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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vulcan Farts: Silent But Deadly

Vulcan Farts: Silent but deadly

Screen capture of Captain Kirk, Chekov and Uhura grabbing their throats gasping for air.  

SPACE: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry, produced by Desilu Productions (later Paramount Television). Star Trek was telecast on NBC from September 8, 1966, through June 3, 1969. Although this television series had the title of Star Trek, it has acquired the retronym of Star Trek: The Original Series (Star Trek: TOS or TOS) to distinguish the show within the media franchise that it began. Star Trek's Nielsen ratings while on NBC were low, and the network canceled it after three seasons and 79 episodes. The show became a cult classic in broadcast syndication during the 1970s, leading to five additional television series, 11 theatrical films, and numerous books, games, and other products. Star Trek follows the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) and its crew, led by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), first officer Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and chief medical officer Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), in the 23rd century. Shatner's voice-over introduction during each episode's opening credits stated the starship's purpose:
In 1964, Gene Roddenberry, a longtime fan of science fiction, drafted a proposal for a science-fiction television series that he called Star Trek. This was to be set on board a large interstellar spaceship in the 23rd century whose crew was dedicated to exploring a relatively small portion of our Milky Way Galaxy. Some of the influences on his idea that Roddenberry noted included A. E. van Vogt's tales of the spaceship Space Beagle, Eric Frank Russell's Marathon series of stories, and the film Forbidden Planet (1956). Other people have also drawn parallels with the television series Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (1954), a less sophisticated space opera that still included many of the elements — the organization, crew relationships, missions, part of the bridge layout, and even some technology — that were part of Star Trek. Roddenberry also drew heavily from C.S. Forrester's Horatio Hornblower novels that depict a daring sea captain who exercises broad discretionary authority on distant sea missions of noble purpose. Roddenberry often humorously referred to Captain Kirk as "Horatio Hornblower in Space".
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