Star Trek: The Original Series, or simply Star Trek, was a popular sci-fi show that ran on NBC from 1966 to 1969. The series ran for a total of 3 seasons and 79 episodes, not including the pilot "The Cage". The series starred William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Spock. The show quickly gathered a large fan base known as Trekkies, which continued to grow even after NBC canceled the show. It didn’t take long for the series to return as an animated form and eventually into several movies starring Shatner and Nimoy.
The series has also spawned several spinoff shows and movies, with the franchise going strong to this day. Even with the high volume of Star Trek content that has come out in recent years, the original Star Trek television series is often Trekkies’ favorite entry to the Star Trek franchise. The first two seasons of the show are highly regarded by fans, and even with the third season's budget being cut, the final season is still beloved by fans as well.
Even though the series may be loved by Trekkies, there are tons of continuity and production errors in the show that even they didn’t notice.
Here are the 30 Mistakes In The Original Star Trek Even Trekkies Completely Missed.
Besides William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, who played the character Dr. Leonard McCoy, was a recurring actor on the original Star Trek. The character was introduced in the first episode of the show and played a big role for the rest of the series.
That being said, in season 1 episode 6, McCoy was at the center of a continuity error. In the episode “Mudd’s Women”, as the women are being beamed onto the spacecraft, McCoy is wearing a blue tunic, but his shirt then mysteriously changes into a medical smock.
In season 3 episode 12 of Star Trek, Kirk and Spock get into a bit of a situation as they are tortured by an alien species named The Vians. The episode received a lot of controversy, and was even banned in the UK for a while due to its content and depiction of torture.
In the episode, Kirk’s arms are chained up, only they are in different positions from different angles. When the camera is filming from his back, his arms are stretched upwards and his arms are wide apart. From the front, however, his arms are closer together and are bent at the elbows.
Another recurring character from the original Star Trek was George Takei’s Sulu. This character was introduced in the first episode of the series, but was also at the middle of a continuity error. In season 1 episode 1, Rand brings Sulu a tray of odd foods. One of the items is a bowl of colored cubes, well, that is in the wide shots.
When the tray is first delivered to Sulu, the colored cubes are in a bowl, but when it goes to a closeup shot of the tray, the cubes are now on a plate. When the scene goes back to showing Sulu, the food is again in a silver bowl.
It is always an awkward situation when a movie or TV show spells something wrong in the credits. This can be problematic if an actor’s name is spelled wrong, but as for Star Trek, the word “script” was spelled incorrectly for 13 episodes of season 1.
When giving the crew member George A. Rutter his title, the credits credit him as a “Scpipt” Supervisor. This mistake was eventually fixed on the show, but in the ‘60s, it likely would have cost a lot of money to redo the credits to fix one spelling error.
For almost all movies and TV shows, tape markers will be used at some point to show the actors where they are supposed to start or finish a scene on the set. Most of these times, the markers won’t make it into the finished product, but that wasn’t the case for Star Trek.
In season 1 episode 9, when the character Dr. Van Gelder demands that Kirk not take him back to Tantalus, the actor’s tape marker can be seen on the floor. This wasn’t the only episode this happened in however, as it occurred a lot during the show’s three seasons.
During filming for a movie or TV show, it is always important to have all of the actors stay in their positions during the shoot in order to avoid continuity errors, but that didn’t always happen on the set of Star Trek. In season 1 episode 3, Captain Kirk is seen sitting in the Captain’s chair without anybody standing behind him.
When the camera films Kirk’s front side, however, the character Yeoman Smith is now standing directly behind Kirk and appears out of nowhere. Some may say that she just walked up to him, but the shot changes so fast that this is unlikely the case.
Since the budget for Star Trek went down during season 3 of the show, it makes sense why the third season might have its fair share of continuity errors. With that in mind, this mistake comes from season 1 episode 26, so somebody just forgot to finish their job.
In the episode, Kirk orders the Enterprise to maintain their firing range and Spock can be seen standing on the deck of the ship. If fans look at Spock’s feet, it's clear that somebody forgot to finish painting the wooden plank of the set.
One of the nurses on the USS Enterprise was named Christine Chapel and was played by Majel Barrett. Nurse Chapel goes through a few different hairstyles during the show’s three seasons, which causes a continuity error in season 3 episode 20.
Chapel’s hair is different in season 3, but since a scene from an older episode was reused for the episode titled “The Way to Eden", her hair changes back to her old hairstyle when her character falls unconscious. The sound waves are really what makes her pass out, but maybe it was actually this glaring continuity mistake.
Kirk and Spock are at the center of many unfortunate situations during Star Trek: The Original Series, but in season 1 episode 26, the characters are thrown in a jail cell. Sure, the characters have endured worse, but being thrown onto the floor of a jail cell certainly would have hurt, except for Kirk and Spock’s cell.
