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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old August 14 2011, 07:37 PM   #31
Captain Robert April
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

A few minor details at a time, but over thirty years, those minor details turn into one helluva whopper.

It started with her thinking "What would MLK do?"

It's now evolved into Dr. King personally delivering a version of the "I Have A Dream" speech, which has also gotten longer and longer each time she tells the tale.

That's not just "a few minor details".

It should be noted that this is not the only instance where she's gilded the lily while relating a tale. Her version of that scene in ST IV where Chekov and Uhura are asking passersby the location of the "nuclear wessels" and the lady out walking her dog tells them Alameda is in stark contrast to the versions told by both Walter Koenig and Leonard Nimoy. In Nichelle's version, they went through multiple takes, the lady wasn't supposed to say anything, but kept chiming in "because they seem so nice", eventually leading to a minor conference where Nichelle suggests they just sign the lady to a one-day contract so they can use the footage and move on.

Koenig and Nimoy, on the other hand, only tell of one take, and that the lady wasn't one of the extras, but someone off the street who was just walking her dog, had no idea there was a movie being shot, and was giving directions to these two strange people. The moment was so humorous and honest, they knew they wanted to keep it, but now it was a mad dash to track her down and get her to sign a release so they could use the footage.

And we're not talking thirty years of failing and/or revisionist memory in this case, this started within a few years of the movie.

Last edited by Captain Robert April; August 14 2011 at 07:50 PM.
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Old August 15 2011, 12:51 AM   #32
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

So what we need are two or more different interviews, probably separated by years, where she gives different enough accounts so as to be contradictory, and preferably at least three interviews to show a trend.
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Old August 15 2011, 01:45 AM   #33
Captain Robert April
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

Well, as far as the MLK story goes, we'd need someone else who was at this alleged NAACP fund raiser. Any way of tracking down their schedule in 1967?
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Old August 15 2011, 04:10 AM   #34
Sir Rhosis
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
A few minor details at a time, but over thirty years, those minor details turn into one helluva whopper.

It started with her thinking "What would MLK do?"

It's now evolved into Dr. King personally delivering a version of the "I Have A Dream" speech, which has also gotten longer and longer each time she tells the tale.

That's not just "a few minor details".

It should be noted that this is not the only instance where she's gilded the lily while relating a tale. Her version of that scene in ST IV where Chekov and Uhura are asking passersby the location of the "nuclear wessels" and the lady out walking her dog tells them Alameda is in stark contrast to the versions told by both Walter Koenig and Leonard Nimoy. In Nichelle's version, they went through multiple takes, the lady wasn't supposed to say anything, but kept chiming in "because they seem so nice", eventually leading to a minor conference where Nichelle suggests they just sign the lady to a one-day contract so they can use the footage and move on.

Koenig and Nimoy, on the other hand, only tell of one take, and that the lady wasn't one of the extras, but someone off the street who was just walking her dog, had no idea there was a movie being shot, and was giving directions to these two strange people. The moment was so humorous and honest, they knew they wanted to keep it, but now it was a mad dash to track her down and get her to sign a release so they could use the footage.

And we're not talking thirty years of failing and/or revisionist memory in this case, this started within a few years of the movie.
Well, neither story of the passerby is exactly true. Layla Sarakalo gave an interview a few years ago, which I personally encapsulated for Wikipedia as follows:


"The scene in which Uhura and Chekov question passersby about the location of nuclear vessels was filmed with a hidden camera. However, the people with whom Koenig and Nichols speak were extras hired off the street for that day's shooting and, despite legends to the contrary, knew they were being filmed. In an interview with StarTrek.com, [COLOR=#0b0080]Layla Sarakalo[/COLOR], the extra who said, "I don't know if I know the answer to that... I think it's across the bay, in Alameda", stated that after her car was impounded because she refused to move it for the filming, she approached the assistant director about appearing with the other extras, hoping to be paid enough to get her car out of impoundment. She was hired and told not to answer Koenig's and Nichols' questions. However, she answered them and the filmmakers kept her response in the film, though she had to be inducted into the Screen Actors Guild in order for her lines to be kept."

The original article is no longer on StarTrek.com it seems. She said she knew if she was able to get a line of dialogue in she would be paid more.

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Last edited by Sir Rhosis; August 15 2011 at 04:12 AM. Reason: signed twice
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Old August 15 2011, 04:17 AM   #35
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

That version makes more sense - "signing a release" is not sufficient to permit the use of the woman's performance if she had a line in a signatory studio film. She would have to have been paid.

Even the use of Trek fans as nonspeaking background performers in ST:TMP was sufficiently offensive to cause changes to Guild agreements with the major studios to prevent it being done again in that manner.
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Old August 15 2011, 05:39 AM   #36
Kamdan
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

I know she spoke of the meeting on the 25th anniversary special, the William Shatner's Star Trek Memories VHS and I'm sure it is mentioned on the DVD set.
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Old August 15 2011, 09:27 AM   #37
Vonstadt
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Mysterion wrote: View Post
Fun Fact: MLK suggested Star Trek to Gene Roddenberry specifically to get Nicelle Nichols on television.
Roddenberry: So, make Nichelle Nichols the captain? I like the idea.
Rev. King: No, make Nichelle the switchboard operator.
Roddenberry: Okay. But we'll have Nichelle lead landing parties and carry a laser pistol.
Rev. King: No, no, no. Have Nichelle sit in the back of the room and repeat the same line in every episode.
Roddenberry: That would be a funny bit, I'll get to screw Nichelle, right?
Rev. King: Solid.

This totally made me chuckle
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Old August 15 2011, 12:37 PM   #38
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

If we had a citation for her telling it as NOT a meeting or merely as a WWMLKD . . . .

I lean towards an actual meeting. Exaggerating what was said at a meet-up seems more likely to me than making up a meeting entirely.

God bless Ms. Nichols in either case, btw. She blessed my life in her small way, by being part of something I love that affected my worldview.
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Old August 15 2011, 04:50 PM   #39
Doug Otte
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

I first heard Nichols tell the story at a DC-area con sometime in the mid-80s. In that version, she received a phone call from MLK.

Doug
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Old August 16 2011, 12:18 AM   #40
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

Doug Otte wrote: View Post
I first heard Nichols tell the story at a DC-area con sometime in the mid-80s. In that version, she received a phone call from MLK.

Doug
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Old August 16 2011, 01:53 AM   #41
T'Bonz
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

I heard the phone call version in the 1980s.
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Old August 16 2011, 02:38 AM   #42
Nerys Myk
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. ..."- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
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Old August 16 2011, 03:06 AM   #43
T'Girl
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
One person's memory against another.
Unfortunately, the one person who could confirm or deny her story was murdered in 1968.
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Old August 16 2011, 04:45 AM   #44
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
One person's memory against another.
Entirely wrong.

It's the memories of a number of people against an unwillingness on the part of others to accept those memories. The folks who prefer to believe the embellished version don't have memories reaching back decades which contradict those who know better, so it's not a matter of memory against memory at all.
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Old August 16 2011, 04:47 AM   #45
Kelso
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Re: Nichelle Nichols Interview

WTF? Are we now believing that the civil rights movement would have succeeded without Uhura?

That ain't my fandom.
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