Section 31 (Star Trek)

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

Section 31, in the fictional universe of Star Trek, is an autonomous intelligence and defense organization that carries out covert operations for the United Federation of Planets. Created by Ira Steven Behr for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Inquisition", the organization was intended to act as a counterbalance to the utopian portrayal of the Federation.[1]

Section 31 settings and characters have appeared in dozens of episodes, novels and comics.[2]:551 In 2019, CBS announced a new series was in development about Section 31, starring Michelle Yeoh.[3]

Production[edit]

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, is explained in the story as being 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 not wearing Starfleet uniforms or dressed as Federation citizens further enhanced their role as an organization that is not constrained by ethics.[1]

Reception[edit]

Writer 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]

Characters[edit]

In order of appearance:

  • ‡ First appearance as a Section 31 operative.
  • κ Characters present in the Kelvin Timeline films.
Actor Character First appearance
William Sadler Luther Sloan Deep Space Nine "Inquisition"
  • Former Starfleet intelligence who joined Section 31 sometime before 2374.[9]
Dominic Keating Malcolm Reed Enterprise
  • Tactical officer aboard the Enterprise NX–01 recruited by Section 31 sometime after graduating Starfleet Academy.[10]
Eric Pierpoint Harris Enterprise "Affliction" ‡
  • A former Starfleet Intelligence officer who ordered Malcolm Reed to sabotage evidence of a Klingon attack.[11]
Noel Clarke Thomas Harewood κ Into Darkness
  • Destroyed a secret weapons facility in 2259 after his terminally ill daughter was saved by John Harrison.
Benedict Cumberbatch John Harrison κ Into Darkness
  • Pseudonymous with Khan Noonien Singh.
  • Recruited into Section 31 by Alexander Marcus to assist in the militarization of Starfleet in 2258.
Peter Weller Alexander Marcus κ Into Darkness
  • Commander-in-Charge of Starfleet until 2259.
  • Recruited John Harrison to assist in the militarization of Starfleet.
Shazad Latif Ash Tyler (human) / Voq (Klingon) Discovery
  • As Voq, he was Torchbearer for the Klingon spiritual leader T'Kuvma.[12]
  • He was surgically altered to appear human, and planted aboard the USS Discovery as Ash Tyler.[13]
  • He briefly served as Torchbearer for High Chancellor L'Rell.[14]
Michelle Yeoh Philippa Georgiou (alternate) Discovery
  • "The Wolf Inside"
  • "Point of Light" ‡
Jayne Brook Katrina Cornwell Discovery
  • "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry"
  • "The Sounds of Thunder" ‡
  • Starfleet Flag Officer with operational command of Section 31.[17]
Alan van Sprang Leland Discovery "Will You Take My Hand?" ‡ (bonus scene)
  • Agent sent to recruit the exiled Emperor Philippa Georgiou.[18]
  • Commander of NCIA-93, a Section 31 starship with cloak capability.[14]
Control (artificial intelligence) Discovery "If Memory Serves"
  • Rogue artificial intelligence originally developed by Section 31 on behalf of Starfleet.
  • Originally programmed to conduct threat analysis and research for Starfleet.[14]
  • Coerced the crew of the Discovery into delivering information to it about advanced artificial intelligence.[19]
  • Occupied the body of Leland via some kind of nanotechnology transfer.[20]
Tara Nicodemo Patar (Vulcan) Discovery "If Memory Serves"
  • Starfleet Flag Officer, with operational command of Section 31, who was murdered by Control.[19]
  • Her likeness was used by Control to communicate with the crews of Discovery and NCIA-93, and with Admiral Cornwell.
Sonja Sohn Gabrielle Burnham / Red Angel Discovery "The Red Angel"
  • Engineer responsible for the development of time travel technology commissioned by Section 31, which was dependent on a quantum time crystal stolen from the Klingon planet Boreth.[21]
  • Burhnam was displaced in the future following a Klingon raid on her research facility approximately twenty to twenty-five years before "The Vulcan Hello".[20]

Appearances[edit]

Deep Space Nine (1998–99)[edit]

Enterprise (2005)[edit]

Films[edit]

Discovery (2018–19)[edit]

  • "Will You Take My Hand?" (bonus scene)
  • "Point of Light"
  • "Saints of Imperfection"
  • "The Sounds of Thunder"
  • "Light and Shadows"
  • "If Memory Serves"
  • "Project Daedalus"
  • "The Red Angel"
  • "Perpetual Infinity"
  • "Through the Valley of Shadows"
  • "Such Sweet Sorrow"
  • "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2"

Lower Decks (2020)[edit]

  • "Envoys" (references to Section 31)

Tie-in media[edit]

Key:
All novels published as paperback editions.
Teal
Book line or flagship series name.
Navy
Miniseries name.

Novels[edit]

Section 31 characters and settings appear in the following novels:

Title Author(s) Date ISBN
What You Leave Behind (novelization)
  (Deep Space Nine)
Diane Carey June 1999 0-671-03476-6
Hollow Men
  (Deep Space Nine)
Una McCormack April 26, 2005 0-7434-9151-3
The Future Begins
  (What's Past, Book 2)
  (Corps of Engineers, No. 62)
Steve Mollmann and Michael Schuster April 1, 2006 1-4165-2046-5
A Ceremony of Losses
  (The Fall, Book 3)
David Mack October 29, 2013 978-1-4767-2224-5
Elusive Salvation Dayton Ward April 26, 2016 978-1-5011-1129-7

Section 31 crossover (2001–2017)[edit]

Star Trek: Section 31 is a crossover miniseries of thematically linked novels featuring Section 31.[22] The series was relaunched in 2014 as part of the Deep Space Nine book line.

