Reed, Malcolm

Malcolm Reed (ENT-49)
Malcolm Reed (ENT-49)

Malcolm Reed disguised as a Suliban (ENT-21)
Malcolm Reed disguised as a Suliban (ENT-21)

Malcolm Reed mutated into a Loque'eque (ENT-55)
Malcolm Reed mutated into a Loque’eque (ENT-55)

Lieutenant Malcolm Reed was the weapons and tactical expert on the Enterprise NX-01, and the first to jump into the fray when a rescue mission became necessary or when explosions needed to be mounted.[1]

Reed believed in always maintaining a high state of readiness, and was frustrated that the Enterprise left dock before all the ship’s planned weaponry was installed and tested.[4] He was never optimistic about the degree of friendliness the starship would encounter in deep space, and his pessimism was proven valid. Reed had to improvise against hostile aliens with superior weaponry many times. In one battle early in the mission, the Enterprise crew was nearly captured to be drained of their fluids after the ship’s torpedoes failed to penetrate an enemy ship’s defenses. It took cooperation between Reed and an Axanar captain to destroy their common foe.[2] Later, attacks from another unknown race prompted Reed and Enterprise Chief Engineer Commander Tucker to lead the crew in building a complement of phase cannons from scratch while in mid-space—accomplishing in two days what would have taken the armory team at Jupiter Station at least a week. While the first deployment of the phase cannons was less than clean, they were ultimately successful in warding off the hostile aliens and finally gave the Enterprise the firepower that Reed had always wanted.[4]

Malcolm Reed was the man the crew turned to for weapons training and target practice. (ENT-) It was Reed who presented Captain Archer with the crew’s new hand weapons, called phase pistols, explaining, “They have two settings, stun and kill. It would be best not to confuse them.”[1] It was Reed who sat at the tactical console on the Bridge, and in any encounter with an alien vessel he was the one who immediately scanned the ship for weapons and engine configurations. He was very protective of the Armory and the ship’s tactical systems, and tries to keep those areas off-limits to visitors[3] (although he did give a visiting Vissian tactical officer a tour). (ENT-) He also was in charge of security and procedures for locking down the ship in an emergency, such as being boarded.

Although Reed was initially skeptical about using the newly approved bio-transport platform (“I don’t think I’m quite ready to have my molecules compressed into a datastream”),[1] he used the transporter probably more than anyone on the crew—its safety being less a concern to him than its tactical advantage. For example, when Archer and other crewmembers were taken hostage in their first encounter with the Andorians at the Vulcan sanctuary on P’Jem, Reed led a team to the surface via the transporter, to mount a series of explosions that led to a firefight, which ultimately resolved the situation.[2]

Even under peaceful circumstances, Reed loves to “blow things up.” When Archer wanted to obtain samples of a rare mineral called eisilium from a large comet the crew was studying, Reed volunteered to take a portable drilling rig on a little “cometwalk.” Fortunately for him, the drilling effort first required blasting a hole in the comet surface. The perfectionist that he is, he jokingly stated that he was disappointed the resulting crater wasn’t more symmetrical.[3] On the ship’s movie night, Reed’s favorite films were always those that showed lots of explosions.

Blowing stuff up was not all that Reed was expert at doing. He made technological strides in other ways, such as perfecting a stable EM barrier, better known as a forcefield. When a strange, growing organism invaded theEnterprise and tried to absorb several crewmembers, Reed needed a way to stop the creature from spreading and capturing more people. He jury-rigged a prototype based on specs in the database and found a way to control the particle density, something Starfleet hadn’t been able to do in five years of research.[6] Another accomplishment was a “Tactical Alert” system that saved the Enterprise at a crucial moment. Because of this, Archer recommended that the alert and accompanying protocols be made standard procedure.[9]

Even with all of his accomplishments, Reed wasn’t above being rattled. He was upset when he accidentally left his communicator behind on a pre-warp alien planet, and went on an away mission with Archer to retrieve it. The duo was captured, but was later rescued by their fellow crewmembers. Still, Reed noted that he wasn’t afraid to die in order to avoid contaminating the pre-warp culture.[8]

Everyone knew Malcolm Reed as an exemplary armory officer, but people didn’t know much about him as a person. He kept to himself much of the time, preferring to work over lunch rather than socializing. When his birthday came up on 2 September 2151, the crew realized they didn’t know what he liked to eat (although Dr. Phlox observed that he seemed to love a good breakfast, including lots of eggs and pancakes spread with peanut butter). Malcolm was a bit of a mystery even to his own family—his sister Madeline, Uncle Archie, Aunt Sherry and two other spinster aunts—and his parents, Stuart and Mary, didn’t know much about his career other than the fact that he was assigned to the Enterprise, but they could share the blame for being uncommunicative, as they were occupied with moving back to Kota Baharu, Malaysia, while Malcolm was preparing to leave Earth. Also, Stuart never seemed particularly pleased that his son joined Starfleet instead of the Royal Navy, feeling almost insulted that the ocean was not big enough for his son. For his part, Malcolm always hoped that he would be able to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and join the Royal Navy—he was raised on the water, studied all of the great naval battles and “knew how to handle a boat before [he] could ride a bicycle.” Unfortunately, he suffered from aquaphobia and was terrified of drowning. Malcolm’s great-uncle suffered from a similar fear, but he faced it head-on by joining the Navy and signing up for submarine service. He was eventually made chief engineer of the H.M.S Clement, and went down with his ship when it was trapped underneath an ice shelf. Malcolm couldn’t help but recall this when he was pinned to Enterprise‘s hull by an orbital alien mine. Luckily, Reed and Archer worked together and managed to free him and save the ship.[7]

Emotional detachment defined many of Malcolm’s personal relationships, especially those with women. He’s had a lot of involvements, but none serious or lasting. There was Ruby, a waitress at the 602 Club in Mill Valley where all the Starfleet trainees used to go; as well as Maureen, another waitress at a restaurant on the Embarcadero. When Malcolm thought he was doomed to die aboard Shuttlepod 1, he wrote letters to Deborah, Rochelle, Catelin and several others—all girls he had short-lived relationships with because he could never get close to them, but they were all he had besides his family to say farewell to.[5]

Malcolm began to realize, however, that the crew of the Enterprise was different. They became his family, and he began to feel comfortable enough with them to reveal more of himself. Still, Reed was somewhat uncomfortable when Archer invited him to breakfast so that they could get to know each other better. Reed had been trained not to fraternize with his superior officers, and only felt comfortable discussing work with the captain. He also believed the captain could have shown a bit more caution in certain areas, though he admitted that Archer’s style had its advantages. (ENT-)

He was an Eagle Scout with 28 merit badges, including exobiology (more than Captain Archer, who had only 26). (ENT-) His health was a bit delicate—once he was the only crewman on board to catch a head cold, apparently from a virus lurking inside a case of plasma coolant. (ENT-) He also suffered from a number of allergies, including dust mites, oak pollen, tropical grasses, and various plant enzymes, including bromelin. For several years he’d been taking regular injections to help his body tolerate bromelin, because that’s an enzyme found in pineapple, which he loved. When his crewmates presented him with a pineapple cake for his birthday, he was quite impressed.[4]

Reed’s knowledge of ship’s weaponry, his professionalism and his dedication to duty made him a vital member of the crew as the Enterprise entered the Delphic Expanse.[10]

Portrayed by Dominic Keating.


Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 Enterprise, Library, Personnel

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