Weekly Geeky Question #13: All-Star Enterprise Crew

Every week in 2018, the plan is that my friend Rod is going to ask me some geeky question that will answer in a post. This week is Week #13, and this week’s questions is…

Who is on my All-Star Enterprise crew?

So the idea is that I’d create the most awesome starship crew possible, drawing from any and all iterations of televised (or cinematic) Star Trek.  It can be any Starship Enterprise I want, but an ultimate crew:  all the best people functioning in the positions that they are best at.

Ground rules given by Rod included the fact that I can pick anyone, really, even characters who were just guest stars or one-offs, but the people I pick have to be for positions that they are known for in the canonical Star Trek…so if I use Kirk, for example, he has to be the ship’s Captain and not the Tactical Officer or something like that.

My personal approach is that I’m taking these characters at their prime–when they were at their best–say a year or two after we first saw them serving at that particular role.  Also, I won’t disadvantage anyone because they come from an earlier time frame than someone else.  In other words, obviously the characters from Voyager will know a lot more about Star Trek-science, engineering, culture and tactics than the guys from Enterprise, which took place 200+ years earlier, but I’m going to make allowances for that, to assume that all the characters have equal access to external resources.

If you look at Star Trek across the ages, not every show features the same crew positions, with some roles trending out of the storytelling dynamics, and others being merged together, and other new ones being introduced.  I’m going to cover as many as I can that have actually been featured on TV, and do my best to fill each job.

But first, the premise of the show:

Star Trek: Neverland

In the far future (maybe the 31st Century or something), a unquantifiable energy wave hits the edge of the Milky Way, blasting a Federation Starship exploring the Beta Quadrant:  The NCC-1701-P, or the Enterprise-P.  The energy wave is a the aftershock of a massive war between the Q-Continuum and another race of semi-omnipotent beings who come from a distant galaxy, dubbed “Neverland”.

The Q have lost the war, and most of their number have been destroyed.  The Q that we’re familiar with (the one played by John de Lancie) winds up on the Enterprise, critically injured, and warning them that the threat of these other beings–known as Pixies–will soon threaten the Milky Way if they cannot be either stopped or negotiated with.  The injured Q forms a particular connection with Ensign Garrison Picard, a sensor technician who is also a descendant of the legendary Jean-Luc Picard.

The Enterprise-P consults with Starfleet and considers their response…but it’s too late, and the Pixies attack, having been drawn by Q’s presence.  To defend the galaxy, the crew has Q transport them to Neverland, where they are able to temporarily deter the Pixies.  But the crew of the Enterprise-P are killed, with only Ensign Garrison Picard, surviving.

Q, guilt-ridden over the whole situation, uses the last of his life-energy to create a new Federation Starship–the Enterprise-Q, and to populate with an all-star crew of the finest officers from the history of Starfleet (as well as Ensign Picard). Q equips this ship with a new trans-galactic drive which allows them to return to Federation space when necessary, but this drive can only be used once every couple of weeks (it takes that long for the system to recharge).

These new crew members are “temporal duplicates” of the characters who originally lived.  They have their memories and their personalities, but an understanding and acceptance of their true natures has been built into their creation (so they’re not full of angst about everything) and their skills have been upgraded to be consistent with the technology of the future.

The new crew must immediately confront the Pixies, who are seen as despots by most of the indigenous life forms of Neverland.  Thanks to the skill of this “All-Star” crew, as well as the last remnants of Q’s life-force, they are able to more decisively defeat the Pixies, though they remain a looming threat over the whole series.  In the process, Q sacrifices himself, his life force dissipating forever.

Their Enterprise-Q‘s crew sees that their job is to form relationships with the indigenous worlds of Neverland (an area teeming with a wide variety of life), assessing the ongoing threat level and providing assistance where possible.  All of this of course is layered over the traditional Starfleet mission of exploration and discovery.

The ship’s activity in Neverland will form the bulk of this series.  Another element of course will also be getting Starfleet to understand and accept them.  However, before they even return the first time, the new crew becomes well known in Neverland–because of their defeat of the Pixies–and hailed as heroes, so Starfleet has no choice but to accept them and keep them on this critical mission.  It will be a season or two before Starfleet is able to retroactively engineer the Trans-Galactic Drive, so until then the Enterprise-Q is the only ship that can make the journey.

(Incidentally, I know this is all ridiculous.  But it does us the favor of getting us to the point of this post.  Also incidentally, I had begun to work out my picks before I came up with the story, but once I did I changed my mind on a few of my choices).

