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Memory-beta

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek content.

Redshirt was a colloquialism amongst Starfleet personnel referring to expendable individuals who died in the line of duty. The term was derived from mid-23rd century Starfleet uniform, which featured bold red shirts for members of Starfleet security. Despite 24th century Starfleet security personnel wearing yellow uniforms the term continued to be used.

USS Enterprise security chief Greg Collier disliked being referred to as a "redshirt." (TOS novel: Death's Angel)

Vin Asunder had a pet tribble named Spike which he took with him on all away team missions believing it would bring him good luck and prevent him becoming a "redshirt". (TNG video game: Away Team)

Appendices

Real-world useage

The term redshirt is used extensively in the real world to refer to expendable characters, and has spread widely from it's origins of quickly killed supporting characters in episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series.

The notion of the redshirt is commonly parodied in other science fictions and comedies, and even in Star trek publications - the Star Trek: The Manga book Kakan ni Shinkou featured two short comic strips by David Reddick titled The Red Shirts which depicted the ironically comical mishaps of two red shirts (though because it was in the manga book they were depicted in black and white).

External links


This article uses material from the "Redshirt" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Lostpedia

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

From Lostpedia

For extras, see: Background cast
Boone tying red shirts to trees and discussing Star Trek in "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues"

A redshirt is a type of stock character in film or television that is a non-featured character, whose purpose to the plot, usually, is to be killed.

The term does not refer to the actors, only to the characters. The actors that play "redshirt" characters are usually credited (opposite to uncredited in case of background cast) with the status of "guest actor". Therefore, "redshirt" should not be confused with mere membership on Flight 815, which includes background cast and speaking characters. The term "redshirt" is sometimes used synonymously with "background cast" or "extra" by many Lost fan resources (e.g., [1]), but as correctly defined, this use is incorrect, as "redshirt" refers only to a character type whose primary purpose is to be killed by a device in the plot.

Speaking redshirts are generally depicted by actors hired specifically for those parts from California, such as Arzt, and not from the background extras pool in Hawaii. As such they have generally not appeared as background actors in previously filmed episodes.

Contents

Origin of the term

Redshirts are especially common in the science-fiction genre, and the term is derived from the 1966 television series Star Trek, where never-before-seen characters wearing red uniforms (representing ensigns from the Security or Engineering departments) almost universally met their demise soon after joining the main characters on any mission away from their starship. Their deaths would illustrate the danger posed by plot devices to the main characters, who of course were never in real danger of being eliminated from the show.

Thus, not only the term itself is a direct reference, also the purpose of the "redshirt" character is clearly defined by its origins.

In the universe of Lost

Examples of guest star redshirts include:

  • Daniel Roebuck as a guest star. His character, Arzt, was a typical redshirt (i.e. intended to die) part in the script that was auditioned, and given to an experienced actor from LA. In previous episodes, Arzt never before appeared on the beach, even though the premise of the storyline was that he has been there all along (as confirmed by island flashbacks in "Exposé").
  • Kiele Sanchez (Nikki) and Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo) are main cast members, and have never appeared in the background pool. However the canonical storyline asserts they were there all along, a notion reinforced by the island flashbacks in "Exposé". Paulo and Nikki do not fit the classic redshirt design, as the producers intended more of a plot for them. Through a podcast, the producers referenced that Paulo and Nikki were killed off due to severe audience backlash against the new characters.
  • Diane, an Other who was a participant in the Beach camp battle, had a few speaking lines before being killed by an explosion detonated by Sayid. Her shirt, however, was not red at the time.
  • During the Ambush on the Barracks in "The Shape of Things to Come", features 3 redshirt deaths, one actually wearing a red shirt.
  • Sean Whalen (Neil "Frogurt"), was mentioned in "S.O.S.", and appeared in "The Adventures of Hurley and Frogurt". He didn't appear on the show until "Because You Left", and died in "The Lie". Neil is a typical redshirt on the show, and his annoying personality and his actual red shirt were foreshadowing his death.
  • At least 17 redshirts were killed by flaming arrows in "The Lie". Though the exact number is unknown, the producers commented in the official Lost podcast that many people died. As of "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2", it is heavily insinuated that only Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, Charlotte, Daniel, Rose, Bernard, and Vincent survived the flaming arrow attack, thus indicating that all the remaining redshirts/extras were killed, including Steve, Neil "Frogurt", and Craig.
  • In "Follow the Leader", an Other named Erik journeys with several important characters, only to be shot soon thereafter. He was wearing a red shirt at the time.
  • Note: some Lost fans use the term "redshirt" to refer to all extras, even those who are not scripted to die in a plot device, as well as those characters who never actually appear but are said to have died. Some fans also label on-island guest stars and main cast members "redshirts".
  • Redshirts have occasionally been referred to as "randos" or "log-carrying guys".

Official word

From the exclusive Lost-TV interview with Damon Lindelof (complete transcript here):

Then of course there are the extras. The expendable people. "Redshirts" in Star Trek lingo. You know, the security guys in landing parties who were offed at frighteningly regular intervals.

Damon and the lads refer to them as "meat socks."

