Star Trek Expanded Universe

Rear Admiral Elizabeth Shelby was a human Starfleet officer. She was noted to be a highly ambitious officer, on the fast track to promotion to captaincy of a starship.

In 2366, Lieutenant Commander Shelby was placed in charge of Starfleet's defensive planning for a potential Borg invasion. When the Federation colony on Jouret IV was destroyed, Shelby was dispatched to determine whether or not the Borg were responsible. Following the confirmation of a Borg presence in Federation space, she stayed aboard the USS Enterprise-D to develop strategies for facing the imminent attack. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds", "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II")

Starfleet Academy[]

Shelby came from a Starfleet family (both parents were admirals), and she entered Starfleet Academy in 2354. While there, she was romantically involved with fellow cadet and long-time friend, Vincent Wexler. Their relationship ended during their time at the Academy, and Shelby thereafter found herself in a relationship with Wexler's roommate, Cadet Mackenzie Calhoun. Shelby and Calhoun ended their relationship after taking part in the Kobayashi Maru scenario. Shelby decided to take an extra year of Academy study and graduated in 2358. (Star Trek: New Frontiers novel: Stone and Anvil)

Early career[]

Shelby's first assignment out of the Academy was as an ensign onboard the USS Repulse. (Game: Starship Creator: Warp) She served on four other ships following that assignment, and by 2366, was a full grade lieutenant serving as chief engineer of the USS Yosemite. By this time, she'd decided she wanted to move from engineering to command and was frustrated by her inability to do so. (Star Trek: New Frontiers short story: "All That Glisters...")

The Borg[]

On stardate 43095.1, Shelby led the Yosemite's investigation of the loss of Science Outpost D5. Shelby was able to determine beyond doubt that the outpost had been destroyed by the Borg, giving Starfleet the first positive confirmation of their intrusion into the Alpha Quadrant. Her work on this mission resulted in her promotion to Lieutenant Commander, and transfer to Starfleet Tactical. (Star Trek: New Frontiers short story: "All That Glisters...")

Commander Shelby in 2367

Upon hearing that Enterprise first officer William Riker had been offered command of the USS Melbourne, Shelby set her sights on gaining the appointment as Captain Jean-Luc Picard's new first officer. However, her fast and loose style clashed strongly with Riker's safe and by-the-book tendencies; for example, she led an unauthorized away team to Jouret's surface (hoping to get an early start on locating evidence of the Borg attack) without receiving approval from Riker first, and she went over Riker's head to propose combat strategies to Captain Picard himself. Shelby also demonstrated her keen senses when she beat Riker in a poker game by calling his bluff.

Once the Borg attack came, Shelby proved herself to be a competent officer. When the Borg kidnaped Captain Picard, she led several away teams that attempted to rescue him. When Riker was granted a temporary promotion to captain, he appointed Shelby to be his first officer despite their differences; he later noted that they made a good team.

Following the destruction of the Borg cube, Shelby returned to Starfleet Command to lead the task force that would rebuild the fleet following the disastrous Battle of Wolf 359. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds", "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II")

By mid-2367, Shelby was first officer of the USS Chekov under Captain Morgan Korsmo. The Chekov, the Enterprise and the USS Repulse became involved in a battle between the Borg and an ancient Doomsday machine. The Chekov was irreparably damaged in the battle though Shelby and much of the crew survived. (TNG novel: Vendetta)

The Excalibur[]

Shelby, Korsmo, and many of the Chekov's crew were later assigned to the USS Excalibur (NCC-26517) in early 2368. In 2369, the Excalibur had a skirmish with a Borg scout ship, which removed a section of the ship's hull and took three crew members with it. (Star Trek: New Frontiers short story: "Making a Difference")

In 2371, the Excalibur took part of a rescue of Starfleet officers William T. Riker, Deanna Troi, and Worf along with Worf's son, Alexander Rozhenko from the Romulan, Sela. (TNG novel: Imzadi II)

Also, in 2371, Shelby found herself briefly promoted to the point that she outranked Jean-Luc Picard. When Picard was assigned this year to work with James T. Kirk, he took his instructions for the mission from Shelby. (Shatnerverse novel The Return)

The Excalibur was present when the Borg attacked Earth in 2373. The Excalibur fought bravely, but in the end, she was disabled and unable to assist with the destruction of the Borg vessel. Captain Korsmo was killed in the battle. (Star Trek: New Frontiers short story: "Making a Difference")

Mackenzie Calhoun[]

Shelby remained as Excalibur first officer when, following the fall of the Thallonian Empire, command was given to her former fiancé, Captain Mackenzie Calhoun. In addition to the tension arising from their shared history, Calhoun's maverick instincts clashed with Shelby's by-the-book style, and the two were constantly at odds during the three years they served together. All this time, Shelby denied any residual feelings toward Calhoun.

