Star Trek People in the Seventies

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Star Trek People in the Seventies

Post  BoG on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:56 pm

STAR TREK People in THE SEVENTIES

The seventies are generally regarded as the black hole or the wasteland of Star Trek culture, even referred to by some as the 'Lost Years' or, less severely, the 'In-Between' years.  The decade began just after TOS was canceled and ended with the release of the first Star Trek motion picture. The eighties contained most of the Star Trek films with the original cast, while TNG began on TV in 1987. The nineties contained most of the TNG films, the DS9 series and the Voyager series. The first decade of the 21st century comes closest to matching the Trek drought of the seventies, but there was the Enterprise series in the first half of the decade, as well as the final TNG film in 2002. Of course, the new Star Trek film was released  in 2009.

But, there were things happening in the seventies related to Star Trek; it was not a complete Big Empty of things Trek. The TOS episodes were sold into syndication and began playing all over the place as the seventies started - the reruns - usually at better times than during the initial run. The series rapidly gained more fans, especially since many of the new viewers had missed the episodes when they played in 1966 or 1967. By 1973, the show had been syndicated to 146 markets. In the UK, the BBC began airing the 1st season episodes as the sixties were ending. The first Star Trek sci-fi conventions were held, first expecting hundreds of Trekkies, then thousands. What was happening with Roddenberry and the actors from TOS as the seventies decade began?
Gene Roddenberry's first project as producer/writer after TOS was the film Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971), starring Rock Hudson, a satirical murder thriller. He then returned to TV, attempting to recapture the success of Star Trek with several TV pilot movies which were geared towards getting a new sci-fi series started: Genesis II (TV-73), The Questor Tapes (TV-73) and Planet Earth (TV-74); none of these resulted in a series. He then tried the genre of horror/the occult with Spectre (TV-77), but this also did not generate a series.
Majel Barrett (Nurse Chapel) married Roddenberry as TOS ended. She appeared in small roles in most of Roddenberry's post-Trek projects: Genesis II (TV-73), The Questor Tapes (TV-73), Planet Earth (TV-74) and Spectre (TV-77). She also had a small role in Westworld (1973).
William Shatner (Kirk): Shatner dove into the realm of movies-for-TV, appearing in genre telefilms such as Sole Survivor (TV-70), Vanished (TV-71), The People (TV-72), Horror at 37,000 Feet (TV-73) and Pray For the Wildcats (TV-74), as well as guest-starring on episodes of other TV series such as The Name of the Game, The Sixth Sense, Hawaii 5-0, Ironside, Mission:Impossible, The Six Million Dollar Man, Kung Fu and Mannix.
One of the M:I episodes, Encore, was sci-fi flavored, involving going back to a past era (sort of) as if it were time travel, and the Six Million Dollar One, Burning Bright, was obviously a sci-fier. Shatner even appeared in a short TV series for half-a-season in the middle of the decade, The Barbary Coast (1975-76).
There was also the little-seen TV movie, The Tenth Level, in 1976:
Shatner kept busy - he also began to co-star and star in low budget genre theatrical films such as Big Bad Mama (1974), Impulse (1974), The Devil's Rain (1975) and Kingdom of the Spiders (1977). He even did some one-man show in '77 which showed off his speaking voice. Here he is in 1974 arriving at a convention:


Leonard Nimoy (Spock): Nimoy smoothly moved into a new 2nd-lead role on the Mission:Impossible TV series, as the disguise master Paris, where he stayed for 2 years. He also tried his hand at made-for-TV films, such as Baffled and The Alpha Caper (both TV-73), but not nearly as much as Shatner. He also played a villain in the western Catlow (1971). He guest starred on TV in Night Gallery and Columbo. In 1975, he had his book published, "I Am Not Spock." His TV/film appearances petered out in the 2nd half of the decade, as he switched to the stage, to the plays Sherlock Holmes and Equus; just before the first Trek film, he had a supporting role in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers film remake in 1978.


