|“||Oh, I wouldn't kill you, Captain. Your own death would mean little to you. But your ship... It's dead. I've killed it!||„|
|~ Finney to Kirk during their confrontation.|
Lieutenant Commander Benjamin "Ben" Finney is a one-shot character from the Star Trek franchise, appearing on Star Trek: The Original Series in the Season 1 episode "Court Martial."
He was portrayed by the late Richard Webb.
Finney was formerly an instructor at Starfleet Academy, where he befriended one of his students, future Enterprise captain James T. Kirk; the two were close to the point where Finney named his daughter, Jame, after Kirk. The two were later assigned to the USS Republic, where Kirk later relieved him on watch. Kirk soon noticed that a circuit to the ship's atomic matter pile had been left open by Finey - a negligent act that would have resulted in the destruction of the ship. Ensign Kirk closed the circuit in time to save the ship and made a report in his log. As as a result Finney was reprimanded and sent to the bottom of the promotion list, and it became highly unlikely that Finney would ever command his own ship. Finney then held a bitter grudge against Kirk for making it impossible for him to advance through the ranks to Captain.
Initially unaware of how Finney felt about him, Kirk asked for him when he took command of the USS Enterprise. Having been made aware of how much Finney despised him by Gary Mitchell, Kirk decided to name Spock as his new first officer instead of Finney after Mitchell's untimely 2266 death.
Even though Kirk knew of Finney's true feelings, Kirk was determined to salvage the relationship if possible, and act professionally towards Finney. Finney remained on the Enterprise and was assigned as the ship's Records Officer. In 2267, Finney was apparently killed during an ion storm while in an observation pod, and the ship's records showed that Kirk was responsible for Finney's death, leading to Kirk being put on trial. It eventually comes out that the Enterprise computer records were tampered with and that Kirk was in fact being framed by Finney, who was revealed to still be alive.
Kirk goes to confront Finney in the ship's engineering section, where Finney confirms he's in fact alive before appearing behind Kirk and holding him at gunpoint. After disarming Kirk, he reveals that he was trying to frame Kirk out of revenge. Worse, he's also sabotaged the Enterprise, causing its orbit to decay and endangering everyone on board. Kirk tries to talk him down, but when Finney rants about a conspiracy within Starfleet to keep him down, he informs him that Jame is aboard the Enterprise. This causes Finney to babble worriedly about his daughter and thus give Kirk the chance to fight and defeat his former friend. Once defeated, Finney tearfully reveals what he did to sabotage the Enterprise, allowing Kirk to repair the damage and therefore save the ship.
Finney was later put on trial, with Samuel T. Cogley (the same attorney who represented Kirk during his court martial) acting as his lawyer. Kirk himself appeared as a character witness at the trial. Despite the best efforts of Cogley and Kirk Finney was found guilty of a number of crimes, and was sent to the New Zealand rehabilitation center on Earth.
By 2270, Finney had been released from confinement and had relocated with his daughter to the Rigel colonies, running an import-export business. As part of his rehabilitation Finney had been trained not to think of Kirk anymore. He was recruited by the rogue Starfleet officer and Klingon agent Jason Carmody as part of another plot to wreck Kirk's career. Finney spent several months designing a computer virus that would confuse the Enterprise computer and cause it to report false sensor reasons that an unarmed civilian ship was preparing to attack the Enterprise, and cause Kirk to attack the ship. When Finney realized that the Klingons were going to use the computer virus to conquer the Federation, he helped foil the Klingon plot and provided the means to counter his computer virus should it appear again.
Realizing that his hatred of Kirk was causing him to endanger innocent people, Finney surrendered to Starfleet, ready to undergo further rehabilitation. He was sent back to New Zealand where he would remain until 2293. Shortly before Kirk entered the Nexus in 2293, Kirk visited Finney at the rehabilitation center. Finney was days away from release and planned to live with his family once freed. He no longer hated Kirk, but thought it would be best if Kirk made no further attempts to contact or visit him, feeling it would hamper the progress of his rehabilitation.
|“||Hello, Captain! Nothing to say, Captain?||„|
|~ Finney, heard in Engineering as Kirk searches for him|
|“||Like you helped me all along? Kept me down, robbed me of my own command? I'm a good officer, as good as you. I've watched you for years. The great Captain Kirk. [...] They told you to do it to me. You all conspired against me. You ruined me, but you won't do it anymore.||„|
|~ Finney, revealing himself to Kirk and holding him at gunpoint|
|“||The Enterprise should've been mine. You kept me from it.||„|
|~ Finney, to Kirk|
|“||Innocent? Officers and gentlemen, captains all. Except for Finney and his one mistake. A long time ago, but they don't forget.||„|
|~ Finney, to Kirk|
|“||I was a good officer. I really was. I loved the service more than any man ever dared.||„|
|“||Why shouldn't I? They killed me, didn't they? It's a fair trade.||„|
|~ Finney, to Kirk|
|“||What? Why did you do that? Why did you bring her here? I'll kill you!||„|
|~ Finney, after Kirk reveals his daughter is aboard the Enterprise, which is falling out of orbit|