Catfight, Gene Rodenberry-Style

After `Star Trek,' He Couldn't Even
Sell a Girl Fight!

     Today he's revered as the father of one of Hollywood's most beloved franchises, a far-seeing futurist who conceived of personal computers, cellphones and iPads decades before they became reality.

     Yet after the cancelation of the original "Star Trek," Gene Rodenberry had a tough time selling his projects.

     Among his numerous pilots was "Planet Earth," the unimaginative title to a show about a troop of Starfleet-like folks trying to bring peace to a post-apocalyptic Earth. Though it was never picked up as a series, it had promise.  

     It stars John Saxon as a 20th-century man who awakes from suspended animation in the 22nd century. There he joins up with PAX, and gets a Star Fleet-like jumper. Also starring is Ted Cassidy, the 6-foot-9 actor best know for his role as Lurch on "The Addams Family" TV show.

    Our focus is on Janet Margolin, who plays Harper-Smythe. A lovely woman with thick, lustrous black hair, Margolin starred in the acclaimed films "David and Lisa" and "Take the Money and Run," an early Woody Allen comedy.

     ​Here, Harper-Smythe and crew find themselves in a community called the Confederacy of Ruth, where women rule and men are enslaved (and drugged to remain submissive). Things go wrong when the commander, Dylan Hunt, is captured and claimed as property by Marg, played by the lovely Diana Muldur , a Roddenberry favorite.

     Harper-Smythe is counseled by Marg's rival Treece, who says the only way to get her commander back is to fight Marg for him.

   Harper-Smythe offers the challenge, and Marg agrees to fight!

     The two women go at it outdoors, in front of  a community gathering. It's a nice set-up and terrific fight.

     There's no hair pulling, we are sad to report, though there were plenty of chances for it to be employed. Although Janet's hair is cut into a pixie, it's still thick and full on top, ripe for pulling.

     Diana's hair is tied up in some elaborate bun -- very disappointing to see. Still, it could have been  effectively yanked.
   What a waste of Janet's and Diana's shining locks! We'll helpfully point out where the hair-pull should have been used.

   Hair pulling or not, we're grateful that Rodenberry saw fit to include the catfight. And we wonder how many more tussles Harper-Smythe might have engaaged in had the show been picked up... 

    Ah, what could have been. Enjoy!




Amazons Battle for a Dink

     Harper-Smythe and Treece ride up the marketplace, where Marg is selling Hunt. "That's my dink!" Harper-Smythe annnounces. "I claim him." Then she challenges Marg to fight for the man-slave. 
`I choose...
`to fight!'
Marg accepts the challenge, and Harper-Smythe dismounts in style.

Battle Is Joined!

Marg eyes her opponent, and when Harper-Smythe's back is turned, she attacks!
Catching Harper-Smythe by surprise, Marg throws her to the ground!
Treece gives Marg the evil eye

Marg Goes to Work

As a gray-haired auntie looks on, Marg pulls Harper-Smythe up to her feet. Now this is a perfect spot for a hair-pull -- Marg should sink her left hand into Harper-Smythe lustrous locks and yank, in the classic ladies-wrestling-style. A missed opportunity.
Marg hauls Haper-Smythe up, and lands a solid right-hand punch!
And down goes Haper-Smythe again.

`The Beatings Will Continue...' 

Marg again pulls Harper-Smythe to her feet, ignoring an ideal hair-pulling chance.
Marg rears back, and lands a backhanded slap across Harper-Smythe's face. 
Harper-Smythe's new friends in the Confederacy of Ruth look concerned, as Marg so far has man-handled the stranger.
Another slap sends Harper-Smythe back down to the ground.
If ever there was a reach for the hair, this surely is it... But no...
Marg goes for the throat! This could be it for Harper-Smythe.
"Finish her!" cries the gray-haired auntie as Marg tightens her grip on Harper-Smythe's throat! 

Harper-Smythe's Had Enough

Marg thinks she'll soon have her opponent choked out, and the dink will be hers. Harper-Smythe has other ideas. She swings her arms forward... 
...and breaks the hold! 
Intent on keeping the initiative, Marg immediately goes back on the offensive and aims a big right hand at Harper-Smythe's head.  
A swing and a miss! Now Harper-Smythe aims a kick at Marg's midsection...
"Ooooof!" The kick finds its target, and Marg goes tumbling!
Marg now attacks with Harper-Smythe with a mad fury!
Again she goes for the throat!
This time Harper-Smythe is ready, countering Marg's choke attempt with a hip-toss. Apparently judo wasn't known in the Confederacy of Ruth. 
Marg goes down hard, and gets up angry. Harper-Smythe is ready for her. 

Officer's Training Pays Off

Marg jumps up angrier than ever, and this time tries a kick of her own.
Again Harper-Smythe is ready, catching the kick and and using Marg's leg to spin her back to the ground. The old biddie's upset now!
But Treece couldn't be happier to see her old rival's ass getting kicked.
And here it almost looks as if Harper-Smythe is looking to sink her hand into the hair piled high on Marg's head ... but no. 
Marg is up too quick! And immediately she launches a wild left hand!
Harper-Smythe, surprised by nothing now, blocks the punch.
When the left doesn't work, Marg goes with the right -- which is also blocked!
Is Harper-Smythe smiling as she sends Marg flying?
Marg's friends ae concerned, as once again she lands on the ground.
By now, Marg must feel like she's facing an army of Harper-Smythes!

A Ruthian Submission 

Harper-Smythe is ready for more, but Marg knows when she's been beaten.
In the style of the Confederacy of Ruth, Marg admits defeat, and offers to reconcile with her opponent. Harper-Smythe is wary.
"You've got to be kidding -- just when I was kicking her ass! Well, at least I get my dink back."

The End

Watch the Fight!

A kindly soul has posted the fight online -- catch it while you can! Truly an enjoyable battle between two lovely and game young ladies!