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Voyages of Star Trek Computer Voice Majel Barrett Roddenberry

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

May 19, 2009

Comments (25)

Majel Barrett RoddenberryReleased in theatres on May 7, 2009, the newest Star Trek movie to grace the silver screen, directed by J.J. Abrams, received rave reviews from established fans and new Trekkies around the world.

While the plot features younger versions of the iconic characters from the 1960s television series, the movie paid homage to the franchise by casting a remarkably brilliant ensemble, including casting Leonard Nimoy as the older Spock, and maintaining one common element in particular that was omnipresent audibly throughout the entire Star Trek journey... Majel Barrett's (Gene Roddenberry's widow) voice as the computer.

I'd like to share some of my thoughts about Majel Barrett and explore more of her work here today with you on VOX Daily.

The First Lady of Star Trek

If you are a diehard Trekkie, you probably know that Star Trek's creator, the late Gene Roddenberry, chose his wife, the recently deceased Majel Barrett (whom he married in 1969), to be part of the Star Trek franchise, both onscreen in the original series in the first pilot episode as Number One, going on to star in the series as Nurse Christine Chapel, accompanying Bones McCoy, but also as the voice of the omnipresent computer helping the crew to navigate the final frontier where no man had gone before on the Starship Enterprise.

For continuity's sake, and in the process building a legacy, Majel (pronounced "Mabel") Barrett's voice lived well beyond the first Star Trek series, featured prominently as the voice of every computer thereafter in the Star Trek television series and in the majority of the Star Trek movies, also voicing a part in the 11th Star Trek movie, recording lines for computers up to within weeks of her death at the age of 76 of leukemia on December 18, 2008.

In all, Majel Barrett was the voice of the computers in:

The original Star Trek as voice of The Enterprise Computer (1966-1969)
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) as voice of the Enterprise Computer
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999) as voice of the Federation Computer
Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001) as voice of the Voyager Computer
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) as voice of the Enterprise Computer
Star Trek: Generations (1997) as voice of the Enterprise Computer
Star Trek: First Contact (1996) as the voice of the Enterprise Computer
Star Trek: Borg (1996) as the voice of the Federation Computer
Star Trek: Judgment Rites (1993) as voice of the Enterprise Computer
Enterprise (2005) as the voice of the Computer
Star Trek: New Voyages (2007) as voice of the STNV Computer
"Start Trek" (2009) as voice of the Starfleet Computer aboard the USS Enterprise

7 Little Known Facts About Majel Barrett Roddenberry's Voice Over Work:

1. There was a Star Trek: The Animated Series, (box set released in 1973) in which Majel Barrett recorded voice over for Nurse Christine Chapel, Lt. M'Ress, Amanda Grayson, the Enterprise Computer, Briel, Rila/Aquan Female, Slaver Weapon Computer, Randi Bryce, Lara/Vedala Female, and of course, Additional Voices.

2. Majel Barrett Roddenberry was also the voice of the computer on the game, Star Trek: The Next Generation Interactive Technical Manual (1994).

3. She was the voice of the Federation Computer on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (1999) and the voice of the Federation Computer on Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (1999)

4. Majel Barrett Roddenberry was also the computer voice on an episode of Family Guy on "Emission Impossible" (November 8, 2001).

5. Majel Barrett Roddenberry was the voice of Anna Watson on the Spider-man cartoon series (1996-1998).

6. Some of Barrett's final voice over work is still in post-production to be released this year in an animated production called "Hamlet A.D.D." credited as Majel Barrett Roddenberry, playing the voice over role of Queen Robot.

7. Even though her voice over work on Star Trek as computer voices was omnipresent, Barrett's voice over work went largely uncredited in a number of instances.

Any Comments?

I hope that this article will draw attention to the immense contribution Majel Barrett Roddenberry made over the 4 decades she was involved with the Star Trek franchise.

Even though this article is fairly exhaustive, I know that there are likely pieces of the puzzle that are missing that you can add! I'm interested to hear from fans and voice over people alike.

If you have any remembrances or insights that you'd like to share about Majel Barrett Roddenberry's work, please add your thoughts as comments below.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

Related Topics: cartoons, Computer Voices, Enterprise, J.J. Abrams, Majel Barrett, Majel Roddenberry, Queen, Star Trek, Voyager


Comments


    Though it was not a voice over...she also played one of my favorite characters on Star Trek TNG...The very flirty and slightly silly mother of Diana Troy. She knew just how to get Captain Picard all hot under the collar and who can forget the one where she was supposed to get married and showed up in her birthday suit. She will be missed!

    Posted by:
    • Lyndsay
    • May 19, 2009 3:41 PM

      Sad thing happened. In 2005 I met Eugene Roddenberry in Germany, attending the FedCon Star Trek convention. Yes, I'm a Trekkie and I've got several Starfleet uniforms in my wardrobe to prove it. At that time I had just made some voices for my TomTom Go, just for fun. And I told Eugene (Gene and Majel's son) he should consider producing some navigational voices for GPS systems featuring his mother's voice as the Star Trek computer voice. He could easily sell those voices on his website. I even offered him some advise in how to produce them. But the sad thing is that my conversation with him took place at a party and I never saw him again. With Majel passing away late last year I feel sad about the opportunity missed. Not as a business opportunity missed, but as a Trekkie who would have loved to have his GPS system sound like a Starfleet computer.

      Posted by:

        Majel Barrett also was the first Starfleet officer to carry the name "Number One." In Star Trek's original pilot, she was Pike's executive officer and her character was cut by the heads of NBC.

