Board 8 > Eight Board-Eighters Rank Star Trek Characters

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SaveEstelle
01/11/20 4:14:03 PM
#51:


scarletspeed7 posted...
I get it off of season one, and I'm not a massive defender of the character, but she was SO much better in season two.

Eddv dropping the show two episodes into the superior season makes me sad but thems the breaks. Also, agreed. Burnham is substantially improved.

ZenOfThunder posted...
every time I watch the episode where Wesley destroys the flowerbed on the Hot Dude Sex Planet and the two almost naked guys trot over and take out the lethal syringe to execute him on the spot I literally lose my shit in an uncontrollable laughing fit

someone in a writer's room came up with that as an A plot for an episode

it's unironically one of the highlights of TNG for me


Its SO BAD I love it

@Vengeful_KBM CHAKOTAY MUST BOX peak Board 8 meme we are the best


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01/11/20 4:37:24 PM
#52:


55. Tasha Yar
Im sorry, Captain. Im leaving the show now to pursue a film acting career. Ill be in such hits as Deep Impact and Mafia Docks.

Has anyone ever made a worse career move than Denise Crosby? I guess she couldnt have known how TNG would explode after she left, but damn, she must regret that decision every day.

I like the idea of tough girl from a crazy planet who was rescued by the Federation and is now completely loyal to it as a starting point for a character. Too bad thats where her character ends. I guess she has more backstory than Geordi, though, so who am I to laugh?

Denise Crosby has stated that she abandoned the show because her character didnt get enough little interactions with others. Thats fine, I guess. Its probably true. As far as the calculus of characters in TNG goes, shes definitely the odd man out. Even Wesley fits as someone who can interact with Picard and Crusher easily. Yars only friend on the show is Worf, and Worf in season 1 is I AM A WARRIOR, I ADVISE WE FIRE ALL PHASERS. Well get to Worf later, but I can understand being frustrated with that.

Anyway, Yar is famous for two things: proving that Data is fully functional (Data later uses that as evidence for why hes a living being in a trial to avoid being disassembled, so ****ing a robot is technically Yars greatest legacy) and having the stupidest death ever. I wonder what Crusher wrote on her death certificate. Killed by an angry oil slick. I understand that they were going for surprise, like Space is dangerous, anything can happen even killing actresses who hate the show, but goddamn, that death was so lame they had to bring Yar back multiple times in time travel episodes.

To me, though, Yar is memorable for two completely different moments. The first is when Wesley asks why people do drugs if they know theyll get addicted and itll ruin their lives. That was compelling television in 1987. The second is when Yar gives us a snippet of her backstory, and it involves Crosby trying to say the words rape gangs while looking traumatized.

God, I cant believe Im still talking about the main character with the fewest episodes, but so be it. We havent even gotten to the episode with the African tribal rapist polygamy planet. Cloak of Honor has the dubious title of Most Racist Star Trek Episode Ever, and it will never be defeated. How can you defeat a planet of black tribal guys with spears whose king kidnaps the first blonde he sees and tries to forcibly marry her? Thats Yars main episode. That and the one where she dies are the only episodes where shes the focus character.

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Vengeful_KBM
01/11/20 5:55:41 PM
#53:


#57. Katherine Pulaski
Dammit, Jean-Luc, I'm a cheap McCoy knockoff, not an original character.



There was a time when I felt Pulaski got kind of a bad rap. Unfortunately for her, that time has passed. Katherine Pulaski is defined almost exclusively by the things that make her most annoying, namely her refusal to treat Data with any reasonable amount of respect, and her crotchety-old-person attitude that was lifted straight from Dr. McCoy but without any of the charisma and charm that DeForest Kelley lent to the archetype.

Still, she probably would rank a little higher for me if she had any sort of staying power or relevance. Diana Muldaur's performance isn't bad, per se, though it is a bit one-note, and I do still think that, had she been given time, she (and the writers) could theoretically have grown into the character, as happened with so many other Next Generation characters that started weak but turned out great over time. Even if it had been over guest appearances or some such, it would have been nice if the show hadn't just acted like she never existed, though I definitely think it was to the show's benefit they were able to get Beverly Crusher back after her season away. It's not like there weren't recurring characters who were worse on that show (lookin' at you, Lwaxana Troi). As it stands, her existence adds absolutely nothing to Star Trek when all is said and done.

So yeah, there's not too much to say in Pulaski's defense, and I've more or less stopped trying over the years. I don't hate her, and there are characters I've ranked above her that irritate me more, but her complete lack of impact can't help but leave a bad taste in your mouth, and every time I have rewatched Season 2 of TNG, my estimation of her has lessened. The most actively irritating thing about her for me is that when she's around, it means Dr. Crusher isn't. Her best moments come in Elementary, Dear Data, one of the first really good episodes of Next Generation, but as the fourth-most important character in that episode, she fills a role there that pretty much any other member of the cast could have filled just as well with only a minor rewrite.

Here is her most tangible contribution to Star Trek lore: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Pulaski%27s_chicken_soup
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ZenOfThunder
01/11/20 5:59:02 PM
#54:


Every time my friends come over to watch Star Trek we always start and end by watching the Goopster kill Tasha Yasha

I highly recommend this to anyone watching with friends it's a great way to bookend an evening

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scarletspeed7
01/11/20 11:48:12 PM
#55:


#59 - Katherine Pulaski

As humanity rocketed towards a harmonious future replete with no true needs and few wants, a being such as Katherine Pulaski represented everything Starfleet was not. Her reliance on old and outmoded practices and ways of thinking seemed to fly in the face of the culture of the Federation, and let's all be honest - she never seemed too excited to be there. Unlike Bones' charming curmudgeonly ways, Pulaski felt like your co-worker who believed they were above everyone else at your job, only deigning to stay employed so they can pick up a paycheck and dash. But in the future, we don't use money, so I question Pulaski's motivation for being on the Enterprise.

