Section 31

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Section 31
UniverseStar Trek
TypeAutonomous intelligence agency
FoundedPrior to 2151
LocationAlpha and Beta Quadrants
Key people
  • Harris (2150s)
  • Philippa Georgiou (2250s)
  • Luther Sloan (2370s)
PurposeDefend the United Federation of Planets by any means necessary.
TechnologiesClassified Federation technologies

Section 31 is a fictional autonomous intelligence and defense organization created by Ira Steven Behr for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Inquisition" as a counterbalance to the utopianism of Star Trek's Federation.[1] Section 31 has appeared in dozens of episodes, novels and comics.[2]:551

In 2019, CBS announced a new series was in development based on Section 31 starring Michelle Yeoh.[3]


Ira Steven Behr was inspired by a line of dialogue from Deep Space Nine episode "The Maquis" spoken by Commander Benjamin Sisko: "It's easy to be a saint in paradise." Behr said in the 1999 reference companion to the series, "Why is Earth a paradise in the twenty-fourth century? Well, maybe it's because there's someone watching over it and doing the nasty stuff that no one wants to think about."[2]:551 He expressed an interest of exploring what life was really like for those living the fictional 24th century, saying "Is it this paradise, or are there, as Harold Pinter said, 'Weasels under the coffee table'."

The name, Section 31, was taken from the fictional Starfleet Charter: Article 14, Section 31. The article, according to agents, allowed for extraordinary measures to be taken in times of extreme threat.[4] Such measures included malicious sabotage of enemy installations and technology, biological warfare, and preemptive assassination.[5]

According to Ronald D. Moore there was considerable debate on the origin of the organization, in particular on how the organization was formed and how long ago.[6]

Costume designer Bob Blackman chose the black leather costumes worn by Section 31 agents to appear fascistic.[2]:53 Behr had asked for dark black, severe, hostile looking costumes. In Star Trek: The Human Frontier, Michèle and Duncan Barrett explain that Section 31 agents wearing Starfleet uniforms or dressed as Federation citizens further enhanced their role as an organization that is not constrained by ethics.[1]


David Weddle said many fans felt Section 31 betrayed the value system created by Gene Roddenberry, while others were indifferent or intrigued. "Fans would get into these long ethical and political arguments, really struggling with issues like that, which was great to see."[7]:56 Moore replied to criticisms of betrayal saying, "The idea that there's a rogue element within the Federation doing dark deeds outside the normal chain of command is certainly a provocative one."[6]

Actor Jeffrey Combs, who portrayed Weyoun in Deep Space Nine, enjoyed the appearances of Section 31 saying the stories "gave everything a real flair."[8]


Note: Only those characters seen in television episodes or on film are considered canon.
κ Characters present in the Reboot (Kelvin Timeline) films.

Name First appearance Actor
Katrina Cornwell Discovery — "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry" Jayne Brook
  • Starfleet Admiral and member of the Federation Security Council with operational command of Section 31.[9]
Philippa Georgiou (alternate) Discovery — "The Wolf Inside" Michelle Yeoh
Harris Enterprise — "Affliction" Eric Pierpoint
  • A former Starfleet Intelligence officer who recruited Malcolm Reed sometime prior to 2151.
  • His first name given as "Matthew" in the novel Patterns of Interference (2017).
John Harrison κ Into Darkness Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Pseudonym for Khan Noonien Singh.
  • Recruited by Alexander Marcus to assist in the militarization of Starfleet in 2258.
Thomas Harewood κ Into Darkness Noel Clarke
  • Starfleet officer responsible for the destruction of a Section 31 facility in 2259.
Leland Discovery — "Will You Take My Hand?" (bonus scene) Alan van Sprang
  • Agent sent to recruit the exiled Emperor Philippa Georgiou.[11]
  • Commander of a Section 31 starship with cloak capability.[12]
Alexander Marcus κ Into Darkness Peter Weller
  • Commander-in-Charge of Starfleet until 2259.
  • Recruited John Harrison after the destruction of Vulcan in 2258.
Malcolm Reed Enterprise — "Broken Bow" Dominic Keating
  • Tactical officer aboard the Enterprise NX–01 who was recruited by Harris sometime after graduating Starfleet Academy.
Luther Sloan Deep Space Nine — "Inquisition" William Sadler
  • Former Starfleet intelligence officer recruited sometime before 2374.
Ash Tyler / Voq Discovery — "The Vulcan Hello" Shazad Latif
  • As Voq, he was Torchbearer for the Klingon spiritual leader T'Kuvma.[13] He briefly served as Torchbearer for High Chancellor L'Rell.[12]
  • He was surgically altered to appear human, and planted aboard the USS Discovery as Ash Tyler.


