Scott Mantz is an award winning Film Critic and host of moviemantz.com. Steve Morris is a Film maker and film historian as well as the host of The Cine-Files. Between these two movie-loving wizards, one gets insights into TOS that they may have never considered before!
And best of all, they are reviewing each episode in production order; that is the way they were originally produced, not aired. (Like the way I created all my Star Trek posters!) This gives the listener a chance to grow along with Trek as it buds into the first real adult-themed science fiction drama. This was no Captain Video or Lost in Space, it was truly first drama series set in space, often mirroring the turbulent times in which it was created, with with modern commentaries wrapped in the wings of sci-fi. We see how the characters develop week to week, and how (thankfully) some ideas were rejected (so glad Spock was not painted red!).
Scott and Steve are several years younger than I am, and like them, I am part of what they have cleverly dubbed “The Syndication Generation”. These were the middle-schoolers and teens that caught up with Star Trek when it first hit syndication in the early 70s. And as you may know, it was the syndication of Trek that launched it into the TV legend it is today!
I totally identify with these guys. When I hear their excited and almost brotherly banter, I’m thinking – “Yes! Yes! That’s what I thought too!” They each have a backlog of Trek minutiae, but their clear love and devotion to TOS will make any fan feel right at home. But the most astonishing thing about these dives is how much even die-hard fans will find new and enlightening about Trek.
Consider this — You learn not only what went on during productions of TOS, but what real-life events were happening the week of that production and sometimes how it affected the stories. I have also learned some of the production lingo – like a musical “sting” which is when you hear a blast of music at a tense time in the drama (often just before a commercial break).*
They also consider points like the following:
How different the series was in The Cage and what a different series it would have been had the the first pilot had become the series. (Honestly, although The Cage was brilliant, Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike would have given it a totally different vibe).
What would have happened to Yeoman Rand if Grace Lee Whitney wasn’t (shamefully) fired? Consider all the stories that involved Yeoman’s in season 1 after she left; a LOT of these stories were originally written for Yeoman Rand, which surely would have given her a much stronger presence, not to mention a closer relationship with Captain Kirk.
What single direction did Leonard Nimoy receive early on gave him great insight into the Spock character?
Was Lieutenant Charlene Masters supposed to fall in love with Lazarus?
Was Lt. Kevin Riley supposed to be a regular character?
Why didn’t they just use a shuttlecraft in The Enemy Within? (that’s easy!)
One thing I really love about the podcast is how these two dive into the often incredible dialogue and mindsets of the characters that one may have never noticed before or forgot. You’ll be delighted to hear their insights into how and why episodes were written and produced, and these guys pull no punches either. If there is an episode they love, you’ll know, and if it’s one that that they consider the worst, they tastefully and succinctly describe how and where it went wrong and how it could have been so much better under different circumstances. But regardless of quality, they clearly LOVE The Original Series.
I do wish we could also have a female point of view here — but they have occasional guests, and I haven’t heard all the episodes yet** so they might have a woman on in the future. — Heck, I’d LOVE to have a deep dive into TOS with these guys! Gentleman, I congratulate you on this fine euphoric podcast!
So hop on board with Scott and Steve – you’ll be in Trekkie heaven!
Drinking game – You’ll have to swig a Tranya whenever you hear “You’re so right!” and “I agree 100%!” 😉
* My Son is taking film-making and it helps me to understand his courses!
Well, since my original might be a tad overwhelming, I made made copies of my massive homage and divided it up into eight bite-size pieces so you can see everything a bit better! This way you won’t have to got to the DeviantArt link as much either! Enjoy, and check the list below for images you might have missed! 🙂
Bonus Pop Culture and Silly Details: Spock and Nimoy inspired a LOT of pop culture. See if you can find all of these:
Funko Spock Figure in original uniform
Funko Spock holding Isis the Cat
Funko Dorbz Spock
Four Al Hirshfeld drawings featuring Leonard as Spock and himself. (Colorized by me!)
