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Technobabble

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Technobabble is a term for an explanation for a complicated situation.

In 2369, Q goaded the senior staff of Deep Space 9, who had been unable to find the cause of a crippling power drain on the station, by saying "Picard and his lackeys would have solved all this technobabble hours ago." (DS9: "Q-Less")

In 2372, when Tom Paris and Neelix were alone together in a shuttlecraft descending to the surface of "Planet Hell", Neelix said he was unimpressed by the technobabble spouting from Tom's mouth as he completed the shuttle's log. (VOY: "Parturition")

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Background Edit

Technobabble (also known as Treknobabble) is a moniker describing the pseudo-scientific terminology of Star Trek. On Star Trek: The Next Generation, some of the actors dubbed it "Piller-filler" after executive producer Michael Piller. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 252) According to Piller, the latter term originated with Brent Spiner, whose character of Data gave many techobabble speeches. Writers would frequently write "(TECH)" in draft scripts "as a sort of cry for help" to the science advisor André Bormanis, who would then come up with appropriate terminology. [1] [2] [3]

Ira Steven Behr enjoyed Q's line about technobabble in "Q-Less", commenting "it was a line we wrote with great glee, because at that point we hated the goddamned technobabble". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 45)

The scene in "Rascals" where Riker confuses the Ferengi Morta with gibberish technology (such as the firomactal drive and isopalavial interface) was added by uncredited co-writer Ronald D. Moore as his "salute to technobabble". (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd, p. 224)

Beginning in Season 3 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the DS9 writers made a conscious effort to reduce the amount of technobabble in scripts. (AOL chat, 1997)

Some critics have dismissed the reliance on technobabble, which is frequently used as a deus ex machina. [4] However, others have noted positively that certain fictional Star Trek technology, such as the Heisenberg compensator, at least attempt to plausibly address a real world scientific limitation to making science fiction a reality. [5] [6]

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