When Kirk is thrown into the cell with Spock, a crash mat is clearly visible on the set’s floor. These mats are often used to break actor’s falls, but usually, the set will try to hide them a bit better than this.
One of the most recognizable things about Star Trek, and Spock specifically, is the character’s ears. Since Spock is of the Vulcan species, he has pointy ears almost like an elf. Obviously, Leonard Nimoy’s ear wasn’t actually like this in real life, so the special effects department attached a prosthetic ear extension to his actual ear, and then covered it with makeup.
There are several scenes where Spock’s ears are clearly fake, but in season 2 episode 21, the seam between his real ear and the fake one can be clearly seen.
Spock was one of the main characters during the duration of the original Star Trek and was even included in the pilot episode, but this means that he is also at the center of a lot of continuity errors.
In season 2 episode 9 titled “Metamorphosis”, Spock’s left hand is on top of a machine. In the very next shot, however, his right hand is shown to be on top of the machine. To make matters even worse, Kirk randomly appears to be sitting across from Spock when the camera goes to a wide shot.
In Star Trek season 1 episode 6, the crew of the USS Enterprise picks up a person named Henry Mudd, who is accompanied by three women. One of these women is named Eve McHuron, played by actress Karen Steele.
When Kirk is holding a hearing for Mudd and says the hearing is closed, the chair to the right of Mudd appears to be empty, but Eve appears in the following shot. In a later shot, it is revealed that Eve is sitting right next to Hudd, which creates a continuity error for this episode.
An important member of the crew on the USS Enterprise was named Montgomery Scott, typically referred to as Scotty. The character was born in Scotland in the year 2222 and was affiliated with Federation Starfleet. The character was also the Chief Engineer of the engineering team, except for in season 3 episode 18.
In this episode, it looks like the wardrobe department gave actor James Doohan the wrong costume, as Scotty is wearing a science patch rather than an engineering one for the duration of the episode.
While Star Trek is supposed to captivate viewers and suck them into an epic space adventure, that is sometimes hard to do in the Original Series when camera equipment is clearly visible. This can make people remember that they are just watching a TV show, and just that happens with season 1 episode 3.
During the episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, Mitchell and Kelso are talking at their stations, and wires and wheels from what appears to be a camera mount can clearly be seen in front of their console.
When a movie or TV show goes to post-production, an editor sometimes has to flip certain shots in a different direction if an actor accidentally looked the wrong way while delivering a line. In season 1 episode 7 titled “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”, a closeup shot of Kirk clearly got flipped in post-production.
The closeup shot of Kirk shows the green side of his shirt to be on the left side of the screen, but when it zooms out, the green side is now on the right side instead.
Anybody who has a clue about filmmaking knows that the mics in cameras often don’t pick up good enough audio to use for a movie or TV show. This causes the sound department to use a boom mic, which is angled towards the character speaking.
Often times this is above the actor’s heads, which means that the mic will occasionally drop into the scene by accident. In season 1 episode 3, the mic can’t be seen in the shot, but the shadow certainly can. When Spock is talking with Kirk, a shadow from the boom mic can clearly be seen above his head.
Actress Grace Lee Whitney may have not been on Star Trek for very long, since she was only in eight episodes in season 1, but she did play the character Yeoman Janice Rand. Despite her short time on the show, her character still caused a continuity error.
In season 1 episode 2, Rand can be seen in the background of the shot wearing fluffy white slippers, but in the next shot she is barefoot with the slippers nowhere to be found. The mistake is a blink and you miss it moment, but it can be hard to unsee after you notice it.
Often times when a movie or TV show has a character that passes away, they will just have the actor pretend to be no longer living. Since the actor behind the character hasn’t really passed away, the breathing or movements stick out if they happen to get picked up on camera.
In season 3 episode 20 titled “The Way to Eden”, Spock finds Adam’s corpse underneath a fruit tree. The only problem is that the actor playing Adam is moving his fingers during part of the scene, which obviously isn’t supposed to be happening.
Season 1 episode 28 of Star Trek did a time jump back to the 1930s. The episode partly takes place during the Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 into the late ‘30s. After Dr. McCoy jumps through a time portal and alters time, the USS Enterprise disappears.
Even though the episode takes place during the Great Depression, a sign for a nuclear fallout shelter can be seen during a few scenes of the episode. The only issue is that these fallout signs wouldn’t have been put up until around 1961.
Charlie Evans was a unique character who was human, but experienced superhuman powers thanks to an alien race called the Thasians. The character was played by actor Robert Walker Jr., and was only on the show for one episode in season 1 called “Charlie X”.
