There is no shortage of alien species in Star Trek. However, at times a species can lack a certain level of cultural complexity. Alien races in science fiction tend to become singular, monolithic entities without much variation or development outside of the defining features of their species. The Klingons are warriors obsessed with honor and combat, and this is reflected in almost all aspects of them that we see on screen. Everything on Ferenginar, including ideas of the afterlife, are wrapped up in business and the acquisition of profit. The Vulcans are always collected and logical.
Despite this, Star Trek does manage to give its aliens a fair amount of development and worldbuilding to help make them feel more realistic. We learn more about the major players in the Alpha Quadrant and beyond both through storylines featuring them and in how specific characters like Worf grow and develop over time.
This weeks’ poll asks which species you think was the best developed, and which was the most monolithic?
Click here to head to the forums and vote in the poll now. And be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts!
Not even Starfleet officers can be brilliant at everything. The years upon years of schooling Academy cadets undergo are grueling to be sure, but, upon graduation, the vast majority of new ensigns are qualified for one department alone. Beyond the fact that the education required to succeed as an officer on a Federation starship or facility is extraordinarily demanding, cadets almost always have some sort of personal preference that helps them decide what path they want to pursue. Skills, goals, and demeanor all have a bearing on what service the ensign will end up providing.
This week’s poll asks you to name the department or position that your character would be least adept at. Would their brawny, combative nature make a career in the medical department a struggle? Perhaps their dislike of violence would lead away from the security team?
Click here to head to the forums and vote in the poll now, and be sure to leave your comment in the thread below the poll!
Starfleet seems to have a problem with keeping their ships safe. In a fight between ships, a Starfleet ship can usually hold its own. The problems begin when someone gets on the ship. Starfleet Security has demonstrated time and time again that it might be just a little bit too trusting. Starfleet ships have been hijacked by just about every group imaginable. The Maquis, Klingons, Romulans, and Bynars are all among the many powers who have successfully commandeered Starfleet ships. The flagship of the Federation itself was once taken over by a group of Ferengi in a few surplus Klingon ships.
It doesn’t even end there. Security protocols are easily bypassed by the officers and civilians aboard the ship. If you want to avoid being tracked, all you need to do is remove your combadge. At one point, a civilian was able to escape the ship in a shuttle without assistance or permission from anyone. People could be replaced by changelings for months and avoid having their identities or their acts of sabotage being discovered.
However, not every ship had this problem to the same degree. There are some threats that can’t be prepared for. No security is entirely foolproof!
Which series featured the worst ship security? Click here to head to the forums and vote on the poll now. And add your comments below the poll!
One of the biggest steps in a Starfleet officer’s career is the promotion to the rank of captain. Given that such a promotion might come with a change in assignment and a ship or station to command, this isn’t a promotion we often see in the middle of a series. While members of the senior staff may evolve as characters and move through the ranks, we don’t really see them take that final step. However, we occasionally see glimpses of the possible future where a character like Nog or Doctor Crusher has become the captain of their own ship. These alternate timelines only last for an episode or two before things return to the status quo.
A new series is currently in the works that follows the continued adventures of Captain Picard. Michael Dorn has pitched a series that follows Worf as a captain. This week, we want you to imagine that you are making a new sequel series and choose which character you’d promote and put in command. Would you want to see more of Captain Sulu? Perhaps a series set further in the future with an older and more experienced Nog or Harry Kim would be more to your liking.
Which character would you cast as the captain for a new Star Trek series? Click here to head to the forums and register your vote in the poll!
Insurance for Starfleet ships would be a nightmare. The ships are constantly investigating dangerous anomalies and getting into fights. But that’s not even the most dangerous thing that a Starfleet ship does – there’s a less obvious danger hidden in plain sight on most Starfleet ships: A piece of technology that is so ridiculously prone to failure or malfunction that it is one of the best-known Star Trek cliches. The holodeck.
It would seem that every time an episode centers on the holodeck, something has to go wrong with it. This could be as simple as the doors locking and the safety protocols turning off. However, that is only the start of what could go wrong with the holodeck. It could even, with a little outside interference, take on a mind of its own and actively try to hunt you down and kill you. We can only assume that the engineers responsible for the holodeck safety protocols are the same engineers responsible for the tendency of bridge consoles to explode. There are a lot of problems that could be pointed to in the holodeck’s safeguards.
This week’s poll asks which holodeck malfunction you think was the worst.
Click here to head to the forums and vote. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the thread.
The most important aspect of the overall story of Voyager was the distance of their journey back home to the Alpha Quadrant. Shortening the distance that the ship had to travel, or even returning to Earth immediately was a frequent plot device in Voyager episodes. It seems like at least once a season there is the potential of some shortcut getting the crew back home only to not work out or only take them part of the way. On one occasion this desire to find an alternate way home got the ship stuck in a trap they thought was a wormhole.
