In late April, Canada Post issued a set of Star Trek stamps honoring the five captains from the “Star Trek” television programs. They are James T. Kirk (William Shatner) from the original show, plus Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula).
About the Canadian Star Trek Stamps
Each stamp depicts a portrait of a captain, while the background shows both their ship or space station and their most notorious adversary, with the latter appearing to loom over the captain’s shoulder. Respectively, the captains’ stamps depict Khan (Ricardo Montalban), Locutus of Borg (Patrick Stewart), Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo), the Borg Queen (Alice Krige and Susanna Thompson), and Dolim (Scott McDonald).
The captains’ stamps are the second set of stamps with a Star Trek theme that the Canada Post has issued. They had issued another set in 2016 to honor the franchise’s 50th anniversary.
The Characters Behind the Star Trek Stamps
Each captain was the protagonist in a series. Captain Kirk was the hero in the original show, which ran from 1966 to 1969. Picard commanded the “Enterprise” in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994). Sisko, the first black captain depicted, ran the titular space station in “Deep Space Nine” (1993-1999). Janeway, the first female captain, explored the Delta Quadrant in “Voyager” (1995-2001). Archer’s show, “Enterprise” (2001-2005) was the first prequel series to be made and depicted the early days of the Federation.
Khan Noonien Singh debuted in the episode “Space Seed” during the first season of the original series. He was a genetically altered conqueror who had terrorized Earth. After his defeat, he and his followers escaped into space. Khan and his followers attempt to seize control of the “Enterprise,” when Kirk finds them several centuries later. Kirk and his crew manage to thwart them and exile them to a remote planet. Khan stayed there for several years, plotting vengeance. He seized his chance to implement that plot in the 1982 movie “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” which is generally considered the best of the Star Trek movies.
The Borg is a ruthless cyborg species that made its debut during the second season of “The Next Generation.” They prowl space looking for technology and people they can assimilate. When the Borg assimilate a person, they inject them with nanoprobes and then add cybernetic parts to their bodies. The victim’s original personality is supplanted by that of the Borg’s hive mind. This ghastly fate befell Captain Picard in the famous two-part episode “The Best of Both Worlds.” Called Locutus of Borg, Picard served the Borg until his crew was able to free him.
Gul Dukat was the primary antagonist in “Deep Space Nine.” He had also been the original commander of the titular space station until the Cardassians turned it over to the Federation as per an agreement in a peace treaty. He was involved in a number of schemes and allied himself with enemies of the Federation at least twice. He also killed Jadzia Dax.
The Borg Queen first appeared in the movie “First Contact” and later became an antagonist to Captain Janeway and her crew. The Queen took an especial interest in Janeway because she had successfully severed Seven of Nine from the Collective.
Commander Dolim was a member of the Xindi-Reptilians. He first appeared in the third season episode, “The Xindi.” His people firmly believed that humans would one day destroy their world. He decided to prevent such a disaster by wiping out humanity. Captain Archer, of course, had to stop him.
Gene Roddenberry created “Star Trek” as an expression of his hopes for the future. He envisioned a universe where humans had conquered poverty and bigotry and could devote their resources to space exploration. While the captains represented the best of humanity in their courage, resourcefulness, and integrity, the villains were driven by far baser motives.
Very few franchises enjoy the longevity and influence that “Star Trek” has had. It has enthralled and inspired generations, and it will probably continue to do so. Therefore, it’s no wonder these Star Trek stamps registered the success they did only a few weeks after being launched.