Hello and welcome to the Personnel File, the
series where we look into the career and personality of some of Star Trek’s Iconic characters
and this time we’re examining the hapless and intermittently genius, Reginald Endicott
Barclay the third. As is usual for this series, we will included
primarily the canon materials, that is the episodes he was in and flesh out some of the
gaps with Memory beta content, which comes mostly from Novels, games and the like where
it doesn’t conflict with the primary. So Reginal Barclay was born in 2340, Cleveland,
Ohio, Earth. His parents were Reginald Barclay the second and Alicia Barclay. Wait, 2340?
That would make the character 26 by the time of Next Generation? Seems a little low to
me but alright, that date is given from a game and I don’t have an alternative.
So in 2358 at the age of 18 Barclay applied not to Starfleet Academy, but to the Daystom
Institute where he spent the next four years obtaining his master’s degree in Computer
Systems. He graduated in 2362 and was offered a commission
by Starfleet to work on one of their vessels, the USS Zhukov NCC-26136.
He was granted the rank of lieutenant junior grade and accepts the position of diagnostic
engineer. He worked on the Zhukov for four years and
received a commendation from Captain Neil Gleason.
He transferred to the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D in 2366 where he continued in his role as
diagnostics engineer. His reclusive behaviour was soon noted by
his chief and issues were soon raised when they began to affect his duty. He was written
up several times for tardiness. Soon he began to receive counselling for his addiction to
holodecks which had been adversely affecting his performance.
In 2367, the Cytherian’s probe increased Barclay’s IQ and he led the Enterprise into
first contact with the species. In 2368 during his spare time, he was assisting
his crew in their own holodeck programming endeavours.
In 2369, he was involved in the safe rescue of the crew of the USS Yosemite through a
transporter incident in which he overcame his transporter phobia.
In 2370 Lt. Barclay leads his first away mission to Tarvo.
That same year, the Intron Virus, also known as Barclay’s Protomorphosis Syndrome was
inadvertently created and exposed the crew of the USS Enterprise to its mutative effects.
In late 2370, Barclay transferred to Jupiter Station to work alongside Doctor Lewis Zimmerman
in the creation of the EMH Mark I. He was Promoted to lieutenant in 2372 and
transferred to the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E to take a role in the engineering staff once
again. In 2373 the USS Enterprise E responded to
the Borg incursion culminating in the Battle of Sector 001. At the conclusion of the conflict,
the Time Travel Incident took the ship back to 2063 to Earth’s First Contact.
During his time in 2063, he worked on restoring the NX Phoenix to working order to maintain
the timeline. In 2374, he discovers that the bio-neural
gel packs can absorb the energies of the galactic barrier.
Later that year, he applies to “Project Pathfinder” and transfers to Starfleet Communications
Research Centre on Earth. This project’s goal was to establish long range communications
with the USS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. During his time here, his addiction to holoprograms
risked relapse. In 2376, Barclay hijacked the Mutara Interdimensional
Deep Space Array System to create a micro wormhole through which real-time two way communication
is established for the first time between the Alpha and Delta quadrants.
In 2377, Barclay returns to Jupiter Station to visit Doctor Lewis Zimmerman and transfers
Voyager’s EMH to meet his creator. Not long after, the Pathfinder project sends
through its own Holographic assistant in the form of Reginal Barclay to help the stranded
vessel. However this software had been compromised and was terminated.
From this point on, it’s all content from beyond the shows.
In 2380, Barclay had returned temporarily to the Enterprise E to act as chief engineer
until in 2381 when was reassigned to the prototype USS Galen NX-86350
2381 saw the USS Galen test its Slipstream Drive to explore the fringes of the Delta
Quadrant. Throughput 2382 Barclay continued to work
on the Pathfinder Programs with a new goal of using it as a transporter relay and tested
it on himself. He now holds the record for the longest distance transport in history.
In 2382 Barclay was requested by Captain Scott of the USS Challenger NCC-71099, the Starfleet
corps of engineers vessel. He was promoted to Lieutenant commander and assigned as the
Second Officer. When command of the vessel transferred to
Commander Geordie LaForge, Barclay was made chief of Operations.
By 2385, Barclay had returned to the USS Galen NX-86350, possibly around the year 2383 with
the transfer of Geordie LaForge to Utopia Planetia.
So that’s all I could piece together for the timeline of Reginald Barclay the Third.
