Star Trek: The Next Generation

Bloopers in comedy are a foregone conclusion. Stick around during the closing credits of the latest Apatow production and you’re bound to see clips of Seth Rogen breaking, cackling, or devolving into improvisatory bedlam. Bloopers in other genres are more rare—and, by virtue of the fact that they’re often trying so hard to be serious, are typically more satisfying. Science fiction is another beast altogether, as in addition to the sober nature of it, all the actors are constantly having to keep a straight face while holding absurd props or engaging in debates with rubber alien masks.

And that’s precisely why this round-up of science fiction blooper reels from io9 is so delightful. A wide range of shows are represented: There’s everything from Lost and Fringe to Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica, but it’s the more straightforward entries like Star Trek: The Next Generation (included below) and The X-Files that offer the biggest laughs. How satisfying is it to see a genuine smile break Agent Mulder’s stony gaze, or to hear Michael Dorn’s real voice emerge from beneath Worf’s Klingon makeup?

Perhaps the most valuable lesson to take from these videos is that science fiction techno-babble is a lot harder to speak than it is to write. You try saying “suspended animation” three times fast.