The Australian site News.com.au has issued a five-alarm apology to Star Trek fans incensed over a “poorly-researched” article, acknowledging that there were many Enterprises, Captain Kirk didn’t command them all and that Patrick Stewart is indeed a handsome man.
On November 2, News.com.au published a story about the Haynes Workshop Manual for the U.S.S. Enterprise, covering models from 2151 onwards. The Haynes name will likely be familiar to those of you with an automotive bent; Haynes Manuals have been helping do-it-yourself types keep their cars in good running order since the 60s. The Enterprise guide is a legit Haynes product, supervised by none other than Star Trek Technical Manual co-writer Michael Okuda as a cool holiday gift for the hardcore Star Trek nerds we all know and love.
Unfortunately for the author of the article, those same Star Trek nerds got pretty riled up over what they perceived as inexcusable inaccuracies in the short, amusing blurb about the novelty gift. “Could this article be any more wrong. The Enterprise-E did not replace Kirks enterprise,” the very first commenter, calling himself “Your Mum’s Lunch,” wrote in a [sic]-filled rant. “The Excelsior class Enterprise-B replaced kirks ship after Kirks ship was lost at the Genesis plant at the hands of the klingons. Upon their return to McKinley station after travelling back in time to get some whales, Kirk and crew were handed command of the enterprise-A, a constitution refit. After which, we saw the enterprise-B come on the scene.”
It goes on like that for awhile.
Faced with such rage, News.com.au did the only thing it could: It issued a respectful, heartfelt and extremely thorough apology.
“News.com.au apologizes unreservedly for the error,” the paper wrote after briefly explaining the history of the various Enterprise models. “There was no intention whatsoever to suggest Captain Kirk may have commanded the Galaxy Class Starships Enterprise-D and Enterprise-E.”
“Any damage to the Star Trek brand incurred by the use of the term ‘hyperspace’ is regretful. No malice was intended and a correction to the original article will be made,” it continued. “We also agree that Patrick Stewart is a handsome man, a sentiment expressed by several readers.”
Hysterically, the apology column actually repeated one glaring error in the original article, referring to the Enterprise as “NNC-1701” rather than the proper “NCC-1701,” an oversight that seemed to drive some Trekkies to even greater heights of frothing nerd apoplexy. Unless, of course, it was intentional – but surely a respected online news site wouldn’t do something as gauche as trolling its readers, would it?
Regardless, News.com.au covered that base as well in an addendum: “We’re also sorry for any errors in this apology.”