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Old 05-11-2014, 11:11 PM
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Favorite Star Trek Quotes: Get ready for a long read

I am currently on a Netflix journey through the entire Star Trek series, having watched all of TOS, TAS (yes, I did it), 6.7 seasons of TNG, 3 seasons of DS9, and about 9 of the movies (only 2 recently though). My friend challenged me to it so here I am a year later about 40% of the way through.

Through all of this, I have come across a wealth of good quotes, the series is overall pretty well written (OVERALL dammit). Here are some of my favorites that you don't have to be familiar with the show to appreciate (though it enhances it!). A lot of these apply to people on the forum, but you guys can figure that out yourselves. These are only from episodes I have seen, there are tons of other good quotes out there from the series, and I know I missed some from what I have seen.

"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life." - Jean Luc Picard to Data

"When we look at Michelangelo’s David, or Symnay’s Tomb, we don’t ask, ‘what does this mean to other people?’ The real question is, ‘what does it mean to us?’" - Jean Luc Picard

Dr. Roger Corby: Can you imagine how life could be improved if we could do away with jealousy, greed, hate?...
Kirk: It can also be improved by eliminating love, tenderness, sentiment—the other side of the coin.

"Procreation does not require changing how you smell, or writing bad poetry, or sacrificing various plants to serve as tokens of affection." - Odo

"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end." - Spock

"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie, as wisdom and warning. The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged."
- Jean Luc Picard

"The most elementary and valuable statement in science, the beginning of wisdom, is: ‘I do not know.’" - Data

"Believing oneself to be perfect is often the sign of a delusional mind."
-Data
"Knowledge, sir, should be free to all." - Harvey Mudd

"Sometimes you just have to bow to the absurd." - Jean-Luc Picard

"Compassion — That’s the one thing that no machine ever had. Maybe it’s the one thing that keeps men ahead of them." - Leonard McCoy

"There are times where it is necessary for a captain to give the appearance of confidence.” - Jean Luc Picard

"A dead man cannot learn from his mistakes." - Benjamin Sisko

"Even the most comfortable prison is still a prison." - Jean Luc Picard

"A place can be safe and still be a prison." - Worf

"When one has been angry for a very long time, one gets used to it. And it becomes comfortable, like… like old leather. And finally… becomes so familiar that one can’t ever remember feeling any other way."
— Jean Luc Picard

"Death is that state in which one only exists in the memory of others; which is why it is not an end. No goodbyes, just good memories."
— Tasha Yar, at her own memorial service

"Change is the essential process of all existence." - Spock

Men don't talk peace unless they're ready to back it up with war.
-Col. Green

If we are going to be damned, let's atleast be damned for what we really are." - Jena Luc Picard

"A good engineer is always a wee bit conservative, at least on paper." - Scotty

"Liberty and freedom have to be more than just words." - James Kirk

"It has been my observation that one of the prices of giving people freedom of choice is that sometimes they make the wrong choice." -Odo

"That’s the thing about faith. If you don’t have it, you can’t understand it, and if you do have it… No explanation is necessary." - Kira Nerys

"Before you can be loyal to another, you must be loyal to yourself." - Bashir

"Somewhere out there someone is saying the three most beautiful words in any language:... Please help me." - James Kirk

"Have you ever fought an idea, Picard? It has no weapon to destroy, no body to kill!" - Gowron

"There can be no justice so long as laws are absolute. Even life itself is an exercise in exceptions." - Jean-Luc Picard

Spock: "Has it occurred to you that there is a certain... inefficiency in constantly questioning me on things you've already made up your mind about?"
Kirk: "It gives me emotional security."

"Telling us why you’re going to fail before you make the attempt is never wise." - Beverly Crusher

"Morals are for men, not gods." - Lt. Mitchell

"Being first, at any cost, is not always the point." - John Luc Picard

“Truth, Doctor, is in the eye of the beholder. I never tell the truth because I don’t believe there is such a thing” - Garak

"It can be argued that a human is ultimately the sum of his experiences."
- Benjamin Sisko

"I have never understood the female capacity to avoid a direct answer to any question." - Spock

"Wishing for a thing does not make it so." - Jean Luc Picard

"Madness has no purpose or reason, but it may have a goal." - Spock

"Villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged." - Jean Luc Picard

"Maybe we weren’t meant for paradise. Maybe we were meant to fight our way through, struggle, claw our way up, scratch for every inch of the way. Maybe we can’t stroll to the music of the lute. We must march to the sound of drums." - James Kirk

"How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life."
-James Kirk

"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived."
— Jean-Luc Picard

"Love sometimes expresses itself in sacrifice." - James Kirk

"When children learn to devalue others, they can devalue anyone - including their parents." - Jean-Luc Picard

"You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting. This is not logical, but it is often true."
— Spock

"Leadership grows from self-confidence." - Deanna Troi

"You will never come up against a greater adversary than your own potential." - Dr. Paul Stubbs

"Man stagnates if he has no ambition, no desire to be more than he is." - James T. Kirk

"The road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think." - Jean Luc Picard

"Sometimes pain can drive a man harder than pleasure." - James Kirk

"If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." - Spock

"Virtue is a relative term." - Spock

"I would be delighted to offer any advice I can on understanding women.
When I have some, I’ll let you know." - Picard to Data

"Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies."
— Quark

“The whole show [“Star Trek”] was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but to take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. We tried to say that the worst possible thing that can happen to all of us is for the future to somehow press us into a common mould, where we begin to act and talk and look and think alike. If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.” - Gene Roddenberry

“What Star Trek proves, is that the much-maligned common man and common woman has an enormous hunger for brotherhood. They are ready for the twenty-third century now, and they are light-years ahead of their petty governments and their vision-less leaders.” - Gene Roddenberry

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Old 05-11-2014, 11:47 PM
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Check out 'Have Gun, Will Travel' which is sometimes on Netflix. Gene Roddenberry wrote a lot of those episodes and you can see where he dropped in a lot of quotes from obscure writers. He always has Paladen give credit to the author and the impression is conveyed that Paladen is an educated and well read person.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:44 AM
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They had a brilliant set of writers for multiple ST series.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:57 AM
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^They certainly did. I’m watching my way through Voyager and the writing started as excellent has gotten progressively better as the series progressed. With some shows the writers essentially do laps in the pool in the last season or two, and don’t try new things but with this series that’s not the case. Part of this is because those who do the screen plays are all veterans of TNG and the most writers have long experience. In addition, the show is about women in the role of leadership and that influences the arc of the story telling.

Another interesting detail is that in Voyager they begin to not compartmentalize the story lines. That is, plot development takes place over episodes and in some cases over the scope of seasons. This was a new thing. Previously nearly every ST episode (except for the 2 part editions) was essentially self-contained.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:33 AM
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With stories that are self-contained a show, if it runs long enough, is easier to sell to independent stations or outside markets. That way they don't need to keep the episodes in order.

But if a show is popular enough it can be shown out of order and still snag viewers, and with something like ST, which has established characters, viewers can pick up on the story quickly enough even if they are shown in random order.

MASH is like this. Castle is as well.

James Bond began this trend with Goldfinger. The previous films built on each other but Goldfinger can be understood on a stand alone basis. Each Bond film after that went for the same thing until the series re-boot with the new Casino Royal. Now it helps to watch the films in the order they were made to understand the current Bond.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:18 PM
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:53 PM
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For that second clip, I just watched that episode the other day. I love Q.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:23 AM
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by link View Post
Another interesting detail is that in Voyager they begin to not compartmentalize the story lines. That is, plot development takes place over episodes and in some cases over the scope of seasons. This was a new thing. Previously nearly every ST episode (except for the 2 part editions) was essentially self-contained.
DS9 is somewhat like Voyager then, most of the episodes tie in with each other. TNG has some cross links but nothing like DS9. I think one of the biggest problems with TOS is the lack of connection between the stories. That really stood out in an episode where they beamed to a planet and were wearing locators so the Enterprise could find them. In the series it was common for at least one person to go missing or be detained or something, but of course after that episode, they went back to having no locators.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:59 PM
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:17 PM
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:05 AM
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>With stories that are self-contained a show, if it runs long enough, is easier to sell to independent stations or outside markets. That way they don't need to keep the episodes in order.

>But if a show is popular enough it can be shown out of order and still snag viewers, and with something like ST, which has established characters, viewers can pick up on the story quickly enough even if they are shown in random order.

>MASH is like this. Castle is as well.

Makes sense.

I thought most or all comedy/drama series were essentially self-contained through the late 1980s at least. Many shows still are written that way. Where it happens the change was/is due to acknowledging the audience had a capability to remember longer than a gold fish does and that permitted greater plot development, and made shows more interesting.

No idea how many shows were or are regularly shown out of order.

I haven’t followed the 007 series so can’t comment on that but I do recall that Ian Fleming came up with a formula in his story lines that permitted repeating itself essentially every time and that was a the corner piece of the franchise. Each show was about the same as the one before. That element is also a very frequently repeated part of TV series. It’s one of the things that Robert Beltran (Chakotay in Voyager) complained about being the key flaw of the Voyager series.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by w123fanman View Post
DS9 is somewhat like Voyager then, most of the episodes tie in with each other. TNG has some cross links but nothing like DS9. I think one of the biggest problems with TOS is the lack of connection between the stories. That really stood out in an episode where they beamed to a planet and were wearing locators so the Enterprise could find them. In the series it was common for at least one person to go missing or be detained or something, but of course after that episode, they went back to having no locators.
I think that kind of thing became referred to as “YATI” for ‘yet another Trek inconsistency’ With a long running show a series of rules creeps in to help define the universe. Unfortunately that kind of thing can and often does get in the way of telling a story, so....

I haven’t seen the DS9 series for over a decade, but may start that one once Voyager wraps up. DS9 was fundamentally a different platform for Trek. In other Trek series, the crew always traveled and encountered the creature of the week, and in contrast, in DS9 the creature of the week nearly always came to DS9. That difference permitted several long term story lines and the growth of the individual became a key element by that time. It also ment that characters from other Trek shows would appear from time to time.

Of course, despite most events in most series, the central characters never changed very much over time. That part of plot development waited until very recently to become part of the story line. Shows such as House MD and Breaking Bad were notable both for great story telling and also because the key characters changed a lot over time. To that end, I remember reading recently that David Shore and Vince Gilligan are gonna do a series together ... which itself represents a major change in story telling for TV shows.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:15 PM
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:40 AM
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