Deep Space Nine episodes[edit]

Title Airdate
Inquisition 8 April 1998
Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges 3 March 1999
Extreme Measures 19 May 1999


Title Date
Insurrection[a] 11 December 1998
Into Darkness 17 May 2013

Enterprise episodes[edit]

Title Airdate
Affliction 18 February 2005
Divergence 25 February 2005
Demons 6 May 2005
Terra Prime 13 May 2005

Discovery episodes[edit]

Title Airdate
Context Is for Kings 1 October 2017
Will You Take My Hand? (deleted scene) 11 February 2018
Point of Light 31 January 2019
Saints of Imperfection 14 February 2019
The Sounds of Thunder 21 February 2019

Tie-in media[edit]

Section 31 novels[edit]

Star Trek: Section 31 crossover novel series was inspired by the Deep Space Nine episode "Inquisition".[14] The novels are thematically linked. The series continued with Disavowed (2014) and Control (2017), which share plots and characters with other Deep Space Nine, Typhon Pact, and The Fall, novels. Lt. Roberta Luke, from the Voyager episode "Scientific Method", is introduced as an agent in Shadow (2001).

No. Title Author(s) Date ISBN
1 Rogue Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin 22 May 2001 0-671-77477-8
2 Shadow Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch 0-671-77478-6
3 Cloak S. D. Perry 26 June 2001 0-671-77471-9
4 Abyss David Weddle 0-671-77483-2
Disavowed David Mack 28 October 2014 978-1-4767-5308-9
Control 28 March 2017 978-1-5011-5170-5

The Next Generation novels[edit]

Title Author(s) Date ISBN
The Case of the Colonist's Corpse Tony Isabella and Bob Ingersoll 30 December 2003 0-7434-6497-4
A Time to Kill David Mack 27 July 2004 0-7434-9177-7
A Time to Heal 31 August 2004 0-7434-9178-5

Enterprise novels[edit]

Title Author(s) Date ISBN
The Good That Men Do Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin 27 February 2007 978-0-7434-4001-1
Kobayashi Maru 26 August 2008 978-1-4165-5480-6
Beneath the Raptor's Wing Michael A. Martin 20 October 2009 978-1-4391-0798-0
To Brave the Storm 25 October 2011 978-1-4516-0715-4
A Choice of Futures Christopher L. Bennett 25 June 2013 978-1-4767-0674-0
Patterns of Interference 29 August 2017 978-1-5011-6570-2

Graphic novels[edit]

Series / Issues Author(s) Date ISBN
Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment, Issue 5 D. C. Fontana and Derek Chester 29 November 2008 978-1-60010-279-0
Mission's End, Issues 1 – 5 Ty Templeton 21 October 2009 978-1-60010-540-1
Star Trek, Issues 21 – 23[b]After Darkness, Parts 1 – 3 Mike Johnson 26 November 2013 978-1-61377-796-1
Star Trek, Issues 25 – 28[c]The Khitomer Conflict, Parts 1 – 4 1 April 2014 978-1-61377-882-1

Star Trek Online[edit]

Star Trek Online is massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on Star Trek. The game has been expanded and updated continuously since its publication in 2010. Updates are organized into Episodes, with each episode further divided into four to seven missions, published weekely. All Section 31 missions are introduced by agent Frank Drake, a character created for the game.

