Probably my favorite character on the show is Dr. Phlox. He's got that wisdom and compassion that you're always looking for out of each ship's (or station's) chief medical officer. So I got to thinking, is Phlox my favorite doctor from the whole Star Trek universe? Tough call, lots of good doctors out there. And of course, my line of thinking continued: who's my favorite chief engineer? My favorite first officer? And on, and on.
Well, I took the time and put together my "ultimate" Star Trek starship crew, and I invite you to do the same, if you're nerd enough. I recommend you use the same positions in the crew, to make it easier for us to argue. I gave myself a couple of rules:
- I could promote officers reasonably, but not demote them beyond where they'd ever appeared in their respective series. So I couldn't assign Benjamin Sisko to be a helmsman.
- If it made sense, I could move a crew member into a role they didn't exactly have in their show. An example would be Seven of Nine, whose role was "astrometrics," but might be well-suited for security or tactical roles.
- I could have a maximum of four members from any particular crew. For Worf and O'Brien, this would limit both TNG and DS9.
- In addition to standard crew members, I allotted one spot for "hospitality," accommodating the various bartenders/chefs from the Star Trek universe.
Not close. While some other officers might be solid choices, nobody matches the perfection of Picard's balance between diplomacy, intelligence, and guile. He's #1 on my list of captains, without question.
First Officer - William Riker, The Next Generation
I've always liked Riker, though some of that may just be the beard. The most important part of Riker's character, though, is that he's a good counterpoint to Picard. He's forceful, aggressive, and a bit reckless, and he challenges his captain in all the right ways. The dynamic between Picard and Riker is one of the best interplays in the whole Star Trek Universe.
Chief Engineer - Montgomery Scott, The Original Series
You can't watch three episodes of the original series without Scotty drawing "water from a stone," so to speak. He consistently manages to get the Enterprise to do things it shouldn't be able to do. Geordi La Forge seems equally capable, but the tie goes to the better accent.
Chief Medical Officer - The Doctor, Voyager
I liked Julian Bashir in Deep Space Nine, and Phlox on Enterprise, but the Emergency Medical Hologram from Voyager was unquestionably the most entertaining aspect of Star Trek Voyager, and that includes Jeri Ryan in a skintight suit. He was dry and funny, and added some of the "technical limitation" type stories to the series, similar to those involving Data in TNG.
Security Officer - Odo, Deep Space Nine
My initial selection here was Tuvok from Voyager. He's the law-and-order logical type I like. But despite not having any other Vulcans, my ship already had a pretty strong Vulcan feel to it. Picard is very methodical and logical, likewise with Data and The Doctor. Odo, while still fairly logical, is fueled a bit more by a passion for law enforcement, not just an implementation of the "most logical conclusions." Plus, I mean, changeling.
Science Officer - Data, The Next Generation
Data's actual position in TNG is "Chief Operations Officer," but that doesn't have a special ring to it. Also, outside of a few special guests, the Enterprise didn't have a true "Science Officer," and most scientific questions went through Data. Like Odo, his unique physical characteristics can be an asset to a crew, and he proved himself to be a dynamic officer throughout the series.
Helmsman - Travis Mayweather, Enterprise
Enterprise actually has a lot of second or third choices for me on this list. Phlox is awesome, Malcolm Reed is compelling, and Hoshi Sato seems extremely capable. Helmsman might be a less-than-glamorous position, but Mayweather does a great job at it. I like that he's a former freighter crewman, so he might know some deep space tricks, and he seems mature and dependable. The only guy who gets talked about as being possibly a better pilot is Tom Paris from Voyager, but he's a jackass, so Mayweather's my guy.
Counselor - Ezri Dax, Deep Space Nine
Something of an unconventional pick by me here. Ezri is a bit flighty, a bit emotional, and a bit uncertain. But she's got a wealth of experience with the Dax symbiont, and she's a refreshing change of pace from most of the rest of my stuffy crew. Plus she's cute.
Hospitality - Guinan, The Next Generation
While I wouldn't mind getting a little "hospitality" from Robin Lefler, that's not exactly her job. Guinan, throughout her time on Enterprise, offered fantastic advice and a friendly ear to anyone who needed it. Plus, she's been alive for like a thousand years or something, so she knows a thing or two. I enjoyed Quark thoroughly on Deep Space Nine, but bringing him on a ship would just be inviting trouble.
So there you have it, my personal Star Trek crew. Might not make for as entertaining a TV series without the drama brought on by people like Worf or B'elanna Torres, but this crew is getting work done. Post your responses in the comments!