Welcome to the sixth in a series of articles wherein I attempt to build the ideal crew for a ship, using characters from the many variations of Star Trek. To be a candidate, all you need is to be a series regular on one of Star Trek‘s TV incarnations, from The Original Series onwards. Today we’re covering two roles that cover a lot of the same ground, operations and communications
Candidate 1: Nyoto Uhura
A trailblazer in many ways, Uhura is a calm and quiet presence on the bridge, but is more than capable of taking over should the occasion call for it. Though no single incident stands out, this is largely because her general competence has led to few disasters, which is more than could be said for several other candidates on this list.
Candidate 2: Data
Data has it all. Superhuman strength and intelligence. reaction times faster than the human mind can imagine, and a durability that continues to surprise. There are times when you wonder why Starfleet doesn’t have legions of Datas instead of organic crews. A question answered by the existence of Lore. Data also brings a childlike enthusiasm for research and exploration, both of space and the self, though this is often coupled with naivety. It also must be mentioned that an android is prone to being hacked, and if turned against the crew proves a devastating foe.
Candidate 3: Wesley Crusher
What Wesley lacks in experience, he makes up for in enthusiasm. Something of a child prodigy, his appearances on the bridge are perhaps secondary to his skills in the lab. It could be argued that his role in the command structure is the rank of nepotism, but he roves himself deserving time and again. Perhaps not the obvious choice, but with a bit of training, the boy will go far.
Candidate 4: Harry Kim
Seven years in the Delta Quadrant give Kim more experience than anyone else of equal rank. Of all the candidates, he is the most diligent in his duties, and a few incidents of insubordination are overshadowed by his loyalty to captain and crew. Such is his dedication to his job that not even temporal anomalies, imprisonment, and multiple cases of his own death can prevent him turning up at his station the next day. However, his enthusiasm and dedication cannot mask the fact that he has little experience of life outside of the ship, and he is prone to errors that betray his junior rank.
Candidate 5: Hoshi Sato
In a world of universal translators, it’s easy to forget the importance of Hoshi Sato. Here is a woman who can master any language thrown at her in a matter of days. An invaluable skill for the technologically-limited explorer. But while she has all the skills required of a deep space explorer, Sato is perhaps lacking in the temperament. Though the word anxiety should not be thrown around carelessly, Sato is a prime example. Though she proves herself a capable spacer on multiple occasions, and is more than ready to face her fears for the greater good, those fears are ever-present.
This was a failry easy choice. Though my admiration for Hoshi Sato is essentially without limits, i have to give the role of operations officer to Lieutenant Commander Data. He has such a range of skills and abilities I would be a fool to ignore them. Yes, his propensity for being overridden by alien technology is a safety concern. But then. who in Starfleet hasn’t been possessed by an alien? At least Data can be switched off and reactivated without any permanent damage.