SCREEN-L Archives

February 1999, Week 4


Options: Use Proportional Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Kate Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 15:30:33 +1100
text/plain (47 lines)
John writes

>The Enterprise had a multicultural crew.  Among its members were people
>with American, African, Scottish, Japanese, Russian and even alien
>backgrounds.  Next to Captain Kirk (William Shatner), the most popular
>character was Spock (Leonard Ninoy) with his pointed ears.   He was only
>half-human and thought in a purely logical fashion.

Spock was played by Leonard Nimoy.

An interesting anecdote that you may have read is that in the pilot
episode, the Vulcan First Officer was played by a woman but this was seen
as less acceptable when the first series was made and the character  became
Spock. There was a definite attempt to show cultural diversity but the
gender balance has always shown how entrenched ideas of gender roles are.
Even in the 23rd century there are few women in authority on the Enterprise
and often they have nurturing roles as doctors or 'empaths'. Deep Space
Nine was an improvement as Major Kira and Dax (a male creature inhabiting a
female body) are authoritive, intelligent and strong characters. In Voyager
there is Captain Janeway who is very gutsy and respected, a female Vulcan
engineer and a female medical assistant but I wouldn't consider this an
unbiased representation of 51 per cent of the population.

As far as I know, the first series wasn't actually very successful and they
only made a few series. The show then became popular as reruns and it was
because of this that they made The Next Generation a couple of decades

I think your piece reads very well and covers the salient aspects of Star
Trek and its implications.

Kate Butler

Kate Butler
Department of Visual Communication
RMIT University, Australia
[log in to unmask]

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite