Friday, October 17, 2014

A Beautifully Flawed Character

Star Trek Voyager has been one of my favourite TV shows since I was in high school. I like the show so much I even named my daughter after one of the characters! One of the things I have always liked about the show is how realistic some of the characters are. In particular B'elanna Torres.

Star Trek Voyager and Deep Space Nine both had a lot of strong female characters. Captain Janeway, Seven of Nine, Kira, Jadzia and Ezri were all wonderfully written. But there has always been something special about B'elanna. B'elanna reminds me a bit of myself. I''m not as smart as her but she is terribly insecure of herself and because of her low confidence can sometimes lash out at others in anger. B'elanna is wonderfully flawed but she also grows as the series progresses and becomes more mature and a more loyal officer.

There's a lot about her that I don't like. She's racist towards Cardassians which I do understand considering that she was fighting against them before she joined the ship. What bugs me is how she thinks every single one of them are cold blooded killers. You can't judge an entire race over the actions of the military and government. That is something that Kira learns in Deep Space Nine.

And then there's how she treats Seven of Nine. When Seven first joins the ship B'elanna asks her if she feels guilty for the millions of lives that she helped to destroy. She acts like Seven went up to the Borg recruitment office and decided to become a drone. Seven is a victim of the Borg who was horribly assimilated by them in front of her parents and then was raised by the Borg and forced to do all of those things because she was a mindless drone. And yet B'elanna thinks she should feel guilty over what she did. Seven has nothing to feel guilty about. B'elanna is a horrible person for suggesting otherwise.

B'elanna has many different sides to her. She can be a bitch and a racist but that makes her realistic because none of us are perfect. She is still likeable despite her bad attitude and temper. She is a good example of how to write a beautifully flawed character. No one is perfect. We are all like B'elanna sometimes. A little bit bitchy and a little bit rude.

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