- "And Uhura, whose name means freedom. She walks in beauty, like the night."
Nyota Uhura served as communications officer aboard the USS Enterprise under the command of James T. Kirk for nearly thirty years, after which she continued her career lecturing at Starfleet Academy. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver"; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
Nyota Uhura was born in the 2230s. She was fluent in Swahili. (TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?", "The Man Trap", "The Changeling", "Spectre of the Gun") In her youth, she used to run the hundred meter dash in record time. (TAS: "The Slaver Weapon")
The five-year mission
In the following years of that vessel's historic five-year mission, she proved to be a proficient technician and was considered by Captain Kirk to be a capable and reliable bridge officer, manning the helm, navigation and main science station when the need arose. (TOS: "The Man Trap", "The Naked Time", "Balance of Terror", "The Galileo Seven", "Whom Gods Destroy")
On stardate 1672.1, before taking a brief on-board ship sabbatical, Uhura's voice was heard ship wide reminding her fellow crew members to file their accurate "time sheets via the communications department." (TOS: "The Enemy Within")
On stardate 1704.2, Lieutenant Kevin Riley under the influence of the Psi 2000 polywater intoxication left his post at navigation and Commander Spock assigned her to the station until Lieutenant Brent relieved her from that duty later the same day. On stardate 1704.3, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, also under the influence of the polywater intoxication, fantasizing himself a musketeer, took Uhura under his "protection" before first officer Spock subdued him with a Vulcan nerve pinch. (TOS: "The Naked Time")
On stardate 1709.1, Uhura also took over the navigation post when Lieutenant Stiles was needed elsewhere on the ship during the confrontation with the Romulans near the neutral zone. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")
In 2267 from stardate 2821.5 to 2823.1, while the Enterprise shuttlecraft Galileo was studying the Murasaki 312 quasar, it was lost and then crashed on an uncharted planet. Because Spock was the commander of that mission and was not on the Enterprise, Uhura took lead in the search for the missing Galileo and took over at the bridge's science station, as well as still helping at communications relieving Lieutenant Brent at sciences. Uhura discovered the planet Taurus II that the Galileo had crashed on. After Spock and the four other surviving crew members were found and rescued, Uhura was happy to allow Spock the science station back under his command. (TOS: "The Galileo Seven")
In 2267, Uhura was part of the landing party that beamed down to the Guardian of Forever planet to find Dr. Leonard McCoy, who was in a wild state of mind due to an accidental overdose of cordrazine. Uhura was the first one of the landing party to notice that they had lost contact with the Enterprise. This was due to the fact that Dr. McCoy had run into the Guardian of Forever altering the time line and erasing the Enterprise and everything the landing party knew becoming nonexistent. This was the only time where Uhura actually admitted to someone, Captain Kirk, that she was truly frightened (without being under an influence of an alien force taking control of her mind.) Fortunately after Kirk and Spock went through the Guardian of Forever and then came back from the past with Dr. McCoy they restored the time line and the existence of the Enterprise. (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")
Following a communications blackout caused by Apollo, jamming all communication frequencies between the Enterprise and her landing party on stardate 3468.1, Uhura attempted the delicate task of rewiring the entire communications system in an attempt to break through the interference. In conjunction with Sulu's rigging of all transmission circuits for maximum power generation, Uhura successfully connected the bypass circuit, a task she had not done in several years. Spock praised her work and could think of "no one better equipped" to handle the necessary repairs. (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")
