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Dawson Walking Bear

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Dawson Walking Bear

Ensign Dawson Walking Bear was a relief helmsman aboard the USS Enterprise. Walking Bear, a Human Comanche Native American and scholar of many of the peoples of Earth history, was the first to recognize the Kukulkan that was encountered by the Enterprise in 2270. (TAS: "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth")

The character of Dawson Walking Bear was conceived for the ultimately-undeveloped episode "The Patient Parasites". D.C. Fontana was initially indifferent to the character, however. "Dorothy told me he was little different from any of the other Trek characters," related writer Russell Bates. When he co-wrote "How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth" with David Wise, Bates included Walking Bear in that episode. Bates himself was a member of the Kiowa tribe, which probably influenced the inclusion of a native American character.
The character was voiced by James Doohan, who needed to know the Native American's age and considered this with Wise and Bates. The latter co-writer later remembered, "We talked it over and decided he was 22 or 23 years old." (Starlog issue #159, p. 27)

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