Star Trek Women

The Star Trek women have always been attractive, but they've also been intelligent, insightful, commanding and diverse. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, deliberately tried to give women exciting roles that conveyed an attitude of respect towards females and equality in the workplace. In a sense, Roddenberry was a futuristic feminist, even though he was hindered by the fears of producers that his ideas might be too progressive. Check out the Star Trek women who have graced the television scene since the inception of the series, and see if you don't recognize a shift in the portrayal of women on television.

Women From the Original Series Star Trek Cast

  • Number One: Majel Barrett, who would become Roddenberry's wife, was cast as the powerful Lieutenant Number One, the First Officer of the Starship Enterprise in the original pilot, "The Cage." NBC executives felt the character was too strong for a female, so the character was rejected.
  • Nurse Christine Chapel: Majel Barrett may have lost the chance to be Number One, but she did make the cut as Nurse Christine Chapel in the original TV series. Her role was small and secondary, but it was still revolutionary.
  • Uhura: Uhura was a Black Communications Officer in the original series played by African American actress Nichelle Nichols. This role was one of the first opportunities for an African-American woman to portray a character with real power on television. Roddenberry later said that he deliberately chose to have an African-American woman in this role, because he believed the future would be free of sexism and racism.
  • Janice Rand: Grace Lee Whitney played a sexy but smart Yeoman Transporter Chief and Officer in the original series.

Aside from the main characters in the original series, many actresses have appeared on the show's spin off series. The following actresses appeared on Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Enterprise or Star Trek: Voyager:

  • Guinan: Played by Whoopi Goldberg, Guinan was the bartender in The Next Generation's lounge. One of the last survivors of the El Aurian race, she possessed ancient wisdom and was often asked for advice by Captain Picard.
  • Dianna Troi: Played by Marina Sirtis, Troi was an empathic half-Betazoid. Her ability to feel the emotions of others made her valuable in keeping up crew morale and in negotiations with alien races.
  • Doctor Beverly Crusher: Played by Gates McFadden, she was the Chief Medical Officer of the Enterprise during The Next Generation. As a senior member of the ship's command crew, she took part in all major decisions. McFadden departed the show for one season and was replaced by Commander Katherine Pulaski, played by original series veteran Kate Muldaur.
  • Kira Nerys: Played by Nana Visitor, she was the second in command of the Deep Space Nine space station. A Bajorian guerilla leader who had fought a war against the Cardassians, she often found herself at odds with Starfleet orders but remained a loyal member of the crew, hoping to secure a good future for her people.
  • Kathryn Janeway: Played by Kate Mulgrew, she was the first female captain of a Starfleet ship to be a central character in a Star Trek series. Strong, intelligent and fearsome in the face of opposition, she finds herself charged with helping her crew return to Earth after Voyager is flung deep into uncharted space.
  • Seven of Nine: Played by Jeri Ryan, she is a former Borg prisoner who regains some of her humanity after being rescued by the Voyager crew. As the series unfolds, she struggles to reconnect with the humanity and individuality that were driven out of her mind by the Borg.
  • T'Pol: Played by Jolene Blalock, she is a member of the Vulcan High Command who joins the human crew of the Enterprise on its early journeys into space. Serving as the ship's science officer, she quickly discovers a fondness for the human crew and chooses to join Starfleet, despite objections on her homeworld.
  • Hoshi Sato: Played by Linda Park, she is the Communications Officer on board the original Enterprise. She has a natural gift for languages and can master alien tongues with ease. Acting as a transition to characters such as Uhura, who were comfortable in command, Sato at times doubts herself and her role on the crew, but ultimately finds the inner strength she needs to meet the challenges the Enterprise faces.
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