“Encounter at Trump Point”: The Ultimate Voyage of the Starship Enterprise

The 50th anniversary of the debut of the original Star Trek on September 8 recalls the series’ enlightened and peaceful embrace of a wide variety of mysterious cultures and persons. More than once, however, the gallant crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise was forced to crush diabolical entities.

In that spirit, herewith an encounter between our beloved starship and an apparently all-powerful malevolence. Every line of dialogue delivered by the Enterprise regulars is as they uttered it in each of the 79 episodes of the original series as first broadcast. The words of all other dramatis personae were originally assigned to resident aliens and other guest stars.

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(The U.S.S. Enterprise, cruising through space, suddenly encounters an unexplained phenomenon.)

Chekov: Only one-sixteenth parsec away, captain. We should be there in seconds. (1)

Kirk: Mr. Spock, full analysis of sensor readings. (2)

Spock: It is a negative energy field, however illogical that may sound. (3)

Uhura: Captain, I’m getting ground-to-air- transmission. (4)

(The gigantic orange head of Donald Trump, Oz-like, fills the main viewing screen)

Trump: I know who you are. I have monitored your ship since it entered this system. (5)

Spock: Fascinating. (6)

McCoy: I can’t explain it. (7)

Kirk: We’re beaming down. (8)

Scotty: Aye aye, sir. And, uh . . . have a bonny trip. (9)




(Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a red-shirted security guard materialize in the sumptuous atrium of Trump Tower.)

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Kirk: It’s like discovering Atlantis. Or Shangri-La. (10)

Spock: Colloquially expressed. But essentially correct. (11)

Kirk: Remarkably peaceful and tranquil. (12)

(Suddenly the Oz-like head of Trump, accompanied by Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Chris Christie and John McCain, appears.)

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McCoy: Jim, what in blazes is this? (13)

Trump: Welcome aboard, Kirk. (14)

Kirk: You know us? (15)

McCain: Oh, yes, we know who you are—all of you. (16)

Spock (consulting tricorder): Not warm-blooded. Living creatures. But not human. (17)

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McCoy (also consulting tricorder): There’s something wrong, Jim. Their nervous systems. . . . They’re being violently stimulated. (18)

Trump: Your readings will show energy but no substance. (19)

McCoy: I don’t understand. (20) The molecular structure of the brain tissues in the central nervous system are [sic] distorting. (21) His body lives, the autonomic functions continue. But there is no mind! (22)

Spock: Totally unfamiliar . . . Strengthened by mental radiations of hostility. (23)

Kirk: What do you want? (24) Who are you? What is this place? What do you think you’re going to do with us? (25)

Trump: You will worship me. (26)

Kirk: Are you crazy? (27) (Whips out communicator) Kirk to Enterprise. Scotty, come in. (28)

Scotty: Captain, something has grabbed us from the planet surface. Like a giant tractor beam—and we can’t break loose! (29)

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Spock: Mr. Scott? Mr. Scott. Try inverse phasing. (30)

Scotty: I can’t change the laws of physics! (31)

Trump: You humans make a brave noise. There are ways to convince you of your errors. (32) I have chosen you. (33)




Kirk (snapping shut communicator): No. (34) Try to understand. It is the nature of our species to be free. (35)

Trump: Freedom? Freedom? (36) The chatter of inferior weaklings wearies me. And it’s time I took command. (37)

Spock: I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose. (38)

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McConnell: Accept what has happened. There is nothing you can do to change it. (39)

Trump: Join me. I’ll treat you well. (40) Here you have to only imagine your fondest wishes . . . Anything that pleases you can be made to happen. (41)

Kirk: The same old promises made by Genghis Khan. Julius Caesar. Hitler. (42) No wants. No needs. We weren’t meant for that. None of us. (43)

Trump: You will understand what power is. I will have armies of followers! (44)

Kirk: Do you know what you’re doing? Have you lost your mind? (45)

Spock: Your very presence will destroy the people you seek. Surely you know that. (46)

McCoy: Isn’t it suicidal to deal with something ugly enough to drive man mad? (47)

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Christie: Do not fight us. (48)

Trump: You will kneel! (49)

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(The security guard raises his phaser. From his forehead Trump emits an antiproton bolt, knocking him into next Thursday. McCoy rushes to him.)

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McCoy: He’s dead, Jim. (50)

Kirk (groping): He was young. And inexperienced. (51)

Trump: You will now begin carefully guided lives. (52)

McCoy: Are you insane? (53)

Ryan: No. We are desperate. (54)

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Kirk: We can help you! (55)

Trump: Nobody helps nobody but himself. (56)

Spock: This is a laboratory specimen of an arrested culture! (57)

Kirk: It’s a killer, Spock. I intend to render it harmless. (58)

Spock: To kill it would be a crime against science. (59)

McCoy: A little less analysis and more action—that’s what we need, Mister Spock! (60) That thing is a danger to all of us. Now, find some way to shut it off! (61)

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Spock (shrugs): Without facts, the decision cannot be made logically. (62)

Trump (thundering): I have existed from the dawn of time, and I shall live beyond its end! In the meantime, I shall feed . . . You will all die horribly—in searing pain! (63)

Kirk (suddenly whirling): You are the evil! The evil must be destroyed! Fulfill the prime directive! (64)

(Confronted by this logic, Trump gradually begins dissolving into hideous, inchoate blotches.)

