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TV Shows 101: A Quick Guide to Star Trek – Part 2

“She [the Borg Queen] brought me closer to humanity than I ever thought possible. And for a time, I was tempted by her offer. (Picard: For how long?) Zero-point six-eight seconds, sir… For an android, that is nearly an eternity” (Data, Star Trek: First Contact)

Read Part 1 of the Star Trek series here

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(One is a Klingon warrior and the only of his kind in the Starfleet but often looked down by his own people whilst another is a cool, master tactician Vulcan who prefers logic over violence) 

5. The tactical officers

What is deep space exploration without any confrontation with aggressive aliens? In the world of Star Trek, enemies of the Federation comes in many shape and form, from known enemies like Romulan and Borg, unknown space life forms and misunderstood friendly aliens.

And right at the front of space battles is the tactical officer who lays out tactics within critical timespan, ensures the starship is adequately shielded from on-going blast and phasers, aims the ship’s weapons for a direct hit and provide security details for internal and away missions.

ST: TNG – In 2364, Lieutenant junior grade Worf (Klingon) was assigned as a command division bridge officer on the USS Enterprise. Worf spent most of his first year on the Enterprise-D as a relief officer for the conn and other bridge stations.

Worf was permitted a variation from the Starfleet uniform dress code, and wore a Klingon warrior’s sash, sometimes called a baldric by Humans, over his regular duty uniform.

In 2365, Worf transferred to the operations division and officially became the Enterprise-D’s chief tactical officer and security chief. After seven years of service aboard the starship, Worf rose in rank to lieutenant commander in 2371.

VOYTuvok (Vulcan) was the tactical officer and second officer aboard USS Voyager. He served in this post for the seven years that Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Tuvok was a prize-winning orchid breeder. He used grafting techniques on flowers from both Earth and Vulcan.

Tuvok’s main pastime was the Vulcan game kal-toh. Tuvok also spent his spare time meditating, and instructed various members of the crew in this pursuit over the years.

My pick – I guess it depends on the situation, Worf for close combat (it is suicidal to take on an angry Klingon in a hand to hand combat) and Tuvok for long-range ship tactical and security crew readiness (he had the logic enough to write a “worst-case scenario” holodeck program for the USS Voyager’s crew). Tuvok edges Worf, in the long run, considering that Star Trek Voyager encountered species in the unknown quadrant.

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(One can read your mind in an instant whilst another doubles up as the ship’s chef but both gets the job done nonetheless)

6. The moral officers

The long journey in Star Trek starships, especially in the case of USS Voyager, can be lonesome, boring and stressful. Thankfully both USS Enterprise and USS Voyager are equipped with holodecks for the crew to let off some steam but at end of the day, it helps if there is one who is willing to sit down and listen and advice crewmen on their personal problems.

In the case of USS Enterprise, Deanna Troi is also helped by Guinan (played by Whoopi Goldberg) who is also the bartender and an informal moral officer

ST: TNGDeanna Troi (half-Betazoid, half-Human) served as ship’s counsellor aboard the USS Enterprise-D and the USS Enterprise-E. Troi’s empathic skills made her an important asset to the Enterprise and often came in handy when dealing with hostile races. Since she could usually tell if others were lying, she repeatedly proved herself invaluable in many suspenseful situations

VOY Neelix (Talaxian male) joined the USS Voyager, serving as chef, morale officer, ambassador, navigator, and holder of many other odd-jobs. Aboard Voyager, Neelix served as a chef, “Special Consultant for the Delta Quadrant”, and occasionally as a self-appointed “chief morale officer”. Captain Kathryn Janeway gave Neelix the unofficial title of “ambassador” when he proved to have a flair for diplomacy.

My pick – Neelix from Star Trek Voyager for his multi-role duties and also for the fact, he can’t read one’s mind. He is less emotional too.

And finally, my favourite characters in both Star Trek series…

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(Can an android beat a hologram? Both are simply the most lovable characters in the respective Star Trek series although the Doctor of the Star Trek Voyager has a serious issue of mobility)

7. The Artificial Intelligence

The cream of the Star Trek series – the crewmen who are not really “alive” (although Captain Picard did argue differently for Data in Starfleet) and can do wonders with limitless calculation and memory storage.

The best part of the “artificial intelligence” in both Star Trek series is that they try (sometimes to an extent of humour) to be as close as a humanistic can be.

ST: TNG Lt Commander Data (Soong-type android) was composed of 24.6 kilograms of tripolymer composites, 11.8 kilograms of molybdenum-cobalt alloys and 1.3 kilograms of bioplast sheeting. All told, he weighed approximately 100 kilograms.

Data’s upper spinal support was a polyalloy designed for extreme stress. His skull was composed of cortenide and duranium. Data was built with an ultimate storage capacity of eight hundred quadrillion bits (100 petabytes, approximately 50 times the identifiable storage capacity of the human brain) and a total linear computational speed rated at sixty trillion operations per second.

Data served as operations officer and second officer on board the USS Enterprise-D from 2364 until the vessel’s destruction in 2371. Since he did not require sleep, he routinely stood night watch on the bridge. His speed of thought and great strength made him an important asset to the ship, and the fact that he was unaffected by disease, radiation or mind control was vital on more than one occasion.

Data pursued many of the higher arts of Earth. He developed his painting skills, creating art of many styles and subjects. He wrote poetry and performed in plays. He played the violin and performed on several occasions.

VOY The Doctor (hologram) was the name given by the crew of the USS Voyager to their Emergency Medical Hologram (alternatively abbreviated as “EMH”). The EMH Mark I, of which the Doctor was an example, was a computer program with a holographic interface in the form of a Human male doctor.

The EMH Mark I, properly known as the Emergency Medical Holographic Program AK-1 Diagnostic and Surgical Subroutine Omega 323, was developed by a team of engineers to be an emergency supplement to the medical team on starships.

Only meant to run for a maximum of one thousand five hundred hours, it had little personality and the apparent objectives of first accessing an emergency situation before dealing with that crisis, as efficiently as possible.

It was capable of treating any known injury or disease; programmed with medical knowledge of every member world in the Federation (at least, as of 2371), it had the knowledge of five million surgical treatments and was capable of adapting to create new medical treatments.

It also had a database of spiritual medical treatments practices by Native Americans. The Doctor took a keen interest in opera, frequently practising his singing with a holographic soprano.

My pick – Data from the Star Trek The Next Generations because he is not limited to any shortcomings in the hologram circuits. He can’t perform major medical functions but that is not a major shortcoming. He just needs to learn the same from the ship’s massive library within seconds.

(Key data and pictures for this Star Trek post sourced here)

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