You may find this … illogical, but engage anyway

Something called Seabreeze Computers has devised a test that claims to identify the test-taler to a character on one of the first two versions of “Star Trek.”

The test asks questions, answered from strongly yes to strongly no, that I imagine correspond to characters, such as:

  • Are you a strict follower of rules?
  • Have you made out with a lot of pretty women? (Clearly Captain Kirk.)
  • Are you overly expressive and melodramatic? (Kirk again?)
  • Are you a motivational and influential speaker? (Got to be Kirk.)
  • Are you cocky?
  • Do you often point out the faults of others? (Spock, perhaps.)
  • Do you never smile? (Definitely Spock.)
  • Do you find yourself at odds with your father. (Spock again.)
  • Do you major in science? (Either Spock or Data.)
  • Are you self-sacrificing? (Hmmm … “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.”)
  • Have you taken the Hippocratic Oath? (Clearly one of the doctors. If this test included “Star Trek: Voyager,” one could ponder whether a medical hologram would take the Hippocratic Oath.)
  • Are you constantly in conflict with overly logical people? (McCoy.)
  • Are you often the bearer of bad news? (Perhaps “He’s dead, Jim.”)
  • Are you usually cynical? (Probably McCoy, though the ultimate cynic was Odo from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. His questioning Worf about how the Klingons eradicated tribbles is biting indeed.)
  • Do others expect the impossible out of you? (Perhaps Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, who proceeded to perform the impossible with his engines.)
  • Are you a good mechanic? (Either Scott or Geordi LaForge.)
  • Do you have a thick accent? (Duh.)
  • Do you drink a lot of scotch? (Ditto.)
  • Do others have to tell you to calm down? (Definitely not Spock.)
  • Are you presumptuous? (Not sure who.)
  • Are you a nice person that everybody likes? (Probably Troi, but there are other reasons to like her …)
  • Are you constantly taking messages for others? (Lt. Uhura to the bridge.)
  • Do you have a good, pleasing sound to your voice? (That’s a little broad. I mean, they’re actors.)
  • Do you often wear mini skirts?
  • Do you like to sing?
  • Have you been in the closet for years? (That’s a ringer of a question, because it applies to Sulu’s actor, George Takei.)
  • Do you have a deep voice? (Worf.)
  • Are you a sword fighter? (“The Naked Time,” as much an example of overacting as anything.)
  • Do you like botany? (In the first episode, Sulu talks to plants.)
  • Do you know martial arts?
  • Do you like children? (Not Picard.)
  • Are you strict?
  • Are you a booklover?
  • Are you afraid of long-term relationships? (Captain Kirk to the bridge …)
  • Do you have a tactical mind? (I’d say Kirk.)
  • Are you a loving parent?
  • Do you have good relationships with authority figures?
  • Do you have maternal instincts? (Probably Dr. Crusher.)
  • Are you void of emotion? (Gee, who do you think?)
  • Are you a mathematical wizard? (Spock or Data.)
  • Are you amazingly strong even though you don’t look it?
  • Do you often long to be more like those around you? (Data wanted to be human.)
  • Are you shy with women? (Not Kirk.)
  • Do you use corrective eyewear? (Geordi.)
  • Are you good at delegating?
  • Do you have a dry personality? (Spock? Picard?)
  • Do you adapt to other cultures easily?
  • Do you have a temper? (Worf, but Kirk and McCoy were known to ventilate the room too.)
  • Are you good with weapons? (Worf or perhaps Sulu.)
  • Are you strong?
  • Were you adopted? (Worf was, by Russians.)
  • Are you constantly at odds with your mother? (Troi, whose mother looks suspiciously like a brunette version of Nurse Christine Chapel.)
  • Are you in tune to people’s emotions? (Troi.)
  • Do you often counsel others? (Ditto.)
  • Do you love chocolate? (Ditto.)
  • Are you trained in psychology? (Ditto.)
  • Do you have low self-esteem?
  • Do you split off from the main group? (Red shirts about to die, but that’s the script-writer’s fault.)
  • Are you unappreciated at work?
  • Do you often go unnoticed?

I took the test, and here’s how I scored:

  • Jean-Luc Picard 55%
  • James T. Kirk (Captain) 50%
  • Geordi LaForge 50%
  • Deanna Troi 50%
  • An Expendable Character (Redshirt) 45%
  • Chekov 40%
  • Will Riker 40%
  • Worf 40%
  • Spock 35%
  • Leonard McCoy (Bones) 35%

What I find interesting is that in polls at StarTrek.com, Picard more often than not wins out over Kirk. I find that frankly strange, and perhaps attributable to a 2010s eye at 1960s acting style, in the case of William Shatner. Those who accuse Shatner of overacting really need to watch other ’60s TV, where they will see for the most part that that’s how most actors acted. Early TV actors came from the stage more often than movies, and on the stage you do everything bigger than on a camera.

The other thing is that if you’re looking for a bold explorer, that’s clearly Kirk more than Picard. If you’re looking for someone who is most loyal to his crew and to his ship, that’s also Kirk. Recall that in “The Doomsday Machine” Kirk orders Spock to take command of the Enterprise from Kirk’s superior officer, who Kirk believes is working hard to destroy the Enterprise. It is impossible to imagine Picard or any other Star Trek captain doing that. Either because of how Kirk was written or how Kirk was played, I think his crew would do anything he told them to do and go anywhere he told them to go. That is leadership.

Picard has a certain je ne sais quoi, but not in a good sense — there’s something not there that should be. Picard came across sometimes as stuffy and officious, particularly when something he didn’t want to deal with showed up — Troi’s mother, or children, or Q. Kirk had so much personal charm that he seemed like someone who could get along with anyone, except superior officers he didn’t care for, and that’s certainly not a negative.

One of the several fiction ideas I have failed to develop is a Star Trek series that bridges the first two. There is supposed to be 80 or so years between the first and second Star Treks, and it would be interesting to explore (get it?) what happened in between. That would require creating a captain who stands out from the other five, of course, in keeping with the traditions of the series. They’ve had an Iowan, they’ve had a Frenchman with a British accent, they’ve had a black man, they’ve had a woman, and they’ve had whatever the first captain of the first Enterprise was supposed to be. They’ve never had (at least on TV) a captain who maybe is a doesn’t-play-well-with-others type, someone who is obviously talented and capable of leading people, but has a cynical and not-entirely-respectful attitude toward his superiors and so is sent away in a starship so they can be rid of him. Maybe he (or she) is the Starfleet Academy graduate voted Most Likely to Lead a Rebellion.

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