You may have to be a particularly eagle-eyed viewer to spot them, but the Star Trek franchise’s various TV series and movies are littered with continuity errors, plot holes and general blunders. Here’s a look at 40 such mistakes – from visible stunt doubles to a disappearing slipper.
40. A boom mic enters shots
Star Trek: The Original Series accidentally takes fans out of deep space on several occasions thanks to a stray boom mic. Indeed, viewers may be able to spot a clear shadow from the piece of studio equipment in a number of episodes of the classic show. What’s more, in one particular scene the boom mic is in full view of the camera.
39. The tricorder is held upside down
You can’t particularly blame Ellen Geer for holding the tricorder upside down in the fifth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. After all, the actress playing Dr. Marr was grasping a completely made-up device. Even so, Geer’s apparently intelligent character should perhaps have realized her blunder.
38. A phaser changes to a communicator
William Shatner seemingly has some trouble when it comes to devices in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Devil in the Dark.” At one point, Captain Kirk can be seen clutching his phaser during a tense encounter with the Horta; however, in the next shot, the character appears to magically be holding a communicator instead.
37. Visible stunt doubles
A stunt double is supposed to do all the hard work without ever getting recognized for who they really are. But the two men who stand in for Quinn and Riker in the The Next Generation’s “Conspiracy” episode certainly can’t be described as inconspicuous. Yes, when the pair are featured prominently on screen for several seconds, it becomes obvious very quickly that they aren’t the actual actors.
36. There’s another Chekov
We understand why some actors would need a double for the more action-packed sequences. It’s perhaps more of a head-scratcher, though, to contemplate replacing Chekov when he’s meant to be simply sitting down on a chair. But that happened in the original series episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” where an entirely different person can be clearly seen impersonating the beloved character.
35. The different colored stunt cat
But human actors weren’t the only ones given stand-ins during the filming of Star Trek: The Original Series. You see, Gary Seven’s beloved cat, Isis, was also given her very own lookalike to ensure that she didn’t get injured during the more action-packed scenes. There was just one problem, though: the replacement cat in question had different colored paws to those of Isis – something that could clearly be seen in several episodes.
34. The visible X marks
Robert Walker Jr. and DeForest Kelley were certainly professional when it came to hitting their actor marks. And we know this because the marks themselves are easily spotted on screen in the original series episode “Charlie X.” This particular blunder can be seen at the time when McCoy and Charlie are discussing language and speech.
33. The disappearing slipper
“Charlie X” was also responsible for the magic act that is the disappearing slipper. In one particular scene, a newly restored Rand appears on the bridge floor while in completely bare feet. However, in the next shot, she’s suddenly sporting a white slipper – although said shoe does disappear again a couple of seconds later.
32. William Shatner wears a corset
In one particular episode of the original series’ third season, William Shatner’s waist appears to be held in with a corset. Or so it’s been claimed, since the actor himself has said that the item was actually a large bandage that he had needed after cracking a rib during a horse-riding mishap. Whatever Shatner was wearing under his clothes, though, it certainly shouldn’t have been visible on screen.
31. The wooden ship
The original series largely manages to obscure the fact that it had a famously low budget; on occasion, though, the production team’s cost-cutting can be seen on screen. In the episode “Errand of Mercy,” for example, it becomes quite clear that part of the floor of the Enterprise is made of very cheap wood.
30. The reappearing finger
Generally, watching Star Trek: The Original Series requires viewers to suspend their disbelief. But should that really extend to missing digits magically reappearing within seconds? Well, that’s what can be seen on screen in “The City on the Edge of Forever,” which depicts a man who thieves some milk and has part of one finger clearly missing. When we next see him as he takes McCoy’s phaser, though, that digit appears to be fully intact.
29. The fallout shelter
“The City on the Edge of Forever” also features one of the original series’ most glaring anachronisms. In one particular shot of 1930s New York City, a fallout shelter sign can be spotted. The only problem is that, in reality, this particular type of shelter wouldn’t be made available until three decades on from the era in which the scene is set.
28. The visible crash mat
At least the original series took health and safety into account. That’s made clear in the episode where Kirk is literally thrown into jail onto a hard cell floor, with his fall cushioned by a handily positioned crash mat. Naturally, though, the mat was never supposed to have been seen by viewers.
27. Spock patiently waits for his next scene
In “Amok Time,” Spock slips into plak tow. And as he grasps his face and rolls back his eyes, the camera subsequently switches to Kirk and T’Pring. In the distance, though, we can see that Leonard Nimoy no longer seems to be suffering from blood fever; instead, he appears to be simply killing time until his next shot.
