The first episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, The Cage, that starred Jeffery Hunter, Leonard Nimoy, and Majel Barret didn’t have a lot of fighting and phaser fire. NBC considered it cerebral, but that was only one part of the network’s decision to pass on the pilot. With all of the green dancing women, the kissing, and what they considered to be “raw sexuality,” the episode was just too sexy to be aired, and the network executives considered the “eroticism” of the pilot too much of a risk.
That’s funny considering the many episodes of Star Trek that followed, especially Mirror, Mirror which had Captain Kirk in the alternate universe Kirk’s quarters with Lt. Marlena Moreau. Their scenes could be considered steamy for the 1960s, especially when you consider NBC had removed a scene that had Yeoman Rand simply handing Captain Kirk a shirt in his quarters. And what about Zarabeth and Spock in All of Our Yesterdays? Fans have often mentioned that as a steamy scene. Of course, the Orion slave girl the censors were concerned about did show up in “The Menagerie” and “Whom Gods Destroy.”
According to Herb Solow and Robert Justman from their book Inside Star Trek, the producers admittedly took advantage of the network’s concerns about things being too sexy and would deliberately give the censors something to freak out about so they wouldn’t notice other more important aspects of the episode. One particular instance that’s mentioned is “A Private Little War” where Kirk has an open-mouth kiss with his friend’s wife. That kept the network busy so they didn’t focus on the Vietnam allegory. Pretty sneaky, but it worked.