Loving the revelations which have come my way about diminutive crime correspondent Jane Hamilton (or Jane Simpson to use her proper married name).
When I first met Jane around 2001 she was carving a very nice name for herself as crime reporter at the Evening News. Later she moved to the Sunday Mail where she was regularly turning over criminals and turning in splashes. These days she’s plying her trade with the Currant Bun, working off-diary in Edinburgh.
This week her name came up during an email exchange with media blogger Craig McGill. I was amazed when I saw the response to one of his posts (to read it for yourself, click here) where he asked readers to suggest questions for a sci-fi show actor he will soon be interviewing.
What struck me most was the number of female devotees responding. I was gobsmacked because, as a spotty youth, I was reasonably fond of sci-fi, but kept that quiet since it was considered a geeky and almost exclusively male interest in those days. During the intervening years something fundamental has changed.
I remarked on this to Mr McGill and in the ensuing blizzard of emails about female fans of science fiction, he blithely let slip this little pearl: “Useless factoid: Jane Hamilton, one of the Sun’s Edinburgh team, was a recurring character in a couple of Star Trek books.”
Some nagging sixth sense (let’s call it Vulcan intuition, though more accurately it’s the entirely earthly “feeble memory syndrome”) told me that I’d heard this before. But the details weren’t quite as sharp as Mr Spock’s lugs. So I phoned Jane for a refresher.
Turns out she is a total Trekkie (though denies ever dressing up as a Klingon or any other character – shame). As a result in 1999 she landed the position of online news editor of TrekNews. That led to her befriending various other Trekkies, including cast members, superfans – and the New York-based writer Kevin Dilmore, who has penned a number of Star Trek novels.
It was Kevin who gave Jane Trekkie immortalty, by creating in her honour the character Dr Jane Hamilton, who appeared in a couple of his books. Indeed, Kev has confirmed the character is mentioned in one book (Interphase) and has a speaking role in a second (Foundations).
I can also exclusively reveal that Dr Jane could be making a comeback with Kevin giving this assurance: “We’re looking at a story or two that could mean a return of Dr Hamilton to print – just not sure when that will happen!”
Meanwhile, back here on earth, the real Jane Hamilton greeted this news by cooing: “Wooh! I might get to snog Patrick Stewart!”. You see, she’s obsessed by the slapheid Shakespearean actor who played Captain Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Which proves that while she might be a long time graduated from the Galactic Academy, she can still be a bit of a space cadet.
Anyway, I can only assume that when she got into the Trekkie community, our Jane had her phasers set to stun – because she’s now been asked back as a regular columnist on Star Trek Monthly. I had to ask how this would go down with her bosses on The Sun.
Jane assures me the news was better received than she possibly could have hoped – because news editor Alan Muir turns out to be a secret Trekkie as well! Who’d have believed it?
In the immortal words of Star Trek’s memorable Jock character, Scottie: “Cap’n – the engines cannae take much mair!”