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c. 1960s

The crazy creatures of the original “Star Trek”

Remember Tribbles? The Gorn? The Salt Vampire? Take a gander at some old favorites

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Captain Kirk and The Gorn do not meet cute.
(Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

In the 1960s, Star Trek had to boldly go where no CGI was available.  In the pre-digital era, special effects were decidedly less special than they are today—though, at the time, equally as captivating.

Portraying the 2260s rather than 1960s was always going to be a big lift, and the show’s make-up and costume designers, led by Bill Theiss, stepped up to the plate.

Taken on their own, these costumes can look absurdly unconvincing to today’s eyes—but at the time were a revelation to TV audiences.  Much of their impact was that they appeared in a TV program that was dedicated to exploring not just the final frontier of space, but also the human condition. Now that was bold.

1966
Sandra Gimpel as the Salt Vampire.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images.
1967
A subterranean life form known as Horta.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1969
Dick Geary as an Andorian and Gary Downey as a Tellarite.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1965
Susan Oliver as Vina appearing as an Orion slave girl.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1965
Michael Dugan as the Kalar warrior.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1965
Janos Prohaska as the Anthropoid Ape in the planet Talos IV.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1965
Meg Wyllie plays The Keeper.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1967
John Wheeler as Ambassador Gav.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1967
Reggie Nalder as Shras in the episode “Journey to Babel.”
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1967
Captain James T. Kirk being burried by Tribbles.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1966
Ted Cassidy as Ruk in the episode “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1969
Phyllis Douglas as Girl #2, Charles Napier as Adam, Mary Linda Rapelye as Irina Victor Brandt as Tongo Rad, Deborah Downey as Mavig in a 1969 episode called “The Way to Eden.”
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1967
The Gorn attacks Kirk.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
1967
The Gorn.
CBS Paramount Television / Getty Images
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