Star Trek fans can ring out 2010 with Star Trek Magazine, Issue #31, which will be out on December 28 and includes interviews with Roxann Dawson and Chase Masterson, a look at the Haynes Enterprise Manual, an appreciation of Star Trek’s strongest female characters, notably Uhura, and more. StarTrek.com has a preview straight from the editor’s desk. Check it out:
Every Star Trek TV series had its own tech-savvy, fiercely loyal chief engineer with plenty of backbone as well as a flaw or two. On Star Trek: Voyager, it was Lt. B’Elanna Torres who was responsible for keeping the ship functioning at peak efficiency during its seven-year journey back home to Earth. In the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine, Steven Eramo caught up with actor turned director Roxann Dawson. Here’s a taste of the interview…
In between her real-life and TV pregnancies, Roxann Dawson took back the action reins in several stories, including two B’Elanna-centric episodes. In season five’s “Extreme Risk,” she begins engaging in life-threatening holodeck activities, while in the following year’s “Barge of the Dead,” she has a near-death experience and meets the ghost of her mother, Miral (Karen Austin), in Gre’thor, the Klingon Hell.
“The episode ’Extreme Risk’ actually came out of a conversation I had had with executive producer Brannon Braga,” says Dawson. “He was wondering where B’Elanna would go next, and I began talking about her life and that maybe she was at a point where the conflict between her Klingon and human sides was so great that she began taking risks to know what it was like to feel. B’Elanna wanted to pit one side against the other and see which would win as far as her fears and vulnerabilities went. It was a very private thing that wound up obsessing her.
“I love what they did with that script. It was an emotional and exciting episode to do because it was so psychologically risky. In fact, I’ve spoken with a number of people who have gone through moments like that. They’ve taken undue risks to test the boundaries of life for one reason or another, whether because of something that has happened in their own life, or even due to clinical depression. Sometimes people will do things just to reaffirm to themselves what it means to be alive. So I thought it was a risky as well as wonderful thing that the writers were willing to go there with B’Elanna and really show this sort of psychologically tormented side of her that was crying out for some help, and I was thrilled to perform that.
“‘Barge of the Dead,’ to me felt very much like a classic Star Trek story in that it talked about family roots, and especially for B’Elanna, the denial of her past and those classic generational relationships. It was also a chance to bring the Klingon world to the forefront in such a classical way, which you really couldn’t do otherwise in a show like Voyager. The sets were fantastic and it was a very well-written script that I enjoyed working on a great deal.”
The Strong, Savvy Women of Star Trek - Uhura
The women of Star Trek are not to be underestimated. They come from all backgrounds with agile minds, street smarts and the ability to step up to any situation in a manner equal to their peers regardless of gender. Christopher Pike’s “Number One” and Kathryn Janeway are prime, obvious examples of such women, but what about some of the other “savvy lasses” in Star Trek? As Kevin Dilmore and Dayton Ward explain in the following excerpt from the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine, they can show up even where they’re least expected.
From the moment they set foot on the campus of Starfleet Academy, cadets carry an expectation to one day be among the Federation’s best and brightest. In Star Trek, there should be no surprise when a woman in the captain’s chair is able to outwit an opponent or devise a solution to a planetary disaster. One woman initially set the bar for resourcefulness and dependability, proving herself among the savviest women in the 23rd Century – regardless of reality: Nyota Uhura.
Introduced as a communications officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, Uhura proved her worth as an officer time and again. As she became more experienced with each mission, her confidence increased along with her responsibilities. Not only was she trained to serve at the Enterprise helm (“Balance of Terror”), but when her male counterparts were seduced into submission by the denizens of Taurus II, Uhura assumed command of the starship and led a landing party to rescue the senior staff (“The Lorelei Signal,” Star Trek animated). She helped Captain Kirk liberate the U.S.S. Enterprise to assist in the rescue of Spock from the Genesis Planet (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) and went on to positions of increasing responsibility at Starfleet Academy.
In the alternate reality seen in the recent movie, Uhura is depicted as even more confident and capable at a young age than ever. As a cadet, her skill as a translator of Romulan dialects earns her a field promotion to Enterprise bridge officer during Nero’s attack on the Federation. Her very service aboard the starship in the first place hinged on her slyly brokering a deal with Spock, influencing his judgment against the posting by exerting some pressure against their clandestine relationship. She also is among the first of the crew to recognize their existence in the alternate reality – and with it the chance to remake their lives along a new and unique path. Uhura does not shy away from the situation.
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