And let's make sure we all agree on something: The Enterprise Is The Flagship. Pulaski is emblematic of a problem that permeates through all of the worst crew members - she is far from the best in her position. Despite supposedly being in demand according to her backstory, Pulaski is time and time again lost, hands in the air, waving them like she just don't understand a goddamn difference between a tricorder and a phaser. Constantly questioning the simplest technologies and kvetching and complaining at every turn, Pulaski was unpleasant, an obstacle that forced great stories to stumble. And these stumbles made season two a truly painful puberty for the sophomore Next Generation.

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SaveEstelle
01/12/20 2:51:01 AM
#56:


ZenOfThunder posted...
Every time my friends come over to watch Star Trek we always start and end by watching the Goopster kill Tasha Yasha

I highly recommend this to anyone watching with friends it's a great way to bookend an evening

I can legitimately confirm this lmao

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01/12/20 12:02:31 PM
#57:


54. Michael Burnham
Captain, did I ever tell you about my adopted human sister Michael? She accidentally started that war you must have fought in, since youre thirty-four now and it was ten years ago, ended that same war just before the Klingons destroyed Earth (were talking minutes before), served on a mushroom-powered starship that could teleport, thus rendering the entire purpose of our modern ships null and void, established that Vulcan mind melds can cross interstellar distances for quick and undetectable communication, traveled to the Mirror Universe before us and saved the MULTIVERSE by destroying the Terran Empires throneship, redeemed a Klingon double agent by having sex with him, put the Klingon chancellor on the throne by giving her an iPad that can destroy their home planet, saved all sapient life in the galaxy from herself and her time-traveling mother, defeated a computer program thats probably meant to be the original Borg but the writers aborted that idea at the last second which just makes it awkward, helped me overcome the dyslexia I never told you I have, is responsible for me being your friend because her last words to me were to find someone unlike myself and get to know him, and also put up with me while I acted emotionally and completely out of character by hating her for twenty years because she said something mildly upsetting to me when I was eight. After she saved the Federation three times (five times, if you count saving the life of someone else who later saves the Federation), she traveled to the far future, so I helped cover up her existence so no one would ever learn about it. Thats easy to do when shes the daughter of a galaxy-famous diplomat like my father (who also hated me for life, except when she was around) and was so recognizable that ordinary people knew her face because shed started the war with the Klingons that killed thousands and yet almost defeated a space civilization with a population in the hundreds of billions. Now I know what youre wondering, and the answer is no, I dont know why she has a boy name. Spock

I roll my eyes at the Rey is a Mary Sue argument. She grew up as a junk scavenger, of course she knows about electronics and engines. She defeated Kylo Ren after he was already wounded. Im sure she learned more about sword fighting between movies. She does learn to wield the Force faster than Luke, but so what? When people say that Rey is a Mary Sue, I really dont care at all.

Now, let me tell you why Michael Burnham is a Mary Sue.

I KID, I KID.

Shes not guilty of that particular sin, but she is a poorly-written pile of fecal matter with a bad haircut.

I dont really want to spend this entire write-up complaining about Discovery, so to focus it just on Michael Burnham, here are her chief problems:
1. Shes extremely unlikeable. You could probably write this character to be sympathetic if you were good at your job, but shes always judgmental and making decisions that cause massive problems.
2. Season 1 is almost entirely from her perspective, which is a problem because shes so awful. Season 2 eases up on this, which is the only reason its better (Ill talk more about season 2 when we get to Pike and Spock). Season 2 understands that Michaels only possible use as a character is to be the discount Spock to someone elses discount Kirk. Let me say this here: Spock does not work alone. He does not work as the main character. He is exclusively a supporting character.
3. She feels nothing like a Starfleet character, although this is a broader problem for all of Discovery. Like can you imagine Kirk or Picard finding a planet of innocent brain-plants that send a signal to the Klingons and Federation to get everyone to negotiate, then saying The Klingons wont bother talking, so we need to set a trap to kill them all as fast as possible?

I think a writer said Vulcans are logical, humans are emotional, so a human raised by Vulcans should be super smart but prone to emotional outbursts and bad decisions. Thats not the worst idea, but Michael Burnhams Vulcanness extends only as far as knowing all science. Im going to let you in on a little secret about Vulcans: their defining character trait isnt their ability to say things like repolarize the antineutrino array by running a phased invertaron pulse. Its their ability to make logical deductions based on things the audience has seen and then explain it to their less smart human friends. Theres an episode of TOS where Kirk is like Spock, what is that thing, and Spock scans and is like No clue, dude, but its not a solid, liquid, or gas, which means it doesnt follow our universes physical rules, so its probably from another dimension. That ten second interaction has more Vulcanness in it than a thousand scenes of Michael doing super calculus in her head ever could.

If I dislike Burnham so much, you might ask, why is she so high? The answer to that is simple. I actually do like one thing about her. The only part of Discovery I like is the Mirror Universe part, because for two episodes its almost a real Star Trek. Everyone dresses up in gaudy Warhammer 40K cosplay, theres a throne made out of painted aluminum tubes, its great. Anyway, at the end, the Emperor (whos the alternate version of Michaels mentor whom she failed) is like Yo dude, let me just die, theres no point in going to your universe. Michael knows its not her Philippa Georgiou, but for reasons of emotion still identifies her as her and cant resist saving this genocidal tyrant in a misguided attempt to undo the mistake she made at the beginning of the show. Thats the one time I was actually interested in Michaels actions. Interesting me one time is more than Chakotay ever did, so she squeezes into the top of Bad Tier.

