Why did Gene Roddenberry attempt a series no-one had ever tried before?
They wanted a television show that had to do with science fiction and Gene didnít know anything about science fiction. He absolutely knew nothing. But he knew people and he was head writer for Have Gun Will Travel, and if you took those early Star Treks that we did and put us in a western wardrobe and put us on wagon train going west, we can say the same lines. So he didnít bother to do science fiction, because he didnít know anything about it.
Everybody accepted it. You put funny people in funny costumes and paint them green and we could talk about anything we wanted to, because that was the only thing that fascinated Gene about this particular genre. Censorship was so bad in those days, you couldnít talk about war, black-white situation, you couldnít even talk about mother love.
We took Frank Grosh and painted him half-black and half-white and his adversary was half-white and half-black and put the two of them at each other and it got through the censors. They never realised that that was what was going on. Once itís up on the screen itís too late and Gene got to talk about some of the problems that we had today that way.
You go through at least the first two years of Star Trek and you find some amazing stuff. Everything that was going on Gene put into the series. He just put strange costumes on the actors and painted them funny colours and left the same situation in.