Star Trek and the curse of the red shirts

Monday, 14 April, 2008

Analytics According to Captain Kirk

Your chances of working your way up the Star Trek command hierarchy were greatly enhanced if you did not wear a red shirt as part of your uniform.

Recent analysis of crew mortality rates shows that 73 per cent of USS Enterprise crew members, from the original “five-year mission”, died while wearing a red shirt.

The Enterprise has a crew of 430 (startrek.com) in its five-year mission. (Now, I know that the show was only on the air for 3 years, but bear with me. 80 episodes were produced, which gives us the data to build from.) 59 crewmembers were killed during the mission, which comes out to 13.7% of the crew. So, that will be our overall conversion rate, 13.7%. However, we need to segment the overall mortality (conversion) rate in order to gain the specific information that we need: Yellow-shirt crewperson deaths: 6 (10%), Blue-Shirt crewperson deaths: 5 (8 %), Engineering smock crewperson deaths: 4, Red-Shirt crewperson deaths: 43 (73%)

The risk of being a “red shirt” had clearly abated by the time the TNG crew took to the space ways though.

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