21 Facts About The Original Star Trek TV Show That Will Even Surprise Trekkies
When Star Trek hit the screens back in 1966, nobody could have guessed that it would become a cultural phenomenon that would go on to spawn scores of spin-off shows, movies, conventions and enough merchandise to fill the USS Enterprise several times over. As hard as it is now to believe, this multi-million dollar science fiction juggernaut was actually cancelled after a mere three seasons. However, that was plenty of time for many fascinating stories to emerge. Here are 21 amazing facts about the original Star Trek TV series that will surprise even the most ardent Trekkies!
The Clue’s In The Name
As crazy as it sounds for a show that started way back in 1966, one of the characters – Sulu – had to wait until 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country before being given a first name. Things happened a little earlier for Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura. Her character was given the first name ‘Nyota’, which is a Swahili word meaning ‘star’. Originally, the character was named ‘Penda’, but neither the actress nor the show’s fans took to the name.
The Show’s Creator Was A Bit Of A Ladies’ Man
Show creator Gene Roddenberry was having an affair with both Nichols and actress Majel Barett when he was writing the first season of Star Trek. Eager for both of his lovers to have a part in his new show, Roddenberry created the characters of Uhura and Nurse Chapel for them. Nichols broke off her relationship with the show’s creator soon after filming commenced on the first season. Barrett, on the other hand, stayed with Roddenberry and the pair would eventually marry in Japan in 1969. The two had one son together, Eugene, who was born in 1974. Barrett passed away on December 18th, 2008, aged 76.