Poll of the Week

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Poll of the Week: The King of Fools

On this, our glorious day of April 1st, where the pranks are many and the fools roam free… we remember that the Federation has moved on from a calendar based on the movement of the Earth and now April does not exist in our future timeline.

However! Fear not, brave prankster, as there are still many jokes to be had within our futuristic realm. Practical jokes on fellow officers is a tradition older than Starfleet itself, with arms stretching back throughout the history of Earth with the Feast of Fools in France, Royal Court Jesters being an actual vocation for some, and the Lord of Misrule in England’s Christmastide.

While our post-scarcity utopia strives for peace in all things, we can still let out the jovial jester from time to time, and we’ve seen many a prank cross our TV screens over the course of the series.

What are your favourite pranks from the Star Trek series?

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


Jean Luc Picard as the character Dixon Hill

Poll Of The Week: Secret Agent Man

You’ve heard of James Bond – the suave, capable, utterly fearless (and often sexist) spy that never fails to get the girl – or get into trouble?

Our cultural understanding of a secret agent is often informed by his actions and character. But, naturally, there’s so much more potential for a worthy character to follow in his footsteps! Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway and Archer almost always managed to get the job done…

So the question is: Which of the captains do you think would make the best secret agent? Whatever you chose, know that there’s at least one thing the captains and Bond have in common: Q is never far away!

Head to the forums now to vote in the poll, and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section!


Poll of the Week: KLIN – Hit Klingon Operas of the 2370s, 80s, and 90s

In the 24th century, older forms of entertainment like television and radio seem to be obsolete and no longer in use. Entertainment like holonovels and live performances by the crew have become more prominent. Additionally, the Starfleet database contains music from across the galaxy going back centuries. There doesn’t really seem to be much need for the radio anymore.

However, it’s hard to believe that music just stopped being made. There have to be aspiring musicians out there creating new music. Commentators from Bajor to Vulcan no doubt would like to share their opinions on current events in the Federation. Radio stations today often struggle with falling audience numbers and the resultant drop in advertisement revenue. In a post-scarcity economy, radio stations could make a comeback and serve a niche audience.

What kind of music would your character listen to after a long day to unwind? Would they choose the greatest hits of the 20th century or is the indie music of the 23rd more to their liking? Maybe your character would prefer to listen to talk radio shows and keep up to date with current events. With commercial viability being a lower barrier for entry, even radio dramas could make a resurgence.

If Starfleet had radio stations on the ship, what would your character listen to?

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: Advice From the Past

The computer on a Starfleet ship is an excellent resource. The database contains star charts, logs of everything that the ship has encountered, and a reference library including literature from hundreds of worlds, historical data spanning thousands of years, and information from dozens of fields of study from astrophysics to microbiology. In addition to the raw storage capacity, the ship’s computer can assist in analyzing data and simulate just about anything given enough data.

While collaborating with the ship’s computer is very helpful, some people do not like talking to a disembodied computer voice. Many Starfleet officers have turned to the holodeck so that the computer has an avatar to communicate through. When Voyager’s EMH needed to learn exobiology, he created a consultant program modeled on an infamous Cardassian doctor. Data consulted with a holographic recreation of Sigmund Freud to help interpret his dreams and Barclay called on the expertise of hologram Einstein to discuss physics and cosmology. Even holoprograms like Vic Fontaine and Leonardo da Vinci would sometimes give advice to the crew in times of need.

Everyone needs advice now and then. When confronted with a problem, why not get the perspective of someone who has been there before? The famous captains of Starfleet have seen it all in their various missions across the galaxy. Their service records, appearances, and personality profiles would all be easily accessible to the computer. What would Captain Kirk make of the Borg? What better way to work through a complicated conundrum than sitting down and enjoying a cup of Earl Grey with a holographic Picard?

Which Starfleet captain would your character most want to receive advice from?

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: Transporter Body Modification?

The setting, spirit and lore of Star Trek make for countless avenues of exploration. One of these is the fantastic technologies permitted. A sufficiently, shall we say, “unconventional” mind is capable of imagining all sorts of new and weird potential uses for the technology. Sure, you could take the conventional route when it comes to major bodily changes for your health and appearance, but why bother when you could do something inadvisable and ridiculous?

With that in mind, would you be willing to use the transporter to purposefully change parts of yourself?

Head to the forums to register your vote in the poll now. And don’t forget to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: CSI: Starfleet

Star Trek has varied in tone and style over the years. An individual series can be more hopeful and with a retro science fiction style, or more dark and morally complex. It could even be live-action or animated. But in general, each main Star Trek series is of the same basic genre. What if the franchise decided to branch out in a big way for a new spinoff?

The launch of the new Picard series and the various projects related to Discovery have left plenty of options for spinoffs. Most of these proposed spinoff projects would be focused on particular characters. However, the Star Trek universe is full of characters, technologies, and alien worlds to explore. There could be room to explore that universe through a series that is in a slightly different genre from a traditional Trek series.

A police procedural or a medical drama set in the Star Trek universe would have a lot of options and more than fifty years of reference material to draw on. These other television genres might be unusual for the Star Trek universe, but they could certainly be an interesting look into various corners of the Trek universe.

Which television genre would make for an interesting Star Trek spinoff series?

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: STO-king The Flames!

