Helen Noel as a Regular

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "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.
     
  2. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hmmm, such a scenario would probably displace Nurse Chapel, and Roddenberry wouldn't let that happen.
     
  3. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  4. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    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 "tête-à-tête" 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.

    Mario
     
  5. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I must agree as well.:)
     
  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    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...:devil:

    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
     
  7. Kevman7987

    Kevman7987 Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  8. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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! :drool:
     
  9. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    Helen Noel had great chemistry with Captain Kirk. I'd have totally bought her being an unrequited love interest more than Kirk/Rand.
     
  10. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  12. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    You mean, after she took a bite from his lunch and then shamelessly put it back on his plate ;)

    Sulu didn´t seem too disappointed Janice wasn´t on the bridge however, and settled for Uhura mighty quick :lol:
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    He had to rescue one damsel in "distress", at least. ;)

    Bob
     
  14. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    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...)
     
  16. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I highly doubt they would have killed of a regular like Rand, especially since the episodes were frequently shown out of order.
     
  17. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    Brief digression. NBC was dumb enough to run episodes of HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET out of order, to the degree that we discovered a former regular had died.....two weeks before his character was FOUND dead by his fellow regulars.
    NBC of course was better than that in the '60s. And most series weren't serialized but stand-alones then.

    PS: Great blog!
     
  18. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Rand was definitely part of the crew in Galileo 7 and would have replaced Uhura on the planet in CotEoF, as well as most of the yeomen of the week. She was also cited in an early draft of the Trouble with Tribbles. They didn't use yeomen that often outside of season one but I think it would have been cool if they had kept her around for a couple of episodes per season.

    It was more unusual to kill regular characters in the sixties but it would have been an amazing shock if they had killed Rand instead of a nameless redshirt!

    The video release of Babylon 5 had two episodes on in the wrong order, revealing the identity of the traitor before Divided Loyalties could be watched.
     
  19. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    And had Rand, or any other TOS regular bought it, there's no way the end of the episode would be so hunky-dory. (The sole mention of the yeoman's last name occurred 30 seconds after she died.)
     
  20. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Kirk would have kept her beehive in his quarters as an eternal memento. Well, ok, the powder that used to be her beehive.
     

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