So now, the All-Star crew.  These characters have been picked on the basis of two things–how effective they were at their designated roles, and how well I think their characters would integrate into our overall story and series.  I was also personally motivated to include at least one character from each of the six live-action Star Trek TV series.

 

The Captain

This is of course the most important position on a Starship–the officer who oversees every aspect of the ship’s mission and operation, with all major decisions going through the Captain or the people he or she has appointed.

Prominent Contenders

James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard, Benjamin Sisko, Kathryn Janeway, Jonathan Archer, Gabriel Lorca, Philippa Georgiou, Christopher Pike

All-Star Pick:

Jean-Luc Picard

(Patrick Stewart, from Star Trek:  The Next Generation)

Picard is not necessarily my favorite Star Trek Captain or character, but of all the major Captains, he is by far the most experienced, and probably the most balanced at his job.  He knows how to lead a large crew with a wide variety of personalities, and to do it in a way that brings a lot of grace and confidence to the people under his command. He is a seasoned diplomat and a skilled negotiator, but also an experienced explorer and soldier.  So I think he is the best pick for this “all-star” team.  Plus, of course, it makes sense that Q would pick Picard as his Captain.

However, having said that, if I’d been able to cast Picard as an on-board “Federation Ambassador”, I’d have done that, and made Kirk the Captain.

 

The First Officer

The second-in-charge of the ship, able to fill in for the Captain at a moment’s notice.  They have the job of executing the Captain’s orders related to everything to do with the ship, crew and mission, and often taking leadership of Away Teams.

Prominent Contenders

Spock, Will Riker, Kira Nerys, Chakotay, T’Pol, Michael Burnham, Saru, Number One

All-Star Pick:

Michael Burnham

(Sonequa Martin-Green, from Star Trek:  Discovery)

This was also a tough one.  It’s a bit hard to look past Will Riker from Next Generation in terms of skill and experience, especially if we’re going to use Picard as our Captain.  But though Michael Burnham only had a short tenure as a First Officer on Discovery, during that time we saw that she had courage, knowledge, strategic intelligence and a willingness to confront her Captain if she felt she was making a mistake.

Burnham’s time as First Officer aboard the USS Shenzhou ends in shame and disaster as it’s destroyed at the onset of the Klingon War, but the fact of the matter is that all that could have been avoided if Burnham had been able to succeed in her bold move to incapacitate her Captain and carry out the encounter as she recommended.  Similarly, if the later plan to infiltrate the Klingon command ship and kidnap their leader had succeeded, she would have been hailed as the hero of the Federation, rather than being sentenced to prison.

All that to say is that Burnham’s strategic expertise and scientific knowledge make her an excellent crew member and an excellent choice for First Officer.

 

Science Officer

There haven’t really been that many people who were called a Science Officers in Star Trek, with the functions of the role being shared amongst all sorts of characters as the story has demanded.  But Science Officers need to have broad knowledge of all the sciences related to exploration, with an ability to interpret sensor data and to theorize on explanations and solutions for the situations that the ship encounters.

Prominent Contenders

Spock, Jadzia Dax, T’Pol

All-Star Pick:

Spock

(Leonard Nimoy, from Star Trek)

Spock, of course, was both Science Officer and First Officer, but it’s as Science Officer that he really excels.  He’s highly intelligent, and though he has aspirations to be perfectly logical, he also has a child-like “fascination” at the wonders of the universe, and an overt curiosity about the things that he discovers.  All of that makes him a great scientist, but on top of that he’s clearly a capable officer, able to handle a wide variety of dangerous situations.

On our idealized Enterprise-Q, I imagine Captain Picard recognizing the strength that he has is in Spock and giving him a lot of room with his science department to focus on exploration, study and research.

This series also allows us to have Spock interacting with his adopted sister Michael Burnham, so that could be interesting.

 

Chief Engineer

This the person responsible for caring for the ship’s engines and keeping them running well.  The general idea is that warp engines are complex things which need constant adjustment and care.  The Chief Engineer spends their time in the Engineering section of the ship, but they also often maintain a presence on the Bridge when needed.

