My Tribute to Nichelle Nichols-Top 5 Best Lt.Uhura Moments
This one is loonng overdue my friends! Why? Because I loved Lt.Uhura. I guess I have avoided it because this is hardly a new idea, and the truth is there are no shocks on this list, if you’re as a big a Trek fan as I am anyway.Â But last month Nichelle Nichols suffered a minor stroke (she’s doing fine) and it got me thinking it was high time to talk about my favorite character on here.
Nichols was a pioneer, being an African American woman to be a regular on a sci fi series. And since I know that someone will mention it if I don’t, she almost left the series too until she met Martin Luther King Jr who pointed out what and influence she had. Women were hardly shown to be in authority at that time, never mind African American Women. And while you could argue that Uhura was shafted here and there (how many time can you say “Hailing Frequencies open”?) when she kicked ass, she really kicked ass! In fact this isn’t just a “top 5” list, it’s a tribute to one of my favorite actress/characters ever!!
It comes down to this, NONE of the women on Trek would be where they are without Uhura. Not Crusher, not Troi, and not Janeway. And more than that, Nichelle Nichols was just freaking awesome!! She was tough, sexy, and had a very pleasant soft side. She knew how enjoy herself and laugh at things but when she was serious, she didn’t fool around. I loved every scene she was in, even if she wasn’t doing much. People forget that she joined the landing parties, took the helm three times, and was always right in on the excitement. In “Who Mourns for Adonais?” she is seen doing complicated repairs on the communication system, and Spock even compliments her.Â In “I, Mudd” she faked out the androids in the episode in a great moment when she claimed she wanted an android body, but it was a clever ruse. In “Bread and Circuses” she provided the last bit of exposition that Kirk, Spock, and McCoy had missed. Don’t believe me? Watch this:
Not on the list because I hate the episode (though as you’ll see that won’t stop me further down) but I wanted to include it anyway.
Heck even in a stupid moment like when she saw and cried over her aged self in “And the Children Shall Lead” or in “The Changeling” she had her memories wiped by Nomad and had to re-learn everything she was still really awesome!
But now here are my favorite of all her moments. And this list is all about Nichelle Nichols, so no examples from Uhura in the new Star Trek movies. Not saying ZoÃ« SaldaÃ±a was bad, just not counting them.
This is a great episode from the 3rd season. Kirk is trapped in inter space (or whatever) and Tholians are building a giant web. Ok, there is a lot more than that but the best scene comes in a quiet moment. We see Uhura in her quarters, which is a cool moment for several reasons. We hardly ever saw her off duty and relaxing. Suddenly she sees Kirk in her quarters, and knows he’s alive! She is thrilled and runs to share the news. It’s a great moment and Nichelle Nichols herself has said this was one of her favorite scenes. No wonder why.
And once again, the only way I could link a clip was to link to the scene in the episode. Sorry, but the clip above is the only one I had to do that.
I couldn’t decide which to use so what the hell, make it a tie. These two are early episodes but in both we see Uhura shine. If you’ve ever wondered why the reboot movies made Uhura and Spock have a romance it may have come from these two scenes. In Charlie X, she and Spock are goofing around the break room when Uhura breaks into a song about Charlie. That’s another long story. As for The Man Trap, Uhura seems to coming on to Spock as she talks about….nonsense really. It’s a pointless scene but cute anyway.
No I haven’t forgotten the movies. Many people may have expected the fan dance from Star Trek V, but that moment doesn’t work for me. Now Star Trek III…that’s another story! My favorite scene was the one with Uhura. She is manning a transporter station when Kirk comes along to beam him and the others to the Enterprise. The funny part is how she handles the other very green officer at watch with her. No way I can describe it and do it justice, just watch. I challenge you…watch this scene and tell me she isn’t awesome…I dare you!! The best part is McCoy’s line “I’m sure glad you’re on our side” Indeed!!
It’s ironic how much I keep talking about this episode even though it makes me sick every time I think about it. But as most people know, this episode featured TV’s first interracial kiss. Though the kiss is barely visible. But the moment is well performed by both Shatner and Nichols, and will always be one Trek’s biggest highlights. Even if it came from of the most godawful episodes ever made. The setup? Aliens are forcing the crew to do awful things for their own amusement. That’s all your really need to know. Kirk and Uhura try to fight it, but give in. Of course in series it is never spoken of again, but at the time it was a controversial scene especially in he South. But that’s a discussion for another day.
Ah yes, this is just a fantastic scene. There are actually two awesome scenes with her in this one. One where she disarms the mirror Marlena. But the real scene everyone talks about is what she does with mirror Sulu on the Bridge. Of course this is the episode where Kirk and crew get stuck in the mirror universe.Â In order to adjust the transporter to return hone, Scotty’s needs to do something which will be alerted on Sulu’a security board (how did Scotty know that anyway?). So Kirk asks her to provide a distraction so he doesn’t get alerted to what they are doing. She does just that, in easily her best moment in the entire series. I don’t need to say anymore, just click the link above and watch it!
And finally, I mentioned before that I didn’t think this scene counted as one Uhura’s best moment. But…I think this list is incomplete without it. So here it is, the fan dance from Star Trek V
Hoping that Nichelle Nichols makes a full recovery. She looked to be doing well in an interview the other day. She is a tough one and freaking awesome! Did I miss a moment that you thinks should be here? Comment and let me know.