• Michael Ruscoe

Happy Space Exploration Day!

Last week's blog wore me out, so enjoy some Star Trek bloopers

Last week’s blog entry was so angry and rant-ish (and frankly, I still can’t get over the fact that we’re debating whether or not we should be wearing face masks during a raging pandemic) that honestly, I just didn’t have another column in me this week.

Still, I wanted to post something, and a quick glance at the calendar showed me that Monday, July 20, is Space Exploration Day. Who declared it Space Exploration Day? I haven’t the slightest idea, but that’s what it says on my calendar, and that’s good enough for me.

So, in the spirit of Space Exploration Day, and in an effort to lower my blood pressure (I mean, for God’s sake, people, it’s a virus. Wear your fucking masks!), I present to you this collection of Star Trek bloopers.

The original series blooper reel and I go way, way back. I grew up in the New York City tri-state area, where the very first Star Trek conventions were held back in the early and mid 1970s. I can still see the commercials that popped up on local television, grainy footage voiced-over by a guy who had no business doing voice-overs, telling us to come to the fabulous Star Trek convention, with its dealer room and appearance by whichever original series actor they were able to snag—and the screening of the infamous Star Trek blooper reel. Of course, this was in the days before any kind of VHS, DVD, or home streaming system, so the only way you could see the blooper reel was to actually visit the con. The more cons we went to, the more we saw it, until it had become as familiar as It’s a Wonderful Life at Christmastime. And yes, the reel we saw always seemed to be a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, so it was basically the same quality of the one presented here. Enjoy.

By the time Star Trek: The Next Generation became popular, the Star Trek Blooper Reel had become a beloved tradition. Several TNG blooper reels are available for viewing online. Here’s a favorite of mine:

Subsequent Star trek series Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise weren’t without their share of bloopers, either...

Even as the franchise moved to the big screen, the on-set bloopers and blunders continued. Here’s a blooper reel from the beloved Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. (For the record, Uhura’s line is supposed to be “Admiral, I am receiving whale song.” If you’re not familiar with the movie, it sounds weird, I know. But trust me, in context it makes sense.)

While this isn’t a blooper per se, if we’re going to yuk it up with our favorite members of Starfleet, we have to beam ourselves back to 1976 and Saturday Night Live’s presentation of the last voyage of the Starship Enterprise...

Once the Enterprise was mothballed, for years we fans had nothing left of Star Trek except reruns, the occasional convention, and of course, the blooper reel—our reminder that the most beloved Star Trek characters, be they Vulcan or Klingon, Romulan or Andorian, Tholian or Ferengi...were only human.

So, while I recover from last week’s column, happy Space Exploration Day, and for the love of God, don't be a redshirt—wear your goddamn masks!

By far my favorite meme of the entire pandemic.

Photo and video property of their respective copyright holders, including ViacomCBS and NBCUniversal.

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