In early 2376, the Excalibur was destroyed in a warp core breach caused by a computer virus. The entire crew was able to escape except, presumably, for Calhoun. Only then could Shelby admit her romantic feelings for him, but she resolved to move on with her life. (Star Trek: New Frontiers novel: Excalibur: Requiem)

Following the loss of the Excalibur, Shelby was promoted to captain and given command of the USS Exeter. While she initially hoped this new ship would provide a more by-the-book environment, Shelby found her command style had significantly influenced by her time serving with Calhoun and that the Exeter was not a good fit for her. When the new USS Excalibur-A was launched in late 2376, Shelby was reassigned as its commander, with Calhoun's old crew intact.

However, at the dedication of the Excalibur-A, Mackenzie Calhoun reappeared after having been marooned on the planet Yakaba. Calhoun immediately proposed marriage to Shelby. After punching him, Shelby accepted. They were married on the bridge of the Excalibur-A in a ceremony officiated by Captain Jean-Luc Picard. (Star Trek: New Frontiers novel: Excalibur: Restoration)

Following their Starfleet wedding ceremony, Shelby and Calhoun traveled to Xenex, where Shelby underwent a series of physical and psychological trials before they could be wed under Xenexian tradition. (Star Trek: New Frontiers short story: "A Little Getaway")

The Trident[]

After their return from Xenex, Shelby took command of the USS Trident and was assigned to patrol Sector 221-G along with the Excalibur. In the first months of Shelby's command, the Trident participated in the Gateways crisis, battling the God-like "Beings." (Star Trek: New Frontiers novels: Star Trek: Gateways, Book 6: Cold Wars; Being Human; Gods Above)

Shelby was also instrumental in revealing the telepathic manipulation of the Federation by member species, the Selelvians. This revelation led to a short war between the Federation and the Selelvians, in alliance with the Tholian Assembly. Shelby and the Trident served with distinction during this brief conflict.

At one point during the conflict, Shelby and Lieutenant Soleta were attacked by a group of Orion mercenaries that were working for the Selevians. Soleta incapacitated Shelby with a Vulcan nerve pinch and attacked the Orions single-handedly, nearly sacrificing her own life to save Shelby. (Star Trek: New Frontiers novels: Stone And Anvil, After The Fall, short story: "Pain Management")

Admiral Shelby[]

Following the war with the Selelvians, Shelby found herself promoted to admiral and in command of Space Station Bravo following the retirement of the stations previous commander, Admiral Frank Kittenger. (Star Trek: New Frontiers short story "Pain Management"; Tales From The Captain's Table, novel After The Fall)

In 2379, Shelby, with the cooperation of the Trident's new commander, Captain Katerina Mueller, defied orders from Admiral Edward Jellico and took the Trident to the planet Priatia following the disappearance of her husband and the Excalibur.

Her actions were pivotal in defeating the extra-dimensional race known as the Teuthis, who were attempting to incite war in the New Thallonian Protectorate and destabilize the area for conquest. (Star Trek: New Frontiers novel: Missing In Action)

Fan continuities[]

Star Trek: Hidden Frontier[]

Captain Elizabeth Shelby (Risha Denney), Star Trek: Hidden Frontier.

Commodore Elizabeth Paula Shelby (Risha Denney) is the commanding officer of the USS Excelsior (NCC-77246), the lead starship stationed at Deep Space 12, as well as the acting commander of the 12th Fleet. Shelby is a strong-willed, ambitious officer formerly posted at Starfleet Tactical and as first officer of the USS Excalibur.

Elizabeth Shelby grew up in New Cydonia on Mars. Her mother, Paul, was a gifted teacher who once taught at Starfleet Academy, and her father an emotionally distant Starfleet admiral. Paula Shelby died on Mars in 2381, leaving Elizabeth deeply regretful that she had never told her mother how much she loved her.

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.

Shelby served with Starfleet Tactical to head up Starfleet's defense plans against the Borg before the Battle of Wolf 359. After her temporary assignment on the USS Enterprise-D, she returned as part of the task force to rebuild the fleet. She was promoted to Commander and was temporarily first officer when William T. Riker was field promoted to Captain during the Borg assault on the Federation in 2367. (TNG: "Best of Both Worlds")

Afterward, she became Captain Mackenzie Calhoun's first officer. After some conflict stemming from their eventual romantic relationship, they agreed it was best for them to serve on separate starships, and Shelby transferred to the Excelsior.

She became Commodore Ian Knapp's first officer when ordered by Starfleet in 2377, despite her sense of being blocked to advance to command of her own ship (Perihelion). In 2379, she was promoted to the rank of Captain as the commanding officer of the Excelsior. ("Worst Fears, Part 3") In 2384, she was promoted to Commodore and assigned to command allied forces defending Romulan space against the threat of invasion by the Archein Empire. In 2386, after the Arhcein invaded Ba'ku, Shelby was promoted to rear admiral and assigned command of Starbase 621, coordinating Starfleet's efforts against the Archein assault. She retained command of the Excelsior during this time. Following the return of the USS Odyssey from the Andromeda Galaxy, Shelby and Excelsior led the allied fleet in an offensive against the Archein, eventually accepting their surrender at DS12. (Star Trek: Operation Beta Shield; Star Trek: Odyssey: "Tossed Upon the Shore")

Star Trek: Pendragon[]

Following the death of Captain Korsmo and the Excalibur's destruction while facing the Borg in the Battle of Sector 001, Shelby joined the "Patriot" side of the Federation Civil War. After the conflict's end in 2374, Admiral William Ross promoted Shelby to captain, and she assumed command of the USS Exeter.

