Elizabeth Shelby

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Elizabeth Paula Shelby
Star Trek: Hidden Frontier publicity photo
Full Name: Elizabeth Paula Shelby
Nickname(s): "Eppy"
Species: Terran
Gender: Female
Height: 1.68m (5'6")
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Blonde
Affiliation: Federation, Starfleet
Mother: Paula Mary Shelby
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Starfleet Officer
Previous Assignment: Task Force Commander, Operation Beta Shield
Commanding Officer, USS Excelsior
Rank: Rear Admiral
Insignia: Image:RADM-red.png

Rear Admiral Elizabeth Paula Shelby is the commanding officer of the USS Excelsior. Shelby is a strong-willed, ambitious officer formerly posted at Starfleet Tactical and as first officer of the USS Excalibur.


Personal History

Elizabeth Shelby grew up on New Cydonia, a settlement on Mars. Her mother, Paula, was a gifted teacher, who once taught at Starflet Academy, and her father was an emotionally distant Starfleet Admiral who she never really connected with, despite following him into Starfleet service. Paula Shelby died on Mars in 2381, leaving Elizabeth deeply regretful that she had never told her mother how much she loved her. It was her mother's decision that lead them to relocate to Mars, as she felt she could do good there in her role as a teacher, a move the young Elizabeth did not support at first. But she eventually settled well, and spent many a day exploring the local area and geology, something her mother had an appreciation for ("Epitaph").

Starfleet Career

Starfleet Academy

Shelby entered the Academy through the Engineering program, even though she had wanted to train as a pilot, something she would always regret not following through on. But one of her strongest subjects, despite her career choice, was Tactical Strategy. It was at the Academy she met M'k'n'z'y of Calhoun, a former Xenexian warlord, who came to be known as Mackenzie Calhoun. She had an intense relationship with him for most of their time at the Academy, essentially becoming engaged under Xenexian law before they broke up as their careers took them different ways upon graduation.

Starfleet Tactical

Served with Starfleet Tactical to head up Starfleet's defense plans against the Borg before the Battle of Wolf 359. It was noted she inspired many of the older officers and Admirals with her take charge attitude and skill, which also won her then attention of Admiral JP Hansen. Both he and Lt. Commander Shelby later transferred to Starbase 325 in order to meet the USS Enterprise, serving on detached duty from Starfleet Tactical to investigate the disappearence of the Jouret IV colony in 2367 ("Best of Both Worlds," TNG).

USS Enterprise

During her time onboard the flagship, she again impressed her fellow colleagues and superiors, but repeatedly clashed with the ship's Executive Officer, Commander William T. Riker, due to her ambitious nature, and stated desire for his position. Shelby felt Riker was capable of more, but was far too content with sitting at the side of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, which was blocking her own career advancement. When the Borg threat was identified, Shelby remained on the Enterprise as it spearheaded the search for the continued Borg presence, furthering her disagreement with Riker. But ultimately, when Riker was field promoted to Captain after the abduction and assimilation of Picard during the first Borg assault on the Federation, he promoted her to full Commander and assigned her as acting Executive Officer until the crisis was resolved. Her difficulties with Riker eased into an effective working relationship, but when Picard returned to duty, and Riker resumed his post as XO, Shelby was reassigned back to Starfleet Tactical, to assist the in the rebuilding effort for the 39 ships lost in the Battle of Wolf 359. ("Best of Both Worlds," TNG).

Alternate Timeline

Captain James T. Kirk was killed at Khitomer which led to a Federation-Klingon War in 2293. During the incident with the Borg in 2369, Captain Picard was considered a casualty. Captain Riker, who appointed Shelby as his acting First Officer, rammed the Enterprise into the Borg cube in a failed attempt to stop the Borg from assimilating Earth. The Enterprise was lost with all hands. (HF 2.02 - "Yesterday's Excelsior")

