Screen capture of Captain Kirk, Chekov and Uhura grabbing their throats gasping for air.
Roddenberry had extensive experience in writing for series about the Old West that had been popular television fare earlier in the 1960s and the 1950s, and he pitched his new show to the networks as "Wagon Train to the stars." In 1964, Roddenberry signed a three-year program-development contract with a leading independent television production company, Desilu Productions. In Roddenberry's original concept, the protagonist was Captain Robert April of the starship S.S. Yorktown. This character was developed into Captain Christopher Pike, first portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter. Roddenberry first presented Star Trek to CBS, which turned it down in favor of the Irwin Allen creation Lost in Space. Roddenberry next presented his concept to the head of Desilu Studio—Herb Solow—who eventually accepted it. Solow then successfully sold Gene's vision of Star Trek to NBC, which paid for but turned down the first pilot "The Cage", stating that it was "too cerebral". However, the NBC executives had still been impressed with the concept, and they understood that its perceived faults had been partly because of the script that they had selected themselves. The NBC executives then made the unusual decision to pay for a second pilot, using the script called "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Only the character of Mr. Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, was kept from the first pilot, and only two cast members, Majel Barrett and Nimoy, were carried forward into the second pilot. This pilot proved to be satisfactory to NBC, and the network selected Star Trek to be in its upcoming television schedule for the fall of 1966.The second pilot introduced the rest of the main characters: Captain Kirk (William Shatner), chief engineer Lt. Commander Scott (James Doohan) and Lt. Sulu (George Takei). Paul Fix played Dr. Mark Piper in the second pilot; ship's doctor Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) joined the cast when filming began for the first season, and he remained for the rest of the series, achieving billing as the third star of the series. Also joining the ship's permanent crew then was the communications officer, Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), the first African-American woman to hold such an important role in an American television series.original research? Walter Koenig joined the cast as Ensign Pavel Chekov in the series' second season. -Wikipidia