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Dawson’s Cheek

Ex-Voyager Roxann Dawson is a busy lady, adding episodes of Enterprise and Charmed to her directing CV while still keeping busy in the acting world…

It’s a blessing when a person finds a job that he or she likes doing, let alone two. When it comes to Roxann Dawson, not only is she passionate about acting, but also her burgeoning career as a director. Probably best known to Star Trek fans as Lieutenant B’Elanna Torres on Star Trek: Voyager, she made her directorial début on that series in its sixth year with the episode Riddles. Dawson went on to direct the seventh season’s Workforce II. Although Voyager ended in 2001, the actress’s association with Star Trek didn’t, especially as far as working behind the cameras is concerned.

“Rick Berman [series creator and executive producer] told me at the Voyager wrap party that I would be directing Enterprise,” recalls the actress/director. “I thought that was a nice way to finish up on Voyager.” The first Enterprise episode directed by Dawson, The Andorian Incident, re-introduced audiences to the blue-skinned alien race first seen in the original Star Trek adventure Journey to Babel.

“The Andorian Incident was such a great script. I really lucked out getting that one,” says Dawson. “It was the seventh episode of Enterprise’s first season. The series hadn’t even begun airing yet and was still in the early stages of development. It was a joy to work with the cast and watch them as they were just beginning to discover their characters.

“My biggest worry when they told me that the Andorians were blue men with antennae was, ‘Are they going to look silly’? I wanted to make them appear menacing and I believe we succeeded. Jeffrey Combs did an extraordinary job of creating the character of Shran, who has since appeared several times on the show. We really didn’t know, though, how he and other Andorian characters would turn out. One of the things we concentrated on was how to make the Andorians’ antennae move. We had some wonderful puppeteers and together with them we created movements with the antennae that we felt would express what these aliens were feeling. It was a great collaborative effort.

“I can never understand it when you walk onto a set and the work isn’t about collaboration. Everyone is there because they’re supposedly good at what they do. They all want the show to be as good as it can be, and in order for that to happen it’s necessary for all parties to band together to create a series that will be just that.”

by Steven Eramo

Get the full interview in
Cult Times #94

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Feature © Visual Imagination 2004. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #94
July 2003
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