Entertainment

Star Trek's 50th: 50 great moments for Trekkies to celebrate

By Jim Slotek, Special to Postmedia Network

To boldly go. It’s the most famous split infinitive in the English language.

And on the occasion of a new Trek series to be filmed in Toronto, and Star Trek Beyond, a new instalment of the rebooted movies heading to a theatre near you next month, we dug deep into our personal Memory Alpha to extract 50 of our favourite Trek memories.

1. Spock rocking out on a Vulcan harp in The Way to Eden.

2. Fave scene in The Trouble with Tribbles — when the hatch opens and Kirk is showered with tribbles. It soon becomes apparent that production crew are throwing tribbles at William Shatner from above — hard.

3. Data’s poem about his cat Spot. (It begins: “Felis Cattus, is your taxonomic nomenclature/An endothermic quadruped carnivorous by nature.”)

4. Ex-wrestler Tiny Lister as Klaang, the first Klingon ever encountered by humans, in the pilot of Star Trek: Enterprise.

5. “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.” — “Shaka, when the walls fell!” R.I.P. Paul Winfield.

6. Another Star Trek: Enterprise moment. In the episode, In a Mirror, Darkly we see how things could have gone horribly wrong if warp-drive inventor Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) had greeted the Vulcans with a gun.

7. The Xindi attack on Earth in Star Trek: Enterprise. Like a 22nd Century 9/11, with casualties in the millions.

8. When we find out how and when T’Pol became a jazz fan, Star Trek: Enterprise. All T’Pol news is important to us, because she’s the only Vulcan to get naked in the series.

9. That time Deep Space Nine’s Quark, Rom and Nog crash-landed in Roswell, N.M., in 1947.

10. When the time-travelling Deep Space Nine crew found themselves on the Enterprise, circa The Trouble with Tribbles, and realized that Klingons didn’t always have turtles on their heads.

11. When we first meet a Borg-assimilated Picard in his new identity as Locutus.

12. This may have inspired Dexter. Brad Dourif as the serial-killer crewman Lon Suder, who redeems himself by going on a killing-spree-of-bad-guys after the Kazon take over Voyager.

13. Introducing … Famke Janssen! In TNG’s The Perfect Mate, she played the betrothed Kamala, from a species whose females are sexually irresistible to males of any other species. Patrick Stewart had to stand on boxes for his love scenes with the 5-foot-11 Janssen.

14. The first time Kirk initiated the self-destruct sequence, in his stand-off with Commissioner Bele (Frank Gorshin) in Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. Lots of sweaty close-ups.

15. “Khaaannnn!!”

16. “From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee!”

17. From Star Trek: First Contact, the fact that a Canadian band, Steppenwolf, is playing on the onboard sound system when Zefrem Cochrane’s Phoenix breaks the warp barrier. The Boomers may die, but their music will live on.

18. “Double dumbass on you!” Kirk’s attempt at swearing in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

19. “We could have worn our Starfleet uniforms and fit right in.” Tuvok, looking at the freaks on the boardwalk in Venice, Calif., circa 1990s in the Voyager episode Future’s End.

20. Kirk, making up the rules on the spot to a fictional card game called “Fizbin” in A Piece of the Action.

21. The only-ever actual transporter death we’ve ever seen, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture — “Enterprise, what we got back didn’t live long … fortunately.”

22. An as-yet-unknown Tom Hardy as Picard’s half-Romulan cloned son in Star Trek: Nemesis.

23. Denise Crosby returning to TNG as Tasha Yar’s half-Romulan daughter (thanks to the timeline tomfoolery in the earlier episode Yesterday’s Enterprise).

24. When Spock’s mom (Jane Wyatt) told McCoy that Spock had, “a pet Sehlat he was very fond of … It’s sort of a fat teddy bear.” A grinning McCoy turns to Spock and says, “A teddy bear?” — “Not precisely, Doctor. On Vulcan the ‘teddy bears’ are alive, and they have six-inch fangs.”

25. Scotty, disgusted having to use a computer keyboard in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

26. “It was … fun.” Kirk’s last words, from Star Trek: Generations.

27. “Shut up, Wesley!” You could almost make a drinking game out of how many times Capt. Picard uttered those words in the first season of TNG.