A “Trekkie on Board” sign
Animated Leonard with Spock Ears on Animaniacs
Leonard, in a Spock uniform fighting Bender on Futurama
Real life Leonard holding animated Leonard’s ‘head’ from Futurama
Leonard on The Simpsons
Working Daze cartoon featuring a tribute to Leonard shortly after he died.
The Nimoy Boar from Battle Cats
Mego Spock Doll
Mego Mirror Mirror Spock Doll
Mattel Spock Doll
Yellow Spock Stamp
A Spock Nutcracker
Calvin and Hobbes dressed as Kirk and Spock
Family Guy Spock
Squidward as Spock (aka Spockward, by Therese Bohn, 2012)
Mad Magazine, The Mad Star Trek Musical
A Dachshund figure dressed like Spock with “Live Really Long and Prosper” on its uniform shirt
You might have noticed ads or images from the new Facebook App called FaceApp. This App was created a few years ago, but recently got a new boost with images featuring famous TV and movie characters. I bet a lot of you saw these of our TOS pals. The big fun is switching sexes of famous characters or making them old!
Well I couldn’t resist, and I put the app on my phone then played with a WHOLE mess of images from TOS! I gotta say, sometimes it’s astonishing how great some of our friends look here as the opposite sex – especially Bill Shatner, who said of one of his doctored images “I’d do me!” Enjoy!
Let’s start with gender-switching:
I gotta say, Bill has a great face for drag!
How about some guest stars?
Okay, enough gender-swaps! Another feature is playing with facial hair and aging, and some of the results were quite surprising!
Somehow I couldn’t get enough of the beard application…
And now some nerdy college professor types…
Then when we get into Aging, whoa!
FaceApp made a pretty good estimate of the real aged Spock too!
Well, I think I freaked you our enough today…One thing is for sure. We are all beautiful in our own way, male, female, young, old, nerdy, cool, and so on. We are more than what makes up our shell. May you find your way as pleasant! Happy Fourth of July, please stay safe and healthy!
Yesterday, September 8th was the 53rd Anniversary of Star Trek, and aren’t we lucky to have had this happyplace in our lives? Wishing Happy Anniversary to the surviving cast of The Original Series, William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and Walter Koenig, and happy memories of our beloved other cast members, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, James Doohan, Majel Barret, Grace Lee Whitney, and of course the creator, Gene Roddenberry. The dream of a better future lives on with Star Trek in all of it’s incarnations! May its vision of a peaceful and caring society truly live long and prosper!
One thing I loved about the original series is that even though not all characters had equal time, there were countless little moments where we’d see the human (or otherwise) nature of characters that would give us a peek into their personalities. Little quirks anyone could understand. In honor of 53 years of Star Trek, here are 53 moments of my favorite TOS episodes, 🙂
Also, more coverage of my visit to TreKonderoga in August coming this week!
Vina gets her wish in The Cage
“Jim.” A sad second of helplessness from Gary Mitchell.
“I can hear it too!”
Uhura bored at a meeting in Corbomite Manuever
Spock nearly apoligizing to Kirk in Corbomite Manuever
Christine hears Corby for the first time in years
Eve tells Ben Childress what to do with his pots and pans
And he does.
Spock grins while playing his harp.
Uhura sings the charms of Spock
Riley in full cowboy mode
Spock collapses against door
Spock’s first mind-meld.
Jim’s beautiful eyes.
RUk lifts Kirk like a baby.
Sulu casually says ‘No’ to Trelane’s food.
Uhura does NOT like Trelane’s
“They are as high above us as we are above the ameoba.”
McCoy and his fantasy showgirls
“With all due respect to the young lady…”
“You’re holding a knife at your physcian’s throat.
Marla entranced by Kahn
‘WE offered the world ORDER!”
“You couldn’t pronounce it”
Kirk misty-eyed after Edith’s kiss.
McCoy gently giggles with Edith.
“Athena! You were right!”
Evil Spock’s first appearance.
Jim reminding Marlena how a lover should kiss.
“Why are you monitoring my communications Mr. Sulu?”
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and I just happened to come across this old article that I hadn’t posted here before! It’s a review from the local college paper Pipe Dream, and it has a lot of nice local Binghamton, NY flavor, which filled me with nostalgia for simpler times.
