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Christine Chapel
Nurse Christine Chapel
Species Human
Home planet Earth
Affiliation United Federation of Planets
Posting USS Enterprise nurse, doctor
Starfleet Command
Rank Ensign
Portrayed by Majel Barrett

Christine Chapel was a fictional character in the original Star Trek series, and in some of the films based on it. She was played by the late Majel Barrett.

The character was written for Barrett, by Gene Roddenberry, after a previous character that he had written for her, Number One, had been dropped. Christine Chapel made her debut in the first season episode "The Naked Time". She was established as a regular character shortly afterward in the episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?".


Character history

The Original Series

Chapel had abandoned a career in bio-research for a position in Starfleet, in the hopes that a deep-space assignment would one day reunite her with her fiancé Dr. Roger Korby, a scientist of renown, incommunicado from his expedition to Exo III. Five years after Korby's disappearance, Chapel was assigned to the USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. She served as head nurse under Chief Medical Officer Dr. Leonard McCoy.

Shortly after she joined the crew of the Enterprise, the ship reached Exo III. Korby was found, exploring and exploiting a sophisticated android manufacturing technology, the legacy of a long-dead civilization. Korby tried to take over the Enterprise with an android duplicate of Kirk, but the plan failed. Then it was revealed that Korby himself had replaced his own damaged body, transplanting his personality into an android replica. Kirk convinced Korby that he was no longer human and was just a machine. When Korby saw Chapel's horrified reaction at his current condition, he killed himself and his android companion Andrea in despair. After Korby's death, Chapel doubted if she should stay aboard, but elected to remain with the Enterprise throughout the five-year mission.

Relationship with Spock

Even while she still sought to locate Korby, Chapel was deeply infatuated with the Enterprise's half-Vulcan science officer, Spock. Initially, Chapel kept these feelings to herself. However, in the episode "The Naked Time", when the Psi 2000 intoxication afflicted the crew of the Enterprise, Chapel openly admitted her love for Spock, despite the Vulcan's confession of his inability to return her feelings. Chapel's feelings for Mr. Spock were revisited and alluded to only a few times in the series, but most notably in "Plato's Stepchildren". In the episode, the Platonians telekinetically forced Chapel and Mr. Spock to kiss. This compels Chapel to admit that, despite her long-standing desire to be close with the Vulcan, all she wanted to do, given the humiliation of the situation, was "crawl away and die." In episode "Amok Time" she brings Spock some soup to help him through a hard, secret, sacred Vulcan ritual. Spock denies the soup, telling her to "go away" and throws it at the wall because she is not willing to leave, but later acknowledges her thoughtfulness.

In Star Trek films

Chapel appeared in two of the Star Trek films featuring The Original Series cast. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Chapel had become a full-fledged doctor. Her second appearance was in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, where she and Janice Rand were stationed in Starfleet's headquarters in San Francisco. The 2009 film Star Trek also refers to a nurse Chapel who speaks a line of dialogue off-screen.

External links

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