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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hello, Computer

As you all know (or ought to know), Majel Barret Roddenberry, the voice of the computer in every iteration of Star Trek,  died last year just before the release of the new Star Trek movie. I saw that on startrek.com's facebook page that there was a thread of “who would make a good computer voice?” I don’t feel like sifting through a thousand comments to see what people have to say, but I do think it would make for a fun discussion. So what do you all think? Who should they cast for the new voice of Star Trek?

Here are some of my thoughts.

1. Morgan Freeman. I know he’s a man, but I don’t think that should disqualify anybody. Just imagine him saying “Captain Picard is not onboard the Enterprise.”

2. Ron Howard. Watch Arrested Development, narrated by him. That’s exactly the intonation and inflection I imagine he would have as a computer.

3. Keanu Reaves. Watch The Day the Earth Stood Still. No. Don’t. It was terrible. But watch five minutes of it and listen to the way he talks. It’s beautifully robotic.

4. Portia De Rossi. A little esoteric, perhaps, but she’s got a voice similar to MBR, and I think she’d do well.

5. Mary McDonnell. President Roslin from Galactica.

6. Jewel Staite. I was gonna say Morena Baccarin, and I do think she’d be a good choice if you’re looking for a replacement for Majel. But if you’re looking for someone new, I think Jewel would make a great computer. She’s got a pleasant voice, and she might add a touch of humanization to the computer.

I know, the computer isn’t human, but the whole point of giving a computer a human voice is to make the crew more comfortable. So why not humanize it a little? MBR was a great computer, but she talked like you would expect a robot to talk. That’s not bad, I just feel like it’s not the only way to do it.

So what do you all think? Who would you cast as the voice of the computer?

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