Welcome to the second 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. Out here in space, you’re going to need a good officer by your side, whether that’s a first officer, an executive officer, or some other title. Those who have joint roles (which most often seems to be science officer) have been discounted from the running, as we have discussed them elsewhere. Likewise, those who have been promoted to captain will be discussed in a future article.
Candidate 1: William Riker
William Thomas Riker is the opposite of a career officer. Having reached the position of first officer, he is content to stay there. Studying and learning until he is ready to take on the mantle of captain. But that’s not to say he is not confident. Riker is willing to throw himself into any situation, whether it’s leading an away team or joining a Klingon crew. This love affair with alien cultures is a great benefit to any explorer, but does also lead to a well-deserved reputation as a ladies’ man.
Candidate 2: Kira Nerys
Kira Nerys comes with one glaring problem. She is a terrorist, and an unrepentant one at that. Assuming she clears background checks, however, an extensive background of resistance does make Major Kira a vital asset for any military commander. Like many Bajorans, Kira has a deep relationship with her faith, and is as likely to follow the strictures of belief as she is lawful orders. In spite of these flaws, Kira is highly competent, and her skill-set is easily turned to any task.
Candidate 3: Chakotay
Seriously, what is it with Starfleet and putting terrorists in positions of authority? Despite a background in the Maquis and an anti-Cardassian philosophy, Chakotay is in many ways the opposite of Kira. He’s a quiet, reassuring presence, and any complaints are likely to be dealt with in private. Chakotay is a man of absolute principle, which can lead to heated debates. But these debates will be held behind closed two doors, because Chakotay will go above and beyond to hold the crew together, even if he disagrees with a course of action.
Candidate 4: Sylvia Tilly
Look, Sylvia Tilly is a bright young officer with a lot of potential ahead of her. But she is woefully unready for the role of second-in-command. That is likely to change with a little more experience, but the jump from ensign to XO is not one that should not be made.
Candidate 5: Jack Ransom
Take William Riker, dial him up to eleven, and you have Jack Ransom. Ransom’s rampant enthusiasm for exploration makes him a danger to both himself an others, and his ‘bro’ attitude can be off-putting. Yet his outward bravado masks deeper insecurities, and he clearly cares more for his crew than he would ever admit.
This is a fairly easy choice. In a field filled with former terrorists and inexperienced officers, Thomas Riker is the obvious pick for first officer. He has the experience, the determination, and the enthusiasm that the position requires. A solid all-rounder, and the perfect choice for any crew.