Near the end of 2267, Uhura was reluctant to testify against Kirk, at an on-board hearing in the briefing room, but was forced to do so and could unfortunately only agree with Commodore Stocker that when Kirk was suffering from the rapid aging he was not anywhere near his best. This unfortunate incident for Uhura started on stardate 3479.4 when Kirk ordered Uhura to send a coded message to Starfleet and to use code 2 since the Enterprise in orbit around Gamma Hydra IV was close to the Romulan Neutral Zone. When Uhura reminded Kirk that the Romulans had already broken code 2, a befuddled Kirk ordered her to use code 3 and to relay the information about the rogue comet that Spock (also suffering the rapid aging) had discovered earlier and that was strongly suspected may have spread the radiation that started the rapid aging. Luckily for Uhura, the rest of the crew, and the Enterprise, McCoy (also suffering from the rapid aging) discovered an adrenaline based cure for the rapid aging before Stocker nearly got the ship destroyed by the Romulans. (TOS: "The Deadly Years")
A few weeks later, Kirk, McCoy and Chief Engineer Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott relied heavily on Uhura to help them after a transporter accident caused the four of them to be trapped in a violent and ruthless parallel universe run by a Terran Empire. They relied heavily on Uhura for her skills at communications and to distract the parallel universe's Lieutenant Sulu, the head of security on the parallel Enterprise, by spurning him, flirting with him and then spurning him, again, so he would not see what the four of them were doing to get back to their universe, which successfully they did. (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")
In 2268 on stardate 4041.7, Spock mused about the remarkable parallels between Earth of the Roman Empire and Planet 892-IV, except Rome had no sun-worshippers. Uhura, who had been monitoring 892-IV's radio broadcasts since stardate 4040.7, revealed that they were not worshipping the sun but the "Son of God". Planet 892-IV had both a Caesar and a Christ, except on 892-IV Christianity will begin in their 1960's. (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")
On stardate 4372.5, the Enterprise was assigned to transport Elaan, Dohlman of Elas to the planet Troyius for her arranged marriage. Uhura offered Elaan her quarters to stay in while traveling on board the Enterprise. (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")
On stardate 4513.3, the ship was hijacked by Norman to a previously undiscovered planet, the Enterprise's crew discovered that Harcourt Fenton Mudd had crashed on the planet. The planet was populated by androids, from the Andromeda Galaxy, who wished to use the Enterprise to visit other planets and strand the Enterprise crew there. The androids tempted Uhura with long life and to never grow old by having her consciousness transferred to an android body. In the end the crew banded together and escaped the planet, leaving Mudd with 500 android replicas of his overbearing wife, Stella. ((TOS: "I, Mudd")
On stardate 4523.3, while on shore leave aboard Deep Space Station K-7, Uhura met a dealer named Cyrano Jones, who tried to sell rare galactic items, among them, furry little creatures Jones called tribbles. In hopes of more sales, Jones gave one to Uhura, which subsequently, due to their high reproduction rate, threatened to overrun the Enterprise when Uhura took the creature with her on board. Fortunately, the crew was able to find a way to dispose of the tribbles in a humane way. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
On stardate 5423.6, Uhura agreed with McCoy and Scotty that Spock should stand his ground -- with Spock starting to concur with them -- that he wouldn't let the evasive answers of or behavior from Hodin, the commissioner of the planet Gideon High Council, about what happened to the missing Kirk or Admiral Fitzgerald's trying to get Spock from insisting on getting true answers about the whereabouts of Kirk be the final answer. (TOS: "The Mark of Gideon")
On stardate 5431.4, Kirk trusted Uhura's finding large, regular energy pulsations on the otherwise glaciated and pre-industrial Sigma Draconis VI as to the planet in that system to find Spock's missing brain over Sulu's and Ensign Pavel Chekov's suggestions of which planet to search for Spock's brain. And Uhura would be proven correct. (TOS: "Spock's Brain")
Again in 2268, Uhura, after attending Kirk's memorial service, was the first one of the crew to see the ghost-like image of Kirk in a mirror in her quarters. Kirk was trapped in the interphase Tholian space aboard the USS Defiant. For a short time after, Uhura thought she might be suffering from the ill mental effects of the interphase as many of her fellow crew members were. But after Scotty, McCoy, Brent, and Spock saw the ghost-like image of the interphase trapped Kirk, McCoy determined that Uhura was completely sane. (TOS: "The Tholian Web")
On stardate 5710.6, Uhura was the first one on the bridge to notice the seeming "disappearance" of Kirk after he sipped some of the Scalosian water spiked coffee, courtesy of Deela, hyperaccelerating Kirk up to the Scalosians speed. (TOS: "Wink of an Eye")
