Thursday, March 17, 2011

Deep Space Nine: Pel

Pel was the first of only two Ferengi females to be seen in the entire Star Trek universe. Introduced in the Deep Space Nine episode 'Rules Of Acquisition', she left a lasting impression among fans.

In the episode, she disguised herself as a Ferengi male, complete with larger ears, to prove that Ferengi women had the intelligence and ability to earn profit. When her insightful counsel drives a wedge between Rom and his brother Quark, Rom does some snooping and discovers her secret. When her true gender is exposed, trouble ensues and old stereotypes are questioned.
Pel was portrayed by Helene Udy, and I am lucky to have her Ferengi shirt. Since her coat fit so poorly, it seems to me that wardrobe gave her whatever Ferengi waiter costume fit her best. However, being female, her costume top was unique in several ways. The most obvious is that the shirt snaps closed from the front, while all other Ferengi Waiters(and most Ferengi costumes) zip up the back. Also in a rare break from the norm, her costume top does not have her name on the inside tag. This is particularly odd as the shirt was custom made for her, and screencaps clearly confirm this is her shirt.
Interesting footnote: Two different shirts were made for Pel and both were seen in the episode, sometimes in the very same scene!

My luck has paid off more times than I can count, and here is a great example. During the 2011 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention, I was very fortunate to meet Helene Udy at her first ever Star Trek Convention. You likely remember her from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman as the lovely Myra, but her role as Pel was no less remarkable. She is such a treat, and I have to tell you, she was as kind and sweet as she is beautiful. Thanks I know you will see this.