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Star Trek

Spock's Brain - S3-E1

In any poll, "Spock's Brain" unfailingly wins the title of Absolute Worst Star Trek Episode - Ever. Gene L. Coon wrote it under his pen name, Lee Cronin, but never intended to actually produce it. His terrible script was a practical joke, a jab at Gene Roddenberry after they'd argued over where the series should go. But by season 3, both Coon and Roddenberry had left the show, and their clueless replacements filmed the thing, thinking this shark-jumping episode was great stuff.

Gene Roddenberry created the transporter as an easier (and cheaper) way of getting Enterprise crew members onto a planet's surface, rather than landing the ship on the planet.

The Vulcan Nerve Pinch was invented by Leonard Nimoy as a way for Spock to overpower opponents without having to resort to violence.

The slanting crawlway that leads up to the warp-drive nacelles is referred to as a "Jefferies tube." This is a tribute to art director Walter M. Jefferies.

Though the Captain Kirk line of "Beam me up Scotty" is an often quoted Star Trek line Kirk never actually said that line at any point during any of the episodes.

Leonard Nimoy created the hand gesture that Vulcans give when they say, "Live Long and Prosper." He is Jewish, and the spreading of the fingers resembles the hand gesture taken from the ceremony performed by the descendants of the priestly family during holiday prayer services.

The Klingon species was named for Lt. Wilbur Clingan, who served on the LAPD with Gene Roddenberry.

Before the series went on the air, Gene Roddenberry expressed concerns about the sound effects in Star Trek's intro. He wondered if the "swish" effect of the passing ship should be removed, since there's no sound in space. Desilu Studios polled preview audiences about it; the majority said they liked the effect because it conveyed great speed, and that the scientific inaccuracy didn't bother them. So the "swish" was allowed to remain.

Patterns of Force - S2-E21

The episode "Patterns Of Force" was aired only once on German TV, after which it was prohibited to be broadcast by any German TV station again to this day, because of its Nazi theme.

A perennial Star Trek extra, the tall blond Eddie Paskey played a red-shirted crewman standing in the background in virtually every Trek episode for all 3 seasons. He rarely had any lines, and was even killed off in "Obsession," but was back on duty anyhow in the following episodes and for the rest of the series.

The Menagerie (1) - S1-E11

Gene Roddenberry wanted "alien plants" for the planet's surface, but had trouble communicating the idea to the prop department. They sent dozens of lush, green potted specimens, all very terrestrial. A frustrated Roddenberry finally grabbed one potted tree, yanked it out of the soil and stuck it back in upside down with its bare, tangled roots exposed. "There," he grumped. "Now that's an alien plant!"

Shore Leave - S1-E15

William Shatner recalls having a "lame-brained" attack of bravado during "Shore Leave's" filming and insisting that Kirk should wrestle the tiger - without a stunt double. Gene Roddenberry finally convinced him that he was much too valuable to the show to risk his life for a stunt. Thirty years later on a Sci Fi Channel special, Shatner said, "Thank you, Gene, for preventing me from becoming a hair ball!"

A constant question during the run of all the Trek series is why Klingons look so much different, from "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" on, than they did in the original series. The real reason is the movies and later TV series had a better makeup budget. However, the "Star Trek: Enterprise" episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence" provide a canon answer. Klingons acquired genetically engineered human embryos left over from Earth's Eugenic Wars and used them to augment their soldiers. It worked but created a virus that threatened to annihilate the Klingon race. Dr. Phlox and a Klingon doctor found a cure, but it resulted in all Klingons becoming far more human in appearance. Sometime between these episodes and the first Trek movie, a cure was found, returning the Klingons to their present day "ridged-head" appearance.

Operation -- Annihilate! - S1-E29

Don't know if its intentional or not? This is the only episode of Star Trek, (the Original Series) that I know of, where a person makes a sound after being stunned by a phaser. As Kirk and crew stun the group of men with pipes, listen carefully as the last one falls to the ground. He makes a "oh-ah" or groaning sound. After reviewing all the episodes prior and after. This is the only person who makes any kind of noise after being stunned. Maybe it was the parasite infecting his body that allowed him to do this.

Miri - S1-E8

Many of the "onlies" in the final scenes of this episode were the children of Star Trek's cast and crew. They included William Shatner's two young daughters, Leslie and Lisabeth Shatner.

Day of the Dove - S3-E7

Scotty's line to Spock is, "Keep your Vulcan hands off me!" But the word "Vulcan" is indistinct and unfortunately, sounds rather like a certain obscenity starting with the letter F. This resulted in several TV stations across the US censoring that part of Scott's misunderstood line with a "Bleep."

Shore Leave - S1-E15

"Shore Leave" was the first of many Star Trek episodes (and movies) partially shot at Vasquez Rocks, a distinctive California desert rock formation named for a 19th Century bandit who once had a hideout there. Kirk and Finnegan's fistfight and Kirk's encounter with Ruth were both shot at Vasquez. The formation is most prominently featured in "Arena," when Kirk pushes the boulder off its peak onto the Gorn.

The Menagerie (1) - S1-E11

For her Orion slave girl dance, Susan Oliver was painted green from head to toe. But every time production footage of her came back from the processing lab, no trace of her green make-up job showed on film. After three rounds of Gene Roddenberry ordering the make-up crew to "paint her greener!" it was finally deduced that the lab techs, assuming her color was a lighting error, had been re-tinting her a nice, healthy pink every time.

That Which Survives - S3-E17

Actress Lee Meriwether says she was teased daily by a playful DeForest Kelley while shooting "That Which Survives." He continually pulled down the glued-on cloth rectangle that NBC insisted should conceal her navel, then squinted at her tummy and asked, "What time is it?" On the final day of filming, she got back at him. When Kelley peeled off the cloth, he broke up laughing before he could ask the question. Meriwether had glued a small, ticking clock over her navel - set to the correct time, of course.

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Capt. Kirk: Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.



Special effects of the ship in space were very expensive in the 60s and couldn't be wasted. So when a larger model was built with slightly different nacelles, shots of both versions became common, even within the same episode. This is why the Enterprise sometimes had red needle-tipped nacelles and sometimes lighted "spinning" ones, and in aft views she had either round white balls or perforated vents at the nacelles' ends.