Captain Dunsel

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Synonyms: Ermine Violin
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Captain Dunselis a Star Trek: TOS term from the episode "The Ultimate Computer." In it, a character jokingly refers to Kirk as "Captain Dunsel", employing a Starfleet Academy slang term for a part serving no useful purpose.

Some Fan Uses

  • Dunsel Box, a con activity
  • Notes from Captain Dunsel, a regular feature by Sharon Ferarro in the print zine Menagerie.
  • as a description of uselessness or perceived uselessness in many fanworks and letters of comment. Examples: "This tasteless tradition may be becoming fandom's favorite parlor game -- even though Kirk won the TV Guide poll. With the coming ofJean Luc Picard, is James T. now a useless Captain Dunsel, too unrefined to command the flagship of the fleet?" [1]. "I also had some problems with Kirk's characterization. He acts the "Captain Dunsel" role a little too convincingly, sort of moping around because he lost the Enterprise and Spock, trying to regain both and ultimately succeeding, but coming off as far more insecure and unsure of himself — even given the circumstances— than he should." [2] "I understand the intent was to show the underlying feeling of Kirk's own lack of self-esteem and his "Captain Dunsel" feelings, but when has Kirk ever lacked self-esteem?" [3] "Captain Kirk is being treated like a tool, a Capt. Dunsel, an unnecessary loser!" [4]


  1. a panel at 1992 OktoberTrek
  2. from Come Together #18 for a review of Magic Heart
  3. from The K/S Press #9 for a review of Setting Sun, Rising Star
  4. from The K/S Press #133 for a review of Standing Down