Nichelle Nichols reveals that the original Spock was a woman

Illustration for article titled Nichelle Nichols reveals that the original Spock was a woman

What if our beloved pointy-eared science officer was actually a she-Vulcan? According to Nichelle Nichols — who played the gorgeous Lt. Uhura — Spock could have been a lady! How does she know? Because she auditioned for the role. Is there any grain of truth to this highly illogical reveal?

Image by Jesus Diaz

While being interviewed on the Science Channel's special documentary Trek Nation, Nichols dropped the bombshell that when she had auditioned for Star Trek, she was asked to read the script for the beloved Vulcan. Nichelle's quote from Trek Nation goes as such:

"They gave me a three-page script to read from that had three characters named Bones, Kirk and somebody called Spock, and they asked me if I would read for the role of Spock. When I looked at this great text, I said to myself, ‘I'll take any one of these roles,' but I found the Spock character to be very interesting, and I asked them to tell me what she [Spock] was like.

We wonder if Nichols really meant she auditioned for the Spock-like character Number One, a.k.a. the cold but logical WOMAN who was infamously slashed by the studio because they weren't comfortable with a such large female lead. Pair that with the fact that Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry wanted to cast his current girlfriend (and later wife) Majel Barrett for the part. Barrett would later nab the role of Christine Chapel (and Lwaxana Troi on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine).


When Number One was cut, Roddenberry bumped the role of Spock up to first officer. So yes, it's quite possible that Nichols auditioned for what was to become Spock. And for more almost-was Trek weirdness, see the first drafts of the opening monologue.

Via The Mary Sue.

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It could be that they simply had that script on hand and asked her to read Spock to see what her acting ability looked like. If they didn't have a script in hand that had a female character, Spock would be the best choice for an actress to read, because his emotionless and alien-ness makes him the most androgynous. (I mean, it would be hard to have a woman believably read father-figure Bones or womanizer Kirk.)

It's not unusual for someone to read for part A and then be cast for part B.

Though, the idea of a female Spock in that famous bromance would certainly change the context of a lot of the episodes. I wonder what would have happened with "Amok Time."