Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Sunday Seven Episode 306

My good friend has done what I'd hoped and stayed away from the obvious topic: the Ten Year Anniversary of the Twin Towers/Pentagon disaster.

"It may feel a bit strange to see that on the tenth anniversary of September 11th terror attacks, the Sunday Seven has nothing to do with that subject.

I’ll be posting some thoughts on the anniversary later today. In the meantime, I thought I’d keep this week’s question independent of that dark day.

Earlier this week, we saw different, much more pleasant anniversary: the 45th anniversary of the premiere of a science fiction program on NBC that had a modest beginning, but grew into a cultural phenomenon. I’m sure you know by now that I’m talking about Star Trek.

After several series devoted to the franchise, there are many, many characters to admire. Could you name your favorite seven? They could be from any of the Star Trek series. They can be Star Fleet heroes or any of the myriad villains.

But I do ask you to list the series from which they come, particularly if the character isn’t part of the “core” cast.

That’s the challenge for this week! As always, thanks for stopping by!
  • Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and to keep the conversation going!
Here is this week’s “Sunday Seven” question. Either answer in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog (with a link here), and then comment here with a link back to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:
Name your seven all-time favorite characters from the Star Trek universe.

1. Q (ST-TNG, ST-DSN, ST-V); played by John de Lancie. Q is easily the most annoying character to the crews of all three groups. But he is also sarcastic and funny. He has a flare for the imaginitive and while he tortures humans, he also knows very little about humans and spends his time among us. I have to say that my favourite episode with Q was the one on Voyager, where he showes up in Captain Janeways' bathtub (adorned by rose petals). The scene is intensely funny. It was the episode "The Q and the Grey". See it if you have not as yet.

John de Lancie and Leonard Nimoy also produced and recorded Spock vs Q and Spock vs Q: The Seqel. Both are wonderful, and very funny. They cocreated Alien Voices, which narrates several different books and can be found on Amazon.

2. Spock (we all know him); played by Leonard Nimoy (I also listed him as one of the people aged 80 years or higher that I'd like to spend an afternoon with in last week's Sunday Seven). Who doesn't love Spock and those magical ears. And then there were the multiple books he's been in (the best was "Spock's World", by Diane Duane, who gives not only richness and insight to the current Vulcan culture, but developed an entire history as well. It would be hard to name one favourite episode. I can recall seeing the second movie, "The Wrath of Khan" and leaving the theatre upset (I won't say why if you haven't seen the end of it). And of course, the immortal line: "I have been, and always shall be, your friend."

3. Captain Jean-Luc Picard (we all know him as well); played by Patrick Stewart. Ah, that lovely English accent, despite his being French; the upright stance, the love of Earl Grey tea, piping hot, and the man who really gave Data all the leeway he needed to become closer to his goal of becoming human. He is the strongest, most personable captain of all and not inclined to make it with every woman to set foot on the Enterprise. He was the true embodiment of a captain. Favourite episode... the one where he lives a man's entire life on a planet that ended a millenia ago. The episode was Inner Light. It was a wonderful episode.

4. Data; (played by Brent Spiner, who also portrayed Noonien Soong and Lore, Data's evil brother) - Well, who doesn't love Data and his quest to be the human being he so wants. He dabbles in art, Shakespeare, playing Sherlock Holmes in the holodeck, owning a cat, sexuality, dating and so many other things. He wants to have emotions. He struggles with humour. And he is best friends with Geordie LaForge which was much like Jim Kirk's friendship with Spock. It is hard to name a favourite episode with Data... but if I had to, I would say it was Data's Day. It is a day following Data through it as he prepares for Chief O'Brien's wedding to Keiko. It's a fun, engaging episode.

5. Lwaxana Troi, played by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (she was also Nurse Chapel, the voices of Enterprise A, D, Voyager and Deep Space Nine and twice in the Star Trek - Enterprise shows, as well as playing Number One in the initial pilot, The Cage) - Everything that Deanna is, her mother is not. She calls her daughter "little one" and runs around with a monstrously tall valet named Mr. Holm. She is in "phase" and desparate to mate with a man; but she worries all the time that Deanna will end up like her. The best episode she was in was Half a Life with David Ogden Stiers as a man who must return home to end his life and also Cost of Living, where Lwaxana is engaged to a man she doesn't love to ensure security. But the real achievement here is a book called Q-in-Law, where Lwaxana falls in love with Q... and in one amazing scene, beats him to a pulp! Believe me when I tell you that she and Q are both extremely well portrayed in this book (actually, everyone is but no one more than these two)!

6. Guinan - Whoopi Goldberg adds magic to anything she does and this roll, while not as often a roll as I could wish, was well suited for her. There is a lot of mystery surrounding Guinan and her age and background, but that just adds to the mystery. And she senses and hates Q and is aware of him long before anyone else is. Favourite episode... Q Who?

7. Dr. Leonard McCoy, played by DeForest Kelley - Another one to love, Bones, as he is called by Jim Kirk, who is most famous for statements that begin with, "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a _______!" He is constantly arguing with Spock over emotions and other topics, usually resorting to calling him "green-blooded" as an insult. The best comment from Bones was in Star Trek - the Undiscovered Country, when Iman's character kissed Jim and he hissed, "What is it with you, anyway?", referirng to all the women who throw themselves at the Captain. I love that!

Others worthy of mention:

8. Sarek, played by Mark Lenard, who also played a Rihannsu (Romulan) Commander in an earlier episode - Spock's father definitely deserves honourable mention. The man was an icon and the quintessential Vulcan, even if he and Spock really did not understand one another. I would recommend reading Spock's World for a more deeper understanding of Sarek. His and Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson, have a truly amazing relationship, well-captured in the book The Vulcan Academy Murders.

9. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, known as Scotty - played by James Doohan with the most wonderful Scottish brogue, who could often be heard moaning, "Me poor bairns" whenever the engines of the Enterprise were stretched to their maximum capacity or injured. His character was a delight in the movies, where he had a stronger roll than in the series in the 1960s. Little known fact: James Doohan was missing his right middle finger from a war injury and took great pains to hide it during filming.


If you are interested in learning about the Rihannsu, there is a book called My Enemy, My Ally, written by Diane Duane, who really, really fleshed out the Rihannsu culture, nomenclature, religion and anything else you'd want to know. She also wrote Spock's World, and fleshed out the Vulcans for us mere Terrans as well. It may sound like a plug for her books, but there was a whole series of Star Trek books written and most of them are excellent and do the same for the many characters and cultures that came up both on and off the screen. If you love Star Trek and reading, then you will be very happy exploring these books!

Either answer the question in a comment or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment. 

Have an idea for a future question? Click “Contact” in the top nav-bar and email it to me!"

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