Commander Elizabeth Paula Shelby.
Executive Officer of the Starship Excalibur under the command of Captain Mackenzie Calhoun.
Elizabeth Shelby was born in 2336. As a young girl, Elizabeth was a
very independent and forthright individual. As she grew up she found that she liked to be actively in control
of things. This was not surprising considering that both of her parents were highly placed
Admirals in Starfleet. She also was tenacious whenever pursuing something that she wanted. She began to
formulate her plans to enter Starfleet early, and when she was eleven years old she joined the Star Scouts, a
youth group that trained children in astro sciences and leadership. Shelby entered the
Starfleet Academy in 2354 and graduated in 2358.
While there she met fellow cadet Mackenzie Calhoun and they
became friends. Years later the two would have a three-year-long tempestuous love affair. They even were
engaged for a time. Shelby contends that she broke off the relationship, but Calhoun would disagree. After
leaving the Academy, Shelby was assigned
to various starships where she acquired skills in every department. She excelled especially in the Engineering and
Science Departments, but Shelby was determined to wear command red. She was ever ambitious and competitive
and this often impeded her peers from warming to her.
After being promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 2366, she was assigned to Starfleet Tactical. Her reputation for hard work
and brilliance brought her to the attention of Admiral J. P. Hanson who assigned her to head up the Borg Tactical
Analysis Project. She was tasked specifically to develop a strategy against an anticipated Borg offensive.
Six months after this reassignment, Shelby, along with Admiral Hanson, went aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-D
when the disappearance of a colony on Joret IV indicated a new Borg offensive. Shelby hoped to gain an appointment
as Enterprise-D Executive Officer, and won at least a temporary promotion to the post following the
abduction of Captain Jean-Luc Picard by the Borg. In early 2367, following the destruction of the Borg ship,
Shelby was assigned to Starfleet Headquarters, where she joined the task force to reassemble the fleet.
("Best of Both Worlds, Parts I and II" [TNG]).
Shelby was promoted to the rank of Commander in 2368, a short time before her
ex-beau Mackenzie Calhoun was promoted to that rank. This fact annoyed him more than he would admit. In 2371, she
was assigned to the Ambassador-class U.S.S. Excalibur as ship's Executive Officer under Captain
Morgan Korsmo. There she met Lieutenant Burgoyne 172 the ship's Assistant Chief Engineer. The two dynamic and
outspoken individuals hit it off right away.
After two years of exciting missions at the fringes of the Federation border,
the Starship Excalibur was recalled to Earth after Deep Space 5 informed Starfleet Command about
a Borg vessel heading towards Sector 001. At Earth the Excalibur joined Admiral Hayes' task force
which consisted of more than a dozen ships including the starships Bozeman,
Budapest, Thunderchild, Yeager, Lexington, Defiant and Endeavor. The
Borg vessel was engaged and several ships were destroyed before the Sovereign-class U.S.S.
Enterprise-E, commanded of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, arrived and led the remains of the fleet to victory.
In a series of maneuvers designed to lure the Borg ship away from Earth, the Excalibur was caught and
severely damaged by a Borg cutting beam. In the attack several members of the crew were killed and Captain Korsmo
was severely injured. Rather than go to sickbay, Korsmo stayed on the bridge. His last act was to get his ship
clear of the area and out of danger. Commander Shelby assumed command after Korsmo died at his post.
After the battle with the Borg at Earth, the U.S.S. Excalibur was sent
to drydock for repairs, and most of the crew were reassigned. First Officer Shelby and Chief Engineer Lieutenant
Commander Burgoyne 172 remained aboard. Starfleet Command commended Commander Shelby for her courage under fire
and she was virtually assured that she would be given the captaincy of the Excalibur once the vessel was repaired. Unfortunately
for her, this was not to come to pass; Starfleet Command had other plans for the Excalibur. After the fall
of the Thallonian Empire, it was decided by Starfleet that a lone starship, the Excalibur, was to be sent into
the former Thallonian Empire to render aid when necessary, to report back on the situation as it unfolded, and to show
the Federation flag in that unstable area. The command of the Excalibur was given to Captain Calhoun. Shelby was
very disappointed when Admiral Jellico broke the news to her. She went to see Calhoun on the Excalibur, and after
some heated discussion he gave her the job as ship's Executive Officer.
All her life, Shelby has been ambitious, independent, aggressive and very
competitive. She is also very loyal and respectful of authority, but she will speak her mind to her superiors
when it is necessary. As a First Officer, she knows her crew and their abilities. Shelby is somewhat of a stickler
for regulations and she dutifully adheres to rules of decorum - much the opposite of Mackenzie Calhoun.
Shelby has always worked hard to maintain her technical expertise even while rising up the command structure and
she remains well versed in the sciences. She also knows the ship's systems almost as well as Chief Engineer
Burgoyne 172. Shelby has never made friends easily, but she has several longtime close friends. While they were lovers,
Mackenzie Calhoun had a pet name for her, "Eppy" (which came from her initials E.P.). Although she didn't say
so at the time, Shelby never much cared for the nickname.
Commander Shelby is assigned as the Executive Officer (XO) of the Starship
Excalibur, a position that is also known as the ship's First Officer.
As XO, Shelby's chief duty is to carry out the captain's orders. One of the Executive Officer's chief responsibilities is
the training, discipline and management of the ship's personnel. In that capacity, the XO makes recommendations for
promotions and transfers based on inputs from the crewmember's department head. The First Officer is operationally the ship's
second in command, and will immediately assume command if anything renders the Commanding Officer unfit for duty.
The XO is often the closest officer to the captain due to the two generally being the most senior officers aboard.
As such, the XO also often acts as the captain's conscience and confidante. The XO will act as ship's counselor
if the ship doesn't have an officer specifically assigned to that duty. It is another primary duty of the First
Officer to spearhead away teams so that the CO can remain safe in the confines of the bridge. The XO is the chief
administrative officer on the ship and frequently must act as liaison between department heads. It is generally
understood also, that a ship's XO is a commanding-officer-in-training, because the successful completion of an
Executive Officer tour is a key prerequisite for a command of ones own. Finally, the First Officer is specifically
tasked by Starfleet Command to determine when a captain oversteps their bounds.
- The character of Shelby first appeared on STAR TREK: The Next Generation. She appeared in the end of
the third season cliff hanger "The Best of Both World, Parts I and II." Her character was created by Michael Piller.
- The character of Elizabeth Paula Shelby was portrayed by actor Elizabeth Dennehy in STAR TREK: The Next
Generation. Ms. Dennehy is the daughter of actor Brian Dennehy who appreared in such genre films as
"Cocoon" and "F/X."
- The character of Shelby did not have a first or middle name when she appeared in STAR TREK: The Next
Generation. She received them in the New Frontier series of novels, and their choice had to be approved
by Paramount Pictures.
- The initial idea of having Shelby be a part of the crew in the New Frontier books was
suggested by John Ordover, Senior Editor of Star Trek fiction at Pocket Books. Mr. Ordover knew that Shelby, like
Selar, was a one-shot fan favorite. Author Peter David would have included Shelby anyway, since he is quite fond
of the character, and has used her in his past book, "Vendetta."
Other Members of the Excalibur Command Staff:
STAR TREK is a Registered Trademark of Paramount Pictures Corporation.
All Rights Reserved. The STAR TREK: New Frontier books are published by Pocket Books,
a division of Simon & Shuster Inc., under exclusive license from Paramount Pictures.
New Frontier concept by John J. Ordover and Peter David.
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