Also in 2268, Uhura had trouble making Spock comprehend that she was inquiring about what happened to the the Enterprise from the turbulence caused by the image of Losira appearing in the transporter room to protect the Kalandan outpost planet. She had to laugh at Spock commenting about his head hitting the captain's chair when she made the inquiry and then she had to rephrase the question. (TOS: "That Which Survives")
Near the end of 2268, Uhura immediately ran to the bridge's main science station after an explosion on the far side of planet Elba II had Scotty and Sulu registering it as a 9.5 earthquake. Just as with Scotty and McCoy, Uhura was as concerned about whether life still remained on Elba II as Kirk and Spock were at the Elba II asylum penal colony. Fortunately Uhura, McCoy and Scotty's worse fears about Kirk and Spock being dead was unfounded. (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")
In 2269 on stardate 5483.7, the male Enterprise crew was incapacitated by the "siren's song" of Taurus II's female population, necessitating Uhura to take command of the ship. She and Nurse Christine Chapel led an all female landing party to rescue Captain Kirk, first officer Spock and Dr. McCoy. (TAS: "The Lorelei Signal")
In 2270, Uhura was again temporarily in command of the bridge when the Enterprise lost contact with Kirk and Spock, half of the ships' contact party, while exploring the surface of Delta Theta III. Per Kirk's orders of avoiding unnecessary risks, she ordered Scotty and Sulu, the other half of the contact party, to reboard the ship, contrary to their attempt to locate Spock and the captain. (TAS: "Bem")
On stardate 6770.3, upon entering an anti-matter universe, the Enterprise crew experienced the effects of accelerated reverse aging and Uhura also was reduced to infancy. After returning the ship to normal space, the crew was able to return to their normal age by using the transporters. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident")
Assaults, injuries and ailments
Like most of her Enterprise crewmates, Uhura was exposed to certain dangers on several missions. However, most of these dangers occurred during the original five-year mission.
The first two assaults Uhura suffered, in 2266, during the Enterprise's original five-year mission happened after the Enterprise picked up an unusual passenger from the Antares named Charles Evans. Charlie Evans was a 17-year old boy that was, as a much younger child, the sole survivor of a ship crash on the planet Thasus, whose original inhabitants had thought to have become extinct. What know one aboard the Enterprise knew was that the Thasians had developed into non-corporeal beings, who had raised Charlie, and who had given telekinesis powers to Charlie, who would end up misusing them and the Antares had failed to warn the Enterprise until they were destroyed by Charlie's powers. On stardate 1533.7, Uhura was singing in the crew lounge with Spock's Vulcan lyre accompanying her a song she made up about Charlie, Oh, On the Starship Enterprise, when Charlie decided to literally take away Uhura's voice and stop Spock from playing the Vulcan lyre, because he wanted his love interest, Yeoman Janice Rand's undivided attention. Uhura nearly, literally, choked on her own voice. On stardate 1535.8, to keep Uhura from opening hailing frequencies to Starfleet Command to warn them about Charlie, Charlie caused hot searing electrical sparks to emit from the communications console giving her 2nd degree burns on her hands and fall to the floor near her station. Luckily Dr. McCoy came with a medical bag and ointment for her hands. Charlie would soon be taken from the Enterprise by the Thasians. (TOS: "Charlie X")
After Khan took over the Enterprise on stardate 3141.9, in 2267, and assembled several officers in the briefing room, one of Khan's henchmen forcefully grabbed Uhura by the arm and shoved her into the chair located in front of the computer terminal. When Uhura resisted obeying Khan's orders, the henchman slapped Uhura across the face. (TOS: "Space Seed")
On stardate 3211.8, Uhura was the victim of an attempted sexual assault. When she, Kirk and Chekov were kidnapped and imprisoned by the Providers of the planet Triskelion, Uhura fought off the advances of the drill thrall Lars with a water pitcher. (TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion")
