Star Trek and The Fictional World of Archives

If you are unfamiliar with the Star Trek phenomenon, please refer to the official Star Trek (Paramount Pictures) Web site or to other links below. "Star Trek and The Fictional World of Archives assumes a passing familiarity with this media icon of late 20th century popular culture.

Star Trek: The Original Series and The Fictional World of Archives

TV Series Premiere on NBC: September 8, 1966, Stardate 1513.1

First Season, "Court Martial", February 2, 1967, no. 15, Stardate 2947.3

Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is put on trial for allegedly causing the death of Enterprise records officer Benjamin Finney (Richard Webb). The evidence hinges on the starship's computer records. Vulcan science officer Spock discovers that someone has tampered with these critical electronic records -- it turns out to be the "dead" man who is very much alive and had hoped to frame Kirk in retribution for missed promotion.

Third Season, "All Our Yesterdays", March 14, 1969, no. 78, Stardate 5943.7

The last inhabitant of the planet Sarpeidon, Mr. Atoz (Ian Wolfe) is the librarian of a unique collection of historical records: data storage devices resembling a thicker version of a CD-ROM that allowed the planet's residents to escape to past eras through a time-travel machine called the atavachron. All of Sarpeidon has fled due to an impending nova explosion of their sun.

Having detected the change in the sun, the usual trio of top officers -- Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy -- beam down to warn the citizens. Mr. Atoz believes they are Sarpeidons and sends them through the atavachron to different pasts.

This episode, according to Gross and Altman (1995), was written by University of California Los Angeles librarian Jean Lisette Aroeste. Perhaps as wish-fulfillment, Mr. Atoz (whose name means A to Z), utilized clones of himself to perform his librarian tasks.

  1. Star Trek: TOS (Paramount Pictures) (Official)
  2. Star Trek: WWW (Luca Sambucci) (Unofficial)
  3. The Internet Movie Database
  4. Yahoo! Listings

Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Fictional World of Archives

TV Series Premiere: Week of September 28, 1987 (pilot) Stardate 41153.7

Sixth Season, "The Chase", Week of April 26, 1993, no. 246, Stardate 46731.5

While strictly speaking not about archives, this delicious murder mystery presents Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew with an intellectual puzzle spanning time and space. DNA sequences from planets around the galaxy bearing different forms of humanoid life were found to contain similaries by Picard's achaeology professor. His death sends not only the Enterprise commander in search of the reason for what appeared to be a senseless death, but also Romulans, Klingons and Cardassians.

When the warring races discover they must cooperate and share the DNA sequences to discover the puzzle, a holographic message from the deep past is revealed that affirms their genetic similarities.

The idea that genetic material contains some secret was also explored in Michael Kube-McDowell's novel The Quiet Pools.

Seventh Season, "Masks", Week of February 21, 1994, no. 269, Stardate 47615.2

Talk about the transformational power of archives! The Enterprise encounters a mysterious derelict vessel which turns out to be an archive! The entire Federation starship and crew is infected by the archive and turn into a resemblance of an Egyptian temple.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and The Fictional World of Archives

TV Series Premiere: Week of January 2, 1993, Stardate 46379.1

Third Season, "Second Skin", Week of October 22, 1994, Stardate unknown

Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor), the official Bajoran liaison to the Federation-controlled, Cardassian-built space station that guards the entrance to a wormhole, is confronted with evidence that she is a deep-cover Cardassian agent genetically or surgically altered to look Bajoran. The Bajoran Central Archives are mentioned in this episode.

  1. Star Trek: DS9 (Paramount Pictures) (Official)
  2. Star Trek: WWW (Luca Sambucci) (Unofficial)
  3. The Internet Movie Database
  4. Yahoo! Listings

Star Trek: Voyager and The Fictional World of Archives

TV Series Premiere: January 16, 1995, Stardate 48315.6 (24th century C.E.)

Fifth Season, "11:59", May 5, 1999, Stardate unknown

Captain Janeway's (Kate Mulgrew) recounting of her ancestor Shannon O'Donnel's (played by herself) involvement in the construction of the Millennium Gate in the dying town of Portage Creek, Indiana, USA, leads to a revision of her family history. The story is set on New Year's Eve 2000 (not 1999 as some episode guides state). Janeway reflects on the fragility, even in her own era, of the historical record. The episode ends with the crew creating a new holiday to celebrate the importance of ancestors and family.

  1. Star Trek: Voyager (Paramount Pictures) (Official)
  2. Star Trek: WWW (Luca Sambucci) (Unofficial)
  3. The Internet Movie Database
  4. Yahoo! Listings


Okuda, Michael, Okuda, Denise and Mirek, Debbie. The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future. New York: Pocket Books, 1994.
Gross, Edward and Altman, Mark A. Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1995.
TV Guide Star Trek 30 Years Official Collector's Edition. North York, Ont.: Telemedia Communications, 1996.

CONTENTS: The Fictional World of Archives

Submitted by David Mattison with contributions by Michael Bolik; Paul Gibbons, 1997.01.11; Nora Hague, 1997.05.02. Updated 1999.05.13.