Trinneer and Nichols Ponder Trek LegacyBy Michelle
May 10, 2005 - 10:01 PM
The first woman to participate in an interracial kiss on television and the first pregnant man on television reflected on their common franchise, Star Trek, and its legacy, agreeing that it would be arrogant not to believe that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
Speaking to CNN's Showbiz Tonight, Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and Connor Trinneer (Tucker) named one another's characters as their favourites on other series and talked about the reasons they think Star Trek has endured. "Enterprise continued the legacy of Gene Roddenberry. And for the most part, it lived up to all the expectations and everything that he wanted to bring to the attention of people to consider that we are really better than we think we are," Nichols said. "I think that its message continued to be beautifully expressed."
Trinneer, who was born the year that the original series left broadcast, said that he grew up watching reruns and his brother was "a giant 'Star Trek' fan. They walked around the perimeter at recess and talk about the previous night`s episode and all that." Teased about having experienced the first male pregnancy in the episode "Unexpected", the actor joked, "Look at me, ma, look how I've done." He had been warned when he got the job that the role would turn out to be bigger than he expected, and said that with each passing year he was more aware of the responsibility of wearing his uniform.
Nichols appreciated the fact that although she was creating a show that kept taking risks, "we were so involved in doing the show and delighted with the fact that every episode seemed to get better and better, that it never occurred to us that this was anything groundbreaking or beyond the norm for television because we were such a family and we were so accustomed to each other." She repeated the oft-told story about how actress Whoopi Goldberg, who played Guinan on The Next Generation, had seen Uhura on television and "ran through the house screaming, come quick, everybody come look, there`s a black woman on television and she ain`t no maid. She said she knew that from that moment on that she could be anything she wanted to be."
Both actors said they believed in extraterrestrial life, with Trinneer noting, "I think it's hubris to think that there isn't", and both said the space program should aim for Mars, though Nichols added that humans should return to the moon as well.
The transcript of Showbiz Tonight is at CNN.com.