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Alternate Reality
(split 2233)
For the prime reality counterpart, please see Carol Marcus.
"Dr. Marcus, I'm glad you could be a part of the family."
"It's nice to have a family.
"
– James T. Kirk and Carol Marcus, 2260 (Star Trek Into Darkness)

Doctor Carol Marcus was a Starfleet science officer who served aboard the USS Enterprise from 2259 to the early 2260s. She had a doctorate in applied physics, specializing in advanced weaponry.

Early life

Carol Marcus was born to Alexander Marcus and a mother with the maiden name, Wallace. Sometime prior to 2259, she joined Starfleet.

In a deleted scene, Carol explained that her British accent was due to the fact that her father was stationed in London when she was born and her mother raised her there. [1] The filmmakers specifically decided that, in the alternate reality, she was raised in London. [2]

Starfleet career

Science officer aboard the USS Enterprise

Going after "John Harrison"

Carol Wallace flight suit STID

Carol Wallace introduces herself to Kirk and Spock

When Captain James T. Kirk set off for Qo'noS to find the traitor, John Harrison, Marcus boarded his shuttle under the alias, Carol Wallace by using her mother's maiden name and claiming that Admiral Marcus assigned her to the Enterprise. Spock deemed her credentials impressive, but decided that she was redundant as he was reinstated as first officer of the USS Enterprise while Kirk welcomed her aboard.

Spock confronted Carol about her name not being in the ship's records, but before she could explain herself to him, the ship's warp core malfunctioned. Spock revealed her true identity to Kirk. Carol apologized to Kirk for the deception after Harrison was arrested, explaining that she used her mother's maiden name to board the ship and examine a series of seventy-two experimental, advanced long-range torpedos aboard the vessel because she discovered that they disappeared from all official records after her father withheld the information on them from her. Her father gave the photon torpedoes to Kirk to fire on Harrison.

McCoy and Marcus open torpedo

Marcus and McCoy peer into the torpedo

Marcus went with Leonard McCoy to examine one of the torpedoes on a deserted planetoid after Harrison suggested to Kirk that he should open one. McCoy accidentally activated the torpedo and trapped his hand, but despite Kirk ordering that she should be beamed up, Carol managed to deactivate the torpedo before the emergency beam-up became necessary. Opening the dormant torpedo up, she and McCoy discovered a cryogenically frozen man inside.

When questioned, Harrison revealed that he was Khan Noonien Singh. He was revived to help prepare for war with the Klingon Empire and he planned to smuggle his fellow Augments in the torpedoes before he was caught. Admiral Alexander Marcus arrived in the USS Vengeance, a warship designed by Khan and began firing on the Enterprise. Carol Marcus revealed her presence to him in an effort to persuade her father to cease the attack, but Alexander simply beamed her over and carried on. When she was taken to the bridge, Carol smacked her father by telling him that she was ashamed to be his daughter, but he ignored her, believing that the cover-up was necessary.

Carol Marcus screams

Carol witnesses her father's death

Scotty deactivated the Vengeance's weaponry, giving Kirk and Khan time to fly to the ship and commandeer it. When they arrived on the bridge, Scotty stun shot Khan while Kirk admonished the Admiral for compromising Starfleet. Kirk ordered the Admiral out of his command chair, citing that while he could force him out, he preferred not to do it in front of Carol. However, one stun shot was ineffective to keep Khan down and he promptly beated Scott and Kirk. He turned to Admiral Marcus who tried to flee into a turbolift. Carol tried to stop and reason with him, but he responded by breaking her leg. Then, he grabbed her father and crushed his skull before her very eyes and she responded by screaming in horror.

