Star Trek: 10 Times Opening Credits Spoiled The Surprise

Oh hey, did you hear that X person is going to be in Star Trek? Yes. Yes I did. Dammit.

Spoiler All Good Things Tasha Yar Denise Crosby Star Trek Next Generation
CBS Media Ventures

We love a guest star as much as the next obsessive review channel and we're not shy to share it. Having a surprising face pop up halfway through an episode can make us excited as well as shocked, depending on just how unexpected it was. Sometimes, Star Trek has been excellent at truly pulling the wool over our eyes and sliding a shock in front of us.

Then there are those times where we, as the audience, are sent into the episode with the surprise already spoiled. Each of the episodes on this list, for one reason or another, listed the person or persons in the opening credits, thereby removing any chance at going in blind. This truly serves to take away some of the excitement. It's one thing getting to look forward to something, but quite another when one is clock watching, counting down the episode's remaining moments, wondering when X or Y person is going to appear.

This list leans toward the latter option, though that isn't to say that each of these episodes were bad because of this. Just a little less surprising. 

10. Jonathan Frakes - Deathwish

Spoiler All Good Things Tasha Yar Denise Crosby Star Trek Next Generation
CBS Media Ventures

By now, there is a running joke that to be considered a true Star Trek show, it must feature an appearance by Jonathan Frakes. Aside from his own show, he has appeared on Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, Picard, and Lower Decks. Technically, he filmed one of his scenes for Picard on the bridge of the USS Discovery, so that's covered too. He's sort of a good luck charm in the franchise - lest we even dive into his directing backlog.

However, when he made a 'Special Appearance By' in Voyager's Deathwish, this was far from a common trope. The episode comes in the show's second season, so having a crossover from another Star Trek character, let along a Starfleet officer, was cause for shock and celebration. There were still 70,000 light years between the ship and Earth, so what did it all mean?

Well, the cold open served to soften some of those expectations. Quinn, played by Garrett Graham, appears on the transporter pad, identifying himself as Q. This, combined with John de Lancie's name also popping up in those guest starring credits, may have suggested what we were to expect. 

The only that still confuses to this day is Riker's combadge. When he appears, he knows Janeway by reputation, yet he is still wearing his Next Generation-era uniform and combadge. This would seemingly place his 'time' before Star Trek: Generations, yet Death Wish takes place in 2372 - the year that the Enterprise-E was launched. There is a nice and straightforward answer to this - audiences were far more used to seeing Riker as he appeared for seven years, so why rock the boat?

In this post: 
Star Trek
Posted On: 

Writer. Reader. Host. I'm Seán, I live in Ireland and I'm the poster child for dangerous obsessions with Star Trek. Check me out on Twitter @seanferrick