Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Top 10 Captain & Commander Duos, Ranked

WhileStar Trek is always, ultimately, about the voyages of one ship and its crew, there is always a serious focal point on the captains and the commanders that support them. There's a reason people adore the tag-team duos of Picard and Riker, Kirk and Spock. These pairs are the heart and soul of not only the show, but the ship itself.

Now, Star Trek has had a lot of leaders in its day, working together to make their ships the best they can be. All of them have their own merits. But only one is the best of the best.

10 Lorca and Saru

This captain and commander combo from the Discovery are easily the worst, but it makes sense. After all, Lorca didn't have the ship or Starfleet's best interest at heart the entire time. Considering Saru is a logical and empathetic character, he wouldn't work well with someone so reckless who puts his own goals ahead of the safety of the crew. So many times Saru's biological instincts warned of the serious danger they were in and Lorca blatantly ignored him.

The only good part about Lorca and Saru is that they created a fascinating and entertaining contrast on screen.

9 Georgiou and Burnham

On the Shenzhou, Burnham and Captain Georgiou were almost perfect. They had a familial bond and deep respect for one another, making them a strong and loving duo. If they hadn't faced war, they would've stayed an enviable pair; the decorated captain and her brilliant Vulcan-raised commander. Most of the time, they made each other stronger.

However, in the face of severe danger, Burnham's recklessness and adoration of Georgiou got in the way of objectivity. She not only committed mutiny in an attempt to save her, but also turned T'Kuvma into a martyr out of grief. Their bond was powerful, but in the most dire situations, it soured their leadership.

8 Martok and Worf

During the Dominion War, there were multiple times where Worf took time away from DS9 to help General Martok run certain missions and get his ship into tip-top shape. Acting as his second in command, they helped prepare the Klingon people for the shift in objective and from hopelessness to victory.

They accomplished a lot together, and their trust and respect for each other fostered that.

However, when it comes to discussion, both men can be horribly stubborn at times, which can cause a little too much friction on the bridge and among the crew (see the case of Alexander Rhozhenko).

7 Saru and Burnham

Going into Discovery's season 3, the chain of command has so many change-ups that it can give a person whiplash. However, it does finally end up with the dream team that fans have been interested in since the beginning: Captain Saru and Commander Burnham.

Sure, no one knows much about season 3 and what will be seen from the pair. From watching these two work together in the past before, though, they have a healthy respect for each other, a close relationship, yet won't hesitate to call each other out on their crap.

Saru and Burnham will be Discovery's first proper commander/captain duo and fans are here for it.

6 Archer and T'Pol

The culture clash between T'Pol and Archer, and the ways they work together to keepEnterprise going, is fantastic. Even when they completely do not understand one another, they work it out. They both make each other more open-minded people and T'Pol's complexities and growth are easily one of the best parts of the show.

Unfortunately, the reason this duo loses points is because of Archer's self-righteous impositions, sexualization, and racism that pop up every once in a while to slap T'Pol in the face. He could stop that.

5 Pike and Number One

Even though Pike and Number One (AKA Una) don't have nearly enough screen-time for how wonderful they are, from their few scenes it's clear how well the pair work together. Pike is a fantastic and inspiring leader, but when it comes to logistics and keeping things in order, he can be lacking. She's a lady who has everything together and knows things would fall apart without her.

Their dynamic, one the surface, could be mistaken for a man and his secretary. But really, it's a man full of charisma who needs someone who keeps everything in line so that he can be the best captain he can be. There's a reason he was so chaotic on Discovery; he didn't have Una.

Fans can't wait to see more of them.

4 Janeway and Chakotay

At first, Janeway and Chakotay seem like they can be pretty combative and problematic. However, over time the Captain and her Maquis Commander fell into a very comfortable dynamic. Janeway will do anything to protect her crew and preserve Starfleet morals, and Chakotay exists so that she never pushes too far with those principles of hers. They both are a little wilder, which works well in the wild west that is the Delta Quadrant. At the end of the day, though, what really brings them together is their support of one another and their love for exploration and their crew.

3 Sisko and Kira

In the unique situation that DS9 is, Major Kira and Ben Sisko are exactly the kind of people that need to be in charge. They are both passionate people that care about others and just want to do the right thing. Sure, they may do it with a bit more punching and casual rebellion than the average team, but they do what they need to.

For the chaotic DS9 station and the "frontier" that Bajor is to some people, they adapt well to the unknown and the surprising.

DS9 was lucky to have such bold and battle-ready leaders to defend it.

2 Picard and Riker

After the wild card that was Kirk,TNG had a much more reserved and philosophical captain in Jean-Luc Picard, a diplomat and speech-maker. To make up for that bold energy, though, he had the passionate, trombone-playing Riker to supports and enforce his plans. Where Picard was an ideals man, Riker was a people person. Together, they were able to come up with great inspired plans and ideas and still make the crew feel more like a family.

They got to have a figurehead and a man of the people, a powerful combination in leadership.

While Riker and Picard didn't argue nearly as much as other duos, they still did a great job.

1 Kirk and Spock

There's no duo that can ever beat the iconic combination of Spock and Kirk. Throughout their series, Kirk was a true spitfire.  And by his side, Spock was the ever-logical, to the point of frustration for many other crew-members. But what made them so beloved and iconic wasn't their differences, it was the deep respect they held for each other. No matter how much they didn't understand each other, they always rushed to each other's defense, verbally or physically.

Kirk and Spock are soulmates, even if just in a platonic way canonically, and of course fans can't help but adore that.