Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Warp Speed Wednesday: Voyage aux étoiles avec liberté, égalité, et fraternité.

In the great tradition of my posts from St Patrick's Day and Canada Day, I am marking Bastille Day (on July 14) by posting a partial list of Star Trek references relating to France, French culture and history and Francophones:

Captain Jean-Luc Picard grew up near La Barre in northeastern France where his family operated a vineyard. Sure he has a British accent, and drink lots of tea, but his name is French AND he speaks French.  Also he's very sexy and that is a very French quality:

In the opening sequence of Star Trek: Generations a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne is seen floating through space. It smashes against the hull as part of the christening ceremony for the newly constructed Enterprise-B.

Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is a favourite of the quisling Michael Eddington. Sisko captures Eddington after realizing that Eddington pictures himself as Jean Valjean, and Sisko is his Inspector Javert (DS9: For the Uniform).

Tom Paris is a crew member on Voyager. He doesn't appear to speak French or acknowledge French ancestry. I'm including him on the list largely because I find this photo charming:

[Side note: I am always amused when Canadian trekkies speak of Star Trek: Voyager since we favour the voyageur pronunciation.]

Captain Picard visits a holodeck recreation of a Parisian cafe where he stood up Janice Manheim (TNG: We'll Always Have Paris). The Eiffel Tower is seen in the distance:

New Paris is the name of a Federation colony (TOS: The Galileo Seven).

Rene Auberjonis portrayed Odo on Deep Space Nine and is descended from a man who married Napoleon's sister and was a field marshal in the Emperor's army.

Speaking of French field marshals, here's Q looking very dapper in one of their uniforms (TNG: Hide & Q):

Picard and three children sing Frère Jacques while climbing an elevator shaft (TNG: Disaster).

Voyager's holographic doctor contemplated adopting the name Doctor Albert Schweitzer, in honour of the theologian, philosopher, physician and Noble Prize winner (VOY Heroes and Demons). Schweitzer was born in Alsace-Lorraine in 1875 when the area was under control of the Germans (it has since reverted to French protection). He died while working in the former French colony of Gabon.

On the first season of Voyager, Tom Paris creates a holodeck program set in the a bar called Chez Sandrine.

The bar is the backdrop for several episodes. It features prominently when Voyager is captured by a bloodthirsty species who manipulate the crew into playing a violent reenactment of the French Resistance (VOY: The Killing Game).

Sisko's Creole Kitchen is the Louisiana-based restaurant owned by family of Benjamin Sisko, Deep Space Nine's commanding officer. The series is littered with references to Creole dishes, ie shrimp remoulade, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee.

USS Pasteur is a hospital ship commanded by Doctor Crusher and named for French microbiologist Louis Pasteur (TNG: All Good Things).

Chateaubriand is served at Vic Fontaine's club on Deep Space 9 (DS9: His Way)

Transported to 1893, Data explains his odd mannerisms and inappropriate dress by telling people he is a Frenchman (TNG: Time's Arrow).

"Auprès de ma Blonde" is a 17th century French song  Jean-Luc Picard and his brother Robert sing  whilst liquored up on fine French wine (TNG: Family).

Star Trek: Insurrection features a shuttlecraft named for the French explorer, Speedo-fan Jacques Cousteau.

Upon learning that one of the Enterprise crew has the surname DeSalle, the trickster Trelane says "Vive la gloire. Vive Napoleon. You know, I admire your Napoleon very much." (TOS: The Squire of Gothos).

William Shatner (aka Captain Kirk) was born in the former French colony of Quebec, and is bilingual.

I will conclude this post by posting a clip of the recently revamped French national anthem. Let's stand and sing together:

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!


  1. This is an exhaustive list - bravo!

    I loved the TNG episode "Disaster". That bit where they are climbing & Picard gets them to sing and helps them 'not be scared' - oh, my heart. Also my loins. Because he is HAWT.

    1. I love that episode and it's one of the first one I let my sons watch. Another favourite is Rascals when Picard, Ro, Guinan and Keiko revert to being 12 year olds.

  2. Ah man, Flight of the Conchords kills me every time. Off to listen to Business Time (yet again).

    1. "Tuesday night we go and visit your mother. But Wednesday we make sweet weekly love "

    2. When you're down to just your socks, it's Business Time.