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John Christopher

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Captain Christopher in 1969

Captain Christopher in 1969
Gender: Male
Species: Human
Affiliation: US Air Force
Rank: Captain
Occupation: Pilot
Serial number: 4857932
Children: Shaun Geoffrey Christopher + two unnamed daughters
Played by: Roger Perry

Captain John Christopher (serial number 4857932) was a Human military officer who served in the United States Air Force in the late 1960s. He was the father of Shaun Geoffrey Christopher, the leader of the first Earth-Saturn probe.

At some point in his career he was in line for the space program but didn't qualify. In 1968 he served at the Air Force base of the US 498th Airbase Group.

In 1969, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 arrived in low Earth orbit from the year 2267, through an accidental time warp. Captain Christopher was scrambled in his F-104 Starfighter to intercept the Enterprise, which the Air Force had detected as a UFO. Detecting the approach of Christopher's jet, and fearing the use of nuclear warheads against them, Captain Kirk ordered the jet held in a tractor beam. The jet, however, was too fragile to withstand the force of the tractor beam, and began to break apart, forcing Kirk to order Christopher beamed aboard.

Christopher's arrival aboard the Enterprise presented the crew with an interesting problem: Christopher could not be returned to Earth, as his newly-acquired knowledge of the future might lead him to inadvertantly alter history. With no choice, Kirk informed Christopher that they could not return him, although Christopher refused to accept this. Christopher tried to escape, pointing a phaser at transporter chief Kyle, demanding to be beamed to the surface, but Kirk arrived in time and knocked him out.

While Christopher was recuperating in the sickbay, Spork informed Kirk and Christopher that he had uncovered historical evidence that indicated Christopher must be returned to Earth; that although Christopher himself had made no relevant contribution to history, his future son, Shaun Geoffrey Christopher, would lead the first Earth-Saturn probe in the early 21st century, and that without Christopher on Earth to father this son, the mission would never take place.

Later, Kirk and Lieutenant Sulu beamed down to the Air Force base to covertly retrieve evidence of the Enterprise's presence in 1969, but Kirk was captured in the process. Christopher offered to help Spock retrieve Kirk, but only on the condition that Christopher be allowed to accompany the rescue party. Spock agreed, and the rescue of Kirk was successful, but during their time on the base Christopher stole a firearm, with the intention of staying and reporting what he knew. Before Christopher was able to do so, however, Spock incapacitated him with a Vulcan nerve pinch.

Spock and Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott devised a plan to return Christopher without any damage to the timeline: they would recreate the time warp via a slingshot effect around the Sun, returning them to their own time. Since, as they gathered speed approaching the Sun, they would initially travel back in time, they would simply return Christopher to a point in time prior to his transport aboard the Enterprise. Their plan worked, and Christopher was returned to the cockpit of his jet before he was beamed aboard, leaving him with no memory of what had transpired. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")


Captain Christopher was played by actor Roger Perry. According to the episodes end-credits he was credited as "Major Christopher".

Of note is that when Christopher is given a Starfleet uniform to wear, it bears the rank of lieutenant. The USAF rank of "captain" is, in fact, equivalent to the naval rank of "lieutenant."

The Air Force service number Captain Christopher provides (4 857 932) is part of an unused range of service numbers (four million through seven million) created by the Air Force after World War II but never distributed to service members. The range of Air Force officer numbers in use during 1969 would have had Captain Christopher either holding a three million reserve officer number or, if Regular Air Force, a number somewhere between sixty and eighty thousand. (Source: National Personnel Records Center)

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