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Trump: I’m going back to what I was—ugly! (65)

Kirk: Don’t be afraid. Look at him! . . . Look how ugly he really is. Look at him—and don’t be afraid! (66)

Trump: (plaintively): In a different reality, I could have called you friend. (67)

Kirk: You don’t understand what it is to live. Love and compassion are dead in you. (68)

Trump (dissolving into mere echoes): Please—I want to stay­ . . . stay . . . stay . . . stay . . . stay . . . stay . . . stay . . . (69)

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(Trump and his followers fade into history. Suddenly, a supernal force—perhaps the spirit of the Founding Fathers—materializes overhead.

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Force: Time has resumed its shape. (70) It would seem that evil retreats when forcibly confronted. (71)

Kirk (shaking head, sadly): If only . . . (72)




(Back aboard the Enterprise, the landing party is reflecting.)

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Spock: Captain, the universe is safe. (73)

Kirk: But it was brutal. Perverted. It had to be destroyed at a terrible cost. (74)

McCoy: I’ve checked my findings thoroughly. Their intellect ratings are almost twenty percent below average. (75)

Sulu: How can such people be, captain? (76)

Kirk (ruefully): Above all else, a god needs compassion. (77) And history has made its judgment. (78) Prepare to warp out. (79)

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Thomas Vinciguerra is a contributor to The New York Times and the author of Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber, and the Golden Age of The New Yorker (W.W. Norton, 2015).


(1): “Bread and Circuses”

(2): “Journey To Babel”

(3): “The Immunity Syndrome”

(4): “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”

(5): “Requiem For Methuselah”

(6): “The Corbomite Maneuver”

(7): “Dagger of the Mind”

(8): “The Trouble With Tribbles”

(9): “A Taste of Armageddon”

(10): “The Paradise Syndrome”

(11): “Obsession”

(12): “A Private Little War”

(13): “Mirror, Mirror”

(14): “I, Mudd”

(15): “Spectre of the Gun”

(16): “Catspaw”

(17): “Arena”

(18): “Operation—Annihilate!”

(19): “Return To Tomorrow”

(20): “Amok Time”

(21): “The Tholian Web”

(22): “Spock’s Brain”

(23): “Day of the Dove”

(24): “By Any Other Name”

(25): “The Gamesters of Triskelion”

(26): “Who Mourns For Adonais?”

(27): “The Deadly Years”

(28): “Plato’s Stepchildren”

(29): “The Apple”

(30): “The Doomsday Machine”

(31): “The Naked Time”

(32): “The Enterprise Incident”

(33): “Elaan of Troyius”

(34): “Court-Martial”

(35): “Metamorphosis”

(36): “The Omega Glory”

(37): “Whom Gods Destroy”

(38): “The Squire of Gothos”

(39): “Wink of an Eye”

(40): “Space Seed”

(41): “Shore Leave”

(42): “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”

(43): “This Side of Paradise”

(44): “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”

(45): “The Menagerie, Part I”

(46): “The Way To Eden”

(47): “Is There In Truth No Beauty?”

(48): “The Lights of Zetar”

(49): “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky”

(50): “The Enemy Within”

(51): “Friday’s Child”

(52): “The Menagerie, Part II”

(53): “The Man Trap”

(54): “The Mark of Gideon”

(55): “Miri”

(56): “A Piece of the Action”

(57): “Errand of Mercy”

(58): “The Changeling”

(59): “The Devil in the Dark”

(60): “The Galileo Seven”

(61): “The Ultimate Computer”

(62): “Assignment: Earth”

(63): “Wolf in the Fold”

(64): “The Return of the Archons”

(65): “Mudd’s Women”

(66): “And the Children Shall Lead”

(67): “Balance of Terror”

(68): “The Empath”

(69): “Charlie X”

(70): “The City on the Edge of Forever”

(71): “The Savage Curtain”

(72): “Turnabout Intruder”

(73): “The Alternative Factor”

(74): “Patterns of Force”

(75): “The Cloud Minders”

(76): “That Which Survives”

(77): “Where No Man Has Gone Before”

(78): “The Conscience of The King”

(79): “All Our Yesterdays”


About Thomas Vinciguerra 1 Article
Journalist, author, critic and essayist with 30 years professional experience; founding editor of The Week magazine; contributor of 170 articles, essays and reviews to The New York Times since 1994; writer of nearly 300 freelance pieces; editor of "Conversations With Elie Wiesel" (Random House/Schocken, 2001) and "Backward Ran Sentences: The Best of Wolcott Gibbs From The New Yorker" (Bloomsbury, 2011) and author of "Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber, and the Golden Age of The New Yorker" (W.W. Norton, 2015)

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