Fans may be surprised to learn that the original series of Star Trek actually featured James Kirk in green, not gold as many saw.
Many people may know this tidbit but it’s worth repeating to all the new fans out there but James Kirk and his command gold was an accident. That’s right, despite years of cosplay and even new movies based on reinterpreted tales of Kirk and crew, Star Trek never intended for the command color to be gold. Nope, it was originally supposed to be green.
In fact, it was green.
This is where some people are going to get a bit miffed, “But I saw the show, it was clearly gold!” Except, it clearly wasn’t. No, this isn’t some silly “is the dress blue or gold” debate (it’s blue), but in fact a sign of the times and the limitations of the technology the crew had on hand.
In the mid-’60s, most televisions were in black and white still. In 1965, that trend started to change and more and more shows were shot in at least partial color. With more and more stations and studios making the switch, the call was made to highlight this new technology as much as possible.
This is why the Star Trek uniforms were so bright. They were originally going to be red for engineering, blue for science, and green for command. The perfect three colors to really highlight the change of times and the new technology.
The only problem is, the velour material for these uniforms weren’t the best for being capture on those old film cameras. So with that, and the less-than-ideal lights, the camera captured the command green uniforms and presented them as gold.
The command green is actually seen still in some episodes, namely the Trouble with Tribbles, which featured Kirk in a Starfleet tunic, and not his standard Starfleet, tight-fitting uniform.
Screenrant did a great write up about this and went into further detail. They also explained why the Next Generation saw them switch from gold/green to red for command. Hint: it’s as silly of a reason as you think it is.