Was it a surefire way to slip out of jury duty? Or just another sign of the apocalypse? Two weeks ago, Barbara Adams, 31, a bindery supervisor from Little Rock, Ark., beamed herself into the national spotlight when she appeared as an alternate juror for the Whitewater trial wearing a Star Trek: The Next Generation uniform, replete with plastic phaser, tricorder, and communicator badge. Her endeavor was cut short, however, when a judge ruled she had violated a gag order by discussing her attire on American Journal and dismissed her from the case.
Throughout the process the juror displayed Vulcan-like stoicism. ”It’s been an ordeal, but I’ve had support from the Alliance [a Trek fan network] and my family,” she says. A lifelong Trekker, Adams had been spotted around town in Trek regalia even before her jury selection. ”Anyone who understands what this uniform represents knows it was not intended to make a mockery of this trial,” she says. ”I’m on a mission to promote the Star Trek ideals. If someone is attracted to [those ideals] by all this publicity, then it was worth it.”
Adams’ story made its way to Starfleet headquarters itself — i.e., Paramount’s production offices in L.A. ”She reinforces the depth of commitment that people have to the ideals of Star Trek,” says Jonathan Frakes, who’ll direct the next Trek feature, due this November. When asked whether he’d cast the world’s most famous Trekker in the film, Frakes demurred, although he did admit to posting Adams’ photo on his office wall. ”She could have timed this better,” suggests Frakes, ”closer to the release of the movie.”