Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
I prefer Star Wars to Star Trek. That is obvious in the fact that I have eight post about Star Wars and this is only my third Trek post. It is not that I dislike Trek. As with most kids of my generation I grew up on syndicated reruns of TOS, and I loved the Trek Saturday morning cartoons. And when I was in college I thought that Next Gen, and Deep Space Nine where more than worthy torch bearers for the original. I just never got in to the whole Trekkie subculture and expanded universe of Trek like I did Star Wars, or even the Tom Baker era Dr. Who.
But there are some good episodes of all incarnations of Trek. And there are some great characters. My newest project is to take people from different source material and make a hypothetical team out of them. In this installment of Dream Teams, well will be choosing characters from the Star Trek Universe.
The Mission: From a rift in space comes a planetoid that sends out a pulse wave that in twenty four hours will destroy the entire universe. In a last desperate chance Lt Commander Ducane of the Timeship Relativity is able to pull a team of five Starfleet officers throughout time to stop it before the entire universe unravels. The team will be put on the planetoid and have to infiltrate the base, get pass the evil chromos warriors guarding the time destroyer and then turn it off before the universe vanishes.
Parameters: Must have one character from each of the five versions of Trek, the Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space-Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. Worf can be selected from either TNG or DS9. I am allowing only characters that appeared in the series or the movies, so no one that only appeared in the books, graphic novels or fan fic. This eliminates Lt. Mary Sue, as a choice. Minor characters who appear in the series but have a bigger role in the EU such as Lt Commander Shelby or Harry Mudd are acceptable.
Lt Commander Worf.
Advantage: Combat master.
Disadvantage: Klingon honor might get in the way sometimes.
I think that you will be hard pressed to find anyone more adroit in combat in the Star Trek universe than Mr. Worf. Weather that be hand to hand, hand phaser or ship to ship combat. But usually just a threat form the powerful Klingon is enough to make an enemy shiver in his gravity boots. But Worf is not just an unthinking grunt, he is clever and cunning. His skills make him much more a combat trained field leader than just a dumb grunt.
Worf wasn’t originally meant to be a main chanter. His presence on the bridge was meant to symbolize that the federation and the Klingons had begun to mend galactic fences. He wasn’t meant to have his own story liens or sub-plots, but he grew from an extended extra to a fan favorite. Worf wasn’t head of Security on the Enterprise until the death of Tasha Yar. Before that he was assigned several duties on the bridge and the information on the back of his original action figure list him as part of science department. This diverse background makes Worf an even better choice for the team. Due to size constraints on the team I have no choices form science or navigation, Worf’s pre-security assignments helps fill in those holes to a degree.
Role: Miracle Maker.
Advantages: You’re kidding me right, this is Mr. Scott.
Disadvantages: A bit of the Scottish temper.
The rule is that in space things break down. This is doubly true when you are fighting something. And no one fixes things like Scotty. In fact TNG, tried for its first year to have a series of minor characters in charge of engineering, Argyle, Lynch, Logan and MacDougal all took turns at the post. But it just didn’t work. That is why Jordi LaForge was moved from helm to engineering. For Star Trek to be Trek you need an Improviser and a tech guy. From a story telling prospective the chief engineer is important because he more than any other character acts as a go between for the audience and the futuristic technology.
Scotty is my favorite TOS character. He may think that being locked in his room with his tech manuals is a vacation but he is not a nerd not a wimp. He can throw a punch with the best of them. There may be some chaffing with Worf a lower ranking officer taking control of the mission. But Scotty is smart enough to defer to Worf’s superior tactical knowledge and Worf is experienced enough to let Scotty have free hand when it comes to all things technical.
Role: Medical officer.
Advantages: Genius who can handle himself in a battle.
Disadvantages: More than a little proud.
Julian Bashir has a very interesting back story. As a child he was slow in intelligence and poorly coordinated. So his parents took him off world to preform illegal gene tampering on him that gave him enhanced coordination and boosted intelligence. In this form he excelled at medical school. He is also well trained in both biological sciences and engineering. Making him a back up to Scotty and also help with the lack of a dedicated science officer. Even the covert Section 31, of Star Fleet intelligence wanted to recruit Bashir.
Star Trek has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to social issues. Be it the first interracial kiss, to lessons about tolerance. One of the main reasons Chekov was added was because a newspaper article in Russia said that Trek portrayed a future without Russia. Worf was added to show how the Klingons and the Federation had gone from adversaries to at least occasional allies. But with Bashir who is played by Alexander Siddig an English actor of Sudanese decent, Trek was ahead of itself. Prior to the 9-11 backlash against Arabs, they casted a person Middle Eastern descent as a powerful leader, showing that mankind will overcome the troubles that effect it now.
Role: Intelligence officer.
Advantages: Decades of experience.
Disadvantage: Seem to never quite master his emotions.
It tells you something if Tuvok, a Vulcan who can’t out and out lie, was able to bend the truth enough to infiltrate the Marquis. In ways he is the closest thing a Trek main cast has to a spy. Tuvok started out an emotional youth who had fallen in love with a diplomat’s daughter. Eventually he accepts his Vulcan heritage and attempts to master his emotions and dedicate his life to logic. Due to Vulcan’s long lives his exploits go as far back as serving under Sulu in the Excelsior. So he has a lot of experience that can prove helpful. He even developed the multiphasic shielding that was eventually used on the Voyager.
Tuvok can also be the team’s moral center. If they began to drift to far from the teaching of Star Fleet, he can guide them back again. With all his experience come the knowledge of how important it is to maintain your core values.
Advantages: Speaks over thirty-eight languages.
Disadvantages: may be too much of a specialist.
I know this may seem dumb but Enterprise and I didn’t get off to a good start because its opening credits had folk rock instead of a variation on the Star Trek instrumental theme. I think that maybe after all these years of Trek, I and the rest of the American viewing audience just got burnt out. But I did always like it when Linda Park as Hoshi Sato was on screen. More than just a coms officer she was the LINGUIST, able to tell where someone grew to the neighborhood up by listening to them talk. A straight shooter, yet you knew she had a bit of the bad girl in her. Like when she got booted out the fleet because she broke her commanding officers arm for breaking up her weekly poker game, she was reinstated because she is the best at what she does. You get to see some more of her darker side come out in the Mirror Universe. In fact the hyper-sexualized, half –shirt wearing, back stabbing ‘Empress Soto” is the only reason I watched the In a Mirror Darkly episodes.
My concern is that she may be too specialized. Though she has picked up a bit about biology living in the Amazon basin and is a black belt in Aikido, so she defiantly isn’t a one shot wonder. Still of all the Trek Star Fleet Personal she is probably the most specialized character. She also often suffers from fits of panic, but she never lets that ruin the mission.
Honorable mention/Back up: James T. kirk (Master of leadership) Mr. Spock (the logical choice), Jean-Luc Picard (Humanitarian but a hard case when needs to be) William T Riker (Sort of a combination between Kirk and Picard) Tom Perris (Pilot extraordinaire) Odo (Anyone need a shape changer) Ensign Ro (A rebel when you need one), Miles O’Brian (Star Treks everyman, good with tactics and tech), Ben Sisko (Dosn’t take no crap from anyone) Data (Look out for that robot) Tasha Yar (Give her a chance to live up to her potential)