Caption This: With Spock On Romulus


Spock busy looking way too dignified to be in this episode, and staring at a Romulan who's just got the most unfortunate grin on his face.
Ambassador Spock, Romulan Senator Pardek, and somebody wearing a shower curtain standing around the Who Would Buy This aisle at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Romulan Guy In The Middle: “Ambassador Spock, may I at last present you with the face I have brought you halfway across the galaxy to punch.”

Spock: “I regard punching this face as a solemn duty and a service to the galaxy.”


Yeah, it’s a quick little thing, but in my defense, I’m tired after writing about another bunch of comic strips that mention mathematical themes, in which I explain how they’re doing things that are perfectly funny if you understand them well enough. Also, hey, I reached 15,000 page views over the past day, which is a nice fairly round number. Hi, gang.

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What You Notice In Old Videos


So, do you ever go back and look at episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation for reasons other than that you’re hanging out in a Star Trek forum and there’s nothing to do but go over each and every episode and review them all one more time in case someone forgot to mention something? It’s interesting because sometimes you do notice something you never saw before. For example, look at this scene, in a screen capture from the episode “Future Imperfect” where Future Riker looks at his old home movies.

While Riker watches his past self be attacked by a clown I can't help noticing he has a shiny ball on a glass table.

How many times might you have kind of caught this episode while you were doing something else before, like me, you noticed how much Future Riker was looking longingly at the time far in the past when he had a Giant Shiny Ball sitting on his glass table? “Those were good times,” you can imagine Riker thinking. “And it was just moments before the Space Clown attacked.”

Good times, really, good times.

A True Story From The Star Trek Depths


I saw someone on Usenet, which I am still on thank you, make a comment about the opening credits of Star Trek: Generations, the 1994 film in which Next Generation finally overcame all the stuff that made it a popular TV show, and I just knew they were wrong. But I had to find the opening credits to prove it, and it turns out YouTube is filled with videos that have taken the soundtrack to the opening credits of Generations and put that to new videos, which messes up the point I wanted to prove, or have taken the opening and re-cut it to make some abstract point about the movie being something else entirely, or that are just the credits for the TV show since Google has better things to do than search for what I actually tell it to search for. I thought about where to find my DVD of Generations and was getting ready to write a snarky tweet about the difficulty of finding online sources of the Generations opening credits.

Then in one horrible moment I thought, do you realize what you’re doing? And I did, and so I stopped doing it.

It Was “Allegiance”, Season 4, Episode 18


Do you like a thing? Do you want to regret liking it? Why not try fandom?

If there’s anything that can smother the joy you find in something like a full-on encounter with its committed fans I haven’t found it yet, and neither will you, because you’ll be too busy screaming and fleeing, sometimes into a wall. This doesn’t depend on what the thing is: books, theater, furniture, drapery covered in white chocolate, paint, web browsers, rare spices from the Maluku Islands, arcsecants, the Oxford comma, and birdbaths can all trigger it.

Don’t believe me? Think back to the last time you talked about Star Trek with that friend who was way too into it. Remember?

You: Hey, I was feeling like watching something Star Trek tonight. What’s the best Next Generation movie?

Fan: There isn’t one. But First Contact comes closest. That’s the one with the Borg.

You: Oh yeah! You will be assimilated. I should watch that again sometime.

Fan: That’s a not wholly execrable choice. You’ll have to watch “Best of Both Worlds” first.

You: Why?

Fan: Why? It introduced Locutus and assimilation and had that awesome cliffhanger where Riker orders Worf to fire.

You: Oh. Oh, yeah. I guess I can have a double feature night.

Fan: And you’re going to have to watch “I, Borg” in-between so you understand Picard’s lingering low-level telepathic link to the Borg Collective.

You: Can’t you maybe explain it instead?

Fan: I don’t dare spoil you! Oh, you’ve got to see Generations before you get to First Contact.

You: Can I just watch the movie I wanted to watch?

Fan: You’re adorably naive. You have to see how the starship from the TV show was destroyed so you can understand the implications of their being on a wholly new Enterprise.

You: I could maybe just listen to the director’s commentary after if I have any questions.

Fan: Frakes’s commentaries are not without their charms but — oh, that reminds me, you’re going to have to watch “Journey’s End” because that explains why Wesley Crusher isn’t part of the movie franchise.

You: I thought they sold Wesley to a dealer on Delta Pavonis III who stripped him for parts.

Fan: But that’s a time-saving episode to catch because that also explains the political situations between the Maquis and the Cardassians and the Federation so you’re going to have a leg up in the Deep Space Nine episodes that you need to see.

You: I thought the only Deep Space Nine episode I had to see was the one where they went back to the original Trek.

Fan: A pandering trifle.

You: A trifle with tribbles.

Fan: [ After making a disappointed face suggesting an awareness that a situation like this was predicted, but had not been believed could be anything but the worst imaginable case. ] Fortunately I think you only require three Deep Space Nine episodes to get all the necessary background regarding Worf’s presence on the Defiant but they are two-parters. And of course you’ll want to see the other episodes focusing on Wesley and the Traveller so you understand both how he was the helm officer at one point and then was absent from the movie, but that’s only two more episodes to the total.

You: I don’t have to have a little Star Trek night. I could just stare at birdbaths until they burn into my retinas.

Fan: Oh, and you’ll want to watch the series finale of Voyager.

You: Have I not suffered enough?

Fan: I fear there might be some aspect of the multiverse in which you don’t despise Janeway with every fermion of your being.

You: I don’t know. I used to watch Columbo.

Fan: Also you’re going to want to watch this episode where aliens trying to understand leadership abduct Picard and replace him with a duplicate who leads the whole crew in a drunken sing-along in Ten Forward, because nobody remembers anything about this episode and I have to prove I didn’t make it up.

You: [ After sighing ] Which episode is that?

Fan: I don’t know, I can never remember it.

And this is why you watched Empire Strikes Back, without mentioning it to anyone, instead.