The writer, Robert Greenberger, was just as excited to see this new incarnation of Trek as the rest of us, and he gives a loving review. He was clearly delighted, and saw this effort as ‘well worth the wait’. However, he did note that the glut of special effects did overpower the heart of the story. He says one of the best sequences is the first time we see The Enterprise and “the ship is explored for the next ten minutes” (To me, that part was 8 minutes too long!)
He also rightly points out the the supporting characters were not given enough to do and that the plot tends to have annihilation encroaching every every five minutes, leaving character development in the dust. But he’s still happy to see that the positive message at the soul of Star Trek is still there: The future need not be bleak. Something we truly can hope for in these strange times 40 years later. I hope Robert will find this and say Hi! Enjoy.
UPDATE! (7-4-2021) I found another one! In The Omega Glory, the Kohm servant has a naked navel, but the moment is so quick, you may not have noticed! Sneaky!
In crazy times like these, perhaps we should contemplate our navels; or at least the ones on TOS.
As someone who loves costume design, I’ve always been curious as to the battles that costume designers face, be it making the costumes under budget and on time, to keeping within any restrictions given by the studio or network.
When the Original Series aired from 1966-69 on NBC, the network’s Standards and Practices (S&P) team were recruited to assure that rules were being followed to avoid censorship. For some reason, a woman’s navel was considered too sexy for family time, which is why Barbara Eden’s costume on NBC’s I Dream of Jeannie kept the waist of her harem pants high.
So how did William Ware (Bill) Theiss, master of the costume universe, keep to this rule? Well, he didn’t; just enough that the S&P didn’t notice! Bill figured no one would care about navels in the future, and slipped in the scary umbilicus whenever he could. But who won the battle of censorship? Let’s keep score – TOS vs. S&P:(and my scoring system is total nonsense!)
Exhibit A: The Cage.Theiss designed the iconic costumes from The Cage (1964) onward. And in The Cage, everyone knew Vina as the green Orion in a shiny reptile skin, with no navel exposure but lots of cut-outs. HOWEVER, there were also servers and other dancers in the background in harem-ish costumes with exposed navels:
SCORE: TOS – 1 S&P – 0
Exhibit B: The Corbomite Maneuver & Charlie X The network had no trouble with the good Captain exposing his navel, and practically welcomed it. Probably to present Kirk as the macho alpha male. Both sides win. Look at that nice flat tummy. Put a pin in these pictures for now.
SCORE: TOS – 2 S&P – 1
Exhibit C: Mudd’s Women.
Although Harry Mudd’s ‘escorts’ were quite stylish, none had exposed navels (although there were hip, thigh and cleavage slashes).
SCORE: TOS – 2 S&P – 2
Exhibit D: The Naked Time.
The S&P need not worry at the episode’s title, as Sulu (George Takei) was the only one who was half naked, but even his navel was covered with a high modest waistband!
SCORE: TOS – 2 S&P – 3
Exhibit D:What Are Little Girls Made Of.
Andrea the Android (Sherry Jackson) exposed plenty with her X-shaped jumpsuit bodice, but not her navel! Theiss gets a half point for it’s daring.
SCORE: TOS – 2.5 S&P – 4
Exhibit E: Shore Leave
McCoy’s Showgirls may have worn fluorescent Tribbles for brassieres, but their dangerously inappropriate navels are plugged up with teeny tiny Tribbles; making them safe for democracy. Half point for cleverness.
SCORE: TOS – 3 S&P – 4.5
Exhibit F: A Taste of Armageddon
Mea 3 (Barbara Babcock) and the women of Eminiar VII exposed their flanks in fancy togas, but not their navels!
SCORE: TOS – 3 S&P – 5.5
Exhibit G: Catspaw
In Sylvia’s (Antoinette Bower) little fashion show for Kirk, she exposes her rib cage, but no navel! 1/2 point for daring.
SCORE: TOS – 3.5 S&P – 6.5
Exhibit H: Who Mourns for Adonais?
