Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Interesting Star Trek Story

Was just reading a review of Star Trek Season 3 over at Popmatters - and there's an interesting story about the first on air interracial kiss.
Just putting blacks and whites on the bridge together was innovative, but Star Trek went a step further during its third season. The show staged the first interracial kiss ever aired on television. The backstory is typically complicated. Captain Kirk, Spock, Lieutenant Uhuru and Nurse Chapel are captives of a vindictive society with the power to control minds. Their captors are putting on a show – Spock sings and plays the harp, Kirk and Spock fight and, finally, the two men are forced to kiss the women.

In an interview on disc seven, Nichols says that she saw the kiss in early drafts of the script and kept expecting it to come out. By the day of filming, the kiss was still in the script. The cast filmed the scene, and immediate chaos ensued. The director shut filming down, called in executives and the whole group of “suits” as Nichols called them, debated whether to allow the kiss. Finally, Gene Roddenberry broke the impasse, suggesting that two versions be filmed, one with a kiss, one without. They’d decide later. It was Friday afternoon. Nichols recalls the William Shatner dragged out the “kiss” filming, insisting on take after take until, finally, there was only time for one take of the non-kiss version. At the crucial moment, Shatner crossed his eyes. No one noticed until later…too late to reshoot the scene. The kiss stayed in.
I just wouldn't have thought Shatner capable of that on a couple of levels; I'm impressed.

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