Regular viewers of the Star Trek franchise will be aware that even in science fiction, sometimes storylines have to be recycled. They are never exactly the same, but fans can spot the similarities. The writers try to avoid this by using gimmicks, for example, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is set on a space station, while the crew of Star Trek: Voyager have been stranded thousands of light years from home and can only rely on each other.
Accordingly, some of the common features of Star Trek episodes are arranged here, so fans can mix and match common elements of the programmes to create their own storyline. They are listed under each header in chronological order of when each series is set, so that Star Trek: Enterprise is first, then Star Trek (the original series), Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.
Speech and Technobabble
- Someone says something cryptic like "Maybe if we divert power from the warp core, we could reverse the polarity of the shields and use a photonic alpha ray to disable their engines."
- When someone says something cryptic and is not understood1
- Someone says something about the shields e.g.. "Shields are at 60%", "Shields are holding," or "Shields are failing, Captain."
- Someone argues with the Captain and wins or tells the Captain his/her plan won't work
- References are made to the Prime Directive
- A Vulcan says "Live long and prosper" accompanied by the hand gesture.
- Scotty says "The engines canna take it anymore, Captain."
- Chekhov pronounces "the ship" as "the sheep"
- Bones says "It's life, Jim, but not as we know it"
- Picard says "Make it so", "Engage" or calls Riker "Number One"
- Picard and Crusher talk about their past lives, mutual friends and so on.
- The Captain goes on an Away Mission against the advice of the first officer
- The Captain does something noble and unselfish, even if it puts the ship or station (and/or the crew) in danger
- The Captain decides to break Prime Directive (especially if said Captain is Janeway).
- Picard discusses his options with Riker
- Janeway has a tough decision to make.
- The Chief Engineer says that the absoloutely essential repairs will take much more time than they have. They then proceed to save the day by doing it in half the time they said it would take2
- An Engineer, the Captain or Doctor rush around looking stressed
- Someone makes a log entry
- T'pol, Spock or Tuvok does a mind meld or Vulcan neck pinch on someone
- Tucker boasts about the Enterprise being able to do Warp 4.5
- Lt. Reid is forced to develop new weapons for the Enterprise after they come off worst in a fight, thus allowing them to win easily when they next meet the people who beat them
- Kirk takes his shirt off in order to engage in a bout of fisticuffs.
- Tuvok, Spock, T'pol or Seven of Nine are very logical
- Seven or Data do something to try to become more human
- Data does not understand a human joke
- Worf gets angry
- Troi's mother causes problems by flirting with Captain Picard
- Odo changes into his liquid form
- Quark does something immoral
- B'ellana argues with someone.
- Someone is transported somewhere
- The holodeck is used
- The ship lands on a planet
- A replicator is used, usually for Janeway to replicate herself a black coffee, or Picard to have a cup of Earl Grey tea.
- There's a warp core failure
- There's a hull breach
- Life support fails
- There's a problem in engineering
- Something goes wrong in the holodeck - the safeties aren't working, or the fictional characters manage to escape on to the ship
- Uhura can't contact Starfleet due to subspace static
- Kirk and crew can't use the transporters due to some sort of particle in the atmosphere of a planet
- The Doctor's program malfunctions
- A Voyager shuttlecraft is destroyed, usually by Tom Paris.
Will they ever learn?
- The ship encounters a strange nebula3
- Seemingly friendly aliens on the ship start attacking people or take hostages
- One of the crew members is kidnapped
- The crew learn that they have been tricked and are helping the wrong side
- The crew mess around with time travel or alternate universes
- The crew find that they are responsible for a notable historic event (usually as a result of messing about with time travel, it has to be said)
- The Vulcans know something Archer doesn't
- When on an Away Mission, Archer and Tucker are captured when they get into the middle of some local dispute or war.
- Someone wearing a red uniform end up dead
- The Captain or another high-up officer has to set the self-destruct, before inevitably solving the problem and being able to save the ship
- Voyager finds a way they might be able to get home but it doesn't work.
Love is in the Air (or not...)
- Two members of the crew get intimate
- Tucker rescues or has to work with an alien woman, with predictable consequences
- Kirk sleeps with someone
- Riker and Troi have an awkward moment
- Odo moons over Kira
- Tom and B'ellana have a domestic squabble.
People and Starships
- The Borg feature
- Tribbles feature
- Species 8472 feature
- Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians or Vulcans appear (other than the main characters from these races.)
- Another member of the Federation (other than Earth or Bajor) is mentioned
- A crew member who isn't human and isn't one of the few main non-human characters (e.g. Spock, Worf, Quark etc.) is seen
- Archer and crew encounter a new species.
- The ship meets a different Federation starship
- One of the starships at Deep Space Nine is important to the plot4
- Another Captain or starship is mentioned or seen5.
- An unimportant crew member dies (not a redshirt)
- Someone who died comes back to life
- One of the main characters dies.
- The ship is attacked, sparks come out of a console and everyone nearly falls over
- The ship/station goes to red alert
- The Captain orders the use of violence
- The ship encounters a less developed civilisation
- Someone has visions or flashbacks
- The story line has a moral and one of the crew learns from it
- The crew are forced to ally themselves with aliens
- The ship or station receives a distress call
- The Bajoran wormhole is used
- Someone is put in the brig
- Someone who was put in the brig in a previous episode reappears
- Work is being done in sick bay by someone other than the main doctor character
- The ship encounters a strange higher being (other than Q)
- The ship/station goes to an alert which isn't red alert
- A worm hole opens or closes.
- Janeway or Picard go to the Ready Room
- Chakotay, Riker or Worf go on an Away Mission
- Odo questions Quark
- Seven of Nine saves Voyager, or another character (especially by using her nanoprobes)
- Q appears.