Out of Time Voyager’s chief engineer can be a bit grumpy, so it was a relief to discover Roxann Dawson in fine spirits
selected from Cult Times #39 (December '98) This six-page interview feature also contains our bite-sized Star Trek: Voyager season Four guide.
Also in this issue: Levar Burton on reappearing as Geordi La Forge in Voyager's Timeless and Star Trek: Insurrection, and moving into directing and producing. "I had to abandon a whole shot list and just wing it. And I didn't die. The world didn't end. It was a great lesson."

Can't get yours locally? You can order it here

The product of a mixed union, Lieutenant B’Elanna 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 Torres’s emotions is what has made playing her so much of a treat for Roxann Dawson.

Roxann Dawson's Torres with Janeway. Obviously.“I think she’s grown into a real team player since coming on board as a member of the Maquis,” notes the actress. “However, they’re still focusing on her internal struggles as well as on her trying to deal with a relationship with Tom Paris [Robert Duncan McNeill] and it’s been interesting to watch that evolve. So, yes, she’s matured, but what I love about her and what I keep emphasizing to the writers is that I don’t want to see somebody who’s perfect. She’s fallible. B’Elanna 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 Voyager’s 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 B’Elanna: it’s a side of her that’s 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 B’Elanna 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 it’s important to occasionally expose this to the audience. I’m hoping that the writers continue to uncover more of this shared history between Chakotay and B’Elanna involving their connection with the Maquis...”

Continued in Cult Times #39

Steven Eramo

Image © Paramount Cult Times footer