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Interview: Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols On Uhura’s Groundbreaking Kiss With Captain Kirk
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By Rufus T. Firefly

The character Nichelle Nichols played on the original Star Trek series and subsequent films has been a part of American life for longer than I’ve been alive. During the time between her first appearance in the episode “The Man Trap,” which aired on September 8, 1966, and her last official duty in a Starfleet uniform in the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Communications Officer Lieutenant Uhura of U.S.S. Enterprise would become the most recognized female archetype in the history of space exploration. It’s hard to imagine that after only one season of playing the now iconic character, Nichols actually considered quitting the show because she felt Uhura didn’t have enough to do. “I thought she was a glorified telephone operator in space,” she once said, before she was famously convinced to continue doing the show by none other than Dr. Martin Luther King himself. “Dr. King was a big fan of the show,” Nichols told me. “He felt it was important that children of all races see an African American female appearing on television as an equal.”

Over the last 46 years, Nichols has watched Lieutenant Uhura transcend the real-life boundaries of her race and gender, as the country’s social attitudes eventually evolved around her. The following decades would see “Communications Officer Lieutenant Uhura” become “Commander Uhura,” while Nichols herself would become the only actress on television to be simultaneously cited as an inspiration for both her peers in the science fiction community and actual female astronauts. Though, when asked what her single favorite moment in the life of Commander Nyota Uhura is, Nichols just smiled and without a moment’s pause said, “It would have to be that kiss.”

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Convention Report: Motor City Comic Con 2012
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The Motor City Comic Con is not a newcomer on the convention scene, but I can’t help but feel it’s a late-bloomer still unsure how things are meant to run.

The 2012 convention was held in Detroit, Michigan, last month and turnout this year appeared much higher than the rain-plagued 2011 event. Walking through the comics side of the Suburban Collection Showplace proved difficult as crowds clamored around the various comic and collectible vendors. Big name artists like Ethan Van Sciver and Talent Caldwell were almost always seen talking with fans or busy working on sketches.

But conventions like this are also a good place for smaller, local talents to find a wider audience. I Love Lightning Bugs, a band heralding from Royal Oak, Michigan, had a booth showcasing both their music and a new comic book illustrated by local artist Mindy McPeak featuring the band members adventures into the paranormal. First looks suggest a Gorillaz-esque alternative reality but with protagonists based on real people.

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Netflix Review: Star Trek – The Original Series (Remastered Edition)
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Star Trek – The Original Series
Remastered Edition
Netflix Streaming
DVD | Blu-ray
Created by Gene Roddenberry
Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Grace Lee Whitney, Majel Barrett, Jeffrey Hunter, Roger C. Carmel, Ricardo Montalban, Joan Collins, Robert Lansing, Terri Garr, Kim Darby, James Daly
Paramount
Originally Broadcast: September 08, 1966

Several weeks ago, I reviewed the first couple of seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation for our Netflix Review feature here at Geeks Of Doom. I had an enjoyable time delving into some nostalgia that I decided to take a step back further and dive into the original series of Star Trek, complete with the remastering and updated visual effects throughout all three seasons, encompassing the good (classic memorable episodes), the bad (Spock’s Brain and Season Three), and the Ugly (Space Hippies).

Commencing in 1966, Gene Roddenberry‘s creation would eventually become a franchise revered and followed by millions of fans worldwide. Despite this, the history of the original series would become affected by budgetary constraints and poor ratings in archaic scales, limiting the primary voyages of the USS Enterprise to three seasons only.

As is prevalently known, Star Trek follows the voyages of the Enterprise, on its peaceful mission of exploration into unknown areas of the galaxy – attempting to meet and contact new civilizations, and represent the interests of the Federation. Lead by Captain Kirk (William Shatner), and accompanied by First Officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Doctor Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley) among many others, the team aboard the starship would become known in-universe as legendary historical figures trailblazing their way into the unknown – and create such an element of veneration associated with the ship that the name Enterprise would be assigned to the Federation’s future flag ships.

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Photo: President Obama and Uhura Give The Vulcan Salute In The Oval Office
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Actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura in the original 1960s Star Trek television series, recently had the chance to visit the White House, where she had her photo taken with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

And what are the two of them doing in the photo? Flashing the Vulcan salute.

Awesome.

Check out the photo here below.

Nichols met with Obama on February 29, 2012, and posted the photo to her Twitter account today. “A photo came to me in the mail that I’ve kept for myself for over a week, but now it’s time to share it with Trekkers everywhere,” the 79-year-old actress tweeted. “Taken 2/29/12 in the Oval Office – Live Long & Prosper!”

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DVD Review: ‘Star Trek’ TOS Season 1 (Blu-ray)
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Star Trek: TOS: Season 1
Blu-ray Edition
Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei
Paramount Home Entertainment
Release Date: April 28, 2009

The original Star Trek consisted of three seasons on television in the 1960s and starred William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as his first officer, Mr. Spock. Kirk and his crew of the USS Enterprise were the astronauts of our future, zipping around in a starship, exploring strange new worlds — and find them, they did. Back in the 1960s, whether you liked science fiction or not, every television viewer was drawn to the series by the simple fact that it was in color, a trait not too common at the time. While techicolor drew in audiences, it was the unique storylines and non-traditional methods that have kept the franchise alive for over 40 years.

This Blu-ray edition of Star Trek: The Original Series: Season 1 contains digitally remastered versions of all 29 episodes of first season of the original series, which not only cleans up a lot of scratches and scuffs from the original reels, but also looks amazing in high definition. Since the original special effects are outdated in comparison to what’s possible today — even though at the time they were innovative — the episodes have all been enhanced to include alternate, upgraded graphics and special effects. While the themes of Star Trek have transcended generations, this high definition release has an updated look which will attract modern-day audiences without compromising its nostalgia appeal for long-time viewers.

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