This is unrelated to Burnham, but whats the worst Star Trek Discovery quote? Choose from below.
1. I like science. Spock
2. Hamlet, **** yeah! Michael
3. This is the power of math, peopleeeeeeeeeeee! Tilly

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NFUN
01/12/20 12:07:50 PM
#58:


I haven't seen any of Discovery but I am confident those are the best quotes from it

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SaveEstelle
01/12/20 2:38:20 PM
#59:


I roll my eyes at the Rey is a Mary Sue argument. She grew up as a junk scavenger, of course she knows about electronics and engines. She defeated Kylo Ren after he was already wounded. Im sure she learned more about sword fighting between movies. She does learn to wield the Force faster than Luke, but so what? When people say that Rey is a Mary Sue, I really dont care at all.

<333

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scarletspeed7
01/12/20 2:52:46 PM
#60:


#58 - Ash Tyler

Dissecting the problems with Discovery Season One led me to one utterly immutable conclusion - Michael Burnham is a character only as good as the characters that surround her. Ash Tyler existed only to ask the question of "Why is Michael Burnham so great?" and as such, he proved to be the single worst character in the first season. His appearances were nails on the chalkboard consistently. The revelations of his background only further infuriated me in the way that Discovery Season One had such a difficult time understanding what made Star Trek wonderful. Sappy romance plagues a show about the unbridled optimism of utopian futures and exploration of the unknown.

The solution to Tyler was to give him an entirely unconnected plotline in season two; this proved even more poisonous in terms of my opinion of the character. Now, a character that only existed to tell me how great Burnham was ended up separated from her, floating pointlessly in the overplayed Klingon plotline that I had desperately hoped was stamped out at the end of the first season. With no real motivation or even reason for being on my screen, someone I hated now did me the disservice of not getting to a freaking point, lingering like a bad taste in my mouth.

Very, very rarely do I just want someone to die on screen. Just never show up again. Tyler is that character for me. More than anyone else in the Star Trek legacy, I just want him to kill himself and rid me of his vapid story arcs and pointless, drawn-out, badly written dialogues.

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SaveEstelle
01/12/20 2:55:07 PM
#61:


#57 Janice Rand
Here is your flaw, Shaitan, Lord of the Dark, Lord of Envy, Lord of Nothing, here is why you fail. It was not about me. It's never been about me.

I'm gonna be real brutal here: I'm never entirely convinced why Janice Rand even makes the cut for these lists. This year, we lack Weyoun, but we do have Janice Rand. The thing about Janice Rand is that she's by far the less interesting Rand between Rand al'Thor and herself. I'm sure I don't have to tell you but she never said anything remotely akin to her quote in this write-up. I'm only four books into The Wheel of Time but I could write a Rand al'Thor ranking three pages long with relative ease. I cannot conceivably write more than three paragraphs on Janice Rand, this one included.

In the first half of the first season of Star Trek, Janice Rand exists. Thereafter, she does not exist, until films I, IV, and VI, as well as... Star Trek: Voyager's middling "Flashpoint" episode. Each and every time she returns, mind you, it's like some sort of proto-MCU winky face. "Look, she exists!" Wow, it must be great to exist. "Look, she's older now, just like the rest of the crew!" Well, that's probably less nice, but whatever. "Aha! I recognize her from the original series!" "I thought she looked familiar! Why, that's Janice Rand!" No one should ever feel compelled to portray excitement at the notion of Janice Rand popping up for 30 seconds. If you do, please give Discovery a second chance, because winking is commonplace in 2256.

It's interesting that Janice Rand -- wait, no, no it is not. Memory Alpha manages to churn out some summarization of Janice Rand's roles in several early episodes, but here are some highlights: at one point, a feral Captain James T. Kirk, under the influence of an alien or whatever, carnally lusts after Janice Rand. This is considered a plot point despite the fact that Captain James T. Kirk is always feral and his carnal lust for Janice Rand is evident upon William Shatner's exquisitely-sculpted face every time she enters the room. Also, Janice Rand brews hot coffee in two separate scenes. Wild.



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scarletspeed7
01/12/20 3:39:51 PM
#62:


These points make me think I should have ranked Rand lower. Trying to decide if apathy is worse than dislike is difficult.

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SaveEstelle
01/12/20 3:40:47 PM
#63:


scarletspeed7 posted...
These points make me think I should have ranked Rand lower. Trying to decide if apathy is worse than dislike is difficult.

It can go either way for me. There are several characters left whom I actively dislike, but Rand is just so whatever and lacking in memes that I nuked her early.

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scarletspeed7
01/12/20 3:43:16 PM
#64:


I tried to let the scale go from X-axis "Love to Hate" and Y-axis "Well-written to Awfully Written" and hopefully start with the worst of both worlds and work my way up to the best.

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Vengeful_KBM
01/12/20 5:03:31 PM
#65:


I mostly went with an "apathy is worse than dislike" approach for my Bottom 10, with Chakotay being the major example of someone that somehow evokes huge amounts of both apathy and hatred which is why he was a no-brainer for Bottom 1. Still, after a couple more "nothing" characters, my list will turn towards the characters that actively annoy me.
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01/12/20 5:24:26 PM
#66:


53. Ash Tyler
I serve TKuvma the Unforgettable, who will never be mentioned again.

So, setting aside the question of how a culture with the most advanced disguise and plastic surgery technology in the galaxy could discriminate against albinos when an albino could just get turned into a normal Klingon (hell, he can even get turned into a normal human), Im curious how you can screw up this character.

In theory, Klingon double agent who has second thoughts and wants to save both sides and have a forbidden romance with the protagonist should be bulletproof. In theory, Klingon successor chosen by TKuvma and must play Klingon politics to do whats right should be bulletproof. In theory, Klingon sleeper agent whose awakening memories cause him to murder an innocent man, then feel guilt over it, also his love interest freaks out at the discovery should be bulletproof.

Its a testament to how poorly the show is written that Ash still ends up boring. I think its because hes a satellite character of Burnham, but Im not sure. He has enough stuff going on in his arc to be interesting on his own, but instead he ruins what could have otherwise been an interesting arc of the outcast Klingon who has to make his way in the galaxy for whats right (from his perspective). Other characters who arent Burnham satellites but have less going on are still better than him, so I cant really nail down why he doesnt work for me.