USS Excalibur

With the fleet rebuilt, Shelby eventually won a new position as Executive Officer aboard the USS Excalibur, an Ambassador-class starship under Captain Morgan Korsmo. When Korsmo was killed in the 2nd major Borg offensive in 2375, Shelby full expected to take over command, but was stunned when instead, her ex-fiance, MacKenzie Calhoun, was assigned as the new Commanding Officer. At the behest of senior Starfleet officials, Shelby instead stayed on as XO to keep an eye on the more maverick Captain Calhoun, and at first the two officers had a very adversarial relationship, which eventually heatedup to the point that the two could no longer deny their feelings for one another, and resumed their relationship. But serving together, especially due to their conflicting command styles, slowly wore away at their professional and personal relationships, and so Shelby took the decision to transfer off the Excalibur, in 2377. (HF 1.05 - "Perihelion") She shared quarters with Calhoun and Lefler swore that Calhoun had all the taste. (HF 3.02 - "Worst Fears, Part 3")

USS Excelsior


After the departure of acting XO Jason Munoz, Shelby was recommended by Captain Calhoun to fill the position, but she brought some old issues with her. Not only has she been forced to slow down her relationship with Calhoun, but this was her third XO position in the last decade. Shelby again began to feel blocked in pursuing her own command, something she felt she should have earned by now. But her first meeting with Captain Ian Knapp soon put her in her place, and she quickly became indispensable for the smooth running of the ship and part of the command crew's occasional poker games.

On her first mission, Commander Shelby, led the away team to the large, unknown vessel and discovered that it was from another dimension. She also discovered that it had a quantum singularity drive, which would help explain the odd phenomena (hallucinations and system breakdowns) that they and the USS Perihelion before them had encountered. (HF 1.05 - "Perihelion")


Like with her time as Calhoun's first officer, Shelby found herself often at odds with Knapp's command decisions, even occasionally at odds with other members of the senior staff who were incredibly loyal to their captain. The situation was not helped when Shelby was forced to act as prosecutor in a Board of Inquiry against Knapp after he was accused of murdering a Founder on a diplomatic mission to DS12. Shelby was only following orders but it placed her relationship with Knapp under strain. After this, she worked harder at supporting his decisions and making their relationship more relaxed. (HF 2.03 - "Old Wound") Shelby accompanied Lefler down to Lieutenant Toby Witczak's memorial on Ba'ku. (HF 2.04 - "Great Starship Robbery")

Shelby was not privy to Lieutenant Luko's secret mission to rescue Knapp's daughter, Traya Knapp. After Knapp altered the Excelsior's patrol route to rescue Luko and Traya in a small ship, which resulted in heavy damage to the Excelsior, she attempted to find out what the reasons behind Knapp's and Luko's actions. She was wounded during an second attack on the Excelsior by Grey fighters. She felt injured when Knapp didn't tell her about the mission to save his daughter. (HF 2.07 - "Fire In The Heart")

She was placed in command of the Excelsior after Captain Knapp was relieved of duty due to his actions that left the Excelsior disabled. She went to a meeting with Admiral Nechayev about the impending Grey attack on the system. She met with Admiral Alynna Nechayev when the recon probes reported the massing of a Grey fleet. She voiced her worries that it might be a Grey trap to leave Ba'ku unprotected. (HF 2.09 - "Worst Fears, Part 1")


During the running battle with the Grey in a race to reach DS12, Commodore Terry of the USS Saratoga ordered Shelby to led the rest of the fleet back to the station, while the Saratoga and other vessels would delay the Grey fleet. (HF 3.01 - "Worst Fears, Part 2") Upon returning to the station, she went to Nechayev's office and demanded to know where Knapp's location and accused her of doing something to him. Nechayev informed Shelby of Knapp's actions. She met with her senior officers about how to save Knapp from the pocket fold. She decided to talk to Aris about the pocket fold. She released Aris despite Henglaar's objections due to the fact that she agreed with Aris' actions. She met with Nechayev about her plan and the Admiral expressed doubts about whether the plan will work without releasing the Grey, but Nechayev wished her good luck. She took a runabout with Aris and she went to go rescue Knapp from the pocket fold. She went into the fold with Aris and rescued Knapp, but Aris was left behind to keep the Grey from escaping the fold. Knapp was promoted to Commodore and Shelby was promoted to Captain with full command of the Excelsior. (HF 3.02 - "Worst Fears, Part 3")

