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Old March 16 2013, 08:19 PM   #1
DalekJim
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Jadzia Dax Appreciation

Throughout Trek fandom, one character I see repeatedly shit on is Jadzia Dax. Apparently she's boring and Terry Farrell is an incapable performer that can't act for toffee. Not only do I disagree (And find the comments about Farrell's acting baffling!), but behind Kira Nerys she's probably the second best female character in all of Star Trek. If we're all honest, the women in TOS and TNG were dull window dressing and calling them characters seems like an insult to the concept. Later shows have no real competition either apart from Seven of Nine, who isn't quite as well developed, nor are her interactions with the rest of the cast as interesting to watch.

After my recently rewatch, I'm a very big fan of the character. The concept of the Trill and the Jadzia character in particular allowed the show to explore matters of identity/consciousness in relation to memory which is always a good sci-fi avenue. Unlike Troi's pointless telepathy, Jadzia's past lives and the effect this had on the character were very well explored. Episodes like Rejoined and Facets let DS9 delve in to a territory of more conceptual science-fiction, something the show would otherwise have severely lacked. It's my favourite Trek series but DS9 is much more about the human condition, characterisation and politics than the science and speculation. The character of Dax bought that on board and was one of DS9's few successes in that regard. Usually the more traditionally Star Trek "concept" episodes tended to fall flat, with the notable exception of The Visitor.

Also, Farrell's performance is quite strong. She delivers the technobabble in a more convincing way than the majority of Trek performers and manages to balance the mature intelligence and fun-loving part of the character very well. Hell, I'd say she's more convincing than Avery Brooks in the early seasons, who didn't really hit a consistent characterisation in his performance until Season 4 when he became amazing. Farrell's performance strikes me as a lot more confident, directional and assured.

While we're on the subject, I also recently listened to The Orb podcast's Jadzia Dax episode which I thought articulated pretty well the success of the character.

Sure, I have some issues with the character's journey. She was given too many Klingon related plotlines, romance of the week episodes and her death was a fucking insult.. but otherwise she's a terrific character. The fact I see her get more hate than Uhura, Troi and Dr. Crusher strikes me as highly absurd, so surely there must be other fans of this unconventional, layered experiment in Star Trek characterisation out there?
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