Episode Missions Date
Spectres Missions 1 – 5[d] 16 October – 13 November 2010
"Traelus System – Satellite Repair"[e] 16 October 2010
Romulan Mystery Mission 2 — "Empress Sela" 29 January 2015
Cardassian Struggle Mission 3 — "Suspect" (removed) 2 February 2010
"Hearts and Minds"[e] 12 April 2012

Typhon Pact novels[edit]

Star Trek: Typhon Pact is a series of eight interlinked novels that explore the aftermath of events in the Destiny (2008) miniseries. Three novels include Section 31 characters.

Title Author(s) Date ISBN
Zero Sum Game David Mack 26 October 2010 978-1-4391-6079-4
Plagues of Night David R.George III 29 May 2012 978-1-4516-4955-0
Raise the Dawn 26 June 2012 978-1-4516-4956-7

The Fall novel[edit]

Star Trek: The Fall is a series of five interlinked novels that serve as a sequel to Typhon Pact. One novel includes Section 31 characters.

Title Author(s) Date ISBN
A Ceremony of Losses David Mack 29 October 2013 978-1-4767-2224-5

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In Insurrection (1998), Admiral Matthew Dougherty is revealed to be a rogue Section 31 agent in the novels Rogue (2001) and Abyss (2001). There is no on-screen indication he is a Section 31 agent.
  2. ^ Published as Star Trek, Volume 6. Included Issue 24.
  3. ^ Published as Star Trek, Volume 7.
  4. ^ Missions are titled “Skirmish”, “Spin the Wheel”, “What Lies Beneath”, “Everything Old is New”, and “Night of the Comet”.
  5. ^ a b Mission is locked pending player achievements.


  1. ^ a b Barrett, Michèle; Barrett, Duncan (13 December 2000). Star Trek: The Human Frontier. New York: Routledge. pp. 65–66. ISBN 978-0-415-92982-0.
  2. ^ a b c Erdmann, Terry J.; Block, Paula M. (August 2000). Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0-671-50106-8.
  3. ^ Otterson, Joe; Otterson, Joe (2019-01-14). "Michelle Yeoh Standalone 'Star Trek' Series in Development at CBS All Access". Variety. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  4. ^ Reeves-Stevens, Judith and Garfield (2005-02-25). "Divergence". Star Trek: Enterprise. Season 4. Episode 16. UPN.
  5. ^ Thompson, Bradley; Weddle, David (1999-05-19). "Extreme Measures". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Season 7. Episode 23. UPN.
  6. ^ a b Moore, Ronald D. (1998-04-13). "Subject: Answers". Retrieved 2019-02-15.
  7. ^ Kaplan, Anna L. (November 1998). Clark, Frederick S., ed. "Deep Space Nine Episode Guide". Cinefantastique. Vol. 30 no. 9/10. ISSN 0145-6032.
  8. ^ "Jeffrey Combs". Star Trek: The Magazine. Vol. 1 no. 17. Fabbri Publishing. September 2000. p. 20. ISSN 1523-9195.
  9. ^ Beyer, Kirsten (2019-02-14). "Saints of Imperfection". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 2. Episode 5. CBS All Access.
  10. ^ Sullivan, Ted (2018-01-28). "What's Past Is Prologue". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 1. Episode 13. CBS All Access.
  11. ^ a b Berg, Gretchen J.; Harberts, Aaron (2018-01-28). "Will You Take My Hand?". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 1. Episode 15. CBS All Access.
  12. ^ a b McElroy, Alan; Colville, Andrew (2019-01-31). "Point of Light". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 2. Episode 3. CBS All Access.
  13. ^ Goldsman, Akiva; Fuller, Bryan (2017-09-24). "The Vulcan Hello". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 1. Episode 1. CBS All Access.
  14. ^ Ayers, Jeff (14 November 2006). Voyages of Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion. New York: Pocket Books. p. 441. ISBN 978-1-4165-0349-1.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]