In 2377, after three years aboard the Exeter, Shelby was given command of the USS Magellan, and oversaw her refit to Olympus-class specs. Many of her Exeter crew followed her to the Magellan. Two years later, Captain Shelby and the Magellan attending the re-commissioning of Deep Space 9. (PDN: "Restoration")

Star Trek: Sutherland[]

Elizabeth Shelby took command of the USS Sutherland in late 2371 following her successful, yet controversial, resolution of the Mizar Crisis while she commanded the New Orleans-class starship USS Malcolm Reed. ("Shakedown Cruise")

She is an extremely competent and ambitious officer who loves nothing more than to use her initiative in a problem-solving situation. However, she also tends towards bending, if not outright breaking, the rules to achieve her objectives. She also exhibits a powerful protective instinct for her ship and crew that, while admirable, could potentially lead her to take improper decisions or take inadvisable risks.

While a cadet at Starfleet Academy, she met and began a long and close friendship with the then-unjoined Trill, Jadzia Idaris, maintaining their friendship after Jadzia took on the Dax symbiont, becoming Jadzia Dax.

Her off-duty behavior sets her apart from many of her fellow Starfleet officers. Applying the same fierce zeal that she applies to her professional life to her private affairs, she leads what can best be described as an unconventional lifestyle with an attitude towards casual sex and the pursuit of pleasure that can best be described as libertine and, at worst as scandalous.

Her grandfather was Commodore Robert Wesley who commanded the Constitution-class starship USS Lexington. Her father and mother also served in Starfleet, with her father commanding a starship.

Her relationship with her father is, at best, a strained one. Other than perfunctory communications, the two have not conversed at length with each other for over ten years. Her relationship with her mother, however, has recently improved. ("Messages from Earth")

During the Dominion War, Captain Shelby served in numerous actions and battles. Amongst the most famous was the Battle of Caernarvon IV in which she led a task force charged with the mission of holding off an expected Dominion advance into the system while simultaneously evacuating the civilian population of Caernarvon IV to safety. She successfully completed the mission, inflicting grievous losses on the attacking fleet while suffering serious losses herself. As a result of her actions in that battle, Shelby was awarded the Starfleet Medal of Valor and the Karagite Order of Heroism.

Family and personal life[]


A sexually adventurous individual, Elizabeth avoids serious romantic entanglements, preferring, as a rule, brief, casual sexual relationships to long-term commitments.

Memorable quotes[]

"I'm glad to have you aboard…Chris." Then, flashing a wicked grin, she added, mock threateningly, "But when…not if…WHEN…Starfleet Command finally gets its act together and gives you a command, so help me—if you try to pull a 'Riker' on me—you're going to be wearing my footprints on your ass when you take command of your new ship—you got that, Mister?""
— Captain Shelby to Commander Hobson on his informing her that he wanted to stay on as her first officer ("Shakedown Cruise")
" Taking another sip from her champagne, Liz lay back in her tub, "Hmmm…now, what should I wear to Raul's orgy? I wore leather last time—I think this time I'll go for lace. Maybe the Andorian spider-silk teddy that Garak made for me? Yes…that should do nicely.""
— Captain Shelby making shore leave plans ("Messages from Earth")
"The one thing you will find out about me once you get to know me is that there's nothing I love more than to be thrown into the deep end. I love a challenge, and I don't like backing away from fights."
— Captain Shelby: Conversation with Major Kira and Lieutenant Commander Dax ("Shoreleave").


  • In canon Trek, Shelby was played by Elizabeth Dennehy.
  • Regarding the reference to a "Captain Shelby" in Deep Space Nine, Ronald D. Moore commented: "My intent when I wrote the line was that this was indeed the same Shelby from BOBW. I thought it was a cool reference to throw in for the fans, but I had completely forgotten that John Ordover & Co. had very specifically and very politely asked us if we had any intention of ever using this character again and we (including me) had said, "No way -- do what you want with her." This very salient fact was pointed out to me after the show had aired, and I had a rather sheepish conversation with Paula Block over in licensing and with John via e-mail explaining what had happened. Since I only used Shelby's last name in the episode, you're free to look at this either way -- it's really her, or it's someone else with the same last name (it's a big fleet, after all)." [1] However, Peter David later wrote passages into a New Frontier novel explaining that there were two unrelated Shelbys in Starfleet.
Officers of the starships Enterprise
NCC-1701-D: Picard | W. Riker
Riker | Shelby
Crusher | Pulaski Data | Swenson Data MacDougal | Argyle
Logan | La Forge
Yar | Worf La Forge | Torres | O'Brien
Worf | Solis | Clancy
Crusher | Wallace
Allenby | Gates
Graham | Ro | Monroe
Dern | Jae
NX-01 | NX-01 | NCC-1701 | NCC-1701 (alt) | NCC-1701 | NCC-1701-A | NCC-1701-B | NCC-1701-C | NCC-1701-D | NCC-1701-E

External links[]