I love Kick-Butt Heroines, I really do. But, I get tired of them. No one is born all-powerful and not everyone has a warrior personality, male or female. Furthermore, sometimes it’s a cop-out. A writer wants to create a strong female character, so he hands her a gun or sword.
Counselor Deanna Troi from Star Trek The Next Generation is one of my favorite characters of all time because she is a strong female character without going all Xena Warrior Princess or snarky Princess Leia on us. I love Xena and Princess Leia, by the way. It’s the knock-offs I can’t stand.
Deanna is half-human, half-Betazoid and an Empath, the ship’s counselor, a kind, compassionate psychologist. For a good part of the series, she doesn’t even wear a uniform. I love how her character grew throughout the series, like when she made up her mind to earn command-level experience. Another fantastic episode was when she woke up to find herself suddenly under cover as a Romulon in ‘Face of the Enemy.’
Anyway, in ‘The Child,’ Deanna was impregnated by an alien who was curious about what it was like to be human. The crew is worried it’s a threat, but empathic Deanna senses that it is not and insists she will have her baby. Captain Picard closes the discussion on that. Deanna names her baby after her father, Ian Andrew, so we get to learn more about family that way too.
To her credit, the actress, Marina Sirtis, portrayed the pregnancy and motherhood very realistically, though she’d never been a mother herself. Those of us who’ve been through it in real life can get pretty annoyed with fakey fictional pregnancies. Marina even had the waddle down.
The entire cast did a wonderful job on this episode, which had the additional distinction of being created during a Hollywood writers’ strike. Deanna’s eventual husband, Commander Riker, was a little disturbed at learning of the pregnancy, for example. But, then, when the baby was born, he was clearly in awe.
“The Child” wonderfully illustrated a surprise pregnancy and how a woman and her community can handle that, all wrapped up in that unique Star Trek way. We even got to see the ship’s nursery and meet a caregiver there. Can you imagine living and working in space and sending your child to daycare and school? I can. In fact, I’d be working with the babies, of course. Wonder what they call that at the academy? Starfleet Early Childhood Education School?
Sign me up.
Counselor Deanna Troi at Memory-Alpha- http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Deanna_Troi
Star Trek The Next Generation can be found on Netflix and CBS and for free from your local library. Here is a link to Amazon’s selection containing this particular episode- https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=star+trek+the+next+generation+the+child