- Jane Taylor was played by actress Kipleigh Brown.
Taylor served aboard Enterprise for three years, presumably from its launch in 2151 until her death in 2154. Prior to this, she served on the Saratoga. Commander Charles Tucker pulled her off to be on Enterprise, making Captain Brody angry. She was considered a gifted engineer, and was particularly adept at repairing fused power relays (especially those which Tucker was unable to isolate himself).
Taylor was one of eighteen crewmembers (affectionately referred to by Captain Jonathan Archer as "The 18") killed during the Xindi attack in the Azati Prime system in February 2154. The section she was in (identified as either section 6 or 7 of C deck) decompressed while she was heading to her station; she died right outside her quarters. It was said that, had she made it "a few more meters," she would have survived the attack. (ENT: "The Forgotten")
Taylor served on Michael Rostov's engineering team, and he frequently played practical jokes on her. Tucker maintained that one day Taylor would make a fine chief engineer; she once found a glitch in the injector assembly that everyone else missed.
Upon Taylor's death at the hands of the Xindi, Commander Tucker was ordered (over his objections) by Captain Archer to compose a personal letter to her parents. Trip had difficulty writing the message and, after at least two false starts, successfully did so only after speaking with Taylor in a dream. The process was emotionally trying but therapeutic for Tucker, ultimately resulting in his coming to terms with the earlier loss of his sister Elizabeth.
Taylor kept a framed photograph (apparently of herself and her parents, though this is unclear) on her desk in her quarters. It was damaged during the Xindi attack in which she was killed.
- Whether this photo actually existed is debatable, as it was only ever depicted in Tucker's dream sequence.
- Another (male) crewman with the name of "Taylor" was mentioned in the episode "Cold Front" as a steward to Captain Archer who alternated shifts with Daniels; it is unknown whether there was any relation. It is also possible that these Taylors were one and the same, with the earlier reference to Taylor being a "him" simply an error on Daniels's part (Daniels was, after all, only pretending to be a member of the crew). This would certainly explain Captain Archer's personal interest in Taylor's death.
The full text of Commander Tucker's letter to Jane Taylor's parents follows:
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor: By the time you get this, Starfleet will have already told you about Jane. Since I worked so closely with her, I wanted to add my personal condolences. I have to confess, I've been putting off writing this for a while. I convinced myself that my duties on Enterprise took precedence. But the truth is, I didn't want to face the fact that someone so young, with so much promise, could just be gone. But I'm facing it now. And I found myself thinking how important she was to me. She was a great engineer. And she was my friend. She won't be forgotten.
- Jane Taylor's rank is somewhat unclear. Like her fellow engineer Rostov, she was referred to in dialog as "crewman" (an enlisted grade), although her uniform rank pips were those of a lieutenant. This may be attributed to a simple oversight on the part of the production team (similar to what happened with Miles O'Brien on TNG), although there are other indicators that Taylor could have held officer rank:
- She appeared to have her own quarters, which was unusual for enlisted personnel during this period (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), though not entirely unheard of for prominent crewmen (Daniels had his own quarters, for example).
- Tucker believed she was on her way to becoming a chief engineer, although this is not entirely impossible for an enlisted person (see again Miles O'Brien).
- It is speculated that Jane Taylor was named in honor of the British poet who penned "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" at age 23.
- Some fans believe that Taylor's death was a veiled reference to the "real life" passing of Kellie Waymire a few months prior to the production of "The Forgotten".
- Tucker's mixed feelings about Jane's death and his inability to cope with it have been elaborated upon in fan fiction, some of which depict Trip discussing his troubling "dream conversations" with her with other crewmembers. This is, of course, not canon.