Never before heard facts about Star Trek

Never before heard facts about Star Trek

Updated on August 27, 2022 11:14 AM by Sally Harbor

On September 8, 1966, Gene Roddenberry’s galaxy-ning Star Trek saga debuted on NBC and helped transform sci-fi television from tired stereotypes into a genre rich with multi-layered drama, ethnically diverse characters, and real-world issues.

Also read A 'Star Trek' icon and Y&R guest star, Nichols died at the age of 89

While it was not a huge hit at the start, Star Trek eventually developed a loyal following that continued through an animated series, the long-running film franchise, and other live-action television series from the late 1980s onward.

To commemorate the show and its high ratings and long years of running let's look at some of the facts about it. There has been plenty written about this iconic show, but there always seems to be something new to learn.

Caption Pike had surpassed Captain Kirk 

Mr. Spock was the lone holdover on the bridge when the original cast made an appearance in the first official episode of the series in the pilot of the show "The Cage," which had a cast and crew that was nearly different.

Captain Christopher Pike, played by Jeffrey Hunter, is kidnapped by telepathic aliens so they can conduct psychological tests on a human woman. However, the cast lacked the same warmth and diversity that would eventually emerge. 

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The original pilot was quite good. Creator Gene Roddenberry had attempted to film a second pilot after the studio rejected the first one for being too cerebral and devoid of action, but Hunter instead pursued other endeavors.

NBC’s decision to reject the initial pilot was ultimately a beneficial one because it led to a stronger version of the show.

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Captain had returned for two episodes of the show and also for the movie reboot version of the show 

After airing several episodes of the show, the producers of Star Trek created a two-part episode called “The Menagerie” that utilized much of the original pilot.

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Captain Pike was being returned to the planet Talos IV by Mr. Spock for reasons that are still unknown, and he would not say why until he took charge of the Enterprise and was brought before a court-martial. It was a creative and economical method to create a fresh plot by reusing the unaired material.

The writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman brought Captain Pike back as Kirk's superior officer and mentor on his first space mission in J.J. Abrams' 2009 film reboot. It was a great homage to the first season and was a huge hit as well.

Star Trek was originally going to be a woman 

In the original pilot, Gene Roddenberry’s girlfriend and future wife, Majel Barrett, was going to become Kirk’s first officer but the test audiences allegedly did not like her character because they thought she was too pushy and tried to be like the men, but modern audiences would not think of any of those things. 

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When Pike was kidnapped, she led a mission to the planet to rescue him and proved herself to be a capable leader, but this was about a year before the women's liberation movement began gestating in America.

The Star Trek universe finally got its first female captain with Captain Kathryn JJanewayin Star Trek: Voyager,  which aired between 1995 and 2001.

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Captain Kirk had a dark past before Star Trek 

Before starring in Star Trek, William Shatner had starred in several dark movies and television shows before going into space and running with alien foes like the Romulans, Klingons, and the superhuman Khan. He portrayed an outspoken racist in a Southern town in Roger Corman’s underappreciated movie The Intruder

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He portrayed a kind-hearted man who a succubus falls in love with in the Esperanto-only movie Incubus, angering her sister and inspiring her to exact revenge.

He is best known for playing a man who is afraid of a gremlin on a plane wing in an episode of The Twilight Zone, but he also had a role in what is arguably the best horror television episode ever, "The Grim Reaper" on Thriller.

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Star Trek’s Spock was originally supposed to have a red skin color instead of green

While Spock’s skin has a slight green tint to it, originally it was supposed to have a red skin color. But back in the mid-to-late 1960s, a majority of households still had black and white televisions, so his skin would appear very dark when viewed on their sets, so the idea was canceled  

Also read: 'Star Trek' legend Nichelle Nichols' ashes to be launched into deep space on Vulcan rocket

In one of the episodes earlier though, Spock looked green because the editor had somehow messed the color palette that day.

One wonders if the chance to see the shows in color during their subsequent syndicated runs helped lure new viewers and give excited longtime fans the chance to re-watch the episodes in a way they had never seen them before.

Most of the Star Trek technology was put to work in real life 

If one looks at the original series, much of the technology being used ultimately became real. The communicators are like modern cell phones, the earpieces worn by Uhura and Spock are Bluetooth devices that we have today in modern life.

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The Universal Translator shown is echoed by the use of modern voice recognition software, tricorders have become the LOCAD-PTS, a portable biological lab used by NASA, and the use of interactive video screens is akin to current video conferencing all of which was shown in the show and which not created in real life.

While Enterprise crew members recorded audio on hard-cased cassette tapes, they looked like soon-to-be modern floppy disks, which are now outdated in our digital era.

More than 125 Video games were made related to Star Trek 

Since 1971, more than 125 video games based on or inspired by the Star Trek series have been created, beginning with a text game written in BASIC, in 1971, a standup arcade game in 1972, and later early computer and gaming systems like the Commodore 64 and Atari 500 through to the modern Xbox 360 consoles, all of having made games related to the show.

Many of the titles are quite colorful, like The Kobayashi Alternative, Klingon Honor Guard, and Delta Vega: Meltdown on the Ice Planet. It would probably be hard to collect them all at this point or to be able to play them unless one owns all the various video game platforms required but perhaps someone has.

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