Who could forget Carolyn Palamas’ iconic candy pink toga? It exposed Leslie Parrish’s entire back, right arm, some leg and a considerable amount of torso and hip, but no navel. There are two conflicting stories about this stunning creation. Theiss stated in The Making of Star Trek , the costume held in place without any need for anchoring tape, while later I read that Ms. Parish did have to be taped in to avoid censorship. I’m still giving this one a full point for just being beautifully designed and engineered! They each get a half point because I want to round up the score!
SCORE: TOS -5 S&P- 7
Exhibit I: Wolf in the Fold
There was a big trend in 1960s movies and TV for belly dancers and harems (maybe inspired by I Dream of Jeannie?). Trek was no exception. The first person we see in Wold in the Fold is Kara (Tanya Lemani) in her magnificent belly dancer garb, complete with plastic used-car-lot fringe! Beautiful! But she dare not show her navel so a little pink flower was plunked in there! Must be a good adhesive because despite Kara’s shimmy, it never falls out! Btw, Tanya is one of my Facebook pals, and Tanya, if you’re reading this, <3 Hi! <3 Tanya is still dancing these days and she rocks! Love ya, girl! TOS gets a half star for daring.
SCORE: TOS – 5.5 S&P – 8
Exhibit J: The AppleWell, the S&P must have had that week off, because all the natives of Gamma Trianguli VI had nekkid navels! Three points for Bill Theiss getting away with it! TOS inches into the lead!
SCORE: TOS – 8.5 S&P – 8
Exhibit K: Mirror, Mirror With this blatant display of the alternate universe female uniform, it is said that the crew lured the S&P member off the set with a big lunch to film Uhura’s bridge scene! But how did he not notice Marlena? By now it was 1967, maybe the Summer of Love got the censors less uptight! (Now if only Spock was allowed to wear his tunic open!). Two points for each actress getting away with it!
SCORE: TOS – 10.5 S&P – 8
Exhibit L: I, Mudd For heaven’s sake! Even Norman had a navel! (maybe a charger port…or three?) But the Alices and all the other female android series kept theirs hidden! 1 for S&P!
SCORE: TOS – 10.5 S&P – 9
Exhibit : Bread and Circuses The network never seemed to complain of exposed hip bones on minor characters like Drusilla here, but no navel. Clever (and a bit creepy) credit for use of chain as an accessory here, 1/2 point to TOS for originality, 1 Point for S&P.
SCORE: TOS – 11 S&P – 10
Exhibit M: A Private Little WarNona (Nancy Kovak) may have been a Kanutu Woman, but she was also a perfect precursor to 60’s hippie girls! Between her low slung leather bell bottoms (with the emphasis on bell) and her macrame necklace she was ahead of the Woodstock generation by 2 years! Of course, California is usually ahead of the curve fashion-wise from the rest of the country, so Theiss was probably surrounded by this in LA. Even so, she’s proud of her navel and you better not cross her S&P, she’s armed! 1 point for TOS!
SCORE: TOS – 12 S&P – 9
Exhibit N – The Gamesters of Triskellion
Everyone remembers Shahna (Angelique Pettyjohn) for her aluminum bikini, but despite it’s boldness and its possibility as a popcorn popper, it still modestly hides her navel. And that bikini is also a marvel of engineering. Whereas all the other drill thralls (and the Enterprise crew) wore their harnesses on the outside, Shannah’s harness is incorporated into her bikini; which means she can’t wear one without the other. Well, at least she could tuck her matching gloves into it when she wasn’t using them. Half point to TOS for its skimpiest costume yet, but a full point to S&P.
SCORE: TOS – 12.5 S&P – 10
Exhibit O – Patterns of Force
Well well, two navels appear here, although the Captain’s we’ve seen before, (see above), blessedly, this will be the last time we see Kirk’s navel for the rest of the series.* The good Captain is not quite as fit as he was in Season 1, but then, ANYONE would look a bit doughy next to Spock’s remarkably lean frame. TOS gets a 1/2 point for finally letting Spock lose his shirt. *and YES, I know that Kirk was stripped to the waist in The Empath, but we only see his front from the pectorals up!)
