There have been six different Star Trek television series and they add up to 720-plus episodes, if I did the math right. When you think about that entire output, are there a handful of episodes that you would cite as the ones that stick with you most? And if you can, is there any common link you see connecting them in tone or type?
I grew up on original series reruns, and then watched The Next Generation from the premiere episode, so it’s a mix. For TOS, I’d say “Amok Time” really blew my young mind, because we saw Spock really lose it. He kills Kirk! When you’re a kid and you see something happen, it really happens: “Spock killed Kirk!” You’re not old enough yet to be figuring out how the screenwriters are gonna get out of it. For TNG, my favorite episode is “Measure of a Man.” It does what Trek does better than anything: Tell a dramatic, tense, emotional story primarily through debate and ideas.
If you assembled a mix-and-match crew from different Trek franchises with a goal of interesting group dynamic, what might it look like?
I’ll stick with the TOS/TNG theme. For Captain: I’ll go with Kirk. I’d follow Picard into the depths of Kronos, but I gotta go with the original here. (I have a theory that Picard actually represents the Kirk/Spock dynamic acting itself out in one person, but that’s a separate nerd-convo) For First Officer: I’m promoting Data to first officer in place of Spock. No one can replace the Vulcan, but I’d love to see the emotion/logic dynamic play out between Kirk and someone who is all machine, not half-human. Medical Officer: Bones. The guy in charge of healing everyone is the crankiest guy on the ship? Perfect. Engineer: I’ll go Voyager for this one and choose B’Elanna. Half-human, half-Klingon, and a female scientist in a traditionally dude-heavy franchise. Helmsman: Sulu. Best pilot in Starfleet, and he has a sword. Communications: Uhura. Obviously a breakthrough character for American TV, but mostly just one of the coolest characters in any Trek show. Security: Tasha Yar. She’s still alive in my universe. Navigator: I would have Chekov and Wesley battle to the death — in “Amok Time” style — in the pilot episode. Winner gets the chair.