It’s rather surprising to realize just how many relationships in Star Trek are principally parent/child based. In most cases, these connections between beloved characters has yielded fantastic character building episodes, while often posing intriguing philosophical questions. Since the first episode to feature an example of this trend, TOS’ “Journey to Babel”, in which Spock must confront the burden of command and the needs of his family, a long standing tradition has been maintained. Whether the relationship exists for a short time (such as in the TNG episode “The Offspring”) or for the length of an entire series (Benjamin and Jake Sisko), they almost always manage to add heart to a show that can sometimes feel clinical and dry.
There are an enormous number of inter-series cameos in Star Trek, and more often than not, they’re delightful treats, designed to connect and further flesh out a universe so massive it might otherwise become tangled and unfollowable.
Quark and William Riker have enjoyed a number of these appearances, but for this particular poll, we’ll be focusing on those moments where characters from The Original Series were featured in later shows. Dr. Leonard McCoy’s tour of the Enterprise-D is the first of these shown in the pilot episode for TNG, later followed by Ambassador Spock and his attempts to reunite the Romulan people with their Vulcan brothers in “Unification Parts I and II.” The discovery of Montgomery Scott’s shuttle on the Jenolan Dyson Sphere was the focus of the TNG episode “Relics.” Sarek (featured in the aforementioned episode, shortly after appearing as a titular character in the previous season of TNG) helped to connect the old to the new, and to pass on a well-known legacy. Finally, in one of the most popular episodes of Voyager, Hikaru Sulu and Janice Rand, shown in a memory as the captain of the Excelsior, provide excellent background information into Tuvok’s past, while adding some much need variety to the show’s stories.
So which of these appearances was your favorite? Did we catch all the top appearances, or did we miss one?
For all the work they do exploring and saving the Federation from endless threats, it seems our beloved crews don’t get anywhere near enough shore leave. But when it is shown, the results is excellent television.
With the first episode to fit this bill – aptly titled “Shore Leave” – a precedent was set. “Shore Leave” itself is often lauded by fans as a fun romp, and a standout of TOS’ first season. “Captain’s Holiday” features uptight and work-addicted Jean-Luc Picard become embroiled in a time-bending adventure on Risa. “Family” from TNG’s fourth season, follows the events of “The Best of Both Worlds”, and gives the audience a rare and cherished glimpse of characters dealing with the consequences of previous events. Incidentally, this is the only episode in all of Star Trek canon that does not include a scene on the bridge. Enterprise follows this trend twice – once with the episode entitled “Two Days and Two Nights” in its first season, and another entitled “Home”, which features Enterprise crew members dealing with the personal issues following the conclusion of the Xindi conflict.
While there are other episodes that mention or feature shore leave, these are those predicated around it. With that in mind, which shore leave episode is your favorite?
Let’s face it: Space travel is a risky business. Swimming through a void specifically designed to kill any organic life as we understand it is no mean feat, and that’s not even mentioning the various dangers that the political climate can bring to bear. If the vacuum doesn’t boil your character’s blood, the Romulan disruptors pointed at them will. If the hostile natives don’t run a spear through their body, the flesh-consuming bacteria they picked up will finish the job quick enough.
No matter what position and department they fill on a ship or a station, there is always immense risk. But while some of that risk is universal, others are more specialized. A security officer is the first line of defense against enemy incursions. A doctor runs the greatest risk of infection by plagues, due to their exposure to them. Engineers constantly effect repairs in dangerous and less than ideal circumstances. Counselors deal with potentially violent or disturbed patients.
Emblems, flags and symbols are ubiquitous in the universe of “Star Trek.” Civilizations across the galaxy, be they powerful empires or miniscule entities, are easily identified by their particular sigil of identity. These designs are generally eye-catching, descriptive and easily discerned from one another.
The Federation’s has undergone several changes over the shows and movies, but all have maintained the peaceful colors, olive branches and starfield that exude an air of serenity and cooperation. The brazen, barren trefoil design of the Klingon Empire strikes perhaps the opposite note, effectively displaying their imperial approach and aggressive stance to their allies and enemies alike. The Romulans employ a wide-winged raptor, announcing their commitment to their roots and a desire to dominate. The list goes on and on, and for the eagle-eyed viewer, it can provide a seemingly endless source of interest and world-building potential.
This week’s poll asks you to tell us what your favorite civilization emblem is. Consider aesthetics, effectiveness and uniqueness in your answer, then vote in the poll and be sure to comment on your favorite!
We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.
Today, we’re sitting down with Ensign Reema Poq, a Trill medical officer aboard Starbase 118.
SHAYNE: Tell us a little about yourself- where in the world do you hail from?
POQ: Short answer: SoCal. Long answer: I was born in Montreal, QC. When I was 10 my family moved to the States, where I swapped primary and secondary language. Then I moved to San Francisco for college, and now I live in LA.
Trills are an especially interesting species to play, and a popular choice in the fleet. Is there a reason you chose that race in particular?
When I first found out about SB118, I was directed to the Discord, and the lobby happened to be talking about how more trill were needed. I prefer to build my characters by randomization usually, and the needs of the team were randomizer enough, so I picked Trill, and here Poq is.
Is this your first PBEM/roleplaying game, or do you have more experience in that realm?
Hahaaa not even slightly. I started RPing on forums in 2000- then livejournal, then gaia, more forums, anyone else remember those terrible myspace-era make-your-own-website servers? Angelsomething? Yeah. So it’s been about 18 years for me, and I’ve covered everything from original fiction to horses (yep you heard me, I was 11 what do you want) to fandoms including Star Trek. And that’s just online text rp! I also play TTRPGs like D&D, and I do long and short form improvisation on stage. If a version of RPing exists, I’ve probably tried it. Except LARPing. …LARPing is next.
