Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thelev The Andorian

From Star Trek The Original Series, it's Thelev the Andorian.* Thelev appeared in the episode Journey To Babel (aka The One With Spock's Parents).

I always liked the Andorians; they had a cool, retro pulp sci-fi look to them that really stood out from the pack of relatively mundane aliens on the show. Klingons? Big deal, they were guys with swarthy makeup and goatees. Vulcans and Romulans? Humans with pointy ears and Moe Howard haircuts. But the Andorians, now there was an alien race with some style.

Sadly, the Andorians were criminally underused on the Original Series, showing up in only three episodes (four if you want to count the one where we saw a couple of frozen Andorian corpses in the background). Would it have killed them to have included an Andorian crew member in the cast?

Once again I have to assume the reason they weren't used more often was budgetary. Gene Roddenberry was always going on about how they never had any money on the show, so it was probably cost prohibitive to paint a guy blue, slap a white wig on him and glue antenna to his head.

Fortunately for Andorian fans the Enterprise series utilized them much more often. Thanks to Enterprise we learned that they come from a moon called Andoria which orbits a ringed gas giant called Andor. Andoria is an icy world, where the temperature reaches a balmy -18ยบ F in the summer months.

Not surprisingly, Andorians have blue blood. There is also an Andorian subspecies called the Aenar, who have white skin and are blind and telepathic.

Andorians are generally distrustful of aliens and even refer to humans as "pink skins." I guess the message here is that racism is timeless. Despite this, Andorians were one of the four founding members of the United Federation of planets, along with Humans, Vulcans and Tellerites.

Andorian marriages require four participants. No word as to how many are involved in the honeymoon.

Over the years the placement of the Andorians' antenna has varied greatly. In the Original Series the antenna grew from the back of the head, while in Star Trek: The Next Generation they appeared to sprout from the very top of the skull. By the time of Enterprise the antenna were shown growing directly out of the forehead. Just what Star Trek needs, another makeup controversy like the Klingon forehead ridges.

*To all the Trek nitpickers out there-- I am aware that in the Journey To Babel episode, Thelev here is not really an Andorian. He's actually an Orion who's been surgically altered to look like an Andorian in order to infiltrate and disrupt a peace conference. Do yourself a favor and ignore all that and just enjoy the drawing.

Thelev is a vector drawing, done all in InDesign. His hair was originally pure white, but I soon came to realize that wouldn't work, as I was going to be putting a white outline around him. So I had to darken up his hair quite a bit to keep it from blending in with the outline. Not a fan of the giant crotch arrow on his costume, but whddya gonna do?

Here's the original sketch I did of Thelev. Not much changed in the final version.http://bobcanada92.blogspot.com/2012/08/kang.html

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