Star Trek has a long history of shocking its audience, and almost every season generates a new major talking point. One of the major talking points from Discovery so far, surprisingly, has been Cadet Tilly’s ‘foul mouthed’ rant. I wanted to have a look at just a few of the more profound moments in Trek history that certainly shocked me.
Comment below for the moments you found most shocking.
When Sisko hit Q – “You hit me. Jean Luc never would have hit me.”
Early DS9 episodes mainly focused on Sisko becoming commander of the station, saving the station from the Cardassians and setting up the enemy for the remainder of the series. As the episodes went by, character development took precedence and old faces such as Q make appearances. Picards nemesis, Q, made his one and only DS9 appearance in Episode 7, “Q-Less”, where Sisko will be forever remembered for punching Q, the god-like being, right in the jaw. Q soon realized that he wouldn’t get the same amusement from pestering Sisko that he did with Jean-Luc.
T’Pol revealing that Bozeman Montana wasn’t the site of First Contact
One of my favorite Enterprise episodes is Carbon Creek, where T’Pol, as a dinner guest of Archer and Trip, tells the audience the story of the real first contact between Vulcans and humans. After a shaky first season, Enterprise season 2 allowed audiences to get to know the crew and the universe a little better and in my humble view, was a pretty good season. Archer and Trip were left wondering whether the story was just a story, or whether T’Pol was telling the truth.
When the DS9 crew find flat-foreheaded Klingons
Time travel has always been a tentative subject in all of the Star Trek incarnations, but one episode where it was seamlessly approached was the DS9 episode where crew head back to meet Kirk and Co on the TOS Enterprise. It was a delicately balanced episode and fitted perfectly, without disturbing any timelines or canon. The most shocking part, for the crew at least, occurred when the crew finds Klingons in the bar, although they aren’t exactly the Klingons that they were used to. The new, well, old Klingons had smooth foreheads and Worf was looked to for answers, although it did leave many googling the answer after the episode had ended.
Kirk and Uhura share a kiss
It wasn’t, as many people like to claim, the first on screen interracial kiss, but it was no less provocative in an era where huge social divisions still stood. It was also a brilliant moment for television and for Nichelle Nichols:
“We received a huge response. We received one of the largest batches of fan mail ever, all of it very positive, with many addressed to me from girls wondering how it felt to kiss Captain Kirk, and many to him from guys wondering the same thing about me. However, almost no one found the kiss offensive”
Cadet Tilly says the F word
Star Trek is a television show that gives us hope for a brighter future, where people of all races, species, gender and orientation can work in harmony and towards shared values without personal greed and pettiness in the way.
That doesn’t mean that we won’t be free from the occasional profanity, as Cadet Tilly proved when she uttered the F word in a Star Trek episode. She was working with Burnham and Stamets on something really cool, but audiences were still shocked when she blurted out a swear word. Of the Discovery characters, Tilly does seem to be one of those I am actually warming to.
Tilly: You guys, this is so fucking cool! (giggle) … I’m so sorry.
Stamets: No, cadet, it is fucking cool.