Tom was a Human anthropologist in the Planetary Union. Alongside fellow anthropologist Lewis, Tom worked on Sargus 4 posing as a native Sargun until he was killed while attempting to flee neurological readjustment.I'm ashamed of my behavior, and I'm deeply, deeply sorry.— Tom, on his apology tour
Tom began a career in the Planetary Union as a civilian anthropologist. According to Doctor Claire Finn, he had a family, though the members of that family are never disclosed.
In 2419, Lewis and Tom were part of a two-man anthropological team to covertly study the people of Sargus 4, a world notable for its parallel cultural development with Earth. They reported to the Union that they successfully integrated into society and had acquired a residence on Kappala Street. They sent several interesting images of Sargun culture before communications died.
At some point early into their assignment, Lewis and Tom were photographed failing to offer their bus seat to a pregnant woman. The photo was uploaded to the Master Feed and they received over one million downvotes, enough to trigger a mandatory apology tour.
As part of their tour, Lewis and Tom appear on a live morning talk show, The Breakfast Show, and apologize for a crime against society. Their apologies were not enough, and both were sentenced to "Social Correction," a neurological readjustment similar in effect to a frontal lobotomy. Tom was killed by Department of Corrections guards while attempting to flee. Lewis was adjusted.
One month later, the USS Orville is assigned to search for the pair. The crew learns that Lewis and Tom broke contact with the Union, and an undercover rescue team is formed. Claire, Chief of Security Alara Kitan, and the native Sargun, Lysella, discover Lewis in his home, but Tom's body is not recovered.