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

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Old July 15 2013, 11:51 AM   #1
ZapBrannigan
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Helen Noel as a Regular

"Dagger of the Mind" had a great character in Helen Noel. Assuming Marianna Hill was available, I would have liked to see her as a regular.

Just as Sulu was plausibly retconned from physicist to helmsman, Helen could have gone from psychiatrist to a regular medical doctor; psychiatrists do have medical degrees, so it doesn't even bend the rules of reality. The change would make her applicable to a wider variety of episodes.

I think she had great chemistry with Kirk, and there would still be room for McCoy to play off Spock. Think about it: Friends was a half-hour sitcom and every episode had time for three two-character subplots. As a one-hour drama, Star Trek could easily have accomodated a Big Four, counting Helen Noel in, instead of just the Big Three.

She had the leading lady charisma and talent that was less evident in Star Trek's other females. Her involvement would have made the show more amenable to women as their audience representative, and to men as our love interest. It might have been great.
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Old July 15 2013, 12:02 PM   #2
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Hmmm, such a scenario would probably displace Nurse Chapel, and Roddenberry wouldn't let that happen.
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Old July 15 2013, 12:18 PM   #3
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Metryq wrote: View Post
Hmmm, such a scenario would probably displace Nurse Chapel, and Roddenberry wouldn't let that happen.
GR's pursuit of his personal interests were sometimes to the detriment of the show, and nowhere moreso than the influence it had on roles for women.
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Old July 15 2013, 01:45 PM   #4
Mario de Monti
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
I think she had great chemistry with Kirk ...
And that, I think, would also have been the problem: Janice Rand was dropped from the show, as soon as she got too close to Kirk. What happened between Kirk and Noel in Dagger of the Mind (although it didn´t happen of free will), combined with their apparent "tęte-ŕ-tęte" at the previous christmas party and their "great chemistry" would soon have lead to a point where they would have gotten too "close for comfort" as well.

Having said that, I really liked Helen Noel in the episode. Definitely one of the most memorable female guest characters.

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Old July 15 2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Metryq wrote: View Post
Hmmm, such a scenario would probably displace Nurse Chapel, and Roddenberry wouldn't let that happen.
I must agree as well.
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Old July 15 2013, 04:12 PM   #6
Robert Comsol
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
And that, I think, would also have been the problem: Janice Rand was dropped from the show, as soon as she got too close to Kirk. What happened between Kirk and Noel in Dagger of the Mind (although it didn´t happen of free will), combined with their apparent "tęte-ŕ-tęte" at the previous christmas party and their "great chemistry" would soon have lead to a point where they would have gotten too "close for comfort" as well.
Somebody please help me out here. Wasn't the Janice Rand character dropped because she and Kirk did not develop a chemistry? (or would have given raise to audience expectations Gene Roddenberry wasn't willing to meet?).

As a matter of fact, I can't help the impression that Janice actually dated Sulu. She brings him lunch in "The Man Trap" and the two later do something together on Deck 9...

I'm still wondering if Sulu actually went to the Bridge in "The Naked Time" because he expected to find Janice there to be freed from the clutches of Captain "Richelieu"...

Bob
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Old July 15 2013, 04:18 PM   #7
Kevman7987
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
And that, I think, would also have been the problem: Janice Rand was dropped from the show, as soon as she got too close to Kirk. What happened between Kirk and Noel in Dagger of the Mind (although it didn´t happen of free will), combined with their apparent "tęte-ŕ-tęte" at the previous christmas party and their "great chemistry" would soon have lead to a point where they would have gotten too "close for comfort" as well.
Somebody please help me out here. Wasn't the Janice Rand character dropped because she and Kirk did not develop a chemistry? (or would have given raise to audience expectations Gene Roddenberry wasn't willing to meet?).

As a matter of fact, I can't help the impression that Janice actually dated Sulu. She brings him lunch in "The Man Trap" and the two later do something together on Deck 9...

I'm still wondering if Sulu actually went to the Bridge in "The Naked Time" because he expected to find Janice there to be freed from the clutches of Captain "Richelieu"...