On stardate 3417.4, Uhura under the influence of the planet Omicron Ceti III pod plant spores, for the first and only time, disobeyed direct orders from Captain Kirk, her commanding officer, and disabled the communications console aboard the Enterprise to only allow communications between the ship and the planet. Uhura then left her post and ship to join other crew members on Omicron Ceti III. When Uhura was freed of the influence of the spores she re-enabled the communications console to normal. (TOS: "This Side of Paradise")
Perhaps her most traumatic experience during her time aboard the Enterprise occurred on stardate 3541.9, near the end of 2267. This is when Uhura had her memory wiped out by the space probe Nomad, which misinterpreted her singing of Beyond Antares as a biological malfunction. This assault required Dr. McCoy to use advanced medical and educational techniques to restore her memories. (TOS: "The Changeling")
In 2268 on stardate 4657.5, Uhura was on the bridge when the Kelvan Hanar suddenly transported himself on to the bridge. Uhura along with the rest of the bridge crew was put into temporary 'frozen' and motionless stasis by Hanar. This was when the Kelvan Milky Way Expedition attempted to hijack the Enterprise to return to their home world in the Andromeda Galaxy. On stardate 4658.9, Kelvan leader Rojan neutralized and reduced Uhura into a dehydrated porous cuboctahedron solid, the size of a human fist, composed of Uhura's base minerals which represented the "distilled" essence of Uhura's being. Uhura was considered by the Kelvans as one of many non-essential personnel. Uhura would be reconstituted after Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty, the only four crew members not neutralized, regained control of the Enterprise. (TOS: "By Any Other Name")
On stardate 4770.3, the essence of the alien Henoch in possession of Spock's body terrorized the whole bridge crew, specifically inflicting tremendous pain on to Uhura with a flick of Spock's hand. Uhura was fortunate that the pain did not kill her and she fortunately survived and rose above the pain inflicted by Henoch. (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow")
On stardate 5029.5, the Starnes Exploration Party children under the influence of Gorgan terrorized the whole bridge crew with their telekinesis "powers" deliberately mind controlling Uhura into seeing her own worse fear of a reflection of herself, in the communications console, as a disfigured, diseased, dying old woman, and making it impossible for Uhura to perform her duties as communications officer. Once the children were freed of the influence of Gorgan the image planted in her brain on the communications console disappeared freeing Uhura. (TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead")
Later in 2268 on stardate 5431.4, Uhura was rendered unconscious by the Eymorg Kara when she boarded the Enterprise and used her control bracelet in order to steal Spock's brain. (TOS: "Spock's Brain")
In 2269 on stardate 4187.3, Uhura was on the Enterprise shuttlecraft Copernicus traveling with Spock and Sulu when the Slaver stasis box they had on-board indicated the existence of another Slaver stasis box on an uncharted icy planet in the Beta Lyrae system. Uhura, Spock and Sulu discovered in the second Slaver stasis box a weapon of great power that could cause massive destruction and death. When the Kzinti traveling on the Traitor's Claw found out that the three Enterprise crew members were on the planet with such a newly discovered Slaver stasis box they kidnapped Uhura (twice) and the Chuft Captain held her hostage. Spock and Sulu were able to get Uhura free by discovering new settings on the weapon that were able to trick the Kzinti. (TAS: "The Slaver Weapon")
On stardate 5221.3, Uhura picked up a strange radio signal from a long ago abandoned insectoid race ship orbiting the dead star Questar M-17. After Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty beamed back aboard the Enterprise from investigating the abandoned ship, the crew discovered they had also beamed aboard the same malevolent entitity that had caused the insectoid's ship's abandonment. The crew, including Uhura, were temporarily taken hostage by the entity, until Kirk was able to trick it into leaving the ship and go live around Questar M-17's orbit. Scotty then used a slingshot effect to break the Enterprise free from Questar M-17's orbit. As they were leaving the stellar cluster that Questar M-17 was located in, Uhura on stardate 5221.8 picked up one last signal from the entity announcing it was "lonely, very lonely ..." (TAS: "Beyond the Farthest Star")
On stardate 5725.3, Uhura temporarily lost her ability to move her hands and could not open hailing frequencies to contact the Memory Alpha library when the Enterprise encountered the lights of Zetar beings. (TOS: "The Lights of Zetar")
