The Crew of the U.S.S. Shakespeare

I’m a huge Star Trek nerd, and, as I am in the midst of a long-running TNG/DS9/VOY rewatch project, it seemed only natural to figure out which Shakespearean characters would make the ideal Federation starship crew. Here are my (totally non-definitive) picks:

CAPTAIN HENRY V: This one is kind of a no-brainer. The captain has to be decisive, able to command with a mixture of compassion and discipline, inspire loyalty in his crew, and accept ultimate responsibility for the ship. Henry V ticks all those boxes.

FIRST OFFICER ROSALIND: Rosalind’s ability to manage numerous moving parts and get people to do exactly what she wants them to make her an excellent choice for first officer. A natural leader, she stands ready to take over should the captain be incapacitated, and also will not hesitate to call the captain out if she thinks he is making a mistake.

COUNSELOR PAULINA: Paulina is not your touchy-feely empathic counselor. She is a no-nonsense problem solver. If you are having a problem, she will fix it. It might not be a pleasant experience for anyone involved, but you will come out the other side a better person. Probably.

OPERATIONS OFFICER ARIEL: Nobody is quite sure exactly what it is the operations officer does, but the bottom line is that he’s responsible for keeping the ship running smoothly. The airy spirit Ariel is more than capable of monitoring all of the starship’s complex systems and addressing any problems before they get too troublesome.

CHIEF ENGINEER PORTIA: The chief engineer of a starship has to be a consummate problem solver, able to quickly adapt to rapidly changing circumstances and come up with innovative and effective solutions. All this leads to Portia—the one from The Merchant of Venice—who is constantly overcoming obstacles in unexpected ways. If there’s a loophole in the laws of physics, she will find it.

TACTICAL OFFICER & SECURITY CHIEF CORIOLANUS: Battles must be won! Order must be maintained! Coriolanus’s single-minded adherence to those two maxims make him the ideal tactical officer and security chief. Fortunately for him, his excellence in those fields balances out his total lack of interpersonal skills and objectively objectionable personality.

MEDICAL OFFICER HELENA: She’s still relatively junior, but Helena—the one from All’s Well That Ends Well— shows great promise as a doctor. Able to blend established practices with new technological and pharmacological innovations, she is on the cutting edge of medical research, and does her best to keep her crew healthy.

HELMSMAN PERICLES: Pericles is more at home sailing between the stars than he is on the ground. OK, one time he piloted a starship into a gravimetric distortion and ended up having to abandon ship, but that was a while ago, and he’s got the hang of it now. Honestly.

SCIENCE OFFICER FRIAR LAURENCE: Friar Laurence is an avid xenobotanist. Nothing makes him happier than collecting plant samples from alien planets and then conducting weird experiments in his lab. He was demoted to ensign after the infamous Sleeping Death Replicator Virus incident, but he’s promised not to make that mistake again.

Thanks to my Shakespeare consultant Kate Pitt and my Star Trek consultant (and Star Trek re-watching buddy) James for letting me bounce these extremely nerdy ideas off of them.

Farewell to Spock

By now we've all heard the news that Leonard Nimoy has died. As a Star Trek fan, this is, of course, terribly saddening, but fortunately there is so much to celebrate about Nimoy's life and work. Here is my own painfully inadequate tribute:

As I was drawing this comic, I stumbled across a now much-shared letter that Nimoy wrote in response to a biracial girl asking him for advice. It just goes to show what an absolutely top-class human Nimoy was. 

Live long and prosper, everyone.