Monday, December 9, 2013

TWITrek Character Insight No. 77: Samantha Wildman

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 return to Voyager to profile Ensign Samantha Wildman, one of the many recurring characters on this series.

Samantha Wildman is a xenobiologist assigned to Voyager before the ship is stranded in the Delta Quadrant. As noted in the profile on her daughter Naomi from last month, Samantha comes aboard pregnant but does not know this until after she is in the Delta Quadrant.

Wildman plays a significant role mostly in Season 2, which includes her struggles and the culmination of her pregnancy. Of course, the struggles of deep space travel don't end with just birth, as Wildman must watch Naomi suffer and almost die when Voyager's crew is stranded on a planet by the Kazon. Of course, Naomi and her mother Samantha turn out to be fine after a local primitive tribe chief heals her with herbs and roots.

The Wildmans served an important role later in the series in the development of Neelix's character. His service as Naomi's godfather allows him to become close with these crewmates from the Alpha Quadrant. Samantha was a frequent viewer and fan of A Briefing With Neelix, the daily news show on board.

Samantha Wildman was named after a little girl who died in an accident and who donated organs to the wife of one of the staff writers on Voyager. The little girl's parents noted that she loved animals, and that is why Wildman is said to be a xenobiologist in the series. A cool tribute and bit of trivia, but don't tell The Trek Nerd!

Our quote of the week comes from Once Upon a Time:
Ensign Samantha Wildman: Who's going to look after Naomi?
Tuvok: You should not concern yourself with that now.
Ensign Samantha Wildman: How can you say that?
Tuvok: My youngest child has been without a father for four years. Yet I am certain of her well-being
Actress: Nancy Hower played Samantha Wildman, and she is currently writing television series including the new Hulu-only series Quickdraw. Hower has only had one acting role since Voyager.

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