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– Sam Rutherford, 2380 ("Second Contact")

Ensign Samanthan "Sam" Rutherford was a cybernetically-enhanced male Human Starfleet operations division junior officer who lived during the 2380s. He was assigned to the USS Cerritos engineering section and worked under Lieutenant Commander Andy Billups. (LD: "Second Contact")

Rutherford received his cybernetic implant two weeks prior to Stardate 57436.2. He bunked at Bunk A12002 on Deck 11, on the wall opposite Beckett Mariner's bunk. (LD: "Second Contact", "Moist Vessel")


Rutherford's dedication and hard work aboard the Cerritos were noticed by many of the ship's senior officers. Lieutenant Commander Andy Billups, who served on the Cerritos as the ship's chief engineering officer referred to Rutherford as his "number-one-with-a-bullet systems guy," and when Rutherford decided to temporarily explore other opportunities on the Cerritos, Billups said that any department would be lucky to have him. (LD: "Envoys")

Rutherford was very knowledgeable on the ship's systems, and how each one worked. He was prone to getting excited over being able to use certain tools for the job and even took up holodeck programming as a hobby. (LD: "Cupid's Errant Arrow", "Terminal Provocations")

Personal relationships

D'Vana Tendi

Rutherford trains Tendi to space walk

Rutherford appeared to have some feelings for Ensign D'Vana Tendi. The two of them quickly became friends when she was transferred to the Cerritos, and she often enjoyed spending time with him as she settled in on the ship. At one point, Rutherford went as far as trying to find another job on the ship so that he could honor a date he'd promised her in watching the Trivoli pulsar with her, without needing to worry about his duties in the ship's Jefferies tubes. When these opportunities didn't work out, she simply offered to watch the pulsar with him in the tubes. (LD: "Envoys") At one point, Rutherford also took it upon himself to help her learn how to space walk on the holodeck, when she confessed to him that she never finished learning how to do so at the Academy. When the holodeck malfunctioned, he took it upon himself to protect her from his program, which was actively trying to kill them. He would admit to his creation, a character named Badgey, that he was trying to impress Tendi, because he found her very cute, and killed Badgey to protect her. (LD: "Terminal Provocations")

Despite their friendship, the two could also be incredibly competitive with one another in their love of duty. In particular, the two raced each other in who could finish their job first when they were assigned temporary duty aboard the USS Vancouver, in hopes that they would be able to take a T88 back to the Cerritos for their respective departments. (LD: "Cupid's Errant Arrow")

Andy Billups

Rutherford held Chief Engineer Andy Billups in high regard and respect. He believed Billups to be among the best engineers in all of Starfleet. Despite this reverence, he was too shy to admit this directly to Billups himself. (LD: "Crisis Point")


Rutherford's signature


  • LD: Every episode

Background information

Rutherford was voiced by Eugene Cordero.

In developing the characters for Lower Decks, Mike McMahan described all four leads in an 10 August 2020 interview as a combination of other Star Trek characters, parts of himself, and people in his life. Rutherford gets some character traits from Geordi LaForge, symbolized by his cybernetic implant being "a half-VISOR." McMahan described Rutherford as "really great at what he's doing, but he's not able to solve everything at the end of 40 minutes, because he's not the chief engineer on the Enterprise," that Rutherford is "still learning," and part of science is that sometimes he will test things and get things wrong. [1]

Rutherford's early implant design

When Rutherford was first revealed, unlike the rest of the main cast of Lower Decks, his design was not finalized. While his final eyepiece was lavender-colored, his early design showed it as being cyan, with his implant having multiple other lights.

Rutherford appears as a duty officer in Star Trek Online.

"Samanthan" is not a known long form of "Sam," and appears to be a masculine version of "Samantha."

External links