Love is in the air since Valentine’s Day, everywhere we look around, and over the vast years since it first aired, this space opera in our hearts has given us plenty of on-screen love to wrap our hearts around.
Rewards for a job well done are always fun and exciting to receive after a successfully completed mission. In Starbase 118, there are a variety of ribbons given out to recognize in-character achievements, but none of the ribbons reflected service related to undercover work and intelligence missions – until now. Adding to the ever-growing list of service ribbons available for in-character commendation, we can now count the Intelligence Star among their number.
This is the first service ribbon available to those characters who work in covert operations in order to serve the interests and protect the security of the Federation or its allies. Anyone who serves in this capacity can now be recognised along with others despite the more secretive nature of their work.
Emma, the ribbon’s proposer and the writer behind Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds wrote:
[Our] current mission involves an undercover operation… and I realised we have service ribbons for many other mission types (action, exploration, science, diplomacy, etc) but nothing for covert work.
For all the your intelligence missions and outstanding achievements while performing vital undercover work, be sure to keep this service ribbon in mind for the future! As always, remember that you can read more about all service ribbons on the wiki!
Grappling with an enemy, in one way or another, is a staple of Star Trek. Whether it’s wrestling with Gorn in the middle of the desert, scrimmaging with Q in Quark’s Bar, or confronting a horror tentacle monster in the Voyager corridors with a phaser rifle, every now and then, a physical contest rises up.
Bare knuckles and sharply traded insults could sometimes replace the stoic and reasonable Starfleet Officer, and at some point, every crew has come to the edge of the mat, slipped on those knuckle-dusters, and set about for a good barroom brawl.
We’ve seen some magnificent fight scenes on-screen (Archer and Shran going toe to toe with an Ushaan-tor will always be a top favourite of mine) as well as some unintentionally hilarious slap fights like Kirk versus the Gorn Captain, where tickling looked like it was a priority, and did that rock really weigh as much as it looked? I know I’ll be trying out a double-hand punch in the future.
Whether you’ve got Kirk using an Andorian as a springboard, or Sisko punching the lights out of Q (“Picard never hit me!”), throughout our loveable Star Trek history, there are plenty of fights to choose from. Legendary as they are, the fight scenes between starships couldn’t match up to the glorious gladiatorial battles taking place in a personal area, going head to head, knuckle to knuckle, in a struggle for the survival of the fittest.
Or, just survive until next week’s episode.
In your opinion, which is the best on-screen gladiator battle we’ve seen?
2020 will go down in the history books, with enough moments throwing us about on an emotional rollercoaster, and it’s been a challenging test of resilience and a new experience for most.
We’d like to thank every one of our members who wrote with us this year, all the staff we rely on to keep our ships rolling, and the members who are active on our forums and our Discord for giving us the sense of community the fleet has cherished since its inception. We’ve played games, we’ve watched movies together, and we’ve written some fantastic stories!
To everyone who has needed that little bit of an escape from the real world, including those frontline workers who put themselves at risk fighting COVID-19, we want to wish you all a safe and joyous Happy New Year from all of us at StarBase 118! We can’t wait to see what 2021 (and for our characters, 2398) brings!
Like all military organisations, wearing a uniform shows who you represent, develops a sense of commonality, solidarity and equality. It makes the person wearing it instantly recognisable, stand out in a crowd, distinguish themselves for the service they provide, and has an impact on others, especially those within the Star Trek universe. The same uniform is worn by everyone from the Captain down to the Crewman, the only differences being the pips on the collar and the colour to denote the department.
There are some cultural influences on Starfleet uniforms we’ve seen over the years, including the addition of Worf’s baldric, Nog’s headdress, and Kira’s Bajoran earrings. Either symbolic of their family or their religion, and culturally appropriate for them. We’ll not talk about Troi and her casual attire…
Colours and uniforms have changed through the run of Star Trek, showing the changes in style and function throughout the years, and how Starfleet adjusted for them. While we were used to seeing the department colour taking up the dominant part of the uniform, during the Dominion War, this left Command Officers at risk, so it was reduced to just the collar, the rest of the uniform black and grey.
