Did Captain Kirk Never Actually Say ‘Beam Me Up, Scotty’ On Star Trek?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Kirk never actually ever said, “Beam Me Up, Scotty” on Star Trek.

It’s funny, I’ve done legends like this one before, like on whether B.A. Baracus ever actually said “I pity the fool” on The A-Team or whether Gracie Allen said, “Goodnight, Gracie” on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, but I’ve left this one alone because I figured that it was too famous. And don’t get me wrong, it IS pretty well known, but what about the people who DON’T know it? I figure I might as well get it out of the way for those folks, as well.

So here ya go, despite there being a whole lot of teleportation on Star Trek over the years…

and Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (who also famously hid his right hand for most of the series) often being the one being the controls of the teleporter…

Did he ever use the phrase “Beam me up, Scotty”?

Continue reading “Did Captain Kirk Never Actually Say ‘Beam Me Up, Scotty’ On Star Trek?”

Did Red Shirts Really Die at a Greater Percentage Than Other Shirts on Star Trek?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: The most dangerous shirt to wear on “Star Trek” was a red shirt.

Quite often, when a television series finds itself in an established place in the overall popular culture, catch phrases and cliches from the series become a part of the national jargon. “Star Trek” is certainly no exception to this, which catch phrases like “Live long and prosper,” “Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor not a _____,” “Beam me up, Scotty” and others like them long being part of the public collective consciousness. However, what’s interesting about the public collective consciousness is that it doesn’t always remember things correctly. We’ve pointed out in the past that Gracie Allen never actually said, “Good night, Gracie” on the “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show”. Similarly, Mr. T never actually said “I pity the fool” on “The A-Team”. Heck, even within the world of “Star Trek,” Captain Kirk never said the explicit phrase, “Beam me up, Scotty” (although he said things close enough that it’s not a major thing to quibble over). With all this in mind, can you really trust the collective public consciousness on anything? For instance, do red shirts even die the most on “Star Trek”?

That’s the question reader Bob S. wrote in with the other day, telling me that he had read an article online that said that red shirts didn’t actually die the most on “Star Trek” and he wanted to know if that was true or not. Well, Bob (and everyone else), read on for the answer!
Continue reading “Did Red Shirts Really Die at a Greater Percentage Than Other Shirts on Star Trek?”

Did Star Trek Never Show Scotty’s Full Right Hand on the Show?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: James Doohan managed to hide his missing finger throughout the filming of the original Star Trek series.

Something that has come up a number of times over the years in past TV Legends is actors who spent a lot of time on their series hiding things that they don’t want you to see. Some notable examples include Gary Burghoff hiding a misshappen left hand on M*A*S*H* while playing Radar O’Reilly on the series and Larry Hovis hiding his wedding ring as the very single Sergeant Carter on Hogan’s Heroes.

Another famous example that we haven’t discussed before was James Doohan, who hid the fact that he was missing his middle finger on his right hand while playing Scotty on Star Trek.

Did Doohan actually manage to pull off what Burghoff and Hovis could not? Did he manage to hide the hand throughout the three seasons of the series?

Continue reading “Did Star Trek Never Show Scotty’s Full Right Hand on the Show?”

Which Member of the Original Star Trek Cast Invented the First Klingon Language?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV/MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: One of the original cast members of Star Trek invented the first Klingon language.

There are some common areas where actors can influence the television shows that they appear on, with the most common being the background of the characters that they play. For instance, it is no coincidence that Fox Mulder on The X-Files likes the New York Knicks, just like the actor who plays Mulder, David Duchovny. Many of the most heartwarming early episodes of Glee involving Kurt were based on the life experiences of Kurt actor, Chris Colfer.

However, there are also less common areas where actors can influence their shows, like the case of the crewmember of the U.S.S. Enterprise who came up with the original Klingon language!

Read on to see which surprising regular cast member of the original Star Trek series first coined the Klingon language!
Continue reading “Which Member of the Original Star Trek Cast Invented the First Klingon Language?”

Did a Video Game Company Once Sue Viacom For Ruining the Star Trek Franchise?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: A video game company once sued Viacom for, in effect, ruining the Star Trek franchise.

As we have seen numerous times over the years, there is a delicate balance between artistic freedom and the more commercial aspects of show business. One of the more shocking examples was when CBS wouldn’t continue with Cagney and Lacey unless one of the leads was replaced with a more “feminine” actress. However, even more on point with today’s legend is the strange situation that ended up with the legendary Neil Young being sued by his own record company for breach of contract because they claimed that he was intentionally not making “commercial” music. Think, then, about what if you were a company whose products were based on another company’s artistic output and you, too, felt that their output was not commercial. What do you do? That was the basis for the video game company Activision actually suing Viacom over “ruining” the Star Trek franchise.

Continue reading “Did a Video Game Company Once Sue Viacom For Ruining the Star Trek Franchise?”

