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Poll of the Week: You’re the Captain now! A Pirate’s Menace

As part of a new series in the Poll of the Week, we’re bringing you into the centre chair. When presented with a situation, how would you react? What would you do?


Poll of the Week: Nothing But Red Shirts

Over the many years of Star Trek, we’ve seen multiple Red Shirt deaths to the point it’s one of the most popular memes — if not the most popular — in the fandom. Nothing says “you’re about to kick it” like being summoned on an Away Team with all the major characters, and you turn up wearing red. Like a flag to a bull, no matter the direction someone fires their phaser in, somehow it’s going to end up slap bang in the middle of the Red Shirt. Synonyms for the redshirt include sacrificial lamb and spear-carrier, so you know what conotations are a given.

HOWEVER!

Someone did the science! In a recent Star Trek: The Math of Khan talk at the Museum of Mathematics, one determined trekkie, James Grime, discovered out of three seasons of our beloved Original Series, only 25 died out of 239, a stunning 10 percent of deaths. However, out of 55 gold shirts, 10 of them died, resulting in 18 percent. In true defiance of everything we hold dear, if you wanted to cheat death, science came out alive with a staggering 6 percent dead. 

Perhaps the Scientists and Doctors have it right all along. Wear the blue, avoid the chop. 

Regardless, in honour of this humble trope, we’re asking you this week to choose your favourite red shirt death from the Original Series. You’ve got a few good ones to choose from, so let us know which plucked at your heartstrings the most!

So, this week, we want to know…

Which of these classic redshirt deaths factor in your top five?

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: All the Time in the World

A common trope in Star Trek is time travel. Securely in the realm of science fiction, this process is achieved several times through the series and movies. Whether it is an anti-time anomaly, the interference of powerful aliens, or an unexpected accident, time travel features prominently in the storylines we’ve come to love.

Why is time travel such a popular subject?

Each of us wishes we could jump to a new time, “putting things right that once went wrong and hoping each time that the next leap will be…” (wait, wrong show). The truth is that the past (and the future) fascinate us. So often we are taught that the past is immutable, and the future is untouchable except abstractly by our present actions.

But what if we could directly effect the past or future? What if our decisions could ripple out to change the present instead of the other way around?

One of the most popular episodes of TOS was “City on Edge of Forever” which found Kirk and Spock chasing McCoy through an alien time vortex to 1930s Earth. The captain is forced to choose between preserving the timeline and letting a woman he has fallen in love with die.

It is these kinds of heavyweight moral decisions that make for great storytelling and time travel is one way to increase the stakes. But time travel adds another layer of complexity because it is a way that we could make the familiar – like Earth – more alien. Imagine being able to visit the Middle Ages, the time of Caesar, or the 60s. Time travel could also allow us to see events that are only mentioned in passing within the Star Trek universe but that could be explored and expanded upon to make the “history” more real.

The possibilities are endless.

So, this week, we want to know…

When and where would you like your ship to go for a time-bending mission?

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: If You Have Tears, Prepare to Shed Them Now

Star Trek has a history of tugging at our heartstrings, from the “his was the most… human” speech at the end of Wrath of Khan, to the death of Data at the end of Nemesis (okay, the rest of the film is kinda trash, but still his sacrifice is pretty emotive).

Both of those examples come from the films, which are given two and a half hours to make us cry, as well as the weight of seasons go past. However, even in the forty-five minutes of a regular episode, there are still some incredibly powerful moments in the Star Trek oeuvre. This might be more telling of what makes me cry than is possibly comfortable, but hey, here we go!

Naturally the first is Inner Light which often tops lists of the best ever episodes of the Star Trek canon. Picard with the flute at the end is guaranteed to break even the stoniest visage into at least one tear, right?

The next one is a bit more of a wild card, but I rewatched it recently and the end is simply heartwrenching. Innocence, a season two episode of Voyager, is the one where Tuvok has to look after the children on the asteroid and disappear one at a time. In the end, questionable biology aside, the kids are actually the aged members of this society and they are going off to die. Tuvok’s final speech at the end of the episode, reassuring the little girl that death is a natural end, is gorgeous.

Another strong contender is of course Deep Space Nine’s The Visitor — who can forget Jake Sisko’s final sacrifice to save his father and undo the timeline? Continuing our DS9 sob-fest, why not Hard Time? That’s the one where the most important Starfleet officer of all time, Chief Miles O’Brien, lives in prison for 20 years and is driven to murder and almost to suicide… Powerful stuff.

Finally, we have the absolute classic TOS episode, City On The Edge Of Forever, in which Kirk has to stop McCoy from saving the woman Jim loves in order to save the timeline. Beautiful in its simplicity, this episode will always have a place in my heart.

So, this week, we want to know…

Which episode of Star Trek is the most heart-breaking and emotive?

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: You’re the Captain now! Decision in the Silence Zone

As part of a new series in the Poll of the Week, we’re bringing you into the centre chair, but this time, of an entire sector. When presented with a situation, how would you react? What would you do?


Poll of the Week: All the Love – Most Memorable Smooches

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.


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: Unseen History

One of the big things that Trek loves to do, and probably one thing I enjoy most about the shows, is that they drop in historical events like candies to be picked up and chewed on. Most of them are, unfortunately, wars, but many have led to fascinating diplomatic situations. And the overwhelming majority of them are only mentioned in passing, and it is left to others to extrapolate or hypothesise what these events might have been about, how they came about or how they finished.

How might they be expounded upon? Perhaps in a time-travel episode (or two-parter, because who doesn’t love those? I’m looking at you Mark Twain), a Short Trek, or maybe (and personally, I’d love this) a Trek-themed anthology show that travels throughout the ages.

Sure, many of these have been written about in novels, articles and online roleplaying groups, but which would you like to see “officially” represented in a show?

We have the Eugenics Wars, the origins of Khan Noonien Singh and his Augments; set before any of the shows as we know them, the Eugenics Wars would make an interesting, if bloody, addition to a show. The Earth-Romulan War is a fascinating part of our history, especially considering that humans took such a beating; possibly too dark/bleak for a Star Trek show, it would certainly provide a contrast.

The Temporal Wars offer a time-hopping series of adventures that would give Janeway a headache, but might still entertain. What about seeing more of the Xindi before they met Archer and the Enterprise?

Or find out how the Kelpians made peace with the Ba’ul by the time Discovery [REDACTED]…

What historical period/event in the Star Trek universe would you like to see more of in shows?

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: You’re the Admiral Now! Secure the Sector!

As part of a new series in the Poll of the Week, we’re bringing you into the centre chair, but this time, of an entire sector. When presented with a situation, how would you react? What would you do?


Poll of the Week: Rising Up to the Challenge of Our Rivals

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?

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!


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