Captain Paul Meredith, the...well groomed commander of the USS Mandela

Fellow Star Trek fans, ever felt like everybody in Star Fleet is just a little bit too awesome? Sure you’ve got Reg Barkley as the voice of the socially awkward introvert, but even he’s an accomplished engineer who once housed the collective knowledge of an entire alien race in his head. Where’s the everyman? Where’s the beta male? The guy who might not be saving Earth from the Borg, but is still carrying out the vital, if unglamorous, tasks that go with holding together a benevolent interplanetary alliance? Until a short time ago, the only place you could turn for that sort of action was my Star Trek/The Office fan fic or the British TV series Hyperdrive. Now, you can open hailing frequencies to the hilarious web comic Boldly Gone.

Boldly Gone is a bi-weekly publication set in original series era of Star Trek’s prime timeline (Sometimes I think JJ made up the alternate universe just to give us nerds a chance to say ‘prime timeline’ a little more often). The story follows the perpetually insecure but instantly identifiable Captain Paul Meredith, commander of the USS Mandela.

As the captain of a ship charged with ferrying diplomats, hosting conferences, and maintaining good relations between the Federation and its neighbours, Meredith embodies every Star Fleet captain who isn’t James T. Kirk or Christopher Pike. His life would be pretty decent if only the Admiralty could remember his name. To add insult to injury, his Orion first officer, Arlynn D’Resh, is a rising star among the fleet, far out stripping Meredith’s humble reputation, and his chief surgeon, Ken Chau, is a smart ass in the finest tradition of Leonard McCoy. Boldly Gone creators Kevin Church and Ming Doyle couldn’t have done a better job in creating a more sympathetic character.

Even though Church and Doyle are working within the Star Trek property, they’re taking it in very unique direction. The nature of television and movies don’t lend themselves to telling stories about anybody who isn’t at the top of their game. As a web comic, Boldly Gone is free to explore the mundane, average, and tedious aspects of life in Star Fleet all the while making Captain Meredith suffer for the audience’s amusement.

At present, there are only about a half dozen entries into the series. However, the attention to detail in every frame, as well as the snappy writing, is first rate. The comic captures the visual aesthetic of original series Star Trek so well that you’d think it was actually canon and not a fan production. With any luck we’ll see a lot more of this in the days to come.

Head on over to Boldly Gone’s homepage and check it out.

Images via Agreeable Comics.