On stardate 1254.4, as the Enterprise was exploring the galactic core the ship and it's crew got caught in a matter-energy whirlwind and were thrown into a alternate universe. In that alternate universe, the crew met a being who called himself Lucien. Lucien claimed that he had, at one-time, been on Earth and had met humans before. Lucien also claimed that the Enterprise crew could perform magic in the alternate universe, with the crew being very surprised when they could. Unfortunately Lucien's fellow Megans were not thrilled to discover that the Enterprise crew was doing just that and transported the whole crew to planet Megas-Tu and promptly put all of them, including Uhura, into 17th century style pillories as punishment. The crew, including Uhura, were in the Megans interpretation of 1691 Salem and were put on a similar Salem witch trial and were nearly put to death courtesy of Megan Asmodeus' prosecuting legal tactics. Fortunately Spock, as a Vulcan defense counselor, pleaded successfully for the crew's release in that humanity had grown away from the hatred, fear and bigotry of 1691. (TAS: "The Magicks of Megas-Tu")
On stardate 5577.7, Uhura and the rest of the Enterprise crew were paralized from a flash of light coming from a planet in the Cepheus star system after Uhura received a distress signal using a 21st century intersat code with the word terratin attached. The flash of light ended up shrinking and minaturizing Uhura and the rest of the crew to fingernail length at 1/16th of an inch high. Uhura and the rest of the crew would be restored to normal size via the transporter as the mutated descendants of the lost Terra 10 colony were rescued and relocated from the unstable plaent. (TAS: "The Terratin Incident")
On stardate 5591.2, Uhura suffered the first of two assaults by a computer. Kirk took the Enterprise and its crew to the "Shore Leave Planet" in the Omicron Delta system for much needed rest and relaxation. But unaware to the crew, the planet's Caretaker had died since their last visit and the planet's master computer suffered from what amounted to its version of a mental breakdown. One of the many violations of what its original protocol the planet's master computer did was to kidnap Uhura. While being held hostage in the planet's computer core, Uhura found out that the master computer decided it was time to free the individuals on the fellow computer, the Enterprise, from their being a slave to their master. Uhura reasoned with the computer and convinced the master computer that the humans on board the Enterprise did not have that kind of relationship and with the humans on board needing rest and relaxation the planet's computer itself was not being taken advantage of -- but that was useful and needed purpose for it. That worked eventually to get the master computer to go back to it's protocols, and to cease it's hostile actions against the Enterprise crew. That talk also made Spock's later work with the master computer to make sure something like that did not happen, again, on the "Shore Leave Planet" much easier. (TAS: "Once Upon a Planet")
In 2270 on stardate 3183.3, Uhura dealt with the second assault by a computer. This time the assault came from the Enterprise computer. Captain Kirk to hide the ship from an attacking Romulan ship, took the Enterprise into a space cloud not realizing that this would turn the ship's computer into a practical joker. And there were several jokes played on many crew members. To get away from the practical jokes, not realizing that the computer was the cause of the jokes, Uhura, McCoy and Sulu decided to get themselves away from the practical jokes in the holographic recreation room. The computer first played a "practical joke" on the three of them by trapping them in a deep hole in a forest. When a security search party could not find them, the Enterprise computer's practical joker went further and trapped Uhura, McCoy and Sulu in a raging blizzard that none of the three asked for. Luckily, all three were found and saved before they froze to death by a second successful security search party. Another trip through the cloud rid the Enterprise computer of the practical joker. This was the final assault that Uhura suffered from during the Enterprise's historic five year mission. (TAS: "The Practical Joker")
Later in 2270 on stardate 5275.6, Uhura collapsed on the bridge due to the effect of the Dramian auroral plague. Fortunately Dr. McCoy was able to find a cure to rescue her and the rest of the infected crew. This was the final illness Uhura suffered from during the Enterprise's historic five year mission. (TAS: "Albatross")
Recognition during five-year mission
Uhura received three noteworthy recognitions which occurred during the original five-year mission.
