Written by / 11/27/2012 / No comments / , , , , , , , ,

LIEUTENANT UHURA IN GENE RODDENBERRY'S THE LIEUTENANT

Pre STAR TREK starlet Nichelle Nichols guests on THE LIEUTENANT
Gene Roddenberry's groundbreaking STAR TREK made Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura, an actress to watch... And she's always watchable! 

But she was introduced in Roddenberry's prior TV series THE LIEUTENANT (1963) as the girlfriend of Don Marshall's black Pvt. Cameron, who butts heads with a goading white racist, Pvt. Devlin, played by the late Dennis Hopper.

The series starred Gary Lockwood as Lt. Bill Rice, in charge of a troop of Marines in Camp Pendleton, California. And in this particular episode titled TO SET IT RIGHT, Rice tries getting the two loggerheads in rhythm by sparring them in the boxing ring and eventually, tied together, to climb up a mountain so they work as a team, or else.
Don Marshall and Dennis Hopper
The underrated Marshall is cool yet vulnerable while Hopper displays the kind of spontaneous edge that would make him a great cinema heavy in the years to come. A young Scott Wilson provides a cameo while Woody Strode plays a tough Sergeant with little patience for Marshall's persistently defensive (and sometimes overboard) behavior.

And while Nichelle Nichols only appears sporadically, meeting with Cameron and hearing his problems... in one particular scene, where she passionately tells Lt. Rice how things might never change no matter how hard he tries fighting fire with fire... the budding African American actress displays the kind of talent that would brighten the deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise a few years later.
Nichelle Nichols as Norma Bartlett
Dennis Hopper pulls blade on Don Marshall
Gary Lockwood refs a fight between Marshall and Hopper
IN COLD BLOOD and THE WALKING DEAD actor Scott Wilson on the far right
BUY THE LIEUTENANT ON WARNER ARCHIVE DVD
STAR TREK Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) harps on Leonard Nimoy's Spock
Leonard Nimoy himself turns up in the next LIEUTENANT episode
And Khan (Ricardo Montalban with Ted Knight) guest stars with Lockwood in the next episode
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