Monday, October 7, 2013

TWITrek Character Insight No. 69: Ensign Vorik

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 Ensign Vorik, an engineer and recurring character in Star Trek Voyager.


Vorik appears in a handful of episodes spanning from the third season to the final season of the show. For the most part, Vorik is seen assisting Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres with important engineering tasks such as reconfiguring plasma injectors and building the Delta Flyer. He shows partiuclar expertise when working with tachyon matrices, but he is unable to make a transwarp conduit back to the Alpha Quadrant.

Although Voyager explores many Vulcan story lines that focus on Commander Tuvok, Vorik gets his day in the sun in the third season episode Blood Fever. Vorik experiences a pon farr and chooses Torres to be his mate. However, his physical contact with her gives her the same neurochmeical imbalance, and this culminates in an always-entertaining Klingon on Vulcan combat.

This is one of a couple of episodes where it looks like Vorik may become a love interest for Torres. However, despite his nice actions such as reserving a table for two with her favorite view at a luau held by Neelix, she is meant to be with Tom Paris. Thus, Vorik remains a friendly engineer and bit character rather than a more major role.

Every show needs some background regulars like Vorik, especially when the crew is limited and cannot be changed out as in Voyager. It was nice for the writers to give another Vulcan some face time, especially after the absolute dearth of Vulcans in Deep Space Nine. This was a good recurring character for Voyager.

 Our notable quote this week comes from Demon:
Ensign Vorik: Indeed. According to my calculations, environmental systems will cease to function in two hours.
B'Elanna Torres: You say that like you're giving me the weather report.
Ensign Vorik: I agree the situation is dire, but losing our cool will not help matters.
B'Elanna Torres: "Losing our cool"? Where did you pick up that expression?
Ensign Vorik: Mr. Paris.
B'Elanna Torres: [pats his arm] Well, there's hope for you yet.  
Actor: Alexander Enberg played Vorrik, and he also played a similar small role as Ensign Taurik in the TNG episode Lower Decks. Outside Star Trek, Enberg has appeared in the movies Junior and America's Sweethearts.

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