She was one of a few officers privileged to dine at a banquet arranged at the request of Lieutenant Marla McGivers for Khan on stardate 3141.9. When Khan later cut life support to the bridge, Kirk listed the names of bridge personnel to be recorded for commendations. Before Kirk ran out of air, he was able to include Uhura in that list. (TOS: "Space Seed")
When the Enterprise was temporarily placed under the control of the M-5 computer as part of an experiment by Doctor Richard Daystrom on stardate 4729.4, Uhura was one of twenty officers selected by the computer to operate the starship for the war games exercise. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")
When the Enterprise encountered a giant space amoeba in 2268, Lt. Uhura was one of the officers named by Captain Kirk as deserving of "special citation", along with Cmdr. Spock, Montgomery Scott, Dr. Leonard McCoy, Pavel Chekov, and Lt. Kyle. (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome")
In the 2270s, Uhura was promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander aboard the Enterprise. She served aboard the refit Enterprise under the command of Captain Willard Decker, and later during the V'Ger crisis under the command of Admiral Kirk. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
By 2285, Uhura was promoted to commander and assigned to Starfleet Command communications and to Starfleet Academy while the Enterprise was reassigned to cadet training. Part of her duty included giving lectures at the Academy. That same year, the Enterprise became involved with Project Genesis and Khan Noonien Singh's attempt to steal the Genesis Device. Eventually, Kirk was able to stop Khan, but not before the latter had wrought extensive damage upon the Enterprise, requiring Captain Spock to sacrifice his life to save the ship. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
Uhura was assigned to the transporter room at Old City Station per her own request. During the planned rescue attempt of Spock from the Genesis Planet, Uhura played an instrumental role of illegally transporting Admiral Kirk and company to the Enterprise prior to its theft. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
Kirk and his senior staff succeeded in saving Spock, and Uhura met up with her crewmates on Vulcan. Along with the rest of the crew she traveled back to the year 1986 aboard a Klingon Bird-of-Prey – which they named the HMS Bounty – to retrieve two humpback whales to save the planet Earth from an alien probe. While in 20th century San Francisco, Uhura and Pavel Chekov transported aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise to acquire high-energy photons from its reactor core. Upon their return to the 23rd century, she was among the crew charged with the theft of the Enterprise. However, all charges against them were dropped because they had saved the planet. She was reassigned to communications aboard the USS Enterprise-A. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
In 2287, the Enterprise was dispatched to resolve a hostage situation on Nimbus III, the Planet of Galactic Peace. Under the influence of the rebel leader Sybok, Uhura and many other crewmembers cooperated to divert the Enterprise to the galactic core where Sybok convinced them they would find the mythical Sha Ka Ree. In an initial attack on the rebel-held Paradise City, Uhura played a vital part by performing an erotic, moonlit fan dance on a sand dune to a look out party of rebels. Her dance seduced the entire party and they were captured by Kirk and his team in order to steal their horses which they used to enter Paradise City. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
Up to the Camp Khitomer crisis of 2293, Uhura continued to serve as communications officer of the Enterprise-A. The Enterprise crew played a vital role in the success of the Khitomer Conference by exposing a conspiracy that sought to sabotage the peace process. By the end of the year, Uhura had left the Enterprise and taken a position at Starfleet Academy. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
Uhura was a Starfleet officer who was proud of her African heritage. In fact, she decorated her personal living quarters aboard the Enterprise with a zebra-skin bedspread, some African sculptures and masks, and wall panels containing African images. (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius", "The Tholian Web")
She was also well known among her fellow Enterprise colleagues for entertaining them with her singing talent, including her own renditions of songs, such as Oh, On the Starship Enterprise. (TOS: "Charlie X")
One of Uhura's favorite love songs to sing was the song Beyond Antares. She chose the song in response to a request made by Kevin Riley, who was on duty alone in engineering, and who wanted to be reassured that he was not the only living thing left in the universe. (TOS: "The Conscience of the King") She also sang it while on bridge duty the following year. Her performance led to the incident that triggering Nomad's assault on her. (TOS: "The Changeling")
Throughout their years of serving together, Uhura developed a strong friendship with the other members of the Enterprise senior staff. In 2285, she helped Kirk without hesitation in his quest to find peace for Spock's katra. When the other crew members had recovered Spock's body from the Genesis Planet, Uhura had been waiting for them on Vulcan and witnessed the fal-tor-pan ritual being performed on Spock. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
James T. Kirk
Serving under Kirk for many years, Uhura developed a great respect for him, both as a starship captain and a person. On stardate 5784.2, under the influence of powerful telepaths, Uhura was forced to kiss him. (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")
Near the beginning of her service aboard the Enterprise, Uhura attempted to reach the Human side of Spock.