Maybe I should travel to the Klingon time travel monastery, age sixty years in a week, and take one of the crystals at the price of locking in a destiny that causes me to become wheelchair-bound in exchange for granting me forbidden knowledge.

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Vengeful_KBM
01/12/20 5:38:19 PM
#67:


#56. Janice Rand
#55. Christine Chapel

Say what you want about either of these two, but they are essentially the same boring character. Janice Rand's greatest sin is that she barely matters, disappears after the first half a season, and then starts showing up in the movies and on the Flashback episode of Voyager because Grace Lee Whitney never managed to do anything else with her acting career. She then gets replaced by Christine Chapel, who fills the same token woman in a short skirt for Shatner and the Boys to leer at role, although with the added, ultimately pointless wrinkle that she's hopelessly in love with Spock. This is never adequately explored, and often goes long stretches of the series being ignored even in scenarios where it would make sense for it to come up I adore the episode Amok Time, for instance, but it's kind of comical that all Chapel does in that episode is get soup thrown at her. I do feel bad for Majel Barret here, as she was a pretty competent actress who often got saddled with really bad parts. Getting demoted from the original Number One in The Cage to token nurse lady must have been quite a blow, but it's really telling when your best role in the franchise is almost certainly voice of starship computer.

So yeah, these characters are pretty inextricable from each other in my mind, and the only reason Chapel ranks higher is because she's played by a slightly better actress and gets slightly more to do than the nothing at all Janice Rand ended up with over the course of the series. Neither one is worth spending much time or energy talking about, in my mind, and they honestly barely belong on a ranking list over the likes of Guinan or Weyoun in the first place; merely on the technicality of their billing in the show.
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SaveEstelle
01/12/20 7:07:42 PM
#68:


http://blog.trekcore.com/2020/01/star-trek-picard-officially-renewed-for-season-2/

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scarletspeed7
01/12/20 8:53:54 PM
#69:


I thought it was renewed last year already for season two.

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SaveEstelle
01/13/20 11:16:37 AM
#70:


scarletspeed7 posted...
I thought it was renewed last year already for season two.

It was, albeit unofficially. Its nice to have PR confirmation at last!

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01/13/20 11:45:08 AM
#71:


- Filler Tier
This tier is for characters who dont harm the show theyre on, but who either do nothing of importance or whose negative qualities perfectly balance their positive ones.

52. Janice Rand
Is not a Starfleet officer entitled to the sweat of his own brow?

Janice Rand is the ultimate real life story is more interesting than the fictional story. The only interesting thing about Rand is why she was kicked off of the show. According to the actress, she turned down a producers advances and got canned for it. According to the studio, the producers were concerned that Kirk having a steady love interest would mean he couldnt romance the girl of the week, so they got rid of her for that sake. Which is true? It doesnt matter, because neither has much bearing on Janice Rand herself.

This character squeaks into Star Trek rankings purely because of how 1960s television shows credited actors. Because the format, opening credits only credited the main actors (Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley), and everyone else had to wait for the back credits. This technically makes Rand as much of a main character as someone like Scotty. But for this technicality, no one would ever bother ranking her.

Ive watched every episode of every Star Trek, and I can remember exactly one Janice Rand moment. The actress boobs got huge as she got older, so when she appears in that one episode of Voyager and Janeway has to steal her uniform, its like comical how Janeway puts on the uniform of a woman with a chest three times her size and the editing cuts around it so the uniform just fits. And heres the thing: thats not even really a Janice Rand moment.

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SaveEstelle
01/13/20 4:06:50 PM
#72:


Ah yes, the hallmark of Janice Rand -- Captain Kathryn Janeway

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01/14/20 11:32:49 AM
#73:


51. Travis Mayweather
Ive been to space.

Mayweather is the ultimate not a character character, because hes not a character. He gets into these lists because hes listed as a character and he appears in almost every episode, but hes not a character. Hes a glorified extra. There are single-episode characters with more to them than Mayweather got during four seasons. No one likes this part of the list where people have to just get rid of the chaff, but Mayweathers technical inclusion as a main character forces everyones hands.

I assume that the writers invented him figuring theyd do something with him eventually, then just realized it was a better idea to focus on the characters that matter, leaving him flailing around uselessly. At least the actor knew enough to stay on for the royalties. Was he just smarter than Denise Crosby, or did he know because hed seen her screw up? Well never know.

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SaveEstelle
01/14/20 1:21:43 PM
#74:


The first Travis falls . . .

Gonna write something up after class.

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SaveEstelle
01/14/20 5:11:56 PM
#75:


#56 Christine Chapel
I like Spock.
-Discovery writers if they had decided to recast this legendary nothingness character

If for some strange reason anyone is lurking this topic and theyre purely interested in my writeups, I have two things to say to you. First of all, read the other writeups too. Theyre sometimes funnier than my own. Second, Im so sorry that my week has been as boring thus far as Janice Bland and Christine Chapstick.

Look, Ill admit, Chapel at least exists for far longer than Rand does. Thats something. But when the most eye-opening thing I remember about this woman is that her vanished-then-found husbands strange android girlfriend is fucking gorgeous, Ive gotta admit that Im being shallow, but I can equally accept my shallowness today because its literally Christine Chapel memories otherwise. Apparently, Christine Chapel nearly drowns in The Animated Series, so, um, Im sorry to hear that? Also, she likes Spock, but weve covered that already.

The best thing about Christine Chapel is that her actress, the late and great Majel Roddenberry, goes on to play Lwaxana Troi in TNG and DS9. Contrary to most folks, I dont dislike Lwaxana Troi every two to three episodes or so. Her character is occasionally terrific, like in TNGs Half a Life and DS9s Odo interactions. So yay. Theres that. But this paragraph has turned into a subpar Lwaxana Troi writeup, so needless to say Im willfully off the rails.

I live near Chapel Hill, North Carolina?

