Thursday, June 02, 2011

My 20 Favorite Star Trek Characters

Doing this list, I see now that I'm far less attached to the Star Trek universe than I thought I was. Whether that makes this list more interesting or not, I have no idea, but Becca suggested this one, so here we are.

20. Porthos. I haven't seen much of Enterprise, but based on what I have seen, he's by far my favorite character.

19. Saavik. A potentially fascinating character that unfortunately got derailed by a change to a far less interesting actress (your fault, Shatner) and then just dropping her altogether.

18. Captain Garrett. It's a shame she was a one-off. I really thought she was interesting and wanted to know more about her than I ever did about Janeway.

17. Gowron. This character had all of the edges I always wanted Worf to have. Unfortunately, the TNG writers loved having troubled characters instead of interesting ones...

16. Commander Kor. The only truly great Klingon rival for Kirk.

15. Lt. Uhura. What a doll. I wish they could've done more with her, in the show and in the films.

14. Pava. My favorite character from the all-too-short-lived Marvel Starfleet Academy comic book. She was fantastic, though she had a real anger problem. The Trek universe needs more Andorians.

13. Kahless the Unforgettable. I always want to like the Klingons more than I do. Maybe when I rewatch TNG it'll click this time for me. Since there are few Klingons on this list, there's obviously something there.

12. Commander Riker. A stalwart.

11. Lt. Barclay. I could relate to him.

10. I-Chaya. You know I love my sehlats. Shame we never got to see more of them. And I guess with Vulcan destroyed in the new series, we'll never get to. Ah, well, I have the only episode of the animated series I remember liking.

9. Khan Noonien Singh. Crack all the jokes you want, this guy is pure, epic, scenery-chewing magnificence. Not just the best Star Trek movie villain, but one of the best movie villains ever.

8. Sulu. A delight, but extra points for the fun Captain Sulu audio adventures.

7. Number One. She was always intriguing as a character, but she's this high because of the short-lived but very good Marvel comic Star Trek: Early Adventures. I don't care if it wasn't canon, she was a great character and I enjoyed the hell out of the book.

6. Dr. McCoy. Always the voice of passion.

5. Sarek. I just appreciate the Vulcans so much. I always liked Sarek, but he places so high because of that great Peter S. Beagle-written TNG episode.

4. Q. It's probably a cliche now to talk about what a great character Q is, but come on, Q's a great character!

3. Captain Kirk. Well, come on. He's an icon. A more thoughtful approach to the science hero of the 1930s, but still an action hero.

2. Captain Picard. I guess this is the side of the Kirk/Picard debate I fall down on. I just always found Picard a richer, more thoughtful character. It's for a variety of reasons--the different TV landscape in the 80s, Roddenberry being older (hey, on TNG, Kirk is basically first officer, and the captain is more mature). As fastidious, repetitive, and tiresome as TNG could get, I always loved Picard.

1. Spock. Was there any doubt? He's always been the Trek character who resonated with me the most, from the very beginning. Not because I'm emotionless and logical; quite the opposite. I know what he's struggling to keep in check. (Ooh, that sounds overdramatic.) But Spock is probably one of my top 5 favorite fictional characters of all time.


Jaquandor said...

How was Kirstie Alley's departure Shatner's fault? Everything I've ever read indicates that she asked for a huge raise for Trek III (some indicate that she would have been making more than DeForrest Kelley), and so she was dumped. I've never seen anything to indicate that Shatner was a factor in any way.

Bob said...

I'm turning Jen onto all things Star Trek (yes, someone who has seen practically none of any of the shows), and we just watched "Errand of Mercy" this afternoon. "I thought Klingons were the ones with the forehead ridges," she said to me. It was difficult to not give her the whole story, as it will be some time before we get to DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations" for the explanation.

Great list.

Daskaea said...

Fabulous list! I want to do one. Unfortunately, I've only mainly watched TNG due to my bestie's obsession with it but still fun!

SamuraiFrog said...

Jaquandor: But everything I've ever read indicates that the reason she asked for a huge raise was because a) Saavik shoulders at least half of Trek III and b) she didn't want to have to put up with Shatner again. I've read a lot of differing stories about Shatner offering her unwanted direction with her acting and hitting on her constantly, to the point where she wanted to walk off Wrath of Khan.

Bob: Becca and I were doing a big Star Trek rewatch last year, but stalled out in the middle of the tedious third season. Netflix is supposed to have all the series up to stream very soon, so we need to get through it now because she's very excited to watch TNG again.

Daskaea: I love the original series best, but TNG is on the menu (it's Becca's favorite).

Will said...

Q and the Klingons got over exposed on TNG. The thing that bothered me about the Klingons was that they were supposed to be an honorable race and were often admired for that. But they are an empire. One does not get and hold an empire by being honorable. All empires are evil.

Jaquandor said...

I swear I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but can you provide a cite of some sort on why Alley left? I've never once read anything of the sort, and a bunch of (admittedly cursory) Googling this morning has only brought me repeatedly to the story that she wanted huge money for STIII just because. I honestly can't find a single indication anywhere that Shatner was any factor in her departure.

SamuraiFrog said...

Will: Good point. I never felt Q was overexposed, but I admit that's coming from someone who stopped watching the original broadcast in its third season.

Jaquandor: And of course I can't... damn it. I read it in a couple of books in the days before the internet, and now I can't remember which ones...

I did find a site that said Shatner and Kirstie Alley were dating at some point?

Bob said...

someone who stopped watching the original broadcast in its third season.

Dude, that's just when it started getting really good.

IMO, of course.

SamuraiFrog said...

That's what everyone told me, and it turned out to be true! I've seen a lot of it in reruns, on video, etc. Becca and I are planning on watching the whole series again this summer. I think it's supposed to start streaming on Netflix in July.