With sadness I report that the magnificent Nichelle Nichols has passed away, she was 89.
I probably cannot add to the hundreds of tributes pouring in around the world as I write this, but I can say, that Nichelle was a singular entertainer, dancer, and trail-blazing inspiration to millions of women of all colors around the world. She was Magic.
I saw Nichelle briefly in 1976 at the Star Trek Bicentennial 10 Convention in NYC. I was 15, and totally entranced by her. She gamely and graciously answered Star Trek question from the hungry fans, even if she had answered them dozens of times already. She loved the fans, and her time on Trek, and she knew that her experience as Lt. Uhura became the key to her amazing post-Trek life. At the end of her talk, she even sung a few bars of “Beyond Antares” in her silky, embracing voice. What a love. I can hear her voice now:
“The skies are green and glowing Where my heart is, where my heart is….”
Today my heart is with Nichelle. Rest in peace and love, dear incredible woman. Your star will shine forever.
To see a great documentary about Nichelle’s remarkable life, be sure to catch “Woman in Motion” now streaming on Paramount Plus. Beautiful and Touching!
And now, some of my favorite pictures of Nichelle <3
I came across the site MyCast yesterday where one can create fantasy story-lines that they’d like to see become a real movie, TV Show or video game.
I couldn’t resist – so I created a story-line, cast and even poster for an imagined biography of Leonard Nimoy called Spock Amok! I would love to see this become a reality, but do you think anyone would be interested in it?
I’ve had this idea for years and actually mentioned this idea to the delightful Terry Farrell (Dax of Deep Space Nine and wife of Adam Nimoy) about a year ago on a live chat, and she said that no one had considered making a Nimoy bio, but I think she liked the idea!
When I made the poster, I thought up the by-line “How does one live in their own Shadow” and the idea of Nimoy’s Spock shading Adam Driver seemed a good option! I was delighted to find a pic of Mr. Driver looking down, a bit sad. It helped that he was dressed a but like Leonard used to also. And by the way, if Spock here looks a little odd, it’s because I photo-shopped Mr. Driver’s eyes, nose, and mouth into the image of Nimoy’s Spock!
I created my fantasy cast too, although I’m sure I can add more. Adam Driver as Leonard Nimoy, Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman as Max and Dora (Spinner) Nimoy, Jessica Chastain as Sandra Zober Nimoy, Michael Douglas as Gene Roddenberry, Kellan Lutz as William Shatner, Sandra Bullock as Susan Bay Nimoy, Karl Urban (of course) as DeForest Kelley and Lauren London as Nichelle Nichols. It would be written by Julie Nimoy and directed by Adam Nimoy! I’ll add more cast as I think of them.
So I have to ask, would you pay to see a Nimoy biopic? Maybe if I get enough people to vote their choices here, we can make it a reality! Please vote here! And enjoy.
I just watched this last night, and it brought me such joy (and a few tears too).
Nichelle’s story is so remarkable, and there is so much more to her than the Uhura we all love. With her determination SHE was the key to blast open the doors to NASA and the space program to women and minorities; something that is totally (and thankfully) taken for granted today.
With recent and archived interviews, we learn of Nichelle’s journey from a young dancer and singer who performed with Duke Ellington, to actress and icon through Star Trek and through her greatest achievements in integrating NASA and promoting women and encouraging young people to truly employ their talents and truly reach for the stars.
Watching this, I felt I really knew Nichelle for the first time. I just wanted to hug her and say ‘Thank You!’. She is an inspiration for us all to achieve our dreams and make a difference in the world. Woman in Motion will touch your heart and mind with a message of hope. We need this now. This was released in 2019 and is now streaming on Paramount Plus.
Nichelle, thank you for ‘Flying us to the moon’. We love you. <3
First, I was watching the news recently and one of my favorite commentators was on. It’s Professor Jason Johnson, who is an associate professor of communication and journalism at Morgan State University as well as a regular political contributor to MSNBC and CNN.
Now in the past, I’ve noticed his Green Lantern Figure on his shelves, but he occasionally switches out his background art, and I was happy to see that on this day, he had the famous cover of Ebony from January of 1967 with Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura! That was a nice surprise! Live Long and Prosper Professor Johnson!
And just yesterday on one of my favorite fashion websites, TomandLorenzo.com, the guys featured these bizarre fashion “Four-Toed- Boots” by AVAVAV. It was categorized under their Yay or Nay section, and I’d have to say Nay! I think the only advantage of these is if someone steps on your toes, you won’t feel it! (But Great for cosplay, I’m sure)
Now WHY anyone would wear these is beyond me, but hey, I know someone who’d really be into it…
Need I say more?? Hoping you’re warm and cozy wherever you are! <3 -Therese
And now, a Public Service Announcement from trekkerscrapook.com
My Dear Friends and Fellow Trek Fans, We are going through a bizarre, somewhat surreal time in our world right now. I know you are all aware of the Corona Virus which causes COVID-19. There is no doubt that is very scary, and we are all stressed from worrying and preparing for it.
Although we cannot predict how long this will last or if we ourselves will be infected, I hope and pray that all reading this are taking precautions to prevent the spread of this malady, and that our families and friends will stay healthy and well.
We wonder how to keep ourselves occupied without our regular daytime activities, yet this pandemic also offers us a rare chance at simpler lives; taking time to enjoy our families at home, catching up on books and home chores and projects. In this creative spirit, I patched together the collage below, advising us on Corona Virus, as presented by some old pals 😉 You may share this but please be sure to credit me 🙂 Enjoy.
Today is the first day of Spring, and we will be reborn, it will just be a bit later. Kirk and Company would take this head on, as we can. Stay happy, stay strong, be logical. The Human Spirit is our strength. God Bless you all, and LLAP!
Hi Everyone, Today is the last day of Hanukkah, and the 5th day of Christmas. Sorry I didn’t get this out sooner, but I was working on my most recent Trek Holiday collage and it took longer than I thought it would be! (Lots of digital cut and paste) I also made a simpler holiday post earlier, with Spock playing his lyre! And of course just yesterday was Nichelle Nichols 87th birthday, and I made a little poster for her too! <3 . Be sure to scroll down to see all of them! Thank you my readers for checking out my blog now and then. And I send you all blessings for this holiday season, and may 2020 bring you good health, much happiness, blessings, and serenity. Here’s a taste of my Holiday ‘Greatest Hits’ Love you All, Therese xo
As many of you know, our beloved Nichelle Nichols who played Uhura on TOS is retiring from convention appearances this year. (Her farewell tour is listed here) Nichelle realizes it is time for her to retire, although I suspect she really does not want to.
As Nichelle continues her farewell tour, here are some lovely images are from her appearance in Phoenix on May 26th. She looks so happy with a fan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, and her son Kyle. I do believe Nichelle is happiest when she’s with her fans and Trek family, truly in her element.
It’s sad that she is retiring, but totally understandable. I hope I may get to meet her as well before the tour ends.
I wish Nichelle a happy and peaceful retirement, surrounded by love and caring. Godspeed Nichelle, and may you truly live long and prosper. <3
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.
I just came across this gorgeous portrait of Nichelle Nichols taken likely in the late 60’s. She is the Queen. High Voltage indeed! I love the zebra print dress; a classic look one could easily wear today! We love you Nichelle! <3