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Star Trek | Did You Know?

Though one of the most expensive cartoons then made, Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973-1975) was filmed in ‘limited animation’, which means elements were reused rather than redrawn.

As a result, in one scene from ‘Yesteryear’ (S1, Ep2) Spock has six fingers! Though the sequence was cut, it was accidentally released in a set of hand-painted cells that quickly became far more sought after than anticipated.

Robert Picardo originally passed on the role of the Emergency Medical Hologram on Star Trek: Voyager, feeling the character was a “one-joke part, colorless, and kind of robotic.” 

He auditioned for Neelix instead and when it came down to Picardo and Ethan Phillips, the producers – who preferred Phillips’ ‘cherubic’ face for Neelix – asked Picardo to reconsider reading for the Doctor. Hell of a near miss there, Bob.

The decision that Star Trek: Voyager‘s Captain Janeway would always be on her feet was made by star Kate Mulgrew, who decided: “She never sits down. She’s a mover.”

Mulgrew pushed back against writers and directors who kept trying to keep her seated on the bridge, saying: “They know more about Star Trek, but I know more about Janeway.”

The simultaneous production of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) with The Next Generation resulted in a ‘Klingon shortage’ in the costume department.

This apparently extended to the Holodeck as two of Worf’s tormentors in ‘The Icarus Factor’ (S2, Ep14) are wearing gorilla boots from 1968’s Planet of the Apes.

Now an indelible part of Star Trek lore, John De Lancie’s Q was only added to the pilot of The Next Generation – ‘Encounter at Farpoint’ (S1, Ep1-2) – by Gene Roddenberry to bulk out the 90-minute running time after the network insisted on a two-hour TV movie.

Since then Q has appeared in 12 episodes of the TNG, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager,  one episode of Lower Decks, and returns to the character for Picard Season 2.

Leeta, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s Dabo Girl-turned-forthright-series regular first introduced in ‘Explorers’ (S3, Ep22), eventually lost her ‘big hair’. Literally.

Chase Masterson accidentally left it on the roof of her car and drove off. Unable to afford a new one, she used her own short hair for the character instead.

Star Trek won its first Emmy Award in 1975 for The Animated Series episode ‘How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth’ (S2, Ep5).

The episode, which features the Maya deity Kukulkan and Native American crewman Ensign Dawson Walking Bear, was co-written by Russell Bates.

A First Nations man of Kiowa heritage, one of his stories had been in contention for the third season of TOS but the change in production team saw it forgotten.

Future Sex and the City icon Kim Cattrall took the role of Lt. Valeris, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) on the condition she could shape the character.

When Cattrall decided Valeris should have a headband, the costume department put up a fight. In the end, she commissioned her own from LA supplier Modern Props rather than use something “spraypainted silver.”

Rooney, the ill-fated researcher in Star Trek: Enterprise ‘Regeneration’ (S2, Ep23), was played by Bonita Friedericy (best know as Diane in Chuck). She is married to Dr. Phlox actor John Billingsley, who wanted her to play all three of his character’s Denobulan wives – and indeed every female of the species – and he play every male.

Whilst wonderfully weird, the execs didn’t go for it.

Stephen Hawking’s Holodeck appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation (‘Descent’ – S6, Ep26 ) came about during the release of the documentary, A Brief History of Time. Hawking requested a tour of the Star Trek sets and when they reached the bridge, he asked if he could be lifted into the captain’s seat.

The next day executive producer Rick Berman received a call from Leonard Nimoy, who had been a guest at Hawking’s premiere, informing him that the physicist wanted to be in the show.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s ‘Trials and Tribble-ations’ (S5, Ep6) used technology developed for Forrest Gump (1994) to insert the DS9 crew into TOS, predominantly ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’ (S2, Ep15).

‘The Trouble…’ writer David Gerrold was promised a small speaking part, but the line went to William Shatner’s double instead. For DS9, Gerrold was given a second chance and appears as a Redshirt petting a baby Tribble – a 1960s original that he brought with him!

Hold onto your brains, we’ve got a paradox.

The opening credits of Enterprise show NASA’s Space Shuttle Enterprise, implying that it’s a precursor to the bulky NX-01 of the show.

However, NASA named Enterprise in tribute to The Original Series – the cast was even there for its unveiling – so does TOS exist as a TV show in the Star Trek universe? Because if it does, we have questions…

The name of Voyager‘s Seven of Nine was a homage to AF 709, the lifelike android in the CBS sitcom My Living Doll (1965-6).

As a bonus, AF 709 was played by Julie Newmar, fondly remembered as the 1960s Catwoman.

Voyager‘s Tom Paris began life as Nicholas Locarno in The Next Generation episode ‘The First Duty’ (S5, Ep19).

Both characters are ace pilots and Starfleet Academy dropouts played by Robert Duncan McNeill, but Locarno – who covered up the accidental death of a comrade – was considered irredeemable and the character was given a new name and a softer back story.

Elim Garak, the morally ambiguous Cardassian tailor in Deep Space Nine, was strongly queer-coded, giving his friendship with Dr. Julian Bashir a romantic undertone.

Sadly, after ‘The Wire’ (S2, Ep22), the writers were instructed to ‘tone it down’ and the characters began to share fewer scenes together.

The design of the tricorder in The Next Generation was inspired by the then-cutting edge HP-series of scientific calculators.

The first words of Klingon – which was first heard in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) – were devised by Scotty star James Doohan.

Later linguist Marc Okrand extrapolated a basic language from dialogue Doohan devised.

Re-Animator star Jeffrey Combs has played an astonishing nine different characters in the Star Trek franchise and even auditioned for the role of Riker in The Next Generation.

We simply couldn’t fit them all in the one image. Sorry!

Morn, the much-loved mute barfly and ladies man in Deep Space Nine, is an anagram for Norm in a reference to the classic sitcom Cheers.


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