In the dark days of the early Internet, there was one Star Trek fansite so beautiful and well crafted that it served as an inspiration to all Trekker webmasters: Medical Log: Supplemental.
Dedicated to Dr Julian Bashir, the website was divided into four sections:
- Profile, which had a biography of the good doctor, descriptions of his personal relationships, quotes, images and a page about actor Alexander Siddig.
- Infirmary, with bios of the series’ main characters, information about Starfleet medical technology and a Xenobiology Database with entries about the show’s main races,
- Deep Space 9, which included a full episode guide, pages about the main powers, including the Cardassians, Dominion and Federation, profiles of the Defiant and the space station itself as well as fun pages about the main attractions on the Promenade.
- Personal Log, for awards, links and opinion.
The motivation for the website was a single episode, “Statistical Probabilities”, the first of the third Star Trek series which its creator, “Verania”, saw.
“The young, handsome doctor caught my imagination immediately,” she wrote on her “About this site” page.
Anyone must allow that Dr Bashir is charming and very appealing to female audience but there was much more than just visual appeal in the form of Julian Bashir. The juxtaposition of the light and dark, somber and humorous, serious and absurd that subtly shades Deep Space Nine thrilled me like no other series.
Even if Bashir played a less prominent role in subsequent episodes, that first encounter with the series and the character determined for Verania the theme and subject of her website. “In retrospect, had I seen another episode, this site may never have existed.”
Before I had seen DS9, I had envisioned doing something on The Original Series or The Next Generation, both being old friends. But whatever I intended to do will have to wait until later.
Verania didn’t expect that Medical Log: Supplemental would not only teach her “the rudiments of web design and graphic design techniques, but also favor me with the attention of so many fellow Trek fans.” Back when it was custom for websites to give out “awards” to other sites they admired, Verania’s won dozens.
By the standards of early web design, navigation was smooth with the ability to jump to the home page as well as main sections from every page. Even by today’s standards, the layout is impressive.
While not uniform, Medical Log: Supplemental’s design was characterized by a harmonious color scheme and elegant graphics, which were the envy of fellow Star Trek website makers.
The website was first uploaded in June 1998, but the earliest version in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is from May 2000.
Updates continued into 2004. The main structure of the site didn’t change into 2009, the year from which the most recently archived version can be retrieved. That was when Yahoo! shut down its GeoCities hosting service.
A largely functional version of the website is still available at OoCities, another web archive service. Let’s hope they keep it up, for, as Verania wrote, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine may have ended; “its legacy will be kept alive in my small corner of the web.”
Medical Log: Supplemental spawned a separate website about Deep Space Nine’s Legate Damar, also archived at OoCities.