On stardate 1513.1, she tried to start a conversation with a sardonic Spock and asked him how Vulcan looked when its moon was full. When Spock mentioned to her that Vulcan has no moon, she expressed little surprise at his lack of romanticism. She was also amazed that Spock lacked any curiosity with regard to the identity of a dead officer on planet M-113. (TOS: "The Man Trap")
Soon afterward, when Charles Evans was aboard the Enterprise, Uhura and Spock entertained the crew together in the recreation room on stardate 1533.6. With Spock on the Vulcan harp, Uhura sang two versions of the improvised song Oh, On the Starship Enterprise, one about Spock, the second about Evans (which caused Evans to make her temporarily lose her voice). (TOS: "Charlie X")
In 2287, Uhura began to show some romantic interest in Montgomery "Scotty" Scott while being under the influence of Sybok. Scotty, nevertheless, politely declined the advance, mindful of her "condition" and realizing that she was in fact a "convert". (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
Scotty helped Uhura and Chekov look up Klingon phrases in antique books in 2293, while trying to cross the border into Klingon space to rescue their jailed colleagues. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
|Communications officers of the starships Enterprise|
|USS Enterprise:||Alden • Farrell • Garison • Hadley • Lisa • M'Ress • Palmer • Uhura|
|ISS Enterprise NX-01:||Sato|
|ISS Enterprise (NCC-1701):||Uhura|
|USS Enterprise (alternate reality):||Hawkins • Uhura|
- See also: Main character non-appearances
Uhura was played by Nichelle Nichols, who appeared in sixty-six episodes. She appeared in voice-over in two additional episodes ("The Enemy Within" and "The Menagerie, Part II"), and on stock footage in "The Paradise Syndrome".  Nichols also provided the voice of Uhura (in addition to a few guest character voices) for The Animated Series, and appeared in all but three of its episodes.
Uhura was slated to make a cameo in "Flashback", but was cut from the episode after requesting more lines for her role. (Star Trek: Communicator: "The Making of 'Flashback'") There were also rumors that she would appear on Star Trek: The Next Generation as either Guinan's mother or daughter, but this never came to pass. 
Uhura was the last main character to be cast for the Original Series, only a few weeks before production began on "The Corbomite Maneuver", the first regular episode. In the original script of the episode, the communications officer was named "Dave Bailey". When Nichelle Nichols (allegedly a lover of Gene Roddenberry) was cast as the new comm officer, Bailey (played by Anthony Call) was "transferred" to navigation. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp 153-154)
Name and heritage
According to an anecdote told by Nichelle Nichols at Shore Leave 29, she and Gene Roddenberry decided on the name "Uhura" because, before Nichols' audition, she and several others involved in casting had been reading the 1962 novel Uhuru by American author Robert Ruark. The story is verified by Robert Justman and Herb Solow in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story.
"Uhuru" is the Swahili word for "freedom." Spock, after making a Vulcan mind meld with Kollos in "Is There in Truth No Beauty?", says that Uhura's name means "freedom" and recites a line of poetry about beauty from Lord Byron. In Star Trek VI, her name was misspelled "Uhuru" in the credits.
By the early 1970s, it was suggested that her first name may have been "Penda", meaning "love". The character's given name was established in the 2009 film Star Trek as Nyota. (The revelation playfully parallels the long-time real-life ambiguity; from their first meeting in an Iowa bar, for three years Kirk tries unsuccessfully to learn her first name, only to learn it when her lover - Spock - assures her that he return alive from the Narada.) The name Nyota ("star" in Swahili) was first used by William Rotsler in his book Star Trek II Biographies.