Anyway.

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01/14/20 6:46:07 PM
#76:


50. Hoshi Sato
Why do we even have communications officers anyway? Seems like this job could be combined with any of three other bridge jobs.

Travis Mayweather has one personality trait: hes earnest. Hes enthusiastic. He wants to do his job and explore space. Hoshi Sato, I dont know. I watched every episode of Enterprise, but the main thing I remember about her is that the Blu-ray of the Mirror Universe episode accidentally made a computer screen visible that wasnt intended to be, where someone had jokingly written in her biography that she dies when Kodos murdered half of the planet Kirk was on when he was a kid, and now its really vague if thats canon or not.

Jesus Christ, at least Mayweather has the joke about him not being a character, Hoshi has nothing.

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01/15/20 11:33:23 AM
#77:


49. Christine Chapel
Im literally having sex with the showrunner.

Unlike Hoshi, I can at least name a character trait Nurse Chapel possesses: shes very romantic. She kind of varies between wistfully thinking about Spock or cooking his food or whatever and just doing her job normally with no particular personality. The problem is that I dont care, and no one cares. The best I can say about her is that at least unlike Mayweather and Hoshi, she was never really intended to matter. There was no hope this would be an interesting character, she existed purely to be Spocks Yeoman Rand. Shes so boring that even Star Trek 09 doesnt include her, and instead just folds her role into Uhura to give her something more to do.

I cant think of any kind of actual emotion Nurse Chapel summon out of me, so this writeup will also be short, sorry.

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SaveEstelle
01/15/20 4:01:11 PM
#78:


Anagram posted...
50. Hoshi Sato
Why do we even have communications officers anyway? Seems like this job could be combined with any of three other bridge jobs.

Travis Mayweather has one personality trait: hes earnest. Hes enthusiastic. He wants to do his job and explore space. Hoshi Sato, I dont know. I watched every episode of Enterprise, but the main thing I remember about her is that the Blu-ray of the Mirror Universe episode accidentally made a computer screen visible that wasnt intended to be, where someone had jokingly written in her biography that she dies when Kodos murdered half of the planet Kirk was on when he was a kid, and now its really vague if thats canon or not.

Jesus Christ, at least Mayweather has the joke about him not being a character, Hoshi has nothing.

LMAO oh god the vid screen incident. So good.

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SaveEstelle
01/15/20 4:24:05 PM
#79:


#55 Tasha Yar
"I quit! ...So when do you need me back?"

Tasha Yar isn't an interesting character. And that's a crying shame. Despite Gene Roddenberry's push for picture perfect human harmony aboard the Enterprise-D, which was stupid, Yar's series bible entry mentions that she's from a planet filled with literal rape gangs, so needless to say everything else dreadful is going on there as well. In the third season, we get to briefly explore that planet, via Tasha's somewhat more interesting sister. But Yar herself is long gone -- dead thanks to a salt monster, I cannot make this shit up -- because Denise Crosby didn't think she was receiving compelling enough material to continue. And you know, she wasn't wrong, it's just that hardly anybody was in season one, because the writers didn't just screw Yar up. They screwed the whole shebang.

But back to Tasha. I liken her to the earliest episodes of Stargate SG-1 as the very clearly male writers scrambled to define Amanda Tapping's character, Samantha Carter. Instant verve! Let's give them both diatribes about girl power. Now what? Um, no idea. I got nothing. Stargate SG-1's worst ever episode comes blissfully soon (or awfully soon, if you're trying to recruit friends as newfound fans). It's called "Emancipation" and it's written by a woman named Katharyn Powers. I truly hate to throw this woman under the bus when so few women were writing for television (and certainly not science fiction) at the time but she is an atrocious writer. In "Emancipation", Sam Carter is kidnapped by a sexist backwards warlord who is a person of color and proves her mettle by fighting. In the worst episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which comes blissfully soon (or awfully soon, if you're trying to recruit friends as newfound fans), Tasha Yar is kidnapped by a sexist backwards warlord who is a person of color and proves her mettle by fighting. In both instances, what is intended as a statement against sexism collapses into an ugly racist sentiment with feminism so dense it manages to destroy itself despite its aims.

After Tasha Yar was killed thanks to a salt monster -- again, I cannot make this shit up -- Denise Crosby wanted back on the show so the excellent "Yesterday's Enterprise" was written two years later. This is Yar at her finest, though it's far more memorable for the reactions from the Enterprise crew than Crosby's own performance, which is... fine. Now that Yar's fate was different -- heroic sacrifice, predestined -- Crosby then suggested that Yar survived the incident and was made a slave and concubine of a Romulan officer... because, I guess. Their offspring is Sela, who is Denise Crosby with half-Romulan forehead ridges, and while she's kind of a comically two-dimensional villain I still hate how her last canonical scene involves her, like, running away never to be seen again. She should have gotten something more but I guess these silly ideas meet silly endings.

She also showed up in a downright bizarre skin-revealing outfit to fuck Data.

But enough about plots that would have felt right at home in Star Trek: Voyager.




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Seginustemple
01/15/20 6:15:32 PM
#80:


Dang am I the only one that straight up likes Discovery? I mean it has flaws (some ridiculous writing, excessive burnham waterworks) but I'd argue it's the strongest first 30 episodes of a Trek since TOS. Season 2 was trending upwards, the cast has been great so far. I'm excited to see where it goes.

Just waiting on Ash Tyler to reveal he is also secretly Tasha Yar in anagram form
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01/15/20 6:26:43 PM
#81:


48. Nyota Uhura
Captain, I think I lost my personality

You know what the hardest thing to do was for the past five characters, including this one? Think of fake quotes.

Uhura is an extremely famous character, to the point where my sister (who once asked if Han Solo was from Space Guys) could recognize her. But what does she actually do? Nothing. Shes there purely to be the girl. I guess you can argue that her personality is that she enjoys playing around, but its hard to think of like the defining Uhura moment, aside from the famous kiss.

