Written by / 12/11/2012 / 5 Comments / , , , ,

THE LAST STAND OF STAR TREK YEOMAN JANICE RAND

The Late Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Janice Rand
Perhaps she was too loyal, too sexy, too sultry to last. But YEOMAN JANICE RAND, played by Grace Lee Whitney, was the main lady on board the STAR TREK Enterprise for the first half of the groundbreaking season one.
Standing behind Kirk at a wedding ceremony
Towards the end of her stay, the bombshell blonde winded up merely serving coffee to Captain James T. Kirk in brief walk-on/cameos, going from a character that could help move an entire plot (CHARLIE X) to an interstellar truck stop waitress. It was unfair to her character, and the audience.

And then, after the episode BALANCE OF TERROR, where Kirk and the Romulans have a "Mexican Stand off" resulting in a cat and mouse game in outer space, Yeoman Rand would be no longer.
Grace Lee Whitney with William Shatner
 Her last spoken words, when Kirk's about to console a young bride-to-be who lost her fiance during the battle, were as follows: "We finally received an answer from Command Base, sir... They say they'll support whatever decision you have to make."
Behind every good Captain...
Ironic because Rand was always there, always loyal... But perhaps she was too good a thing.

Maybe she seemed a possible anchor for the womanizing Captain Kirk, not fitting with his maverick prowess that, in future episodes, would romance humans and aliens alike, white or green.
In THE MAN TRAP, Rand tells a crewman: "Why don't you go chase an asteroid?"
Or maybe her dominating screen presence, no-nonsense attitude, and Grace's sublime acting skills took away from the other female characters like Uhura and Christine Chapel, who, in real life, were creator Gene Roddenberry's mistress (Nichelle Nichols) and wife (Majel Barrett)..

Either way, it was a sad departure without an exit or explanation...
DeForest Kelley and Grace Lee Whitney
Justice was partially served when Rand turned up in the STAR TREK movies: although she provided only cameos and hardly spoke a word... But we could have used more of her presence in that five year mission during those classic three seasons...
The final scene with Janice Rand
Where was she stationed aboard the Enterprise for the rest of the mission? What was her job? Did she serve coffee to someone else... Or perhaps she had a higher position with her own servant...

Someone to back her up, and rub her back... just like, in the following episode SHORE LEAVE, replacement yeoman Tonia Barrows (Emily Banks) does for a grouchy Captain Kirk... 
"Thank you Yeoman, that's sufficient"
Whatever happened to Janice Rand during the original run, let's hope it was good... She sure as hell deserved it... It simply wasn't the same Enterprise without her. 
BUY STAR TREK ORIGINAL SERIES DVD
Rand's belated return in STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE
Grace Lee Whitney's non-Rand cameo in STAR TREK 3: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK
Her character's perspective of the Enterprise docking in STAR TREK 3
BUY GRACE'S AUTOBIOGRPHY ON AMAZON
Rand makes a DVD cover... but isn't on these particular episodes...
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5 comments:

  1. This is freaking AWESOME! I love this post. Great stuff Jim.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i LINKED THIS TO MY FACEBOOK GROUP:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Yeoman.Rand/

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you do actually want to know, Grace Lee Whitney was diving headfirst down a bottle during all of this. Plus, the writers did not know what to do with her; witness the episode “Miri,” where she beams down to an alien planet sans any equipment whatever, not even the tricorder which was invented SPECIFICALLY to give the character something to do! (There's your Trivial Pursuit question of the day.) Which was cause and which was effect is a matter of opinion; by the time she stopped appearing in cast publicity shots, she was non-functional. Her life in the next ten years was grim and sleazy, involving a great deal of booze and nymphomania (as she admitted later). There were no plans to include her in STAR TREK PHASE II, but she pulled herself up out of the nosedive and cleaned up her act to appear in STMP. Still, she was done; her cameo in ST III was it for G L W.

    ReplyDelete
  4. yeah baron i had read she drank and slept with too many men and got fired. this post is to ask what happened to rand, not whitney though. i always imagined poor rand having a dull job somewhere in the far reaches of the enterprise.

    ReplyDelete
  5. WRITTEN AFTER HER DEATH: Looking back at these comments, I crack up at the fact it was posted "the writers didn't know what to do with her." These are the same writers who created her. I think Shatner might have wanted Rand to go. She was way too close to him, and after she departed, as my post showed, he then had more fun with the ladies. I think the problem wasn't that they didn't know what to do with HER, but with others because of her strength as a female character, who was still more fleshed-out than even Uhura, in my opinion. As for her addiction problems, well, I'm not sure but... she might not have been the only actress (or actor) who got loaded during the 60's and 70's.

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