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, we profile Harry Kim, the operations officer aboard Voyager.
Harry Kim tracks a similar path as Sulu in the Original Series: a young officer who starts on the bridge right away and works his way up through the years to leading away missions and serving as acting captain on some shifts. Kim turns into one of the most important players in the battles against the Borg that represent much of the Voyager's time within the Delta Quadrant.
Kim becomes close friends with Tom Paris, which is a classic case of opposites attract. Tom Paris was onboard as a convicted criminal and former Starfleet dropout helping track down the Maquis, while Harry was the valedictorian of his class and on his first assignment. While Paris is teaching Kim the benefits of being a rebel or creative at times, Kim's friendship helps Paris transition back into the role of a Starfleet military officer.
Kim and Paris love holodeck programs, doing everything from Captain Proton to playing pool at a local pub. Unfortunately, that affinity for the holodeck leads to some of the dreaded "Dumb Holodeck Episodes" that plagued this part of Star Trek history.
Harry Kim wears a sleeping mask at night after sharing a room with a nocturnal student at the Academy, and it reminds him of his retained memories from being inside his mother's womb. Harry loves Parrises squares, which is the football of Star Trek, so much so that he won the Academy Championship three times. Kim loves to compete at mental games as well, always challenging Tuvok to games of kal-toh much like Spock would be challenged to 3D Chess on TOS.
Kim was a talented clarinet player as a youth, and he saves up replicator rations to make a new clarinet after forgetting his before coming aboard Voyager. He also learns the saxophone to lead a jazz combo band entitled Harry Kim and the Kimtones. You can just call him the original Smooth Federation.
Our notable quote this week comes from The Chute:
Harry Kim: I'm not a killer.
Zio: Do you want to survive? In here? You'd better learn to be.
Harry Kim: If that's what it takes to stay alive... then I'd rather die.
Actor: Garrett Wang played Harry Kim, and he has only enjoyed spot roles outside Star Trek. He can be seen in a cameo during a short entitled "A Super Duper Exotic Fetish Sexy Must See Story...A Tragedy of Oriental Proportions!"