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Poll of the Week: All About That Broccoli

Lieutenant Reginald Barclay aka “Reg” is a fan favorite in Star Trek. Brought to life by the talented actor Dwight Schultz, this character diverged from many others in the cast. He was a character with obvious flaws. He was nervous and unsure of his own abilities. He exhibited phobias and concerns about social situations.

We learn a lot about the man when Reg tells LaForge, “I mean I am the guy who writes down things to remember to say when there is a party. And then when he finally gets there, he winds up alone, in the corner, trying to look … comfortable examining a potted plant.”

Introduced in the season 3 episode of The Next Generation entitled “Hollow Pursuits”, we find Barclay to be a series of contrasts. His has a fine service record and a recommendation from his previous commanding officer but his actions on the Enterprise-D don’t seem to fit the man. Initially, the crew seems to view him as an outsider and even apply the nickname “Broccoli” to the man. But, over time, he becomes a recurring and beloved secondary character. He even makes the jump to several episodes of Voyager.

Whether his is sword fighting holograms of LaForge and the captain on the holodeck, connecting his expanded brain directly to the Enterprise computer, or stammering through a conversation with Counselor Troi, we can be assured that if Reg is around it will be a great episode.

What is it that makes Barclay so endearing? Is it that he is flawed? We spend a lot of time throughout the different series focusing on the purely good and righteous qualities of the main cast. We know they will always do the moral and correct thing. Perhaps this makes Reg more believable as a real person. He is just like us with good and bad qualities and habits.

Whatever the reason, Barclay’s popularity is assured as he returns for almost a dozen episodes and the movie First Contact.

What is your favorite Reginald Barclay moment or episode?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll on which you would choose, or let us know your own! Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Most Memorable Phrase

Words have power. As a community of writers, we can agree on that.

Behind the special effects or fancy visuals, Star Trek is about people and how they communicate. The franchise has brought us many memorable phrases over the past fifty years. Some are so memorable that they have lodged themselves into the collective culture and will forever be linked with Star Trek.

The command “Make it so!” from Captain Jean-Luc Picard was a call to action for his crew. This signature line was said with such finality that it made you want to jump to fulfil the order. You knew that if you suggested a plan and the good captain uttered those three words, then it was up to you to carry it out.

Spock and his Vulcan brethren had the calm farewell/blessing “Live long and prosper.” Its simple statement – a wish for health and prosperity – did not in itself imply nor evoke strong emotions in the speaker or hearer. Yet the wish for peace has touched many fans’ hearts.

Leonard McCoy, with his rascally wit and sharp tongue, was fond of griping “I’m a doctor, not a (brick-layer, moon-shuttle conductor, physicist)!” Always with the emotional comeback, McCoy was the voice of exasperation that we all wish we could be but rarely have the opportunity to fill.

The chilling statement by the Borg that “resistance is futile” wasn’t exactly a threat so much as their pure statement of fact. You knew when you saw the cube-shaped ship on the screen that the next thing you’d hear on the comm channel were those three words.

In your opinion, what is the most memorable phrase from Star Trek? (BONUS: Let us know if you use variations of these phrases in everyday life!)

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll on which you would choose, or let us know your own! Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Best Character of the Series – ENT

While Kirk and company started off the “wagon train to the stars”, it was the prequel series of Enterprise that gave us a glimpse at the birth of the Federation that we have come to know and love. The intrepid crew of the NX-01 would need the explorer’s spirit and nerves of steel to venture into the unknown. Who would be counted worthy of participating in this trek?

Captain Jonathan Archer was a kind man and epitomized what it meant to be human. He was ready to reach out a helping hand – sometimes to a fault. His father before him worked on the warp engine design that would carry the Enterprise on her mission of discovery, so he was no stranger to what it would take for mankind to take its place among the stars.

T’Pol was the Vulcan observer and represented the ever-watchful stare of the Vulcans. Because of her different views and manner, she sometimes found herself at odds with the rest of the crew. Eventually, they seemed to settle into an understanding which brought us many storylines that helped us see the Vulcans as brothers and not just as rivals holding humans back.

Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker III. The engineer with all the know-how and a southern drawl too. He was likeable, quick-witted, and made a great mother.

