Do You Know Gilbert and Sullivan? You should If You Love Star Trek!

Captain Picard: “Mr. Worf, do you know Gilbert and Sullivan?” 
Lt. Commander Worf: “No sir, I have not had a chance to meet all the new crew members since I have been back”.

I guess most of us would answer something of the sort if asked. More so having in mind that both operetta composers made it for the first time to the stage so far back as 1871. And Shakespearean Sir Patrick said “No” to Shakespeare

Do positronic brain androids dream on Shakespeare?

Our beloved Sir Patrick Stewart decided in Star Trek IX: Insurrection that quoting Shakespeare’s King Lear wouldn’t be enough to catch the attention of an android with a positronic brain. 

I don’t think the Lear quotes work,” Patrick wrote in his notes. “It will be meaningless to most of our audience and I’m not sure I believe in what it is meant to do.” In the end, he agreed on singing as acceptable to him and even better singing some Gilbert and Sullivan with the acquiescence of writers and directors at that time.

Spock and Number One get to know each other while unexpectedly stuck together in a turbolift in Short Treks: Q&A

If you ask me, I’m glad that Short Treks: Q&A would rather stick to the good old Gilbert and Sullivan’s sing-alongs where nobody gets hurt.

Geordi La Forge had his share of  Gilbert & Sullivan too. He sang one of The Pirates of Penzance songs, A Modern Major-General. A shame that the Enterprise had a major encounter with a quantum filament that cut his performance short in The Next Generation’s episode Disaster.

Star Trek: Discovery likes opera as much as everyone!

Star Trek: Discovery is no stranger to those musical interludes either. Stamets got trapped inside the mycelial network in Discovery and while he interacted with a manifestation of Dr. Culber, he asked an aria of a Kasseelian opera that Culber loved to be played while he attempted to navigate USS Discovery back to its original universe.

Dr. Hugh Culber meets Stamets in a cafe on Alpha Centauri. Star Trek: Discovery Annual 2018, Published by IDW Publishing, Art by Angel Hernandez and Mark Roberts

During the episode, we learn that a Kasselian Soprano works his whole life to sing in a sole performance. After her last note, she commits suicide by plunging a dagger into her own chest (DIS: Brother). How weird is that?

One may say that Gilbert and Sullivan’s compositions are cheerful and kind of comical… And old, really old, but would you believe that an updated, futuristic version of Pirates of Penzance was a success in Florida just a couple of years ago? It was. And there are quite a few amateur productions of “HMS Pinafore: The Next Generation“. Yeah, yeah… You’d read it right.

From the Stanford Savoyards’ production of “HMS Pinafore: The Next Generation” (Jan. 2013).

We’ve discussed in here Captain Picard and Worf and Data and Geordi and Spock and Number One singing. Let’s not forget that Robert Picardo sang Le Cassini Opera for real to celebrate a special goodbye to the Cassini mission at Saturn. Our holographic Doctor did play the same piece at Star Trek: Voyager while daydreaming about singing an opera piece for his fellow shipmates.

So let’s hear it from you now. What do you think of Spock and Number One singing along in Short Treks: Q&A Gilbert & Sullivan’s? What modern song would you have chosen instead?


Read our review of the Star Trek: Discovery Short Treks “Q&A” episode right here.