Captain Sanders was a Human male who served as a Starfleet officer during the late-24th century.


In 2373, Sanders served as the commanding officer of the Excelsior-class Federation starship USS Malinche.

Due to the Maquis conflicts that year, the Malinche was patrolling the Demilitarized Zone when they were requested to assist Captain Benjamin Sisko on the USS Defiant during pursuit of a Maquis raider commanded by Starfleet defector Michael Eddington. Captain Sanders agreed to assist Sisko in cutting off the raider, preventing his escape into the badlands. Though the plan seemed to be working, during the battle, Eddington attacked and disabled the Defiant with a computer virus he had previously hidden in the ship's systems.

Following Eddington's escape, Starfleet assigned Sanders responsibility for apprehending him, believing that Sisko had become too personally involved. During his search, Sanders ordered the Malinche to the rescue of a Cardassian freighter in distress but when he instructed the shields be lowered for transport, the Maquis attacked, seriously damaging the Malinche with by a booby trap. Sanders and the crew were then left adrift in space.

Fortunately Captain Sisko received his distress signal and was able to provide assistance. As Sisko left to continue the pursuit of Eddington, Sanders asked only one favor: that Sisko save him a seat at Eddington's court martial. He then wished Sisko "good hunting".(DS9: "For the Uniform")

Memorable quotes

"I'm not fond of uninvited guests."

- Sanders to Benjamin Sisko on the new holocommunicator

"Ah. Everyone's favorite traitor."

- Sanders to Benjamin Sisko regarding Michael Eddington


Background information

Sanders was played by recurring Star Trek guest actor Eric Pierpoint.

The script for "For the Uniform" describes Sanders as, "a human male in his forties, a thoughtful and deliberate man, he's not prone to snap decisions." [1]

The idea to cast Pierpont as Sanders came from Executive Producer Ira Steven Behr. He knew of the actor from his time as a regular cast member on the 1982 series Fame on which Behr served as a producer. "I thought he did a great job." Behr said of Pierpont's performance in "For the Uniform". "We always talked about bringing him back, but we never did." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p.420)

Pierpont had previously auditioned unsuccessfully for the roles of William T. Riker, Benjamin Sisko, and Kathryn Janeway (before it became a female role) and was excited to be able to play a Starfleet captain. "I think that was a gift that they gave me for not being the captain. I think they just threw me that one," he joked in a 2013 interview with, "It was cool to play the captain of a starship. Then it was interesting to think that if your ship wasn’t the one that was shot down you might still be circling in space somewhere, right? So you could have the demeanor, but the authority and the sense of humor are essential, I think. That’s a la James Kirk. Those are the best because then you’ve got a guy who’s always trying to figure something out, who’s really, really smart, but has a side to him that’s also really human. So I would have liked to have explored that had I not had my ship shot out from under me." [2]

When asked which of his characters he would like to have played again, Pierpont replied, "I feel like a lot of the characters had a full arc, even if it was just one episode. The one that didn’t, or that had the least was Captain Sanders. So I would say Captain Sanders, because it was abbreviated. He didn’t get to fully form because he was only in it for a couple of scenes. I’d like to have seen how I’d have played this leading man captain and where they might have taken that." [3]


The Star Trek: The Lost Era novel The Buried Age gives Sanders' first name as "George" and reveals that he is captain of the Malinche in the year 2363, when the ship is part of a task force organized by Captain Jean-Luc Picard that travels into Carnelian space in order to stop the ancient Manraloth people from gaining access to their civilization's database, which is stored in the event horizon of a nearby black hole.

Part IV of the Star Trek: The Badlands novel series is set immediately after the events of "For the Uniform". After the capture of Michael Eddington and several other Maquis prisoners, Sanders volunteers to transport them to Earth on the Malinche.

In the Star Trek: Destiny novel A Singular Destiny, set during a Borg invasion of 2381, Captain Sanders orders the Malinche to engage a fleet of six Borg cubes in sector 22093, en route to the Andorian system. The Malinche is destroyed and Sanders is killed in action, which is later confirmed in a casualty report.

Sanders is also mentioned briefly in the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers eBook Here There Be Monsters and the novel Articles of the Federation.

Decipher's Starfleet Operations Manual gives Sanders' first name as "Harlan".

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