A lot of the women in TOS were far too passive. We're told Chapel is a scientist and yet she fulfills the role of jealous fiancee in her only major episode and she always assists McCoy rather than conducting her own research in later appearances.
Rand was often a bit part and in Miri, although it's one of her larger roles, she does very little to move the plot along. The average Dr Who assistant would have put more effort in to reason with or escape from a bunch of children. I think they laboured a bit too much about their attraction in those early episodes - when Kirk is drunk he pines for her, when she's losing her marbles she tries to show him her scabby legs. Less would have been more! In a modern show they'd have kept the will-they-won't-they thing going for years.
However, there are other episodes where Rand sparkles. I love her interplay with Sulu in the Man Trap, the way she tries to stand up to the drunken Kirk in the Enemy Within, and the interplay in Charlie x. There was a lot of lost potential in her character.
Uhura on the other hand had quite a lot of sass, often portrayed with an imperious look, or arch comment. There were some of her larger episodes where she was bit passive but more often she got stuck in.
Other decent heroines were the impish Helen Noel and the acerbic Ann Mulhall either one of which I would have liked to see again.
Helen Noel was mysterious, gorgeous, and could handle herself pretty well in a fight. It seemed she was the one being chased, rather than the other way around. Ann Muhall is another good example. On the other hand, another good example of a strong female character in TOS, even though she wasn't a heroine, is the Romulan Commander. She was tough, extremely sexy, very commanding, and very intimidating as someone not to be trifled with.
Elf Spock wrote:
I hate to agree with 2takes but I'm thinking maybe he's right about Whitney elevating the writing of Rand. Her role seemed to be to have a crush on the handsome captain and to be saved by him or Spock in various episodes. I liked the way she handled Creman Green in Man Trap and even imploring Spock (in vain) to save her from amorous crewmen in Naked Time showed she wasn't just some some damsel in distress. And even giving Spock the evil eye at the end of Naked Time.
All the good work with the women characters seemed to be spoiled by their embarrassing crushes or by saying I'm frightened or holding onto Kirk in stressful situations, or having to be saved by 'men'.
In nuTrek, Uhura and Carol actually contributed to the solution of the problems as much as they could. Not relying on the men to save them.
I think NuTrek tries to treat all the principal supporting characters equally, whether male or female, which is a good thing, although there are a few missteps in there, largely unrelated to gender. Outside of the principal characters though, their approach to women in general is pretty lamentable.
Back to TOS, Carolyn Palamis was up in today's episode on CBS and boy was she a stinker, following in the footsteps of Marla McGivers, although at least Marla was clearly intended to be a very flawed individual. Even the sharp-tongued Mulhall spent most of her episode possessed by a much more feminine character, obsessed about her good looks.
But Joel has all this fun to come!
I still miss Rand though. If I had the digital skill, I'd clone Grace's head onto every blonde red-skirt that pops onto the bridge in seasons 2 and 3. Her line was edited out of Conscience of the King but she still manages to make a very noticeable entrance.
While I do like Carol and Uhura in NuTrek, I still think that Uhura can still be written even better
since she seems to primarily have relevance only when it has to do with Spock. Carol, in part 3, can also take more a role in the plot being more than just the tentative love interest for Kirk. We get that they're sexy and beautiful, but we need to have these characters stand on their own without just having them be present due to some relationship/romantic issue.
And yes, I have my notes for 'The Conscience of the King' and 'Galileo 7' in the works. (Working on so many things right now).