Predictive Text 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' Script Proves Everything Is About Food
Last year we found out that handing over a story’s creative reins to a predictive text keyboard can produce some interesting results. When Botnik, a self-described “human-machine entertainment studio and writing community,” fed its predictive text tool all seven books of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Hermione ended up getting the short end of the stick. At one point in the honorary (and silly) addition to the wizarding series, the young Gryffindor was dipped in hot sauce and at another, her family eaten by Ron.
While it didn’t yield quite the same kind of messy results, when the augmented content creation company recently fed its keyboard tool a bunch of Star Trek: The Next Generation scripts, the results were somewhat mouthwatering. Titled “Here’s Looking at Q,” the new (faux) TNG script is one funny tale about the power of food in outer space. In fact, from the setting to dramatic tensions, nearly every scene features food as a significant plot element.
The episode’s opening shot finds the Star Trek crew in a “heavily damaged Enterprise” that is stuck orbiting around a family restaurant. While sitting in the dining room, Lieutenant Worf’s father is disgraced thanks to the words of Captain Picard, while on the bridge, Lt. Commander Data throws a large dessert at the ship’s viewscreen in an effort to tell Commander Riker “what to eat.” As Data announces a name change that must be complied with—otherwise he’ll dole out some serious self-replication—Riker enjoys some of the cake from the viewscreen before another Data enters the bridge, this time with a green casserole. (If this sounds like a very confusing episode of TNG, keep in mind it was essentially written by a robot nowhere near as sophisticated as Lt. Commander Data.)
A hungry Counselor Troi bonding with Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge over a bag of bland-tasting chips and Riker looking like fettuccine after using a serotonin-coordinating sensor are some of the script’s other major food moments. It would seem that in the world of predictive text, food is the real final frontier. If you want to view the Enterprise crew’s entire family restaurant-based adventure, you can read the full script on Botnick’s website.