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Given that the New Frontier stories are all written by Peter David, it should come as no surprise that every single character on this list is a Deadpan Snarker.

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     U.S.S Excalibur 

The U.S.S Excalibur

The U.S.S. Excalibur is a Galaxy-class starship in the United Federation of Planets' Starfleet. It is comissioned to go provide humanitarian relief in the former Thallonian Empire and is populated by some of Starfleet's best and...quirkiest.

Mackenzie Calhoun

Captain of the USS Excalibur. The first and, so far, only Xenexian in Starfleet. Born M'k'n'zy of Calhoun, he watched his father die at the hands of Danteri oppressors at a young age and eventually led his people to their liberation...all before the age of twenty. A chance encounter with one Captain Jean-Luc Picard set his path in motion to Starfleet, moving up through the ranks until the Grissom incident caused him to resign his commission (though he continued to work for Starfleet Intelligence on the DL). His nomination to command the Excalibur was met with much resistance, particularly with Admiral Jellico, but so far it seems to have worked out pretty well.

Elizabeth Shelby

Elizabeth Paula Shelby first came to the attention of Starfleet higher-ups with her quick expertise on the Borg. After consulting with the Enterprise through the Locutus incident and the Battle of Wolf 359, she became first officer of the Chekov under Captain Morgan Korsmo, whom she would follow onto the Excalibur. When Korsmo was killed during the second Borg attack on Earth (in the events of Star Trek: First Contact), she was ready to move on to a captaincy when Admiral Jellico requested that she remain first officer so she could ride herd on Mackenzie Calhoun, with whom she had a relationship at the Academy. She eventually gets her own command in the Trident, then becomes an Admiral in charge of Bravo Station.

  • Armor-Piercing Question: Is subjected to one in Double or Nothing when Commander Riker temporarily acts as captain of the Excalibur while Calhoun is on another assignment; after she's spent time criticising Riker for not taking any of his offered command opportunities, Riker counters that she may want to consider why she has never received the offer of a captaincy herself?
  • Ascended Extra: Appeared for a pair of episodes in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Admittedly, these were The Best of Both Worlds.
  • Battle Couple: With Calhoun.
  • The Captain: Finally becomes one after a lot of effort.
  • The Fettered: Holds to Starfleet regulations above just about everything, which makes her a huge pain in the butt for Calhoun. It gets better when she gets her own ship.
  • Four-Star Badass: What she aspires to be. She eventually achieves it.
  • Girl of My Dreams: Calhoun first sees her in a near-death hallucinatory vision long before he enrolls in Starfleet Academy. (He also first sees Jean-Luc Picard this way, thus pretty much affirming his visions).
  • Happily Married: To Calhoun.
  • The Idealist: Shelby attempts to hold to Starfleet ideals at all times. She's unaware that's a horrible idea in this series.
  • Only Sane Man: Believes herself to be this but in the Ragtag Band of Misfits, she's actually the only insane one.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Thinks she's in a more typical Star Trek series so she acts as The Idealist and The Fettered, which means that she's completely out of her depth with the craziness she encounters.
  • And Zoidberg: Shelby never quite learns to fit in with the Excalibur crew. Ironically, a more professional crew dislikes the oddball habits she picks up from the Excalibur.

Burgoyne 172

Burgoyne 172 is a Hermat, a hermaphroditic species, and chief engineer of the Excalibur. S/he is uninhibited in hir sexuality, and generally has affairs with several crew members at a time. When Selar became the CMO, s/he pursued her, but was rebuffed many times, until her pon farr reignited and she finally gave in to hir charms. This resulted in a son, named Xy after the captain's son (who was at the time missing and presumed dead). A short custodial battle ensued, after which the pair decided to raise him together. Promoted to first officer when Shelby gained command of the Trident.


Dr. Selar was a medical officer aboard the Enterprise for many years. During that time, she experienced pon farr, and returned home to mate with her chosen one...only to have him die of a heart attack while still in its throes. She covered her shock reasonably well, but her urges returned when she became CMO of the Excalibur two years later. After rebuffing Burgoyne's advances for a time, she finally gave into hir, and produced a son. A few years later, she became obsessed with finding a cure for her son's condition, to the point of kidnapping. She would eventually die trying to save the child she kidnapped from the Bretheren, while in the process uncovering a cure for her son's condition.

