In honor of the late, great Nichelle Nichols…
Uhura is a badass. Unfortunately, in many ways, her character didn’t do a whole lot on TOS — and especially in the movies. However, whenever she did have something to do, it was usually pretty great. Uhura proved on-screen over and over again why she remains an icon.
The Lorelai Signal
It may be surprising to start this list with a TAS episode, but Uhura is at peak badass here. When all the men go missing, she immediately takes command. She coordinates the science teams to find an answer for what’s going on and then personally leads the security team to confront the aliens and save the men. When that doesn’t work because of alien trickery, she goes back to the ship AND THREATENS TO BLOW THEM STRAIGHT TO HELL. Needless to say, she wins in the end. Honestly, it’s one of the best TAS episodes and by far the best Uhura episode.
Who Mourns for Adonais?
One of the more campy but iconic TOS premises, the crew stumbles into Apollo — yes, the Apollo — living alone on a planet. He grabs the Enterprise with a giant green hand and Kirk beams down to figure out what the heck is going on. Spock has to stay behind though — he looks too much like Pan for Apollo’s liking. So in his place, Kirk takes a blonde scientist who just happens to specialize in ancient Greek mythology. I love this episode.
Anyway, while Kirk is playing mind games with a god, Spock is trying to get the ship back in order. The communications systems are fried so Uhura dons a jumpsuit and dives right in there. In an effort that Scotty himself couldn’t have done better, she manages to reroute and bypass and rig together enough pieces of the system to fully restore communications. Not only is she a linguist, she’s an engineer!
This episode. There’s so much to talk about with this one episode (and the horror…