A Fistful of Admirals (Comms Preview)
Despite following the brave leaders sitting in the Captains chair, or destined to take it, for decades the captains of Starfleet changed the face of the galaxy on a weekly basis. But even deep into the final frontier, you still have to answer to the boss…
Feared by many and loved by few, Starfleet’s Admiralty deal with the big galactic decisions, lead high profile operations and make sure the fleet stays strong while making sure their Captains are kept in line. With their flashy uniforms, many of them stay behind the lines with others lead in the wilderness.
After travelling to the 32nd century, Discovery found a new boss to answer to in Charles Vance; Admiral and Commander in Chief of a merged Starfleet and Federation. All too often Admirals are used as the bad guy in the story, from the treasonous Admiral Layton to the Kelvin Universe’s war monger Admiral Marcus.
Vance however joined a very exclusive club of Admirals we could find some faith in; the type who wasn’t just a foil for our bold crew or an antagonist of the week, but a leader who in spite of his shattered world, embodied the ideals of Starfleet.
Fighting against the “Badmirals” trope that had become so common over the years, we’re taking a look at the top five Admirals who were actually the good guys!
VADM KATRINA CORNWELL | JAYNE BROOK
Serving as a senior leader during the Klingon War in the mid-23rd century, Cornwell had a different career path than most Admirals we’d seen in Star Trek having previously worked as a therapist in her early career. From ships counsellor to Admiral, Corwell had gained a long and successful career but made a big impact as a fighting leader within Starfleet.
Appearing in Discovery’s first and second season, Cornwell was a former partner of Gabriel Lorca before he was replaced by his Terran counterpart and was actively involved in fleet operations involving the ship. While she had more time for Lorca than other members of the Admiralty due to their past, she always felt suspicious of his changed personality. Though at the time had no reason to believe he was a replacement and was just suffering emotionally after the death of his crew on the Buran.
Cornwell planned to dismiss Lorca from command, however she was captured by Klingons and held captive by General Kol. It was there she met her supposed interrogator, L’Rell, and developed a quick respect for each other. Working together to escape Kol’s grasp, they build a foundation of trust that would lead to them working together again to help L’Rell ascend to the top of the Empire and carry out T’Kuvma’s will of unifying the Empire.
Using her talents as a counsellor Cornwell helped calm Ash Tyler from a panic attack due to PTSD, and later helped to guide Dr Culber to help resolve his resentments and identity crisis after being resurrected. However her key strengths always lay in being willing to fight when she needed to at one point boarding and taking command of Discovery after the revelation of Lorca’s true identity and again joining the crew to help lead some time later during the Control crisis.
Her strong will and likeable personality were key in Jayne Brooke’s portrayal. Unlike most Admirals on screen, she had a more extended life on screen having a rekindled, if brief, romance with Lorca, empathy for those under her command and was a leader willing to get into the heat of battle when she needed to be.
From both ending petty squabbles between Pike and Leland, to helping to support both Discovery and Enterprise in their battle with Control, Cornwall became one of the most likeable and fleshed out Admirals within the Star Trek franchise.
Unfortunately the final battle with control was her final battle too. Standing with Captain Pike on the bridge of the Enterprise, the ship was hit by a torpedo that wedged itself in the hull. Insisting that Pike’s role as Captain, and her belief that he was everything Starfleet should be, she insisted on disabling the torpedo herself. Sadly her bomb disabling skills weren’t as refined as her counselling abilities.
Her only way of saving the ship was to seal herself behind bl ast doors while the torpedo detonated to help control the explosion and minimise damage to the Enterprise. Cornwell’s sacrifice saved the ship, which was needed to win the battle and send Discovery into their next mission into the 32nd century.
...AND THE REST?
With maybe one or two surprises, the full article is available to SFCQ2 Members in our most recent edition of Comms as we pick out four more Admirals who made a lasting impression, from the Supportive Admiral Forrest to Deep Space Nine’s Admiral Ross.
And of course, we were fgar too tempted not to flip it all on it’s side and feature some of the baddies as well!
To find out who our top five were, check out our latrest edition of Comms as we have a Discovery Season 3 special in our biggest issue to date!
Our latest issue of Comms talks in depth – and we mean in depth! – about Discovery’s Third Season with episodic reviews, an overall season analysis and special featuring including a look at the 32nd century tech, the Crossfield Class, Tilly’s Journey, Georgiou’s exit and more! Comms is available as part of SFCQ2’s free membership! To find out more visit our Comms preview or Enlist Today!