But I would add that an alternate timeline version of Barclay in 2404 was a commander
in Starfleet and had taken a teaching position in Starfleet Academy, something I could very
much see as being his eventual outcome considering his predilection for roles in laboratories
and research. The recurring trait that makes him such a
fan favourite is also his most relatable and that is his lack of confidence. This affects
him on an interpersonal level, which has the knock on effect of damaging his professional
performance. Many of his ailments and neuroses are symptoms
of this self-doubt and therefor perpetuated by and fuel this destructive mind-set. It
was established early on that the man is a very capable officer, so much so that on graduation
from Daystrom, someone in Starfleet took a gamble on him and offered him a commission.
Starfleet does after all accept officers with a comparable level of education to Starfleet
academy, but to see him immediately promoted to Lt junior grade on his first assignment?
Honeslty, I wonder if this would have contributed to his feelings of inadequacy because after
this, he does not advance in rank for 10 years. As a graduate outside of Starfleet Academy
he would never have gone through all the training that the other officers did for life aboard
a Starship, but as a systems engineer, a programmer in effect responsible for diagnostics and
software, the likelihood of him need such skills was rather small. That is until he
managed to secure a position on the USS Enterprise D, out there on the frontlines of exploration.
I suspect that comfortable with his position on the USS Zhukov, he began to flourish and
his natural talent and proficiency shone through leading to his selection as Enterprise-level
material and his transfer, only to once again withdraw from his new environment and question
his own capability. This had the knock on effect of damaging his work and earning him
note in a bad way from his colleagues. With time and continual counselling however,
he was eased into his role although he would continue to display hypochondriac like behaviour
and numerous phobias centred around the unknown. His experiences with the mind altering probe,
transporter incidents and a morphing into a spider-Reg served as a baptism by fire and
after these events, he became noticeably more inclined to take risks. Without the assistance
of his friends to prepare him and help him through these events, its likely that he would
have broken and run back to a research post somewhere on the first outing, but they helped
him uncover the strength he needed to continue on. Although a lab is where he ended up, I
don’t see it as him running away from the dangers of space exploration and I’ll get
to why in a minute. His passion for holo novels eventually presented
him with opportunities several times in his career, but of course also came with the pitfalls
of creating a simulated environment that he had control over, a safe space that was intoxicating
to the easily-flustered man. However, as with his general work and research, his genius
in finding unorthodox solutions catches the attention of Zimmerman and the Pathfinder
lab even had an entire complex holodeck system for testing purposes that Reg made frequent
use of. He did eventually return from the enterprise
to take up more sedate positions such as the Pathfinder Project, but from “First Contact”
and other sources, we can see that he is no longer scared by the final frontier and routinely
returns to ship-side posts, even charting into the delta quadrant and testing long range
transporters on himself. By the end of his career, he is willing to
take risks because the struggle of his life has not been about overcoming battles or solving
puzzles, the latter being something of one of his strengths to be honest, but by overcoming
his own mental blocks. The first step and achieving anything is choosing to act and
if you fail at that first hurdle, which many of us do, then nothing is achieved. This has
been Barclay’s biggest flaw and it’s a relatable one. No amount of natural talent
or hidden genius in one field will help you if it’s not applied. Watching Barclay overcome
these trials is compelling and we see him develop, not instantly, not premade at the
academy, but over time and with help from his friends and peers.
So as usual, I like to drop three episodes of Star Trek that are my favourite portrayals
of a character, or that I think offer a good grounding of his personality and I think the
first one his, his first one. The first appearance of Barclay in “Hollow Pursuits” where
we see his core neuroses in full effect and the beginnings of his character growth. Secondly,
I think “Realm of Fear” is a good indicator of how far he’s developing and arguably
he takes one of the biggest risks so far in directly confronting a phobia of his. Finally,
I think “Pathfinder” shows that by the time of his reassignment, even though he’s
taken up a safer position in a lab, it’s not because he’s afraid to take huge risks
as he gambles his entire career to prove his work, although he clearly still struggles
with the allure of the fictional. So thank you for watching this dive into the
career of Reginald Barclay. There’s a lot more we could dive into about his actual personality
and he is something of a psychiatrist’s field day, but the personnel file tries to
look more into the timeline centric happenings of a character so I’d point you to some
excellent videos by Steve Shives and SF Debris . So, thanks again for watching and until
the next video, I’m Ric and I’ll see you again, goodbye!