Robert April

From Academic Kids

Robert M. April is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe, the conjectured first captain of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). The character is commonly identified with the animated series of that franchise. Since the animated series as a whole is not considered by Paramount Studios to be part of the Star Trek canon, many fans believe this is true of Robert April as well. The officially licenced reference work, The Star Trek Chronology, lists April as being the first captain, which has led to confusion among fans as the Chronology, while incorporating canon elements taken from the Star Trek Universe, is not itself considered canon and the inclusion of April (along with some other animated series details) did not indicate the sanction of Paramount any more than the numerous licensed novels by Pocket Books that featured April and other animated series characters. This is underlined by the fact that a photo of Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, doctored to appear as if he is wearing a Starfleet uniform, was used in the Chronology in a tongue-in-cheek fashion to represent Capt. April.

When Roddenberry submitted his first proposal for Star Trek to MGM Studios in 1964, his name for the starship commander was "Robert April" (another name, Captain Winter, was also considered). The proposal was rejected, and Star Trek did not become a television reality until later that year when NBC accepted the premise, by which time various changes to the premise had led to the captain's name being changed to Christopher Pike (with more changes to come before series finally began in 1966).

In 1974, the writers for the animated series picked up on this early legacy and included Robert April, now a Commodore, in the final episode of the series titled "The Counter-Clock Incident." The character's voice was provided by James Doohan, who also portrayed Montgomery Scott. As mentioned above, Paramount Pictures, upon a request from Roddenberry, decreed that nothing in the animated series was to be considered canon. Since then, scriptwriters for several Trek series, most notably Star Trek: Enterprise have made sport of including subtle references to the animated series but, as of 2004, no official canon reference to Robert April has ever been made. Some sources have noted that a Captain April was noted as the first commander of the Enterprise in a background display listing ships histories in an episode of Star Trek, The Next Generation. This is not yet confirmed.

Note: Some sources list the character as Robert T. April.

Further reading

  • Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future (Pocket Books, 1996; ISBN 0-67-153610-9)

External links

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