Yeoman Rand's Tower of Hair

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Nov 28, 2021.

  1. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. Adding extra Rand scenes in more episodes would have been very extravagant.
     
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    When push came to shove they didn't know how to use the Rand character, and D'Agosta stated that she was too expensive to carry under contract given how little she was utilized.
     
  3. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Now 20% less crazy! Premium Member

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    Y'know, "Rand's Tower of Hair" would be a great band name. :lol:

    Having recently re-watched "Charlie X", I'm disappointed they didn't do more with Rand, because Grace was terrific in that. :sigh:
     
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  4. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    So if she had been cheaper she might have been used more and then extended perhaps? Or were the odds always that TPTB were going to get rid of her for one reason or another?
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    There was a memo from GR to Coon late in the 1st season suggesting they might bring her back as a an occasional guest role, but as far as we can tell it was never pursued. The yeoman characters pretty much vanished after S1, so they clearly had little story use for them.
     
  6. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it was 7 episodes because I recall being confused why they bothered to include her in an 8th if they gave her no lines. She appeared about as often as Scotty, so I suppose that could have been carried forward.

    It's not clear if the reduction in appearances by yeomen in seasons 2 and 3 was just because they could use extras with no lines but if you had an established character that you wanted to use, you could see how Rand, in addition to replacing most of the yeomen not-Rands, could have contributed to the Menagerie, Court Martial, Arena, the Trouble with Tribbles, a Piece of the Action, the Savage Curtain, the Tholian Web, And the Children Shall Lead, Metamorphosis, Spectre of the Gun, and Turnabout Intruder. It's possible to think of about 10 episodes per season where they could have plugged her in and even added her to landing parties to bring a female perspective.
     
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  7. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    They could have done that with Uhura. Rand offered nothing special as she was never developed as a character, and Nichelle was kept on and cheaper, so why not use her?

    Every season the cast got increases, and as the breakout character, Nimoy fought for and got a larger than originally contracted increase. Money was always a major consideration.
     
  8. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They could and should have used Uhura more, for sure. Although she was tied to her station in the same way as Chapel was tied to sick bay, they could easily have included them in more landing parties - she was still being paid to sit on the ship but presumably less as they could film those scenes in one chunk. The popularity of Spock did lead to him becoming a bit of a Mary Sue, competent in fields that were the established wheelhouses of other characters. Even in TMP it's Spock and Decker who solve the communications problem. All Uhura contributes is a sideways glance.

    But it's not true to say Rand was undeveloped as a character though. She has a ton of quirks displayed in Man Trap, Charlie X, Enemy Within, and Corbomite Manoeuvre, not to mention Conscience of the King. The interaction between Rand and Uhura in Man Trap and Charlie X benefitted both characters, although that might have been down to the writers caring about establishing the characters more at that stage. I think it's only the Changeling that gives Uhura any other interaction with another female crewmember.

    I think Grace was fired before any of her episodes aired, so there was no opportunity for fans to warm to Rand. As a kid, I got to see Star Trek on an irregular basis, so I just thought she was in some episodes and not others. I didn't know that she was concentrated in the first dozen. My friends and I at school thought she was great, partly because she was sometimes so dumb she was almost a caricature. It's possible if she had remained in te second half of the season, she might have developed enough of a following for them to make the yeoman a role a bit more useful, although unlikely given that none of the other women were particularly useful.

    None of the subsequent yeomen had such crazy wigs. I wonder to what extent the hair was meant to grab attention. Uhura's and Chapel's wigs changed over time, so perhaps Rand's would have too, to something more practical.

    The possibility of a guest appearance in the Trouble with Tribbles was nixed at an early stage but Grace confirmed that she was an ugly drunk who caused several scenes at various showbiz parties after leaving the show. The timeline in the autobiography is not completely clear but it's possible that she had a bad reputation by 1967. It's also possible that the details of the sexual assault were known and the men at the top closed ranks. Who knows?

    More likely it was a combination of factors. Emily Banks was expecting to reprise her role at some point but never heard anything back.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2022
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  9. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    Well Uhura and Chapel did kiss in "What are Little Girls Made Of". So I think they were friends then. LOL
    Its such a shame what happened to Grace. Were Majel and Nicholls also safe because of their relationship with the boss ?
    I wouldn't have missed the Chapel or Rand characters if they were never there. I hated that they were merely love interests. If they were written for Abrams version you can imagine Rand as Kirk's long suffering right hand person - keeping Kirk up-to-date with the latest rules and paperwork not someone who is trying to get Kirk to look at her legs.
     
  10. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Argh.
     
