Why Grace Lee Whitney was replaced in Dagger of the Mind

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 12: Actress Grace Lee Whitney participates in the 11th Annual Official Star Trek Convention - day 4 held at the Rio Hotel & Casino on August 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 12: Actress Grace Lee Whitney participates in the 11th Annual Official Star Trek Convention - day 4 held at the Rio Hotel & Casino on August 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images) /
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Grace Lee Whitney was written into Dagger of the Mind

When Grace Lee Whitney was originally hired for Star Trek: The Original Series, she was guaranteed thirteen episodes. As the series began and costs started rising, producers tried to figure out a way to eliminate some of the overhead. Whitney was one of the unfortunate eliminations. But she was written in for several more episodes before she was terminated, one of which was Dagger of the Mind. And she wasn’t removed from that episode because of money.

Whitney was replaced by Marianna Hill who played the part of Dr. Helen Noel. In the episode, Noel and Captain Kirk got very close, and Kirk’s memories from the ship’s Christmas party revealed a brief fling that was probably nothing more than a one-night stand. While that worked with Helen Noel who was a one-off character, it could have made things a lot more difficult for Captain Kirk and Yeoman Rand.

Producers didn’t want Grace Lee Whitney’s character involved with Kirk

Though Whitney was a beautiful woman, and it would be understandable why Kirk would let his guard down at a Christmas party, perhaps with the help of some Saurian brandy, the pair would have had to work together afterwards which might have made things a little uneasy for both of them.

Captain Kirk getting involved with Yeoman Rand would have changed the tone of the show as Kirk wasn’t set up to be a one-woman man. And it’s doubtful that Rand would have appreciated being a port in the storm. And though it happened many years later, Captain Picard proved that a relationship with a subordinate was fraught with issues. So, in this instance, producers made the wise choice not to put Whitney in as Kirk’s woman of the week.

Next. Janice Rand was supposed to be a CEO on Enterprise. dark