3/14/13

The Boob Tube #40: The Babes of Star Trek (Part 2)


Star Trek had a commodity you don't see much any more on the boob tube: interesting and  important female characters who are also sizzling beauties. It was progressive and sexy.  It's hard to straddle both fences, but Roddenberry pulled it off. So often, in an effort to be PC, writers will just insert a default character known as "the strong female".  But they forget to make her interesting, unique, and three dimensional.  In my opinion, Start Trek had tons of compelling female characters, but at the same time didn't shy away from flaunting their beauty.  Call it a contradiction if you will, I call it pure dynamite.





And so, we resume our survey of Season One with Venita Wolf in Episode 17 "The Squire of Gothos".  In this episode we find yet another nubile Yeoman (Yeoman Teresa Ross) figuring into the storyline.  A Space Liberace transforms her standard miniskirt uniform into a flowing formal ball gown..



.... which is the straw that breaks the camel's back for Kirk.  The Captain won't put up with such shenanigans.  In a semi-awkward moment, Kirk throws a fit and manhandles Yeoman Ross, madly removing her gloves and feather..


Venita's acting career would be short lived.  After a few short spots on some TV shows, she married the manager of Canned Heat and called it quits.  Oh, and she also landed in the July 1967 Playboy.



This is Madlyn Rhue as Lt. Marla McGivers in the infamous Khan episode ("Space Seed" Episode 22 Season 1).  In it, McGivers falls for Khan's animal magnetism and actually helps him overtake the Enterprise.


Lt. McGivers is a historian, a respected academic..... now reduced to a fawning groupie of Khan.  Sure, Khan slaps her around, ruins her career, and plans to destroy all her friends and colleagues..... but he's so dreamy - can we blame her?


Despite being a primary character, Madlyn Rhue was unable to appear in the The Wrath of Khan, a sequel to this episode.  Sadly, this was due to multiple sclerosis which rendered her unable to walk when the movie was filmed.


Lesley Parrish starred as Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas in "Who Mourns for Adonais?", the second episode of season two.  In it, Scottie takes a shine to this expert in archaeology and anthropology.  Unfortunately, so does the Space Apollo who fits her into some new duds...


Lesley is perhaps best remembered as Daisy Mae in Lil' Abner, but she also had a big part in The Manchurian Candidate and a respectable resume in B movies.(i.e. The Giant Spider Invasion).  Lesley married the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.


In Episode 8 of Season 2 we once again find Mudd flanked by a bevy of robotic beauties ready to do his bidding, no matter how deviant and perverse.  There's the "Trudy" series android as well as the "Annabelle" line, but the most significant in this episode are the "Alice" twins...


Alyce and Rhea Andrece play Harvey Mudd's special mechanical sex slaves; however, the story goes that the Star Trek casting crew picked up a couple twin prostitutes off Hollywood Boulevard for the roles first.  After an "inspection" the hookers were deemed unsuitable.


Having no actresses picked just days before filming, Roddenberry was in a state of panic.  Allegedly, he cruised the streets and found the Andrece girls, invited them into his car and gave them the part.  It should be noted that urban legends surrounding Roddenberry's casting couch are legion. 


Of course, by the end of the episode, Kirk puts the kibosh on Mudd's robot orgy.  The Andrece twins went on to do precious little with their acting careers, Hell's Bloody Angels being both the endpoint and pinnacle of a woefully short filmography.
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Elinor Donahue of Father Knows Best actually makes an appearance in "Metamorphosis" (Season 2, Episode 9).  Of course, I liked her best as Chris Elliot's mom on Get a Life.  But that's just me.


One of the best remembered Star Trek babe has to be Angelique Pettyjohn as Shahna in the episode "The Gamesters of Triskelion" (Season 2, Episode 16).  Due in no small part to the revealing costume, Shahna became quite the cult figure in later years.


After her role as Shahna, Angelique struggled with drugs and alcohol.  She hit the burlesque circuit in Vegas and did some nude scenes in low budget films.  By the time the eighties rolled around, she was playing in hard core pornography. At one point, she had sunk so low that she was actually living in a cabin deep in the Virginia backwoods.


At one point we see Shahna rolling around in pain in her skimpy outfit.  No doubt this little scene turned many a boy into a man.... seems a shame that such an icon would end up poor and alone in the woods.

But as fate would have it, the Star Trek phenomenon really started to take hold in the eighties, and Trek conventions became a cottage industry.  Angelique was able to latch on to that gravy train and earn a living from it until her death from cervical cancer in 1992. 


And so ends our tour of the Trek babes for the time being.  Many of you may be wondering - what, no Uhura? In due time, readers.  In due time.

9 comments:

  1. Great posts. I'll be looking forward to your recap of season 3. In the mean time I was wondering if anyone knows why Elinor Donahue left the Andy Griffith Show so early in its successful run?

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  2. I don't know anything about Pettijohn's nudie career, but I was happy to see her in "Seduction Of a Nerd" (as "The Toy Grabbers" was retitled by SWV)Her scene with Victor Buono was hilarious. And yes she got naked but it was totally intrinsic to the plot..

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  3. It's really too bad those minidress uniforms never caught on in the American workplace. But God bless you, Gene Rodenberry, for trying.

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  4. KUDOS for the Get a Life reference! :)

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  5. Kudos!

    Suggestion for your "Twisted Impressions" with a Trekker twist.

    My first suggestion: "Can you make it last a long, long time" - Mark of Gideon.

    Second: this one:

    http://my-retrospace.blogspot.com/2008/12/captain-kirk-and-his-phallic-cave-rock.html

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  6. J. Bevington TaliaferroMarch 14, 2013

    Kirk: "Who are you?" (wink wink nudge nudge)

    "I am your drill thrall."

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    Drill thrall: "What's that?"

    Kirk: "That's a kisssssssss."

    LLOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOLO

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  7. Captain KirkMarch 15, 2013

    Re: the first photo. Apparently, in the future they'll still be using the same stainless steel steam pans in their commissaries.

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  8. J. Bevington TaliaferroMarch 16, 2013

    I've seen episodes of Star Trek in which Captain Kirk is pouring himself some sort of intoxicating cocktail. The bottle is the unmistakable shape of an early George Dickel Whiskey bottle.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XNPD380IpBQ/Ssu6DJFEL8I/AAAAAAAAJHQ/KvV-4l4s7is/s400/P249_1_specialeditionsouvenirGeorgeDickelSourMashWhiskybottle64.jpg

    Here's a URL that obsesses about Star Trek trivia. Scroll down to obsess yourself:

    http://www.startrekpropauthority.com/2009/10/star-trek-original-series-commercially.html

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