Robert April was a prominent 23rd century Human male Starfleet officer who was perhaps most famous for his stint as the first captain of the USS Enterprise from 2245 to 2250. (DIS: "Brother"; TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident") He was considered to be one of the most decorated captains in Starfleet history as of the mid-23rd century. (DIS: "Choose Your Pain")
Early life Edit
Starfleet career Edit
During the 2240s, April oversaw the construction of components for a Constitution-class starship at the San Francisco Navy Yards. That vessel eventually became the USS Enterprise, which April later commanded from 2245 to 2250. His wife Sarah served as his chief medical officer. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident") Captain April's first officer was Christopher Pike. (DIS: "Brother")
Later career Edit
Over a dozen years later, in 2270, April was forced to retire from Starfleet. Exceptional circumstances made Starfleet consider his appeal to have his mandatory retirement rescinded. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident")
Key dates Edit
- 2195: Year of Birth
- 2245: Appointed captain of the USS Enterprise
|Commanding officers of the starships Enterprise|
|Enterprise NX-01:||Archer • T'Pol • Tucker • Lorian|
|USS Enterprise:||April • Pike • Kirk • Decker • Spock|
|USS Enterprise-D:||Picard • Riker • Jellico • Halloway|
|ISS Enterprise NX-01:||Forrest|
|ISS Enterprise NCC-1701:||Pike • Kirk|
|USS Enterprise:||Pike • Kirk|
Background information Edit
April was voiced by James Doohan.
According to the script for "The Counter-Clock Incident", April was described as "a 75-year-old man whose looks belie his age. He has a full head of grey hair; he is rather trim and in good physical condition. He is wearing what we would consider a "fulldress" uniform, more formal than the Enterprise crew."
The name "Robert April" originated from the first Star Trek pitch, as the name of the lead character ("Robert M. April"). On StarTrek.com and in the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 36), his name is listed as "Robert T. April".
Prior to this, the name "Robert April" was used by Gene Roddenberry for a prison chaplain in two episodes of Have Gun – Will Travel. The name for the featured Enterprise captain was later changed to "Christopher Pike" for "The Cage" and then to "James T. Kirk" for later episodes.
When "The Counter-Clock Incident" writer Fred Bronson first heard about the prequel premise of Star Trek: Enterprise, he mistakenly assumed, much to his excitement, that April would be prominently featured in the upcoming series. He was later disappointed to discover this was not the case. Added ENT Co-Executive Producer Chris Black, "I was not the uber-fan that would have said, 'Wait, it should have been Robert April.'" (The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, p. 646)
Unused material for Jonathan Archer's bio, featured in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", stated that Archer passed away one day following the christening of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), in 2245. If canonical, it would suggest that April and Archer knew each other.
In the books Final Frontier and Best Destiny, both written by Diane Carey, it was stated that Captain April was born in Coventry, UK. In developing April for Final Frontier, having only the Animated Series episode as a basis, Carey decided to give him "a warm, funny, visionary personality, and made him a gentle and wise counterpoint to the very volatile and action-oriented George Kirk [...The] idea is that somehow James Kirk is the composite of the better qualities of both April and George Kirk, the visionary wisdom with the proactive reactionary hero." (Voyages of Imagination, p. 122)
In the Star Trek: Early Voyages comic series, April made several appearances and was often referenced. The first issue, "Flesh of My Flesh", established that April commanded a USS Tiberius for three five-year missions prior to commanding the Enterprise on his fourth five-year mission and that J.M. Colt and José Tyler served under April on the Tiberius. In the same comic, April walked Christopher Pike to the Enterprise in spacedock, and in another scene, set two years later, it was shown that it was due to April's recommendation that Pike recruited Spock to the Enterprise crew.
The fourth issue, "Nor Iron Bars a Cage", stated that April, then a commodore at Starfleet Command, personally reassigned J.M. Colt to the Enterprise to take up her position as yeoman. In the final story in the Early Voyages series, presented in the comics "Nemesis" and "Thanatos", April, then an admiral, returned to the Enterprise to temporarily take command while Captain Pike conducted an undercover mission. April displayed questionable conduct in the story, but the tale was never concluded, as the series was canceled.
The alternate reality version of Robert April (β) appears in the IDW comic mini-series Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness. In the new timeline, he was captain of a previous starship Enterprise (β), which existed subsequent to Enterprise NX-01, but prior to the USS Enterprise launched in 2258 and Alexander Marcus was his first officer. While surveying the planet Phaedus IV in 2239, he was declared killed in action, when in reality, he deliberately went against the Prime Directive to assist the planet's inhabitants in an ongoing rebellion until he was discovered by Captain Kirk and Commander Spock twenty years later. Additionally, April recalled he had been captain "going on 10 years" in 2239, suggesting his prime reality counterpart would have also achieved the rank of captain in or around 2229, as this occurred before the creation of the alternate reality.
April later reappeared in the twentieth issue of IDW's Star Trek: Ongoing comic series, in which Captain Kirk visited April after the events of Star Trek Into Darkness to let him know that his plan to start a war with the Klingon Empire had failed.
The reference book Star Trek: Federation - The First 150 Years depicts April as the principal designer of the Constitution-class, having grown dissatisfied with current Starfleet vessels' lack of self-sufficiency.
The Star Trek: Discovery tie-in novel Drastic Measures shows April in the year 2246 aiding the colony of Tarsus IV in the aftermath of Kodos the Executioner's infamous massacre. He is described as having an English accent and already married to his chief medical officer Sarah.