Hmm, doesn’t seem to be any aliens or temporal anomalies around. Sooo, should we start killing each other?
Even those who haven’t watched much (or any) Star Trek know red is the most deadly color you can wear in the 23rd century. The nameless, disposable, very easily killed security/engineering guys all wore red shirts in The Original Series, which led to “redshirt” becoming a widely used term for any character who’s obviously about to bite it.
But is being a redshirt really all that bad? Recently somebody actually sat down and crunched the numbers and the results are surprising…
It turns out the most dangerous color to wear on the Enterprise is actually gold.
Matthew Barsalou of Significance Magazine counted up all the on-screen deaths during Star Trek’s original three seasons. There were 24 redshirt deaths, 9 goldshirt deaths and 7 blueshirt deaths.
Ah, so red = dead after all! Not so fast — according to blueprints officially endorsed by Paramount, the Enterprise has a crew of 430. 239 are redshirts, 136 are blueshirts and 55 are goldshirts. In other words, the show depicts are a lot of guys in red dying, but there were more guys in red to begin with.
All in all, 5.1% of the Enterprise’s blueshirts, 10% of its redshirts and a whopping 13.4% of its goldshirts died over the course of The Original Series’ 79-episodes. So there you have it, wearing gold on the Enterprise is slightly more dangerous than red, although honestly, the ship’s casualty rates are pretty bad no matter what color you’re wearing.