Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Lost Characters of Star Trek

Where the hell did he go?

A question that has perplexed many a fan - nearly as much as the classic "Where was Chekov?" we all still ask when watching The Wrath of Khan. There have been a few occasions where characters have mysteriously vanished/been reassigned/dropped off the face of the Earth. There's six in particular that immediately form an orderly queue. Let's see if any of you can remember at what point their presence was no longer required after their arrivals were made so prominent!

Ensign Sonia Gomez

Famous for being played by an actress who was also in Total Recall and for spilling hot chocolate on Picard in Main Engineering (seriously? Hot liquids in that environment?!). We should have seen her more but after just two appearances in Q Who and Samaritan Snare it was bye bye to the ensign. Gomez acted as a nice counter for Geordi but after a while it might have become excruciating to stand - and there was always Wesley to do her plot explanations or emotional turmoil where required.

Opinion? She was OK but a little too whiny and overactive for my liking. I'd be lying if I said we missed her presence after her two appearances but she did make an impression. I always find myself watching the Borg episode and going "Oh yeah - she's in this one!"

Lieutenant George Primmin

There to keep Odo in check - but again only for two episodes (The Passenger and Move Along Home) of the uneven first season of Deep Space Nine. One thing that always gets me with this character is that when it comes to the third season the creators introduced Eddington to fill exactly the same role that Primmin does here as though Starfleet had never been concerned to send someone out to oversee security matters until that point. 

While Eddington and Odo did clash a great deal and made for a lot better TV, Primmin and the Constable seemed much more able to work together - which may have been the downfall of the character; there needed to be an edge to the relationship and Eddington certainly achieved that in spades.

Sub-commander T'Rul

In charge of the loaned Romulan cloaking device installed on the mighty Defiant she, like Gomez, managed just two episodes before being conspicuously ditched. Somehow it wasn't that important that the crew knew all the workings of this top secret device after the two part story The Search. It's only when you watch this back (as I did recently) that you realise there is never another mention of her role anywhere else in the show. Clearly the secrecy of the cloaking device wasn't that important after all. Her position does seem like a glorified version of Uhura's "Open hailing frequencies" from The Original Series. Luckily Martha Hackett was more fortunate than her Romulan character, reappearing as Seska in Voyager. And then got killed off.

The Equinox Crew

One of Voyager's greatest injustices has to be the remaining fragments of the Equinox crew from the eponymous two-parter (and one of my favourites). One second they're all getting chewed out and demoted by Janeway to spend the rest of their time on Voyager cleaning the waste pipes and tidying up after Neelix attempts to cook something and the next minute...where did they go? I for one was hoping they would turn up again in season six and then seven but not a chance.

Clearly one of the biggest missed opportunities in the entire show - nay franchise - was to follow them a little more, maybe just the once - and see what happened to them. After all, Voyager did an excellent job of digging deep into the troubles between the Maquis and Starfleet as they integrated from Caretaker. Hang on...I think I got that wrong....

Naomi Wildman's mum

OK. This one is another from the Voyager stable and another cracker. Let's watch this woman go through expecting a baby, have the baby which dies in childbirth, introduce her parallel self in Deadlock where the child survived, have that child dropped over to another parallel Voyager ...and then totally ignore the mother for like, the next five years. Bless her, there's nothing like being appreciated is there? Samantha Wildman appeared, like Gomez before her, to have a long life of repeated appearances ahead but the arrival of her daughter wiped it out overnight. Samantha would appear four more times after the birth of her daughter but these would be sporadic between seasons three and six more than likely leading viewers to the old "oh that's where she went" scenario. Probably the most underused recurring character in Voyager.

This of course meant that Naomi could annoy the hell out of Janeway, Seven, the viewer and, heck, even Neelix for the remainder of the show. No wonder they were trying to get home so quickly.

Yeoman Rand

The original disappearing crew-member. The stories as to why she vanished so abruptly are well known throughout the Star Trek fanbase and any reference book detailing the history of The Original Series will fill it out if you haven't already uncovered the facts. Rand is actually the only one of these characters I've discussed who 1) returned later to some acclaim in the movies and Voyager's Flashback and 2) was resurrected by fan production Phase II with an increase in rank (and odd hair). While that latter show isn't canon it's good to note that Rand is still seen as a major part of the show even though she was unceremoniously scribbled out before Star Trek even made it to the end of season one.

Other Suspects

I'm certain that your mind has already wandered across to both Sito Lavell and Tom Riker by the time you've hit the bottom of this article. Why haven't we mentioned either? 

For the reason that their stories sort of ended - they were designed for a single episode (or two in each case separated by a few years) so no, we didn't forget them and I can say they will be featured in the future in something around guest characters but for now, it's not their time!

Is there anyone else we've not mentioned or have forgotten who should have made our list? Why not drop a comment below?

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