Robert April

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Robert T. April
Star Trek character
First appearance"The Counter-Clock Incident" (1974) (The Animated Series)
Portrayed byJames Doohan (voice)
In-universe information
PositionUSS Enterprise commanding officer
  • Captain
  • Commodore
PartnerSarah April

Robert T. April is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe. April is listed in the Star Trek Chronology, The Star Trek Encyclopedia and at as the Enterprise's first commanding officer, preceding Captain Christopher Pike.[1][2][3]

The character's only television/movie appearance is in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Counter-Clock Incident",[4] in which he is voiced by James Doohan and portrayed as the first captain of the USS Enterprise.[2] Initially, the decision was made by Paramount Pictures, studio owners of the franchise, and series creator Gene Roddenberry not to consider the animated series to be part of the official Star Trek canon; that decision, for the longest time, had led to debate as to whether April's place as first captain is actually a part of Star Trek continuity.[5] However, "April, Robert" is listed in an alphabetical list of most-decorated Starfleet captains in the Star Trek: Discovery 2017 episode "Choose Your Pain".[6] On June 27, 2007, Star Trek's official site incorporated information from The Animated Series into its library section,[7] clarifying, finally, that the animated series is indeed part of the Star Trek canon. Both David Gerrold and D. C. Fontana have stated that the animated series is essentially the fourth season that fans wanted originally.[8]

April appears in the novels Final Frontier[9] and Best Destiny[10] by Diane Carey as the captain of the Enterprise.

Pilot development[edit]

A collage in the Star Trek Encyclopedia depicts Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry as Robert April

When Roddenberry submitted his first proposal for Star Trek to MGM Studios in 1964, his name for the starship commander was "Robert M. April" (another name, Captain James Winter, was also considered).[11] 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 the captain was changed to "Christopher Pike".

Character history[edit]

"The Counter-Clock Incident"[edit]

Fred Bronson (writing as John Culver) created the character Commodore Robert April for his episode "The Counter-Clock Incident". Bronson came up with the idea of the Enterprise having a first Captain, a predecessor to Christopher Pike. He selected the name "Robert April" from the list of names from which Roddenberry selected the name of the Enterprise Captain, as published in the book The Making of Star Trek. In "The Counter-Clock Incident", the character's middle initial is T and not M as in Roddenberry's original proposal.[2] In the episode, the Enterprise crew begins to rapidly age in reverse.[4] The old age of Commodore April and his wife Sarah (voiced by Nichelle Nichols) affords them more time at maturity, allowing them to save the crew and undo the reverse aging process.[4] The episode establishes that Sarah was the chief medical officer of the Enterprise during Robert April's time as the ship's commanding officer.[4]

In print[edit]

Carey's books indicate that April comes from Coventry in England.[9] He wears various cardigan sweaters over his uniform due to a rare blood disorder that causes him to feel slightly chilly most of the time.[9] Commander George Kirk, father of future Enterprise commanding officer James T. Kirk, serves as April's executive officer.[9][10] Carey's books also feature Sarah as the ship's chief medical officer.[9][10] However, Crisis on Vulcan[12] by Brad and Barbara Strickland portrays Pike as first officer under April when Spock visits the ship.

In comics[edit]

A unique version of April appeared in the final issues of Star Trek: Early Voyages where he appeared as a stubborn and extremely militaristic person, who ordered an attack against an unknown ship that was making provocative moves against the Enterprise, despite the fact that Number One was in command. The enemy counter-attacked, leaving Number One injured and April in command. The ending is unknown since the series ended on a cliffhanger.

Another version of April appears in the new J. J. Abrams Star Trek continuity in a comic prologue to Star Trek Into Darkness, "Countdown to Darkness".

In computer games[edit]

Commodore Robert April is mentioned in the computer game Star Trek: Legacy during the early part of the TOS campaign, where he is still in Starfleet service in 2270. In the series, it would be between seasons 4 and 5, though the Commodore is only mentioned in the missions.

Star Trek: Discovery[edit]

In the fifth episode of Star Trek: Discovery, "Choose Your Pain", he is included in an alphabetical list from the Starfleet Database as one of Starfleet's most decorated Captains as of 2256. Also included in the list are: Jonathan Archer, Matthew Decker, Philippa Georgiou, and Christopher Pike.


  1. ^ Okuda, Michael; Okuda, Denise (1996). Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53610-9.
  2. ^ a b c Okuda, Michael; Okuda, Denise; Mirek, Debbie (1999). The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53609-5.
  3. ^ "Enterprise, U.S.S." 2007-04-21.
  4. ^ a b c d "The Counter-Clock Incident". Star Trek: The Animated Series. Season 2. Episode 6. Paramount Television. October 12, 1974. NBC.
  5. ^ Ayers, Jeff (2006). Voyages of the Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion. Pocket Books. ISBN 1-4165-0349-8.
  6. ^ "Choose Your Pain". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 1. Episode 5. Paramount Television. October 14, 2017. CBS.
  7. ^ "The Animated Series Gets Real". Archived from the original on 2010-07-03.
  8. ^ Silverman, D. S. (2015). "Always Bring Phasers to an 'Animated' Canon Fight: Star Trek's Animated Adventures on Saturday Mornings". In D. Brode & S. Brode (Eds.) Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek: The Original Cast Adventures. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow. ISBN 978-1-4422-4987-5
  9. ^ a b c d e Carey, Diane (1989). Final Frontier. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-69655-6.
  10. ^ a b c Carey, Diane (1993). Best Destiny. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-79588-0.
  11. ^ Whitfield, Stephen E.; Roddenberry, Gene (1968). The Making of Star Trek. Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-24691-8.
  12. ^ Strickland, Brad; Strickland, Barbara (1996). Crisis on Vulcan. Starfleet Academy. Alladin. ISBN 0-671-00078-0.

External links[edit]