B'Elanna Torres
B'Elanna Torres is a main character in Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. Set in the 24th century from the year 2371 through 2378, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager, which becomes stranded in the Delta Quadrant 70,000 light-years from Earth while...

played by Roxann Dawson
Roxann Dawson
Roxann Dawson is an American actress, producer and director, best known as B'Elanna Torres on the television series Star Trek: Voyager.-Acting:...

. She is portrayed as a half-human half-Klingon born in 2349 on the Federation colony Kessik IV. Torres joined the Maquis
Maquis (Star Trek)
In the American Star Trek science-fiction franchise, the Maquis are a 24th Century paramilitary organization or terrorist group first introduced in the 1994 episode "The Maquis" of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, who subsequently also appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation and...

 in 2370 and was serving on the Val Jean when brought to the Delta Quadrant. Later, when she joined the USS Voyager
USS Voyager (Star Trek)
The fictional Intrepid-class starship USS Voyager is the primary setting of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager. It is commanded by Captain Kathryn Janeway....

, she was given provisional rank of Lieutenant, junior grade and posted in engineering. After some time she was promoted to the provisional rank of Lieutenant and made the Chief Engineer
Chief Engineer
In marine transportation, the chief engineer is a licensed mariner in charge of the engineering department on a merchant vessel. "Chief engineer" is the official title of someone qualified to oversee the entire engine department; the qualification is colloquially called a "chief's...

. In 2377, she married Tom Paris
Tom Paris
Thomas Eugene "Tom" Paris, played by Robert Duncan McNeill, is a character in the television series Star Trek: Voyager. Paris serves as the chief helmsman and an auxiliary medic aboard the USS Voyager...

 and gave birth to their daughter Miral the next year as Voyager was returning to the Alpha Quadrant.

Creating B'Elanna

The official Star Trek: Voyager Companion describes B'Elanna as a young half-human half-Klingon in her twenties who is a member of the Maquis Rebellion.

The producers wanted to hire an actress who could portray B'Elanna's inner struggle between her human and Klingon halves. After Roxann Dawson
Roxann Dawson
Roxann Dawson is an American actress, producer and director, best known as B'Elanna Torres on the television series Star Trek: Voyager.-Acting:...

 read for the role, she became the first of the Voyager actors to be cast.

Originally, Dawson's makeup differed from the final design. She explained that she had a much more pronounced Klingon forehead and nose and had to wear a set of Klingon teeth, which made her feel uncomfortable. She asked the producers and makeup artist Michael Westmore if they could perhaps make her more attractive and tone down the Klingon makeup. Eventually they came up with a design with which Roxann was happy, something she described as her "beauty monster makeup."

Dawson's initial reaction to the script of the first-season episode "Faces" was one of doubt; she felt that it occurred too early in the series and that she didn't know the character well enough to play her as two separate people. But she used the episode as a learning experience and learned more about her character, and in turn it became one of her favorite episodes. After the episode aired, she called her parents to ask their opinions, and they replied, "You were good, but the girl that played that Klingon was really great!", which Dawson took as a compliment.

Although the character of Torres was twenty-two years old when the series began, Dawson was actually thirty-six.

During the fourth season of the show, Roxann became pregnant with her first child. The writers decided they did not want B'Elanna Torres to become pregnant, so for the duration of Dawson's pregnancy, she was given an engineering lab coat, which was used to help cover her growing pregnancy. However, during the episode "The Killing Game," in which the Hirogen had taken over Voyager and forced the crew to participate in holodeck recreations of various combat situations which included World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Europe, the holodeck character played by B'Elanna Torres is portrayed as pregnant with a Nazi officer's child.

During Voyager's fifth season, Dawson had a meeting with the producers and writers to discuss her character. Roxann explained to them that she felt B'Elanna had an extreme dark side that hadn't been explored, and from that discussion the episode "Extreme Risk" was created. Dawson stated that after the episode aired she received fan mail praising the issues of depression and inner conflict raised in the episode which many people identify with.

