Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Harder Star Trek trivia

by Rob - December 19th, 2007.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

My friend Shoshana Glick mentions in a comment to this post of mine that those weren’t really very hard Star Trek questions on Jeopardy! a few days ago. I agree.

So, here are a few super-hard ones of my own devising, with suggested Jeopardy! dollar values. If you know the answers, put them in a comment to this blog entry.

$200: James Kirk’s middle name is Tiberius, as established in the animated episode “Bem” by David Gerrold, and reaffirmed by General Chang in the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. But where in The Original Series do we see his middle initial as something else? And what initial was it?

$400: We all know that Jim Kirk eventually ends up wearing eye glasses, because he’s allergic to retinax — but where do we see a member of the Enterprise crew wearing eye glasses prior to that? (Which episode, and in what room?)

$600: “The Conscience of the King” and “The Immunity Syndrome” contain glaringly contradictory statements about the history of the Vulcan people. In what way do they disagree?

$800: Gene Roddenberry has a cameo of sorts in one episode of the original series. What was it? (Which episode, what role?)

$1,000: Kirk tells Captain Christopher in “Return to Tomorrow” that the Enterprise‘s command authority is “the United Earth Space Probe Agency,” a name never heard again. But Kirk refers to the organization by its acronym UESPA (which he pronounces “yoo-spa”) in one other episode — which one?

Final Jeopardy: Jim Kirk’s brother George Samuel Kirk — called Sam — is established in “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” Sam’s family appears in “Operation — Annihilate!” Although he’s referred to only as Sam in dialog in that later episode, there’s still an acknowledgment that his full name really is George Samuel Kirk. What is it?

(Yes, I really do know my Star Trek — in fact, back in the early 1980s, I even wrote part of a Star Trek novel, which you can read here.)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

3 Responses to Harder Star Trek trivia

  1. 10 years on and no one has answered these questions? Or perhaps the replies have been lost somehow.

    $200: “James R. Kirk” appears on the headstone Gary Mitchell conjures in Where No Man Has Gone Before. It’s possible that this was supposed to be a T and the props person made an error, but I think it far more likely that, for the second episode produced, they simply had not worked out his middle initial and the guy who made the tombstone just picked a letter.

    $400: The transporter operator in The Cage. I believe that scene is also used in The Menagerie, but I always think of that scene as in The Cage.

    $600: I don’t have an answer for this one. In Immunity, Spock states that Vulcan has not been conquered in its collective memory, and says something like “No Vulcan can even conceive of a conqueror.” The only thing I can think of for Conscience is Spock stating that Vulcans are not affected by alcohol, and that doesn’t seem relevant to the question. So I get half marks here, or, in Jeopardy terms, a wrong answer.

    $800: In Charlie X, Roddenberry is the voice from the galley on the intercom, stating that there are real turkeys in the ovens. Kirk had previously complained to Charlie that the crew had to eat synthetic meatloaf for Thanksgiving, even if it would be in the shape of turkeys. Related trivia question: I believe traditional earth holidays are mentioned only twice in TOS: here and a reference to the science lab’s Christmas party in Whom Gods Destroy.

    $1,000: I also fail at this one. I remember UESPA from Return but not the subsequent use of the acronym.

    Final: In Little Girls, Kirk-droid states the full name in the scene in which he is revealed to Christine to be an android. “George Samuel Kirk, your brother, only you call him Sam.”

    So I did well, but I am not quite in your league, Rob.

  2. Great work, Pete!

    The $600 answer:

    Two mutually contradictory lines of dialogue in two different TOS episodes.

    The first line is McCoy to Spock in a very early episode, “The Conscience of the King.” Spock and McCoy are in Sickbay:

    McCoy: “Would you care for a drink, Mr. Spock?”

    Spock: “My father’s race was spared the dubious benefits of alcohol.”

    McCoy: “Now I know why they were conquered.”

    The second is from “The Immunity Syndrome” (the giant space amoeba). When the Vulcan-crewed U.S.S. Intrepid is destroyed, Spock says he felt the death of the 400 Vulcans, but that:

    Spock: “Vulcan has not been conquered within its collective memory. The memory goes back so far that no Vulcan can conceive of a conqueror. I knew the ship was lost because I sensed it.”

    Kirk: “What was it you sensed?”

    Spock: “The touch of death.”

    Kirk: “And what do you think they [the 400 Vulcans who have just been killed] felt?”

    Spock: “Astonishment.”


    The $1,000 answer:

    In “Charlie X,” Kirk tells UESPA (“you-spa”) headquarters about the destruction of the Antares in his log: “Captain’s Log, stardate 1535.8. UESPA headquarters notified of the mysterious loss of science probe vessel Antares.”


    The Final Jeopardy! answer, refers to “Operation — Annihilate!,” not “What Are Little Girls Made Of?,” and it’s this:

    In the latter episode, we never hear the first name “George,” but in the teaser Jim Kirk tells Uhura to contact his brother’s personal transmitter: “GSK-783” — GSK are Sam’s initials: George Samuel Kirk.

  3. Ugh! Thanks for the follow-up. I forgot about McCoy’s conquered line, and while I misunderstood the final question I have to admit that I never noticed the GSK before and so would not have got that one in any case. Excellent Trekage, sir!

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