Star Trek’s Gene Roddenberry Always Regretted Cutting One Character From The Show

Grace Lee Whitney played Rand as a brave character, often in situations beyond her control but facing them with aplomb. She was a supporting player in the best sense, offering her presence as a definitive counterbalance to the other characters. If Kirk (William Shatner) was steely, then Rand was human — yelling, crying, or getting furious. In only eight appearances, Whitney defined the character remarkably well. The actor commented years later in “The Fifty-Year Mission” on why she liked Yeoman Rand, why she had so many fans, and why she felt cheated: 

“Rand had a lot of strength and a lot of guts. I think her character could have been further developed. Rand was on the same card of credits as McCoy in the beginning. She was to be the major female character. All the early publicity shots were with Bill, Leonard, and me in the middle. The thing about this business is that you have to survive no matter what they do to you. Taking her out of the show has made Rand somewhat of an underdog and the fans have always rallied behind her all this time. I feel cheated.”

Whitney recalled that she was originally contracted to appear in 13 episodes but wasn’t able to fulfill her contract after her harrowing experience backstage. She did recall, however, the scene she shot that made her realize she was going to be fired — fired before she could call out The Executive — and what she threw into her performance. Her final episode aired on December 8, 1966. Whitney said: 

“I remember one time in the episode ‘Conscience of the King,’ I just walked across and handed Shatner a clipboard and winked and walked away. But there was no dialogue. I knew at that time that I had been let go.”

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