Honestly, the thing I remember Uhura most for is what she didnt do: captain the ship. There are two episodes where Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty are down on the whatever planet and George Takei was busy filming a movie, so Uhura should be in charge. Instead they just dredged up some guy to do it because the producers didnt want her in the chair. I can only imagine that incensed Nichelle Nichols.

If were being really honest here, alternate universe Uhura has more personality in one movie than real Uhura does in six movies and three seasons. I did not see the twist coming where she turns into an Orion Slave Girl, travels back in time two-hundred years, and gets adopted by Thanos.

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ChichiriMuyo
01/15/20 6:29:49 PM
#82:


To be fair to Denise Crosby, Gene told her flat out he was never going to give her character anything to work with. Roddenberry only wanted to focus on Picard/Riker/Data like he did with Kirk/Spock/Bones. Once he was gone of course she wanted back on because at least then the writers tried to give her something to work with. If I was in her position I'd probably have left too. At the time the show was going nowhere and being nobody on a nothing show isnt exactly great on a resume.

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scarletspeed7
01/15/20 7:00:55 PM
#83:


Anagram posted...


If were being really honest here, alternate universe Uhura has more personality in one movie than real Uhura does in six movies and three seasons. I did not see the twist coming where she turns into an Orion Slave Girl, travels back in time two-hundred years, and gets adopted by Thanos.
Had me for a second. But also it's legitimately true.

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SaveEstelle
01/15/20 7:53:27 PM
#84:


Seginustemple posted...
Dang am I the only one that straight up likes Discovery? I mean it has flaws (some ridiculous writing, excessive burnham waterworks) but I'd argue it's the strongest first 30 episodes of a Trek since TOS. Season 2 was trending upwards, the cast has been great so far. I'm excited to see where it goes.

Just waiting on Ash Tyler to reveal he is also secretly Tasha Yar in anagram form

Nope, I like it too! As does KBM.

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scarletspeed7
01/15/20 10:28:45 PM
#85:


I like some aspects of season 1 significantly, and season 2 even more.

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ChichiriMuyo
01/15/20 11:16:41 PM
#86:


Seginustemple posted...
Just waiting on Ash Tyler to reveal he is also secretly Tasha Yar in anagram form
I'm listening...

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SaveEstelle
01/17/20 11:03:48 AM
#87:


I'm probably going to do some studying at Dunkin Donuts today so I'll knock a couple more out then.

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01/17/20 11:23:23 AM
#88:


47. Pavel Chekov
Did you know Beatles haircuts were invented in Russia?

Before I go on, RIP new Chekov.

Chekov, Chekov Unlike the other characters just below him, Chekov actually does have a distinct personality. Like dialogue written for him cannot be mistaken for Scottys dialogue, etc. The problem is that hes still not much of a character. Dudes just sort of there most of the time.

Chekov is the definition of a filler character. He has just enough to him to pass for being a person, but hes really just there to have another recognizable face obeying Kirks orders. When Chekov does do stuff, hes there to screw up because hes younger and more inexperienced, despite the actor being the same age as everyone else, but hey, thats the way it goes.

Chekov inspires mainly apathy in me, sorry.

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Eddv
01/17/20 12:11:50 PM
#89:


55. Reginald Barclay
A Nerd? Me?

So Star Trek has a bad habit of presenting non-masculine male characters as being just hapless geeks to begin with. TNG already had one of these already in the form of Geordi but Geordi bless him at least has some other meat on the bone.

Reginald is an amalgam of the very worst of Harry Kim or Geordi taken up to 11. He's annoying for pretty much all of his screen time. I am told he is meant to be some kind of in joke, trekkie parody and good lord you can keep him.


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Eddv
01/17/20 1:30:46 PM
#90:


54. Sylvia Tilly
I am hyper and stuff

The series - perhaps tiring of the Geordi Archetype being applied exclusively to men went ahead and debuted this character. But like Reginald she bears almost all of the same faults only the show's dark tone makes her seem foolish beyond the level that is intended for her.

Early on it is said that she has her own room because of some sort of health issue before she is forced to start sharing with Michael. It was my assumption at that time that she was not going to be neurotypical as this shows expansion into new kinds of diversity as is show tradition.

She has allergies and snores a lot instead. And my interest in her basically never recovered.

She gets sucked into the magic mushrooms plot and for the entirety of season 1 in my view serves one of two purposes with all her screen time - 1) worship michael or 2) be generally sort of annoying in her lead B plots.

Again this is on the basis of just season 1 of Disco but I did not enjoy her one bit.

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Eddv
01/17/20 1:51:56 PM
#91:


53. Katherine Pulaski
I was a failed concept

Season Two of TNG is the fucking pits. If every TNG character were rated on their season 2 performances alone they'd all be this low.

I think her overall concept was good and the potential for a Bones/Spock style relationship burgeoning between she and Data had promise.

As a bonus we would have been spared the droll romance between Beverly Crusher and Picard.

But she didn't get that chance as Gates McFadden was back the next season and so she lies here in the graveyard of bad.

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SaveEstelle
01/17/20 9:02:20 PM
#92:


Okay so I didnt end up going to DD today but I will make up for it tomorrow lol

Season 1 TNG is even worse since Season 2 has a couple of real winners but its still pretty bad overall.

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01/17/20 9:23:27 PM
#93:


46. Kes
Why yes, porcupine-headed idiots are my type, how did you know?

The most important thing to know about Kes is that she was going to stay on the show for its full run, but the producers demanded a character be cut for financial reasons after they brought on Seven of Nine. This character was going to be Harry Kim, which is why the last episode of season 3 has the Borg Queen directly address him through Voyagers bridge screen. But between seasons, Time Magazine did a 100 Sexiest Men list, and Garret Wang (Harrys actor) was on it.
https://c8.alamy.com/comp/D7KH2W/duesseldorf-germany-09-may-2013-actor-garrett-wang-star-trek-voyager-D7KH2W.jpg
This man was declared too sexy to let go of, and thats why Kes was written out of the show.

