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LIEUTENANT UHURA ON GENE RODDENBERRY'S THE LIEUTENANT'

Future Star Trek Nichelle Nichols on THE LIEUTENANT: TO SET IT RIGHT Year: 1964 Rating: ***

Gene Roddenberry's STAR TREK made Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura, an actress to watch... And she's always watchable, actually introduced in Roddenberry's prior TV series THE LIEUTENANT as the girlfriend of Don Marshall's black Pvt. Cameron, who butts heads with a goading white racist, Pvt. Devlin, played by 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...

Nichelle Nichols as Norma Bartlett on The Lieutenant

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.

Gary Lockwood refs a fight between Marshall and Hopper
IN COLD BLOOD and THE WALKING DEAD actor Scott Wilson on the far right
Gary Lockwood and Nichelle Nichols in THE LIEUTENANT
Dennis Hopper and Don Marshall on in THE LIEUTENANT
Future Trek star Leonard Nimoy on THE LIEUTENANT episode In The Highest Tradition
Future Trek villains Gary Lockwood & Ricardo Montalban on The Lieutenant: Tour of Duty with Ted Knight

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