Jump to content

Randal Shayne

Captains Council member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Randal Shayne

  1. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Star Trek: Discovery has been enormously polarizing, both for critics and the dedicated fanbase. The controversy stems from almost every part of Discovery itself; the appearance, the story, the characters, and much more. For all the debate it creates, Discovery is hardly the first Star Trek series to stimulate some level of discord. The Original Series was the first of its kind, both in story style and in presentation. The racial equality, ethical musing and divisive political perspectives presented made it a bold and, in some cases, threatening television show. The Animated Series generally featured decent stories, but the animation itself was a turnoff for some of the audience. The Next Generation was greeted with disgust and apprehension from many old school fans, who couldn’t believe that it would match the original. Deep Space Nine’s grungier, darker tone bucked the utopian staple that Star Trek so firmly clutched. Voyager and Enterprise are both loved and hated by various fans, mostly for the content and direction of their stories.

    This week’s poll asks you to pick the series you thought was most controversial. Give us your vote, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

  2. The best soundtracks in films are those that match and enhance the ambiance and themes presented on the screen. In this regard, Star Trek composers have had a particularly difficult job- how do you compress wonder, mystery, and beauty into small auditory snippets? Fortunately for us fans, it seems that each movie in the Star Trek franchise has been graced with a phenomenal musical accompaniment. Whether it’s the introspective, grand and powerful themes from the Motion Picture, or the pulsating, action-filled tunes from the nuTrek movies, there’s something for everyone. This week’s poll asks you to name your favorite movie soundtrack. Give us your vote, and let us know what you chose in the comments section below!

  3. Weddings. Whether you’re throwing rice at the bride and groom or beating them over the head with Ma’Stakas, they are generally happy occasions, and symbolize a sacred union between two people. From the first (aborted) marriage of Robert Tomlinson and Angela Martine aboard the Enterprise NCC 1701, to the long-awaited conjugation of Deanna Troi and William Riker, Star Trek has a long tradition of showing such ceremonies on the screen. Each has taken a different tone, different visual style and, of course, different participants. This poll asks you which of the many marriage ceremonies shown on screen was your favorite. Did you enjoy the Japanese-styled ceremony of Miles O’Brien and Keiko Ishikawa? Or were the somber, aggressive overtones of Worf and Jadzia Dax’s wedding more to your taste? Perhaps the less than romantic civil union imposed upon Quark by the widow Grilka struck the right tone. Give us your vote and explain your choice in the comments section below.

  4. It’s rather surprising to realize just how many relationships in Star Trek are principally parent/child based. In most cases, these connections between beloved characters has yielded fantastic character building episodes, while often posing intriguing philosophical questions. Since the first episode to feature an example of this trend, TOS’ “Journey to Babel”, in which Spock must confront the burden of command and the needs of his family, a long standing tradition has been maintained. Whether the relationship exists for a short time (such as in the TNG episode  “The Offspring”) or for the length of an entire series (Benjamin and Jake Sisko), they almost always manage to add heart to a show that can sometimes feel clinical and dry.
    This week’s poll asks you which parent/child relationship in Star Trek you found most interesting. Give us your vote, and let us know your reasons in the comment section below!

  5. There are an enormous number of inter-series cameos in Star Trek, and more often than not, they’re delightful treats, designed to connect and further flesh out a universe so massive it might otherwise become tangled and unfollowable. Quark and William Riker have enjoyed a number of these appearances, but for this particular poll, we’ll be focusing on those moments where characters from the original Enterprise were featured. Dr. Leonard McCoy’s tour of the Enterprise D is the first of these shown in the pilot episode for TNG, later followed by Ambassador Spock and his attempts to reunite the Romulan people with their Vulcan brothers in “Unification Parts I and II”. The discovery of Montgomery Scott’s shuttle on the Jenolan Dyson Sphere was the focus of the TNG episode “Relics”. Additionally, Sarek (featured in the aforementioned episode, shortly after appearing as a titular character in the previous season of TNG) helped to connect the old to the new, and to pass on a well-known legacy. Finally, in one of the most popular episodes of Voyager, Hikaru Sulu, shown in a memory as the captain of the Excelsior, and Janice Rand, provide excellent background information into Tuvok’s past, while adding some much need variety to the show’s stories.

    Of these appearances, which was your favorite? Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section!

