It’s 3 p.m.! Let The A.V. Club briefly make use of the waning hours of your productivity with some pop culture ephemera pulled from the depths of YouTube.
The year was 1996. It was a blessed time in television history, when viewers could travel to the farthest depths of the Delta Quadrant and the highest heights of a Seattle high-rise all in one week. And yet, there was still something missing. We had not yet seen the cast of everyone’s favorite white-collar comedy, Frasier, join forces with the cast of the third—or possibly fourth—best Star Trek property for a hilarious crossover event that would go down in history as “having occurred on television.” That is, until the genius producers behind the Star Trek: 30 Years And Beyond anniversary special said, “Make it so,” or some other applicable Frasier quote.
The resulting “sketch” finds Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) back at the helm of her wayward ship, the U.S.S. Voyager, only her crew has been replaced by—get this—the cast of Frasier! And boy, are their neurotic personalities and sitcom-appropriate quips not suited for deep space exploration. Martin Crane does a little backseat driving from the comfort of his recliner. Niles is as pretentious as ever and applies a “banality filter” to the ship’s communications. Roz tries to get a date because apparently that was her thing, and even Daphne gets to flex her abilities as “a psychic” which was apparently still an occasional plot device on Frasier at the time. It’s all good fun.
Actually, it’s pretty rough. But the audience eats it up.
The titular Dr. Frasier Crane is noticeably absent, which is particularly bizarre since Kelsey Grammer is the only member of the cast to have previously made an appearance on Star Trek (in the TNG season five episode “Cause And Effect”). Grammer likely thought this type of primetime pandering was beneath him, and, honestly, we can’t blame him. The entire broadcast, which is available to view on YouTube, is a hodgepodge of genuine, heartfelt send-ups of the seminal sci-fi series, and cringeworthy moments that could only have happened in the mid-90s. There’s even a live performance by the one and only Kenny G, which plays over a slideshow of CGI space effects from the franchise’s history. It’s wild.