Along with Kirk and Scott, Carol was beamed by Khan into the Enterprise's brig. Kirk brought her to the sickbay for McCoy to patch her up. Khan resumed bombarding the Enterprise and the damage caused the ship to fall to Earth. Kirk went into the warp core and reactivated the engines, preventing the Enterprise from crashing, but at the cost of poisoning himself. Marcus mourned Kirk in the sickbay alongside McCoy, Scott and the other Enterprise personnel. However, McCoy realized that Khan's blood could be used to heal him. He and Marcus placed Kirk in one of the Augments' cryotubes to put him in suspended animation. Spock and Uhura beamed down to apprehend Khan after he crashed the Vengeance into San Francisco and the blood transfusion proved to be successful.

The five-year mission

Carol Marcus on the bridge

Carol on the bridge as the Enterprise gets under way

Carol attended a memorial service for those killed by Khan and her father, close to a year later. She continued serving on the Enterprise's bridge as science officer when it embarked on it's first five-year mission. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

Key dates

  • 2259
    • Smuggled herself onto the USS Enterprise via the forged documents.
  • 2260
    • Attended the re-christening ceremony of the Enterprise.
    • Permanently assigned to the USS Enterprise for a five-year mission.
  • 2260s
    • Left the USS Enterprise for unknown reasons.

Memorable quotes

"I'm Carol Marcus."

- Carol Marcus, formally introducing herself to James Kirk. (Star Trek Into Darkness)


"Turn around. Now!"

- Carol Marcus when Captain Kirk gets a glimpse of her in her underwear. (Star Trek Into Darkness)


"I am ashamed to be your daughter."

- Carol Marcus to Alexander Marcus, decrying her father's actions. (Star Trek Into Darkness)


"Listen. Wait."

- Carol Marcus to Khan Noonien Singh before he breaks her leg. (Star Trek Into Darkness)


"Dr. Marcus! Uh… I'm glad that you can be part of the family."
"It's nice to have a family."

- James Kirk and Carol Marcus on Carol joining the Enterprise's crew. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

Appendices

Background information

The alternate-reality Carol Marcus was played by Alice Eve.

Origins

A young Carol Marcus was in an early script draft of the film, Star Trek. She would have been represented as meeting Kirk during his adolescence and living near him. [3] A co-writer named Roberto Orci explained, "We wanted to potentially lay the foundation for their friendship down literally because of the nature of the introductory story and making sure that our core group of characters had the proper amount of story that they deserved, she went into the potential future draft." [4]

Introducing Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness brought some major implications to the movie, the prime-universe representation of the character having made a singular appearance as the mother of Kirk's son, David Marcus and a scientist involved in testing the Genesis Device – in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. "What we didn't want to do was rush it in a way that felt too familiar and too predictable," commented Alex Kurtzman, regarding how he and the other screenwriters wrote the role into Star Trek Into Darkness. "The idea with Carol was introduce a character that implies a lot of things, but leave it open enough that anything could happen in the next movie." [5]

Showing Carol Marcus changing into her flightsuit in Star Trek Into Darkness was motivated by Director J.J. Abrams wanting to appeal to Star Trek's male fanbase which is fairly large. [6] That the film would show Dr. Marcus in her underwear was heavily discussed during many story conversations between the screenwriters as they contemplated how they were going to justify that. Originally, Kirk would have stumbled on Marcus changing as she prepared to open the torpedo in space, but the budgetary limitations prevented the writers from setting the disarming scene in space. Orci acknowledged that having her consequently change into a flightsuit was not as necessary as showing her change into a spacesuit. [7]

The writers approached the subject from the point of view that, like in Star Trek II, Carol Marcus was again to be represented as bold in her interactions with Kirk, despite each of them being another form of their character than from The Wrath of Khan. "We figured, how do we harness the spirit of that in this scene," recalled Alex Kurtzman "and that's ultimately where we came to it from [....] It's not something that we went into blindly and certainly we all sat in a room going, okay, we're going to be criticized for this, but how do we justify this in a way that feels like it was thought about?" [8]

