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Old April 26 2013, 02:30 PM   #34
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Location: Georgia, USA
Re: Who created M'Ress?

Discussing "Mudd's Passion" has reminded me of something.

About halfway into the story, Mudd tries to flee the ship via shuttlecraft. Chapel corners him and Mudd tries to bribe her with more love crystals. She slaps them from his hand and they scatter upon the deck near a ventilation intake. The crystals crack ane leak their fumes into the vent which distributes the vapors throughout the ship. Ignoring the assumption the air system should filter this stuff, the trace gases start affecting the crew, including the bridge staff which includes Scott and M'Ress.

Why M'Ress? Unlike "The Practical Joker" when M'Ress occupied the station because Uhura was trapped in the rec' deck (a proto holo-deck), there was no real narrative necessity for M'Ress to be there instead of Uhura. Nichelle not available to record her lines? Anything is possible, but since some of the cast recorded their lines "on the road", being "away" should not have been that big a problem.

But consider, this was 1973 and it was Saturday morning programming aimed, in general, at a younger audience. True, primetime had started to make headway in the area of sensitive subjects, this was the era of Norman Lear, but "kid vid" material was (and still is) held to tighter guidelines. Is it possible the "guideline" managers considered the idea of Scotty, a character implied to be of European descent, becoming enamoured with Uhura, a woman of African ancestry, a bit too controversial and recommended another character be substituted?

I'm not claiming this WAS the case; I'm just wondering IF "guidelines" might have been the reason. And, IF this was the reason, there is a certain irony "standards and practices" found it more acceptable for Scotty to cozy up to a "cat" girl rather than a human woman who just happens to have dark skin.


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