I dearly love Star Trek: The Next Generation. I started watching it with the very first season in 1987. The same year, incidentally, as I started watching Doctor Who. I was eight years old. And they both warped molded my brain forever. In wonderful ways, mostly. I’ve been re-watching the TNG episodes on the uniformly brilliant Blu Rays. I just got to the episode Time Squared, which I remember liking a lot as a kid. And I was struck by how bizarre the opening scene is.
So, Riker is setting up dinner. Is it a romantic get together with his Imzadi?*
*Yes, I realize there are too many dollar store transparent blue plates for that to make sense, but I wasn’t staring at a still image at the time!
Anyway, he’s actually making Dinner (Brunch? Breakfast? It’s hard to tell in space) for Worf, Dr. Pulaski, Data and Geordi. He opens up an art department-colored egg and gets to whippin’.
The gang comes in, each of them with a vital component to the dinner, all Stone Soup-like. Dr. Pulaski has brought some ale (?) because Riker’s omelettes deserve no less. Ale and omelettes? I mean, I guess it’s the future, folks. Maybe that makes sense. And this really could be brunch. It’s just the lighting on the ship really throws me off and feels like dinner.
So, Riker gets to making his omelettes as the crew basically fill time during the pre-credit sequence talking about the lost art of breaking bread, blah blah blah. It is important to note (for later) that Riker specifically talks about how the replicator can’t mimic a good cook because it lacks the human flair that pre-programmed recipes with their perfect proportions lack. Anyway… Data looks a bit confused…
Which, I don’t blame him for. Because Riker adds absolutely NOTHING to these “omelettes”…
And then he stats breaking the grayish-yellow cooked eggs all up. These are not omelettes, my friends. These are scrambled eggs! Scrambled eggs without any apparent salt or pepper! Now, it did occur to me that maybe omelettes are made differently all over the world. And maybe somewhere omelettes are made without any toppings or spices and crumbled up like scrambled eggs? I actually tried to look this up through Google and could find no such mention. Omelettes are made all sorts of ways, but they all involve SOME sort of toppings. And they aren’t scrambled. But that’s not the weirdest part…
Everyone but Worf hates them. Geordi asks where the eggs came from, and Riker says they are Owan eggs that he just picked up from the last star base. The implication is that he has never actually tried these eggs himself.
So, to recap:
The Enterprise-D crew got together for (what really feels like) dinner, and in Riker’s mind the perfect meal to make for his friends consisted of nothing but plain, un-spiced scrambled eggs that he’s calling an omelette, using eggs he’s never tasted himself. No wonder Pulaski brought the ale!
Probably best to let the replicator handle it, Commander.