Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Great Loss to the Trek Universe

Majel Roddenberry (then Barrett) as Captain Christopher Pike's right hand woman, Number One.
A sad passing today, Majel Roddenberry passed away today at age 76. Roddenberry held a special place in the Star Trek universe, appearing in both the Original Series and The Next Generation as well as being the wife of the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry. Not to mention performing the voice functions of the Enterprise computer in its various incarnations. Roddenberry's performances of intelligent and (with the exception of Number One) unabashedly emotional women brought some color to the Trek world.

Roddenberry played a variety of memorable characters, she was the cool and professional original Number One, the Nurse with bad taste in guys as Christine Chapel and the flighty yet crafty Betazed mother of ship's counselor Deanna Troi, Lwaxana Troi. Her TNG apperances were the most memorable because she got to play a comedic character and excelled at it. Though I had always wished they had kept Number One for the Original Series, that was a good character.

Her regular appearances in the various Star Trek series ensures she will be remembered though her best character was one that was offscreen. As the voice of the Enterprise computer, Roddenberry gave some personality to what was originally the only. thing. more. halting. than. William Shatner's. speech on the Original Series (It often started speeches with a bunch of tape sounds and the phrase "Wor-king"). As the Star Treks continued, the computer became more refined in its sound and recognizable as Roddenberry. Roddenberry's legacy will live on for one more Trek as the computer voice in the upcoming Star Trek XI.

Someone on You Tube posted a sort of "Enterprise computer's greatest hits" so I'll end with this clip. Majel Roddenberry has been referred to as "The First Lady of Star Trek" and the title suits her well. A sad day for Star Trek fans everywhere.

Majel Roddenberry / The Computer from Star Trek


Jeannie said...

I was really bummed out when you told me. Kind of shocked really because I knew she was quite younger than Roddenberry.

P.S. I was a big fan of Lwaxana Troi.

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

I loved Deanna Troi's mother! She was my most favorite reacurring character. That is really really sad. Well, she isn't really dead until the last person who remembers is dead. I think she will live on for generations to come.

Mr. Mike said...

Roddenberry's passing was a shock to me too, I had no idea she was sick. Well put SKW, she will live on for generations.