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

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Old November 22 2013, 10:09 PM   #151
CorporalCaptain
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

If only the line had read,
Her life could have been as rich as anyone's, if only. If only.
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Old November 22 2013, 10:22 PM   #152
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
"If only..."

If only she wasn't TOTALLY INSANE, of course. Got nothing to do with her gender. But rather, everything to do with the obvious fact that she was a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.

Like I said before: Janice's obvious insanity means that nothing she says or does can ever be taken at face value. Thus, it's easy to dismiss even the "Your world of starship captains doesn't admit women" line. (That is, if you don't believe that she was speaking personally about KIRK's world, of course.)

And like I also said: In the perfect future utopia that we all know Gene wanted to depict, it is inconceivable that he would leave just this one detail (women in command) out of it. If Gene was as sexist as a lot of people keep saying, Number One would never have existed! If a woman can be XO, then by definition, she can also be a captain. Simple logic.
Agreed.

Let us also recall what happened way back when Number One was dropped after the first pilot. GR liked to repeatedly say that the network didn't care for the character. But in fact they didn't have a problem with the character, but with the actress and the fact she was well known as GR's extra-marital girlfriend. Of course I doubt GR would actually tell Majel Barrett that so he claimed the network didn't care for the character. And from there he would have been stuck because if he ever pushed a woman in command again then he'd look bad in Majel's eyes and the network would no longer be the convenient villains he could posture against, at least on that point.

Once the series got up and running, and we had a more interesting character in Spock, the issue likely never arose again.

I would really love to ask DC Fontana about this issue. I'd think she would certainly know something about this as to whether it was simply an unconscious omission or if it was actually a no-go subject.
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Old November 22 2013, 10:35 PM   #153
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
This has become a pointless discussion when some insist on giving weight to the statements of a character that is clearly shown to be batshit crazy and delusional.
I take Kirk's reactions to Lester as having more weight on the issue than anything Lester says. I don't like the message of female inequality, but it's what was intended by the episode. Some novels have contradicted it, and I consider the novels to be pretty close to equal with episodes in continuity, so I'm on board with women being captains. Which I would be in principal anyways.
I don't think anyone is saying that the sexist ban was a good idea.
I do accept that TOS was a product of it's time, and subject to prejudice in ways tptb were sometime unaware of. It was still ahead of it's time on social issues.

I had never heard that the network didn't like Majel. That's very interesting, if it's true. They did cast her as Chapel, but that was a smaller role, and maybe they liked her better in that role regardless.
I can't help but think the more popular story of the network objecting on sexist reasons has to have some weight to it, given the time period and how controversal a woman in authority over men in a military setting would be.
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Old November 22 2013, 10:40 PM   #154
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

^^ Then you're not aware that back in the mid '60s the networks were willing to be more proactive with positive roles for women. NBC didn't have a problem with the Number One character, but they had two concerns. One was that they didn't think Majel was strong enough to carry the character on a series and they didn't like the obvious nepotism of GR casting his openly known extra-marital girlfriend.

Christine Chapel was basically a bone GR gave to Majel. And the network apparently had no beef with her in an occasional minor character.


And also what is there in Kirk's remarks that supports Lester's assertions. That he chooses not to argue with an obviously ill woman? Oh teach, that must be it. How about his reaction is more like, "Yeah, whatever."
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Old November 22 2013, 10:47 PM   #155
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

I'm really not aware of any positive movements in the roles of women on tv in the 60s, but then I wasn't born until the early 70s.
I've never really been all that up on behind the scenes gossip, but I had heard something about Majel being involved with GR while he was married to someone else. Apparently a rare instance where the mistress really did get the man in the long run. Interesting, but ultimately none of my business. I respect them both for the work they did.
I'm not really aware of many strong women on tv in the 60s. Bewitched was doing some subversive stuff but they were very clever and covert about it. I am also a big Dark Shadows fan, and Julia Hoffman is a great character, an unmarried middle aged doctor who becomes a heroic figure fighting monsters, but my vague awareness of 60s tv is mostly of women as wives and mothers, maybe the occasional unusual character who doesn't fit in those cookie cutter roles, like Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke.
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Old November 22 2013, 11:06 PM   #156
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

Diana Rigg as British Secret Agent Emma Peel in The Avengers. She could use guns and fight hand-to-hand using martial arts. Barbara Bain as the very capable agent Cinnamon Carter on Mission: Impossible. And M:I was being produced at the same studio as Star Trek. After Barbara Bain left the series the show had a string of similar characters to replace her. Marlo Thomas was a single woman in the big city on That Girl. In 1970 that idea was pushed further with Mary Tyler Moore.

