Assemble your crew: make it so

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On the most recent episode of the Unknown Studio, which you can listen to here or download through iTunes, Scott and I interviewed Joel Jackson and Sean Healy. Joel and Sean are software developers here in Edmonton, and like all good geeks, they share our love for all things Star Trek.

At the end of the show, during the Fast Sixteen segment, Sean threw down the gauntlet and asked me among all the characters in Starfleet in the Star Trek Universe, who would I want to staff a bridge crew. Who is my Star Trek dream team? Of course a question so complex as Sean’s requires a great deal of thought. So, as promised, we’re taking the discussion to the website to sort it all out.

Our Prime Directive(s)

As with any such challenge, we need to establish a set of rules for everyone to follow. You can’t just stack the deck without structure. So, Scott and I hammered out a few simple “prime directives” for this little exercise:

  1. Your crew should be structured like TNG’s bridge crew. So: Captain, First Officer, Ship’s Counselor, Chief Medical Officer, Chief of Engineering, Science Officer, Tactical Officer, Operations Officer and Navigator/Pilot (am I missing anything?).
  2. All crew members MUST be Starfleet officers. You can’t just decide you want General Martok to be your fearless leader. If they aren’t in Starfleet, they can’t be on your crew
  3. You will be allowed one civilian crew member – bartender, hairdresser, tailor… whatever key creature comfort you think your crew will need.
  4. You will be allowed one red shirt – this is your opportunity to kill a character you just don’t like. Though they’ll be wearing a red tunic, you can pick an officer of any rank to occupy this position

So, conceivably you could have Reginald Barclay as the captain of your crew. You could have that science officer with the musical talents Picard fell in love with (Nella Daren was her name, btw). Hell, you could have Captain Jellico steer the mighty Enterprise, if you so desire. Feel free to leave your picks in the comments.

The Bridge of the Enterprise-D

Fill these chairs!

My ideal crew

This wasn’t easy… Not only did I take into consideration the individuals I considered to be the very best, but I also tried to assemble a crew that would work well together. Granted, it’s not always going to be ideal – people are going to have conflicts; that’s just humanoid nature – but I’m confident that this team of seasoned officers would steer the Enterprise to glory.

Let’s begin:

Captain KirkCaptain: I’d be remiss if I didn’t select the First Captain of the Enterprise, as television viewers the world over knew him – those who didn’t watch the TOS pilot episode, anyhow. James T. Kirk is a proven leader, and not only on the bridge. Sometimes pushing the envelope, but always with the best interests of Starfleet and the Federation in mind, Kirk is fiercely loyal to his crew, his friends, and the women in his life – no matter the colour of their skin.

Commander WorfFirst Officer: A first officer provides the sober second thought when it comes to command decisions. Not only that, but when a captain makes up his or her mind, a first officer is responsible for carrying out those orders. I can think of no one better than Commander Worf to be Kirk’s right-hand Klingon. Now, I know Kirk wasn’t particularly fond of Klingons, but I think he and Worf would come to understand and deeply respect one another, both as colleagues and as friends.

Dr. PulaskiChief Medical Officer: When the quantum torpedoes start flying and shields are raised, you need someone who’s strong-willed and smart enough to fix the crew’s bruises and broken bones. And although you might expect me to choose Leonard “Bones” McCoy for this task, I’m going to turn this one on its ear and go with Dr. Katherine “Kate” Pulaski. I’ve come around to liking this character. I used to find her irritating and useless, but that’s because I was so focused on her abrasiveness. As Scott will [rightly] point out, she’s essentially the female equivalent of McCoy. And I think she’s just contrarian enough to get Kirk out to his medical appointments. She’ll keep the crew in tip-top shape.

