From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivial detail of some form of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.
Why should the popular girls get to have all the fun? Sure, the ENTERPRISE may be one of the most recognizable modes of transportation in all of Sector 001 (in ALL its stylized varieties), but it is by far not the only familiar, and important, ship in the star fleet. And, of course, there are those “one-shot wonders” that find their place in some random episode starring some random Hollywood B-Lister, but this Top o’ the Lot focuses more on the relative mainstays; ships that made recurring appearances and lasting impacts. This week’s Top o’ the Lot pulls into space-dock, readies the phasers and photon torpedoes, and pulls a Kobayashi Maru on the damnedest Starfleet Vessels Not Named ENTERPRISE.
Honorable Mention: The Runabout
Whoa! Hey! Calm down! I know Runabouts aren’t technically a single ship, or even the official name of the ship’s class, but these workhorses made some lasting impressions on the franchise. It was the single only way to get from Deep Space 9 for a weekend on Bajor or a quick skip through the Wormhole, and Harry Kim even found himself using one to fix a wrinkle in the space/time continuum, or some such. Versatile? Yes. Easy to drive? Yup. Named after rivers? Yeah, I never really got that. Glamorous? Not even a little bit. But looks aren’t everything, and the multipurpose and resilient Danube Class of starships makes the grade.
5. USS Stargazer
Yes, I know I’m breaking my own rule since the Stargazer actually shows up in one and only one episode of the franchise, and the model in Picard’s Ready Room shouldn’t (and doesn’t) count, but this is a hell of a ship. Who’d of thought Ferengi could be so vengeful, or that the Picard Maneuver would be so useful that we never saw it again anywhere? This ship reminds everyone that Jean-Luc had a life before sitting in Enterprise’s big chair, and gave a small, but short-lived, breath of life to the persistent rumors of a “Young Picard” spin-off show. *sigh* We can keep dreaming, right?
4. USS Voyager
Say what you want about the quality of the show, but the Intrepid Class cruiser in the starring role of Star Trek: Voyager was a thing of beauty, and got better with time. I mean, come on: Gel-Pack bio-neural circuitry, Spatial Charges, Tricobalt Devices; the later additions of a Mess Hall, Hydroponics Bay, and Astrometrics Lab; and final additions of Borg-bashing Ablative Hull Armor and Transphasic Torpedoes! And those Variable Geometry Warp Nacelles were P-I-M-P! A pimped out ride even Ensign Xzibit could be proud of, Voyager’s uniqueness sends it hurtling onto the Top o’ the Lot at Warp Factor 8.5.
3. The Delta Flyer
Is it a shame that a ship that spent most of the time docked within Voyager actually beats out Voyager herself on the list? Yeah, just as big a shame that Tom Paris isn’t designing ships at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards! Built out of necessity through a combination of Starfleet and Borg technology, the Flyer is a decked out, photonic missile firing, Parametallic Hull Plated beast Captain Proton would be proud of. Whether it was guiding Voyager through the quantum slipstream, diving into the depths of a planet comprised entirely of water, or providing a quiet place for newlyweds Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres to “run a level 3 diagnostic of the warp coils”, the hot rod called the Delta Flyer moves right in the middle of the Lot at maximum impulse.
2. USS Excelsior
“My God, that’s a big ship.” “Not so big as her Captain, I think.”
The Great Experiment, the USS Excelsior was introduced to Trekkies as an outright smack to the face to the TOS crew, became a laughing stock through Engineer Scott’s timely act of sabotage, but ended up the hero as she help blast a prototype Klingon Bird of Prey out of the space above Camp Khitomer. While Transwarp never quite panned out the way Starfleet wanted it to, the Excelsior Class of Starship paved the way for the massive ship designs that followed, including the Galaxy class, and its staying power put it in the Lot. Captain Hikaru Sulu puts it at the Top o’ the Lot.
1. USS Defiant
“She may have flaws, but she has teeth.”
Built in direct response to the Borg threat, the USS Defiant packed a ton of muscle in a small frame. It’s the Bruce Lee of Starfleet vessels. Goodies like Pulse Phaser Cannons, Quantum Torpedoes, Ablative Armor, and (wait for it!) a Treaty of Algeron-exempt Cloaking Device made the Defiant THE go-to ship for owning Cardassians, cracking down on some Dominion flunkies or a quiet home for an anti-social Klingon. Sure the Maquis got over on the ship’s computer a time or two, and it was completely destroyed or abandoned on several occasions, but those little drawbacks take nothing away from the appeal. Yes, there are bigger ships, and faster ships, and more powerful ships in the fleet, but none of them are as fast or as powerful while having the maneuverability of the Defiant. It is sheer coolness alone that puts the USS Defiant at the tippy top of this week’s Top o’ the Lot.
See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.