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Why Star Trek’s Trill Mysteriously Sprouted Spots When It Came Time For Deep Space Nine


Resourceful Trekkies can likely find the early makeup tests that Terry Farrell went through for “Deep Space Nine.” It seems that the original Dax makeup design was to give her Odan’s forehead ridges but to make them less pronounced. The reason for a more “subtle” version of the makeup was likely twofold. For one, the series already featured numerous alien characters that required hours-long makeup jobs, and having one fewer was cheaper. It’s also likely that someone didn’t want the actor’s face covered. According to the “365” book, the studio in particular didn’t want an attractive actor like Farrell to sport a weird alien forehead. A redesign of the Trill makeup was required.

Westmore recalled doing makeup for “The Perfect Mate” and was inspired. In that episode, a woman named Kamala (Famke Janssen) is being transported in stasis to a diplomatic summit where she will offered as a bartered bride. Kamala’s arranged marriage with a distant politician will, it is hoped, end a generations-long war. Naturally, Kamala — having been released from stasis early by accident — accidentally bonds with Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart). Kamala was depicted as being romantically and sexually irresistible, and her makeup was meant to reflect that. Westmore was fond of her look, which incorporated a series of small red spots on Kamala’s temples.

That look was recreated for Dax and even expanded. Dax had a complex series of spots that ran down her temples and down her neck. A flirtatious alien once asked Dax how far down the spots go, and she winkingly replied, “All the way.”

The new Trill look worked well. It denoted that she was an alien, but more subtly than the show’s Changeling or Ferengi characters.

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