Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery: Who Will Be Saru's New Number One?

This week's episode of Star Trek: Discovery, "Scavengers," brought with it an unfortunate demotion for one of the show's characters. Saru took over as Discovery's permanent captain earlier in the seasons and named Commander Michael Burnham as his First Officer. But in "Scavengers," Burnham disobeyed a direct order from Saru and went on an unsanctioned mission. Saru felt he had no choice but to relieve Burnham of her First Officer duties and relegate her to being the ship's Chief Science Officer. Now that the position as Saru's "Number One" has been vacated, who will fill the spot left open by Burnham?

Discovery hasn't specified any crewmember as its second episode, so that leaves the answer open to some debate. Some might expect that the next in the chain of command would be on the bridge crew. Data did fill in as commanding officer when Captain Picard and Commander Riker were absent during episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. That's not always the case. In addition to being Chief Engineer, Montgomery Scott was also the second officer aboard the Enterprise. He'd sometimes emerge from engineering to take the conn while Kirk and Spock were on an away mission.

Different members of the bridge crew have taken the conn at points. Lieutenant Nilsson has sat in the captain's chair, as has Lieutenant Rhys. But they're not the highest-ranking officers on the ship. Paul Stamets and Dr. Hugh Culber are both commanders, though neither are command officers. Stamets is a scientist who pilots the ship's spore drive while Culber is a medical officer. Those duties would likely keep them away from a permanent position on the bridge as the first officer.

Engineer Jet Reno is also a commander, outranking the bridge crew. As with Culber and Stamets' situations, Reno's engineering duties may keep her away from the bridge.

Some may want to see Tilly get the call-up, but given that she's an ensign with little experience in command situation, that seems unlikely. Unless Reno, Culber, or Stamets decide to make a significant career change, it seems this situation will play out in one of two scenarios. One of the bridge crew members -- likely Nilsson or Rhys -- will be promoted to commander and given the first officer's position or a new character from amongst the many Discovery officers that the show hasn't introduced us to as of yet.

Who do you think will be Discovery's new Number One? Let us know in the comments. New Star Trek: Discovery episodes stream Thursdays on CBS All Access.