Monday, May 7, 2012

TWITrek Character Insight No. 3: Neelix

This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe.  An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight!  This week, our subject is Neelix, the jack-of-all-trades on Star Trek Voyager.

Neelix is picked up by Voyager in the series premiere when the Starfleet crew saves his Ocampa love Kes from the Kazon.  Neelix serves many roles on Voyager, including travel guide for the Delta Quadrant, chef, and crew morale officer.

Neelix also is one of the more colorful characters having a regular role on a Star Trek television series.  Neelix wears multicolored suits having many pastel hues that contrast sharply from the Voyager-era Starfleet uniforms.  Neelix is a Talaxian, a race having a spotted animal-like appearance based on a combination of animals from the film The Lion King.

From his very first appearance in the transporter room of Voyager, Neelix served as a perfect foil to the reserved logical demeanor of Tuvok, the Vulcan chief of security.  These two characters found mutual respect despite butting heads on multiple occasions.  The highlight of this contrast was a Season 2 episode "Tuvix", in which both men become combined into one new person as a result of a transporter accident.

Neelix represents the organized chaos of the Delta Quadrant and saves the Voyager from many diplomatic mistakes in his years on board.  Neelix leaves the ship when Voyager finds a group of Talaxians living in an asteroid and he becomes Starfleet's permanent ambassador to the Delta Quadrant.

Notable Quote:  
Neelix: How about a riddle?
Tuvok: [irritated] Mr. Neelix...
Neelix: Come on! It'll be fun.
Tuvok: I have no desire for fun.
Neelix: Okay, forget fun. A good riddle can stimulate the mind. Now, no self-respecting Vulcan can say no to that.
Tuvok: [sighs] Very well - *one* riddle.
Riddles, season 6 episode 6

Best Episodes Featuring Neelix:
False Prophets, season 3 episode 5
Mortal Coil, season 4 episode 12
Riddles, season 6 episode 6

Actor: Ethan Phillips has worked in the television and film industry for over three decades, having broken through as Pete Downey in the 1980's series Benson.  His credits are as wide as one can imagine, including roles on L.A. Law, The Young and the Restless, and The Twilight Zone, among others.


Thanks for listening and please contact me with feedback to discuss who you want to see featured on this segment.  You can find me on twitter @BuckeyeFitzy and at my blog:  See you next week!

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