One Star Trek fan posted a super-cut of every red-shirt death from the original series.
Have we not suffered enough? In Star Trek: The Original Series, there was a gunning gag that many people saw play out. It was the idea that if you were an unnamed extra wearing a red shirt, you were often doomed in whatever episode you were in.
The idea of killing off major characters just wasn’t a fear at the time. In fact, Star Trek characters are still widely protected if they’re prominent characters. There are hardly any characters that have main character status that has been killed off in a series. The two I can think of are Jadzia Dax and Charles “Trip” Tucker III. Dax because of contract issues with her actress and Trip because it was the series finale.
There’s probably more, but those are the first two that pop to mind. So before the worlds of Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead, when everyone was fair game, the only way you could get tension and the threat of death was by killing off no-name characters.
Though some did have a name. So if you want to relieve that tension, this video of every redshirt dying in the original series of Star Trek will help you do that.
Red shirts weren’t killed off as often as you remember
There’s a theory that one or two red shirts were killed off every episode but that’s really not true. In the 79 episodes of the original series, only 25 men wearing red shirts were killed off. What’s interesting is, that they weren’t even the only ones who were 86’ed.
In fact, according to the Star Trek: Technical Manuel (via MeTV), there were 239 reds hirts that appeared on the series, and only 25 of them were killed off. That’s just a hair over 10% of the crew on the show who were seen wearing red.
Yet, another 10 crew members died while wearing command gold and science blue. Since there were 55 gold-wearing crewmembers, that means 18% were killed off. Meaning you were more likely to die wearing gold than red.