Prominent Contenders

Montgomery Scott, Geordi LaForge, B’Elanna Torres, Charles “Trip” Tucker, Paul Stamets

All-Star Pick:

Charles “Trip” Tucker

(Connor Trinneer from Enterprise)

The thing about Enterprise, for whatever weaknesses it had, is that it did the best job out of any Star Trek series of showing some of the specialists in a Starfleet crew actually doing their jobs.  This included the Chief Engineer.  As much as like Geordi and Scotty (honestly, who could possibly not like Scotty?), there aren’t any other engineers who we ever saw responding to emergencies with the sort of urgency and energy that we had with Trip.  Scotty, clearly had the reputation of being a miracle worker, but that was almost something we heard about more than saw.  Trip, on the other hand, had the reputation of just being a really smart, really hard working guy who was galvanized under pressure.  His engines, clearly, are the most primitive of any of the characters here, but his quick thinking and ability to innovate at a moment’s notice win him this spot.

 

Conn Officer

“Conn” is apparently short for Flight Controller, combining what had previously been called the Helm and the Navigation, responsible for actually piloting the ship, whether at warp (faster than light) or impulse (slower than light speed, but still pretty fast).  It could mean controlling the ship in simple travel, or in the midst of combat.  Usually these guys are also shown to be good pilots for things like shuttlecrafts.

Prominent Contenders 

Hikaru Sulu, Geordi LaForge, Wesley Crusher, Ro Laren, Tom Paris, Travis Mayweather,

All-Star Pick:

Hikaru Sulu

(George Takei, from Star Trek)

The only other serious contender for this job would have been Tom Paris.  But while Sulu was definitely underserved on the original Star Trek series, he always came across as a guy who just enjoyed flying, rather than an officer passing through this position on his way to something else.  Plus he had the whole swashbuckling side of his personality which I think will serve well in this series.

 

Chief Medical Officer

This is the ship’s main Doctor, responsible for the health and well-being of the crew, and also offering medical-related expertise when dealing with alien life forms and situations.

Prominent Contenders 

Leonard McCoy, Beverly Crusher, Kathryn Pulaski, Julian Bashir, the Emergency Medical Hologram on the starship Voyager, Phlox, Hugh Culber

All-Star Pick:

Leonard McCoy

(DeForest Kelly, from Star Trek)

This was a tough one.  Julian Bashir was genetically-enhanced and thus brought a lot of advantages.  Phlox had the benefit of all the alien knowledge that the writers could give to him courtesy of his species. The Doctor from Voyager had the sum total of all Federation medical research at his disposal.  But I’m going with Dr. McCoy because of his absolute commitment to his profession and his principles.  He knew what he was (a doctor) and what he wasn’t (a mechanic, a brick-layer, an escalator, or anything else) and he stuck with that.  No other Chief Medical Officer in the series was so committed to calling out his colleagues when he felt like their actions were violating basic human decency (although Beverly came close).

 

Nurse

Sometimes we’d see that the Chief Medical Officer had a nurse who would assist him or her and also provide care for the patients.  You know, like an actual nurse.

Prominent Contenders

Christine Chapel, Alyssa Ogawa, Kes

All-Star Pick:

Kes

(Jennifer Lien, from Star Trek: Voyager)

Kes wasn’t officially a nurse but she was shown to be the Doctor’s medical assistant during much of her time on Voyager.  She was an appealing presence on the show, with an eagerness to learn and a genuinely caring personality that suits her for this role, with her telepathic abilities providing some other interesting dynamics.  She also had a disappointing conclusion on Voyager, and I’ve liked to have seen more of the character.

 

Security Officer

The person in charge of ship’s security, responsible for providing protection to the crew, both on board and on away missions.  They were also usually the officer in charge of the ship’s overall offensive and defensive functions–the guy who’d fire phasers, raise shields, and offers tactical advice to the Captain.

Prominent Contenders

Tasha Yar, Worf, Odo, Tuvok, Malcolm Reed, Ash Tyler

All-Star Pick:

Tuvok

(Tim Russ, from Star Trek: Voyager)

Like some others that I’m picking, Tuvok isn’t my favorite character to occupy this position.  I love Worf but he tended to be used as “the guy who overreacts and is too quick to suggest a military response to everything.”  Tuvok avoids all that by applying his native logic to dealing with tactical situations, and I think that ultimately makes him a better officer.  Plus, it’d be sort of interesting to have both Tuvok and Spock on the ship.

 

Operations Officer

Dramatically, the Operations Officer (or “Ops”) is sort of the descendant of the Science Officer, except with the role broadened to imply they are in charge all of the ship’s systems that don’t easily fit into one of the other categories (medical, engineering, security).

Prominent Contenders

Data, Miles O’Brien, Harry Kim

All-Star Pick:

Data

(Brent Spiner, from Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Come on, we’re going to do an All-Star Star Trek team, and not include Data?

