While neither of us consider ourselves to be Trekkies Tina and I ARE both big Star Trek fans. While we were looking over the Star Trek Adventures RPG we started talking about our favorite characters and episodes. We challenged one another to write out a list of our ten favorite characters and we wended up with some interesting results I felt like sharing.
Because there are so many great characters in Star Trek and it could be hard to crowd someone out of the list we both got an honorable mention.
7 of 9 and Odo
Tina picked the changeling constable Odo from Deep Space 9 played by René Auberjonois. She says she picked him because he had great development during the show, and I have to agree with that. I picked 7 of 9 the former Borg played by Jeri Ryan from Voyager. I know people are going to say nasty things about my choice, and generally people are dismissive of 7, but I think she had some amazing episodes and stories during the series.
“Context Is for Kings” — Episode #103 — Episodic coverage the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Pictured: Doug Jones as Lieutenant Saru. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ÃÂ© 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.
Tina chose Commander William T. Riker First Officer of the Enterprise played by Jonathan Frakes. If I had to a hazard a guess as to why it probably has something to do with the less than serious attitude the commander often displayed. He wasn’t afraid to have fun or laugh when the moment allowed it. I also chose a first officer also Saru of the Discovery played by Doug Jones. Two ore different individuals there have never been, but I like them both. Saru is a Kelpian and the first of his species to join Starfleet. He isn’t afraid to admit to his own misgivings, and he’s willing to admit when he is wrong. Saru is also kind enough to forgive and acknowledge the abilities of others.
Looks like we have a bit of a Voyager reunion. B’elanna Torres the half-Klingon half-human Chief Engineer played by Roxann Dawson was another matter entirely. She was angry, stubborn, and ready to fight with anyone about anything which may have been how she ended up with the Maquis. She was also one of the best engineers Starfleet ever had and she cared about people more than she was willing to admit. Her time of Voyager afforded her opportunities to grow, confront the things that had tormented her for most of her life, and grow into an even more amazing person.
Tina’s pick for #8 Tina and I are both big fans of Voyager’s Tactical Officer the Vulcan Tuvok played by Tim Russ. He stands out among all Vulcans in my mind as one who never allowed his logical nature to overrule him. During the long journey home from the Delta Quadrant he was a teacher, a mentor, a confidant, a soldier, an explorer, and someone the crew could always count on. My choice was Lt. Commander Data of the Enterprise played by Brent Spiner. Data is such a fan favorite I have always found him fascinating. In this ongoing mission to explore the stars Data is undergoing his own mission to explore his own identity. He’s asking Who am i? Why am I here? He asks these questions with an open mind and explores all of the possibilities. Plus, let’s face it, Data is a nerd. He has a cat, he LARPS, and he can perform trillions of equations in seconds.
Tina picked Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterprise played by Patrick Stewart. You can’t not have THE captain on this list at some point unless you hate everything about Next Generation. My choice was Jadzia Dax Science Officer of Deep Space 9 played by Terry Farrell. Jadzia wasn’t the first Trill to appear on Star Trek, but she was the first to flesh out the species and make it her own. I picked Jadzai in part because like any of the characters from Star Trek she’s brilliant, but there was a bigger reason. I look at Jadzia and see someone who lived. She learned Klingon martial arts, played tongo, saw spatial phenomenon no one else had ever even dared to dream of, and she was ever ready to offer wisdom or a joke when the situation called for it.
I shit you not we both picked Chief Miles O’Brien played by Colm Meaney for #6. We weren’t even in the same room when we did these lists and somehow this happened. So why the O’Brien? On Enterprise he was a secondary character who didn’t get to do much, but he still managed to meet and marry the love of his life, and saw her give birth to their first child Molly. Not bad. In reality I chose him because people who have technical skill are amazing. The rest of us just kind of stumble through the world, but they see all the wires and know just where they go. O’Brien also explores some less pleasant aspects of the future. He’s got prejudices against Cardassians, he’s got a temper like a Klingon, and he’s struggling to keep his family happy while he keeps up with a difficult job. Chief, somehow you did it all. I also think that his friendship with Julian Bashir was something we need to see more of in fiction.
Now we have a Deep Space 9 theme? Fine. Tina chose Captain Benjamin Sisko of Deep Space 9 played by Avery Brooks. If you need an explanation as to why he belongs on this list crack out Netlfix and go watch In The Pale Moonlight. I’ll wait. Understand now? Good. Quark, played by Armin Shimerman, was a Ferengi owned a bar on Deep Space 9. Quark was sexist, greedy, conniving, and in the first few episodes he seemed like he’d sell his own mother for a few slips of latinum. He did manage to keep things interesting with all his schemes and intrigues. His feud with constable Odo made them both more enjoyable, it also seems like it made them rub off on one another. Quark probably grew more than almost any character in any Star Trek show ever. He never quite became one of the good guys, but in the end he wasn’t a bad guy either.
We’re creeping towards the top spots now and competition is getting tighter. For her #4 Tina chose Kira Nerys the Bajoran First Officer of Deep Space 9 played by Nan Visitor. Kira is plain a simple a badass. She can kick the butt of a Jem’Hadar warrior twice her size without spilling her raktajino. She also happens to have some of the most compelling episodes in Star Trek. My choice was Voyager’s Captain Kathryn Janeway played by Kate Mulgrew. I could say a lot of things about why I picked Janeway, but in the end it comes down to one thing. She got her ship home. She didn’t do it alone, and luck helped more than once, but it she saw it as her duty to get Voyager home and she damned well did it.
In part one of the top three we have a repeat performer with Jadzia Dax. I chose the Voyager’s EMH or as he came to be called The Doctor played by Robert Picardo. Who needs a sonic screwdriver when you have a mobile emitter am I right? The Doctor carried on the tradition of Starfleet’s medical officers grappling with ethical conundrums. He also grappled with his own personality and how it clashed with the crew. All of the other EMH programs with his personality were demoted, but Voyager needed him so he got the chance to learn and grow. The Doctor was curious and eager to prove he could be more than just what he was. There’s an episode called Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy that to this day makes me tear up every time I see it. The Doctor has installed a daydream progrma to allow him to live out fantasies, and one of those fantasies is taking command of Voyager as the Emergency Command Hologram during a crisis. When his daydreams go haywire the crew end up getting a peak into his deepest fantasies and seeing one of these scenarios play out.
He says “Thank you for this opportunity Captain. All I’ve ever wanted was the opportunity to live up to my full potential. To hone all my skills, expand my abilities, to help the people I love.”
Robert Picardo brings so much humanity to the role, I don’t think anyone else could have done it quite so well.
Another Voyager reunion? Fine! I’ve already talked about why these characters are so great, but I will also say Tuvok is my favorite Vulcan. Yes over Spock. I said it and I won’t take it back.
Well here we are, the top spot. We end with two Starfleet Captains no less. Captain Philippa Georgiou played by Michelle Yeoh commands the USS Shenzhou on Star Trek Discovery. She’s a great character we only get to see a little bit of, but she makes us wonder what happened in her career to bring her to this point. You can tell she has the admiration and respect of her entire crew. She also seems to be a bit of a pack rat. Captain Picard delivers some of the best dialogue in all of Star Trek. Patrick Stewart makes you care about the ship, the events, and the characters even when you don’t want to. When I think of a Starfleet Captain he’s the first to leap to mind.
Well there you have, those are our Top Tens. I expect there to plenty or rage over these lists. To be honest there are very few characters on Star Trek I don’t like. Less than 3 in fact. I’d like to finish by thanking the actors from the series for all of their hard work over the years.