In the sixth-season episode "Barge of the Dead", Dawson finally got the chance to explore B'Elanna's Klingon heritage thanks to an episode originally conceived by Ronald D. Moore for Deep Space Nine. In the episode, B'Elanna has a near-death experience and travels to Grethor, the Klingon Hell, where she meets her mother and discovers that because of the dishonor B'Elanna has caused her family, her mother would spend eternity in Grethor. The episode not only explores some fascinating aspects of B'Elanna's character, but it also gives further insight into Klingon mythology. Dawson believed the episode had many layers to it, and she believed it was essentially a coming-of-age story for B'Elanna and her final acceptance of her Klingon heritage.

During season seven, a pregnancy storyline was written in for the B'Elanna character.

At the end of the series, Dawson described B'Elanna's character arc as that of an unruly young teenager who grows into a woman over the course of seven years.

Character overview

B'Elanna is portrayed as having been born in 2349 on the Federation colony Kessik IV. Torres had a troubled childhood; her human father and Klingon
Klingons are a fictional warrior race in the Star Trek universe.Klingons are recurring villains in the 1960s television show Star Trek: The Original Series, and have appeared in all five spin-off series and eight feature films...

 mother often fought, and her father ultimately left the household when she was six years old (conflicting statements also indicate that she may have been twelve). He returned to Earth, leaving her to be raised by her mother.

A mixture of Klingon and human genetics, Torres is shown as prone to aggressive outbursts. She once attacked her schoolmate Daniel Byrd after he repeatedly taunted her, calling her "Miss Turtlehead" due to her cranial ridges. Torres retained this aggressive behavior throughout her life, but she eventually learned to control it.

Starfleet Academy and Maquis

While in the academy, B'Elanna was constantly having trouble with the rules of Starfleet, resulting in her getting four disciplinary hearings and one suspension. But before dropping out, Torres was a valued member on the academy decathlon, making the track and field coach furious in addition to the many other professors unhappy with her choice to leave the academy.

Torres dropped out of Starfleet Academy
Starfleet Academy
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, Starfleet Academy is where the future's recruits to Starfleet will be trained. It was created in the year 2161, when the United Federation of Planets was founded...

 in 2366 at age 19. Four years later she became a member of the Maquis
Maquis (Star Trek)
In the American Star Trek science-fiction franchise, the Maquis are a 24th Century paramilitary organization or terrorist group first introduced in the 1994 episode "The Maquis" of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, who subsequently also appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation and...

 renegade group, and began developing a profound hatred of the Cardassian
The Cardassians are an extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek science fiction franchise. First introduced in the 1991 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Wounded", the species originating on the fictional Alpha Quadrant planet Cardassia Prime...

s. Torres became associated with a Maquis captain named Chakotay
Chakotay , played by Robert Beltran, is a character in Star Trek: Voyager. He is the First Officer of the USS Voyager.-Character biography:...

, and was serving as chief engineer on his ship, the Val Jean, when they were brought to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker.

During her time with the Maquis, Torres reprogrammed a Cardassian missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

 known as "Dreadnought
Dreadnought (Star Trek: Voyager)
"Dreadnought" is the 33rd episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the 17th episode in the second season. It has an average fan rating of 4.4/5 on the official Star Trek website as of September 2009.-Plot:...

". The missile, built with artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

, was originally targeted at Maquis installations. Torres reprogrammed it on a course for a Cardassian installation, but "Dreadnought" was swept into the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker.

USS Voyager

When both the Voyager crew and the Val Jean crew were taken to the Delta Quadrant, Harry Kim
Harry Kim (Star Trek)
Ensign Harry S. L. Kim, played by Garrett Wang, is a character in the television series Star Trek: Voyager. He serves as the USS Voyagers operations officer.-Depiction:...

 and Torres were transported to the Ocampa
Ocampa is the fictional home planet of the Ocampa, a fictional race of elf-like humanoids in the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager....

 home world while their respective crews set out to look for them. Being the only two people from their region of the Alpha Quadrant, the two quickly formed a relationship and she nicknamed him "Starfleet" for his faith in the Federation
United Federation of Planets
The United Federation of Planets, also known as "The Federation" is a fictional interplanetary federal republic depicted in the Star Trek television series and motion pictures...

 and Starfleet. This relationship would carry on throughout the series as the two would more than occasionally work on tasks together, allowing Kim to prove his intelligence to the whole crew.

