|Voyagers chief engineer can be a bit grumpy, so it was a relief to discover Roxann Dawson in fine spirits|
The product of a mixed union, Lieutenant BElanna Torres has spent her entire life denying her Klingon heritage and trying to keep her volatile warrior instincts bottled up deep inside. The constant churning of Torress emotions is what has made playing her so much of a treat for Roxann Dawson.
I think shes grown into a real team player since coming on board as a member of the Maquis, notes the actress. However, theyre still focusing on her internal struggles as well as on her trying to deal with a relationship with Tom Paris [Robert Duncan McNeill] and its been interesting to watch that evolve. So, yes, shes matured, but what I love about her and what I keep emphasizing to the writers is that I dont want to see somebody whos perfect. Shes fallible. BElanna still acts from the gut, I think, more than from her head, which is sometimes good and other times not so good.
In the first-season episode Faces the lieutenant is shocked to discover that she needs her Klingon side to survive when a Vidiian scientist (Brian Markinson) extracts that portion of her DNA. Her Klingon mating instincts are aroused in the third-season story Blood Fever and this causes her to express, in a rather aggressive way, an interest in Tom Paris. According to Dawson, her character faces yet another emotional crisis early on in Voyagers fifth and current season.
We did a wonderful episode called Extreme Risk which is going to be the third episode shown this season. In it we explore a very interesting side of BElanna: its a side of her thats unable to mourn or afraid of mourning for her Maquis friends, all of whom have died fighting the Cardassians. In lieu of grieving, which seems to really frighten her, she begins taking all these physical risks on the holodeck. I think this exploration of the character, which is basically psychological in nature, is fascinating.
More often than not BElanna faces physical confrontations as opposed to emotional ones, so Extreme Risk was an exciting change of pace. I love it when they delve into her internal struggles because that is where the core of the character is and I think its important to occasionally expose this to the audience. Im hoping that the writers continue to uncover more of this shared history between Chakotay and BElanna involving their connection with the Maquis...
Continued in Cult Times #39Steven Eramo
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