"The Trek ramblings of a geeky Drag Queen"


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

'The Host' and the changing face of the Trill race.

For such a huge and varied universe, Star Trek has managed to stay pretty consistent, partly due to a long-serving production team and partly due to the fans anal attitude to fine details. Of course, this is TV and after spanning five decades, the show simply couldn't adhere to the production values of the 60s show and artistic licence was taken with technology and the look of alien races when Star Trek was brought back in the 80s. This was unavoidable and widely accepted as compulsory by the fan base, yet ultimately many Star Trek episodes offered geeky explanations as to why things were altered along the Trek timeline. The most famous of these alterations was the change in the look of the Klingon race when The Next Generation added a full prosthetic make up to them which the Original series could not afford. This mystery was tackled, explained and solved more than forty years later in an episode of  Enterprise - one of the shows finer moments. Differences between the 60's Star Trek series and the 80's one were unavoidable and forgiveable, but what about between the 80's and later 90's shows?

Here is a niggle I've had since I began following Star Trek. In Season 4 of The Next Generation a race called the Trill were created, initially as the 'Alien of the week' but later on in Deep Space Nine they returned as series regulars. TNG Trill looked like a slapdash, nondescript beige forehead-appliance type humanoid which could not use the transporter for fear of damaging their Symbiont, and the Symbiont themselves, appearing as colourful neon fat slugs, could exist in human hosts for a week or so before being rejected.

Odan from TNG episode 'The Host'

Our first look at a Symbiont (TNG 'The Host')

When the producers of Deep Space Nine decided that the concept of the Trill demanded more exploration, they included one as their Science Officer. After casting an attractive young female actress, they decided they didn't want to cover her face with prosthetics and so designed a less restrictive make-up for the Trill. So, that's the TV show explanation, but what about a Star Trek cannon explanation?

Now that Trek is no longer on TV, it's unlikely that this particular mystery will be officially solved, so I guess we could take some artistic licence ourselves and theorize between us. Away we go.....

Trill Jadzia Dax from Deep Space Nine.