Nick Jacob Keller was a human Starfleet officer in the late 23rd century. He was born on Earth in Thorn Bluff, New Mexico (though he would say he was "from" Santa Fe, the nearest city) and grew up in Nevada.
As a lieutenant commander in 2280, Nick was second officer aboard the USS Peleliu when it was attacked en route to Belle Terre. To defend the colony from the Kauld, he constructed the USS Challenger from the wrecks of the Peleliu and other vessels. When the Enterprise departed for Federation space, Captain Kirk promoted Keller to commander and left him in command of the Challenger on picket duty at Belle Terre. (Star Trek: New Earth novel: Challenger)
The latter event took place after another Starfleet vessel, the USS Halifax was dispatched to Belle Terre. Keller was not sentenced, but ultimately released from Starfleet. At Governor Pardonnet's urging, he kept most of the Challenger crew together, and formed his own agency, the Sagittarius Rangers, to defend the colony. (Star Trek: Challenger proposal, Star Trek: Pendragon)
His friend Savannah Ring gave him the nickname "Sheriff," after his southwestern mannerisms and the cowboy boots he habitually wore while on duty. (New Earth novel Challenger)
Legacy and lineageEdit
Nick became a folk hero on Belle Terre, one of the three most important in the colony's early history, alongside James Kirk and Governor Evan Pardonnet. A solid olivium statue of the three, with Keller most prominent, was erected in the capital city of Eau Clare. Many other new settlements and cities on the planet were named for him, including Kellerton and Nicksville.
Nick's family lived in New Mexico and the southwest since the late 20th century, and he acquired several traits from his ancestors, most notoriously the "Beckett face" which cropped up in the line every few generations. Among Nick's descendants in the 24th century was (possibly a great-nephew), Ben Bartholomew, who also bore a striking resemblance to him. (Star Trek: Pendragon)
- Star Trek: New Earth novel: Challenger
- Star Trek: Gateways novel: Chainmail
- Star Trek: Gateways anthology What Lay Beyond short story: "Exodus"
- The character's full first name is "Nick," not "Nicholas."
- In an online interview conducted in April 2001, author Diane Carey stated that "Nick Keller is an amalgam of several characters: Andy Taylor, Andy Travis, Barney Miller, Scott Bakula, Thomas Magnum, Greg Brodeur, and sprinklings of others..."
- Two years prior to that interview, Scott Bakula was chosen to "play" the character who would become Ben Bartholomew in Star Trek: Pendragon; Bakula would go on play Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise. In light of these (subsequent) developments, the Pendragon creative staff wrote in references to both Archer and Keller as ancestors of Ben Bartholomew.
- It has also been noted that Nick Keller bears a strong resemblance to Stargate SG-1's Cameron Mitchell in personality, appearance and mannerisms. Though predating the SG1 character by almost five years, it is highly unlikely that Keller influenced Mitchell.