No. Title Author(s) Date ISBN
1 Rogue
  (The Next Generation)
Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin May 22, 2001 0-671-77477-8
2 Shadow
  (Voyager)
Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch 0-671-77478-6
3 Cloak
  (Star Trek)
S. D. Perry June 26, 2001 0-671-77471-9
4 Abyss
  (Deep Space Nine)
David Weddle and Jeffrey Lang 0-671-77483-2

Next Generation (2004–2019)[edit]

The following Star Trek: The Next Generation novels include Section 31 characters:

Title Author(s) Date ISBN
A Time to Kill
  (A Time to..., Book 7)
David Mack July 27, 2004 0-7434-9177-7
A Time to Heal
  (A Time to..., Book 8)
August 31, 2004 0-7434-9178-5
Collateral Damage David Mack October 8, 2019 978-1-9821-1358-2

Enterprise (2007–2017)[edit]

The following Star Trek: Enterprise novels include Section 31 characters:

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

Typhon Pact (2010–2012)[edit]

Star Trek: Typhon Pact crossover series continues events introduced in the Destiny series, by David Mack, and the A Singular Destiny novel, by Keith DeCandido.

No. Title Author(s) Date ISBN
1 Zero Sum Game David Mack October 26, 2010 978-1-4391-6079-4
6 Plagues of Night David R. George III May 29, 2013 978-1-4516-4955-0
7 Raise the Dawn June 26, 2012 978-1-4516-4956-7

Section 31 relaunch (2014–2017)[edit]

Novels linked to Deep Space Nine and Next Generation relaunch book lines.

Title Author(s) Date ISBN
Disavowed David Mack October 28, 2014 978-1-4767-5308-9
Control March 28, 2017 978-1-5011-5170-5

Graphic novels[edit]

All graphic novels and comics published by IDW Publishing.

Collection Date ISBN Notes
The Space Between, Vol. 1
  (The Next Generation)
September 25, 2007 978-1-60010-116-8 "An Inconvenient Truth" (Part 6)
Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment, Vol. 1 November 18, 2008 978-1-60010-279-0 Part 5
Mission's End, Vol. 1 November 3, 2009 978-1-60010-540-1 Parts 1 – 5
Star Trek, Vol. 3 November 27, 2012 978-1-61377-515-8 The Return of the Archons, Part 1
Star Trek, Vol. 6 November 26, 2013 978-1-61377-796-1 After Darkness, Parts 1 – 3
Star Trek, Vol. 7 April 1, 2014 978-1-61377-882-1 The Khitomer Conflict, Parts 1 – 4
Khan, Vol. 1 June 3, 2014 978-1-61377-895-1 Parts 1, 4 – 5

Star Trek Online (2010–2015)[edit]

Star Trek Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Cryptic Studios. The game has continued to receive updates which are organized into episodes containing five to seven missions each. All Section 31 missions are introduced by Franklin Drake, a character created for the game.

Episode Missions Available
"Cardassian Struggle" Suspect (removed) February 2, 2010 – October 27, 2015
"Specters" Skirmish (Mission 1) October 16, 2010
Traelus System – Satellite Repair (locked mission)
Spin the Wheel (Mission 2) October 23, 2010
What Lies Beneath (Mission 3) October 30, 2010
Everything Old is New (Mission 4) November 6, 2010
Night of the Comet (Mission 5) November 13, 2010
Hearts and Minds (special mission) April 12, 2012
"Romulan Mystery" Empress Sela (Mission 2) January 29, 2015

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Barrett, Michèle; Barrett, Duncan (2000-12-13). 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 (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. ^ "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Season 7. Episode 16. 1999-03-03. Syndicated.
  10. ^ "Divergence". Star Trek: Enterprise. Season 4. Episode 14. 2005-02-25. UPN.
  11. ^ "Affliction". Star Trek: Enterprise. Season 4. Episode 13. 2005-02-18. UPN.
  12. ^ "The Vulcan Hello". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 1. Episode 1. 2017-09-24. CBS All Access.
  13. ^ "Choose Your Pain". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 1. Episode 5. 2017-10-15. CBS All Access.
  14. ^ a b c "Point of Light". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 2. Episode 3. 2019-01-31. CBS All Access.
  15. ^ "What's Past Is Prologue". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 1. Episode 13. 2018-01-28. CBS All Access.
  16. ^ "Will You Take My Hand?". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 1. Episode 15. 2018-01-28. CBS All Access.
  17. ^ "Saints of Imperfection". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 2. Episode 5. 2019-02-14. CBS All Access.
  18. ^ "Will You Take My Hand? (bonus scene)". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 1. Episode 15. 2018-01-28. CBS All Access.
  19. ^ a b "Project Daedalus". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 2. Episode 9. 2019-03-14. CBS All Access.
  20. ^ a b "Perpetual Infinity". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 10. Episode 11. 2019-03-21. CBS All Access.
  21. ^ "The Red Angel". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 10. Episode 10. 2019-03-21. CBS All Access.
  22. ^ Ayers, Jeff (2006-11-14). Voyages of Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion. New York: Pocket Books. p. 441. ISBN 978-1-4165-0349-1.

Further reading[edit]

  • Richelson, Jeffrey T. (July 2003). "The IPCRESS File: The Great Game in Film and Fiction, 1953-2002". International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. 16 (3): 462–498. doi:10.1080/713830443. ISSN 0885-0607.

External links[edit]