The Ultimate Crew

The Ultimate Crew

Science Fiction author Robison Wells (Variant, and more recently, Feedback) pretty regularly creates fun Highly Scientific Polls, usually related to Speculative Fiction (the last two were “Kiss, Marry, Kill” with superheroes and supervillains).

The most recent is the “Ideal Crew” (with a set of [incorrect] poll results summarized here) to which I responded with this.


So at that point I worked back from the end. Our task is to “be ready for everything.” And since the “best crew” in my estimation depends on the ship they’re dealing with, we need our ship first. So we need an all purpose vehicle. So maybe we should go with the “stock light freighter” Millennium Falcon. The problem here is that it’s a high maintenance ship. You can get incredible performance out of it even when you abuse it, but you have to put lots of love, time, and effort into it. So we’re going to rule out Serenity for the same reason. Even though I’ve decided that a smaller craft will give us more versatility. Pretty much that leaves us with the Tardis, I think. It can hold any size crew but can be operated by one if needed. With teleportation and time-travel, we can get anywhere and anywhen. It’s the only logical choice.

So then, if we need an army, we can get them all in there, though deployment will be a inefficient. Which means we’ll still be most effective with a small crew. So let’s continue with that assumption. Another factor is that the Tardis is not a ship-to-ship combat vehicle. So we’re not looking for a pilot, necessarily. Well, we will be, but not as rolled into our captain. I think that rules out Han Solo, whose qualifications are primarily that of pilot (he does command passably, but there are better). Out of the others, I’m down to Kirk, who has a track record of pretty much winning everything, and Hannibal Smith (because no one else has the adaptability, and the other Star Trek series were boring). Hannibal Smith wouldn’t have taken nearly so long as Kirk in figuring out gun powder to kill the Gorn, plus he’s got brilliant plans that often come together, proving he’s a strategizer who works very well with limited resources, and he’s got that cigar. So I’m picking him.

My two favorites for First Officer are Spock and Bean. Bean does some pretty amazing stuff in his own stories, but in the end, I think he’s too self-interested for me. Spock has a brilliant mind, a dispassionate analytical approach, and cool quasi-supernatural powers (the mind meld and nerve pinch). plus, you know, Vulcans are buff. I think he’s both the most capable support commander and the most versatile in ability.

Now we’re at Engineer. Engineering, in this context, has a few different roles. Repair definitely. Innovation, no question. Which means they have to not only understand their current hardware, and how to repair it, they have to be able to adapt it and come up with new systems. For repairs, R2-D2 wins, no question. He can make your existing tech do anything it’s designed to do almost instantly. Plus, he’s got a widget for almost everything possible except organic comprehensible speech (I guess the rockets probably didn’t leave room for the speech module?). For innovation, MacGyver. If he can escape any trap and build a bomb with a gum wrapper and a paper clip, imagine what he can do with a sonic screwdriver (I assume that comes with the TARDIS). A close second to MacGyver would be The Professor from Gilligan’s Isle. But since the man can build a radio receiver with coconuts but apparently not a transmitter or a ship repair, I’m going to rule him out. For combining repair and innovation, though, I’ll take Scotty (yes, a second Star Trek character). He invented half the crap they use on the other series and he made The Enterprise do much more than it was ever built to do. And he always fixes it in roughly 3 seconds less than the emergency situation demands.

Science Officer narrows down to two choices for me. Tony Stark and The Doctor. I wonder how readily either of them can take commands, though. The Doctor is always going to be on my crew if we’re talking about Tom Baker (but that was so long ago). And Stark has the problem with his drinking. So I’m looking over the list again. What I really want is a quick-thinking scientist (theory) coupled with experience in application… and really, I think that brings me back to Tony Stark, at least as played by Downey (he’s more of a technologist in the comics, but in the movies he has an impressive mind for new science as well. Plus, you gotta admit, he’s gotta be fun to hang with on shore leave. He’s also demonstrated that he can work with a command structure and be part of a team, even if it sometimes chaffs him.

For doctor, I’m really tempted to go with McCoy. But I’m tired of picking Star Trek dudes and I feel like much of his ability is based on the technology to which he has access. With a doctor, what I really want is someone who can fix me without a lot of guff, as well as develop new procedures as needed. Simon Tam is a very capable surgeon, but I don’t see him innovating a lot. I think, in the end, I go with Hawkeye Pierce. He is shown coming up with new methods in the series, and he’s obviously very capable. Giving him the technology in the TARDIS and I think we’ll have both the best doctor ever and the most amazing distillery the universe has seen.

Communications officer. Again, on the original Star Trek series, Uhura speaks a plethora of languages (not as many as C-3PO, granted, but she lacks his annoying personality, has more courage and wisdom, and well, looks a whole lot better). But I’m still bored with Star Trek. I think that leaves me with C-3PO, whose skills also include protocol, which is about half the job, or else Radar O’Reilly, who has a near prescience. Neither one of them adds a whole lot of “extras” like so many of my other choices have done, but they’re both so amazingly good that they enhance the rest of the crew’s capabilities. I think I go with the droid though, because amazing as Radar’s administrative skills are, he doesn’t show a lot of linguistic or ambassadorial abilities. Plus, if 3PO bugs me I can turn him off.

Next up, Security. There’s a lot of good choices here. And my top picks are probably Fezzik (because, a giant, but a reasonable one, unlike Hulk), Eliot Spencer, and B. A. Baracus. While Mr. T will pity me as a fool, I don’t think B.A. has the adaptability I prize for a “ready for anything” crew. Eliot has that in spades. Fezzik has also demonstrated his ability to think through orders to a better choice and using the resources at hand. Yes, Westley came up with the plan, but it wouldn’t have worked if Fezzik hadn’t seen a useful resource and taken it. Plus, he got the horses. So yeah, he came up with the escape for a team that had no exit strategy. On the other hand, his thinking, while effective, is often slow. Eliot doesn’t have that problem, and while I see his aversion to firearms as a liability, I think he manages to compensate for it, especially with his synergistic team work.

Pilot. Han Solo. Why are we even still talking about this?

Oh yeah, because he was on the list for “captain” but not for pilot. Curse you, Rob Wells! Ok, let’s look over this list…

Pilot. Wash. Why are we still talking about this? He’s a leaf on the wind.

And that’s my crew.

Bring on anything.

What do you think? Go to the poll, make your own choices, and let us know here or on Rob’s site what you think!

One thought on “The Ultimate Crew

  1. i can’t believe you didn’t even consider Kaylee for engineer or Jack Sparrow for Captain. 100% agree with Spock, Kirk, and Elliot Spencer

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