Tuesday, September 3, 2013

TWITrek Character Insight No. 65: Travis Mayweather

This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe.  An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight!  This week, we profile Travis Mayweather, the helmsman in the Enterprise series.


Travis Mayweather has the distinction of being a main cast member profiled behind other greats in Enterprise including Porthos and Engineer Alex, both of which were non-speaking roles! However, Mayweather does not get many lines either, and his stunted character development is one of the valid criticisms of this latest Star Trek series.

Mayweather grew up a space boomer, which is a person who grows up living in space. In Travis's case, he was a talented helmsman because he learned how to fly almost anything during his youth aboard starships. His youth was filled with space shenanigans like turning off gravity plating to jump on a bed with his friend Nora. His family runs a freighter ship called Horizon, and his relations with that family are strained when he leaves the Horizon to join Starfleet.

His talents as a helmsman were put to the test in some highlight moments of the series, including traversing a Romulan minefield and surviving the Delphic Expanse to enter Xindi space. Mayweather's love of adventure and climbing sports also leads him into important away missions, such as the one where he and Malcolm Reed become the first humans to walk on a comet. He also rescued some Denobulan geologists from caverns by knowing the art of spelunking better than others on the Enterprise crew.

Mayweather, much like Harry Kim who we profiled last week, went undeveloped as a character and unpromoted throughout the run of the series. He remains an ensign from the day he boards Enterprise to the day he leaves 10 years later. The character was initially named Joe Mayweather and was a lieutenant, but this was changed when Anthony Montgomery was cast for the role.

The best episodes featuring Mayweather include Horizon, Minefield, and Terra Prime

 Our notable quote this week comes from Horizon:
Ensign Travis Mayweather: Starfleet really ought to think about putting families on starships.
Lieutenant Malcolm Reed: You must be joking.
Ensign Travis Mayweather: No one would ever get homesick.
Lieutenant Malcolm Reed: Yes... Well, they'd better post a psychologist on board, because I'd need one if my parents were roaming the corridors.
Actor: Anthony Montgomery played Travis Mayweather. Montgomery has played mostly in television roles, although his movie career highlights include films like Why Am I Doing This? and Leprechaun in the Hood (again, not kidding).

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