Discussion in 'Enterprise' started by 2 of 10, Mar 26, 2012.
More reasons to continue to mourn the passing of the Great Bird.
"Well, they're not like us. They appreciate the aesthetic harmonies of the body, without the complications of sexual desire. The nipple clamps and chaps are seen, on Vulcan, as meditative aids."
"Majel honey, remember that time we had Nichelle over and.."
I don't have anything that explicitly states Gene Roddenberry was forced to change the women's uniforms as a condition for the airing of his series, but I believe it's what occurred because, in part, it fits in with what we know did occur and it adequately explains the change from pants to skirts.
For example, we can also point to the fact that Majel Barett originally played the Second in Command, which was found to be too radical for network executives. We know that Gene wanted Majel as Number One because he intended to "have a woman play a character in a clear authority position" but changed it when the network wasn't comfortable with a female second in command. Nichelle Nichols even claims that she was originally auditioned for the role of Spock, who was meant to be a female character in early drafts. It seems completely reasonable to conclude that a roughly concurrent change in women's attire was done for the same reason.
I may not have conclusive evidence, of the kind that would pass as beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, but I think it's a completely reasonable extrapolation of what we do have.
It is true that Deanna Troi was originally dressed in rather feminine attire, which would change to a regular uniform in TNG's final seasons after Roddenberry's death, but I believe that was because her purpose on the Enterprise-D was an embodiment of the sort of "touchy-feely" sensibility that was common in the 80s. Her open uniform was suitable as part of that role, and better suited it than the stiffness of a regular uniform. After all, Dr. Crusher, Tasha Yar, and many other female characters on TNG wore the same uniforms as men right from the get-go, as they did in the TOS movies.
Ahh TOS the mighty sword of Women's liberation. There is a reason the cage was kept in a cage. It sucked. Thank God for those TV execs that gave my younger self such wonderful mystical entertainment.
Women being objectified? I have never heard of such a thing. We must keep it from the serfs, lest they gain knowledge and rise against us!
Seriously can we please move back to the titular character of this thread? Trek has always been sexed-up, we can argue about it until we're all blue (or rust colored for our Vulcan members) in the face, however that is just the way Trek is and it's still pretty tame compared to a lot of Sci Fi.
Sometimes I think I must have a male brain.
Your speculation about what you think may have happened notwithstanding, if you ever do locate a citation which supports your position (that is, that the network forced Gene to sex up TOS), please post it.
Well, I was using a form of inductive reasoning, arguing a generalization from a specific example, which is a legitimate rhetorical tool/strategy. We don't actually (always) require a specific source that spells something out in big, bright, bold letters to decide that the thing in question is (probably) true.
But if I come across something that does spell it out I'll be sure to bump this thread and post it.
As far as T'Pol goes, I stand by my original comment that dressing her in a skin-tight catsuit and push-up bra runs contrary to the spirit of Trek, and that her character would've been better suited by having her wear a more conventional uniform. Sexing her up undermined her authority and legitimacy as a character by positioning her as a sex symbol first and an authority figure second, encouraging the viewer to treat her accordingly (and judging by some reactions in this thread, it worked).
I always saw T'pol as knowing how attractive she is and how tight her outfit is, she knows the men are looking at her...and she could care less. Personally I think that dignifies her far more than a less revealing outfit ever could. But that is just my opinion.
As to whether she was sexed up for ratings, well yeah of course she was. However it was her face that got me, it doesn't matter what she's wearing.
Hmm, that Nichelle Nichols/Spock story was a little different when I first ran across it (in David Gerrold's The World of Star Trek). Nichelle recounted going in for her audition, and at that point Lt. Uhura's part had not been written, or even named yet, so the producers and director asked her to read Spock's part to see how she sounded. But rather than read Spock's lines as the yet-to-be written Uhura, Nichelle suggested she read the part as the Spock character, so the producers would be able to tell if she could act. From the book:
That was the story in 1973, anyway. I'm aware that Number One's cold, emotionless attitude was transferred to the Spock character after the NBC suits insisted on cutting her, but I've never read that Spock was originally intended to be female. I'd be interested in reading something on that.
Since I was hauling out books for quotes, I looked through Inside Star Trek for something about the costumes. According to Bob Justman and Herb Solow, NBC's on-record reason for rejecting the first pilot was that it was too "cerebral," and they were also pretty squirrelly about that pointy-eared alien Spock guy.