26. Data uses verbal contractions
Data was supposed to be unable to use verbal contractions – that is, words trimmed back by cutting one or more letters – due to a programming oversight. However, the man who played him, Brent Spiner, often forgot this character flaw. And The Next Generation’s producers either failed to notice the mistakes or simply didn’t have the resources to re-shoot the offending scenes.
25. Tuvok wore the wrong insignia
This particular error doesn’t appear in just one scene or even a single episode; instead, rather unbelievably, it’s on screen for almost an entire season. Yes, Star Trek: Voyager’s Tuvok wore a lieutenant commander’s insignia for a full 13 episodes before producers realized that he should be sporting a lieutenant’s badge instead.
24. Dr. McCoy’s uniform keeps changing
Dr. McCoy appears to have a strange reaction in “Mudd’s Women.” You see, while many of the crew are bowled over when Mudd brings female company on board, McCoy seems to be more affected than most. He chooses that time, in fact, to showcase his ability to change clothes instantaneously. In one shot during that episode, he’s wearing his regular uniform; in the next, though, he’s magically sporting his medical scrubs.
23. Dr. Crusher’s wristwatch
Gates McFadden seems to have forgotten to take off her wristwatch while filming one scene in The Next Generation. That’s right: the actress can be seen sporting the accessory when her character, Dr. Crusher, helps save Yareena’s life in the controversial “Code of Honor.” And that may not have been a problem had the medic previously worn the watch during the series’ run. She is never seen with it after that moment, either.
22. Miles’ ever-changing rank
Miles O’Brien appeared to hold every rank going during his time in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, with lieutenant, chief warrant officer and ensign just a few of his assigned roles. His uniform also often changed without warning, while he was never given an insignia, either.
21. Kirk and his evil double forgot their insignias
During filming of the original series, each character’s uniform had to be cleaned on a daily basis to meet union standards. And it was this requirement that led, it seems, to the odd costume continuity error. In “The Enemy Within,” for example, insignia are noticeably absent from both Captain Kirk’s outfit and that of his villainous double.
20. Gary Mitchell gets Kirk’s name wrong
In the original series’ second pilot, we’re introduced to Gary Mitchell, who is apparently a longtime friend of Captain Kirk. But the tombstone Gary creates to taunt his fellow Starfleet Academy graduate has completely the wrong initial: the marker is inscribed with the name “James R. Kirk,” while Kirk’s middle name is actually Tiberius.
19. Scotty doesn’t know that Kirk is dead
In the Next Generation episode “Relics,” a recently revived Scotty is told that Captain Kirk had been rescued by a completely different Enterprise crew. And yet in the Star Trek Generations movie, the same character is at the scene when Kirk appears to have perished. This means that Scotty should have already known – or at least thought that he knew – what actually happened to his old crewmate.
18. Khan and Chekov’s meeting
Indeed, Star Trek movies seemingly disregard certain details established during the television series. In The Wrath of Khan, for instance, the eponymous villain and Chekov immediately identify each other upon meeting. That’s despite the fact that Chekov hadn’t actually been written into the original series when Khan was discovered by the crew in “Space Seed.”
17. The fake flashbacks
Deep Space Nine’s finale “What You Leave Behind” uses flashbacks to show viewers what each character is reminiscing about as they prepare to leave the station. However, both Worf and Jake Sisko are somehow able to reflect on incidents they weren’t present to witness. Specifically, Worf remembers a hologram form of himself that proved not to be the real Klingon, while Sisko relives an alternate timeline that had actually been erased during an earlier episode.
16. The USS Pasteur error
There was a major continuity error in The Next Generation’s finale. In “All Good Things…” an anomaly causes Captain Picard’s consciousness to navigate along three distinct timelines. And while Data ultimately reveals that this occurred thanks to the separate tachyon pulses given out by a trio of different Enterprise ships, the vessel that Picard was traveling in at the time was actually the USS Pasteur.
15. The Klingon capture rule
One of the golden rules among Klingons is that capture leads to complete dishonor. However, not every member of the species appears to adhere to this edict. You see, in The Next Generation’s “Redemption: Part 2,” we learn that Worf was once tortured for intelligence by the Duras sisters’ soldiers, yet he never appears to suffer any consequences from his willingness to be interrogated.
14. The warp factor 1 problem
Here’s one for the science boffins. Whenever the Enterprise travels at warp factor 1, it’s essentially moving at the speed of light. However, proceeding at such a speed in deep space would essentially be akin to remaining motionless; as a result, then, the crew would take a number of years to reach each new star.
