Sunday, April 13, 2014

TWITrek Character Insight No. 92: Lieutenant Valeris

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 continue our series on best Trek movie villains with Lieutenant Valeris from ST: The Undiscovered Country.

Valeris comes in at number 15 on the list of top Trek villains.

Valeris serves as the helm officer aboard the Enterprise-A. She is placed on the flagship because she was the first Vulcan to graduate at the top of her Academy class, thanks in large part to mentorship from Spock. However, his trust in her ends up being misplaced as she conspires with higher ups to sabotage peace talks with the Klingon Empire.

In furthering this conspiracy, Valeris gets the Klingon delegation drunk at a formal dinner, then has two compatriots murder Klingon Chancellor Gorkon in a zero gravity situation, leading to awesome floating purple blood special effects. She then kills those other crewmen to try and cover her tracks, although she is outfoxed by Captain Kirk in the end.

In a mind meld, she gives up all the names of the co-conspirators as well as reveals a plot to assassinate the Federation President. Captain Kirk and Captain Sulu of the Excelsior save the day by stopping the further assassination to save the Khitmoer Accords peace treaty.

(Quote of the Week)

Kirk: "Names, Lieutenant!"
Valeris: "I do not remember."
Spock: "A lie?"
Valeris: "A choice."

She wears a mismatched uniform with a red collar indicating cadet, the insignia of a lietenant commander, and a gray wristband and patch indicating sciences division because no new uniforms were being made for this cast and actress Kim Cattrall had to wear whatever would fit. This role was initially to be a recurrence of the Saavik character, but Kirstie Alley would not come back and the writers worried about making this beloved character a traitor. Good move, in my opinion.

She's the weakest villain in a movie with at least three of them, and that puts her near the bottom of this list. But we did at least learn that non-consensual double-handed mind melds can be apparently very violating and painful!

I give this villain 2 out of 5 stars.

Kim Cattrall played Valeris, and she is best known for her role in Sex and The City. She designed her iconic looking headband and also her name, which stems from Eris, the Greek goddess of strife.

Until next time, live long and prosper...

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