Who is Gary Seven?

Sonic ScrewdriverThat’s what I was asking myself as I finished off season two of Star Trek: The Original Series. In the season two finale, Assignment: Earth, the Enterprise travels back in time and encounters another time traveler, Gary Seven. When I started this episode I didn’t think much of it, until Seven was captured by the Enterprise and imprisoned. That was when Seven pulled out what ¬†looked to be a sonic screwdriver. As a Doctor Who fan, I was shocked and full of questions. Was this the first sonic screwdriver? Is Seven really The Doctor? Is Seven another time traveling government agent a la Captain Jack Harkness? What is Seven’s story?

So many questions. Here are the facts that I’ve been able to discern from the Internet. According to Memory Alpha, Gary Seven is a descendant of humans that were abducted from Earth by aliens in 4000 BC. He calls himself Supervisor 194, a Class One Supervisor. Although it is not clear what agency he works for in this capacity. He travels with a black cat, Isis, which wears a diamond collar and apparently speaks to Seven. Isis apparently has the ability to turn into human form. Seven seems to gain another companion, Roberta Lincoln, at the end of Assignment: Earth. Seven is immune to the Vulcan nerve pinch. As mentioned previously, Seven carries a small device that resembles a sonic screwdriver, both in appearance and ability. Although one could argue it more closely resembles a sonic pen. And since The Doctor is the only character who uses a sonic screwdriver, Seven’s device is more likely a sonic pen or similar device.

Of course, Doctor Who and Star Trek are two totally different shows, developed at different times, by different people, with no discernible coordination or crossover. That said, both of these devices (Seven’s and The Doctor’s sonic screwdriver) appeared around the same time. The season two finale of Star Trek: The Original Series, Assignment: Earth, premiered March 29, 1968. The first appearance of the sonic screwdriver in Doctor Who was in the sixth story, episode one of season five, Fury from the Deep, with the second Doctor. This episode aired March 16, 1968. What are the chances that two different successful TV series that involve time travel would feature, for the first time, a sonic screwdriver (or similar device) within two weeks of each other?

It all seems a little too coincidental. Nevertheless, that is all I know. Apparently, the appearance of Gary Seven was meant to launch an entire series of his own. Seven appeared in a few other Star Trek materials since, including a comic book series, a few Star Trek novels and an attempt at another spin-off television series.

So there are some similarities between the two shows and characters, although maybe a closer similarity to Captain Jack Harness as a member of the Time Agency, as Seven is certainly not a Time Lord.

Interesting observations at the close of season two. On to the final season!

3 thoughts on “Who is Gary Seven?

  1. Pingback: One Star Trek Journey Down | Per Ardua

  2. Reply Supervisor194 Dec 19,2013 10:39 am

    It’s funny, I’ve heard so many people make mention and compare the two. Maybe it’s because I was exposed to the Assignment: Earth episode first – but I’ve never seen it. I mean, I understand the similarities but I see them as two different things. I’ve tried to watch Doctor Who. I just can’t seem to get into it. At any rate, fun to like and have them both I guess. Too bad Mr. Seven never really got his series.

  3. Reply NumberBlue Dec 20,2013 12:00 am

    I’m reading the first book in the series The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, in which Gary Seven is a main character. He works for an alien organization called Aegis, and although he’s pointedly aloof about what and who they actually are, Roberta Lincoln once called them “Earth’s Social Workers”. Their intent seems purely to be keeping earthlings from nuking themsevles into extinction. Roberta Lincoln does become a Supervisor. Despite her dippy demeanor in the episode, she learns several martial arts and becomes a sensible, sassy, fashionable force of espionage.
    Also, the pen is actually called a Servo, and it’s a kind of omnitool. As far as I’ve read, it can tranquilize people, disintegrate things, stun, pick locks and kill. Don’t worry; he hasn’t killed anyone so far and it seems very unlikely that he will. He’s rather like the Doctor when it comes to killing. The Servo is also a kind of homing beacon for their Beta 5 computer, and allows them to teleport to their earthly base of operations. It also stores information and is used as a communicator between other Servos; mainly, the one Roberta has.
    As for Isis, she’s a fully sentient life form, and she does speak to Seven. She does not, however, like or speak to Roberta, as she tends to latch onto sophisticated, logical, clear-thinking individuals. She really liked Spock, as she actually let him pet her, which she doesn’t usually tolerate. In the book, a four year old Khan (before he shows any signs of being evil) was allowed to positively smother her. She does also turn into a humanoid form, but from what you can tell of the short period in which it’s in her point of view, she hates it and only transforms when it’s absolutely necessary. Much like a cat, she pretty much only cares about Gary Seven.
    All in all, Gary Seven has absolutely peak human abilities, such as great stamina and strength, the mental capacity to process complicated information very quickly, eyes that adjust almost immediately to darkness or bright light, and a really creepy, uncanny skill that lets him perfectly mimic people’s voices. He’s very cool, like a space James Bond. Although alien to earth, he’s really only human. However, he does time travel, so the Time Agency theory is pretty much correct.

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