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"It appears to be a multi-phasic temporal convergence in the space-time continuum."
"In English, Data.
– Data and Beverly Crusher, 2370 ("All Good Things...")

Technobabble was a term for an explanation for a complicated situation concerning technology or technical or scientific details.

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")

Also that year, William T. Riker concocted several technobabble terms to confuse Ferengi invaders on USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "Rascals")

In 2372, when Tom Paris and Neelix were 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. He was under the mistaken impression that Paris was trying to impress him, whereas he was only trying to leave an accurate recording behind. (VOY: "Parturition")


Background information[]

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 technobabble 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]

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 ed., p. 224)

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) 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]

In commentary for "Parallels" included on the DVD Star Trek: Fan Collective - Alternate Realities and later on the TNG Season 7 Blu-ray release, writer Brannon Braga discussed his use of technobabble within the episode. While he felt that the explanation as why Worf shifted realities came off well, he was less-than-pleased with the solution for returning him, citing Wesley Crusher's line that "We could scan the quantum fissure using a subspace differential pulse" as a piece of technobabble that didn't work well and which he didn't really understand. Despite this, he felt that the rest of the episode worked well enough that it could be gotten away with.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Sky's the Limit - The Eclipse of Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Umbra" from of the TNG Season 7 Blu-ray release, writer and producer Naren Shankar describes that a friend of him once sent him what he called "a Star Trek technobabble generator," which was like Mad Libs. It generated a perfectly usable line of dialogue for the show. The tool became institutionalized on the show, originally created as a "ridiculous typed-up document" but put back together with the Star Trek font. Two years after Shankar left the series, he returned to the office to visit and discovered the document there being used by the writers to write dialogue.

In another featurette, "The Motley Crew," from the Star Trek: Picard DVD and Blu-ray, Patrick Stewart notes that Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton had to use a lot of technobabble and came to hate it whenever he would say to them "Mr. Data, Mr. La Forge, analyze." He notes that on Picard, it was Michelle Hurd as Raffaela Musiker who filled this role and he hopes that they never bring it to him because he wouldn't be able to compete with the brilliance of those actors.


In the novel The Siege, Benjamin Sisko told Jadzia Dax that her explanation of the subspace compression affecting the Bajoran wormhole sounded like technobabble.

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