The combadge has become the ubiquitous symbol of Starfleet in the 24th century. More than just the insignia of the organization, it has evolved to the point where it is now the technological tether for an officer to his ship.
Circuitry miniaturization allowed for the standalone technology of the communicator to be implemented into the badge that has been standard on Starfleet uniforms since its inception. Worn on the left breast of the uniform, its primary function is to provide communication, be it onboard, ship-to-shore, or directly with another combadge. Due to its size, the combadge has limited transmission range, but the signal can be boosted by a starship’s communications systems. As part of its communications abilities, it also contains a fully-fledged universal translator circuit.
I was perusing old links the other day, and I came across an interesting and insightful interview between the BBC and Garrett Wang in London. Garrett Wang is known in the Star Trek universe as Ens. Harry Kim of Operations on Star Trek: Voyager. In the short interview, subjects such as the following are broached:
“…I think that technobabble can tend to alienate people who are new watchers… and [the characters of Star Trek: Enterprise] get to speak with less technobabble too, which is another great thing.”
Walter Koenig, best known as the navigator Pavel Chekov on The Original Series, sat down with StarTrek.com to discuss an episode of The Animated Series that he had penned. Due to budgetary constraints, it is almost ironic that Koenig wasn’t hired to provide voice-over for Chekov on the animated series, yet was chosen by Gene Roddenberry himself to write the script for an episode. For an interesting insight on how “The Infinite Vulcan” came to be, take a moment to read the full article.
A common plot point in ‘The Next Generation’ was the susceptibility of Cmdr. Data to damage or tampering, and the resulting eccentric or unpredictable reactions. So, I thought it would be interesting to poll the masses: which was the most entertaining example? You should jump over to the forums to weigh in and cast your vote!