13. The Napoleon plot hole
In the original series’ “The Squire of Gothos,” Trelane discovers that Earth is approximately 900 years away from the titular planet. But as he’s explaining this to the rest of his crew, he mentions the historical French leader Napoleon. This would therefore place the episode’s events at somewhere around the year 2700; in actual fact, though, they occur in the 23rd century.
12. Geordi’s otherworldly uniform
Towards the end of The Next Generation’s “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” we see Geordi La Forge wearing a uniform that’s different to his usual. And while that may not seem particularly strange by itself, the clothing in question should only exist in a completely different timeline. Indeed, the uniform was only supposed to appear in the alternate reality where the Starfleet was more military-focused.
11. The Trill transporter retcon
The Trill appear to evolve very quickly, judging by their differing appearances in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. In The Next Generation, they have bizarre forehead ridges, can’t utilize the transporter without potential harm and can enjoy romances with old flames. In Deep Space Nine, however, spots are in place instead of ridges, transporter use among the Trill is totally fine and reviving relationships is a complete no-no.
10. The Romulan reflection
A man by the name of Bill Gocke ended up making an unplanned appearance in “Unification II,” an episode from The Next Generation. You see, in one particular scene, a reflection of the boom mic operator’s face is visible on a desk lamp. And as a result, Gocke inadvertently shares screen time with both Patrick Stewart and Leonard Nimoy.
9. Quark doesn’t know the value of gold
The Ferengi may be the most materialistic species in the Star Trek universe, but one particular member of their race appears to be confused about the value of gold. In episodes such as Deep Space Nine’s “Who Mourns for Morn?” for instance, Quark is seen complaining about how little the metal is worth. In others such as “Little Green Men,” though, he claims that gold is actually very precious.
8. The changing baseball jerseys
In Deep Space Nine’s “Take Me Out to the Holosuite,” the crew can be seen wearing baseball jerseys during the game that takes place at the episode’s close. However, during those scenes, Kira’s jersey magically changes from one shot to the next. At first, she sports a shirt with her forename written on it; just seconds later, though, it’s her surname that’s inscribed on the garment.
7. The spelling mistake
You have to be a particularly eagle-eyed Trekkie to spot this one. In the Voyager episode “Future’s End,” a tall building can be seen that features the logo of the company Chronowerx. That name bears a different spelling, however, to that which appears on a wall as Starling is preparing for a timeship launch; there, the word is written as “Chronowerks.”
6. Dr. Chaotica’s stronghold magically fixes itself
During an episode of Voyager’s show-within-a-show The Adventures of Captain Proton, which is seen in “Bride of Chaotica!” Tuvok and Paris look around the holodeck. Here, they notice that Dr. Chaotica’s stronghold has been impaired. However, in a later scene, we see that the stronghold is totally unblemished – having seemingly righted itself in the interim.
5. Spock’s smugness
Spock isn’t supposed to feel any emotions that mere Earthlings do. Indeed, he belittles Kirk for describing the Vulcan’s chess technique as irritating in one particular scene of the original series. Spock seemingly contradicts himself a moment later, however, by smiling in an apparently self-satisfied manner. In another episode, he also flashes a grin after spotting some plant life.
4. The Borg’s poor sense of direction
The Borg have many strengths, but a sense of direction doesn’t seem to be among them. In The Next Generation’s fourth season opener, you see, the alien race travel past Mars en route to Earth. But by appearing to head toward the red planet from its sunlit side, the Borg are in fact moving away from our blue planet.
3. The breathing computer
The voice of The Next Generation’s computer belongs to the very human wife of creator Gene Roddenberry. And sound engineers apparently forgot to remove some of Majel Barrett’s speech patterns – ones that feel entirely out of place on a piece of technology. Sometimes, for instance, you can clearly hear the computer breathe in before speaking.
2. The changing Klingon blood
In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the Klingons are pink-blooded creatures – evident in a scene in which drops of the fluid hover around in a zero-gravity environment. However in The Next Generation, the species’ blood is seen to have turned darker; there, it’s distinctively red in hue.
1. The death of Archie’s dad
There’s definitely some confusion as to when Enterprise’s Henry Archer passed away. Episode “Daedalus,” for instance, shows that he was very much alive when son Jonathan was a twenty-something flight school student. In the preceding “Cold Station 12,” however, Jonathan is revealed to have lost his father to Clarke’s disease when he was much younger.