U is for Uhura and Uncle Albert



Lt. Nyota Uhura: [the scene cuts to another location, where Uhura is still hounding Spock] And did I not, on multiple occasions, demonstrate an exceptional aural sensitivity, and I quote, “an unparalleled ability to identify sonic anomalies in subspace transmissions tests?”
Spock: Consistently, yes.

Uhura is in a way another exploration of adaptation, but I more want to write about the Nichelle Nichols version of the character. Yes, there is the trailblazing element of Nichols’ portrayal of Uhura as an African American woman in a major role (admittedly a major role in a tiny dress), and the only woman to have a regular role on the bridge of the Enterprise to sustain in the original series and the first interracial kiss on American television, which was actually always supposed to happen but was meant to go down between Uhura and Spock, thus moving closer to the contents of the reboot.

Uhura in all incarnations is brave and clever, and – as shown in ‘Into Darkness’ in the reboot – she doesn’t fit into what was the female mould of both times, though both versions are seen in fewer clothes than a lot of the predominantly male cast.

Uhura was a trailblazer, shown as an older woman, – who doesn’t feel the need to dye out her greys – promoted to Admiral, but when you consider the amount of time that has passed between the two Treks, it is sad that in a lot of ways that Uhura is the proof that not all that much has really changed. She’s still brave, smart and strong, but she is still governed by men, and still in a very tiny dress or skin tight spandex most of the time.


Today was a toss up between two Uncles. I realised quite quickly that I couldn’t write much about Uncle Bulgaria, so Uncle Albert won.

During the war…

For anyone who has seen ‘Only Fools and Horses’, Uncle Albert’s catchphrase will instantly spring to mind. The character was originally brought into the series after Del and Rodney’s Grandad (Albert’s brother) died – Lennard Pearce, the actor who played Grandad, had sadly passed away.

Albert joined the Royal Navy when he was seventeen and fought in WW2. He won seven medals, mainly from surviving the seven ships he served on that were either torpedoed or divebombed, two of which were during peacetime.
Post-war, he earnt himself the nickname ‘Ferret’ from staging mock-falls (he learnt to fall without getting hurt as part of his training) down pub cellars in order to receive financial compensation.

Uncle Albert was famed for telling tales about the war and would start each with “During the war…” I think it’s safe to say that we all know someone who is a little bit like Uncle Albert. The person who starts conversations with “When I was young…” or “Back when I was your age…” Or maybe they even used “During the war…”? We all know an Uncle Albert, and if you’re sitting there failing to think of who that might be in your life… it’s most probably you.


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