        They asked Roddenberry to either lose the "demon" (Spock) or lose the woman in a "leadership role."

        She married Gene Roddenberry after the series was canceled in 1969.

        Posted by:

          Hi there Hey Star Trek!

          Thank you for adding that detail. I've since edited it in to my article.

          Best wishes,

          Stephanie

          Posted by:

            I didn't even know she was dead! Wow...She was a great lady, and will be missed.

            Posted by:
            • Rob Paterson
            • May 19, 2009 5:15 PM

              Thanks for sharing Stephanie. What a lovely tribute.

              Posted by:
              • Ellen Dubin
              • May 19, 2009 5:15 PM

                They asked Roddenberry to either lose the "demon" (Spock) or lose the woman in a "leadership role."

                Indeed. And Gene always said jokingly that he opted to keep the demon in the series and married the other one. And he always added that he wouldn't have done it the other way around.

                Talking about the voices for the animated Star Trek series of the 1970's, in all fairness it should be added that exept for one episode the cast never got together to voice the shows. Each actor read his lines in an otherwise empty voice booth. So any interaction between the characters was off. You can even hear the difference in sound as each actor voiced his or her lines in a different recording studio. That's why you can also hear that DeForrest Kelley and Leonard Nimoy were just reading their lines instead of playing them. Even Shatner's voice sounded under acted! Takei and Nichols seemed more used to this way of working. But Majel Barrett and James Doohan both excelled as not only Nurse Chapell and Scotty, but also doing most of the additional voices on the show. Thumbs up for Barrett and Doohan!

                Posted by:

                  It's so exciting to see examples of how many possibilities that are available in voice acting!

                  Posted by:
                  • Talisha Herald
                  • May 19, 2009 5:16 PM

                    I love Majel!

                    Posted by:
                    • Barbara Figgins
                    • May 19, 2009 5:16 PM

                      I'm so glad JJ Abrams managed to get her voice recorded for the current Star Trek movie before she died.

                      Posted by:
                      • Lee Gordon
                      • May 19, 2009 5:17 PM

                        Hear hear. Although she'll always be "Mrs Troi" in my mind =3

                        Posted by:
                        • Selena DiZazzo
                        • May 19, 2009 5:18 PM

                          Stephanie, you hit a home run with this one! Well done!

                          Posted by:
                          • Scott Fortney
                          • May 19, 2009 5:19 PM

                            I saw the ST movie. It didn't sound like her voice in the "wictor, wictor" Checkov scene. I listened very carefully and I am not convinced it was her.

                            Posted by:
                            • Kram
                            • May 20, 2009 7:02 PM

                              Don't forget that she also appeared in several of the Star Trek movies as Dr. Christine Chapel. While her roles were not as prominent after "The Motion Picture," she still had plenty of appearances both physically, and vocally throughout the legacy of Star Trek.

                              Posted by:
                              • Jonathan Horowitz
                              • May 21, 2009 2:04 PM

                                Great story and what an incredible career she's had! Does anyone know where I can go online to hear clips of her voice work as the computer?

                                Thank you Stephanie!

                                Posted by:
                                • VOX Daily Reader
                                • May 22, 2009 1:58 PM

                                  The past 2 months I've been wondering about Waxana Troy ... and if she was the same voice as the computer ... Once I saw the picture I was over joyed to have found out that she was the voice of the computer AND Waxana Troy.

                                  I spent 2 months debating with myself about how similar the voices sounded, and rather than looking it up, i just kept thinking loool.


                                  now i know.
                                  how call is taht?
                                  wish she didnt die tho :(

                                  she rocks!

                                  Posted by:
                                  • Coffee Son
                                  • October 10, 2009 4:11 AM

                                    Don't you mean, Lwaxana Troi, Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed?

                                    Posted by:
                                    • DA
                                    • March 21, 2010 6:50 PM

                                      Though I enjoyed her as the Lwaxana Troi character a lot, I found it distracting that she was also the computer voice (after the first STNG season).

                                      Posted by:
                                      • Dionisio
                                      • April 11, 2010 8:24 PM

                                        Please can someone tell me where I can find Majel Barret's computer announcement (sound effect with communication channel open) ? I want this as my ringtone on my I-Phone 3. This is the one I really want. Please tell me where I can download this. I am more than willing tonm pay for it if necessary.

                                        Posted by:
                                        • Ted Zawislak
                                        • July 19, 2010 1:40 PM

                                          A GPS with her voice would have been AWESOME!

                                          Posted by:
                                          • mking
                                          • September 2, 2010 2:51 AM

                                            For sound files, google "startrek computer wav". There are a number of sites.....

                                            Posted by:
                                            • Mike From CT
                                            • September 9, 2010 10:51 PM

                                              Majels voice is used on the startrek web site locarscom.com. just google star trek locars it will show up.

                                              Posted by:
                                              • william
                                              • September 20, 2010 1:34 PM

                                                I just wanted to add that she also played the computer voice in the video game Star Trek Armada and Star Trek Armada II. The clips from these games are amazingly high quality, professional grade clips that any trekkie would be proud to own. The game requires a CD to play but there is a crack available to get around it and the sound clips are there in the demo versions anyway.

                                                Posted by:
                                                • Richard from Georgia
                                                • August 15, 2011 11:11 AM

                                                  Great, but where can I get Majel for my ringtone?

                                                  Posted by:
                                                  • ken
                                                  • February 4, 2013 8:39 PM

                                                    I think she added class to all the shows and series she appeared in. She will be greatly missed.

                                                    Posted by:
                                                    • Tony James
                                                    • August 24, 2013 1:49 AM

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