Doctor Phlox introduced us to a new species in the Star Trek universe – the Denobulans. Phlox was also somewhat of an outsider. He did not always understand or agree with the decisions the captain and crew made but his gregarious personality stood in stark contrast to that of T’Pol. He was always viewed as a valuable member of the crew and seemed to have a never-ending supply of wise words.

Then we have crew members such as Hoshi Sato, Malcolm Reed, and Travis Mayweather. And who can forget other regulars like the Andorian Captain Shran or Vulcan Ambassador Soval?

Who is your favourite character from the Enterprise series?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll on which plan you would choose, or let us know your own! Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Best Jeffrey Combs Character

The huge list of actors and actresses that have graced our screens as part of the Star Trek universe adds to the complexity that is our favourite sci-fi show. These secondary characters that add a depth to the stories we love to watch. It’s only natural that a stray actor might fill multiple roles. And then there’s American actor Jeffrey Combs! This man played multiple memorable characters and his name should be synonymous with Star Trek!

On Deep Space 9, he played the Vorta clone Weyoun. His masterful execution of this servant of the Founders and Directors of the Jem’Hadar foot soldiers of the Dominion was a character we loved to hate. His weasely ways certainly added to many of DS9’s episodes.

Another character Jeffrey Combs is well-known for also hales from Deep Space 9. Liquidator Brunt was a thorn in Quark’s side. As a member of the Ferengi Commerce Authority, he played a role in foiling Quark’s plans in multiple episodes. Combs portrayal of the character added a lot of depth to the Ferengi species and helped pull back the curtain on a species that had been introduced before but never fully explored.

A third character Jeffrey Combs gave us was that of the Andorian Captain Shran from Star Trek Enterprise. His character, a seeming villain to begin with – expanded our knowledge of the Andorian race. We came to understand them as oppressed, not war-like, and valuable allies in a forming Federation.

No matter who your favourite Jeffrey Combs character is, I think we can all agree that his talent certainly brought a lot to our favourite franchise. But the question remains…

In your opinion, who was the best Star Trek character that actor Jeffrey Combs portrayed?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll on which plan you would choose, or let us know your own! Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Best Male Character of the Series – TNG

Running from 1987 – 1994 and in reruns for decades after, Star Trek The Next Generation set a new standard for the sci-fi franchise. With each episode, we could tune in to see Picard and company tackle new foes and explore new regions of space. Over seven glorious seasons (yes, even season two) we came to know these characters in and out and grew to love them.

But which male character of the series is the best?

Are you a Picard fan? His keen intellect and moral fortitude left us with little doubt that he was a giant among men. Even the Klingons respected the man and made him the Arbiter of Succession! Whether he was staring down the Borg, battling wits with Q, or confronting the accusations of treason from Admiral Satie in the episode “The Drumhead” – Picard was the epitome of a stalwart and resolute leader.

Were you more of a Will Riker admirer? The day-to-day running of the ship rested on his broad shoulders and he was up to the task. His loyalty to the ship was unquestioned and he stuck with the Enterprise far longer than those around him thought was good for his career advancement. He was a friend that you could get a drink within Ten-Forward but also the man you wanted leading your away team.

Data was Pinocchio come to life. He maintained innocence and curiosity about everything he encountered. Through his eyes, we got to see the world from the viewpoint of a child which made his new experiences all the more enjoyable for the audience.

Worf was such an intense and flavorful character. Living among humans, but not one of them, this Klingon tried so hard to mesh two cultures into one. We watched as he struggled to raise his son, Alexander, develop a love interest in Deanna Troi and then later Jadzia Dax on DS9, and come to terms with a debilitating injury in the episode “Ethics”. Something about this character must speak to people as Worf has appeared in more episodes across the Star Trek franchise than any other!

Who is your favorite male character from The Next Generation?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Most Interesting Villain Award

Star Trek is full of men and women of principle and moral character. It is this focus on the good people crewing our favourite ships and installations that make the universe such an appealing place. But many of the storylines found in our favourite episodes reveal villains that give the good guys something to fight. It’s this conflict that makes Star Trek such great entertainment.

