B'Elanna Torres

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B'Elanna Torres (pronounced /bɨˈlɑːnə/) is a main character in Star Trek: Voyager played by Roxann Dawson. She is portrayed as a half-human half-Klingon born in 2349 on the Federation colony Kessik IV. Torres joined the Maquis in 2370 and was serving on the Val Jean when brought to the Delta Quadrant. Later, when she joined the USS Voyager, 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. In 2377, she married Tom Paris and gave birth to their daughter Miral the next year as Voyager was returning to the Alpha Quadrant.

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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 read for the role, she became the first of the Voyager actors to be cast.[1]

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." [2]

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.[2]

Although the character of Torres was twenty-two years old when the series began, Dawson was actually thirty-six.[3]

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

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