SCORE: TOS – 13 S&P – 10
Exhibit P – The Omega Glory and The Savage Curtain Did you ever notice that Sirah of Omega Glory and Zora of Savage Curtain both wore the same tattered two-piece? Zora added a fur piece, but there was no denying that Theiss had cleverly covered their navels (just barely) with a convenient flap? Of course in battle scenes, the flap would flip up, but censors didn’t catch it! One point for TOS recycling!
SCORE: TOS – 14 S&P – 10
Exhibit Q: Assignment: Earth We only see her for a second, but when Isis (April Tatro) is revealed as a woman, she’s breaking the rules, as any good cat would. 1 point for TOS sneaking it in!
SCORE: TOS – 15 S&P – 10
Exhibit R: Elaan of Troyus The warrior Elaan got to wear 4 different gorgeous costumes while on the Enterprise, all stunning and suggestive, but none with the dreaded navel. Her silver appliques here blot it out. S&P gets 4 points for still getting their way with 4 different costumes!
SCORE: TOS – 15 S&P – 14
Exhibit S: That Which Survives Losira (Lee Meriwether) might have been for Mr. D’Amato, but her pants were purely for modesty. High-waisted with a ridiculous anti-navel flap, the S&P had won again! And we’re tied.
TOS – 15 S&P 15
Exhibit T – For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky.
For the leader of a civilization, it’s a shame Natira had only oneglorious gown (maybe Elaan used up all the budget!) But despite her prestigious title, she was beholden to the network S&P, with her navel wrapped up like a very fancy mummy. Still quite gorgeous. Kudos and a point to Theiss for continuing to work with metallic fabrics (which he loathed!) and a point to S&P for winning again! Like Natira’s gown, we’re still tied up!
TOS – 16 S&P 16
Exhibit U: The Cloud Minders I think by this time in Season Three, Theiss was getting pretty sick of navel restrictions. By the time they filmed The Cloud Minders, the 74th episode of the last season, I don’t think S&P were too vigilant anymore. Hence, Theiss let ’em have it with two prominent displays here. 2 points for TOS! Someday I want a tummy like Vanna again – (Droxine, please eat something!) <3
TOS – 18 S&P 16
Exhibit V: The Way to Eden
Gotta let Hippes be Hippies. Yeah, the episode was dated, but Irina’s gown was impeccable! With a lonely little navel in the flower patch, it’s Hippie chic! One point for TOS.
TOS – 19 S&P 16
Exhibit W: All Our Yesterdays Zarabeth’s covering is little more than rags tied around her body, but she still keeps her navel modestly covered. Kudos for remaining remarkably clean in a damp cave! Theiss gets a full point for leading the way in TV costume, S&P get’s a point for still getting their way.
Here’s an idea I’ve had for a LONG time and I finally got it to come to fruition. As I’m sure many of you have seen, in the past I have made many silly collages which combine the two best pop culture phenomenons of the 1960’s; Star Trek and The Beatles! You can see my previous ‘Beatle Trek’s’ here.
Anyway, for ages I wanted to recreate the famous Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band except make it with memorable Star Trek Characters. As the centerpiece, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty replace the Fab Four, and I poured over many pictures to find just the right character to fill in for all the originals (and a few more) for this cover.
You’ll note that the Klingons replace the waxworks figures of The Beatles, Mohammed Ali’s robed boxer is replaced with robed Lord Garth from Whom Gods Destroy, glamorous Droxine and Carolyn Palamas take over for Marlene Dietrich and Diana Dors. I’ve added many other characters in positions close to the originals: notice Miranda Jones’ hand behind Kirk, just as Issy Bonn’s hand was behind Paul McCartney’s head in the original! I also have many more women in this version than the Pepper album. But as The Beatles chose their favorite heroes for their album, I chose my favorite characters for this. And of course you will find our dear Celeste Yarnall (Martha Landon in The Apple) in the mix. Although she sadly passed before she could see it, her widower, Nazim assured me she would have enjoyed it. Indeed, I have always found creativity a balm for sorrow, and I recommend creating something yourself, anything with your heart and hands, to help you at your sad times.