Chief O'BrienChief Engineer: Though he’s not technically an officer, I think that’s an oversight on the part of Starfleet, so I’d happily bump Starfleet’s only non-commissioned officer, Chief Petty Officer Miles O’Brien, up the chain of command so he could ensure the warp core isn’t overloading and that my transporters are always functional. O’Brien was able to keep Deep Space Nine from deep-sixing itself, which I would argue is a greater feat that Scotty’s upkeep of the Enterprise and Enterprise A. That station was a complete mess, and Miles’ technical savvy and good, old-fashioned gumption kept it in orbit around the wormhole. I’ll take Ireland over Scotland on this one.

Commander ShelbyTactical Officer: Combat tactics are of paramount importance on any crew worth its salt. You need to be prepared to do battle with… well, anyone. And you need to be ready for any situation where your crew is at risk. That’s why I’d bring in Commander Shelby as my tactical officer. (You’ll remember her from “The Best of Both Worlds, Parts I and II.”) Shelby wasn’t accepted by the Enterprise D crew right away, but she proved she had her head on a swivel and was able to make the tough tactical decisions to see the crew through the Battle at Wolf 359.

Jadzia DaxScience Officer: Scientific exploration forms a massive part of any Starfleet mission – unless there’s total war going on. And even if there is, I’d want an officer who can drop mad science in the event of a battle or the discovery of a new life form. So Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax would grace the science station on my bridge. She has a winning personality, and seven lifetimes of knowledge and memories aren’t something you’d want to shake a stick at (or a sonic stick, as I imagine they’re called in the 24th century). You might be thinking her marriage to Worf would complicate things, but I would argue the risk was similar on DS9, and it didn’t cause any major problems in the operation of the station. It won’t be a problem here either.

Lieutenant Commander DataOperations Officer: When you have an asset made from the finest materials, and with the computational power of 70,000 ship-board computers*, you don’t just leave him in space dock when you first set sail. Lieutenant Commander Data is the ideal operations officer. He has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to ship-board and Starfleet protocols, and can work very quickly. I think being able to lock down the Enterprise E‘s computer with a fractal encryption code alone proved Data’s worth in a stick situation. Besides, is that Crystalline Entity ever shows up again, or – god forbid – Lore decides to pull another ridiculous and deadly prank on the crew, Data will be needed. My dream crew would be incomplete without him working his fake-skin-wrapped fingers to the bone.

Tom ParisPilot/Navigator: I wasn’t a big fan of the Voyager series, but there were a few characters that were definitely strong in their roles. And since this crew would no doubt be launching missions of all types – on planets, on shuttlecrafts and on the Enterprise itself, I’d want to make sure I had Lieutenant Tom Paris piloting the big show. Despite his odd proclivities and obsessions – as well as his sordid past – Paris is one of the best pilots in Starfleet. He had the avionics knowledge to develop the Delta Flyer, which proved to be a vital piece of equipment aboard Voyager, and I think his rogue ways would be something Captain Kirk could really tap into.

help wantedShip’s Counselor: You know, there isn’t a single Starfleet officer I can think of who I’d want in this position. Counselor Troi just wouldn’t fit in with this crew, I don’t think. And Ezri Dax is out of the question, since Jadzia’s still alive – Ezri would lack some of the key ingredients that made her a half-ways decent counselor on DS9 because she wouldn’t be joined to the Dax symbiont. I think I’d leave the counselor position vacant, and maybe create a Starfleet Peer Support group. Failing that, there’s any number of historical psychologists and psychiatrists that can be accessed on the Holodeck. If you can have sexy-time on the Holodeck, surely you can use it to sort out your personal problems as well.

Elim GarakCivilian member: I think the entire cast of the original series proved that time isn’t kind to waistlines. And as these Starfleet missions now tend not to have time limits (five-year mission my eye!), the crew is going to need a good tailor. That’s why I’d want Garak as a civilian member of the crew. His training in the Cardassian Obsidian Order would also be a huge asset. Garak seems to have information on all manner of individuals and alien species that might be useful. And I wouldn’t dare give Kirk some other civilian to accurately measure his inside leg. Properly-fitted slacks are essential aboard a starship.

