If you’ve been reading around, you won’t have failed to notice the visual nods to Star Trek that showed up in ‘Under The Lake’. There were two fairly obvious ones, and a couple that slipped under the radar. For a start, there was the use of a bay door that featured the number 1701B – which, coincidentally, was the serial number of the fourth Enterprise. This ties up neatly with the mysterious spacecraft that’s the cause of all the trouble – a craft that resembles a Federation shuttle – as well as the whole design of the Drum, as established in that opening shot:
Most of all, however, there was this.
Ha ha, I hear you saying. Yes, very good. A nice couple of Easter Eggs dropped in to please the Trekkies. To which I say ‘Certainly not’, but in a particularly loud and vivacious voice, in the manner of the Eleventh Doctor bellowing “I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS!”. The truth – and here at God Is In The Detail Central that’s our only currency – is that the episode is absolutely full of BLATANT AND VERY IMPORTANT STAR TREK REFERENCES THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED. And don’t worry, you don’t have to go on the hunt for them – I’ve done it for you. So what are we waiting for? Warp factor five, and don’t take your eyes off that glowing circular thing on the screen. Oh, and for heaven’s sake, try and keep your shirt on.
Let’s look at the dots.
There are eighteen concentric dots in that outer circle, and a further nine in the next two, along with a single circle in the middle. The number nine has great significance in the Star Trek universe: there are nine principal characters in The Next Generation (Picard, Riker, Data, Troi, Worf, Dr Crusher, Geordi, Gaia and Will Wheaton). Voyager’s de-Borgified scientist Annika Hansen went by the name Seven of Nine (and as a side note, Doctor number Seven starred in a Big Finish Star Trek pastiche known as ‘Bang-Bang-a-Boom!’). And the desert filming for ‘Arena’, episode eighteen of the original series, took place on 9 November. Coincidence? I DON’T THINK SO.
18-9-9 is a type of particularly nitrogen-heavy fertiliser. In the episode ‘The Passenger’, a fire broke out on a Kobliad transport ship – a fire that was extinguished by Major Kira Nerys, with the help of a nitrogen fire extinguisher. This happened in Episode nine of series one of Deep Space Nine. Two nines are eighteen. Draw your own conclusions. (No, really, do draw them. We could do with some more pictures to brighten the place up.)
Finally, the ninth film in the Star Trek series (Insurrection) was released in 1998: a number which may be rearranged to form 18-9-9. ALL OF THIS IS CLEARLY IMPORTANT.
Now look at this.
Examine the circular structure that forms the right hand side of the picture. The three large rooms allude to the landing party that energises in every episode in order to explore whatever planet they happen to have discovered (centre). McCoy and Spock (top and bottom) form two ideologically opposite ends, while Kirk (centre right) is the middle ground, charged with listening to both. The two circles containing horizontal lines, just to the left, are CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS references to the redshirts who would join them on each occasion, only to get zapped almost immediately.
Now look at the passages to the left. Each room represents a different Trek series, all branching out from the single, spherical hub. This one represents the original series, while the cube-shaped ones signify The Next Generation and Voyager, insofar as both feature encounters with Borg Cubes. Meanwhile, the hexagonal one in the middle represents Deep Space Nine, given that this was the first series to include a Ferengi in Starfleet, with Ferengi display devices (PADDs) being hexagonal in shape. Oh, and the rectangular one at the bottom? That’s Enterprise, but we won’t dwell on it.
Lastly, note that there are three passages. The instrument of choice for an exploratory landing party was a TRICORDER. I think we all know where this is going, don’t you?
It’s not just Star Trek that gets a look in, of course. There are plenty of nods to George Lucas as well. Witness the symbols inside the shuttle:
Which unambiguously depict iconic moments from the Star Wars franchise:
You will note that none of these are from the prequels, for the simple reason that the prequels are crap.
It’s back to Star Trek for our final image.
The clue here is in the upended chairs that scatter the floor. To fully understand this, we must turn our attention to the films, specifically parts two and ten (The Wrath of Khan / Nemesis). Both featured the deaths of prominent characters: Data (on the left) and Spock (on the right). The uniform colours give this away:
Meanwhile, the orange chair signifies Kirk’s death in Generations, tied up as it is with the upturned yellow chair that is almost perpendicular, signifying that Kirk died not once, but twice.
Now, you’ll notice we’ve been rather light on Doctor Who-related content this time around, but finally, observe what happens when we join up these chairs.
The resulting shape is, of course, a pyramid. And this episode was broadcast the week they found water on Mars, even though they had filmed it sometime before. They knew. THE BASTARDS KNEW.
Set phasers for ‘overkill’…