You’ll notice that most of these characters are not crew members, as I did a massive collage of as many Enterprise members as I could in the past. I also intentionally posted some characters in black and white instead of color, like on the original. If you look closely, you’ll see Alexander from Plato’s Stepchildren in Shirley Temple’s place and Balok from The Corbomite Maneuver flopped out like the doll in Rolling Stones sweater too! I even used Star Trek plants to replace the flora of the original. And be sure to look out for 4 hidden Spocks (as well as the main one in the center)!
If you can’t identify all the characters, I created a numbered key for the poster below. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think! Thanks, Therese <3
Key to Characters in“Captain Jim Kirk’s Comely Starfleet Brand
Ruk (Ted Cassidy) in What are Little Girls Made Of?
I’ll be away this weekend attending the TreKonderoga Weekend in Ticonderoga NY! So excited to be attending this fun little annual Trek Convention! It runs this weekend, Aug. 24-26!
This is the fourth year of the event,and it was begun by genius and Elvis impersonator James Cawley who painstakingly recreated the ENTIRE SET of the Starship Enterprise in an abandoned dollar store! It is an exact copy of all the sets used in the original series, right down to every button and wall decoration! James used the original blueprints to recreate this magnificent set, and I can’t wait for the tour. It’ll be a dream come true! (BTW, the Set tours happen all year round, but the TreKonderoga Weekend is only once a year!
The Special guests this year are Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy from the reboot) Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher, Star Trek TNG) and Robin Curtis! (Saavik from Star Trek III and IV) Also the wonderful Spock impersonator Paul Spock Vegas (Paul Forest)! There are probably still tickets for Saturday and Sunday! Hey if you’re in the neighborhood, I’ll be roaming around there Saturday! You can see more info here.
Can’t wait to share pictures with you next week! Until then, here’s a few pics to whet your appetite! LLAP! Love, Therese
James Cawley (The founder and showman behind TreKonderoga) sits in the Captain’s chair!
Hi Everyone! It’s been a couple of crazy weeks for me, for I went through an awful bout of pneumonia! Happy to report that I am well recovered now, and just happy to be back to my normal silly self again!
Tomorrow here in the USA, it’s Thanksgiving. I’m baking some pies today and will make some nice turkey and fixings on Thursday. But in the meantime I thought it would be fun to recall five things about Star Trek TOS that I’m grateful for. Any of your favorites here? Be sure to add yours in the comment section. And for all our friends celebrating, Have a Happy And Safe Thanksgiving! <3
#5: Gene Roddenberry’s Vision. Where it all began. In the fertile mind of Gene Roddenberry, the beginnings of a world where Earth lives in peace, harmony, and diversity. A dream we all still strive for and will ever hope to achieve. Maybe someday.
4: Dr. McCoy’s Baby Blues
If ever I was sick in TOS Universe, nothing would calm me better than the warm blue eyes and calm bedside manner of dear ol’ Bones.
3: Bill Theiss’s remarkable fashion design
Who knew the future would be so colorful? The glorious designs of William Ware Theiss not only implied a brighter future, but were often just bits of fabric pinned together! Theiss was a genius who inspires many to this day. (Me too; I make doll clothes!)
2: Kirk standing up for Humanity.
Kirk was well aware of Humanity’s flaws, but that never let that stop him from defending (and saving) the Human race from total destruction. Kirk has faith in the good of Humanity, and will always fight for it. May we all be examples of best in Humanity; Love, Respect, and Caring. And finally…
1: Just Spock, Wonderful Spock.
Of course, you know I’m a fool for that Vulcan. But Spock so much more than just a cool character. To me, Spock is so much of what Star Trek is about. the outsider trying to fit in. How many of us grew up identifying with Spock because we often felt the misfits in our world? Spock showed us that we could and would manage well if we just stayed true to ourselves, but also be caring and loyal to our family and friends. Every Trek series has an outsider/Spock character in it, but this Vulcan was the first, and probably the most beloved.