Was Lt. Boma going to be a rucurring character?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Draculasaurus, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    And these groundbreaking actors were usually described as "the black guy" at the time.

    Or more impolitely, "the token black guy".
     
  2. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Which is one of those cases where the Roddenberry legend is slightly undermined by reality: I'm sure he was a pioneer in wanting to have racial diversity in the Star Trek cast, but he didn't have to fight the network to do it: he was pushing at an open door (so long as they were the support cast, obviously. Black captain, woman captain? Come back in 20 years time, dreamer).
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't think that's fair. Many of them were far more than tokens. Heck, of all the main-cast black characters in '60s TV, I'd say Uhura was the most tokenish, because she never had a focus episode and rarely emerged from the background. Cosby's Alexander Scott in I Spy was a completely equal lead to Robert Culp and was always treated with dignity; he was the intellectual while Culp was the athlete. (Ironically, the 2002 feature version with Eddie Murphy playing Culp's character -- and changing him from a tennis pro to a boxer -- was far more racially stereotyped than the '60s original.) Barney Collier in Mission: Impossible was far from a token; he was a brilliant engineer who was often the linchpin of the team, growing only more important as the series went on, and he had his share of episodes where he was the featured character. Don Marshall's character on Land of the Giants was also a nicely non-tokenish role, treated no differently than the other male leads.
     
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not saying that's how I thought of them, but I remember seeing that term applied to them in magazines. Though memory is hazy enough those might not have been magazines from that time period.

    For me, Barney Collier was the man!
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, I wouldn't be surprised if there were people who thought of them that way, but from watching the actual shows, it's pretty clear the writers and producers didn't see them that way.
     
  6. Hambone

    Hambone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It was originally thought that Boma could have been a recurring character. He would have been seen scrubbing the latrine is Spock's quarters and ironing his uniforms.

    Don't get lippy with the first officer, mister.
     
  7. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    ...which is why I posted "up to that time" regarding Hooks from NYPD and Cosby on I Spy--they were cast as part of the series leads, which was historic, both predating Clarence Williams III on The Mod Squad (1968) or Haynes on Room 222 (1969). As African American males, Cosby, Hooks (and Morris on Mission Impossible) already broke ground, which is why its easy to imagine Don Marshall jumping at the chance to play an important, leadiing role on Land of the Giants, instead of what would have been an occasional guest spot on ST, and certainly not a character in a position of any sort of authority.
     
  8. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Confident and competent? He obviously could not hold up under pressure and his behavior bordered on insubordination. I'm guessing he was transferred to a waste management ship shortly after this episode.