Costober 2021 Day 6: Number One

Number One, who is first and many.

About the Look

The original Number One appeared in the unaired Star Trek pilot “The Cage”, played by Majel Barrett. That footage was reworked into the two part TOS episode “The Menagerie” and Number One appeared in a few tie-in novels and comic books, but was most often discussed as an unpopular/failed female first officer played by Gene Roddenberry’s wife. Captain Pike showed up in the 2009 reboot film but Number One did not. But ten years later, Number One reappeared in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, played by the incomparable Rebecca Romijn, and she’s set to star in Strange New Worlds premiering next year.

She’s not the only Number One, though, a few captains use the term to describe their executive officer. The moniker was used by Philippa Georgiou (Prime) for Michael Burnham and Gabriel Lorca (Mirror) for Saru in Discovery. And Jean-Luc Picard used it for Will Riker in The Next Generation and Raffi Musiker in Picard, as well as naming his pet dog Number One in retirement. Though Pike’s Number One, whose full name is Una Chin-Riley, was first, The Next Generation is the most successful Trek and Will Riker is the most recognizable Number One.

But for a subset of fans, majority women and myself included, Number One represents so much more than her position, or her popularity. Number One is the woman who was too progressive and too aggressive for the sixties. The producers hated her. The writers portrayed her as ‘not like other girls’. She was kicked off the show and her personality was given to Spock, who then became the most popular character ever. And the actress reappeared as the most feminine, nonthreatening, compliant, blonde sweetheart with the absolute worst backstory as if to say “just kidding!”. Aside —no shade to Majel Barrett, she deserved to be cast and it’s not her fault they made up Roger Korby to undermine her. Una coming back, with a name even!, is what we’ve been waiting for. And I’m not kidding about the ‘incomparable’; I have loved Rebecca Romijn since X-Men the way I loved Michelle Yeoh since The Heroic Trio and I expect just as much from her.

About My Look

My sweater is exactly what everyday cosplay should be: the ‘fashion’ version of Number One’s uniform. It’s thin and slightly cropped and it sparkles but otherwise it is literally what she wears in “The Cage”.

And it’s also a perfect example of my process because I found this sweater on Poshmark months ago and bought it immediately specifically to do this look. The pin and hat are swag from Trek events. The hat is from the Star Trek: Discovery season two premiere so I found it apropos. I’m not sure where I got the pin. It’s the same size and heft as the ‘Visitor’ badge from Picard, which I got at NYCC 2019, so that’s my guess but I don’t know for certain.

This one was popular at work, scientists love Star Trek.

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