Sunday, 15 December 2013

Mr Kim, At Ease Before You Sprain Something

Welcome to two of our latest additions to the SKoST Contingent with their first post - also our first JOINT post - Hayley and Mark...

WARNING: This article may contain spoiler for those of you who have never seen Star Trek Voyager. If you are one of these people A) How do you live with yourself? B) How did you end up here?

Garrett Wang is known for portraying what started out as a naive Harry Kim, but after seven years stranded in the Delta Quadrant, he ended up evolving into an experienced officer with the respect of the entire crew.

Thursday (December 12th) marked #HarryKimDay; granted we're not exactly sure this is an officically recognised calendar holiday, but since the 15th marks Garrett Wang's birthday - we felt it necessary to celebrate both the actor and the character he portrayed so well.

We're sure if we took census on fans' memories across the seasons, everyone would have very different accounts of the ensign; his defining moments were many, his friendly demeanour infectious.

Speaking of infections... If memory serves right, our loveable ensign was quite the hypochondriac. However to his credit, his fear was well justified! The only other characters to suffer so much infliction were the infamous red shirts of The Original Series. At least Harry made it back alive!

From macrobiotic plagues to Species 8472 attempting to devour him from the inside out, Harry could best be described as a 'walking Petri dish' in this respect. For those of you who again, are strangely unfamiliar with the series (shame on you!), Voyager's Operations Officer was subject to many trials and (tribble)ations. As a broad list, here are his 'finest' moments...
  • Converted into energy (Heroes & Demons)
  • Infected by the Caretaker (Caretaker)
  • Infected by Species 8472 (Scorpion)
  • Infected by the Varro mating process (The Disease)
  • Incarcerated in two alien prisons (The Chute, Body and Soul)
  • Duplicated by silicon-based lifeforms (Demon)
  • Died twice! (Emanations, Deadlock)
As a side note to this resume and space-time paradoxes not withstanding, he also managed to kill the entire crew except for himself and Chakotay (Timeless). We won't hold this against him though, but Deanna Troi never brought the Enterprise-D back...

For us over the span of the series, the dynamic that existed between Harry Kim and Tom Paris was fundamental to the success of the show. What at first seemed an unlikely friendship developed into an emotional equilibrium for both characters. Tom Paris, the rebel without a cause, gave Harry much needed confidence and in return Harry was Tom's moral compass. This friendship has much to do with the character development of Harry Kim. The pilot showed the eager young ensign being outmaneuvered by Quark during one of his typical scams, luckily for Harry, Tom was on hand to show him the ropes.

By the penultimate episode, there was Starfleet's brightest, attempting to convince the now responsible Tom, to 'fly into a Borg-infested nebula'. Never was there such a fundamental change in a character since Data started laughing.

We could go on reminiscing about Harry's best and worst moments, suffice to say he was an integral member of the crew and in many ways was considered by most to be the baby of the show even until the bitter end. Although never promoted(!) he served Voyager well demonstrating his command experience numerous times and when needed, going above and beyond the call of duty. His judgement may however have been lacking in the female department, as we must remember he turned Seven of Nine down!

Twelve years on, we salute you Ensign Harry Kim and Happy Birthday Garrett Wang.

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