The inspiration for 'Nu Hoshi' came from a comment by Penguin
in the 'Ultimate Hoshi Sato appreciation thread'. In one episode it was suddenly revealed that she was a decent gambler and had a Black Belt in Karate, revelations that didn't fit in at all with her portrayal before or since.
The idea of Hoshi having a bit of a wild streak, being a little bit dangerous, seemed more interesting than the timid version we got. For some reason, I can easily imagine her in a bar on some alien world, last woman standing after a brawl.
Trip has perhaps the most distinctive speech pattens of the regular cast, so I've been trying to reproduce them. Let me know if I get it right!
Polly Partridge is, of course, an alternative to T'pol. Now T'pol was obviously an attempt to do another 7of9, but I wanted to make two differences.
First, she had to be human. This is Humanities first deep space mission. Whilst there may be occasions when aliens become part of the crew, it will be for specific missions where their skills or knowledge are essential, not as permanent members.
Second, I didn't want to copy the 7of9 'ice maiden' approach. It's been done. I wanted someone whose motivation to study science was not the soulless collection of data, but rather, like Feynman and Sagan, the sheer joy of finding things out.
As a scientist, she can wield logic and reason with surgical precision, but unlike a Vulcan, she is not bound by them.
When first developing the character, I originally thought of having her nicknamed T'pol, as that was who she was replacing. I came up with 'Tabitha Polly Smith, but everyone calls me T'pol', but that just felt too contrived. I dropped the nick name idea, and the Tabitha, went with Polly Perks for a while before remembering it was a Terry Pratchett character, and finally decided on Partridge. No particular reason, it just felt right.