I'm sure there are examples I'm overlooking.

Star Trek also had Commissioner Nancy Hedford, a ranking Federation official.
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Old November 22 2013, 11:16 PM   #157
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Diana Rigg as British Secret Agent Emma Peel in The Avengers. She could use guns and fight hand-to-hand using martial arts. Barbara Bain as the very capable agent Cinnamon Carter on Mission: Impossible. And M:I was being produced at the same studio as Star Trek. After Barbara Bain left the series the show had a string of similar characters to replace her. Marlo Thomas was a single woman in the big city on That Girl. In 1970 that idea was pushed further with Mary Tyler Moore.

I'm sure there are examples I'm overlooking.

Star Trek also had Commissioner Nancy Hedford, a ranking Federation official.
And a female Romulan Commander.
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Old November 23 2013, 12:00 AM   #158
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
Diana Rigg as British Secret Agent Emma Peel in The Avengers. She could use guns and fight hand-to-hand using martial arts. Barbara Bain as the very capable agent Cinnamon Carter on Mission: Impossible. And M:I was being produced at the same studio as Star Trek. After Barbara Bain left the series the show had a string of similar characters to replace her. Marlo Thomas was a single woman in the big city on That Girl. In 1970 that idea was pushed further with Mary Tyler Moore.

I'm sure there are examples I'm overlooking.

Star Trek also had Commissioner Nancy Hedford, a ranking Federation official.
And a female Romulan Commander.
Doh! How could I overlook that one after citing her myself earlier up thread?
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Old November 23 2013, 12:12 AM   #159
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

I do think it's interesting to point out how Trek's women seemed to have more authority, at least on screen, among the Romulans and maybe the Klingons. I'm not sure if there was a reason for that or if it was just the way things worked out. Possibly the writers just enjoyed having Spock have an attraction to a woman who was technically an enemy. She's a great character, and there's real sparks in their interactions. Part of me always wants Spock to run away with her.
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Old November 23 2013, 12:27 AM   #160
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

I also forgot Stephanie Powers as agent April Dancer in The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.

The essential point is the climate with the networks allowed for strong roles for women and in extent the character of Number One on Star Trek. That Number One was dropped rather than recast was GR's choice and not NBC's.

Bewitched and I Dream Of Jeannie were mentioned and shouldn't be discounted given Elizabeth Montgomery and Barbara Eden were the central stars of their respective shows.
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Old November 23 2013, 12:38 AM   #161
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

Oh yeah. Bewitched especially had a subversive message of female empowerment, even if Sam was staying in the witch closet to please Darren. You can also read a lot into Bewitched for the gay experience. She's "magical" and has all these amazing flamboyant friends and relatives but she has to keep it all a secret.
I Dream of Jeannie is a fun show I'm fond of, but I don't see Jeannie as being as liberated as Samantha. Jeannie is more of a hetero male fantasty.
And neither one of them were starship captains either (just to get things back OT)
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Old November 23 2013, 12:39 AM   #162
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

The mind boggles to imagine a TOS-era starship captain wearing the miniskirt....

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Diana Rigg as British Secret Agent Emma Peel in The Avengers. She could use guns and fight hand-to-hand using martial arts. Barbara Bain as the very capable agent Cinnamon Carter on Mission: Impossible. And M:I was being produced at the same studio as Star Trek. After Barbara Bain left the series the show had a string of similar characters to replace her. Marlo Thomas was a single woman in the big city on That Girl. In 1970 that idea was pushed further with Mary Tyler Moore.

I'm sure there are examples I'm overlooking.
Batgirl?
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Old November 23 2013, 12:42 AM   #163
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

There's also Honey West, starring Ann Francis as a P.I who uses gadgets. I thought it was a cool show when I was six. Probably haven't seen it since. Funny what sticks with you.
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Old November 23 2013, 12:43 AM   #164
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
The mind boggles to imagine a TOS-era starship captain wearing the miniskirt....
Here ya go.
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Old November 23 2013, 12:48 AM   #165
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

Wraparound tunic to boot!

Ooh! Add Honey West to Warped9's list.

Anne Francis would have made a great starship captain in a wraparound miniskirt....If only...If only....
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