Lefler went to talk with her about Sha'Kev. (HF 3.03 - "Heroes") She inquired about Commander Tolian Naros and his mission, especially when he carried a little weight with Admiral Nechayev. She went to Nechayev and asked about Naros' mission, but all she got was I'm following orders much to her display. Prior to Ensign Brad Rawlins leaving the ship, she looked forward to marrying Rawlins and his girlfriend. In her search for a new first officer, she wanted Lefler to take the job even though Lieutenant Matt McCabe inquired on the position. Naros contacted her about his findings on the Tetrahedron and the Cardassian's reasons for being near the Briar Patch. She called a meeting with Ambassador O'Faur and Gul Malek. She informed them the reasons behind the Cardassian's actions and ordered them to leave the area. Naros was assigned as her first officer by orders from Command and she decided to start over and get to know her new first officer. (HF 3.05 "Modus Operandi")


Mackenzie Calhoun

Elizabeth Shelby's relationship with M'k'n'z'y of Calhoun, a native Xenexian warlord, has always been heated and tumultuous. From the first time they met at Starfleet Academy, which they joined the same year, they were diametrically opposed, she the confident go-getter with a lot to prove, him the typical outsider, not really sure where he belonged. Calhoun quickly felt for Shelby's inner fire, while she eventually surrendered to the raw animalistic passion he exuded, but what time they enjoyed together was quickly dampened by their opposing viewpoints regarding both life in itself, and the nature of their work. Shelby was also surprised to realise that according to Xenexian custom, they were 'engaged', but she wanted to pursue her career without that kind of attachment, a sentiment that effectively ended their relationship. It was not until they served together on the Excalibur that their feelings would re-ignite with their proximity to each other, but now with Calhoun as her superior. In their working environment, they constantly clashed over command decisions and the appropriate nature of Starfleet regulations, the conflict eventually leading to a resumption of their relationship. After she was transferred to the Excelsior, their relationship slowed down drastically as Shelby became immersed in the Briar Patch situation, and the Excalibur was routinely sent on classified missions. She would not reunite with Calhoun until 2381, when he was assigned to her team that was assisting the Romulans in engine upgrades to function better in the Patch. The two were again on the verge of resuming their relationship when Shelby pulled back, physically and emotionally, although Calhoun did remind her that choosing duty over emotion is not a decision that must always remain the same.

Daniel Hunter

When it comes to the Commanding Officer of the USS Intrepid, Elizabeth Shelby has a wicked streak. Friends with Daniel Hunter for many years, the two have a comically adversarial relationship, the result of many subspace chess games, of which Shelby has won far too many. On the surface the two seem to take great delight in trying to one-up each other, like old Academy rivals, with Shelby the usual winner, but in fact, the two are extremely close and dear friends.

Robin Lefler

When Robin Lefler was assigned as Operations Officer onboard the USS Excalibur, she looked up to Shelby as a role model for where she wanted her career to go. This hero worship eventually became a lasting friendship, and it is Lefler that Shelby will turn too when she needs advice or comfort, an action that is more than reciprocated. When Shelby arrives on Excelsior, Lefler's presence helps her ease into the social situations the command staff share, such as their occasional poker games. When Shelby goes home to Mars in order to pay her respects to her recently deceased mother, it is Lefler who accompanies her, and counsels her during this emotional time, just as Shelby herself did when Lefler was coping with her abduction by the Andorian pirate, Sha'kev. Shelby's trust and faith in Lefler leads her to appoint the Chief Engineer as acting XO before the arrival of Tolian Naros, a position she readily wanted Lefler to take permanently before the arrival of the El-Aurian. This desire was still strong that when Naros is appointed command of a ship of his own, Shelby immediately promotes and reassigns Lefler to fill his position.


  • Best of Both Worlds, Part 1 (TNG), played by Elizabeth Dennehy

Commodore Elizabeth Shelby is played by Risha Denney in all of her appearances on Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, Star Trek: Intrepid, Orphans of War, Star Trek: Operation Beta Shield, Star Trek: Federation One and Star Trek: Odyssey.


Commodore Shelby has also been referred to on-screen in the following episodes:

See Also

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