Early life and interests
Early in this career, Neral served in the Romulan Guard, where he had attained a rank of at least uhlan. After becoming the proconsul in 2368, he would come to claim that he had never liked titles ever since he had been a "lowly uhlan". (TNG: "Unification II")
Neral served as proconsul in the 2360s and 2370s. In 2368, he entered into a plot with Commander Sela and Senator Pardek to attack Vulcan. Through Pardek, he communicated his willingness to meet with Ambassador Spock on the idea of reunification with the Vulcans. The intention was to use Spock's presence on Romulus to provide pretext for a Romulan invasion force.
Spock met Neral in the proconsul's office, with Neral appearing to Spock as a relatively young and idealistic man who was seemingly receptive to the idea of reunification. After the meeting, Neral left it to Sela and Pardek to capture Spock and Starfleet officers Jean-Luc Picard and Data, who were undercover as "Romulans". Sela and Pardek had followed Spock to carry out the Romulans' plan of either capturing Spock alive and him read a fake peace statement, or conjuring a holographic program of Spock reading that same fake peace statement next to Neral. Spock refused to perform the speech, so the holographic Spock was employed. The transmission featuring the holo-Spock, however, was interrupted by the real Spock, who had just enough time to warn Starfleet, subsequent to which the Romulans cut off the communication. After that, Spock, Picard, and Data escaped. (TNG: "Unification I", "Unification II")
From 2369 to 2370, Neral was considered a criminal, whose wanted poster was displayed in Constable Odo's security office aboard Deep Space 9. (DS9: "Vortex", "If Wishes Were Horses", "The Forsaken", "Dramatis Personae", "Duet", "In the Hands of the Prophets", "Sanctuary", "Rules of Engagement", "Sacrifice of Angels")
During 2374, still as proconsul, he considered Senator Vreenak as one of his most trusted advisors until Vreenak's untimely death that year. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight") That same year, Neral ascended to the position of Praetor.
In 2375, Praetor Neral presided over the Romulan Continuing Committee that tried Senator Kimara Cretak for accessing a secured Tal Shiar database. Despite Cretak's testimony that she thought she was saving Tal Shiar Chairman Koval's life through information gained from Julian Bashir, Koval's testimony from interrogating Luther Sloan prompted Neral to find Cretak guilty. Neral allowed Bashir to go free, and imprisoned Sloan for further questioning. However, Sloan struggled, and was promptly killed by Koval. (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges")
|Praetors of the Romulan Star Empire|
|Colius • Unnamed (c. 2266) • Neral (c. 2374) • Hiren (c. 2379) • Shinzon (c. 2379)|
Neral was played by Norman Large in "Unification I" and "Unification II", and by Hal Landon, Jr. in "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges". When asked why Large was not sought to reprise his role, Ronald D. Moore remarked, "We did consider it, but decided to go in another direction." (AOL chat, 1999)
The script for "Unification II" describes Neral as "an energetic, handsome man in his late forties, a Romulan Bobby Kennedy." The script for "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" further describes Neral as "a seasoned politician, a ruthless in-fighter who's survived more than one coup attempt. He's a man who seldom lets anything get in his way."
According to the short story "Requital" contained in Tales of the Dominion War, Neral is present aboard Deep Space 9 for the signing of the Treaty of Bajor, during the events of "What You Leave Behind".