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KS Alternative Factor

Women in Starfleet: Lt. Charlene Masters

I think it’s safe to say that the TOS Trek episode “The Alternative Factor” isn’t on anyone’s top 10 list. (But if it is, I’d love details...!)

Still, when the other day I read that the actress Janet MacLachlan had passed away it reminded me how her one-episode portrayal of Lt. Charlene Masters impressed me when I first watched that episode back in the 60s. Here was a female officer in Engineering – not exactly a stereotyped female position. Uhura was cool, Chapel a bit annoying, but as a lot of women pointed out both of them were doing what were considered 1960s “women’s jobs” – switchboard operator and nurse. (I was also glad whenever Uhura was shown doing nuts-and-bolts wiring work as well as “opening hailing frequencies”. And of course Chapel had become an MD in STTMP.)

http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Janet_MacLachlan


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Comments

you know she could be more amazing!!

in the original script she was suppose to have a lot more scenes and she could be the cause that the guy of the episode decides continue to save the multiverse.
But even as an alien he couldn't be in love with her because she was black, so her scenes where cut at half and the episode is a a huge plot hole, so nobody understand it at all and that's why it is so boring excepting for her!!
i would love to know about her nerdy conversations about multiverses with the alien...
but she is totes awesome either way, and is one of my favorites star trek ladies.
Fascinating! I'd never read anything about the background of this episode. Is any of this discussed in the Rewatch postings? I remember thinking, when it was first aired, wow, women in the future will be able to have all kinds of professions. TOS had several recurring background characters, like Kyle and Leslie; I wish they'd been able to continue her character too.