Majel Barrett Roddenberry Saw “No Future For Nurse Chapel” When Star Trek: TNG Began

Majel Barrett Roddenberry left Nurse Chapel behind when she joined Star Trek: TNG as Lwaxana Troi. Little did she know Chapel would return one day.



  • Majel Barrett saw a brighter future for her character Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation than for Christine Chapel in The Original Series. Chapel had limited screen time and never got as much to do as other characters.
  • Majel Barrett, who was married to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, voiced the computer of the USS Enterprise-D in TNG and became a Star Trek icon. She enjoyed playing the fun and vibrant character Lwaxana Troi and saw herself able to continue portraying her for a long time.
  • In the new series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, a younger version of Christine Chapel is introduced and given a more complex backstory. She serves in the Klingon/Federation War and develops a romantic relationship with Spock, recontextualizing her actions and feelings in The Original Series.

Star Trek icon Majel Barrett Roddenberry returned to the franchise to play Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and, at the time, she saw more of a future for this character than she did for Nurse Christine Chapel. In Star Trek: The Original Series, Majel played Chapel, who worked alongside Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) on the USS Enterprise commanded by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner). For most of TOS, Chapel’s most notable trait was her unrequited love of the half-human/half-Vulcan Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy). Chapel appeared in 25 episodes of TOS and 2 of the TOS movies, but she never got as much to do as most of the other characters.

Not only did Majel Barrett marry Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, but she also cemented herself as a Star Trek icon by providing the voice for the computer of the USS Enterprise-D on TNG, as well as many other Star Trek computers. Majel Barrett joined the cast of TNG in season 1 as the recurring character, Lwaxana Troi, the colorful Betazoid mother of Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis). Lwaxana would go on to appear in six episodes of TNG and three episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In a 1988 interview with Star Trek: The Next Generation — The Official Magazine Series (published by, Majel Barrett spoke about playing Chapel and Lwaxana. Read her quotes below:

“I don’t see much of a future for Christine Chapel. I really see much more of a future for Majel Barrett playing Lwaxana Troi.”

“Lwaxana is sort of the Auntie Mame of the galaxy. She’s a much more fun character, and I can play her forever, because I’m at an age where that’s totally believable. I would like to continue to do that. I could leave Chapel very easily. However, if somebody gave me the chance to do her again, of course I would.”

Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek
Star Trek: All 4 Roles (& Voiceovers) Played By Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry was the First Lady of Star Trek, who appeared in TOS, TNG, DS9, and also lent her voice to nearly every series and movie.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Gave Nurse Chapel Her Past & Future

Back in 1988, Majel Barrett Roddenberry could never have guessed Star Trek: Strange New Worlds would come along to introduce a younger version of Nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush), who works with Dr. Joseph M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) on the USS Enterprise of Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount). In Strange New Worlds’ two seasons so far, Chapel has become a more fully realized character than she ever was on TOS. From early on, it’s clear Bush’s version of Christine has a crush on Spock (Ethan Peck), too, but it turns out that Spock may also have feelings for her. The two embark on a romance in Strange New Worlds season 2, which recontextualizes Chapel’s actions and feelings concerning Spock in TOS.

With her backstory in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Christine has become a much more complex and interesting character. Not only did she serve in the Klingon/Federation War alongside M’Benga, but she also sought out multiple fellowship opportunities in subjects related to archeological medicine. Near the end of Strange New Worlds season 2, Chapel has accepted a position with Dr. Roger Korby, who will eventually become her fiance. It’s nice to think that Majel Barrett Roddenberry would have been proud to see how far Nurse Christine Chapel has come. It turns out that Chapel has both a Star Trek past and future, after all.

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