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Believe It or Not, "Shore Leave" Turns 50 Today

Believe It or Not, "Shore Leave" Turns 50 Today

One of Star Trek: The Original Series' most-entertaining, most-outlandish and most-colorful episodes, "Shore Leave," debuted on December 29, 1966 -- or 50 years ago today. And so, twists the lens of our microscope on to 'Shore Leave," sharing with fans a variety of anedotes, factoids and figures about the episode.

  • "Shore Leave" was the seventeenth episode of TOS' first season.

  • The action starts at Stardate 3025.3
  • The episode was the first and only TOS hour directed by Robert Sparr, whose other TV and film credits included Batman, The Wild Wild West, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lawman (with DeForest Kelley), Lassie, More Dead Than Alive and Once You Kiss a Stranger. He perished in a plane crash in August, 1969, at the age of 53.

  • Memorable line of dialogue #1: "On my planet, to rest is to rest," Spock says to Kirk. "To cease using energy. To me, it is quite illogical to run up and down on green grass using energy instead of saving it."

  • "Shore Leave" was one of two episodes scripted by the legendary sci-fi author Theodore Sturgeon. His other contribution was the Hugo-nominated "Amok Time."

  • Sturgeon's working title for the episode was "Finagle's Planet."

  • Who can recall which TOS regular did NOT appear in this hour? The answer is James Doohan.
  • As per Memory Alpha, "The preview of this episode shows Yeoman Barrows being accosted by Don Juan while wearing her princess costume. This scene was not used in the final cut."

  • According to the Star Trek Compendium, "Shore Leave" went over schedule -- seven shooting days vs. the usual six -- as Gene Roddenberry, on set during production, typewriter in hand, raced to rework the script in an effort to keep it both somewhat believable and within budget.

  • "Shore Leave" represented the first of five TOS episodes scored by Gerald Fried. Speaking to in 2013, Fried recalled, "I kind of marveled that it was supposed to be science-fiction and outer space and all of that, but that the story was also so pertinent and insightful to us humans on Earth. Theodore Sturgeon wrote that and I love him for his introspection. I was able to do different kinds of music, because of the fantasy, and that was kind of fun. It was a chance to show off some versatility."

  • Memorable line of dialogue #2: "No animals, no people... no worries," Sulu marveled to Dr. McCoy. "Just what the doctor ordered."
  • Frequent TOS utility player William Blackburn voiced the White Rabbit and was in the rabbit costume. According to Memory Alpha, he "got the costume from Ice Capades for free."
  • Perry Lopez, who played Lt. Esteban Rodriguez, gained a greater measure of fame a few years later when he played Lt. Lou Escobar in the Oscar-winning film, Chinatown. He reprised the role in the sequel, The Two Jakes. He passed away in 2008.

  • Memorable line of dialogue #3: "You stupid underclassman!" Finnegan shouted at Kirk as they tussled. "I've got the edge! I'm still twenty years old. Look at you! You're an old man!"