Doctor Thomas Leighton was a male human in the 23rd century who was a food technologist and scientist who had witnessed the massacre of the colonists on Tarsus IV by its crazed governor, Kodos, in 2246. He was married to Martha Leighton. (TOS episode: "The Conscience of the King")

He was 13 years old when the massacre occurred but couldn't comprehend what was happening. Leighton and a friend, James T. Kirk, were joking around and went to the main square. They saw the whole execution, that included Leighton's parents as victims. Leighton screamed and one of the militia members attacked him and scarred his face with his energy weapon, but Kirk managed to save him from being killed. (ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years, ST reference: The Autobiography of James T. Kirk)

Leighton participated in Memory Alpha's living history project and recorded his account of the events at Tarsus IV. (ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)

In the years following the massacre Leighton became a research scientist, and worked to develop synthetic foodstuffs and other safeguards in order to avoid a repeat of the disaster on Tarsus IV. Leighton agreed to an interview with fellow Tarsus IV survivor Shannon Moulton as part of her book The Four Thousand: Crisis on Tarsus IV where he discussed his work and his lingering doubts that Kodos was truly dead. (DSC novel: Drastic Measures)

In 2266, convinced that Kodos had survived his apparent death and was now disguised as Anton Karidian, the actor, Leighton diverted the USS Enterprise. James T. Kirk was also a survivor, and Leighton wanted confirmation. He was later found dead by Kirk, killed by Karidian's daughter Lenore Karidian to keep his knowledge silent. (TOS episode: "The Conscience of the King")

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