Thread: All about T'Pol
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Old August 2 2012, 02:56 AM   #271
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Re: All about T'Pol

Hugh Mann wrote: View Post
Nichelle Nichols even claims that she was originally auditioned for the role of Spock, who was meant to be a female character in early drafts.
Hmm, that Nichelle Nichols/Spock story was a little different when I first ran across it (in David Gerrold's The World of Star Trek). Nichelle recounted going in for her audition, and at that point Lt. Uhura's part had not been written, or even named yet, so the producers and director asked her to read Spock's part to see how she sounded. But rather than read Spock's lines as the yet-to-be written Uhura, Nichelle suggested she read the part as the Spock character, so the producers would be able to tell if she could act. From the book:

"...And they all turned around and looked at each other like I'd just hit them in the head and said, 'You know, that makes sense.' So I read Spock's part and I took on the stoicness of Mr. Spock and did that number. So Gene said, 'Do you think she'd look good in pointed ears? We could call her a Vulcanita.' All this was in fun, of course, but I still didn't know I had the part."
That was the story in 1973, anyway. I'm aware that Number One's cold, emotionless attitude was transferred to the Spock character after the NBC suits insisted on cutting her, but I've never read that Spock was originally intended to be female. I'd be interested in reading something on that.

Hugh Mann wrote: View Post
It seems completely reasonable to conclude that a roughly concurrent change in women's attire was done for the same reason.
Since I was hauling out books for quotes, I looked through Inside Star Trek for something about the costumes. According to Bob Justman and Herb Solow, NBC's on-record reason for rejecting the first pilot was that it was too "cerebral," and they were also pretty squirrelly about that pointy-eared alien Spock guy.

The unspoken reason, however, dealt more with the manners and morals of mid-1960s America. NBC was very concerned with the "eroticism" of the pilot and what it foreshadowed for the ensuing series.
So it doesn't seem that NBC came up with the idea to switch to miniskirts. In fact, when the second pilot was picked up for series, Justman (Associate Producer at the time) handled a lot of producer chores, including set and costume design. According to Justman:

And Bill Theiss would continue to create the new exotic costumes required for each episode. He'd also rework the crew uniforms to make them more attractive--or peculiar, depending upon your point of view.
Justman doesn't say who opted for miniskirts, but my guess is Roddenberry, because of this passage in the book:

Gene Roddenberry claimed to be progressive when it came to sexual politics, but his actual practices belied it. He wanted the actresses in the show to be visual sex objects. Even uniformed female crew members were not exempt. They were chosen on the basis of their looks, and their costumes were designed to emphasize feminine physical qualities: short skirts and high-heeled boots to show off their legs, nipped-in waists and well-filled tunics to emphasize their female figures.

Designer Bill Theiss always had to modify the crew women's costumes as Gene prodded him to make "improvements." The results? Equal opportunity for women: short skirts and lots of cleavage. And female guest stars, invariably exotic, were gowned in filmy, see-through outfits that exposed their bodies and accentuated their breasts.
The book is a terrific read, by the way, even if it did shatter the noble image I'd had of Roddenberry for so many years.

DAYoung wrote: View Post
"Well, they're not like us. They appreciate the aesthetic harmonies of the body, without the complications of sexual desire. The nipple clamps and chaps are seen, on Vulcan, as meditative aids."

Anyway, back on topic! Commander Mel, this one's for you.

"It's late, I'm tired, and there's so much left to do." ~Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Diamonds Are Forever

Last edited by HopefulRomantic; August 2 2012 at 03:06 AM. Reason: added a better picture
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