LOS ANGELES - Star Trek premiered on NBC back in 1966. It ran for three seasons and although it did not become a big hit in the ratings department it did attract a huge loyal fan following who refer to themselves as "Trekkies."
Two of the main stars in that interstellar adventure series were William Shatner, 80, who starred as Capt. James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy, 80, who starred as Mr. Spock.
Shatner and Nimoy recently sat down with Pico de Gallo of Tittle Tattle Tonight and talked about their days on Star Trek.
Nimoy who portrayed the half-Vulcan Mr. Spock revealed that his character's name was originally Mr. Spook, but it was changed when Bill Cosby, who was starring with Robert Culp on the I Spy secret agent adventure series filed a complaint with the network charging racism.
Capt. Kirk was the commander of the exploratory starship USS Enterprise, a 23rd century galactic vessel of the United Federation of Planets.
Shatner said that the toy model that was used for far off shots was actually fashioned out of Styrofoam and that on more than one occasion one of the stunt doubles who used to hit the bottle pretty good ended up stepping on it and totally destroying it.
Luckily the shows producer, Gene Roddenberry had an assistant who could whittle out another USS Enterprise model out of a slab of Styrofoam within ten minutes.
The name United Federation of Planets was later changed to The Planetary League after the Saturn vs. The United Federation of Planets Lawsuit of 1966.
Nimoy said that the show was originally called Star Travels but NBC decided to change the name to Star Trek to avoid confusing it with the western TV show The Travels of Jamie McPheeters which had aired two years before.
Shatner said that another little known fact was that the starship's name in the original script draft was actually not USS Enterprise but USS Hertz. He stated that the name was dropped when the car rental giant threatened to sue.
Network executives then asked Avis if they could use the name USS Avis but the car rental executives balked at the idea so the network worked out a deal with Enterprise Car Rental which agreed to let them use the name USS Enterprise.
Actor James Doohan who played Capt. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott on Star Trek was also featured as Captain Kangaroo's stunt double on the children's television show. He was later let go after getting into the infamous cow-milking scene altercation with Mr. Green Jeans in May of 1967.
Shatner told de Gallo that Star Trek's tagline "To boldly go where no man has gone before" was written by the shows producer Gene Roddenberry.
He laughed as he confessed that the original tagline which was written by Leonard Nimoy but was vetoed by Roddenberry, was actually "Flying through space like a bat out of hell."
Shatner remarked that while the show was on the air he received over 200 letters telling him that couples had named their baby boys Shatner after him.
Nimoy said that he also received about 200 letters informing him that people had named their baby boys Nimoy and he giggled as he said that one lady from Andalusia, Alabama, Cora Bethaleen Tigginbrook, told him that she had named her triplets Leonard, Spock, and Vulcan.
In a related story. Star Trek is still shown in over 127 countries and is the number one rated show in Japan where the name has been changed to 'Enterplise' (sic).