Star Trek: 10 Things You Didn't Know About T'Pol

9. It's Gorillas In The Mist Time

During the initial sketches, Brannon Braga suggested that one of the inspirations for T'Pol was the American primatologist and conversationist, Dian Fossey. Fossey was the subject of the 1988 film Gorillas In The Mist, starring Sigourney Weaver.

Fossey and T'Pol were similar in that they were pioneers, in their own way, in zoological studies. While T'Pol was studying humans in their shipboard habitats, Fossey was of course famous for studying, and living with, gorillas in the Rwandan forests. They shared another similarity - both could be steadfast, stubborn, and potentially deeply frustrating to those around them.

T'Pol would go through a large amount of trauma throughout Enterprise's four-year run, and of course, Fossey faced daily opposition to her work to protect the gorillas from poaching and tourist routes. Fossey's story ends in tragedy. In 1985, her body was found in her cabin, in Rwanda, having been bludgeoned to death. Her assistant was convicted of her murder in absentia.

The character bible for T'Pol took inspiration from Fossey's fearless and dogged determination, though other elements would be softened to make the character more attractive to new viewers.

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Writer. Reader. Podcast Host. I'm Seán, I live in Ireland and I'm the poster child for dangerous obsessions with Star Trek. Check out my weekly podcast on all things....well all things film! Check me out on Twitter @seanferrick or at the website