Did a Woman Accidentally Get a Speaking Role in a Star Trek Movie?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: A woman accidentally got a speaking part in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

The world of film extras is a fascinating one. They mostly serve to fill up the background of crowd scenes (if you had only actors in every scene, then New York City would look awfully sparse) but in a lot of cases, extras are actors who just have not hit it big yet. A number of famous actors got their start working as extra, like Clint Eastwood, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. In a Movie Legends Revealed a while back, I even discussed how Joss Whedon literally cast one of the extras from The Avengers as a lead in his next movie. However, while some extras would love to get speaking roles in films, some extras are just there to make some quick cash. This, then, makes the story of Layla Sarakalo so fascinating. Read on to learn about the woman who accidentally got a speaking part in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Continue reading “Did a Woman Accidentally Get a Speaking Role in a Star Trek Movie?”

Was Spock Originally Going to Have Red Skin on Star Trek?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Spock was originally going to have red skin on Star Trek.

Few characters in television history seem to have as much myths and rumors built around them than Star Trek’s Mr. Spock (portrayed by the late, great Leonard Nimoy, who sadly passed away earlier this year at the age of 83). There have been articles written about the myths surrounding Nimoy and Spock all the way back to the 1970s (from the Associated Press in 1978, “Lenoard Nimoy shoots down myths about him, Mr. Spock”).

I have debunked a few Spock legends here, as well, over the years, like whether it was Spock who was originally going to be the one who kissed Uhura on the famous interracial Star Trek kiss or whether Nimoy requested for Spock to be killed off in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This is not to say that every legend about Spock over the years was false, of course. For instance, there is the story of how Spock originally was going to have red skin! Read on to find out how his actual skin color came to be!
Continue reading “Was Spock Originally Going to Have Red Skin on Star Trek?”

Was the Famous Star Trek Interracial Kiss Originally Going to be Between Uhura and SPOCK?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: The famous interracial kiss on Star Trek was originally going to be between Mr. Spock and Lt. Uhura.

While the current Star Trek film series is a dramatic departure from the old Star Trek set-up in a number of ways (primarily the fact that the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise all took on their respective jobs on the ship at a much younger age than they did in the regular timeline) the interpersonal relationships among the crew are roughly the same as they were in the original stories featuring them. A notable exception, however, is in the romance between the half-Vulcan first officer Mr. Spock and the ship’s communications officer, Lt. Uhura.

The two did not have many scenes together during the original Star Trek series. However, did they almost share a notable piece of television history? Was the famous interracial kiss during “Plato’s Stepchildren” in the last season of the original Star Trek television series originally going to take place between Uhura and Spock rather than Uhura and Captain Kirk?

Continue reading “Was the Famous Star Trek Interracial Kiss Originally Going to be Between Uhura and SPOCK?”

Did Lost in Space Coin the Term “Does Not Compute?”

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Lost in Space coined the term “Does Not Compute”

Along with “We Come in Peace” and “Take Me To Your Leader,” one of the most popular science fiction phrases is the robotic “Does Not Compute.” When it comes to the depictions of robots, “Does Not Compute” is a popular phrase because it plays on the notion that robots “compute” rather than “think,” and it is a very cool way of showing a robot reacting differently than a human. Specifically, it is often used to a show a robot struggling with comprehending the types of seemingly contradictory situations that humans have to worry about all of the time. The human mind can deal with cognitive dissonance while a robot’s purely logical-driven “brain” can not. This, therefore, shows that robots can never quite replace humans entirely. Anyhow, the phrase became popular when it was used by the Robot on the hit 1965 television series, Lost in Space.

The robot’s most popular catch phrase was “Danger!” or “Warning!” – this has solidified into the popular consciousness as the phrase “Danger, Will Robinson!” which the Robot actually only said once (Will Robinson is the youngest child of the family that is lost in space), although the robot did frequently warn young Will of danger, just not using that exact phrasing. The Robot has been credited with not only popularizing “Does Not Compute” but also coining the phrase. In the alternative, sometimes the 1966 television series Star Trek has been credited as coining the phrase (the show often used the plot point of computers or robots malfunctioning when given a contradictory problem). The answer, though, as to who coined the phrase is neither show! Instead, the true originator was a sitcom starring a pre-Catwoman Julie Newmar!
Continue reading “Did Lost in Space Coin the Term “Does Not Compute?””

Did Star Trek: The Next Generation Use Sherlock Holmes Characters in an Episode Not Knowing That the Characters Were Not Yet in the Public Domain?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Star Trek: The Next Generation used Sherlock Holmes characters in an episode not knowing that the characters were not yet in the public domain.

Late last month, there was a notable court ruling determining that Sherlock Holmes and the other characters introduced in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories before 1923 were now officially public domain (although Doyle’s post-1923 stories still have copyright protection). It is a complicated quagmire of intellectual property rights (just today, there seems to be more confusion developing regarding the rights) and the complicated nature of the rights seemed to be an issue way back in the late 1980s when Star Trek: The Next Generation pitted the crew of the Enterprise against Sherlock Holmes’ main nemesis, Professor Moriarty.

Did the creators of Star Trek: The Next Generation seriously not know that Sherlock Holmes was not yet in the public domain when they wrote the characters into the 1988 second season episode “Elementary, Dear Data”?
Continue reading “Did Star Trek: The Next Generation Use Sherlock Holmes Characters in an Episode Not Knowing That the Characters Were Not Yet in the Public Domain?”