ChakotayRed Shirt: I really disliked Chakotay. He was more useless than Riker. He was Janeway’s doormat, and a ham-handed attempt at introducing some Native American diversity into the Voyager universe. I’d have him see a fitting end, on my crew’s very first away-mission. Chakotay, you are phaser fodder.

Now it’s up to you…

That’s right, 60s of readers. We want to know what YOUR ideal Starfleet crew would look like. Leave us a comment with all the key players and your reasons for choosing them.

*Number is approximate

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14 Responses to “Assemble your crew: make it so”

  1. Mondo Jay
    September 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm #


    Nice picks with Worf and Data,
    but Pulaski and O’Brien? Boo says I, sir. Boo.
    Scottie is the man! Even Geordi is cooler then O’Brien…
    And For a doctor? If you have Kirk, you’ve got to have McCoy.
    My Crew would be pretty TOS and TNG heavy,
    I like the variety you have.

    Nice post!

  2. DaveM
    September 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Captain – Picard
    First Officer – Sisko
    Ship’s Counselor – Worf (there’s no crying on my ship)
    Chief Medical Officer – Phlox
    Chief of Engineering – Charles Tucker III
    Science Officer – Data
    Tactical Officer – Sisko
    Operations Officer – O’Brien
    Navigator/Pilot – Dax

    I’m a TNG/DS9 fan. 🙂

  3. DaveM
    September 23, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    There’s a fail in my first attempt.

    Captain – Picard
    First Officer – Spock
    Ship’s Counselor – Worf (there’s no crying on my ship)
    Chief Medical Officer – Phlox
    Chief of Engineering – Charles Tucker III
    Science Officer – Data
    Tactical Officer – Sisko
    Operations Officer – O’Brien
    Navigator/Pilot – Dax

    I’m a TNG/DS9 fan.

    • Adam Rozenhart
      September 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

      You know what? Good call on Phlox!

      Enterprise didn’t even factor in for me!

  4. Scott G.
    September 23, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    Okay –

    Captain – Picard
    First Officer – Jonathan Archer (!)
    Chief Medical Officer – Phlox (good call!)
    Chief Engineer – Scotty
    Tactical Officer – DS9 Worf
    Science Officer – Spock
    Operations Officer – Data
    Pilot / Navigator – Sulu
    Ship’s Counselor – The Holodeck…
    Civilian Member – Guinan (tending bar)
    Random Red Shirt – I second Chakotay as being expendable

  5. Colin
    September 23, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    Consider this idea stolen when Chad comes back from NY. We may blow 2 hours on this topic…

    Here is My Ultimate Star Trek Crew:

    Captain – Picard, who may be the greatest leader in the History of Histories.

    First Officer – Im going off the board with this one: O’HURA! All we know of Ohura is she can speak every bleeping language in the universe. I suspect she is full on command material, but we never really got to see it. Plus we all know behind every successful man is a woman kicking him in the ass. She ‘d make a good combo with picard.

    Chief Medical – McCoy, who is not only a bit of a grouch, but also has the advantage of not having a son named Wesley.

    Engineer – I almost said Laforge, but i gotta go Mr. Scott. Scotty LOVED his ship. He lived and breathed the Enterprise. I want an Engineer who is going to sacrifice his own health and sanity for my ship. Scotty’s fits that bill for me.

    Science – Spock. He turned down the Vulcan Science Academy. SCIENCE ACADEMY.

    Tactical – James Tiberius Kirk. If Kirk wasnt captain the only other job I can see him doing is pushing the buttons that blows sh*t up. Plus if there is a Fight, i want Kirk on my team.

    Operations – You know i hate to pigeon hole him, but this is Data’s gig 4 life. When the warp coils are buckling and decks 3 through 25 have been blown out into the deep void of space, he’s always so calm. I suspect you could actually do away with half these people and you could just plug Data into the Enterprise and he could run the thing himself.

