Star Trek is big. Really big. Big enough that Klingon is actually a recognised language and the science is debated on accuracy. And with a massive franchise comes masses of trivia. Here are some of our favourite useless facts about the biggest sci-fi show alive.
There is a lot of Star Trek footage out there. So much so that it would take over two weeks to watch every official episode, spin-off, and film. Longer if you did unnecessary things like eating or sleeping.
Doohan was not only the creator of the Klingon language but a war hero to boot. ‘Scotty’ stormed the beaches of Normandy and was actually shot six times. Bullet number seven was apparently a kill-shot which was only stopped by a silver cigarette case. Doohan also lost the entire middle digit on his right hand.
There is more than seven-hundred lens flares in the 2009 Star Trek reboot. One brave fan took the time to count them all so that we do not have to.
Nichelle Nichols – Uhura – actually quit following the first season. It was a chance encounter with a fan that made her reconsider. They said that she “had the first nonstereotypical role, a role with dignity, honor, and intelligence”. They went also said that “You simply cannot abdicate, this is an important role. This is why we are marching. We never thought that we’d see this on TV.”
This was the first time Nichols realised the importance of an African-American on TV. She went to Gene Roddenberry the next Monday to rescind her resignation. In case I forgot to mention, the fan at hand was Dr. Martin Luther King.
Star Trek featured the first scripted interracial kiss on US television. Because of the controversy that could arise, two scripts were written. One had the kiss and the other didn’t. Shatner and Nichols conspired to fluff each non-kiss script so they could not be used.
Star Trek: The Next Generation featured two uniforms for the crew: skirts and trousers. It didn’t matter how you identified, those were your choices. There are several episodes where men can clearly be seen wearing the skirt option. These outfits would differ only in boot choice – men usually wore shorter boots than women.
Following the cancellation of Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols volunteered for a special recruitment project with NASA. Nichols recruited America’s first and second female astronaut and the first black one.
Stephen Hawking guest-starred as himself in The Next Generation episode Descent. Data constructed a poker game of himself, Hawking, Einstein, and Newton – history’s greatest scientists. Hawking won with a hand of sevens just before the game ended.
Also – whilst on his way to the part – he paused in front of the warp core section and looked at it for several seconds. The only words he said were “I’m working on that.” Hawkings is the only ever character to play himself.
Ronald Regan visited the filming of The Next Generation episode Redemption. Former President Regan remarked “I like them [the Klingons]. They remind me of Congress.”
Shatner was unable to perform the Vulcan salute during his time as Kirk. The solution on hand was to use fishing line in order to keep his fingers together.
When the Original Series became a hit, Leonard Nimoy’s father – during his work as a barber – offered a ‘Spock cut’.
There is an official and licensed crossover between Star Trek: The Next Generation and Doctor Who. The story is canon to both extended universes and – in fiction – was indirectly responsible for the Borg researching time travel.
The original flip phone – Motorola StarTAC- was designed around the communicators used in the Original Series.
Ending on a high note now – George Takei (Sulu) once called for peace between fans of Star Trek and Star Wars. Takei hoped to unify them to present a united front of hatred against Twilight. What a man.
There are almost limitless other pieces of trivia to include but we settled for the best and brightest out there. Star Trek is one of those ideas that will doubtlessly be around for years to come. Maybe mankind will one day sail amongst the stars and look back on how we viewed the future. If they do, Star Trek will be the first place they look.