Here’s a bit of fun, for the 30th anniversary of Star Trek, and the first showing of Star Trek Voyager, BBC2 devotes an evening to all things Star Trek.
The tape opens with the end of Paralympics.
There’s a trailer for Carnival 96 and the Friday Comedy Zone.
Then, we embark on Star Trek Night, with introductions narrated by Craig Charles.
After a look at what’s coming up (these theme nights did tend to repeatedly do the whole “coming up soon” thing) the first programme is a quiz, To Boldly Go Where No Quiz Has Gone Before. A group of Star Trek fans compete in a quiz of trivia, to win a dinner with Star Trek stars.
It’s presented by Peter Smith, who I confess I cannot place off the top of my head. He has a daytime TV feel about him, but I really have no idea. He’s probably really famous and I should know him, but nothing’s coming to mind, and iMDb isn’t much help.
The contestants, as you would expect, all seem to own some form of Star Trek costume. Here’s Mark Wright.
Cath Shield only has a T-Shirt – it’s like she’s not trying.
Jon Ward says people think he looks like Data.
Beatrix Jones prefers being a Borg.
Robert Clark has three uniforms.
The set is quite impressive.
It’s like a grown-up version of Screen Test. The final head to head forces the two remaining contestants to answer questions while locked in agonizer booths.
After this, there’s a trailer for Barbarossa starring Willie Nelson. And a trail for programmes on Tuesday at 6pm.
Then, the first of a few short programmes called Star Trekkers. Various celebs talk about Star Trek and what it means for them, starting with Josie Lawrence and Paul Boateng.
This is followed by a trailer for Seinfeld and Larry Sanders.
Next, Science: The Final Frontier. We meet Star Trek scientific advisor Andre Bormanis, who has to try to make the technobabble in Star Trek scripts sound vaguely plausible.
I’m not an expert on Voyager, so I don’t know if this script bears any similarity to what went out.
I asked on Twitter and the suggestion was Sacred Ground.
Physicist Laurence Krauss wrote a whole book about the science of Star Trek, published in 1996, so I bet he jumped at the chance to promote it here.
Stephen Hawking, who had appeared in The Next Generation, makes an appearance
Hawking’s sometime collaborator Roger Penrose also contributes, talking about the Grandfather paradox of time travel.
David Deutsch is rather more positive about the possibility of time travel.
Oh look, there’s Marvin Minsky again, being very skeptical about the existence of intelligent aliens.
But Seth Shostak of SETI is far more upbeat about the possibility.
And here’s Frank Drake, showing us his famous Drake Equation.
Mike Okuda, who was responsible for things like all the displays on the sets of the Enterprise, discusses the possibility of resurrection from the dead with Bormanis.
We even get a look at NASA’s Cassini Huygens space probe, then being prepared for launch. It’s rather sobering to think that between this broadcast and now, Cassini has been launched, and has performed it’s entire mission, rather successfully, before being destroyed by flying it into Saturn, late last year.
After this programme, there’s a trailer for Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch. And one for the Friday Comedy Zone.
Then, Spoof Trek, in which Alistair McGowan looks at various comedy sketches either parodying the series, of featuring the stars of the show.
Classic Era Saturday Night Live, with Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Elliot Gould.
Patrick Stewart captains the Love Boat.
The infamous William Shatner appearance on SNL, where he exhorts his fans to ‘get a life’ was from 1986, and featured Dana Carvey. I had thought that was years before that, but I guess that’s just how old I am.
From Takeover TV, this looks like Adam Buxton, but I can’t be sure.
After this programme there’s another trailer for Barbarosa.
There’s another Star Trekkers, featuring Jonathan Ross and Damien Hirst
Next, Star Trek Story is a good documentary about the 30 years of Star Trek. Including contributions from original series producer Herb Solow
Data himself, Brent Spiner
Next Generation supremo Rick Berman
Majel Barrett, voice of the computer, Nurse Chapel, Lwaxana Troi and a few other roles.
Writer of Star Trek and comics Peter David
Another of the original series producers, Robert F Justman
Patrick Stewart, still the best captain. Don’t @ me.
Worf and Troi, still together, as Marina Sirtis and Michael Dorn
This woman was an alternate juror in the Whitewater trial who wore a Starfleet uniform to the trial. She was dismissed, but not for the uniform – she was dismissed for talking to the media during the trial.
Next Gen writer and producer Brannon Braga
Richard Boeke is a Unitarian preacher who talks about Star Trek in his sermons.
Elyce Rae Helford writes Slash Fiction.
After this programme, there’s a trailer for Voyager: Caretaker, and for programmes on Tuesday on BBC2.
Then, John Peel looks at the musical careers of some of the Star Trek cast. Of course, there’#s William Shatner performing cuts from his hit album The Transformed Man.
Leonard Nimoy’s recording career seems surprisingly varied.
Here he is performing the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins
Even Lt Commander Data got in on the act.
Leonard Nimoy was in a video for The Bangles
After this programme, a trailer for Carnival 96, then, another set of Star Trekkers, with Patrick Moore, feminist writer Camille Paglia, who was rather taken by Mr Data, and Ice Cream’s Ben and Jerry.
After this, the recording jumps, missing out the premiere of Star Trek Voyager (which I’m fairly sure I was recording on a different VCR).
There’s a trailer for Larry Sanders and Seinfeld. And one for programmes on Tuesday at 6 on 2.
Star Trek night rounds off with one last Star Trekkers, with Shaun Ryder and Kermit, from the popular beat combo Black Grape, talking passionately about watching Star Trek as children, and really getting excited about the holodeck stories where Moriarty becomes sentient. “If we had something like that, drug abuse would drop by 100%”
Whole Night BBC Genome: BBC Two – 26th August 1996 – 19:15
There’s another trailer for the Friday Comedy Zone, and for Carnival 96 then weather with David Lee. Then a trailer for Picture This.
The tape ends with a section of programmes from the Learning Zone, about team building. Lots of middle aged men in shell suits and German accents trying to untangle some rope with blindfolded.