Each of the series of Star Trek has introduced the viewer to a new uniform, in one way or another. Looking back through the racks and wardrobes of the costume department, some are favourites, and some can be confined to the charity bin of history.
This week, we want to know…
Which Starfleet uniform era was your favourite and why?
Star Trek has a long and torrid love affair with bringing wonderful characters and protagonists to life, presenting a fantastic array of challenging situations, pitting themselves against insurmountable odds and, sometimes, some really cracking villains.
Who can forget the golden moments of Gul Dukat in Deep Space Nine as he evolves into a character some of us actually care about? Or the ripping emotional tension we get from Khan Noonian-Singh? We cheered the intelligence and the guile of the Klingon General Chang, sporting his eye-patch of doom (bolted to the face for full metal), and some of the worst enemies the Federation has ever seen came as the Jem’Hadar, the brutal troper force for the Dominion ready to commit unspeakable acts for the glory of the soldiering life.
However, let’s face it — some Star Trek villains are just… bad.
While we had Khan, we also had the Son’a — who, if remembered for anything, it’s the facelift. In the late nineties, it seemed everyone wanted to get young again and have their skin pulled back until a display of any emotion would literally crack the face open in ways a dubious plastic surgeon would be proud of. The Son’a were riddled with toxins they had to expunge, and instead of throwing themselves into a New Year Resolution of kale smoothies and yoga on Thursdays, they did… this. And then killed an Admiral no one cares about with a facelift. Take that, beauty standards!
But for a series spanning six decades now, not every villain is going to be perfect, and for some, they are a product of their time.
So, this week, we want to know…
In your opinion, who is the least interesting villain in Star Trek?
With a laundry list of accusations, enemies, nicknamed “The God of Lies”, Guinan doing the cat claws, described as “obnoxious”, “interfering”, a “pest”, and Picard’s glowing character reference of “devious and amoral and unreliable and irresponsible and… definitely not to be trusted,” how could we not cover the most wonderful, the sublime, and the irresistible charms of Q?
As a powerful, almighty, and divine-like entity from a race of faux-celestial beings known collectively as the Q, Commanding Officers of starships were briefed on the existence of this super influential race. Q would usually appear in humanoid form, dress in the uniform of a Starfleet Captain, and in every instance where he appeared, Q immediately commanded the stage. The obnoxious and sometimes dangerous being turned up on the bridges of the USS Enterprise, USS Voyager, and appeared on Deep Space Nine, to hassle the Captains with an underlying guise to better understand the human race for their folly and their actions, all with the best interests for the survival of Humanity kindling beneath.
Star Trek has in him one of the finest antagonists ever known, who eventually — through much, much trial and error — becomes a friend.
This week, we’d like to know…
What is your favourite moment of Q throughout the Star Trek series?
Over the years, science fiction has become synonymous with the weird and the wonderful, and the downright spooky. Twinning with the likes of horror and thrillers, such as the X Files and Doctor Who, during its run, each series of the Star Trek franchise has found something creepy and fantastic about exploring the edges of our understanding, our universe, and where the fringes of our reality lie. Week on week, Star Trek explored these ideas in sometimes fun and frolicking episodes, sometimes whimsical, sometimes philosophical, and now and then, we all had to get a cushion ready.
The horror effect is brought to bear in the movies, too. In The Wrath of Khan, parasitic ear bugs are used by Khan to crawl into the victim’s brain, wrap around the cerebral cortex, and turn the unwilling host into a compliant slave, going as far to inflict merciless pain on the victim if they fought against the subdermal orders. Frightening to think about. Gross to watch. First Contact ensured many of us developed an adequate fear of the Borg when Lieutenant Hawk became one with the collective, succumbing to the attacking Borg, and returns in Borg form to attack Picard.
From traditional horror to the more psychological in Voyager’s episode “The Haunting of Deck Twelve”, as Neelix gives a Halloween campfire-style ghost story to the young Borg kids to feast their fears upon. A strange tale for some, a gas nebula cloud for others, the space alien roams the deck, seeing the next victim. Or there’s the Next Generation episode, “Night Terrors”, with plenty of the tropes we like to see in a good sci-fi horror, such as Dr Crusher hallucinating the morgue stuffed with corpses all sitting up, the crew of the USS Brattain who murdered one another coming through the communication, and the persistent themes of insomnia.