28. So bad it’s sort-of good. The Shatner-directed Star Trek V: The Final Frontier opens with Kirk, Spock and McCoy on a camping trip to Yosemite, singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat around a campfire.

29. The Gorn.

30. That first scene of the Borg Queen torso, her spinal column wriggling like a caterpillar, being lowered into her prosthetic lower half in Star Trek: First Contact. Alice Krige was the BEST Borg Queen.

31. Beards weren’t always for hipsters. In the ’60s, beards were evil (Klingons, evil Spock from the parallel universe).

32. “I see the way your pupils dilate when you look at my body.” Seven of Nine sees right through Harry Kim on Voyager.

33. “Do you know any Klingon opera?” — “I don’t get a lot of requests for it.” — “Surely you must know one theme from Aktuh and Melota.” Worf at an alien “piano-bar” in Unification.

34. “Bonk, bonk on the head!” Michael J. Pollard and Kim Darby lead a group of slowly-aging children in the original Trek episode Miri.

35. “Brain and brain! What is brain?” From the legendarily bad episode Spock’s Brain.

36. Best starship ramming. George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) flies the USS Kelvin into the Romulan ship Narada (J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot).

37. Second-best starship ramming. Picard slams into the Romulan warbird Scimitar in Star Trek: Nemesis.

38. Third-best starship ramming. Caught in a timeloop, Capt. Bateson (Frasier’s Kelsey Grammer) of the U.S.S. Boseman repeatedly hits and destroys the Enterprise D in the TNG episode Cause And Effect.

39. Species 8472. Badder than the Borg. ’Nuff said.

40. Tom Paris’ Captain Proton simulations on the Voyager holodeck.

41. Capt. Picard’s Dixon Hill: Private Detective simulations on the Enterprise holodeck.

42. The Voyager episode Tuvix, in which the transporter goes on the fritz again, fusing Tuvok and Neelix into one character.

43. The appearance by a 137-year-old Admiral Leonard McCoy in the pilot of TNG. “You treat her like a lady, and she’ll always bring you home,” he said of the Enterprise.

44. Kirk: “My friend is obviously Chinese… I see you’ve noticed the ears; well, they’re… easy to explain…” Spock: “Perhaps the unfortunate accident I had as a child…” Kirk: “The unfortunate accident he had as a child. He caught his head in a mechanical rice picker…” Kirk tries to explain Spock to a 1930s cop in City on the Edge of Forever.

45. “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.” — Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country.

46. Goriest scene in any Trek episode: TNG’s The Conspiracy, when Picard and Riker both aim their phasers at an alien-parasite-infected Starfleet officer and his head explodes. Totally Cronenberg moment.

47. Trek’s first same-sex kiss happened when DS9’s Dax (Terry Ferrell) met another Trill with whom she’d had a hetero relationship while in a previous host body. How would the North Carolina legislature handle that?

48. Androgyny again. In the TNG episode The Outcast, Riker falls for Soren, a member of a race that officially has no genders. A little of the old Riker charm, and Soren turned female fast enough though.

49. Maybe the weirdest in Trek history — Capt. Kirk being ridden by a little person (Michael Dunn), in Plato’s Stepchildren. It was cruel amusement created by telekinetic aliens, who also forced Kirk and Uhura to kiss.

50. Or maybe this was the weirdest — Shatner portraying a hysterical woman who’d taken over his body in Turnabout Intruder. This was the final episode of the original series.

SET PHASERS TO STUN: FOUR EXPERIENCES I’LL NEVER FORGET

And, just because I’ve had a weird career, here are a few of my own personal favourite Trek experiences.

That day three colleagues (from the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Milwaukee Sentinel) and I got a tour of the ST: TNG set with hilarious tour guides Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes. This was while the show was in production, but before it debuted in 1987. I got to sit in the Captain’s chair, play with the transporter controls and eat lunch with the cast in the Paramount commissary.

Marina Sirtis’ revealing wardrobe at press events. Yes, she knew her audience.

That time Nichelle Nichols sang the entire Star Trek theme to me over the phone. I didn’t ask her to, just asked when I’d get to hear her sing again.

Getting thanked by George Takei for not asking him a single question about William Shatner. Oh my.

Twitter: @jimslotek
JSlotek@postmedia.com