In a Yellow Revision of the screenplay for Star Trek Into Darkness, Carol Marcus, upon being introduced in the script was described as wearing "Starfleet blues." Also, a line of dialogue characterized her as holding "advanced doctorates in applied physics," although this was later changed to instead describe her as having a singular doctorate in that subject. ("The Voyage Begins Again!", "Featurettes", Star Trek: The Compendium Blu-ray special features)

In the same draft of the screenplay, Carol Marcus used the alias "Caroline Wallace". ("The Voyage Begins Again!", "Featurettes", Star Trek: The Compendium Blu-ray special features) Both this and the alias that she ultimately uses in the movie, "Carol Wallace", besides referring to her mother's name are likely in tribute to Janet Wallace. [9]That role was originally written as Kirk's love interest in the early drafts of The Wrath of Khan and evolved into Carol Marcus in the later drafts of the same film. (The Making of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 5) Both women were envisioned as strong-willed, intelligent scientists with whom Kirk was previously and emotionally involved.

Montgomery Scott's actor named Simon Pegg was thrilled to discover that Carol Marcus was involved in Star Trek Into Darkness. "Looking at it from the outside," Pegg recalled, "when I first saw her name in the script, it was exciting because Carol Marcus is a figure from Star Trek history." [10]Kirk's actor named Chris Pine once referred to the character as written for Into Darkness as "a really interesting part." (SciFiNow, issue 80, p. 23)

Casting the role

It was the people involved in making Star Trek Into Darkness that drew Alice Eve to it, rather than any familiarity with Star Trek which she didn't know much about before taking the role of Carol Marcus. [11] "I didn't know who Carol Marcus was," she admitted. [12]

Alice Eve was likewise unaware when she auditioned for the part that it was the role of Carol Marcus that she was trying out for. Although no full script was yet available, J.J. Abrams sent some scenes to her. [13]Before Eve received the scenes, Abrams asked that she should prepare them. (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 52) "I got a few pages of this character's scenes and a scene that was kind of imagined, that wasn't in the movie," remembered Eve. "It was just so well constructed and so well imagined and so truthful that I wanted to be part of this group of people that told stories in that way." The audition scene that is not in the movie was, in Eve's words, "an extended dialogue scene" between Carol Marcus and her father. The scene (Whose plot points were included elsewhere in the film) was helpful to Eve in her understanding of Carol Marcus. [14]In fact, despite not knowing the name of the character that she was auditioning to play, Eve got a distinct impression of the role from the collection of scenes, later stating, "I got a sense [that] […] the journey of the character [J.J.] wanted was a girl who was struggling with her relationship with her father." Eve also consistently assumed that it was an already established character that she would be playing, rather than a brand new one. [15]

Alice Eve proceeded to do as J.J. Abrams requested by preparing the scenes. "I did that and met with him where we work-shopped the material," said Eve. This meeting was the first encounter between them, Eve having never auditioned for Abrams before or even crossed paths with him. "The process of working with him was incredibly rewarding for me and enjoyable," Eve continued. "Then, I spoke to him and his producing partner, Bryan Burk afterwards." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, pp. 52 & 54) Alex Kurtzman was another production staffer who witnessed the audition. He later recollected, "When we started auditioning Carol, Alice walked in who was so wonderful and had this kind of lovely quality and brightness and intelligence. That inspired us to think about, 'OK, if we like Alice, then how are we going to craft the character around the actress that we like and make it familiar and not inconsistent with what you've seen before?" [16] Although it was by now obvious to Eve that the project that she was auditioning for was Star Trek, Abrams didn't inform her that the character that she was being considered for was Carol Marcus. "To be honest, that didn't mean anything to me anyway," Eve conceded "because I wasn't overly familiar with the universe. He gave me a sense of who the woman was, what drove her and what her motivations were. All of that gave me enough to create a sketch." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 54)

