Dawson - The Evolution of B'Elanna

By Amy
March 23, 2001 - 4:44 PM

Roxann Dawson, Voyager's B'Elanna Torres, recently took some time out to speak with UK magazine TV Zone as part of their special 6-page feature on her character.

Over seven years of Star Trek: Voyager, we've seen the character of B'Elanna Torres, the ship's half-Klingon former Maquis chief engineer evolve from "a loner and an angry woman who didn't trust very many people" to a, well, still angry (at least in some respects) but happily married woman and soon-to-be mother. But it hasn't been an easy journey. "I think throughout the series," Dawson says, "B'Elanna has progressed and, then again, not progressed. She'll take three steps forward and one back, and sometimes it's the steps back I find to be the most intriguing."

Season seven so far has seen much of that - and further evolution of Torres as a character - with the episode 'Drive' and 'Lineage' in particular. "I thought Drive was good," Dawson told the magazine, "Some people complained they didn't get to see the actual wedding but I don't think you really needed to. It would've taken valuable time away from what actually brought Tom and B'Elanna to the altar." The actress was particularly happy to see that thread resolved, even if it was off-screen, thinking it "was important for them to finally make a commitment."

'Lingeage', the actress comments, "may just be one of the episodes [she's] most proud of." Dealing with "everything from abortion to father's rights as well as our ever-growing capabilities to genetically alter a baby in the womb", Dawson found it to be a great "character-driven piece that allows a great deal of growth for [her] character." Being a mother herself, did she feel that her portrayal in the episode was influenced? "Naturally," she says, "my having children very much influenced the way I looked at this episode. However, it was so well-written that it's something I probably would've understood even if I didn't have a family."

With only six regular episodes remaining, there is still plenty to go for Torres - or, Dawson puts it, "this is just the tip of the iceberg for Tom and B'Elanna." To find out more of what the actress and author has to say about Voyager, her character and her own future, check out the six-page feature in TV Zone #137.

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