It’s time for the Day Two reveal of our first official ST:NOC crew (check out the earlier entries here)! Today, we reveal our picks for Chief Engineer and Communications. Vote for your favourites after the jump!
Chief Engineer: Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge (TNG)
Runner-up: Lieutenant B’Elanna Torres (Voyager)
No real surprises here — our NOCs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Enterprise 1701-D (and -E)’s chief engineer, Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge. Born blind, La Forge wears a specialized VISOR that allows him to see outside the usual visible spectrum; later, La Forge trades in his trademark VISOR for optical prosthetics. According to his Wikipedia page, La Forge’s character was inspired by George La Forge, a quadriplegic fan of TOS who died in 1975. La Forge made his mark with Star Trek fans for being an open and earnest member of the crew and best friend to Data, with just the right combination of hard work and creativity to truly excel as an engineer. Geordi La Forge was portrayed by acclaimed Roots actor Levar Burton
Communications Officer: Lieutenant Commander Nyota Uhura (TOS)
Runner-up: Majel Barrett (as the voice of the Enterprise computer)
Again, no surprises here: Uhura swept the category of Comms officer, with Majel Barrett as the Enterprise computer coming in a distant second (Barrett was included to acknowledge the fact that the Comms position was eliminated after invention of the Universal Translator). Uhura’s character made history in the 1960s as one of the first to portray an African American woman in a non-menial position; actress Nichelle Nichols noted that she had planned to leave the show after the first season, but was dissuaded by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
Earlier this year, she recounted the exchange with Dr. King on an episode of StarTalk Radio, a podcast by Neil de Grasse Tyson, and NPR’s Code Switch:
Star Trek was one of the only shows that he and his wife Coretta would allow their little children to watch. And I thanked him and I told him I was leaving the show. All the smile came off his face. And he said, don’t you understand for the first time, we’re seen as we should be seen. You don’t have a black role. You have an equal role.
Nichols also made history when she and fellow actor William Shatner shared the first on-screen interracial kiss.
Tune in tomorrow, when we reveal NOC’s choices for Chief Medical Officer and Chief of Security!
Think you can do better? Vote for your favourites below, in the same poll given to the members of NOC: