Frankenstein was a novel written by human author Mary Shelley in the 19th century, and is considered by some to be the first true science fiction novel. It concerned the efforts of the title character to reanimate deceased human tissue, and his creation from parts of a new living being, with horrific results. The term "Frankenstein's monster" entered the human vernacular as a metaphor for a scientific achievement or other endeavor that has unforeseen negative consequences.
In 1970, Gary Seven commented that humans were too socially primitive to accept human cloning, for fear of creating a Frankenstein monster. Roberta Lincoln was surprised, given Seven's extraterrestrial origins, that he was familiar with the story. (TOS - Star Trek: Assignment: Earth comic: "My Name Is Legion") Some years later, at a conference in Rome, geneticist Dr. Viktor Lozinak noted to Lincoln that many people associated genetic engineering with Frankenstein. (ST novel: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 1)
The novel served as the basis of several motion pictures created in the mid-20th century, which remained popular through the 22nd century. Trip Tucker was a fan of these films, and organized multiple screening aboard the Enterprise. Subcommander T'Pol considered the story to be a insightful study of human psychology. (ENT episode: "Horizon")
In 2366, when Wesley Crusher pondered over an out of control nanite experiment he said that, "It's just a science project". Guinan responded that, "You know, a doctor friend once said the same thing to me. Frankenstein was his name". (TNG episode: "Evolution")
- It isn't certain whether Guinan was simply exhibiting dry humor, or if, given that she spent time on Earth in the 19th century (as established in "Time's Arrow"), she was referring to a factual model for the novel's title character.
- The tale of Doctor Solev from Legends of the Ferengi bears many similarities to that of Dr. Frankenstein.