The 50 Greatest Star Trek moments of all time

David Brown selects his personal highlights from a half century of the sci-fi franchise

35. Kirk and Scotty inspect the Enterprise – Star Trek: the Motion Picture

Advertisement

OK, so it’s a long scene. In fact, it’s a REALLY long scene. Of just two people cruising past a starship. But when you think that this was the first time campaigning fans had seen live-action Star Trek in 13 years, then you can perhaps understand the indulgence of Kirk taking six minutes to be reunited with his beloved Enterprise. And let’s face it, the ship has never looked so sleek and awe-inspiring either before or since.

34. “Target that explosion and fire!” – Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country

Sulu went from helmsman to captain in the original crew’s final outing, taking command of the Excelsior. And what a battle he got to experience – coming to the aid of Kirk as they faced down the unthinkable: a Klingon bird of prey that could fire when cloaked. With a Shakespeare-quoting Christopher Plummer chewing the bulkheads and firing off torpedoes as traitorous Klingon Chang, it’s left to Kirk and Sulu to join forces and defeat their enemy. The resulting explosion is so good that they reused the SFX in the next movie, Generations.

33. The Two Spocks Meet – Star Trek

A charming moment of quiet contemplation in a movie that rarely stops to pause for breath. Yes, it’s the scene where Zachary Quinto’s Spock comes face to face with Leonard Nimoy’s Spock – the former getting a peek at how his future might turn out, the latter getting hope that his race will continue following the destruction of the Vulcan home world. And we also get a priceless sign-off from Nimoy, when he says, with typically sly humour: “Since my customary farewell would appear oddly self-serving, I shall simply say [shows Vulcan hand salute] good luck.”

117150

32. Data gets human skin  – Star Trek: First Contact

Data’s never-ending quest to discover what it meant to be human takes a grisly turn when the Born Queen grafts skin onto his circuitry. By turns revolting and seductive, it’s a scene that makes you genuinely fear that Data’s loyalties could shift from Picard to the Borg (and also makes us wonder whether we, as viewers, should be finding the Borg Queen quite so sexy…)

117151

31. Stealing the Enterprise – Star Trek III: the Search for Spock

Advertisement

The third big-screen outing did more to solidify the image of the Enterprise crew as family than any previous tale, particularly in the scene where they worked as a team to nick their ship out of Spacedock. Special mention must go to Hill Street Blues’s James B Sikking who, as Captain Styles of the Excelsior, plays the perfect adversary for Kirk. And who’d have thought that Scotty would be able to disable the Enterprise’s pursuer by removing a few nuts and bolts?