Your wiki page for Poq indicates that Poq is in her first joined life- why did you chose this characteristic for them?
Whenever I start creating an original character, I ask myself what’s different from the norm about them, and how can it feed my story. Like I said I’ve been doing it a long time, so I don’t tend to think big trauma anymore, and instead the everyday little things that differentiate us. Internal conflict is important to me as a writer and an actor, so I thought- what kind of arc could I give her immediately to worth through as well as the usual trials and tribulations of being a Trill officer? Since joining is such a huge thing on Trill, and receiving the past life memories the sold ‘benefit’ of joining, I thought it’d be fun for her to have to struggle with getting what she wants (joining) without getting what she expected out of it (past life knowledge/experience), and Reema having to come to terms with it. Eventually I hope that Reema will be excited and proud to be Poq’s first lifetime, but she’s certainly not there yet!
Do you have any thoughts on what you’d like to aim for in terms of development and growth for Poq? Any goals in mind, or are you looking to go more with the flow?
Oops did I answer this too early? That’s just one of her things though! She also spent all her time in academia, and now has to deal with (a version of) the real world. Having her deal with socializing in a less structured environment, especially in one that has so many divergent personalities, species and situations, and being forced to expand her horizons should be really fun, so– I’m happy to see what she gets handed and to see how we can learn from there. The joy of RPing for me is not planning more than a vague direction and seeing what happens. I plan on Reema growing, but the direction in which she grows is up to SB118 and its wonderful denizens.
Where do you see yourself in a few years- would you like to move into a command role in time?
We’ll see how much free time I have in a few years… but tbh I always want power 😉 Nah, meaning, RPing is a very important hobby for me and I want to spread it to others. It helps with writing skills and communication skills as well as empathy, and it builds such magical relationships, I’d love to assist the community. And if that means taking a command role? I’m there.
Do you have a favorite episode or movie of Star Trek?
Favorite episode? I can’t even pick a favorite series. Hmm…. Maybe “The Ship” from DS9. It has two fantastic one-time characters, great moments for many of the main cast, Miles especially. I definitely feel like the script was written with Munez intended to be early 20s while the actor seemed more like 30s, but the actor did such a terrific job I’m eh about it. “A Year In Hell” deserved way more time than it got, and would kill it in today’s serialized tv system, rather than the episodic programs we had before. Oh, and “City on the Edge of Forever” is a classic.
Thank you very much, Ensign Poq!
You can read more about Ensign Poq on the Wiki.
No matter what ship you write on, what position your character fulfills, or what department they’re attached to, he, she or ner has an important role in the smooth operation of the vessel. We’d not get far without helmsmen or engineers, exploration would be a drag without our scientists and specialists, and the crew would certainly falter without the skills of the medical and counseling staff.
The shared usefulness of these departments, however, is where their similarities end. Each has a different expectation, a different goal, and different challenges when it comes to simming for them. Finding a way to engage an engineer in the plot without having something break can often be something of a struggle. Coming up with a way to keep a counselor relevant in a given story is another often-cited problem. A medical officer needs some degree of understanding when it comes to the art of healing- not exactly an easy prospect when a writer’s only aid is a knowledge of biology, and a few loose threads shown in canon. The same might be said for a science officer. The rest have their own obstacles.
With these limitations in mind (and others that you’ve encountered in simming for a duty post) which department is the most difficult to sim for? Give us your vote, and let us know your reasons in the comments section below!
Many cadets enter Starfleet Academy with high hopes, boundless aspirations, and a plan to excel in their field wherever possible. The vast majority are successful, but very few seem to give consideration to what happens after their time in Starfleet, after their career has reached its peak.
It’s well into the 25th century (or even the 26th). Your character is a captain, or perhaps even an admiral, and for whatever reason, they have decided to finally retire from the active fleet. They are still in relatively good health, and despite technological advancements and the usual political and social machinations that have always presented threats the the United Federation of Planets, our great civilization has enjoyed an unprecedented period of relative peace and calm. Without the weight of those pips, they are free to do what they will in a galaxy seething with opportunity.
How would they spend that time? Would they focus on family, settling down to be among loved ones in waning years? Would they explore on their own, seeing parts of the galaxy they hadn’t been to during their tenure in the fleet? Maybe they’d consult for Starfleet, or teach at the Academy. Or perhaps they’d enter the private sector- leaving Starfleet might not be the end of a career.
The Federation News Service is a spinoff of our game, wherein a team of writers help bring the rest of the Federation – mostly what happens outside of Starfleet – to life through news stories.
With an influx of new members lately, the team has been pumping out new stories like crazy, from feature articles to editorials and more! But now we want to know what kind of stories you like reading best so we can calibrate what we’re publishing.
This Poll of the Week asks what you’d like to read more of: Current events across the quadrant? Editorials and opinions on matters affecting the galaxy? Perhaps you prefer in depth cultural analysis, or reports on the actions and stances of other galactic civilizations? Or maybe even a completely different angle?
There’s something quintessentially beautiful about Federation starships. Their curves, symmetricality and proud bearing provide a sense of awe. With the exception of a few, special cases (looks furtively at the Yeager class) most of these vessels carry on a long lineage of amazing designs. With that said, Starfleet isn’t the only organization that knows how to sculpt a shapely ship. The Klingons, and their bold, imperious designs have struck fear into the hearts of enemies for centuries. Romulan warbirds dwarf their competition with sweeping wings and imposing, almost beak-like hulls. Even the Borg offer something to the obsessively compulsive- who doesn’t enjoy perfectly geometric shapes?
This week’s poll asks you which galactic civilization has the most pleasing ship aesthetic. Do you enjoy the horseshoe shaped crafts of the Ferengi? Or do the jagged, asymmetrical combat barges of the Breen catch your eye?