Star Trek: Here’s why the show’s cast wore so much eye shadow

Fans of the franchise know this well. Several Star Trek actors wore thick-layered eye shadow in the original series that aired between 1966 and 1969. But why? The official reason actually dates back over six decades.

Spock, Leonard Nimoy
Spock, Leonard Nimoy. Image NBC

« Space, frontier of infinity, towards which our spaceship the Enterprise travels. His five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, discover new lives, other civilizations and, in defiance of danger, advance into the unknown. This was the catchphrase of Star Trek: The Original Series, broadcast almost fifty years ago.

If its impact on popular culture is no longer to be demonstrated, some questions still arise today about the behind the scenes of his shoot. And in particular to know why actors, like Leonard Nimoy, wore so much eye shadow.

So here’s why the Star Trek crew wore eye shadow so gaudy

The world of sci-fi Star Trek has been around for so long that the series allows fans to take a look at how TV shows were made in the past. Countless changes, both cultural and technological, now render obsolete audiovisual techniques that were once essential.

The franchise’s 50-year history provides a unique opportunity to observe these differences, often in ways producers never would have envisioned. One of the questions fans often asked themselves was why some of the cast in the original series wore as much eye shadow.

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As explained CBR, it was not just a fad. Nor was it just a visual effect to support the sci-fi side of the series. But rather a real technique of the time, which simply allowed to intensify the gaze of actors on the screen.

« Television screens were much smaller in the 1960s than they are today; the screen resolution was also much lower ” precise CBR. « Additionally, the show aired when the television was making its huge transition from black and white to color. »Adds the specialized site. In other words, the eye shadow helped actors to be better noticed and interpreted on small screens, in an era when televisions over 40 inches in Full HD were not yet the norm.



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