1 min read

Demo Lessons from the 24th Century

Demo Lessons from the 24th Century

Strap in - we're going to get a bit nerdy in this one. Engage!

Those who know me know that I have an unabashed love for Star Trek: The Next Generation - I watched it all the time as a kid, and may or may not have bought Paramount Plus just to watch it (even better, with streaming I can skip the first two seasons). But did you know that on pretty much every episode of Star Trek, they commit a demo crime? I’m talking, of course, about “technobabble” - using technical terms and jargon that can confuse the audience. 

Star Trek is full of technobabble, (known as “treknobabble,” and no I didn’t come up with that term. They usually use it as a way of getting the Enterprise out of whatever problem they’re having this week - the ship might be about 10 seconds away from exploding, but a simple subspace differential pulse into the quantum fissure fixes everything (what an obvious solution). Often, the writers would simply write “(TECH)” in their scripts as a “sort of cry for help” to technical advisor Andre Bormanis, who would then come up with the appropriate gibberish. 

Startrek_Treknobabble

One of the finest examples of “treknobabble” was in the season six episode “Rascals.” In that episode, the ship is attacked and boarded by the Ferengi - an alien race obsessed with profit - but a quick-thinking Commander Rider locks out the main computer before they can gain full control of the ship. 

Later in the episode, under the guise of teaching one of the Ferengi (named Morta) how to use the computer, Riker uses technobabble as a distraction so he can save the day. You can see it in the video below, and pay special attention to Morta’s reaction:

 

 

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