6 eye-opening things you never noticed in the Star Trek episode ''Is There in Truth No Beauty?''
Take a closer look at the fascinating uniforms, spaceships, tartans and wigs.
"Is There in Truth No Beauty?" may not be considered one of the essential Star Trek episodes, but each story in the Original Series contains fascinating onscreen details and tidbits of trivia.
From the casting to the wardrobe to the credits, this early tale from season three is quite unique in several ways. Let's beam down and take a closer look.
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1. It's the first time we see Scotty wear a tartan.
They don't call him Scotty for nothing. Montgomery Scott shows off his heritage in this episode, as part of his full dress uniform. He sports a traditional Scottish tartan for the first time. He wears it on one other occasion in the Original Series, later in "The Savage Curtain" (right). Though, for some reason, he changes his sock color from white to red. That black-and-white tartan is authentic. That's one of the ancient tartan patterns of the Scott clan.
2. A college librarian with no TV experience wrote the episode.
Jean Lisette Aroeste began working in library acquisitions at Harvard in the mid-'50s. In the '60s, she moved to California, becoming a reference librarian at UCLA. It was there she decided to try her hand at writing a Star Trek script. With no experience in television, Aroeste penned "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" Desilu Productions must have liked it because she later contributed the screenplay for "All Our Yesterdays." These two episodes would be her only work in Hollywood.
3. Diana Muldaur wore a wig because she had recently played a different character.
Trekkies are an observant bunch. No doubt television viewers at home mumbled, "Hey… I recognize her," when Miranda beamed aboard the Enterprise at the opening of this episode in the fall of '68. You see, Diana Muldaur portrayed the character. She had guest-starred on the show months before, as Dr. Ann Mulhall in "Return to Tomorrow." To attempt to disguise that casting fact, producers put Muldaur in a dark wig for "Is There in Truth." They figured nobody would notice she went from a brunette to having black hair? two decades later, Muldaur would land a recurring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Doctor Pulaski.
4. This Vulcan medal was pure product placement.
Scotty was not the only character in full dress. Kirk and Spock are also togged up in their fancy uniforms. Spock in particular sports an "IDIC" medal, which Miranda comments on. That Vulcan award stands for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, and while that sounds noble and philosophical, it was in truth crass commercialism. Gene Roddenberry insisted on inserting the medallion into the episode — he was selling replica medallions to Trekkies through his personal marketing company, Lincoln Enterprises. He just wanted to sell some merch. Nimoy balked at talking up the trinket onscreen as Spock, so the script was rewritten to have other characters discuss its importance.
5. It was Eddie Paskey's final work on the show.
Let's hear it for the lesser-known Redshirts. They have a reputation for drawing the short straw when it comes to Star Trek missions, but a few lower-ranking crew members endured. Eddie Paskey was working at the gas station used by the Desilu Studio when he was plucked to appear on Star Trek. His character Lieutenant Leslie appeared (uncredited) in 60 episodes. He also worked as William Shatner's stand-in and body double. However, as they were filming this episode in July of '68, Paskey suffered a bad back injury in a fight scene. To boot, the bright lights of the set gave him unbearable headaches. (He can be seen in two subsequent episodes in order of airing, which we filmed earlier in the production schedule.)
6. The remastered version added an original design concept for the Enterprise.
In the final scene of the episode, the Enterprise finally delivers Miranda to the Medusans. In the original version, they stop at the Medusan homeworld. However, in the digitally remastered HD versions that now air, the studio replaced that moment with a rendezvous between the Enterprise and a Medusan ship. The funny thing is, that Medusan ship almost was the Enterprise. Concept artist Matt Jefferies, the brilliant mind that designed the Enterprise, sketched several possible looks for Captain Kirk's ship, including one that featured a large sphere at its head. It looked just like this Medusan craft. See it on Forgotten Trek.
In the day, television actors well known for delivering on their reputation (and specific personality style) were utilized in many shows and multiple episodes. And for that reason acquired fan favorite recognition!!
Those that followed, and every imitation thereafter, were conscious of exceeding a reputation. With every effort of the original series they were bold enough to try different stories and concepts! Exactly why there were hits and misses!!
That one stunk.
And the point of that episode was what again??