As a life-long fan of all thing Trek, I’m sure I’m not alone in being nonplussed, outraged, or simply stupefied by some of the dubious decisions made for the shows. Casting, opening themes, and even some of the plot elements have caused me great pause over the course of five television series. My peeves concerning the movies would doubtless fill another list and may at some point.
While I’m sure everyone has their own personal list of ‘what were they thinking’ moments, here are my top three picks in no particular order.
1) “Honey, is that Rod Stewart? Oh look, the gay guy from American Beauty!”
This is an exact quote from my wife the first time she walked in on the opening sequence of Enterprise. It was a two for the price of one blow and completely unintentional on her part, but I cringed because I agreed with her. To set the matter straight, the theme song is sung by Russell Watson. He just so happens to sound very much like raspy crooner Rod Stewart of ‘Maggie May’ fame.
Secondarily, yeah, she pointed right at Scott Bakula and immediately recognized him as Jim Olmeyer from the 1999 film American Beauty where he portrays a gay man living and jogging each morning with his partner in suburbia. While either the song or the casting decision could have been overcome, both in the same series was an affront to my Trek-loving soul. Even now, I religiously skip past the opening theme, lest I hear “I just love your roses!” called out with an impudent giggle from wherever my wife is in the house.
2) The entire episode ‘Profit and Lace’ on DS9.
Referred to as ‘Mrs. Doubtfire in Space’ in sources throughout the web, this episode was a sad and pathetic attempt to provide comic relief to a series that didn’t need any. Armin Shimmerman must have the patience of a saint. Not only did he sit through hours of makeup every work day for seven years to play Quark, this episode had him prancing around in heels, wearing breasts, and trying to escape the advances of another man.
The repeated shouts of “Acting Grand Nagus!” soon grew tiresome, and the entire episode was simply embarrassing to behold.
Worst of all, it was directed by Alexander Siddig, the actor who plays Doctor Bashir. He should have known better. The writing was horrific, the episode was freakish, and it inspired more abject horror than laughs.
3) The oil slick of doom kills Tasha Yar. Really?!
I know Denise Crosby was frothing at the mouth to rid herself of the series, but a hokey-looking oil slick was not the way to do it. Not only was it arbitrary, her death announcement was awfully quick. In most other instances of a major character being attacked, they are taken to sick bay, placed in stasis, and huge amounts of life-saving tests and experiments are done.
Doctors have tried nanoprobe therapy, flooding a treatment bay with deadly gas, and a plethora of other bizarre therapies. Nope, not with Tasha. She’s just dead.
Whenever people scoff at Star Trek, these are the incidents that pop into my head. Trek haters are always quick to bring them up and I can’t defend any of these problematic predicaments.
While I’m sure other people have their own red-faced, embarrassed moments over the course of five series, these are the three worst that come to my mind. What were the writers and casting directors thinking?