In 2371, B'Elanna Torres joined the Voyager crew with the rest of the Maquis from the Val Jean, as Captain Kathryn Janeway
Kathryn Janeway
Kathryn Janeway, played by Kate Mulgrew, is a fictional character in the Star Trek franchise. As the captain of the Starfleet starship USS Voyager, she was the lead character on the television series Star Trek: Voyager, and later, a Starfleet admiral, as seen in the 2002 feature film Star Trek...

 offers them the opportunity. She was placed in the engineering department, which had no clear department head because the original chief engineer was killed during the trip to the Delta Quadrant; Captain Janeway eventually promoted Torres to chief engineer based on, now Voyager XO
First officer
In commercial aviation, the first officer is the second pilot of an aircraft. The first officer is second-in-command of the aircraft, to the captain who is the legal commander...

, Chakotay's recommendation. Initially, Torres was very outspoken in her disapproval of Captain Janeway's decision to destroy the Caretaker's array, which had the ability to send the Voyager back home from the Delta Quadrant, and carried a small grudge against the captain. Over the first few months, Torres began respecting the captain and her decisions based on Janeway's strong leadership and their shared interest in science.

Shortly after becoming chief engineer, Torres disobeys the captain's orders when Voyager encounters a race known as the Sikarians. The Sikarians have advanced transporter
Transporter (Star Trek)
A transporter is a fictional teleportation machine used in the Star Trek universe. Transporters convert a person or object into an energy pattern , then "beam" it to a target, where it is reconverted into matter...

Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 that could drastically shorten their 70-year journey, but Sikarian law prohibits the Voyager crew from obtaining it legitimately. Torres becomes involved with a small group of officers who obtain the technology on the Sikarian black market and perpetrate a failed attempt to integrate it into Voyagers systems.

Torres, along with Tom Paris
Tom Paris
Thomas Eugene "Tom" Paris, played by Robert Duncan McNeill, is a character in the television series Star Trek: Voyager. Paris serves as the chief helmsman and an auxiliary medic aboard the USS Voyager...

, was later kidnapped by the Vidiian
The Vidiians are a fictional race in the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager, located in the Delta Quadrant. The Vidiians suffer from a necrotizing plague called "the Phage"...

s. A Vidiian scientist extracts the Klingon DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 from Torres, splicing her into two separate people: one human, one Klingon. He believed the Klingon DNA had a specific biochemical property which could lead to a cure for the Phage, a disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

 affecting his people. The human Torres is portrayed fraught with fear and timidity, while the Klingon Torres is shown as overly aggressive. After her escape from the Vidiians the Klingon Torres suffered a fatal wound from the Vidiian energy weapon and died, but the Doctor
Doctor (Star Trek)
The Doctor, an Emergency Medical Hologram Mark I , is a fictional character from the television series Star Trek: Voyager, played by actor Robert Picardo...

 used her DNA to restore the human Torres to her original half-human half-Klingon state.

In the episode "Persistence of Vision", it is revealed that Torres at the time had a romantic interest in Chakotay.

In 2373, Torres was the target of telepathically-inspired dreams from a member of a race called the Enarans. The dreams were actually memories of a great massacre that took place on the Enaran homeworld
Homeworld is a real-time strategy computer game released on September 28, 1999, developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sierra Entertainment. It was the first fully three-dimensional RTS. In 2003, Relic released the source code for Homeworld...

, and were the elder Enaran's method of making sure that the memory
In psychology, memory is an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information and experiences. Traditional studies of memory began in the fields of philosophy, including techniques of artificially enhancing memory....

 of this massacre lives on, even if in the mind of an alien
Extraterrestrial life in popular culture
In popular cultures, "extraterrestrials" are life forms — especially intelligent life forms— that are of extraterrestrial origin .-Historical ideas:-Pre-modern:...


