Star Trek: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Guardian Of Forever

I'm, uh - I'm Carl - and I've got the best intro line in all of Star Trek.

Guardian of Forever Star Trek Discovery Original Series
CBS Media Ventures

The Guardian Of Forever is an oft-discussed, but little seen, force of nature in Star Trek. It was created by the writer Harlan Ellison for The Original Series, which is a story all in itself. The original script was heavily edited and rewritten - leading to a feud that would outlive many of the people involved.

The Guardian appeared once in The Original Series, once in The Animated Series, and to date, once, in Star Trek: Discovery. There have been many novels, stories, comics, and other media depicting it. This is primarily due to the fact that the stories that can be told through the eye of the Guardian are Legion, particularly when once involves the Q Continuum.

The voices of the Guardian - Bart La Rue, James Doohan, and Paul Guilfoyle - are all unique in their own way, with it's dominating tones filling the screen whenever it appears. While its 'coolest' appearance may be in Discovery, it's fair to say that every time the Guardian has been on-screen, it's offered something new, fascinating, and a little unsettling for the audience.

With that, let's explore one of the most powerful beings in the Star Trek Universe.

10. It Seems To Enjoy Testing Its Subjects

Guardian of Forever Star Trek Discovery Original Series

Much of Emperor Georgiou's experiences with Carl, as the Guardian calls themselves in Terra Firma, are in the form of a test. She is suffering the effects of being both out of time, and in (from her perspective) an alternate universe. Carl may well be the path to a cure that she needs, but he isn't about to just hand it over.

He sends her back to her own time and universe, testing her to see if she really does have the capacity to change. Once he ascertains that she does, he agrees to send her back to a time when her universe and the Prime universe were more aligned.

There are echoes of the Guardian's first appearance here, not simply in the newspaper and the donut. Kirk and Spock, having successfully rescued the future, and McCoy, are offered the chance to use the Guardian to explore history as they see fit. It is they who decided to decline, with the pain of Edith Keeler's death still too near.

Yet still, this version of the Guardian, much like its later appearance as Carl, seemed more intent on testing its subjects than on passing judgement from the off.

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Writer. Reader. Host. I'm Seán, I live in Ireland and I'm the poster child for dangerous obsessions with Star Trek. Check me out on Twitter @seanferrick