Bob
I read or heard somewhere that had Rand not been removed from the show, many of the female crewwomen that Kirk beamed down with every now and then would have been Rand.
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Old July 15 2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

I think Noel would have been difficult to write for. As portrayed she was every bit Kirk's equal intellect and gumption. She also was (as I gather) able to keep from being overwhelmed by his charms, even though she might have been willing to have a relationship on her own terms. There was an awful lot going on with her and relegating her to a secondary role would have been extremely difficult and giving her more screen time would have meant less for someone else. Too bad, really. That combination of brains, beauty and courage still packs a knockout punch to this day for me!
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Old July 15 2013, 05:28 PM   #9
Lance
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Helen Noel had great chemistry with Captain Kirk. I'd have totally bought her being an unrequited love interest more than Kirk/Rand.
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Old July 15 2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Lance wrote: View Post
Helen Noel had great chemistry with Captain Kirk. I'd have totally bought her being an unrequited love interest more than Kirk/Rand.
I'm not sure "Unrequited" is the right term. Rand might have had a school girl type crush on Kirk, which I think fits that term. I can't see anyway Kirk would take advantage of that (at least not while he is one person with good and evil in balance).

Noel is no schoolgirl and I can't see her putting herself and her career on hold waiting for him to decide he should get seriously involved with someone on his crew.

Ironically, the Rand/Kirk dynamic I think plays better and allows for easier writing. Noel/Kirk would be much more complex and very hard to work into episodic TV.
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Old July 16 2013, 12:53 AM   #11
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
I think Noel would have been difficult to write for. As portrayed she was every bit Kirk's equal intellect and gumption. She also was (as I gather) able to keep from being overwhelmed by his charms, even though she might have been willing to have a relationship on her own terms. There was an awful lot going on with her and relegating her to a secondary role would have been extremely difficult and giving her more screen time would have meant less for someone else. Too bad, really. That combination of brains, beauty and courage still packs a knockout punch to this day for me!
I know this is sacrilege, but if screen time is the issue, I'd part with McCoy. I think Noel would have made a better foil for Kirk and Spock. She could bring in everything McCoy did, as the emotion or "Id" part of the triad, and on top of that there would be implied sexual tension.

It was not a "law" of '60s television that caused female shipmates to be marginalized on Star Trek. It was Gene Roddenberry's unexamined, automatic assumptions about the primacy of male characters, combined with his need to keep Majel Barrett in the dark as to NBC's real reason for rejecting her.

Other shows of the period had female co-stars who were fully involved in the plot and who often motivated the action. Star Trek, much as we love it, was just unevolved in that area.
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Old July 16 2013, 07:41 AM   #12
Mario de Monti
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
As a matter of fact, I can't help the impression that Janice actually dated Sulu. She brings him lunch in "The Man Trap" and the two later do something together on Deck 9...
You mean, after she took a bite from his lunch and then shamelessly put it back on his plate

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I'm still wondering if Sulu actually went to the Bridge in "The Naked Time" because he expected to find Janice there to be freed from the clutches of Captain "Richelieu"...
Sulu didn´t seem too disappointed Janice wasn´t on the bridge however, and settled for Uhura mighty quick
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Old July 16 2013, 11:26 AM   #13
Robert Comsol
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
Sulu didn´t seem too disappointed Janice wasn´t on the bridge however, and settled for Uhura mighty quick
He had to rescue one damsel in "distress", at least.

Bob
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Old July 16 2013, 08:45 PM   #14
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Noel was great. They missed a trick by not bringing her into the comic adaptation of WNMHGB but I can see that a bit of her gumption is evident in NuCarol. It would have been nice if Chapel could have been written as less of a drip and a bit more up front like Noel. She never gets to put forward any kind of biological analysis for example.

Apparently Rand was considered for an early draft of the script but they felt that the content of the episode would have brought their feelings too far out in the open so they discounted it early. It's a shame actually, since Noel gets stuck like almost no other TOS female character. Giving Rand that level of activity would have benefitted her development.

Rand definitely had more chemistry with Sulu but she was more like his fag hag. It was more similar to the playful friendship she had with Uhura. I would hesitate to say it was sexual chemistry but both characters would have benefitted if it had been featured more often.
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Old July 16 2013, 10:22 PM   #15
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Re: Helen Noel as a Regular

Kevman7987 wrote: View Post

I read or heard somewhere that had Rand not been removed from the show, many of the female crewwomen that Kirk beamed down with every now and then would have been Rand.
Agreed. She would've appeared at least ten more times, usually as part of a landing party, while staying on the ship for the bottle shows. I expect she would've not been killed off by the Kelvans either in Season Two.

(Though I did notice after that episode no yeoman ever beamed down again and few if any were utilized for Season Three...)
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