"That's what's great about Lost," he said. "One of our regular characters can go out on an expedition with two people you haven't seen, then the regular gets killed, the other two come back and now they're regulars, so we certainly want to keep the audience guessing. There is a reason that in addition to the 14 regulars there are 33 other characters who survived the crash. They're not just monster food."

Inside joke quotes


ARZT: You know what? I'm sorry, I'm sorry that I'm not cool enough to be part of your merry little band of adventurers.

HURLEY: What?

ARZT: I know a clique when I see it. I teach high school, pal-y. You know, you people think you're the only ones on this island doing anything of value. I've got news for you. There were 40 other survivors of this plane crash. And we are all people, too.

HURLEY: O-kay.

—"Exodus, Part 2"

  • The term redshirt is mentioned specifically in the episode "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues", as Boone is tying a red shirt to a tree and talking to Locke (Ironically, Terry O'Quinn, who plays Locke, previously guest starred on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation). This conversation was self-referential as it foreshadowed Boone's death.


BOONE: Red shirt.
LOCKE: Huh?
BOONE: Ever watch Star Trek?
LOCKE: Nah, not really.
BOONE: The crew guys that would go down to the planet with the main guys, the captain and the guy with the pointy ears, they always wore red shirts. And they always got killed.
LOCKE: Yeah?
BOONE: Yeah.
LOCKE: Sounds like a piss-poor captain.

—"All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues"

  • In "The Lie", Sawyer finds a red shirt and asks who it belongs to. Neil "Frogurt" replies it's his; Frogurt later dies in the same episode.

Redshirts

Character Pic Notes
Leslie Arzt
  • Daniel Roebuck as a guest star. His character, Arzt, was a typical redshirt (i.e. intended to die) part in the script that was auditioned, and given to an experienced actor from LA. In previous episodes, Arzt never before appeared on the beach, even though the premise of the storyline was that he has been there all along (as confirmed by island flashbacks in "Exposé").
Nikki and Paulo
  • Kiele Sanchez (Nikki) and Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo) are main cast members, and have never appeared in the background pool. However the canonical storyline asserts they were there all along, a notion reinforced by the island flashbacks in "Exposé". Paulo and Nikki do not fit the classic redshirt design, as the producers intended more of a plot for them. Through a podcast, the producers referenced that Paulo and Nikki were killed off due to severe audience backlash against the new characters.
Edward Mars
  • Fredric Lehne as a guest star. His character, Edward Mars, was a United States Marshal who sought to apprehend the fugitive Kate Austen. Mars survived the crash but died of his injuries soon thereafter. The purpose of his character is to tell Jack that Kate is a fugitive and intended to die soon after.
Barbara Joanna Miller
  • Barbara Joanna Miller, was a Flight 815 survivor who drowned on Day 6 while swimming in the ocean. She was referenced in two episodes: "White Rabbit" and "Born to Run". She died because Jack first reached Boone (who was also drowning) and brought him to shore rather than go directly for Joanna. Jack felt remorse at the fact that he had never spoken to Joanna, and couldn't believe she had died.
Doug
  • Doug was portrayed by Sean Douglas Hoban, who had previously been a member of the middle section background cast, and so had appeared without credit and without a character name prior to receiving a speaking part in "The Shape of Things to Come". He was a member of Locke's camp who had a brief interaction with Sawyer before being shot and killed in the opening seconds of Keamy's team's raid on the Barracks. In this way, he was a traditional redshirt character, in that the character had only a small speaking role and was intended to be killed, though unlike Arzt, Doug had appeared in background for a while prior to his death. In the same scene two other middle section background cast members were also killed, but they were uncredited extras. As previously recurring characters, albeit background, they may also be said to be "redshirts". One was matched by fans to the name Jerome used in a previous episode in dialogue, and the other is known by some fans as the "blonde casualty".
Neil "Frogurt"
  • Neil "Frogurt" was originally introduced in a mobisode "The Adventures of Hurley and Frogurt". He didn't appear in any Lost episode until Season 5. He even had some speaking lines before being shot to death with a fire arrow in "The Lie". He wears a red shirt throughout the first two episodes of Season 5, perhaps as an inside joke.

See also

External links

  • Lost-TV forum redshirts thread Includes info on Faith Fay (SBSSG), Bryan Sato (Richard aka Asian Cowboy), Dane Justman, Christian Bowman (Steve), and Dustin Watchman (Scott); note however that the use of the term "redshirt" here
  • Redshirt (Wikipedia)
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This article uses material from the "Redshirt" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See Memory-Alpha.org for the canon Star Trek wiki.

Redshirt is a term often used in fanon to designate expendable characters, or other forms of casualties on duty. This is derived from TOS episodes, where operations division crewmen wore red uniforms, of which security personnel were the most easily expended, sometimes in great numbers.

Romulan use

The Romulan Star Navy referred to crewmen of any division as redshirts, because many Romulan uhlans wore wine-red uniforms while in service. The Rihannsu term for redshirt is kunhri. (RIS Bouteina)

See also

External links


This article uses material from the "Redshirt" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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