10 Best Star Trek Cold Opens
When you only have a minute or two to grab attention, what does Star Trek put right up front?
Most of the Star Trek series have a cold open - that is, a scene that precedes the opening credits. This serves as the hook to grab the audience's attention, while also setting the stage for the episode that's to follow. In truth, they don't always work. They vary hugely in length, with some barely hitting sixty seconds, while others go on for a full act of an episode.
In Star Trek, there is no right or wrong template to sit over every episode - some stories simply work better with a punchier intro. If something is interesting, it'll do the job, regardless of anything else. This can include explosions, temporal rifts, sudden uniform changes, or even the announcement of a beloved character's death - in the distant past.
The examples listed here offer a variety of each of those mentioned above. This is also hardly an exhaustive list of the cold opens in the franchise's history, so check back before too long for a follow up - make sure to get your suggestions in on our YouTube channel!
10. Take Everything They Have! (In A Mirror, Darkly, Part 1)
Star Trek: Enterprise only visited the Mirror Universe for one story, late in its fourth season. In A Mirror, Darkly kicks off at a high tempo, without any warning to ease the audience in.
We are greeted with the famous scene of the T'Planna Hath descending from the clouds, coming to a rest in Bozeman, Montana. James Cromwell's Zefram Cochrane steps out of the assembled crowd, walking toward the gangplank that has appeared from the ship. So far, it is the exact scene of first contact, lifted from the film of the same name.
However, there's a small addition. A bearded man looks uncertainly at his companion. The Vulcan raises their hand and issues their famous catchphrase. Cochrane raises his hand - then dips under his jacket and pulls out a shotgun, which the unfortunate Vulcan ends up on the business end of.
The scene then switches from glorious first contact to dizzyingly off-kilter, which is of course exactly the intention. You can almost hear the writer's team laughing as the newly revamped, darker, opening credits start to roll.