With only a relatively few exceptions (SpaceCamp, SpaceBalls, Ice Pirates, 2001, Starship Troopers and Babylon 5) I haven't seen many sci-fi television shows or movies where a space ship or space station had a bathroom. In Deep Space Nine, we saw what might have been a bathroom, but I don't recall ever seeing a toilet, bidet or shower stall- not even a bathtub. I'm sure there're a few movies where there was a bathroom scene or two, but they were so low-budget that they fell beneath my radar, as it were.

I mean, take the USS Enterprise-D, for example. This ship supposedly had 36 decks, was the comparative size of the entire Paramount backlot and was home to well over 1,300 people- where are the commodes?

If I signed up with Starfleet for a 7-year mission, you can bet your candy ass that I'll ask about how long I'm going to have to "hold it" during my tour of duty. "All seven years, you say? Can't I just get a post on Risa or Betazed? At least they have bushes."

The Death Star, in Star Wars, was massively huge. That monstrosity had to have housed upwards of a million people or more, right? I didn't see a single "Men" or "Women" sign on any door. What, are the bathrooms unisex- a'la Ally McBeal? For that matter, does the Empire have male-biased recruitment practices? I can't seem to remember if there were any female Imperial Officers or Storm Troopers- you'd think that the Empire wouldn't care who served in their ranks as long as orders were taken, right? But that's a different rant altogether.

This is about how, how and where sci-fi characters relieve themselves in space. They've mastered artificial gravity, they've licked that whole E=MC² thing and are making the speed of light look like pedestrian walking, they've got the biggest baddest guns this side of Star Blazers, but where-oh-where did they put the loo? Was it a design flaw? Was it an oversight? Was it something that might have gotten the censors antsy?

Who knows? But I'd like to ask, someday.

Picard's bathroom on the Sovereign-class Enterprise was shown, briefly, in Star Trek: First Contact. It's the bit at the beginning when Picard's woken up from a bad dream -- or has he?....

Though not shown on camera, the bathroom in question was fully fitted with a toilet and everything. The toilet was hexagonal.

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