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 Naomi Wildman, yet another recurring child character, this time from Voyager.
One of the fun and distinct aspects of Voyager was the long-term relationships, as the ship looked like it would become a generational ship on the journey back to the Alpha Quadrant. Naomi Wildman was one of two children born on the voyage, but she was conceived before Voyager was lost. Thus, her mother Ensign Samantha Wildman was aboard, while her father Greskrendtregk was left back at Deep Space Nine.
Naomi was born while Voyager was duplicated in a spatial scission phenomenon, and one of the two ships was badly damaged while trying to stablilize the ships. On the disabled ship, Naomi died due to a correctable condition caused by a fetal transport, the 24th century C-section. Thus, Harry Kim carries the alive Naomi from the undamaged Voyager before that ship sacrifices itself to save the damaged version (thankfully leaving us with just one of everyone).
Wildman grew very quickly thanks to her Ktarian heritage and genes from her father. That allows her to serve the same role as Alexander in TNG and Nog in DS9, the little kid we see grow up before our eyes. At least we get an explanation this time about the ridiculous fast growth. Naomi becomes close friends with Seven of Nine after the Borg crew member joins Voyager.
Naomi also serves as Captain's Assistant once she grows up enough to hold some responsibilities. This is mostly a hospitality role, but that becomes important when other children come aboard such as the Vaadwaur and Borg in later seasons. Although sometimes annoying, Naomi serves an important role to give the crew ongoing mentoring relations with children and a sense of time to the journey back home.
Our notable quote this week comes from the episode Shattered:
Naomi: "I thought the point was to finish the puzzle."
Icheb: "And learn something about genetics."
Naomi: "If you really want to help, find me a green piece that looks like Tuvok's ear!"
Actor: Four different actresses played Naomi, with most of the 19 appearances by Brooke Stephens as a young child and Scarlett Pomers as an older child. Stephens only appears once else in the show ER, while Pomers starred as Reba Mcentire's youngest daughter on the show Reba.
Until next time, live long and prosper...