DeForest Kelley (McCoy): De Kelley guest starred in episodes of a few TV series like Ironside and Owen Marshall early in the decade and appeared, billed 4th, in the eco-horror film Night of the Lepus (1972).  But he was essentially retired as the 2nd half of the decade began.
James Doohan (Scotty): Jimmy Doohan appeared in the Gene Roddenberry post-Trek project, the film Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) and had his favorite film role in Man in the Wilderness (1971). He guest-starred on TV in Marcus Welby and Daniel Boone, but work was very sparse soon after, until he finally landed a regular role on the Saturday morning sci-fi kids show Jason of Star Command in 1978.
George Takei (Sulu): Takei guest-starred on TV in episodes of Ironside, Kung Fu, the Six Million Dollar Man and Hawaii 5-0. He became interested in local politics, running for city council of L.A. in 1973; he lost, but was appointed to the board of directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District.

Nichelle Nichols (Uhura): Nichols shifted to her music career after TOS was canceled. She did appear in a supporting role in the blaxploitation film Truck Turner (1974). Late in the decade, in 1977, she began to work for NASA as a recruiter.

All the above actors also lent their voices to the Star Trek animated series (1973-74), detailed in another forum.

Walter Koenig (Chekov): Koenig guest-starred on TV in 1970 as a recent immigrant with a German accent on The Men From Shiloh (Crooked Corner) and then in Medical Center and Ironside, as well as on 2 episodes of the sci-fi series The Starlost, as the alien Oro. He also had a tiny role in Roddenberry's The Questor Tapes (TV-74). He wrote one episode for the Star Trek animated series, The Infinite Vulcan, and one for The Land of the Lost.
As the early seventies wore on, most of the above actors also found a way to supplement their income by appearing as guests at Star Trek conventions. This was especially beneficial to Doohan, Nichols and Koenig, who had barely any acting work as the 2nd half of the decade began. Additionally, Doohan visited colleges & universities, over 250 of them, for fees paid; some of the other actors, including Shatner, also visited colleges quite a bit.
Also, here some of the actors appeared on the Tom Snyder talk show, around 1976:

TOM SNYDER,PART 1 TOM SNYDER,PART 2
TOM SNYDER,PART 3_ TOM SNYDER,PART 4_ TOM SNYDER,PART 5




Last edited by BoG on Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:03 pm; edited 5 times in total
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The Real STARSHIP ENTERPRISE

Post  BoG on Tue May 04, 2010 4:26 pm


It was at Palmdale, California, that most of the TOS cast and Roddenberry attended the rollout of the space shuttle which bore the name of Enterprise. The first shuttle orbiter, designated OV-101, was to be named 'Constitution' - in honor of the U.S. Constitution's Bicentennial. But, Star Trek fans materialized another of their write-in campaigns - this time to the White House to rename the vehicle; the ship was renamed. The familiar Trek theme was playing during the rollout. Soon after, it was driven to Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert. It was the first truly reusable spaceship.
On August 12, 1977, thousands of people flocked to Edwards AFB - the same place where famous pilots like Chuck Yeager & Neil Armstrong tested prototype jets like the X-15 - to witness the test of the shuttle. The Enterprise shuttle was 'mated' to a Boeing 747, on top of the bigger vehicle. The 2 ships were slowly backed out of the huge assembly structure and began to taxi towards a VIP crowd.

The Enterprise shuttle was to go through a simple series of maneuvering tests. The Boeing 747 would fly the Enterprise to 22,100 feet, then begin a slight nosedive. With 2 astronauts at the controls, the Enterprise would separate from the bigger aircraft, pitch up and veer right. The Boeing 747 would pitch down and veer left. At one minute into it, the Enterprise would make a left turn at 17,900 feet; at 3 minutes, another left turn at 6,000 feet. At 5 minutes, it would be at 350 feet; the landing gear would deploy and it would land at 5 minutes and 30 seconds.
The whole thing was to start at 8:00 AM. It went without a hitch, though the crowd held its breath at several moments, notably as it came in for that landing. The Star Trek series was historic in more ways than one, as indicated by this event.
SOURCE: Star Trek the Magazine issue #9, Jan. 2000, by witness Charlie Wall
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