In the episode, Charlie falls in love with Yeoman Rand and offers her perfume as a present. When Charlie gives Rand her gift, however, a boom mic can unfortunately be seen moving back and forth near the floor by the actors’ legs as the characters talk.
While season 3 episode 24 was a sad day for Star Trek fans, as it was the series finale, it was also home to a continuity error. During the episode, one of Kirk’s former lovers attempts to take control of the Enterprise. One of the scenes has a court-martial setting, which involves William Shatner’s character Kirk.
Around the 40 minute mark of the episode, Kirk leaves the briefing room, only he walks in the wrong direction. Thanks to the other shots of the room, it is established that the room only has one exit, which was in the opposite direction from where Kirk left the scene.
Older movies and TV shows are beloved often for nostalgic reasons, but many fight scenes in TV shows and movies used to look incredibly fake. While this isn’t always the case, this often happened with Star Trek. One of the more glaring examples of this is in season 3 episode 5.
During one scene, the character Larry Marvick, played by David Frankham, kicks one of the engineering crewmen so hard that he flies into a wall. The only problem is that Frankham’s kick didn’t even come close to the other actor.
Season 1 episode 28 of Star Trek: The Original Series sees the crew of the USS Enterprise go back to New York City during the 1930s. When Dr. McCoy arrives in the city, a man is seen stealing a bottle of milk.
During the scene, it is clear that the actor’s ring finger is partially amputated, but it doesn’t stay that way. During a closeup shot later on when the man steals McCoy’s phaser, his hands look completely different and his ring finger isn’t missing at all.
Season 1 episode 13 of Star Trek titled “The Conscience of the King” introduced fans to the character Lenore Karidian, played by actress Barbara Anderson. This was the only time the actress appeared on the show, and unfortunately her sole appearance on Star Trek has a continuity error.
In one scene, Kirk is talking with Lenore and she is holding a drink in her left hand. When the camera goes to an over the shoulder shot from Kirk’s perspective, the drink is now in her right hand. This mistake isn’t as glaring as some of the other mistakes on this list, but is an error nonetheless.
Even though more mistakes should have happened in season 3 since the budget was cut for the final season of Star Trek, season 1 is also home to many continuity errors. Season 1 episode 16 shows Spock crouching down to talk to Scotty about the ship’s battery power.
After everyone is told to get to the center of the ship, Spock turns around and on the left side of the screen, the edge of the set can clearly be seen. It may only take place for a brief moment, but it definitely takes people out of the scene when viewers can tell that the USS Enterprise is just a set.
Even though special effects have no doubt gotten better over the years, the original Star Trek series still had some unique special effects. One of these effects came in season 1 episode 3 titled “Where No Man Has Gone Before”.
During the episode, consoles on the USS Enterprise explode. A closeup shot shows one console exploding, but when it goes to a wide shot to show another console exploding, that first console doesn’t appear to be damaged. A few moments later, that first console explodes again in a wide shot.
In Star Trek, there are many gadgets that the crew members of the USS Enterprise use in their daily lives. Two of these objects are phasers and communicators. The phaser was a type of weapon, while the communicator was obviously used to communicate between crew members.
In season 1 episode 25, Kirk is seen facing the Horta holding a phaser in his right hand. When the camera shoots from behind William Shatner, the character is now holding a communicator in his left hand with the phaser nowhere in sight.
There are many species of creatures on Star Trek, but one of the more recognizable creatures are cats. The character Isis is actually a shapeshifter, but one of her forms was a black cat. One of the three cats to play the character Isis was named Sambo, who was a completely black cat.
However, there were clearly other cats to play the character since season 2 episode 26 showed Isis with white paws. It makes sense that there would have to be more than one cat playing the role in the show, but you wouldn’t think it would be that hard to find another completely black cat.
Star Trek may be remembered as a science fiction show, but the series did have a lot of action sequences during its three seasons. One of these action sequences came in season 1 episode 28 when Kirk was chasing Dr. McCoy. During this chase, Kirk’s pants become dirty, but after exiting the Guardian’s time portal, his pants are somehow clean again.
Maybe the portal cleaned his pants, but that isn’t usually how portals are shown to work in the show. The episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” may have been a unique one, but it sure did have a lot of mistakes.
During the duration of Star Trek, tape marks became a small, but irritating issue for the show. In season 1 episode 2, McCoy is seen talking with the character named Charlie to discover how he is able to talk.
While most people are focused on the actors, the floor of the set has not one, but two tape markers. Some may claim it is just part of the scene, but moments later both actors will walk to the exact tape marks that are stretched across the floor.
Are there any other mistakes in the original Star Trek we missed? Let us know in the comments!