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 Lieutenant Ayala from Voyager.
Ayala was another of the crew members who joined Voyager after serving as a Maquis officer on Chakotay's ship the Val Jean. While Ayala was the commander's right hand man in the Maquis, he remains a Lieutenant Junior Grade during his long service as a security officer aboard Voyager.
Ayala actually served in many roles during his time on Voyager, acting in pinch hitting roles in various fields such as tactical officer, engineering, the conn, and operations. Although not the major contributor that Chakotay and Torres became, Ayala was one of many important personnel who filled out the crew of Voyager and made the ship work in the Delta Quadrant.
Ayala was one of many crew members totally desperate to regain contact with his loved ones in the Alpha Quadrant. In particular, he had two young sons that he left behind and felt terrible that he could not watch them grow up.
Despite appearing regularly in the series for 120 episodes, he only speaks in four of the episodes. As a result, the information we know about the character is severely limited and mostly seen by circumstance rather than by dialogue. The 120 episodes he shows up in is the highest number for a recurring character that is not a major character in a Star Trek series.
Our notable quote this week comes from the episode The Gift:
Ayala: "Ensign Ayala to the bridge."
Kathryn Janeway: "Go ahead, ensign."
Ayala: "You'd better come down to the brig, ma'am."
Actor: Tarik Ergin played Ayala, and this was his biggest role in a short acting career. Ergin also played in Indecent Behavior II and Improper Conduct. He is now a high school lacrosse coach in California after a professional lacrosse career.
Until next time, live long and prosper...