Robin Lefler

Operations officer of the Excalibur and special liaison to Si Cwan after a tour on the Enterprise. Bright and cheerful; best known for her "Lefler's Laws" she started to impress her mother. Seems like the Only Sane Man...until her mother, whom she thought was dead, turns up alive in Thallonian space. Eventually falls in love with and marries Si Cwan, and serves as a Starfleet liaison to the New Thallonian Protectorate until she resigns her commission after her husband was murdered by opposition forces. He did leave her Someone to Remember Him By, but that caused her even more trouble, sending her to Bravo Station for refuge.

Zak Kebron

Chief security officer of the Excalibur. A member of the Brikar species. Known for his mighty strength and his Deadpan Snarker least until he molts; then he becomes quite a bit more verbose (and doubles as Excalibur's counselor).

Mark McHenry

The helmsman of the U.S.S Excalibur. He turns out to be part-god.

  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Once his past comes out and he resolves his issue with them.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Can fly the starship while asleep. No, this isn't a metaphor.
  • The Bus Came Back: With the Returned series.
  • Disappeared Dad: Father McHenry ran from the house, and then the entire planet Earth, after an incident when Mark was a little boy. Being nearly killed by an angry god will do that to a man.
  • Good with Numbers: Better than the computers.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal
  • Incest Is Relative: He had sex with Artemis, who is his great-great-great grandaunt, when he was a teenager. McHenry is disgusted, but Artemis is utterly nonchalant.
  • Last-Name Basis: Pretty much everyone just calls him McHenry. Artemis is one of the few who calls him Mark.
  • Last-Second Showoff: He is very good at quickly calculating trajectories and other math in his head, so he spends most of his time looking bored and not doing anything, then at the last minute he'll calculate and set the coordinates, then go back to being bored.
  • 90% of Your Brain: Has been modified by the Aesir.
  • No-Sell: One of the first big hints that he's not quite human is that he No Sells Q.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: At the beginning of Being Human, the normally sleepy McHenry is much more serious talking to Zak, who finds it pretty scary.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Which annoyed his mother and weirded out his father. Being part god and having your great-grand aunt following you about didn't help.
  • Weirdness Censor: Despite the fact he is pretty dang weird, no-one finds anything at all odd about his everything. However, during Being Human, it starts to wear off.


The half-Romulan/half-Vulcan science officer of the ship. Soleta is the secondary protagonist of the series and one of the most important characters in the series. She would eventually leave Starfleet after her Romulan heritage was uncovered, and rise to prominence in the Romulan hierarchy, getting a ship right around the time of Star Trek: Nemesis.

  • Babies Ever After: Is carrying Captain Calhoun's child at the end of The Returned.
  • Batman Gambit: As her mutinous Romulan crew discovers.
  • Child by Rape: Her mother was raped by a Romulan pirate.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the proud Vulcan tradition. Soleta actually does this better than most of her species.
  • Defector from Decadence: Zig-zagged as she defects from the Federation to the Romulan Empire then back. Sort of.
  • Easily Forgiven: A Downplayed Trope example with her rape of Captain Calhoun. She had to be willing to sacrifice her life to save his, survive, and reveal that she had been in the midst of pon'far.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: From Starfleet's perspective. She actually has always remained the same moral person, just her allegiances have changed to whoever she feels supports her.
  • Expy: Of Valaris.
  • Mind Rape: Is much more willing to subject people to this than most Vulcans. Because she comes to identify more with her Romulan side than her Vulcan.
  • The Stoic: Subverted as she's in a state of near-constant anger and barely-concealed exasperation.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The discovery of her Romulan heritage didn't improve her disposition.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Her biological father claimed a Faith–Heel Turn. It turns out he was just using her to get revenge.

Si Cwan

The last remaining prince of the Thollonian royal family. He, alone, amongst them wasn't a complete scumbag. He attempts, throughout the series, to try and rebuild the Thollonian provinces into something resembling a functioning government. He succeeds.


Security officer under Kebron. A genetically-bred mutant (who looks quite a bit like a mugato). He reverts to mindlessness in Stone and Anvil.

  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He is known to pretend to be a non-sentient animal on occasion.
  • Uncanny Valley: His resemblance to a famous wild beast in-universe causes some strange looks.
  • Uplifted Animal: It turns out he doesn't look like a mugato so much as is one.

