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From Trekking Through the Stars to Directing Them: Voyager’s Roxann Dawson Is Now An In-Demand Director

December 26, 2014
Getty Images
Getty Images

By Angela M. Ortiz

 

Star Trek: Voyager finished its seven-year run in 2001, but Roxann Dawson, who played the half-Klingon-Half/Latina B’Elanna Torres, is still busy and highly respected in Hollywood–just not where you’d expect. Her forehead. The fact is, she’s been seen very little in front of the camera in the last decade, but like her fellow Trekker Jonathan Frakes, she’s built a great reputation behind the camera as an accomplished TV director.

Roxann’s first professional role was a big one: Deana Morales in the Broadway production of A Chorus Line. She continued on stage and worked in film and television a bit before Voyager came along in 1995, and for the next seven years and 170 shows, she had steady interstellar work. But even during her time in space, she had bigger plans. She directed her first episode of Voyager in 1999, and then ten episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, the last of Trek series (so far).

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And that was just the beginning. Since then, she’s directed episodes of Charmed, Lost, Heroes, and Caprica–produced by another Star Trek veteran, Ronald Moore–among many other hour-long dramas, both fantastical and down-to-earth. In the last few months alone, she’s been in the director’s chair for episodes of Stalker, Hell on Wheels and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Her professional schedule continues to fill up; she’s already working on an episode of Aquarius, the gritty cop drama set in the 1960s about the pursuit of Charlie Manson. And directing is only part of her life: she and her husband are raising two teenagers, she’s written stage plays and worked as a producer, and she’s even co-authored a science fiction trilogy.

Roxann says she looks back on her years aboard the U.S.S. Voyager with “great fondness,” she says “It afforded me some amazing opportunities, and I’ll always be grateful.” But she doesn’t think a reunion is very likely. “I think that chapter has been closed,” she said in a 2011 interview. “It’s sort of like a book that you love. You can take it down and re-read it and look at it whenever you want, but it’s not a book that has a sequel that’s going to be written…as much as you’d like to see it.”

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