Monday, April 22, 2013

TWITrek Character Insight No. 47: Spot (the cat)

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, as requested by Violet a.k.a. Southern Trekkie on Twitter, our subject is Spot from TNG.

(Enterprise Theme)...wait, no no no, this is Spot's segment, not Porthos. Although those are two of the only four recurring pet characters in Star Trek history. Porthos had his segment first, but Spot takes the cake because the feline stars in two of the Star Trek movies alongside Data and B4.

Unlike Porthos, Spot did not play much of a role other than being a side story in nine of the ten episodes the cat appears in. The one exception to this rule was the episode Genesis, where the cat devolved into an iguana but her recently-born kittens did not, leading Data to the conclusion that amniotic fluid from a pregnant crewmember could save the crew.

Spot proves to have a distaste for many things, including most of the 221 different formulas of food that Data makes for her. Spot proves to be too much to handle for Riker, Worf, and Geordi, each of whom try to watch the cat in various different episodes. Yep, Spot is a cat alright. (Spock quote)

Spot is also one of only eight supporting characters to appear in multiple Star Trek films. The others in the TNG movies include Lieutenant Daniels and Guinan. Spot appeared in her first episode as a male long-haired Somali cat, but then becomes a female short-hair tabby in all other appearances.

In lieu of a quote this week, I'd like to note that this is the 47th installment of Character Insight, and it also comes during the 47th anniversary of this great franchise. I'd like to thank Darrell and Mike for continuing to play this little segment, which would normally start around the 47th minute of every episode if Darrell didn't pull 47 clips for Episode Insight. Speaking of the number 47,...(Darrell's 47 Explosion Clip)

Alright, time to get serious. Thanks to Violet for the suggestion. Play us out, Data:

Until next time, live long and prosper...

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