This character has some potential if you look at things from a purely premise perspective. All of the humans are from a spacefaring civilization, so they cant really be wowed by the wacky space shenanigans they find. Solution? Introduce a primitive alien girl in the first episode. As they go along, they discover that shes not completely what she seems, and that a dark power nests within her.

If youve ever watched Voyager, you know both that I just made Kes sound way more interesting than she really is and that the writers were capable of two good episodes per season, max. The writers never had any idea what to do with the Kes has super strong psychic powers storyline. Writing her out of the show might have been a blessing in disguise.

I guess I should also address the whole Neelix thing. So if you have a race of aliens who die in nine years and have no understanding of anything beyond a redressed factory set I mean the underground civilization theyve lived in for generations, then youve effectively made them kind of childlike? So it doesnt feel like Kes relationship with Neelix is really on equal terms here, but this never gets brought up.

Aside from all of that, Kes is a perfectly fine premise ruined by Voyagers garbage execution.

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01/17/20 10:42:29 PM
#94:


45. Harry Kim
Captain, sensors detect that Ive been an ensign for seven years Do you think we could fire a photon promotion in my direction?

What is there to even say about Harry Kim? Hes sort of the poster child for personality-less Trek characters. The actor himself explained that he was instructed to underplay all emotion, and if thats truly the case, this man deserves a Golden Globe, because he nails it.

So, Harry was clearly designed as one of those characters whos just there to support the real characters. A Sulu or a Chekov, rather than a Kirk or a Data. By itself, that should be okay. What makes it interesting is that Harry took it to the next level in a unique way: he actually does get a lot of stuff to do, but none of it is interesting. Hes in almost every episode, hes always saying and doing stuff, I want to say that he gets injured more than anyone else on Voyager, and yet just try to describe this guys personality. Inexperienced, forthright, honest, a little dumb. Thats the best I can do.

I guess if I have to talk about Harry Kim, the easiest comparison is, oddly, Geordi. Besides being the tech guys who constantly get shown up by Data/Seven of Nine, both characters are sort of one-note background-less nobodies who are just there to support the real characters. Both characters have a bunch of episodes about themselves, and most of those episodes end up being about romance, because what else can you do with a nothing character? Geordi gets a bit more to do and is less dumb, though, so hes way higher on the list (spoilers). There are a few good Harry Kim episodes, shockingly, like the one where an alien god (there are way too many of those around) sends him back to Earth in the past so he never got onto Voyager, so he has to choose between happiness and his friends, or the one where he accidentally kills everyone except Chakotay and has to travel back in time to erase his mistakes, but basically this character is garbage, and even his few good moments could as easily be given to other characters.

The defining Harry Kim moment to me will forever be when he died and was replaced by an alternate timeline phasic version of himself or whatever, and no one ever mentioned it again. Youd think that would weigh heavily on a guy, knowing that these arent really your friends, that even if you reach Earth youll never really see your parents again, but apparently not.

Lastly, the most interesting thing about Voyager to me is a random anecdote mentioned in passing by Garret Wang. According to him, he and Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris) were screwing around and throwing comm badges at each other to see if they could make one stick to each others chest from a distance. Kate Mulgrew showed up, threw a badge, got to stick to his chest in one try, announced Thats why Im the captain, and walked away.

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Murphiroth
01/17/20 11:20:34 PM
#95:


The most interesting thing about Kes is her actress' arrest for indecent exposure in my family's tiny hometown of Harriman, TN. There's only like 6000 people there.

https://variety.com/2015/tv/news/jennifer-lien-arrested-star-trek-voyager-1201594328/

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01/18/20 3:56:16 PM
#96:


44. Malcolm Reed
Yes, Captain.

I was asked to make the entire list of Star Trek characters for this ranking topic. I was too lazy to look them up, so I just did from memory. Afterwards, I rolled my eyes and looked them up just to be safe. Do you know how many pre-DIS characters Id missed? Two: Malcolm Reed and Deanna Troi.

I made jokes about this with Harry Kim and others, but Malcolm Reed is the ultimate supporting Trek character. The dude never gets an episode fully to himself, never gets a real moment to shine, and has limited interactions with everyone except Trip. It took until season 4 for Reed to get anything, where its revealed that he works for Section 31 (let me take this moment to complain about Discovery having a unique comm badge design for Section 31, as if a spy agency would want to have black comm badges that announce who they are when theyre spiesssss). It barely even matters in the end.

Reeds purpose on the ship is to fire phase cannons (because we have to be more primitive than phasers, but not in any way that matters) and to be the captain when the three real characters are down on the planet. As a result, he wins the dubious most competent member of the crew award, because everyone else has the opportunity to screw up, while he has to stay aboard and fix their mistakes so the plot can continue. Like seriously, tell me one personality trait this guy has.

If I can say anything for Reed, its this: hes inoffensive. Theres nothing about him thats actively bad, hes just really, really boring.

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01/18/20 4:42:51 PM
#97:


43. Sylvia Tilly
This is the power of math, peopleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I cant quite tell if Tilly is this high because she genuinely reaches the lofty heights of inoffensiveness, or if its because anyone is high when compared to Michael Burnham. I accept responsibility if Ive overranked her, but really, who cares?

Its not wrong to call this character female Barclay and just end the writeup there.

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01/18/20 7:40:33 PM
#98:


42. Philippa Georgiou
Mwahaha, Im evil but Ill help you anyway.

Its not really fair to count this as a character, since we have the real Philippa Georgiou for two episodes, then the rest is the Mirror Universe version. But whatever.

