Nichols Tells The Story Behind 'The Kiss'

By Caillan
March 12, 2002 - 3:21 PM

Star Trek will forever be remembered as the series with the first interracial kiss, but according to actress Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), the lip-lock almost didn't make it to the screen.

"In 'Plato's Stepchildren,' Uhura and Kirk were supposed to kiss under duress from their captors," Nichols told TechTV. "It became an issue with the director and Gene Roddenberry finally decided to shoot the scene with and without the kiss."

As it turned out, William Shatner (James T. Kirk) had other plans. "Bill Shatner kept kissing until there was only time for one more take. When the camera zoomed in, Bill crossed his eyes and the director didn't notice it until the next day in dailies. Of course the last scene was unusable and they had to go with the kiss scene, which became history as the first interracial kiss on TV."

Another memorable moment occurred quite by accident during the filming of 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,' when James Doohan (Montgomery Scott) fell off the Klingon Bird of Prey into San Francisco Bay.

"All the actors in the live scene thought it was a joke and jumped in after him," Nichols recalled. "[Leonard] Nimoy, who was directing the film, was flabbergasted but quickly jumped in with them and screamed at the camera crew, 'Keep shooting - keep shooting!' It turned out to be a keeper and one of the best shots in the movie."

More of Nichols's Trek memories can be found here at TechTV. Thanks to Mike Lopez for this!

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