Alden was a male Human Starfleet officer who lived during the mid-23rd century. He served in the sciences division, where he was assigned as one of the communications officer aboard the USS Enterprise under Captain James T. Kirk.
In 2265, Alden, manned the helm as the Enterprise approached the edge of the galaxy, in preparation for an exploratory expedition into extra-galactic space, before he relinquished the position back to Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell, subsequently taking over the communications station.
When the Enterprise later reached Delta Vega, Alden joined the engineering staff's repair party and continued to assist Kelso, this time in rerouting cables and adapting the equipment and technology from the Delta-Vega Station for use aboard the ship, while still keeping the station functional. He was successfully able to remove a 203-R console from the station's control room, and returned with it to the Enterprise.
Once aboard, Alden assisted Montgomery Scott with replacing the damaged match at one of the engineering stations. Following the completion of repairs, Kirk noted him a commendation for his work, in the captain's log.
When the Enterprise was finally able to depart Delta Vega, Alden manned the navigation console, replacing the since-deceased Kelso, as the ship continued onto its next mission. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")
|Communications officers of the starships Enterprise|
|Enterprise NX-01:||Sato • Unnamed|
|USS Enterprise:||Alden • Farrell • Garison • Lisa • M'Ress • Nicola • Palmer • Uhura|
|ISS Enterprise NX-01:||Sato|
|ISS Enterprise NCC-1701:||Uhura|
|USS Enterprise:||Hawkins • Uhura|
Alden was played by actor Lloyd Haynes, one of many African-American actors who read for "Where Man Has Gone Before" due to the fact that Gene Roddenberry agreed with a certain long-standing NBC policy: that the network's "creative associates" make a concerted effort to cast performers of ethnic minorities. As such, Alden was one of the first important roles, in a network television pilot, to be played by an African-American actor. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp. 75-77) Haynes was brought in to audition for the part by Director James Goldstone, a friend of the actor. (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 105)
The uniform Alden wore had one braid, indicating an officer rank less than captain; the Star Trek Concordance (p. 124) and Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 13, p. 88, state his rank as lieutenant, though this wasn't specified on screen. He also wore a blue uniform with an assignment patch bearing (command division) stars, indicating the sciences division.
His position as communications officer in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was from the script.  Publicity material also referred to him as the communications officer, whereas NBC's early-1966 press brochure, depicting the new Star Trek series, described him thus:
Communications officer Alden refuses to be awed by the demanding task of establishing and maintaining contact across vast distances. One of the youngest members of Kirk's staff, he also is one of this talented group's most respected technicians.
After the series was later accepted by NBC, their first move was to drop Alden, Dr. Piper, and Yeoman Smith from the format. These changes were not immediate, as he was still on the active-duty roster in NBC's "Advance Information on 1966-1967 Programming: 'Star Trek.'" booklet. The Star Trek Compendium (pp. 25-26) summarized the following:
Communications Officer Alden is described as an efficient, respected, and vital young technician who performs duties vital to the ship's welfare, and who also contributes constant computations and speculations. The emphasis on both mathematics and scientific guesswork suggests other talents added to Spock's characteristics.
Alden was at one point intended to appear in the first season installment "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", as a communications officer. In a series of research notes (dated 11 May 1966), however, Kellam de Forest included a reminder that Dave Bailey was meanwhile being conceived as the communications officer in "The Corbomite Maneuver". (Eventually, neither officer appeared in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?".)
The novel Constitution calls him "Daniel Alden", while the novella "A Less Perfect Union" refers to him as "Phil Alden". The novel Captain's Peril names him "Lloyd Alden", after the actor who played him.