Nichols has said that an author writing about the history of Star Trek had asked Gene Roddenberry what Uhura's first name was and was told that one was never decided. The author then recommended the name "Nyota." Roddenberry liked it, but said to ask Nichols before he allowed the name to be used. Nichols thought the name was perfect. (TOS Season 2 DVD commentary) Alternatively on the video William Shatner's Star Trek Memories, Nichols also said that she and Gene Roddenberry came up with the name in initial discussions about the character just after her casting.
In the Star Trek RPG published by FASA in the 1980s, the full name given for Uhura was "Samara Uhura," although, like the rest of this game, its source material was stricken from canonical status after the debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Paramount Pictures revised canon policies. This possible name appears to not have been accepted outside the original source. Incidentally, in the RPG adaptation, there were several Decker-class starships named for the Enterprise crew, including the USS Samara Uhura.
Although never mentioned on screen, various guides, such as the Star Trek Concordance, the Star Trek Chronology and StarTrek.com mention M'Umbha as being the mother of Uhura. This may lead one to believe that the reference to M'Umbha was in the original script for "The Man Trap" or in the TOS writer's guide. According to the Concordance the line referencing M'Umbha in "The Man Trap" was spoken in the past tense, indicating that she was deceased by 2266.
Uhura's date and location of birth were also never established on screen. The date of birth (2239) was derived from the Star Trek Chronology and the Star Trek Encyclopedia. The original Star Trek writer's guide and the Star Trek Concordance establish that she was born in the United States of Africa. Her familiarity with the Swahili language implies – but does not require – an East African origin or heritage. In the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, she is described as having a "fine-boned Bantu face" (Page 49), and in the novelization of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Pavel Chekov said Uhura was from the Bantu Nation. James Blish refers to Uhura as "a beautiful Bantu girl" in his adaptations of original Star Trek episodes.
The 1977 Writers'/Directors' Guide for Star Trek: Phase II – the aborted second series – Uhura was noted as having been born in the "African Confederacy". The full character description, written by Gene Roddenberry and Jon Povill, is as follows:
Rank of Lieutenant Commander, Communications Officer, played by attractive young actress Nichelle Nichols. Uhura was born in the African Confederacy. Quick and intelligent, she is a highly efficient officer. Her understanding of the ship's computer systems is second only to the Vulcan Science Officer, and expert in all ships systems relating to communications. Uhura is also a warm, highly female female off duty. She is a favorite in the Recreation Room during off duty hours, too, because she sings – old ballads as well as the newer space ballads – and she can do impersonations at the drop of a communicator.
Nichelle Nichols has stated on many occasions during the years, including on the video William Shatner's Star Trek Memories that during the first year of the series, she was tempted to leave the show as she felt her role lacked significance, but a conversation with Martin Luther King, Jr. changed her mind. King personally encouraged her to stay on the show, telling her that he was a big fan of the series and told her she "could not give up" as she was playing a vital role model for young black children and women across the country. After the first season, Uhura's role on the series was expanded beyond merely manning her console.
NASA astronauts, Sally Ride, Guion Bluford, Judith Resnik, and Ronald McNair were all recruited as a direct result of Nichelle Nichols' employ as NASA's recruiter, specifically for minorities.
Whoopi Goldberg has also spoken of Nichols' influence. It was seeing Nichols play a prominent role on network television that allowed her to see that African American women could contribute more than just as domestic servants. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion) She is often fond of recalling that when she saw Uhura on-screen for the first time she ran out of the room telling everyone in her house, "I just saw a black woman on television; and she ain't no maid!" (Star Trek Monthly issue 56)
Nyota Uhura is depicted in the non-canonical novels The Art of the Impossible, Catalyst of Sorrows, and Vulcan's Soul: Exodus as later going on to achieve the rank of admiral and become the head of Starfleet Intelligence in the 24th century, serving into 2377.
- Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens; Star Trek: Phase II - The Making of the Lost Series; Pocket Books, ISBN 0671568396 (softcover, 1997)
- Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens; Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Continuing Mission; Pocket Books, ISBN 0671025597 (softcover 1998)