  6. For all the work they do exploring and saving the Federation from endless threats, it seems our beloved crews don’t get anywhere near enough shore leave. Nevertheless, when it is shown, more often than not, the results is excellent television. With the first episode to fit this bill- aptly titled “Shore Leave”- a precedent was set, one that episodes following it would generally honor. “Shore Leave” itself is often lauded by fans as a fun romp, and a standout of TOS’ first season. “Captain’s Holiday” features uptight and work-addicted Jean-Luc Picard become embroiled in a time-bending adventure on Risa. “Family”, another offering from TNG, this time hailing from the fourth season, follows the events of “The Best of Both Worlds”, and gives the audience a rare and cherished glimpse of characters dealing with the consequences of previous events. Incidentally, this is the only episode in all of Star Trek canon that does not include a scene on the bridge. Enterprise follows this trend twice- once with the episode entitled “Two Days and Two Nights” in its first season, and another entitled “Home”, which features Enterprise crew members dealing with the personal issues following the conclusion of the Xindi conflict.
    While there are other episodes that mention or feature shore leave, these are those predicated around it. With that in mind, which shore leave episode is your favorite? Give us your vote, and let us know your reasons in the comments section below!

    • Like 1

  7. Which Position Carries The Most Risk?

    Let’s face it- space travel is a risky business. Swimming through a void specifically designed to kill any organic life as we understand it is no mean feat, and that’s not even mentioning the various dangers that the political climate can bring to bear. If the vacuum doesn’t boil your character’s blood, the Romulan disruptors pointed at them will. If the hostile natives don’t run a spear through their body, the flesh-consuming bacteria they picked up will finish the job quick enough.
    No matter what position and department they fill on a ship or a station, there is always immense risk. But while some of that risk is universal, others are more specialized. A security officer is the first line of defense against enemy incursions. A doctor runs the greatest risk of infection by plagues, due to their exposure to them. Engineers constantly effect repairs in dangerous and less than ideal circumstances. Counselors deal with potentially violent or disturbed patients.
    This poll asks you which duty post/department carries the most risk overall. Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section below!

  8. Emblems, flags and symbols are ubiquitous in the universe of “Star Trek”. Civilizations across the galaxy, be they powerful empires or miniscule entities, are easily identified by their particular sigil of identity. These designs are generally eye-catching, descriptive and easily discerned from one another. The Federation’s has undergone several changes over the shows and movies, but all have maintained the peaceful colors, olive branches and starfield that exude an air of serenity and cooperation. The brazen, barren trefoil design of the Klingon Empire strikes perhaps the opposite note, effectively displaying their imperial approach and aggressive stance to their allies and enemies alike. The Romulans employ a wide-winged raptor, announcing their commitment to their roots and a desire to dominate. The list goes on and on, and for the eagle-eyed viewer, it can provide a seemingly endless source of interest and world-building potential.
    This week’s poll asks you to tell us what your favorite civilization emblem is. Consider aesthetics, effectiveness and uniqueness in your answer, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

    • Like 1
  9. No matter what ship you write on, what position your character fulfills, or what department they’re attached to, he, she or ner has an important role in the smooth operation of the vessel. We’d not get far without helmsmen or engineers, exploration would be a drag without our scientists and specialists, and the crew would certainly falter without the skills of the medical and counseling staff.
    The shared usefulness of these departments, however, marks where their similarities end. Each has a different expectation, a different goal, and different challenges when it comes to simming for them. Finding a way to engage an engineer in the plot without having something break can often be something of a struggle. Coming up with a way to keep a counselor relevant in a given story is another often-cited problem. A medical officer needs some degree of understanding when it comes to the art of healing- not exactly an easy prospect when a writer’s only aid is a knowledge of biology, and a few loose threads shown in canon. The same might be said for a science officer. The rest have their own obstacles.
    With these limitations in mind (and others that you’ve encountered in simming for a duty post) which department is the most difficult to sim for? Give us your vote, and let us know your reasons in the comments section below!

  10. Many cadets enter Starfleet Academy with high hopes, boundless aspirations, and plan to excel in their field wherever possible. The vast majority proceed to do just that. But very few seem to give consideration to what happens after their time in Starfleet, after their career has reached its peak.

    It’s well into the 25th century (or even the 26th). Your character is a captain, or perhaps even an admiral, and for whatever reason, they have decided to finally retire from the active fleet. They are still in relatively good health, and despite technological advancements and the usual political and social machinations that have always presented threats the the United Federation of Planets, our great civilization has enjoyed an unprecedented period of relative peace and calm. Without the weight of those pips, they are free- free to do what they will in a galaxy seething with opportunity.