Data, of course, is the android who is constantly exploring how close he can come to being human without actually achieving it.  He is, probably, the strongest and most knowledgeable character the show has ever had, but somehow avoided being annoying thanks to natural humility and unconscious charm.  He is also an astoundingly good officer, while not necessarily being a particularly good commander.  In this version of things, he’d still be a senior officer, but not necessarily the second officer (there’s a bunch of other contenders for that job), so he’s less likely to be put in charge of everything going on.

 

Communications Officer

This is a role that was included in the versions of Star Trek that took place earlier, while in the later shows the function was folded into Security.  But in our series, an officer dedicated to establishing effective means of communications with new aliens makes a lot of sense.

Prominent Contenders

Uhura, Hoshi Sato

All-Star Pick:

Hoshi Sato

(Linda Park, from Star Trek: Enterprise)

Like Trip from the Engineering section above, we saw a lot of what it meant for Hoshi to function as a Communications Officer on a Starship.  Indeed, we saw a lot more of this on Enterprise than we ever did with Uhura on the original show.  Hoshi, though inexperienced as an officer, was an expert in multiple language and regularly had to use those skills to quick decipher new tongues in an age when the Universal Translator wasn’t a thing.  She’s the clear pick for an All-Star team.

 

Counselor

This is an interesting one, as there haven’t been a whole lot of counselors on Star Trek, but the two we’ve had were both series regulars.  The counselor’s job seems to be to operate as an actual therapist / psychological support for the crew, but also to potentially advise the command crew with any psychological insights related to the current mission or situation.

Prominent Contenders

Deanna Troi, Ezri Dax

All-Star Pick:

Ezri Dax

(Nicole de Boer, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

Obviously Deanna Troi is the more seasoned counselor character of the two possibilities, but I’m choosing Ezri.  She was only on Star Trek for one season, but was interesting  right off the bat:  a conflicted young Trill woman who hadn’t been prepared to receive an aged symbiote, and now was having to adjust to that.  Her subsequent confusion over her identity fueled her ability to help others with their emotional difficulties.  Indeed, in her one year on Deep Space Nine we probably saw more of her dealing with people’s traumas and emotional crises than we saw Deanna do on all seven seasons of Next Generation.

What Ezri didn’t do is hang around the Bridge of a starship and tell her Captain that the alien despot on the viewscreen was hiding something, and that’s fine with me.  On the Enterprise-Q, Ezri won’t have a chair on the bridge.  Of course, Captain Picard can call on her expertise whenever he wants to, to assist at the negotiating table or during a tense ship-to-ship confrontation, but it’d be on as needed basis.

 

Transporter Chief

Presumably there are a 100 jobs like this on a starship, where there are pieces of equipment that need specialists who really know what they are doing with them.  It’s just that the franchise makes regular such use of the transporters (short-range teleportation device) that there have been a couple of recurring characters who have become notable through in regular appearances as the transporter operator.

Prominent Contenders

Lt. Kyle, Miles O’Brien

All-Star Pick:

Miles O’Brien

(Colm Meaney, from Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Obviously, O’Brien was also a major presence on Deep Space Nine, but since I’m picking him for Transporter Chief, I’m really taking him from his days as a recurring character on Next Generation.  O’Brien is really the only serious contender here.  I like Lt. Kyle from the original series, but he never got any real character development, while O’Brien was developed heavily, with several episodes in which he was treated with as much weight as the regulars (The Wounded, Power Play, Disaster, for example).  O’Brien had loads of personality, and was also really good at his job, showing the sort of specialist knowledge you’d expect someone in his job to have.

 

Strategic Operations Officer

OK, this is a bit of a stretch, but on one Star Trek TV series, there was a Strategic Operations Officer.  He reported directly to the commanding officer, and had the job of overseeing all Starfleet operations in a particular sector.  Now, this was on a space station and not a starship, so they had a long-run presence in one place.  Our crew is on a starship, but they are only (and in later seasons, leading) presence in the Neverland galaxy, so it’d be beneficial to have an officer who is at first considering the implications upon Federation security of every discovery that is made, and is later helping to coordinate the expanded Starfleet operations in the area.

Prominent Contenders

Worf

All-Star Pick:

Worf

(Michael Dorn, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

Like, O’Brien, Worf spent more of his time on another TV series (Next Generation, in this case), but it was on Deep Space Nine that he served as Strategic Operations Officer.  It’s a good fit for Worf, who is capable of carrying more than just the security of a single starship, but who isn’t precisely the right person to be a captain.  Worf is highly strategic and capable, and he has learned the self-discipline during his time under Captain Picard to not just default to a war-like posture.  Plus, he’s a really interesting character, and on this series, a strong contender for the “Second Officer” role (along with Spock, Data, and Tuvok).