Later that year, Vulcan
Vulcan (Star Trek)
Vulcans, or sometimes Vulcanians, are an extraterrestrial humanoid species in the Star Trek universe who evolved on the planet Vulcan, and are noted for their attempt to live by reason and logic with no interference from emotion. They were the first extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek...

 engineer Vorik accidentally triggered Torres' mating instincts when he initiated a telepathic bond with her while he is experiencing the pon farr
Pon farr
Pon farr is a term used in the fictional Star Trek canonical TV series. In Star Trek, pon farr is a psychophysical condition affecting Vulcans, in which Vulcan males and females go into heat every seven years, going into a blood fever, becoming violent, and finally dying if they do not mate with...

. Torres and Tom Paris later become trapped on a planet together during an away mission, and Torres attempted to get Paris to mate with her, but he resisted. Eventually, Vorik and Torres engaged in ritual battle to purge the blood fever.

Torres later began a relationship with Paris after a complicated and stormy courtship. During an incident in 2374, Torres confessed her love for Tom Paris to him when they were left floating in space in environmental suits, with almost no hope of rescue ("Day of Honor"). Although Voyager was soon able to rescue them, Torres realized that her courage in admitting her love had brought her one step closer to discovering what she considered true honor. Their relationship first flourishes on screen during "Scientific Method
Scientific Method (Star Trek: Voyager)
"Scientific Method" is an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the seventh episode of the fourth season. It has an average fan rating of 4.2/5 on the official Star Trek website as of September, 2009....

". They married in 2377 and their honeymoon
-History:One early reference to a honeymoon is in Deuteronomy 24:5 “When a man is newly wed, he need not go out on a military expedition, nor shall any public duty be imposed on him...

 was aboard the
Delta Flyer.

When Torres and Paris conceived their child in 2377, she learned from The Doctor that the child will have distinct Klingon cranial ridges as well as other Klingon traits. Torres, remembering painful events from her own childhood, urged the Doctor to perform gene therapy
Gene therapy
Gene therapy is the insertion, alteration, or removal of genes within an individual's cells and biological tissues to treat disease. It is a technique for correcting defective genes that are responsible for disease development...

 to reduce this phenotype
A phenotype is an organism's observable characteristics or traits: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior...

, and even went so far as to reprogram him to do so. Paris and Captain Janeway both disagreed and managed to prevent the Doctor from performing the genetic modifications. When Paris succeeded in getting her to open up, she admitted that she's afraid her husband will find living with two Klingons too difficult and will leave her the way her father did. Once he allayed her fears, he admitted wanting even more children just like their mother, and Torres was shown as finally enjoying the pregnancy.

Torres' and Paris' daughter, Miral Paris, was born in 2378, during Voyagers trip through a Borg
Borg (Star Trek)
The Borg are a fictional pseudo-race of cybernetic organisms depicted in the Star Trek universe associated with Star Trek.Whereas cybernetics are used by other races in the science fiction world to repair bodily damage and birth defects, the Borg use enforced cybernetic enhancement as a means of...

 transwarp conduit back to the Alpha Quadrant. In an alternate timeline
Alternate history (fiction)
Alternate history or alternative history is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. It can be variously seen as a sub-genre of literary fiction, science fiction, and historical fiction; different alternate...

 where Voyager made it home by different means, Miral was shown as an adult serving in Starfleet
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, Starfleet or the Federation Starfleet is the deep-space exploratory, peacekeeping and military service maintained by the United Federation of Planets . It is the principal means by which the Federation conducts its exploration, defense, diplomacy and research...

, with the rank of ensign.


Torres' birthdate – Torres stated in (VOY: "Extreme Risk") that she was nineteen when she quit Starfleet Academy and by 2376 it was ten years since she entered the Academy and ten years since she last spoke with her mother. (VOY: "Equinox, Part II", "Barge of the Dead"). Torres quit the Academy in her second year at age nineteen in 2368, that puts her birth year 2349.

The Official Star Trek Voyager Companion gives further evidence to Torres' age. This is a passage taken from the book: "B'ELANNA TORRES is a half Klingon, half Human in her twenties who is frantically working at the consoles of the barely spaceworthy craft..."

External links

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