    This week's poll asks how your character would spend that time? Would they focus on family, settling down to be among loved ones in waning years? Would they explore on their own, seeing parts of the galaxy they hadn’t been to during their tenure in the fleet? Maybe they’d consult for Starfleet, or teach at the Academy. Or perhaps they’d enter the private sector- leaving Starfleet might not be the end. Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section!

    • Like 2
  11. This fleet has an incredibly diverse array of teams, collectives and activities. Most of these are not directly tied to simming, but allow our member’s creative inclinations to flourish, while enriching this wonderful group. The Wiki Team, Image Collective and Podcast Team are just a few of our more popular facets. Another, from the mind of Captain Roshanara Rahman, is the Federation News Service, or FNS. On our spinoff site, https://fednewsservice.com/, a team of writers help to bring the rest of the Federation to life through news stories that don’t necessarily include Starfleet matters. The team is attempting a resurgence, as a variety of new articles have been published in recent months, and more are on the way, but we need your help!
    With that in mind, this week’s poll asks you what you’d like to see in the FNS. Are you interested in current events across the quadrant? Are editorials and opinions on matters affecting the galaxy more your style? Perhaps you prefer in depth cultural analysis, or reports on the actions and stances of other galactic civilizations. Perhaps you’d like to see a completely different side to our reporting. Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section below! 

    • Like 1
  12. Lt. JG Choi Ji-hu, you are hereby charged with the following egregious crime; that you did knowingly, and willfully, elicit prolonged and genuine laughter from this writer, on Tuesday, December 18th, 2395. Upon opening the email, the victim came across the best opening he had ever seen in a sim. 


    Choi: Four chilli cheese dogs, extra chilli, extra cheese.

    HOW DO YOU PLEAD, @aphelion?!

    • Like 2
    • Haha 1
  13. There’s something quintessentially beautiful about Federation starships. Their curves, symmetricality and proud bearing provide a sense of awe. With the exception of a few, special cases (looks furtively at the Yeager class) most of these vessels carry on a long lineage of amazing designs. With that said, Starfleet isn’t the only organization that knows how to sculpt a shapely ship. The Klingons, and their bold, imperious designs have struck fear into the hearts of enemies for centuries. Romulan warbirds dwarf their competition with sweeping wings and imposing, almost beak-like hulls. Even the Borg offer something to the obsessively compulsive- who doesn’t enjoy perfectly geometric shapes?
    This week’s poll asks you which galactic civilization has the most pleasing ship aesthetic. Do you enjoy the horseshoe shaped crafts of the Ferengi? Or do the jagged, asymmetrical combat barges of the Breen catch your eye? Give us your vote, and let us know in the comments section below!


    • Like 1
  14. Embracing others, despite cultural differences, is a key aspect of Star Trek’s message and enduring legacy. Though Gene Roddenberry was loathe to include any sort of strife, negativity or conflict in his scripts, there have nonetheless been some superior character relationships that blossom from early dislike. In the Original Series, Spock and McCoy quickly despised one another’s perspectives and mentality, but over time, despite (or because of) the many arguments between them, mutual admiration and respect starts to underpin their association. Julian Bashir and Miles O’Brien are good examples of this phenomenon as well. The grizzled, business-like chief found Bashir’s outgoing and excitable nature almost intolerable, but sharing in danger and serving together for a period of time sees them grow into acquaintances, than friends, then inseparable brothers.
    Star Trek is filled with these changes over time- with that in mind, which friendship started through adversity did you find most enjoyable and compelling? Give us your thoughts and explain away in the comments section below!

  15. The worst has finally happened- the alternate future seen in The Next Generation episode “Parallels” has come to pass. The Federation is no more, the Borg are swarming the Alpha Quadrant, and the only thing holding them at bay is Riker’s uncontrollable beard. Amidst this madness, you are determined to survive at any cost. But you can’t do it alone! In this desperate hour, you need a security officer by your side that you can trust, someone who has served Starfleet faithfully. The list is long and varied, and you may use any canon security officer from any time period. With that in mind, who would you pick? The disciplined yet somewhat trigger happy Malcolm Reed? Worf, who’s hand to hand skills might be extremely useful? Maybe a Changeling might be your style- Odo would be a formidable ally. Or perhaps you’d prefer a random redshirt from The Original Series- hey, if they’re focused on him, they’re not focused on you.
    This week’s poll asks you which security officer you’d want at your side the most in an apocalypse. Give us your vote, and let us know your rational in the comments section below!

