Reginald Barclay

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Lieutenant Reginald Endicott "Broccoli" Barclay III, played by Dwight Schultz, is a recurring character in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. He later had a recurring role in the last few seasons of Star Trek: Voyager where he plays a vital role in re-establishing regular contact with the stranded ship.

Contents

Overview

Barclay has characteristics associated with many negative nerd and geek stereotypes. While possessing great technical skill and sincere enthusiasm, he seems anxiety-ridden, socially awkward, and self-conscious in ways that may indicate Asperger syndrome, avoidant personality disorder or social anxiety disorder. He has an obsessive interest in fantasy, which seems to serve as an escape from personal interaction. His anxieties extend to idiosyncratic fears (such as fear of being transported) and hypochondriasis. The overcoming of his fears and social avoidance became a running plot point across many seasons in multiple Star Trek series. The character of Barclay was created by University of Rochester professor Sally Caves.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Barclay was an occasional character in The Next Generation as an engineer, often being used as comic relief. His holo-addiction is first seen in the episode "Hollow Pursuits", in which he creates simulacra of the ship's bridge officers, who are now completely responsive to Barclay's every whim. Being totally unlike their ship-board counterparts, they served to bolster his self-esteem. With encouragement from Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge, however, Barclay redeems himself and helps to uncover the cause of a critical multi-system failure on the Enterprise-D in time to avert the ship's destruction.

In the episode "The Nth Degree", Barclay's brain is taken over by an ancient race from the center of the Milky Way galaxy, the Cytherians, radically increasing his intellect. Under their influence, Barclay seizes command of the Enterprise-D and brings the ship to a confrontation with the Cytherians, who explain to Picard that they only desire an exchange of information with the Federation. After the exchange, the Cytherians return the Enterprise-D to Federation space, leaving Barclay with the memory of his interaction and an enhanced ability in chess. This episode also sees Barclay try his hand at acting, performing the title role in Dr Crusher's production of Cyrano de Bergerac.

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