Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Warp Speed Wednesday: The Engineer Edition.

I have a thing for engineers. In fact, I married one.

So naturally I'm thrilled that one of my sons plans to be an engineer when he grows up. The inspiration for Klaxon's aspirations comes in equal measure from Mr Wrath and from the boy's exposure to Star Trek starting at an early age. Like me, he has strong opinions about all the Chief Engineers on Star Trek television series:

Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, The Original Series
 "Aye, the haggis is in the fire for sure" -- A Taste of Armageddon

Last year when I wrote about the doctors on each of the series, I said I'd love to go on shore leave with  Doctor McCoy and Scotty. I stand by this opinion.  Scotty's known as a fun-loving guy and a loyal friend, plus he's a solid engineer whose quick thinking saved the ship many times. Plus he's the only guy in a red shirt on a landing party who always came back alive.

Geordi La Forge, The Next Generation
 "Captain Picard to the Bridge! Captain, we've got a problem with the warp core, or the phase inducers, or some other damn thing." -- All Good Things...

If you're going to work in the engineering section of a Starship, Geordi would be the boss you'd want.  He's compassionate, smart and a real team player. But his personal life is a disaster. He's often insecure or needy, has bad taste in women, and wears a banana clip on his face.

Miles O'Brien, Deep Space 9
 "I can't believe you've forgotten! It's 'I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the galaxy' Day. I marked it in your calendar!" -- The House of Quark

Bar none O'Brien's my favourite engineer. He works with Cardassian, Bajoran and Federation technology and is equal parts engineer, mechanic, and computer technician. Of all the five engineers his personal life was the most fleshed out and this added layer of humanity makes his appearances all the more compelling. Plus he's Irish -- I've got a thing for engineers AND a thing for Irish men. It's the accent. And my genetic destiny.

B'elanna Torres, Voyager
 "It may be the warriors who get the glory, but it's the engineers who build society." -- Flesh and Blood

B'elanna is the only female Chief Engineer featured on the five series. As a feminist it pains me to admit she is my least favourite of the five characters. It's not because of her gender, but because of her race. I don't find Klingon characters (or in this case half-Klingon) or story lines very interesting because they are based on the self-limiting premise of Klingons being angry, violent and obsessed with honour. B'elanna was more nuanced that most Klingon characters, but her perpetual grumpiness and aggression got old fast. She deserves credit for repairing and maintaining a ship without Starfleet infrastructure and supply dumps to back her up. I wouldn't mind serving with B'elanna, but I wouldn't want her to be my supervising officer and I certainly wouldn't be friends with her.

 Charles "Trip" Tucker, Enterprise
 "Then go ahead and shoot me! But you better hope we don't make it because if we survive the first thing I'm going to do is bust your ass back to crewman second class for insubordination." -- Shuttlepod One

Trip can prime my warp nacelles and explore my jefferies tubes any old time. Cause he is pretty. He's one of my favourite characters from this particular (dreary) series.


  1. I think my kids will become engineers. Or, at least one of them. I hope so. I like engineering humour.

  2. I always found B'Elenna really dull, too, and you've put your finger right on the reason why. The Klingon characters *are* a bit too limited to hold my interest over seasons upon seasons.

    I have a major soft spot for O'Brien. He was always a favourite of mine.