as Captain Kirk. It was produced in 1965 and the entire cast was replaced except for Leonard Nimoy. Majel Barrett returned later in the role of Nurse Chapel. This time Star Trek was accepted and it was added to NBC's 1966 fall schedule.

"Where No Man Has Gone Before" being produced a year before the rest of the first season is the reason it looks so different.

10. Why did Yeoman Rand leave in the middle of the first season?
Several episodes had shown Kirk and Rand to be interested in each other and the writers and producers didn't want Captain Kirk tied to one woman throughout the entire series. There's speculation as to whether or not there may have been more to why Grace Lee Whitney left but this is indeed the official reason.

11. Nichelle Nichols almost left the show?
Nichelle Nichols was frustrated with her limited role as Uhura during the first season and she wanted to leave the series. She was persuaded to stay by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s influence. Her presence on the bridge showed that in the future humanity would be color-blind.

12. Star Trek featured the first inter-racial kiss?
Star Trek portrayed the first kiss between black and white fictional characters on American television in 1968 when Kirk kissed Uhura in “Plato’s Stepchildren”.

13. Where's Chekov in the first season?
Chekov doesn't appear until the second season.

14. But "Space Seed" is a first season episode! So how does Khan know Chekov in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?
It was an oversight. Two common rationalizations are that Chekov was in the lower decks at the time or that he just wasn't seen. Any other rationalizations can be used as well.

15. What prompted the addition of Chekov?
Chekov was added to appeal to the series’ younger viewers. His hairstyle was modeled after Davy Jones, the lead singer on The Monkees, a TV series at the time and also a band.

Chekov was originally going to be an English character but was made a Russian in order to acknowledge their space program.

16. Why do the Klingons in TOS look so different?
There was a change in make-up beginning in 1979 with Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

No on-screen explanation was given until Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005. It was a combination of genetic engineering and viral mutation. The episodes in question are "Affliction" and "Divergence".

17. Didn't McCoy say first contact was made with the Klingons 50 years ago in "Day of the Dove"?
This was never said in any version of the episode, cut or uncut.

18. Was Spock the first Vulcan in Starfleet?
This was also never said. In fact, "The Immunity Syndrome" mentions an all-Vulcan crew onboard the USS Intrepid, which would suggest against it.

19. How do stardates work?!
Stardates in TOS are a four-digit number that are used to mark time. Stardates aren't consistent from episode to episode and were used so writers wouldn't have to pin-down Star Trek to an exact date on the Gregorian calendar.

An episode of Star Trek: Voyager in 2001, "Q2", said the five-year mission ended in 2270.

20. What happened to Star Trek after it was cancelled?
After it was cancelled, the original Star Trek went into strip syndication. Episodes were shown everyday and Star Trek became more popular in reruns than it ever was on NBC.

Part II. The Animated Series (TAS)

1. How did TAS come about?
By 1973 NBC decided it made a mistake cancelling Star Trek and wanted to bring it back. When they realized it would cost more than they wanted to spend to reconstruct the sets a compromise was made that Star Trek would return as an animated series.

2. When does TAS take place?
It takes place after the third season of TOS. Essentially it's a fourth (and fifth) season, except animated.

3. How long did TAS last?
The first season aired in fall 1973 and lasted 16 episodes. Six more episodes were added in fall 1974, bringing the total to 22.

4. But wasn't TAS an ‘80s cartoon on Nick?
It was only rerun on Nickelodeon.

5. Where's Chekov?
Incidentally, the low budget for voice actors is also why Walter Koenig had to be cut.

6. Who are Arex and M'Ress?
Arex and M'Ress are two alien characters added to the series. Arex is the navigator with three arms and he's voiced by James Doohan. M'Ress looks like a cat and she's voiced by Majel Barrett.

7. Why do so many guest characters sound the same?
1970s animation was notorious for its low budgets which also extended to the voice cast, leading James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, and Majel Barrett to provide most of the voices.

Part III. Subsequent Production

1. What is Phase 2?
In 1977, Paramount wanted to create its own network. The flag-ship series for this network was going to be Star Trek: Phase 2, set to premiere in February 1978.

2. What would've changed?
This series would've depicted a second five-year mission and the look of the Enterprise would've been updated for the '70s.

All the original cast was going to return except for Leonard Nimoy. Spock would've left to teach at the Vulcan Science Academy and been replaced with a 20-year-old full-Vulcan named Xon as science officer. Also added to the cast would've been Decker, the new first officer, and Ilia, a new navigator to replace Chekov who moved to security.

3. What happened to Phase 2?
Paramount backed away from creating its own network (until 1995) and Phase 2 was cancelled in pre-production upon the theatrical releases of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

When Paramount started the UPN network in 1995, Star Trek: Voyager filled the same role Phase 2 was supposed to.

4. How did the movie series start?
Paramount turned what would've been the pilot for Phase 2, "In Thy Image", into Star Trek: The Motion Picture (TMP). Leonard Nimoy was finally persuaded to return, eliminating the need for Xon. Decker and Ilia still made it into the film. TMP then led into a continuing series of Star Trek movies.

5. What is Star Trek Remastered?
With the advent of high-definition resolution, all the effects for every episode of TOS were redone. Also known as TOS-R, these remastered episodes were first broadcast in syndication from 2006-2008.

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