I already explained my love for Discoverys Mirror Universe episodes in the Burnham writeup, so in short: the Mirror Universe is just so inherently silly that I love anything associated with it. Discovery is extremely stupid, and Georgiou injects some badly needed absurdity to make it more tolerable. I have an ipad that will blow up a nuclear bomb I placed inside of a volcano to force the enemy nation into backing down is the kind of nonsense youd expect in a James Bomb movie. A computer program has put nanomachines into a guy who is now immune to laser guns; Ill have a fistfight with him. Her second episode involves eating a guys brain and using a circular saw to kill a bunch of noblemen. Everything about her is presented with complete sincerity and its so, so silly.

It helps that she actually does manage the whole gray morality element better than the rest of the cast. Shes a genocidal dictator who loses her human-supremacist empire, then has a chance to become a spy to help a more egalitarian democracy, and actually genuinely does want to help. She has an immediately more interesting setup than basically any other character on the show, and its further helped by having the only interesting dynamic with Michael Burnham of anyone. I look like your mother figure but Im completely different and you cannot redeem your earlier mistakes with her by helping me is bizarre, but it actually does work Right up until Michael accepts this, whereupon their dynamic becomes boring again.

Can I just say that the show cheated with her introduction? I just wanted to say that. Besides calling her Emperor instead of Empress (and dont argue about this, the ENT episodes established the Terrans called female rulers Empresses), the first DIS Mirror Universe episode says no one knows what the Emperor looks like and all information is kept tightly guarded and that therere no images in the space internet of him. Then when Georgiou shows up, all of the unimportant extras on the bad guy ship just immediately recognize her and do the Heil Hitler.

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01/19/20 10:26:31 AM
#99:


41. Hikaru Sulu
Oh my.

There are four Asians in Star Trek, and all four have gone down for me in the space of ten rankings, none above Filler Tier. I just noticed that three of them have first names that start with H, good for Phillipa Georgiou for finally breaking that awful stereotype only the second letter of her first name has an H.

Anyway, Sulu. Hes another of those classic Im here to say Yes captain characters who barely counts as a character at all. Can anyone name a defining Sulu moment besides the one time he grabbed a sword and ran around the ship? He wasnt even specifically interested in swords, theres another episode where he has a 17th century gun. He was just interested in old weapons, but the 09 movie was so desperate for something for him to do that hes revealed to be a master swordsman or whatever, then is no more useful than Kirk armed only with his fists.

It makes perfect sense that Sulu is the only one of the TOS cast besides Kirk who goes on to captain a ship. Spock and McCoy are too useful to the story and have to be kept in orbit of Kirk and Scotty is established as only caring about engines, which just leaves Uhura, Chekov, and Sulu. Chekov managed to get all the way to first officer, then when his ship got blown up by Kirk, returned to serving under Kirk. Thats how the Federation rolls. No one cares about Uhura, so it had to be Sulu. And look how Takeis career blossomed under that! He got to be in an episode of Voyager! Albeit, that was only because it was the thirtieth anniversary of Star Trek and the DS9 celebration episode (i.e. the good one) had all the TOS cast except Sulu and Rand, so they had to shoehorn those two in somewhere, and where better than a memory of a guy who was retconned into being on their ship? Seriously, was it too much to ask for a time travel or alternate dimension episode or something? Just say that the Excelsior was caught in an inverse tachyon storm and landed ten feet away from Voyager because it was interphasically tethered to Tuvok or something. Seven of Nine has to open a polarized neutronium vortex to send them back, and the Doctor erases their memories of the future. Janeway is momentarily tempted to take Voyager back to the Federation, but realizes she cant go 100 years back in time and everyone is disappointed again.

I guess I should talk about Sulus possible gayness. George Takei has always maintained that Sulu is straight and that Takeis own sexuality should not be read into the character. Within the actual text of Star Trek, I guess you could argue that its ambiguous, since while Sulu has a daughter, hes literally the only main character in all of Star Trek to never have a love interest or show attraction to any other character (dont give me the time he got drunk and called Uhura a fair maiden), but if Nichelle Nichols gets to approve of Uhuras first name, I think were all fine with Takei deciding this. Then Star Trek Beyond (bonus points if you remember the plot to that movie without having to look it up) was like WE NEED A GAY, so theres a five second scene where Sulu is with his husband and daughter. I have to assume Takei hates them for that.

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01/19/20 1:11:43 PM
#100:


40. Charles Tucker
Hoooooooooooo-wee!

Can I just say that Trips rank is Commander, and TPols rank is Subcommander, but she outranks him? What the hell is that?

Im going to level with you: I watched Enterprise once when I was nineteen. Ive rewatched a few episodes here and there since, but for the most part, my memory of some of it is very hazy. But I remember Trip pretty well. The dude can be summed up as I have to maintain the most complicated machine ever built, but Im a redneck who doesnt know anything.

ENT was consciously trying to emulate the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic, with Trip taking the role of McCoy. As you expect, this goes off without a hitch, and Trip is universally considered to be one of the strongest and most developed characters on any science-fiction show, not just Star Trek.

I refuse to believe TPol could find anything attractive about this man. I rewatched a bit of ENT a few months ago, got to the part where they have to strip down to their underwear and massage each other with anti-radiation gel, and was like this is the most dated thing ever.

The most memorable Trip moment to me came in the crossover with 24, when Trip travels back in time, becomes a security guard, and terrorists are going to kill him. Jack Bauer has to choose between saving him and alerting the other terrorists that theyre under attack, or letting him die and ensuring his own mission will be a success. Of course, having already watched Star Trek, we the audience know that Jack will save Trip, and so he does.

No, seriously, whose idea was it to kill Trip in the final episode? An episode so horrendous that every reference to it since then has been to retcon it? Even the actors and director admitted it was a mistake. I dont like Trip, but I dont hate him, either. At least when Yar dies to a random bad guy, hes like a manifestation of hatred and effectively rules a planet or whatever. Trip goes down to ordinary thieves. And like hes dying on the doctors table and Phlox is like hes been burned too badly to save but most of his skin is clearly just fine, hes just got some blood on his jaw, hell clearly be okay.

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