Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2019 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters.
This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lt. Commander Alexander Brodie playing a Human male chief counselor assigned to the Embassy of Duronis II. He won the Order of the Valiant Heart: “This award is given to those ship’s Counselor who have shown great skill in protecting the mental health of their crewmates, clearly demonstrating superior ability to care, assist, and comfort those in need. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty in assisting their crewmates with their problems, and in preventing future problems from occurring.”
GALVEN: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
BRODIE: Well, I hail from the United Kingdom and stay up in Scotland currently. To be fair, I consider myself Scottish having lived here pretty much my whole adult life. Always been a fan of Star Trek from watching TOS reruns on the BBC after school.
Rear Admiral Toni Turner said in her presentation that Brodie counsels by not counseling and this is powers of observation is excellent. Could you provide us an example of what she means by that?
I’ve always tried to have Brodie be a very alert character, sees a lot but doesn’t always act on it. He’s definitely a watcher and listener. That allows him to work with his crewmates ‘out of the office’ as it were, spending time talking to them and being there when he’s needed – or when he feels he will be.
I suppose a recent example would be the reported death of Irina Pavlova. Brodie had met Irinia briefly when he arrived at the Embassy so knew how it may affect her former crewmates. This allowed him to come at the situation as a concerned friend rather than as a medical professional. It helps to talk but sometimes people find it easier to just ‘talk about old times with a friend’ than ‘go and see ‘the shrink’.
Do you take any inspiration from any of the Trek shows/books/movies or anywhere else when you begin writing for a scene?
I’ve always been a fan of Deep Space Nine from the Trek side of things, which helps writing at the Embassy as it’s an installation rather than a ship so has a slightly different dynamic. Like I said, Alex is a watcher and a listener so I tend to write quite a lot about his thought processes and inner feelings with perhaps less in the dialogue than others might write. I like a scene to be descriptive and help bring the reader into the room which, hopefully, gives the other writers around me something to react to.
On Brodie’s wiki page, you wrote that he has built a defense mechanism that is more or less a matter of perspective and that it detaches himself from work. While this makes others think he doesn’t care, what kind of character development have you seen come out of this?
It’s not been too heavily referenced in character but I think it comes across as perhaps a lack of emotion. So, when others are making emotionally driven decisions, Alex can come across perhaps a little cold and uncaring because he’s looking at the longer-term or bigger picture. He doesn’t want to see the people he cares for suffer because of a rapid emotionally charged decision…although making that clear in those situations is not always easy.
And lastly, what advice can give new and/or veteran players when they choose to write for a unique duty post such as the counselor?
In my time here at SB118 I’ve written a few duty posts – HCO, Marine, even a Doctor briefly – and I can honestly say the role of Counsellor is the most versatile and fun of them all. Having a more vague, for want of a better word, role has allowed me to explore more as a character then perhaps I have in the past. The fact that they also,sort of, exist outside of the chain of command allows for a bit of a different perspective on the situation they find themselves in.
That said, it’s made a lot easier when you’re working with the talented team we have on Duronis II and in the 118 family as a whole.
Thanks for your time, Lt. Commander Alexander Brodie!
You can read more about Lt. Commander Alexander Brodie on the wiki.