Star Trek: 10 Bloopers You Need To See

The clown can stay, but the Ferengi in the gorilla suit has to go!

Johnathan Frakes Riker Tracy Star Trek TNG
CBS Media Ventures

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, then what does that make acting? Doing take after take in the hope of perfection might well be a far better definition of madness. With the long hours, the pages of dialogue, and, in the case of Star Trek, the interminable technobabble, it is little wonder that the actors slip up from time to time.

These gaffes come much to the delight of fans, who can kick back and enjoy the usually composed cast of characters as they corpse and cavort, flub and flounder, and even pull pranks on their fellow players. Forgiveness might need directorial intervention, but, for the viewer, to err is downright divine.

Star Trek has blessed us with these very human hiccoughs and hijinks for decades. Gene Roddenberry originally showed blooper reels of The Original Series at conventions in the 1970s. For The Next Generation, the bloopers have until recently been closely guarded or even rumoured purposefully destroyed. Most were only officially released on Blu-ray, but they were worth the wait!

Those for Voyager and Deep Space Nine, whilst they do exist, remain rarer than a Denobulan bedtime story. Enterprise was quite generous with its outtakes, and Discovery has already given us a behind-the-scenes laugh or two.

So, whether you call them outtakes, the gag reel, blunders, bloomers, flubs, gaffes, howlers, or bloopers ('boner' was even used for a while), here are a few which you absolutely must see.

That’s an order!

10. If You Say So, Mr Spock

Johnathan Frakes Riker Tracy Star Trek TNG

The blooper reel for The Original Series, now available in its entirety online, is a zany delight for any fan. As Susan Batho details in her PhD thesis, the TOS bloopers were originally put together simply for the private enjoyment of the cast and crew at Wrap Parties, until Gene Roddenberry began to show them at conventions. In fact, the reels were made from discarded outtakes "rescued from dumpsters outside Paramount". Leonard Nimoy also tried, and failed, to prevent them from being shown publicly.

As megafan Gerald Gurian, aka The Star Trek Prop Authority, recalls, the reels were often a highlight of Star Trek conventions in the 1970s and 1980s. They were also distributed by fans for years on bootleg video and audio tapes. They weren’t released "professionally" until 1997.

The outtakes are narrated in mockumentary style. Whilst some of the humour is now certainly outdated, there are quite a few gems. Amongst the clips of the actors walking straight into doors that don’t open, we see someone pretending to shovel coal in engineering, and William Shatner (jokingly) grabbing Mudd by the moustache. Part way through, we get a classic slip-up from Nimoy from the episode This Side of Paradise. "The plants act as a suppository," he gives us, before returning to one of his famed lollipops for consolation.

There are delightful moments from Nichelle Nichols, such as when she replies to Nimoy, "If you say so, Mr Spock, sugar!" In a moment that was also shown in the documentary For the Love of Spock, we also see a young Adam Nimoy’s visit to set, surprising his father on the bridge with an adorable "Hello, Daddy".

"Have no fear, Sargon’s here!" ~ William Shatner, TOS Bloopers.

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Jack Kiely is a writer with a PhD in French and almost certainly an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek.