Saturday, March 28, 2009


Some things you just don't argue about in our office.

This all started because we were talking about high heels. Apparently there are some women's styles in which the heels are pushing four-inches. I keep up with a lot of things, but that's not generally an issue that's on my radar.

I recalled, however, an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which Capt. Picard employed the holodeck to re-create a Dixon Hill private eye novel of the 1940s. Gates McFadden as Doctor Crusher had to don high heels for the first time and had trouble navigating steps in them. Apparently in the future they won't have high heels. Maybe that's science fiction.

"Yeah, that was like the one from the show with Kirk," one co-worker said.

"They didn't have the holodeck in the original series," I said.

"Yes they did."

"Where's Rebecca?" I asked.

We have one uniform-owning Trekkie. Yeah, Trekkie not Trekker, some of you know what I'm talking about, but I figured she'd be suitable confirmation.

She was out.

I went a little further up the hall and found our graphic artist. "You ever watch the Original Series."

"Of Star Trek?

I was willing to forgive him that. He's young, and I am confident he would know what I meant if I said something like: "These aren't the droids we're looking for. " If, you know, I were going to cross references.

"Of Star Trek.," I assured. "You can confirm there were no holodecks in TOS, right?"

"Right, they didn't have holodecks."

We went to the back of the building again where the debate was raging.

"OK," I said, hit it."

"There were no holodecks in the one with Kirk," said the artist dutifully.

"But when I watched with my father, they had them," my co-worker contended, refusing to concede.

We got the Boss.

"Holodecks? Original series?" I asked.

"No," he said.

"But they went into the past?" said the unrelenting co-worker.

"But not with holodecks. Besides on holodecks they weren't really going into the past...but that's a different issue. There were no holodecks in TOS."

"But what about...?"

"Wait a minute," I said. "Are you talking about an episode where they went back to the '30s and met Joan Collins by jumping through the Guardian arch?"


The Boss, the artist and I all responded in unison: "City on the Edge of Forever."

Written by Harlan Ellison," I added.

"You know who wrote it?" the co-worker asked.

"It's kind of a big deal. He and Gene Roddenberry used to argue..."

It's a little like The Big Bang Theory in here," our statistician observed. "You guys know episode titles? It's like Sheldon."

"I can remember a time I forgot the title of Balance of Terror ," I said defensively, trying not to sound too much like a nerd. Too late.

"You know, it's not part of the cannon, but the Guardian Arch did appear in the animated series," the boss noted.

I had to think for a second. Then I looked at him and nodded.

"Yesteryear!" we said in unison.

"Spock goes back in time to save his younger self," I blurted.

The argument was obviously resolved now.

The Takeaway: Never, never argue with even an aging nerd about The Original Series.


Lana Gramlich said...

*Nonchalantly tucks away her ST:NG Technical Manual & the Special Collector's Edition "Star Trek: 30 Years" books, taking some consolation in the fact that at least she doesn't know all of the original episodes by name, like SOME people she lives with.*

Charles Gramlich said...

Ahh, music to my ears. Another non-trekker crushed. You have done well Young Sid!

Charles Gramlich said...

Winks at Lana.

AvDB said...

I'm sorry, I had no idea what you were talking about about a quarter of the way in. But, you amused me nonetheless.

Miladysa said...

Every home should have one... a holodeck that is ;D

Shauna Roberts said...

How could anyone confuse the series like that? OF COURSE they didn't have holodecks in TOS. Their computers were only at about the 1990 level.

Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

You know, in some perverse moment, I just went looking for Harlan E. online. There is a strange web site he keeps there with fans, some weird portal. Anyway, I just read a press release that he's suing Paramount for all the sequels they put forward based on that episode of TOS. He'll probably get a settlement of some kind, but Paramount is a pretty formidable foe.

Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

One other thing...and this is in response to 1968 a television show with a computer capable of manipulating matter and giving us our every fantasy would have been branded heretical fantasy. Maybe if they had introduced the concept as a musical number with Spock singing and dancing, it might have felt safer to a sixties audience.

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