In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the Federation representative on Nimbus III, St. John Talbot, appears to be smoking something.

St. John Talbot smoking something

The Memory Alpha article I linked above seems to indicate that this character was intended to be portrayed sort of as a loser (in retrospect, I imagine him as what John Belushi would have looked like if he had made it past age 35), so it makes sense that he has some bad habits, but is it ever explained exactly what he is smoking in-universe? Is it tobacco? marijuana? Andorian gray weed? ethereal love flowers of Varlax 9? My original impression of watching this as a child was that he was simply smoking a regular tobacco cigarette, but that struck me as odd since smoking was just not something you saw in Star Trek media. I also note that tobacco is rarely mentioned anywhere else in Star Trek, and when it is mentioned in DS9's Little Green Men, it is treated as something thoroughly antiquated and possibly banned.

Yes, from an out-of-universe perspective, it is almost certain that the actor here is smoking a regular cigarette that was purchased from the shop around the corner to the studio. I'm asking whether there is an in-universe explanation for what he is smoking.

  • 3
    The events of ST:TFF take place about 100 years before DS9 - enough time for tobacco (and alcohol - according to TNG episode Relics) consumption to become antiquated.
    – HorusKol
    Jul 30, 2021 at 15:22
  • 4
    That's no cigarette, it's a tiny holographic generator to disguise his Klingon appearance, which is actually another holographic projection concealing his true Cardassian identity! If we want to confirm that, we should go to his quarters and ask him whether there are four or five cigarette lighters. Jul 30, 2021 at 16:23
  • According to Memory Alpha and Twitter, it was a 'self-lighting cigarette". Rumour has it that they spent several thousand dollars testing, designing and building a prop, then forgot to bring it on the day of filming and had to use a legit cigarette instead.
    – Valorum
    Jul 31, 2021 at 7:44
  • Death Sticks. He never went home to rethink his life choices. In all seriousness, we have to remember this is a remote planet that is in a neutral zone, is pretty much lawless, and is a lifeless “rock” as the Federation ambassador put it. So in his mind, he can get away with sneaking in a few “old school” cigs from his species’ earlier days. No one’s going to care anyway. It also gives the impression that he’s lost all will to care as an ambassador and has become disillusioned with his posting. I’m guessing it’s good old fashioned earth tobacco. Aug 1, 2021 at 3:35


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.