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This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and thus may contain spoilers.

Commander Joseph M'Benga was a male Human Starfleet officer and physician who lived during the mid-23rd century.

Starfleet career

Early career

Joseph M'Benga conducted his medical internship on Vulcan, an experience that made him particularly skilled in treating members of that species. (TOS: "A Private Little War") However, during all of his time studying Vulcan medicine, M'Benga never had an opportunity to deal with a katric transfer. (SNW: "Spock Amok")

M'Benga had a relationship with a woman named Debra. In 2248 she bore him a daughter, Rukiya. (SNW: "Ghosts of Illyria", "Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach", "The Elysian Kingdom")

At some point prior to 2259, M'Benga served aboard the USS Cuyahoga. (SNW: "Memento Mori")

Serving under Pike

Prior to 2259, he was previously acquainted with Christopher Pike, with Pike having guided M'Benga through his home of Mojave and M'Benga having guided Pike through Kenya.

By 2259, he was assigned to the USS Enterprise as chief medical officer under Captain Pike, with Nurse Christine Chapel as part of his staff. (SNW: "Strange New Worlds")

Serving under Kirk

During the late 2260s, M'Benga continued to serve under Captain James T. Kirk, where, in the event of Leonard McCoy's absence, he served as the ranking medical officer.

In 2268, M'Benga treated Commander Spock for a serious gunshot wound he was inflicted with on Neural. He had to slap Spock violently to bring him out of his Vulcan healing state. (TOS: "A Private Little War")

Later that year, Dr. M'Benga supervised his colleague Dr. Sanchez with an autopsy of Ensign Wyatt, who had died after Losira merely touched him. M'Benga reported that Wyatt's entire body had suffered cellular disruption: the touch had "blasted" every cell in his body from the inside out. In reply to Spock's inquiry regarding the incident, M'Benga explained that Sanchez had found that no known disease-causing organism had been responsible for the death.

He later reported that engineering Technician John B. Watkins had also died from a similar cellular disruption. (TOS: "That Which Survives")



Background information

Doctor M'Benga was played by Booker Bradshaw in The Original Series and Babs Olusanmokun in Strange New Worlds.

This character was actually created by Darlene Hartman, in her purchased (but never produced) TOS script entitled "Shol". The notes for that script give Dr. M'Benga's first name as "Joseph" (confirmed in canon only in SNW: "The Elysian Kingdom"), and stated that he was originally a native of Uganda. His brother, Commander Simon M'Benga, was the first officer of USS Hope, a Federation hospital ship, in the planned-but-never-developed Star Trek spinoff Hopeship. [1]

An early draft of the script for "Obsession" (dated 6 September 1967) included a character by the name of "Nurse M'Benga". However, in research notes submitted for that episode (on 29 September 1966), de Forest Research noted the redundancy, stating that "M'Benga is the name of a doctor in 'A Private Little War'."

In a later inter-department communication between Gene Roddenberry and John Meredyth Lucas (dated 2 October 1967), Roddenberry noted that regarding "Nurse M'Benga. There is no such Nurse existing on our spaceship. If we need a Nurse, we use our semi-regular Nurse Chapel."

The first draft script for "That Which Survives" misspelled this character's name "Mboya".


Jean Lorrah's novel The IDIC Epidemic gave his first name as "Geoffrey". Meanwhile, David Mack's Harbinger established his first name as "Jabilo", a word for "healer" in the Luo language of Kenya, [2] and set his assignment before the Enterprise as Starbase 47, also known as "Vanguard". The novella The Tears of Eridanus, set in an alternate universe, gives his full name as Jabilo Geoffrey M'Benga.

The Vulcan Academy Murders presented M'Benga's time at the Vulcan Academy hospital and McCoy's subsequent recruitment of M'Benga for Enterprise. Tying into this, The Klingon Gambit, by Robert E. Vardeman, established that his internship on Vulcan lasted four years.

Andrea M'Benga (β), a great-granddaughter of this character, is portrayed in several novels written by William Shatner.

M'Benga's mirror universe counterpart appeared in the novel The Sorrows of Empire. Following Leonard McCoy's death from xenopolycythemia in 2269, he succeeded him as the chief medical officer of the ISS Enterprise. He continued to serve in that position until at least 2287. The novel likewise stated that his first name was "Jabilo".

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