Barrett Roddenberry: Gene Might Have Moved On

By Michelle
February 23, 2004 - 7:42 PM

A new Q&A with Majel Barrett Roddenberry (Nurse Chapel, Lwaxana Troi), released on her birthday, February 23rd, reveals her favourite original series episode, television moment and memory of her late husband, Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek.

Barrett Roddenberry and her son, Eugene W. Roddenberry Jr., sat down to answer fan questions submitted via

She said that she does not watch Enterprise but reads the scripts and is generally impressed, but she feels that "pulling back right now a little bit would just give everybody, and the head, a rest. It would be nice to put on the television set every day for a week and not hear the words Star Trek."

Her husband, Barrett Roddenberry added, was "getting tired of" Star Trek during his lifetime, and were he alive today, he might have "turned his back on it and walked away from it and just said, 'Go ahead, have fun.'"

Questor, which is next on her development agenda, was a show that she said Gene felt might have more potential than Star Trek.

Though she has no regrets that Spock and Chapel never became a couple, Barrett Roddenberry was sorry not to have played a bigger role in general as the nurse who became a doctor. However, she noted, "She's just not one of the major characters. She was very incidental as she was written, on purpose."

As for her first role in the franchise, "Number One", she said that the character never had a first or last name that she knew of. "I'm sure we had a 'Number Two' somewhere," she quipped. She added that she would have loved to explore that character further, "but seeing as the shows were [set] at totally different times, it wouldn't have been wise."

Lwaxana, she added, was created because she begged her husband for a role on The Next Generation. "We really created that part for me...Gene figured it was probably the only way to get me to shut up!"

Eugene Roddenberry Jr. added, "The part was Majel. The part is my mother. Every time I see Lwaxana on TV, I see my mother. There is no acting going on there!"

Barrett Roddenberry and Marina Sirtis, who played her daughter, became very close: "I liked her every bit as much as the show itself indicates." She said that at one point, when the producers were discussing getting rid of the character of Deanna Troi, she made suggestions.

Her son noted that because she had played the voice of the Enterprise computer, a couple of software companies had asked Barrett Roddenberry to record the voice for their operating system, which, he laughed, would be his nightmare, "to turn on my computer, and have [it] saying 'Rod, turn off your computer...!'"

Barrett Roddenberry said that "City on the Edge of Forever" was her favourite original series episode, though she did not appear in it.

For much more, including Barrett Roddenberry's favourite breakfast cereal, read the full item at

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