Trivia

Hard

Which Bit Of Sci-Fi Technology Was Created To Get Around Network Regulations?

Lexx's 790 Robot Head
Doctor Who's Sonic Screwdriver
Star Trek's Hypospray
Star Gate's Ma'Tok Staff
Dr. McCoy on Star Trek: The Original Series, holding a hypospray.
NBC/Paramount/CBS Television Distribution

Answer: Star Trek’s Hypospray

In the Star Trek universe, the hypospray is a needleless medical device designed to transfer liquid medicine and other substances into the patient without the use of a traditional needle-based injection. At first blush, it seems perfectly natural to have such a device on Star Trek; such devices have long been considered a future invention waiting to happen and their appearance isn’t limited to the Star Trek universe.

And yet, the inclusion of the hypospray wasn’t driven by the desire of Star Trek writers to be cutting edge in all technological matters. In early scripts, the doctors and attendants on the show used regular old 19th century-era hypodermic syringes to inject medication. It was brought to the attention of the writers, however, that the use of hypodermic syringes on the show was strictly forbidden by NBC’s broadcast standards and practices guidelines. While such a restriction seems absurd to the modern viewer (who lives in a time of wildly popular medical dramas that feature not only syringes, but all manner of blood and mocked-up medical emergencies), the broadcast standards for television networks in the 1950s and 1960s were far more conservative, and the presence of syringes and injections, even in a legitimate medical situation, were considered too inappropriate for public consumption.

As a result, writers created the hypospray, a tool that allows for medical injections without a visible needle since the tool used a burst of focused pressure to push the medication through the skin. Although never formally confirmed, it was long rumored that the prop used in the original series was a repurposed and slightly modified automotive fuel injector. If so, that would be slightly ironic given that one of the first recorded incidents of a person being injected with something via the mechanism the hypospray works on was in 1937, when a worker was injected with diesel fuel from the fuel injector of the engine he was working on.

Trivia

Hard

The Only TV Show In US History To Be Canceled Mid-Broadcast Was?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Fi Star Was Granted The Honorary Rank Of Air Force Brigadier General?

Trivia

Hard

In 2012 Taco Bell Airlifted A Truck Filled With Tacos To?

Trivia

Hard

Which Spacecraft Was The First To Autonomously Return Extraterrestrial Samples to Earth?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Of These Is The Fastest Selling Consumer Electronic Device Of All Time?

Trivia

Hard

Mining Companies Are Analyzing What Unusual Source To Find Gold?

Trivia

Hard

A Brannock Device Is Used To Measure What?

Trivia

Hard

What Office Ritual Is The Result Of Careful Marketing?

Trivia

Hard

The Most Expensive Typo In History Was Created By A?

Trivia

Easy

Which Animal Carries Its Favorite Tools With It?