MIT’s HMS Pinafore:TNG: Follow-up Notes and Links

By Daniel Dern: An email from one of my Boskone Gilbert & Sullivan panel panelists led me to see if any video clips of the MIT production HMS Pinafore: TNG that I wrote about (“Speaking of Gilbert & Sullivan & Science Fiction…”) had been posted (they hadn’t)… which, unsurprisingly, turned up a handful of interesting related links, re-proving (and reminding me) that, for whatever I’m about to write about, “when in doubt, do a web search.”

There are several instances of G&S being sung in Star Trek, including:

  • In the Star Trek: Insurrection movie, “Picard and Worf sing HMS Pinafore in an effort to control a renegade Data.”

Geordi LaForge was coaxed by Beverly Crusher into singing a bit from ‘I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General’ from The Pirates of Penzance in the TNG episode ‘Disaster.’ (TNG: S5-E5))


  • Not to mention a shorter bit of G&S in a Babylon V episode)

And here’s a bunch of non-sf G&S in pop culture from the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company’s “G&S Resources” page, including Frazier, Car 54, Network TV, and Mass Effect 2 (a video RPG)

and Daleks doing a medley


It turns out (i.e., I’ve learned in the course of web-searching for videos) that there are earlier/alternate Trek-ed-up Pinafores:

“H.M.S. Starship Pinafore: The Next Generation” goes back nearly two decades:

H.M.S. Starship Pinafore: The Next Generation is a Star Trek adaptation of two famous Gilbert and Sullivan operettas (HMS Pinafore and Trial by Jury). In Toronto, it was first presented by the North Toronto Players in 1999.

That’s not what I saw at M.I.T.’s Spring 2018 production, they did pure Pinafore (no Trial By Jury, and near-zero textual modifications).

Here’s clips from at least two productions:

Stanford Savoyards’ production of HMS Pinafore: The Next Generation (January/February 2013).

  • HMS Pinafore: TNG — “I am the captain of the Pinafore”

  • HMS Pinafore: TNG — “When I was a lad”

Southampton Operatic Society, 2001

Mike Pavitt (Captain Kirkoran) and David Tatnall (Klingon Deadeye) in Southampton Operatic Society’s 2001 Star Trek version of HMS Pinafore.

  • The Merry Maiden and the Tar – HMS Pinafore (2001)

The Crown City Theatre Company in North Hollywood, CA, 2010

  • Crown City promo video (lots of ST references! And a piece of Mikado’s “Three Little Maids”

But alas! I’m still not finding any from the MIT May 2018 production.

‘Nuff scrolled!

11 thoughts on “MIT’s HMS Pinafore:TNG: Follow-up Notes and Links

  1. For the last New York City Star Trek Convention in 1976, a group of high school students from Toms River, New Jersey, performed Trek-A-Star, based on HMS Pinafore as written by Astrid Anderon (now Astrid Bear). It was filmed, but the video has long been lost. However, the reel-to-reel soundtrack was kept by me, and Astrid has a copy as well.

  2. Linda Deneroff: I had heard of the 1968 “HMS Trek-A-Star” productions via Bruce Pelz, performed before I was in fandom. The casting is awfully interesting —

    Cast at Westercon XX
    Kirk: David Thewlis
    Spock: George Spelvin
    Yeoman Rand: Dorothy Jones
    Stackstraw (an alien): Jon DeCles
    Uhura: Astrid Anderson
    Bugeye/Chekov: Jerry Jacks
    Crew: Felice Rolfe, Bjo Trimble, John Trimble
    Accompanist: Karen Thewlis

    Cast at 1968 Worldcon
    Kirk: David Gerrold
    Spock: George Spelvin
    Yeoman Rand: Dorothy Jones
    Stackstraw: Arthur Weiss
    Uhura: Astrid Anderson
    Bugeye/Chekov: Jerry Jacks
    Crew: Kathy Bushman
    Accompanist: Felice Rolfe

  3. Looking at a “today in history” site earlier today I noticed that HMS Pinafore premiered on May 25, 1878.

  4. IIRC, Astrid’s late mom Karen Anderson was co-author of Trek-a-Star with Dorothy Jones (later Heydt).

  5. Dave Nee: Thanks for the clarification of authorship. I was going from memory (something I should never do). But it was to Astrid I gave a copy of the audio tape.

  6. Ah yes, HMS Trek-a-Star: “Give 3.1416 cheers/For the science officer with pointed ears!” (I’ve never seen the show, but the line was quoted in a book about Trekkies — maybe On The Good Ship Enterprise?

    There was also a mixed production, Captain Future Meets Gilbert and Sullivan, done at Boskone around 1972; Selina Lovett sang Little Asteroid, and Richard NMI Harter was the ghastly-looking Master of the Universe. The late-1970’s shows, by Sue Anderson and Mark Keller, were much more mixed; the later ones even mined the rarely heard last two operettas.

  7. Note that the David Thewlis who played Kirk in the first production of HMS Trek-A-Star was not the well-known actor (who would have been about five at the time). Rather, it was the slightly less-well-known SCA founder and board member sometimes known as Duke Siegfried von Höflichkeit.

    It is an interesting coincidence, though, that the only two even vaguely well-known Thewlises* outside of the world of cricket share a first name. 🙂

    Duke Siegfried is also my stepfather, so I grew up with a copy of the script in the house, and had big chunks of it memorized by the time I was in my teens.

    * Or “Thewlii,” as we like to call them.

  8. Hmm, something (probably me) mangled the name field when I was composing a post, as a result of which, a post with my avatar but claiming to be by quote-o (“o) is now in moderation…

  9. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: 5-27-18 - Amazing Stories

  10. My wife and I attended one of the Stanford Savoyards’ performances of HMS Pinafore: The Next Generation at Dinkelspiel Auditorium, and I have to say that the TNG framing worked a lot better than one might predict. (The troupe’s performances being quite good certainly also helped.)

    (Things are seldom what they seem;
    Skim milk masquerades as cream.)

Comments are closed.