Who makes the best villain across the franchise? Is it the cunning and deadly intellect displayed by Khan in Space Seed(TOS), Star Trek II and Star Trek: Into Darkness? He’s human and yet more than that. The ruthless way in which he goes after his enemies would give anyone pause. Do you feel that the familiar yet completely opposite counterparts from the mirror universe send chills down your spine? We see familiar faces that act in ways we wouldn’t expect or condone.

They are our favourite characters — and yet not. Perhaps the soulless, ever-advancing Borg with their declaration “resistance is futile” make the best enemy. How do you even reason with them? Q is another example of a recurring villain that causes havoc for our heroes. Pairing nigh-unlimited power with arrogance creates a deadly mixture which may be why Q has shown up repeatedly since his introduction in TNG.

No matter who you choose, we can all agree that without the bad, the good would not stand in such stark relief. Here’s to the good guys! But raise a glass to the baddies too!

Who makes the best villain in the Star Trek universe?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Best Planet for Vacation

For many of us, summer is a time to consider vacations as a family. And while we may have a plethora of options in real life to visit, imagine all the countless locales that our characters could visit in the Star Trek universe! The pleasure planet of Risa is a popular choice of many Star Trek characters and is featured in three distinct television series. In the episode “Two Days and Two Nights” (ENT), Archer and crew get into unexpected entanglements. “Captain’s Holiday” (TNG) presents us with an exciting, yet laid backside of Captain Picard when he meets the mysterious Vash. “The Game” (TNG) shows us Riker bringing back a dangerous technology to the Enterprise that he was introduced to by a woman he met while vacationing there. “Let He Who Is Without Sin …” (DS9) visits the planet again and Worf becomes involved with a dangerous terrorist group.

It is these kinds of secondary planets woven into the fabric of the Star Trek galaxy that gives us a deeply rich place to write and roleplay. Where would your character choose to visit for some extended shore leave away from the ship? Would they eschew the common tourist destinations and pick something a little more out of the way like Bolarus, Andoria, or Betazed? What draws them to these destinations?

Where would your character like to visit for some rest and relaxation?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Best Family-Oriented Episode

Family is often at the root of why our favorite characters are the way they are. The formative years can shape who a person grows up to be and the personality they exhibit. Interactions with parents, children and siblings tell us more about a person than seeing them fire phasers or save the day. It’s no wonder that some of the best storytelling we have in the Trek-verse involves the families of the main characters. The tiny glimpses we get behind the veneer to peek at what makes them tick enliven these personas even more. Who can forget the first sight of tiny Alexander as he stands facing his towering father Worf?

Does the best family story involve the long-dead family that Picard experiences within his mind in “The Inner Light” (TNG) when under the influence of an alien probe? Perhaps it’s the first view we get of Spock’s parents in “Journey to Babel”? This episode goes a long way in making the Vulcan seem less alien and more relatable. Maybe your favorite episode is “Family” (TNG) where we get a picture of Picard with his brother on the family vineyard as he recuperates from the Borg assimilation and the visit of Worf’s adoptive parents to the Enterprise. Or it might be the Hugo-nominated episode “The Visitor” (DN9) where we find an ageing Jake Sisko recounting the struggle of losing his father and then paying the ultimate sacrifice to save him.

For our poll this week, we ask you to tell us your favorite Star Trek episode that features a family-themed storyline.

What is the best family episode in your opinion and why?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Opening Credits Music

The universe of Star Trek has given us some beautiful pieces of music. These iconic works of art embody the vastness of space and the wandering spirit of our favorite heroes as they traipse through the galaxy each week. The warbling tones of The Original Series reminded us of the other-worldly nature of their journey among the stars. The Next Generation brought a brassy and unforgettable tune that energized us for the story ahead. Each piece fit into an amazing tapestry of audible delight. And don’t get us started on the movies!

When Enterprise aired, however, many fans were split on the inclusion of music with lyrics – Russel Watson’s “Where My Heart Will Take Me”. For some, it is the perfect reflection of the explorer’s creed. It reminds us that the intrepid explorers are on a mission that is led by their beating hearts. It is why they are out there among the stars and why we watch their exploits with such rapt attention. For others, it’s something to be banished from memory.

For our poll this week, we invite you to imagine that the ship or installation you serve on is the setting for a Star Trek television show.

What would be the music playing over the opening credits? Let us know what music reflects the culture and ethos of your ship!

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


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