About ten days after Alice Eve's initial meeting with J.J. Abrams, he called her and asked her to do the forthcoming film. (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 52) The news that Eve was cast in the part extremely excited Simon Pegg. [17] "I think I maybe got the job because I naturally speak very fast," reckoned Eve. She implied that the quickness of her speaking worked well in sync with Abrams' thinking, observing that he thinks "very fast." (Empire, Issue 287, p. 92)

Initial movie depiction

STID Marcus poster

A US promotional poster featuring Carol Marcus

STID-UK Marcus poster

A UK promotional poster featuring Dr. Marcus

As Alice Eve naturally has an English accent (Though can do a considerably convincing American one) where the original portrayal of Carol Marcus featured an American accent, there was "ample discussion," said Eve to which accent that Marcus was to have in Star Trek Into Darkness. Ultimately, the Oxford-educated Eve was allowed to portray the character with her own accent, later quipping, "The association sometimes is that English people are more intelligent than Americans. Of course, it isn't true, but I think we decided to play into that stereotype because she is such a super-brain." [18]

Once Alice Eve found out which character that she was selected to depict, Eve was happy to have been cast as Carol Marcus. This was because the vast differences between how she had been written in Star Trek Into Darkness and her previous presentment meant that Eve didn't have to copy that earlier portrayal. [19] Nevertheless preparing for the role by watching every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series' first season and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Eve took certain cues from the prime-universe version of Dr. Marcus, saying, "Oh, it's information you have to carry, definitely. It doesn't shape it, but it will maybe inform certain choices." Eve kept in mind that Marcus was originally depicted as being "cleverer than Kirk." The actress noted that she kept Marcus' "composure and her conviction and her thoughts, her belief in her intellect."

However, believing that the prime-universe Carol Marcus has "great composure" brought about by age as well as by lost aspirations and relationships, Eve found out that she had to temper this characteristic to play a younger, less experienced rendition of the character. [20] "This Carol Marcus that I was playing, I didn't feel that she was tough," offered Eve. "I wanted to bring a vulnerability to her because she was at the beginning of her journey as a woman [....] I wanted to bring that sense of hope and softness to her along with the list of capabilities that are on the page and she became mine at some point, I understood that there was a tradition, but I didn't hold too tightly to any of it because she was mine now." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 54)

Having spent much of her early twenties in further education, Alice Eve found out that she could relate to the highly educated Carol Marcus. "I was familiar with that kind of mind," Eve noted. "I think she has a specific motivation that was one that I understood and could sympathize with so both resonated with me quite strongly." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 54) Eve wasn't entirely like the character, though. "I definitely knew that Carol was braver than I was when we started," Eve stated "and more tenacious." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 55)

The Hair Department Head named Mary L. Mastro was conscious of styling Alice Eve's hair for her role as Carol Marcus in such a way as to be similar to that of the character's initial representation. "Alice doesn't look anything like the person who originally played that role," observed Mastro, "but we wanted to give her a sensibility that was similar, yet not have it be that period." [21] The hairstyle for the revised Carol Marcus was also influenced by a lengthy debate about the nature of hair in the future time period of Star Trek and the outcome of this discussion: The realization that J.J. Abrams usually tended toward stylistic minimalism in Star Trek. "So, we used the famous Vidal Sassoon bob from the '60s to build a hairstyle," explained Alice Eve. "We think that it showed a sense of youth and was in keeping with the original imagery of the '60s show, but we modernized it and it added a clean efficiency to the line. It was that stuff that we ended up falling back on and J.J. was involved in all aspects. He was even involved with the color that I chose to wear on my nails." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 55)

Alice Eve found out that portraying the sexual chemistry between Dr. Marcus and Captain Kirk came naturally to herself and Chris Pine, mainly due to him having blue eyes that she found "really beautiful." [22] The actress also appreciated that, while Marcus took "great" support from her relationship with Kirk, their bond didn't define Marcus and she "was a very determined woman in her own right, dealing with her own struggles." [23]