  16. The name says it all. In an organization as diverse, multifaceted and accepting as Starfleet, there’s bound to be a variety of different reasons to make the commitment to the fleet. For some, it’s the mission itself. More noble goals than Starfleet’s are difficult to come by, and their pursuit contributes to the expansion, continuation and improvement of an astonishing interstellar civilization. Other characters might have joined out of a sense of familial obligation. The fleet has been around in some form or fashion for centuries, and a tradition of service exists in many families, sometimes reaching back three, four or even five generations. Some might feel a desire or a need to protect the Federation, especially considering the many conflicts and dangers that exist in the not so empty depths of space.
    Other, less personal reasons might have been an impetus as well. Serving aboard a starship is an excellent way to get the feel for a society, and appreciate its positive and negative aspects. This is especially true with newly discovered species, or those that wish to be the first of their kind in a Starfleet uniform.
    The reasons are, naturally, varied, and can say a great deal about a character before we even get to know them. With that in mind, what was your characters’ impetus to join Starfleet? Was it a desire to contribute to the Federation and be a part of something bigger? Was it to protect and defend? Explore? Something not mentioned here? Give us your vote and let us know in the comments section below!

  17. Brell brings up a good point- the vulnerability of shuttles makes them an excellent storytelling element, but from an in-universe perspective, I'd hate to get inside one. They get a raw deal- not strong enough to survive any sort of firefight, not small enough to escape most notice, not fast enough to pursue or run, not powerful enough for anything, it seems, besides a quick jaunt to the planet and back- which will, more often then not, be made complicated by atmospheres that interfere with power systems or some such. All in all, they have their purposes, but they're extraordinarily fragile, and extremely dubious from an IC standpoint. 

    Still. Fun! 

  18.    Starfleet officers are saddled with an immense amount of responsibility. It seems like each day is just another chance to be vaporized, tortured, spaced, sucked into a black hole, or anything else in the pantheon of untimely demises. And yet, the beloved organization of exploration and defense grows its ranks and carries on a legacy of honor and optimism- boldly going where no one has gone before.
       These risks are accepted by all aboard, but there seems to be one duty description more hazardous and unpredictable than any other- First Contact specialists.
    A variety of Star Trek episodes show us what happens when first contact goes horribly wrong- namely, “Tin Man”, in which an entire Starfleet landing team was massacred due to a cultural misunderstanding. Indeed, the risks and dangers of First Contact, and the numerous ways it can be performed poorly, inspired Starfleet to insist on creating General Order 1- the Prime Directive. While this mitigated certain issues, the fact that someone would still need to speak for the entire Federation in truly precarious situations remained. Starfleet captains are particularly sought for, among other things, the ability to diplomatically and tactfully introduce an entirely new race to the people of the United Federation of Planets.
       Only nerves of steel can handle this job. With that in mind, do you believe your character would be comfortable handling First Contact situations on a regular basis? Would they relish the importance and the strain? Would they collapse under pressure? Perhaps something in between? Give us your vote and let us know in the comments section below!


    • Like 1
  19. They can’t all be from Starfleet! Certainly, our beloved crews are the main focus of virtually every episode of Star Trek, in some form or another. However, while interpersonal relationships and conflict are featured, it is generally an outside force or character that sets the tone of the episode, and the events that occur. Star Trek has a bad, though not entirely unearned, reputation for “one-off” characters- created simply to hammer home a message or make an otherwise improbable story believable.
    And then there are the regulars- characters that show up from time to time and have, in many cases, become as beloved by fans as the bridge staff themselves (sometimes even more so). How many times did Marc Alaimo’s brilliantly complex Gul Dukat entertain and intrigue us with his villainous (or not so villainous) ways? Who could forget the insidious, dangerous Weyoun, demure and alternatively vicious in the blink of an eye? And of course, there is the almighty Q to consider, the only antagonist to try the patience of three separate starship crews on screen. Really, though- what other fabulous being could earn such a distinction?
    Supporting characters are a must in Trek, and though their names might not appear in the opening crawl, their importance and regard cannot be overstated. With this in mind, which was your favorite supporting character in Star Trek? Was it the brusque but likable General Martok? Or did Garek the simple tailor strike your fancy? Perhaps someone not listed below is your choice. Give us your vote and let us know in the comments section below!

    ((Note: To be considered a supporting actor in this list, they must have appeared in at least two episodes across the various series.))


    • Like 1
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.