fantasy: Star Trek – Marta

Star Trek: Marta

In the Star Trek episode ‘Whom Gods Destroy’, Spock and Kirk beam down to Elba II to deliver a serum that should cure all of the remaining inmates of the last asylum for the criminally insane.

But they quickly discover that the inmates – including the Orion slave-girl Marta (Yvonne Craig) – have taken over the asylum. Worse they have developed the capability to shapeshift and take on the appearance of anyone.

The makeup

Fred B Phillips was the makeup artist.

It seems that the makeup was never settled but was ‘a new experiment each and every day’. Apparently, the records of the makeup for Vina – the original Orion slave-girl – had not been retained and the makeup was a process of experimentation to get the right skin-tone and not rub off on other actors. Yvonne claimed they fiddled with the lighting from scene to scene to help hide the makeup smudges: the effect, however, was to change her apparent colouring from turquoise to bright green to almost blue from scene to scene (the effects are clearly visible in the images above – check the variation in the colour of the whites of her eyes).

Yvonne famously said:

It’s not easy being green … It was just hideous … Makeup was a new experiment each and every day – they were trying to get something that would stick – not rub off on the other actors and that stayed within the color range they had started with – combination colored pancake makeup, with an oil base – I would shower at the studio, so I could get into clothes to get home and then take one sometimes two baths at home to soak it off each day. It stayed in the creases of my skin and under my finger nails … It took a long time to put it on, even longer to take it off, and until the next to last day of filming we never figured out a way to make it stay. Probably to this very day, if my cuticle were seen under a microscope small particles of green paint would still be visible! … There isn’t enough money in the world to make me go through this again.

She also claimed that her eyebrows were partially shaved without her agreement. It seems she did not get a lot of sympathy on this issue from Leonard Nimoy who told her that he had been advised that: ‘Anybody who can grow a beard can grow their eyebrows back.’