    Pilot/Navigator – Travis Maywhether from ‘Enterprise’ – I always liked this kid. He was born in Space, so he always felt at home, and i suspect he’s been flying ships since birth. I hand him the Keys.

    Counsellor – Q. There is nothing like having a dickhead omnipotent being to put things in perspective, and turn everyone into Robin Hood.

    Civilian – I am replacing this with ‘Space Pet’ which i am giving to Spot. Hey its my crew i can do whatever i damn well please including….

    Red Shirt – Wesley “What the Dick are you doing on my Bridge’ Crusher – So are you trying to tell me that Mr Jumper here is smart enough to fly a Galaxy Class Star Ship, and has as much qualifications as all the other STAR FLEET OFFICERS WHO HAVE PROBABLY SPENT A DECADE OF THEIR LIVES LEARNING THEORY AND STUDYING AND WORKING THEIR WAY UP ON CRAPPY SPACE SHIPS. Prodigy my ass; this was a slap in the face to every other person on that ship who worked their balls off to get to the Enterprise, and this little punk shows up and starts pressing buttons, like he’s playing Nintendo! Hey Gretzky was pretty good at 14 too, But he still had to wait 4 years to play with the big boys in the NHL. Its ‘called ‘ earning your stripes’ Crusher! Twerp.

    Hmm well i’ve only wasted 45 minutes thinking and writing about this…that seems pretty fair!

    • Scott C. Bourgeois
      September 24, 2010 at 9:01 am #

      Councillor Q breaks the rules, as he is not a Starfleet officer. This answer is therefore invalidated.

      VOID!

  6. Mondo Jay
    September 24, 2010 at 11:46 am #


    After much deliberation, my list!

    Captain – Kirk (TOS era)
    First Officer – Picard (TNG)
    Ship’s Counselor – Old Spock (TNG era)
    Chief Medical Officer – The Doctor (Voyager)
    Chief of Engineering – Scottie (TOS era)
    Science Officer – Young Spock (TOS era)
    Tactical Officer – Worf (DS9 era)
    Operations Officer – Geordi (TNG era)
    Flight Controller – Data (TNG)
    Civilian – Guinan (TNG)
    Red Shirt – Janeway (Voyager)

    Like I said earlier, pretty TNG/TOS heavy… but I like my crew to be old school and full of weird Time space anomalies. I switched Picard and Kirk around a couple times too… because really, how do you pick between those two?

    Janeway will always be my red shirt. Always.

  7. Adam Snider
    September 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    I’ll have to give it some thought to put together a bridge crew, but I just wanted to say that I fully support your decision to leave the Counsellor’s chair empty, Adam. This is mostly because I don’t think it makes any fucking sense to have the Counsellor on the bridge.

    A ship’s counsellor makes perfect sense, but he/she should in no way be a member of the bridge crew. It makes no sense. You don’t talk about your feelings on the bridge, you do it later, in private, when Data isn’t around to ask all kinds of awkward questions about what it’s like to have emotions.

    • Scott C. Bourgeois
      September 24, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

      As I recall, Troi was on the bridge crew because of her insight in diplomatic issues due to her half-Betazoid empathy, which Picard wanted to make use of. Otherwise she likely would have been behind the scenes the whole time. So she was more like “Chief Diplomatic Officer” in addition to being ship’s councillor.

      Ezri is another example of a councillor who’s more important than she should be because of the Dax symbiote, and it’s relation to the rest of the crew.

      • Adam Snider
        September 29, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

        I believe you are correct. However, Troi was also completely useless.

        “I sense hostility.”

        Well, that’s some great insight, considering he just threatened to fire his phasers at us! I never would have guessed!

