Data, Geordi LaForge and I are acting as advisors on the pilot for a tv science fiction series called 'Star Trip'. Directing it is the hopeless Steven Spolberg. Starring as Jack Jupiter, the Captain of the USS Pegasus is the egotistical and vain Rick Ruddock. I have yet to see him not holding a mirror so that he can admire himself.
The three of couse go towards the set, as the first day of shooting is about to commence. We are greeted by a strange sight.
"HEL-LO!" it says.
The robot shakes Data's hand, who looks rather confused by it all.
"I see you've met Ronnie the robot." says Spolberg as he welcomes us to the set, "He's there to get a few laughs from the kids watching. Hopefully we can sell a few Ronnie robots at the shops."
"Are you just concerned at making money and ratings, Spolberg." I ask him.
"Naturally." Spolberg answers, "What else is there, after all?"
"Don't you think it could be insulting to artificial life forms to have them portrayed like this?" asks, Geodi, "After all, my best friend, Data, here, is an android."
"They are all nuts and bolts in the end, gentlemen." Spolberg informs us, "This show will have it all, "A funny robot to keep the kids happy, lots of explosions and gorgeous girls with scantily clad outfits on every week to keep the men happy. Believe me, Star Trip will be the tops."
I sigh, and go to the set, where all the stars are taking their places. Rick Ruddock comes on last, checking his face in the mirror. He seems disappointed that he has to put the mirror away for a short time.
"All right." says Spolberg, "The Pegasus has got to go swiftly to the planet Zarg to rescue the Princess Amala, who is played by J'Laya. ACTION!"
"We've got to get to Zarg!" says Ruddock in his Captain Jupiter role, "Ensign Daktar, take us to Warp Twelve."
"HOLD ON!" says Geordi, "That's just not possible, "No starships can travel to Warp Ten or beyond. Warp Twelve is not possible."
Ruddock sighs, and takes the time to look again in his mirror.
"This is science fiction." Spolberg tells Geordi, "I know you're advisors, but just assume that the Pegasus is EXTRA fast!"
Geordi continues to mumble to himself.
"I know, Mr LaForge." I tell him, "This show is likely to be full of innacuracies. It looks like we'll have to put up with them."
The awful show continues to be made, and we watch with disdain.
"Now we are approaching Zarg." Spolberg tells the cast, "You know what to do, ACTION."
"Some freighters are coming to greet us from Zarg, Captain." says a cast member to Ruddock.
"In that case." replies Ruddock in his tough Jack Jupiter persona, "Destroy them all with bio-cobalt megaton missiles."
"HOLD ON!" I shout, "No Captain would behave like this, "They should hail the freighters and try and reach a peaceful diplomatic accord. We only fire on when they have fired on us."
"Where's the fun in that, Captain Picard?" Spolberg, "The viewers want to see spaceships attacking each other, explosions. They don't want to see a diplomatic solution."
All this will set the Federation back 100 years if the viewers think this is what we do.
"Now we'll go and rescue the Princess." Spolberg announces. Suddenly he is interrupted by a technician coming on to the set.
"Mr Spolberg!" he shouts, "There's been a disaster. Ronnie the robot has blown up! The motor that powers him overheated and he exploded into a thousand pieces!"
"That's a calamity!" exclaims Spolberg, "He was meant to attract the younger people to he show, and we were going to sell millions of Ronnie toys. Now we don't have a funny robot to put in the show."
Suddenly, he turns round and looks at Data.
"Of course!" he says, "Mr Data, you'll be ideal in the show."
"I'm not having Data in you show Mr Spolberg." I insist.
"Please, Captain." Spolberg implores, "Just for this pilot. In future shows, I'll get an actor to play him and tell the viewers Ronnie had had a head transplant or something. We don't have time to find anyone else. We can sell a few Data dolls and give you a cut of the take."
I give in.
"Very well." I say, "Mr Data, you are now a tv star."
To be continued...