Kat Mueller

Originally the Executive Officer of the Grissom (she worked the night shift where Calhoun and the captain worked the day shift); was imported to the same position on the Excalibur. She would later become Shelby's first officer on the Trident, then promoted to captain when Shelby was promoted to admiral.


One of two alien crew members from Star Trek: The Animated Series imported to the novels.

Shiboline M'Ress

The other alien character from Star Trek: The Animated Series.


The sister of Ci Cwan and one of the last remaining members of the Thollian royal family. After the fall of the Thallonian Empire, she is brainwashed into believing she's a native of a local culture before being rescued by Xyon. She can see the dead and has visions of a world called the Quiet Place.


The son of Selar and Burgoyne. Because of the conflict between his parents' genetics, he grows up extremely quickly; the three year time-skip between Stone and Anvil and After the Fall is long enough for him to grow up and become a Starfleet science officer. It's intimated he'll die just as quickly, thus causing Selar's parental conflict and would lead to her betrayal and death...and his possible salvation

Morgan Primus

An immortal citizen of Earth who has a striking similarity to a number of Starfleet characters.



Edward Jellico

The Starfleet Admiral of Deep Space Five and one of the direct supervisors of Captain Calhoun's mission.

  • Da Chief: Serves as this since he's the head of Starfleet operations.
  • Flanderization: From his appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He's gone from being a curmudgeony Reasonable Authority Figure to Calhoun's version of J.J. Jameson. He gets over it. It turns out that Calhoun and Jellico had a very negative personal history...until during a Time Skip they get over their animosity and become friends.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Calhoun and the Excalibur crew are, bluntly, completely insane.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: He wants what's best for the Federation and Alpha Quandrant as a whole.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Has this role with Captain Calhoun. He gets over it.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Is actually one of these, underneath his terminal dislike of Calhoun.


A blonde Asian with a southern drawl. Works ops on the Grissom and later the Trident.

Mick Gold

Worked the conn on the Grissom and later on the Trident. His sister Leanne went to the Academy with Calhoun and Shelby. Died at the hands of the Brethren.

Tania Tobias

The conn replacement for McHenry and a former subject of the Worlds Within Worlds project. The project left her with terrifying psychic visions she'd rather not have.



Son of a mother on Yakaba, a dry planet where Calhoun crash lands after the Excalibur is destroyed. Calhoun adopts him as his own after his mother is killed. He later learns that his father is the All-Father (Woden, Odin, and Santa Claus) and has inherited weather-related powers from him.

  • Character Development: He's vastly different in book 12 than he was in book 11, though seeing what he went through, and the time spent with Mac, it's no wonder.
  • Divine Parentage: He is the son of Odin. Yes, really.
  • Happily Adopted: Zigzagged Trope. He loves and admires Calhoun a great deal but the latter is an awful father.
  • Tyke-Bomb: He has a lot of powers that he's only begun to tap.
  • Weather Manipulation: He can do this thanks to his heritage.


A mysterious starship captain working in Thallonian space. He turns out to be Captain Calhoun's son.

D'n'dai of Calhoun

M'k'n'zy's older brother. Was the far more political savvy of the two, and helped solidify Xenex's standing in space after his brother got the Danteri off the world. Unfortunately, one of his first decisions was to trade with their former oppressors, which put a strain on his relationship with his brother. Died at the hands of the Brethren.

  • Cain and Abel: Subverted. D'n'dai is hateful to his brother but doesn't want to see him dead.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Thinks Xenex views his brother as a living god while they look down on him as second best despite both being vital to freeing their home planet.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mac calls him out on the fact he traded Xenexian independence for a foreign power's aid. D'n'dai points out they never would have won their independence without said aid in the first place. For once, Mac is speechless.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Points out Mac left their home planet when they needed his presence most.


A Danteri nobleman. Calhoun rescued him at the behest of a Thallonian mercenary, where he then discovered that as a young soldier in the Danteri army, Lodec was the whipman in the torture and execution of Calhoun's father. Although he tried several times to get revenge, Lodec escaped and returned to Danter, where he helped negotiate for ambrosia with the Beings, and the Danteri became their first willing subjects.

  • Just Following Orders: How he justifies killing Mac's father to Si, pointing out if he hadn't, his superior would've just killed him and gotten someone else to do it anyway.
  • You Killed My Father: How Mac views him—which is not at all inaccurate.


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