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  11. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not quite. Season Three had a blatant lack of them, but Tankris and Atkins had specific moments in WOLF IN THE FOLD and THE DEADLY YEARS. Landon and Thompson got to beam down in THE APPLE and BY ANY OTHER NAME, though only Landon survived. Coincidentally or otherwise, no yeomans ever beamed down after Thompson.
     
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  12. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All of this is covered in the words "pretty much." Maurice's point was that yeoman characters weren't featured as much after the first season, and it still stands.
     
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  13. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You certainly get the impression that having a 'close personal relationship' with GR helped the actresses be a little bit more secure in their roles but not much I guess, considering the budgetary limitations and since Number One still got axed.

    I confess, while I would be happy to see Rand get developed as a character in Strange New Worlds, I'm not sure I want her to get a 21st century revamp as a confident modern kick-ass martial arts expert though. I was unimpressed at the need to make Chris Pine's Kirk a gung ho delinquent with limited common sense rather than a well-read hard working officer. I suppose I would prefer them to put a modern gloss on the existing character rather than a revamp and develop stuff that should always have been there. Rand wasn't smart and sciency and she wasn't a combat expert, she was more of an everyman. She was, however, a non-commissioned officer, a trained astronaut, and a technician who showed some ability to improvise in a crisis (not Reno or Wesley Crusher level of improvisation but along those lines). That seems like enough to work with if they just show her a bit of respect.

    I think I would have preferred Rand instead of Chekov in the first movie, just featuring her as Pike's yeoman who was tasked with escorting Kirk to the brig on Delta Vega instead of the very illogical act of wasting an escape pod when the pod's distress signal would have been immediately and automatically picked up by the station who would have used their functional transporters to transport Kirk to safety, leaving Kirk, on his own, as an unreliable narrator, feeding a line of bull to the station staff. But I digress, as Scotty did not have his sensors or communications set up properly and was completely unaware that a ship had been nearby or that a pod had crashed (although I can't think of any reason why Spock would assume that Scotty was going to be that incompetent).
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2022
  14. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Now 20% less crazy! Premium Member

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    Just curious - what do yeomans do IRL? Do they still exist?
     
  15. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Worf In the 23rd Century Premium Member

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    Yeoman Modern Navy
     
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  16. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Now 20% less crazy! Premium Member

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    Thanks! I felt too lazy to look myself. :hugegrin:
     
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  17. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    When Roddenberry broached bringing Rand back he suggested a simpler hairstyle. I think everyone eventually realized the wig was a pain in the ass and wasn't very flattering.

    Nichelle was an NQ (No Quote) day player and got paid by how many days she worked per episode. The more she appeared, the more she cost. They tend to shoot all the scenes in a given set in one block.
     
  18. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Now 20% less crazy! Premium Member

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    Wow. I had no idea. :eek:
     
  19. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interesting. I think the captain's yeoman would have been a justifiable addition in any of the episodes featuring a trial or crew assessment (Court Martial, the Menagerie, the Deadly Years, Wolf in the Fold, and Turnabout Intruder); any episode where Kirk was specifically and publicly in peril (Arena, the Savage Curtain, Tholian Web, and the Enterprise Incident, to name a few); any episode where the whole crew is captive (I, Mudd, this Side of Paradise), and as part of any diplomatic landing party or diplomatic story (a Taste of Armageddon, Journey to Babel).

    For Grace specifically, I would have also singled her out to appear in comedy episodes (I, Mudd, the Trouble with Tribbles, A Piece of the Action) because she had great comic timing.

    For me personally, I would not have used them on exploration duty, I would have used Palamas, Mulhall, or a female security guard as appropriate. Using them in those fish out of water scenarios definitely made them look pointless and there to fulfil damsel in distress roles. Mears' only job was to switch on the tricorder, Zahra was the only unarmed crewman (even McCoy had a phaser), and Landon was the only crewman who wasn't an officer and was only there to teach the natives about snoo snoo because Chekov wasn't into beefy security guards.

    I would also have used them as personal shuttle pilot for the captain although that might be covered under diplomatic missions above (Metamorphosis).

    Far from being difficult to write for, I think there was a lot of story potential for the yeoman in quite a few different scenarios if they had made her more independent and stuck with someone plucky like Colt, who I can imagine disposing of the overloading phaser in Conscience of the King, or sussing Lester in Turnabout Intruder. The yeoman character suffered because they obsessed over her crush on Kirk to the detriment of everything else.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
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  20. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    She was under contract with guarantees of X out of Y segments only once, for the first half of S2. The only members of the cast guaranteed to be in every episode were Kirk and Spock in S1, and, starting in S2, Kelley was added.

    @Pauln6 . You'd might do those things if you had a time machine and could go back, but you wouldn't necessarily have the same ideas you do now had you been born in 1938 and raised under a far more sexist culture.