Starfleet underwear, alt 2259

Carol in her underwear

Performing the scene where Carol Marcus briefly appears in her underwear was fairly straightforward. When asked whether she found portraying the scene awkward, Alice Eve replied, "That's always an experience. I enjoyed working with everyone very much. I felt very comfortable in that environment and we'd all been training incredibly hard to, like, look like we were capable of living in space and saving the world. So, you know, I enjoyed the whole process of making that film. It was a good one." [24] The image of Marcus wearing only her underwear circulated around the Internet. There are mixed opinions about the scene with one criticism being that it undermined Marcus as a character. [25]Despite the brief shot turning out to be controversial and criticized by some as an exploitative and unnecessary sexualizing of an otherwise strong female character, Eve feels that it was neither overly sexualizing her persona in the film or inappropriate, given that Kirk is shown having sex with women and with his shirt off in both Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. Eve argued that not only was she fit when she filmed the scene, but also that exhibiting the beauty of the female body in a strong character does not detract from such a character's strength or power. [1]

In addition to being highlighted in a deleted scene from Star Trek Into Darkness which explains the split universe's Carol was raised by her mother in England and thereby accounts for her British accent, the Editors named Mary Jo Markey and Maryann Brandon revealed that Kirk's original first meeting with Carol, after Pike's death was also cut from the film and replaced during additional photography which they felt added to Spock's and the audience's, initial suspiciousness about her. (Star Trek Into Darkness iTunes enhanced commentary)

Aftermath of first film appearance

Alice Eve expressed happiness with her initial movie appearance as Carol Marcus, saying, "I really enjoyed the character that I got to play." [26]Following the shooting of Star Trek Into Darkness, the actress clarified, "I know that I admire her tenacity and her bravery. It's always great to play someone you can learn from [....] I hope I've learned from her." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 55) Eve also expressed happiness that the alternate reality take on the character has been intriguing for online fans. "It's good to know that people are interested in Carol Marcus," she said. "I was really glad to be able to play her with her intelligence and her quick wit with Kirk." (The A-Z of Star Trek, SFX Special Edition 61, p. 63) Eve also requested that there should be an action figure showing herself as Dr. Marcus, remarking, "I would like one." [27]

Alice Eve stated that, should she return as Carol Marcus in another film after Star Trek Into Darkness, she would "like to see Carol take the (Captain's) chair for at least an hour." The actress has been noncommittal about the story points relating to Marcus' relationship to Kirk, observing that the alternate reality leaves it open to whether they eventually have a child as in the prime universe. "I'd love any eventuality with Carol," Eve commented. "I love playing her. I love her strength and independence of mind. So, I would like to continue to see that." [28]

However, Carol Marcus and her relationship with Kirk intentionally weren't included in the next film, Star Trek Beyond. "There were many iterations where we went and explored [Carol Marcus], but we figured that it was two and a half years [after Into Darkness]. It was something that we talked about and worked on, but in the presentation of this film, it didn't quite fit in. It's there with the transporter and everything," laughed Star Trek Beyond Director Justin Lin. [29] Simon Pegg who co-wrote the film likewise stated that Carol's absence was explained in one of the initial drafts. Originally, she was said to have gone off to start early research work on the Genesis project. [30]

Apocrypha

Carl Marcus IDW

Her male counterpart, Carl Marcus

According to her dossier on the Star Trek Into Darkness App, Carol Marcus was born in 2233 in New York City. Her mother's name is given as "June (β)". Carol entered Starfleet Academy in 2254 and graduated in 2258.

Like the rest of the crew, she has an opposite sex counterpart in IDW Publishing's comics "Parallel Lives, Part 1" and "Parallel Lives, Part 2", a two-parter in Star Trek: Ongoing. Her male equivalent is called Carl Marcus.

The 2013 virtual collectible card battle game Star Trek: Rivals used a picture of her for card #83: Doctor C. Marcus.

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