So it doesn't seem that NBC came up with the idea to switch to miniskirts. In fact, when the second pilot was picked up for series, Justman (Associate Producer at the time) handled a lot of producer chores, including set and costume design. According to Justman:
Justman doesn't say who opted for miniskirts, but my guess is Roddenberry, because of this passage in the book:
The book is a terrific read, by the way, even if it did shatter the noble image I'd had of Roddenberry for so many years.
Anyway, back on topic! Commander Mel, this one's for you.
Thank you Hopeful Romantic.
HR has all the great pics. I already look forward to the new calendars
It would appear I've misquoted the very source that I used. Upon re-reading it more closely, it doesn't actually say that Spock's role was originally meant to be female, but that she was asked to read lines for the that character's role and that the XO was originally meant to be female (which is something we already knew anyways). That's why I get for getting ahead of myself. I retract that statement.
I'm quoting now from the Star Trek Encyclopedia, the Updated and Expanded version, which states, in the entry for "Number One" on page 328-9 that the "character was dropped from the original Star Trek series at the insistence of the network, and Mr. Spoke was "promoted" to second-in-command." It goes on to state that there would be no female in such a position of authority in Trek until "1986, when Madge Sinclair was cast as the captain of the ill-fated U.S.S. Saratoga in Star Trek IV." I know you've already acknowledged that, but bear with me for a moment. The source that I've linked to, which in turn cites Leonard Nimoy among others, ties the decision to switch the female uniforms from pants to skirts into the decision to banish Majel Barrett from the position of Number One, and strongly implies, though it does not directly state, that the second decision occurred for the same reason as the first.
Clearly, there are multiple competing theories behind the treatment of women. I have obviously decided to buy the a particular line, while you have been persuaded by evidence pointing to another conclusion. I'm not sure if we can reconcile the two, though I'm willing to listen to further evidence to support your line of thinking. If you used to believe as I do now, I'd like to see what changed your mind, though I can't guarantee it will do the same for me.
Still, thanks for the reading material. I don't have immediate access to Inside Star Trek as it's not available in my local public library, but I'll think about buying it on eBay or something. I do consider a discussion on the gendered discourse within Star Trek to be vastly more interesting than drooling over pictures of semi-naked actresses.
If you deem this suitable of further discussion, I would be happy to engage in a separate thread, so as not to drag this one any further off course.
That is your best comment so far.
Hey now, was that necessary?
Threads, especially long-running threads, meander from time to time. I do apologize for contributing to the sidebar, since it has clearly bent a couple of noses out of shape. But I freely admit that I wish the discussion would expand beyond the woman's breasts a little more often.
Hugh Mann, if you're still interested in starting that thread about gender, feel free to start it here in the ENT forum if you keep it focused on Enterprise. Otherwise, it might be a better fit in General Trek.
As for stories about the shows... after 40+ years, stories will change a little, interpretations will differ a little. Or a lot -- I hear certain members of the TOS cast have very different memories about a few things. I enjoy the stories all the same-- sometimes even more when I hear different people's takes on what happened way back when nobody had a clue that Trek would endure past 1969. I hope you find a copy of Inside Star Trek, or any of Gerrold's Trek books - they're all a lot of fun to read.
Now, perhaps a few more pictures? Surak already posted my favorite shot from "Impulse." Here are a few from "Similitude."
When I first saw this scene I thought T'pol had just revealed her feet were ticklish as well. Just the way she flinches, it seems like Trip manage to tickle her feet by accident.
She's just so....feline
We all can't express our feelings in as nice a way as you always do, HR.
I always thought that one of several great rewards from playing "Trip Tucker" was that Connor got to mess around with Jolene's feet. If he ever does an "Inside the Actor's Studio", I'm sure this will come up.
I thought he hurt her in that scene. It looked like he squeezed her heel a bit. I'll have to go back and watch the scene another few hundred times, just to be sure.
This is the look she hit Sim him with right after the kiss. No wonder he was okay with dying soon after.
Yes, and I have also read T'Pol described as "elfen". Say what one will about her acting, Jolene brought two things to T'Pol that made the character unique; a Vulcan with vulnerability and ultra femininity.
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