Honourable mention: While it didn’t make it to the final list of spooktaculars, Voyager’s “Scientific Method” is, perhaps, one of the best episodes there is. Aliens doing scientific experiments are all over the ship, all over the crew, and people are dying. If you’ve not seen it, I won’t spoil it for you, because honestly, it’s one of my favourite episodes of Voyager, if not Star Trek, ever. Strong acting performances all round make it superb. Go watch it. You won’t be disappointed.
Dishonourable mention: Of course, we can’t let this slide past us without mentioning the actual ghost story (kinda), TNG’s “Sub Rosa”, where Dr Crusher fornicates with a ghost in a candle. There. It’s in here, it’s had a mention, let’s just move on.
Considering this is the final leg before Halloween, I’ve selected a couple of my favourites which sent my pulse racing the first time I saw them, so, this week we’d like to know…
Which of these episodes gave you the frights, jitters, and jumps?
Following on from last week’s poll for Best Male Character of TNG , this week we want to explore what made the women of TNG special and which of these wonderful women captured your attention week on week.
Were you a devoted fan of Beverly Crusher? Most often the soothing voice in troubled waters, our forthright Doctor Crusher could whittle the woes in the medical world with nary a scalpel spent in the process. In the series, she slipped into the role of the ship’s Chief Medical Officer with ease, providing the contrary opinions to Picard, and the sole parent of Wesley. Arguably included to have some of the most unresolved sexual tension on screen to date, Beverly remains a firm favourite among Star Trek fans the world over.
Or maybe you were a Troi fan? Our non Starfleet uniform wearing half Betazoid Counsellor has inspired Counsellor characters in our Star Trek setting and continues to do so. From her affable attitude and easy way with patients, to her motherly attention to Alexander, her relationships with Worf and Riker, and the unforgettable holodeck simulations of the “Wild West” (she rocks the Stetson, 😉), perchance for poker nights and a love of all things chocolate, Deanna lives up there with the greats.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include the wonder that is Guinan in this list, and for good reason. Far more than just the bartender (or bar keeper?) on the Enterprise, she was the sage advisor to all who came seeking wisdom for their problems, and those who didn’t realise they had any until they walked through the doors of Ten Forward. She could frighten a Q at twenty paces, or melt Worf on the phaser range, and did all of it with a calm smile, a cheeky grin, and a trusted demeanour.
And then there’s the wrong side of the tracks. Who liked Ro Laren? A Bajoran Starfleet officer raised in a refugee camp during the Cardassian occupation, Ro had a tough childhood growing up, watching the atrocities of the regime first hand. Initially assigned to the Enterprise as part of a conspiracy (I won’t spoil it, the storyline is really good), she left in the end to join the Maquis. With extremely strong characterisation and acting, the character became a firm favourite overnight. The “rebel with a cause” captured the hearts of everyone and devastated more when she didn’t come back. However, she paved the way for the wonder of Kira Nerys, which, fear not, we’ll explore in another poll!
With so many wonderful women to choose from, this week we only want to know one thing.
Who is your favourite female Star Trek: The Next Generation character and why?
For all Star Trek is a science fiction series, one reason it draws such a diverse range of fans is the episodes centre on the characters and the relationships cultivated on the journey the characters take throughout the run. viewers go on this journey with the characters and see how their natural chemistry works on screen, how they form strong bonds with one another, and over time, have become as iconic as the starships they live on.
From The Original Series through to Enterprise, we saw these relationships develop. From on-screen tension, you could cut with a bat’leth, to emotional connection forged in the fires, to mentors who impart their wisdom and learn something new about themselves. We wouldn’t be anywhere in the Star Trek world without the double of Spock and Bones — so iconic in its inception that it’s replicated to full effect in later series, giving us such delights as Bashir and Garak, Neelix and Tuvok, and Data and Geordi.
This week, we’d like to know which of these pairings brought you back every week for a new episode? Who’s one-liner and well-delivered zingers left you roaring?
Which was the most iconic duo of our Star Trek universe?