  8. A
    September 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Captain – Picard. Because of what Colin said.
    Though I should point out, in my fantasy Star Trek, Sisko & Kirk are both still captains or commanders of something, making for a lot of awesome guest appearances full of uneasy, testosterone-fueled exchanges laced with grudging respect. Janeway will have washed out of the academy and gone on to do something meaningless with her life.

    First Officer – Jadzia Dax
    She’s smart, she’s funny, and she doesn’t let her beard make all her decisions for her. Enough said.

    Ship’s Counsellor – Scotty (later in his career). Though I know Scotty is a crack engineer, I’ve always viewed the Ship’s Counsellor as more of an ethical advisor than a psychologist. Scotty’s perspective on life in general would be a good counter-balance to Picard & Jadzia who, while awesome, are both a bit…theoretical. Plus, my pick for Chief Engineer could really use the TLC of some experienced guidance.

    Chief Medical Officer – McCoy. “I’m a doctor, not a temperamental widow, a hologram, or whatever the hell Bashir’s problem was…”

    Chief of Engineering – Trip Tucker. I think Tucker is really the only thing worth saving from Enterprise, except maybe Phlox. He’s pretty solid as engineers go – rules are meant to be broken (especially if it means stealing prototypes from the sissies who run this show), and he manages to cobble together some pretty wicked bastardizations when there’s need.

    Science Officer – Data. I feel cliche saying it, but an android’s a great fit, and Data gets to learn so much about, well, everything.

    Tactical Officer – 7 of 9. But I can’t have her because she’s not technically Federation, so I guess I’ll have to go with B’lanna Torres. But I can’t have her, because she washed out and so missed her calling as a tactical officer and got stuck being a bad Chief Engineer. Ergo, Voyager was sexist and I’m gonna say… Spock! I don’t think Spock’s heart was every really in the whole science thing. He likes helping figure out how to kick ass and take names, and his human/Vulcan hybrid perspective makes him a strategic wildcard. He’s got a hand-to-hand combat edge that’d be great on away missions, and a precision that’d be great to have behind weapons and shields.

    Operations Officer – Chekov. I view the Operations Officer as the gig that requires the least initiative – and I don’t mean that as a bad thing. Every bridge needs someone who’s job it is to tell you how you’re “supposed” to do things right before you do something ridiculous that works better. Also, an Operations Officer with a Russian accent. Hehe.

    Flight Controller – Sulu. Partly because I like it when Sulu is the yin to Chekov’s yang, and partly because I’d like to see him cope with everyone else on my team. He’d be the normal one.

    Civilian – Guinan, bartender and purveyor of mystic advice (aka ship’s psychologist), especially with Jadzia and Picard trying to navigate their complex internal lives.

    Red Shirt – Wesley Crusher. Though it was a bit of a toss-up between Wesley, Harry Kim, and killing Tasha Yar all over again. Wesley wins because he always screws up everything.

  9. Canthelpit
    September 28, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    Captain: Picard – I think I learned most of my ethics from Picard

    First Officer: Spock – I just gotta put him somewhere and I always thought he’d get along better with Picard than with Kirk, anyway.

    Chief Medical Officer: Zimmerman/Hologram. Utilitarian. Always awake, even if you had to wake him in the middle of the night. He’d probably have clean hands, too, since he could just dematerialize and rematerialize between patients.

    Chief Engineer: Harry Kim – unassuming and extremely competent. I wish I was like him.

    Tactical: Tasha Yar – a chick who was kinda scary… yeah!

    Science: Phlox – he seemed to know something about everything to do with science.

    Operations: Data

    Pilot/Navigator: Sulu

    Ship’s Counselor: Who cares? Why is the freakin’ ship’s counselor on the bridge anyway? They only need her on the rare occasion they need to read some alien mind, right? She should be in her office talking to someone on a couch.

    Civilian: Quark – good to have the drinks flowing when things get tough on the bridge.

    Red Shirt: Troi – otherwise known as the “pain… pain” woman after the TNG pilot.

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