We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.
This month’s interview is with the writer behind Lieutenant JG Tomas Falt playing a human male science officer assigned to the USS Juneau.
DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from? What sort of interests do you have? Anything you’d like to share!
Falt: I’m from the UK and currently live in North Wales with my partner and our young son. I’m a project manager by trade (boring), and have spent most of the last 15 years working for large American banks with offices over here.
I’ve always enjoyed hiking and camping. Getting out in the fresh air at the weekend is key after sitting in front of a computer all week. I’m also a keen swimmer, although I haven’t been able to train as much as I used to since becoming a dad a few years back. Not that I’m complaining. Being a dad is the best job in the world.
What is your experience with the Star Trek universe?
TNG started showing in the UK back in 1990. My Dad always got dinner ready before it started so we could sit and eat and watch it together as a family. I think I fell in love with it almost straight away. As a kid, sci-fi inspired me. I ended up getting most of the books they published about the shows science and technology.
It was the depth of that universe, as well as the show’s willingness to explore moral and ethical topics, that keep me going back to it repeatedly over 30 years later. The look may have aged, but some messages are as relevant now as they were then. I love DS9 and Voyager too, but TNG was my first love.
How did you get into roleplaying?
This is actually my first foray into role-playing properly. I’d played Star Trek Online for years (other games are available) but got fed up with the lack of anything to do that didn’t involve blowing something up. I came across Starbase 118 in my hunt for a Star Trek themed “game” that was more than just explosions. I’m very glad my introduction to roleplaying has been with this group. It’s a significant community and so much more than a “game.” I’m also really enjoying letting my creative side out.
What about Falt? What was your inspiration for your character?
One of my pastimes in real life is practising Bushcraft, and I thought it might be fun to explore how someone would do that in the late 24th century. The rest of Falt’s character has developed from that core idea, really. At the time I joined SB118, I’d just finished reading a book by a Swedish survival expert called Lars Falt, so Tomas adopted his name and Scandinavian origin. When I needed an Avatar, I picked another of my favourite Scandinavian’s, Kimi Raikkonen. He’s a (now retired) racing driver, famed for his straight talking, a mannerism that Tomas then adopted as well.
Why did you choose science as your officer’s duty post?
I started by having a look at the wiki to see which duty posts were most needed. At the point I joined, the biggest gaps were science or medicine. I considered making him a nurse for a few days, but as Falt’s backstory came to life, it was clear his interests would have been much more likely to take him to the Academy as a science major.
I’m actually really pleased with how it turned out. I really don’t consider myself a good writer but I like to think I make up for it in part by having a broad knowledge of Star Trek, and a science duty post is probably one of the best suited for me to incorporate that knowledge into my sims.
What would you like to see for Tomas in his future?
I’m hoping the character continues to strengthen as I improve my writing and roleplaying skills. From Tomas’s point of view, he’s got a few missions under his belt now, so he’s changed from being “the new kid on the block” to being a proper member of the crew. He’s matured a bit since the Academy (hopefully we all have since our school days) and is looking forward to using his skills to support his crewmates on the adventures ahead.
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant JG Falt!
You can read more about Lieutenant JG Falt on the wiki.