It’s understandable that there were occasional episodes centered around this idea. Sometimes it was a good idea to shave time off of the trip like in the episode “Night,” where the ship had to get clear of an empty void of space thousands of light years across or in the finale “Endgame.” However, it will appear in a story from time to time where it isn’t related to the primary plot. Sometimes the plot device of a shortcut to Earth was just used to raise the stakes of an episode and was never mentioned again.
This week, we want to know which Voyager shortcut you felt was the least necessary for the episode.
Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll. Then us more in the thread below!
The holodeck is one of the most versatile pieces of technology at Starfleet’s disposal. When you use the holodeck, there is a nearly limitless amount of resources at your disposal. Any item in the database from a wine glass to a shuttlecraft can be recreated by the computer. Characters with artificial personalities can be added in to either create a particular atmosphere or act out a story. The walls and floor with the yellow grid on them can become any number of vistas or locations from across the galaxy with the push of a button. Everything is controlled by the ship’s computer, adapting the program as it goes along to provide whatever the user is looking for.
Holodecks are primarily an outlet for crew recreation, but they have many other uses as well. Aspects of the Delta Flyer were originally designed and simulated using the holodeck. Authors can make a living by writing holonovels. In some cases we’ve even seen holodecks used in group therapy sessions or to covertly test someone’s loyalty to the Federation. In this week’s poll, we want to know what your character most frequently does when they use the holodeck. Do they save the world from evil villains and take part in historical battles, or are they more likely to utilize the holodeck when they’re trying to simulate a project or need to do some training exercises?
What does your character use the holodeck for most? Head to the forums to cast your vote and be sure to comment with your thoughts!
The Romulans, Cardassians, Klingons, and Ferengi all have very distinct styles of ship design. However, most ships share the same essential elements: There is almost always a bridge, some form of energy and projectile weapons, both warp and sublight engines, and basic living spaces for the ship’s crew.
Beyond unique design styles, most factions also have their own special technologies that are seen as trademarks of their fleets. Both the Romulans and Klingons equipped their ships with their own versions of cloaking devices. The Breen were feared for their unique energy dampening weapon that turned the Second Battle of Chin’toka into a decisive defeat for the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans. There were also non-standard features that were unique to certain classes of ship. The USS Prometheus had a revolutionary new multi-vector assault mode that could turn one ship into three built on older saucer separation technology.
If you were designing a starship, you would have to include all of the standard features in the design. But no ship has room for all of the optional extra technologies that are seen on starships across the galaxy. A ship that was transwarp-capable, cloaked, multi-vector assault mode equipped, and armed with special weapons would likely never hold together. Ships like the USS Defiant show that an over-specialized ship stuffed with advanced technology was an engineering nightmare to keep running.
If you were designing a starship, which non-standard feature would be at the top of your list?
Click here to head to the forums now and register your vote in the poll. Be sure to comment below in the thread and let us know what you think!
Of all the famous Starfleet captains, there are few who have made as many controversial decisions as Captain Jonathan Archer of the NX-01. Archer’s Enterprise was the first warp five starship built by Humans. It was Earth’s first deep space explorer, and Starfleet itself was still a fairly new and inexperienced organization. Captain Archer did not have any of the benefits that future Starfleet captains enjoyed. He had access to less data, was a member of Starfleet when the organization was relatively weak, and didn’t have the experience of previous Starfleet captains to call on as he was the first to go out into the unexplored reaches of space. Archer would eventually serve as a role model for his successors, teaching them both what to do and what not to do.
Mistakes, even major mistakes, have happened with every captain. Some have even acted in a criminal manner. Some of Captain Archer’s decisions do make some sense given the lack of precedent and his limited experience. However, there are some decisions that seem to indicate a simple lack of good command skills. The use of an airlock to torture a prisoner is just one example. We’d like to know what you think of the command decisions of one of Starfleet’s earliest captains.
What do you think is the worst thing that Captain Archer did?
Click here to head to the forums and register your vote in the poll. And be sure to leave a comment below the poll!
If you are looking for something to eat on a ship with replicators there is no shortage of options. Starfleet replicators have a massive library of recipes from across the Federation and beyond. It doesn’t matter what a Starfleet officer could want. Whether as simple as a piece of toast for breakfast or catering a dinner party for members of a dozen alien species, the replicator can provide. Simply push a button and ask for whatever dish is desired. And if on the off chance there is a food not already in the database the replicator pattern can be created and uploaded to the database.
However, everyone has their own preferences for food. Everyone has foods that they prefer not to eat if they can at all avoid it. It is unlikely that many people could go through the entire replicator database and not find some foods that they would dislike.
This week’s poll asks you what dishes would not be found on your character’s table. What types of food can your character not stand?
Click here to head to the forums and register your vote in the poll now. Be sure to comment when you’re done!