The Surprising Connection Between STAR TREK and MORK & MINDY - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The Surprising Connection Between STAR TREK and MORK & MINDY

Mork calling Starfleet, come in Starfleet...

In the February 1978 episode of Happy Days, titled My Favourite Orkan, a then unknown Robin Williams made his debut appearance as Mork, the alien from Ork. It was meant to be a one-off, little did Paramount know at the time that Mork, and indeed Williams, popularity would result in the launch of his own sitcom, premiering that fall and running for four seasons.

As a simple guest star of the week, albeit an extraterrestrial one, it was down to the usual Happy Days wardrobe department to dress the character. Digging through the extensive Paramount warehouse, they found an old red spacesuit, emblazoned it with a large white triangle and, voila, Mork had himself a costume, as seen above.

That old red spacesuit had a previous owner, one Colonel Phillip Green, an Excalbian played by Phillip Pine in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode The Savage Curtain...

Although duplicates were eventually created, Mork's original repurposed Star Trek spacesuit would remain part of his attire for the duration of the sit-com's life. That's a pretty cool and surprising bit of up-cycling there by the Paramount wardrobe department, don't you think?

But wait! There's more!! Mork & Mindy dipped into the Star Trek archives on another occasion. Mindy's father, Fred McConnell (played by Conrad Janis), wore a combination of two old Star Trek spacesuits, combined to make one awesome Halloween costume...

The suit he's wearing was Spock's red environmental suit from The Naked Time, combined with the OTT space-helmet from The Tholian Web. Meaning two thirds of the costumes shown above, as featured inthe season one Mork & Mindy episode Mork Goes Public, originally came from Star Trek.

Aside from Mork's Na-Nu, Na-Nu greeting, which was said to have been inspired by Mr. Spock's Vulcan greeting, there is one more Mork & Mindy / Star Trek connection, a much more obvious one but still one worth mentioning here.

During the fourth-season Mork & Mindy episode Mork, Mindy and Mearth Meet MILT, broadcast February 1982, William Shatner (playing himself) gets caught in a crossbeam as Mork and Mearth (played by Jonathan Winters) beam home...

After exchanging a few comical lines, Shatner says, "Beam me up, Orson" and vanishes.

The episode was broadcast a few months before Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan premiered, by which time word had got out that perhaps Spock might be killed off in the upcoming big screen feature (largely as Leonard Nimoy had publicly said the only way he would appear in the sequel is if they killed his character). After Shatner vanishes, Mork then shouts, "Wait a minute. You've got to tell me if they kill off Spock or not!"

Spoiler alert - they did!*


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