Star Trek The Next Generation: Goddesses “She had power over the most magnificent forces on Earth, but she still didn’t feel like she had power over the most important thing of all—her own heart.” ~Josephine Angelini, Goddess (insp)
Featuring: Deanna Troi as Aphrodite K'Ehleyr as Artemis Guinan as Athena Alyssa Ogawa as Eos Beverly Crusher as Akeso Kate Pulaski as Hestia Lwaxana Troi as Hera Tasha Yar as Nike Keiko O'Brien as Demeter Ro Laren as Nemesis
Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (born Majel Leigh Hudec; February 23, 1932 – December 18, 2008) was an American actress and producer. She is best known for her role as Nurse Christine Chapel in the original Star Trek series, Lwaxana Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and for being the voice of most onboard computer interfaces throughout the series. She was also the wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. As the wife of Roddenberry and given her ongoing relationship with Star Trek - participating in some way in every series during her lifetime - she was sometimes referred to as “the First Lady of Star Trek”.
Happy Birthday Majel. Any future Star Trek projects just won’t be the same without you.
Gene Roddenberry created “Spectre” in 1977, a pilot for an occult-themed horror show that never went to series. It’s as far as you can get from the rationalism of Star Trek, about an occult detective fascinated by evil who investigates Satanic cults, possessions, trances, mediums, succubuses, and family curses. The creature on top is the demon Asmodeus, not a Gorn, incidentally. Majel Barrett Roddenberry played the witch, Lillith.
Gene always seemed to believe that the best way to keep audience attention was through a recurring cast, which is why he created a show like Star Trek instead of an anthology series like the Twilight Zone. I suppose he figured a recurring occult detective (with a Dr. Watson and a witch housekeeper) was the best way to take on the horror genre.
It’s one of many pilots Gene made during the 1970s but failed to get to series, like Genesis II, Planet Earth, and the Questor Tapes, all of which contributed to the sense that Gene was a one-hit wonder or has-been, a sentiment that explains why Gene was so ferociously controlling on Next Generation: he didn’t want Trek taken away from him.
I feel like this moment should be talked about a lot more. This isn’t the only time that Christine essentially says that she would rather die than be forced to do something that would hurt someone she loves. In Plato’s Stepchildren she talks about wanting to be close to Spock for so long, but being forced to be closer produces the response: “Now all I want to do is crawl away and die.” I realize these situations are entirely different, but my point is that death comes up as her preferred alternative to what is happening/could happen more than once. Does anyone else feel like this is a part of her personality that gets overlooked? Chapel doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would say these things lightly. She is quite calmly telling (android) Kirk that she would rather be killed than be forced to choose between her captain and her fiancé. It begs the question, if she had actually been given a phaser and forced to shoot either Kirk or Korby, would she have instead turned it on herself? Would she have saved Kirk by killing herself? I think she might have.
“Every one of us has a thousand different kinds of, of little people inside of us. And some of them want to get out and be wild, and some want to be sad or happy or inventive or, or even just go dancing. Th-that’s why we all have so many different urges at different times. And all those different little people inside of us… we must never be afraid to take them with us, wherever we go. I mean, who knows when we, we may need one of them to pop up and rescue us from ourselves?”
Do you ever think about Christine Chapel and just…smile? Yes, her character suffered from terrible writing, but she herself was kind of…brilliant? Majel Barrett did her best to give this woman dignity and strength even in the most undignified situations, and I don’t know, I feel like she should be celebrated a lot more.
You know how people are saying that they are not prepared to see a message that reads “in loving memory of Leonard Nimoy” in the next movie? Well, me neither, but I also want to see the names of Majel Barret, Gene Roddenberry, Grace Lee Whitney, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Mark Lenard, Jane Wyatt and all the people who helped to create Star Trek and that are not longer with us.
Yes, Leonard was really important, but don’t forget that he was part of a great team that also deserves to be remembered.