 

Crewman

A catch-all title for all the other guys and girls who work on the ship, who aren’t officers.  They are hardly ever talked about, but presumably there are lots of crew members on the ship who help to do the grunt work of running things, fixing things, studying things, etc.

All-Star Pick:

Seven of Nine

(Jeri Ryan, from Star Trek: Voyager)

Really, I’m including “Crewman” on this list because I definitely want Seven of Nine, the reformed Borg, on my All-Star team.  She’s got a complicated and tragic backstory, but represents a lot of hope and positive ideals.  She’s also a smart and capable crew member and would be a value to the ship in whatever area she ended ups serving in.  The only thing is that I’d have Q resurrect her with a less awkward outfit than she normally wore.

 

The Enterprise-Q

So that’s the main crew to populate our ship.  The ship itself has got to be a bit of a hybrid, as it was created by Q himself, and thus has to have a unique class name, which probably wouldn’t be decided upon it for a couple of seasons.  Maybe “Q-Class”?

I’m imagining something bigger than Voyager, but smaller then the Enterprise-D, with about 600 crew members.  It wouldn’t be as much as “floating city” as the Enterprise-D was.  There might be some couples on board, but no children (at least not at first), and no civilians (except for one…see below).  There’s a 10-Forward (or similar), but no Guinan (because she was often more of a story solution than she was a character).  There’s a holodeck, but it doesn’t have the capacity to run immersive virtual reality programs.  It’s more for combat training and as another forum for examining sensor data.

The Bridge of the Enterprise-Q would most resemble Voyager‘s out of all the TV ships.  Two command chairs in the middle (Captain & First Officer) with the Conn station directly in the front, and then moving around in a clockwise fashion, large stations for Engineering, Tactical, Ops and Science, with other support stations and doors peppered in between.  Some of these smaller stations would have to include Communications and someplace for Worf or Seven of Nine to come and hang out

In addition to our leading characters, we’d have some other recurring crew members who have been brought to life by Q:

Lt. Reg Barclay (Dwight Schultz), an engineering officer, serving under Trip’s command, and probably driving him crazy.
Ensign Sito Jaxa (Shannon Fill), a security officer who is assigned to work with Commander Worf in his duties as Strategic Operations Officer.
Lt. Stadi (Alicia Coppola), a shuttle pilot and relief Conn Officer.
Dr. Lewis Zimmerman (Robert Picardo), the doctor whom the Emergency Medical Holograms are modeled after, who would find himself frustrated to have serve under the younger Leonard McCoy.
Keiko O’Brien (Rosalind Chao), a botanist serving in the science department of the ship.  She’s married to Miles O’Brien, but they’ve been “recreated” at a point before they had children (which isn’t to say they couldn’t have children as the show progresses).  Because there are no civilians, Keiko would now have to be a Starfleet crewman–a “retcon” provided by Q, perhaps as a concession to O’Brien so he’d have his wife with him.

And finally, our one civilian crew member:  instead of having Guinan in Ten-Forward (or the one shipboard bar & restaurant), the bartender and proprietor would be

Q

(John de Lancie, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine & Voyager)

What?!  You said Q had died!  And that’s right, he did.  But he also has duplicated himself, along with all the other All-Stars, from the past, from the time when Q had lost his semi-omnipotence, and lived as a human being as a crewman on the Enterprise (in Deja Q).  He’s on board the Enterprise serving food and drinks with his characteristic snark, but with only a limited memory of his original life and no knowledge of the war with the Pixies or anything else from after Deja Q.

Or is that all he really is?  Is he actually a bit of a “back door” way for Q the later version of Q to return himself to life?  Is he actually the the “modern day” Q all along?  This will be one of the ongoing mysteries and storylines for the series as a whole.

So that’s it!  To summarize,

Star Trek:  Neverland

starring Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham
and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock

also starring
Nicole de Boer as Counselor Ezri Dax
Michael Dorn as Commander Worf
DeForest Kelly as Dr. McCoy
Jennifer Lien as Kes
Colm Meaney as Chief O’Brien
Linda Park as Lt. Commander Hoshi Sato
Tim Russ as Lt. Tuvok
Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
George Takei as Lt. Sulu
Connor Trinneer as Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker
and John de Lancie as Q

We probably need about 40 episodes a season to give all these characters justice.

Until next time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s