About two years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of playing a game with a number of my friends from the fleet. Though I’d played the game for a number of years, it was the first time I’d actually done it as a group. I had so much fun that it still rings in my mind today, and I long to try it again. The game, as you might have guessed from my oh-so-witty title, was Star Trek Online – a free-to-play MMORG set in a truly chaotic version of our beloved fictional universe. One of the best space combat simulators I’ve come across, STO permits people from around the world to easily find each other, and enjoy some battle together.

Some of you may have seen the hilarity that ensues when a number of our group participate in a round or two of Bridge Crew, and I’d like to see how viable that idea is in regards to STO. We have a fleet, but because there’s been little success in getting a solid presence in game, it hasn’t made much progress.

With that in mind, this week’s poll asks you for your opinion on Star Trek Online! Have you played it and enjoyed it? Never heard of it? Not a fan?

Head to the forums to register your vote in the poll now. And don’t forget to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: I, Robot?

The Star Trek universe is home to all kinds of sentient life. The various humanoids that populate the galaxy are only the beginning. There are also the members of the enigmatic Q Continuum, giant crystalline beings, spaceborne animals, energy spirits, and a living nebula or two. But what about the androids, holoprograms, and computers of the galaxy?

Advances in the field of artificial intelligence produce artificial intelligences that are more and more lifelike and capable of things that would never be expected from the computers of previous generations. Even technology not typically treated as actual beings, such as the Enterprise D computer, have demonstrated the ability to develop a mind of their own with repeated use. The status of artificial beings such as Lieutenant Commander Data or Voyager’s EMH have been the central conflict in multiple episodes.

While Data and the other Soong androids are a unique case, there was nothing particularly exceptional about the EMH on Voyager until prolonged activation and accumulated experiences as the ship’s doctor caused him to expand beyond his original programming. If the Doctor could become a sentient being, is every hologram capable of the same transformation? Holoprograms such as the Doctor or Vic Fontaine appear to be the exception rather than the rule. What would the effects on life in the Federation change if every holoprogram and computer had the same rights as any other sentient being? How is sentience in an artificial being determined, if it is possible at all? That is the question we’d like to pose to you this week.

Do you think androids, holograms, and computers should be considered sentient beings?

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: Prequel captain?

Prequels are a sensitive subject in many television and literary communities. While some believe them to be generally interesting, positive ideas, the sudden abundance of stories-before-stories has others taking a more cynical viewpoint.

Whatever your stance on this issue, it’s difficult to deny that the Star Trek captains we know and love have had very interesting histories, oftentimes touched on in their respective shows in interesting ways. Kirk’s days at the Academy and his time on the Farragut and Republic had profound effects on his decisions and character years later. Picard’s early command of the Valiant and his background in archaeology have been touched on in novels, and might yield an interesting dive into how he became the man known more commonly to fans. Archer’s time as a test pilot during the race to warp 5, and the resulting tensions and issues with the Vulcan people, might well be a fascinating examination of how Earth grew and changed from war-ravaged hell to peaceful utopia.

This week’s poll asks which captain you’d most like to see a prequel series focus on.

Head to the forums to add your vote in the poll, and don’t forget to leave a comment!


Poll of the Week: The Case of the Duplicate First Officers

The transporter has always raised interesting questions in the fields of science and philosophy. The inner workings and technical limitations of the transporter have been thoroughly explored in numerous episodes before. And between degrading patterns, faulty equipment, and the horrific results of attempted transporting gone wrong, it’s hard to blame someone like Lieutenant Barclay from being afraid of using the transporter.

However, one bizarre type of transporter accident, duplication such as that experienced by William T. Riker, is a great example of how transporters can change our perception of personal identity. Transporter twins put this issue front and center by sparing the officer on the transporter pad from dematerialization, but still materialize them on the surface. This week, we present to you a similar hypothetical scenario with a twist.

You are the captain of a Starfleet ship, patrolling through a relatively calm sector. Your ship receives a faint distress signal from a research facility on a nearby planet. An explosion of some kind has disabled their systems and injured several staff members. When you arrive, an atmospheric anomaly is interfering with communications. Your first officer, Commander Jones, volunteers to lead an away team down to the surface to provide assistance to the injured scientists. Most of the transporter beams reach the surface, but the transporter chief is worried Commander Jones’ signal didn’t make it and is able to cancel dematerialization at the final moment. Relieved to have narrowly escaped death, Commander Jones returns to the bridge and waits for contact to be re-established with the away team.

The away team manages to get a message through the interference reporting that the situation is under control and they will begin beaming up survivors. Everything seems to be fine until the away team rematerializes in Transporter Room One with Commander Jones. However, Commander Jones is sitting right next to you on the bridge. It would seem that the transporter chief was mistaken in thinking that the transporter signal wouldn’t make it to the surface intact.

When the second Commander Jones returns to the bridge, both commanders realize what has happened and claim themselves to be the “real” Commander Jones in unison. According to the Commander Jones who stayed aboard the ship, cancelling dematerialization was the proper thing to do and that the effects it would have on his duplicate are unknown. He believes that he should remain the executive officer. His transporter clone counters that the transport was successful and that the other Commander Jones only exists because of the transporter chief’s error. He is entitled to the position of first officer and the commander who remained on the ship is the “copy”. Both officers look to you to settle this case of duplicate identity.

How would you handle the dispute between Commander Jones and his transporter duplicate?

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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