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A Big Hand for the Little Guys (part 2)

by Paddy Tye, First Edition Creative Manager

6th June 2024


Today's article carries on a theme that I also explored in Showdown: Four Lights, focusing on the background universal characters which help to flesh out a set. You can read the previous article here, but this article covers the universal personnel you can find in Lifesigns.

Within the Creative Team, we'd known that the Vidiian set was coming for quite a while now (since around 2020). Vidiian images have always been in short supply, with Decipher having already used most of those already (sometimes in multiple - for example Sinaren is a shot of the same Vidiian as Telari, but from a different angle and with a digitally altered face). So Charlie have us plenty of time to see if we could find some unused images, and avoid needing Art to reuse or alter images.

One other thing the design team wanted to add was a universal Vidiian female. With no female Vidiians apart from Danara Pel being seen on screen, this posed a slight problem. Do we ask Art to edit a wig onto say Nadirum to give him some flowing female locks? Well, as it happens, Memory Alpha gave us a solution! Just called "Adulteress" on Memory Alpha, the female character seen in season seven's "Critical Care" was a reuse of the "healthy Danara Pel" makeup and facial prosthetics. As such, Memory Alpha classifies her as an unnamed Vidiian, and given this occurs after the Think Tank have cured the phage, she could theoretically be a healthy and cured Vidiian female! And thus, Monala, was born!


So we also scoured all episodes of Star Trek: Voyager which featured Vidiians, trying to find images of good enough quality and resolution to provide a usable image. One person who's assistance proved invaluable here was Art Team member Martin Felber (Enabran on the boards) who could examine potential images we had found in close detail to confirm or deny if they could be used to make a viable card. Thank you Martin!

One episode featuring the Vidiians which hadn't provided many images yet was "Coda" from season three, with Delanh being the only image sourced from there to date. Unfortunately the majority of Vidiians seen on screen there were of too poor an image quality and brightness to be of use. Maybe as technology to enhance images improves, this might be something we can consider again in the future!

Upon re-examining all the Vidiian images in "Faces" we spotted that Maleth was one of a pair of Vidiians who pop out to confront the Voyager crew. He may only be on screen briefly, but Art have done a fantastic job capturing a high quality image here! The character was portrayed by background actor Brian Donofrio, whose names we combined to create Bridon!


One final image we found was today's new card, Saneel. Sourced from "Deadlock", he is the Vidiian who starts extracting tissue samples from a deceased Samantha Wildman in Sickbay. The detail here was in identifying this character though, and ensuring it wasn't a reuse of Nirata or Telani (the other Vidiian's that Memory Alpha had identified as being in this scene). Careful examination of the prosthetics and scars used highlighted that this was in fact a third Vidiian character, who could have entered Sickbay after the action had cut away to Harry Kim.

Saneel's skills are also unusual. CIVILIAN, Honor and Smuggling are an unusual combination, especially on someone under Nadirum's Command. Hence we worked some explanation into his lore, with phrases such as "freelance organ smuggler" and "reformed thief" to justify his composition of skills.

With Lifesigns releasing tomorrow, hopefully these three universal characters will help to support your Vidiian decks for years to come!

Save a Life
Modern Medicine allows many of us to donate our organs to others and save lives. Across the globe, signing up as an organ donor is one of the most helpful things any of us can do. Along side our release of Lifesigns, we want to promote organ donation to highlight this essential lifesaving option. Please take a moment to read over Helping Save Lives With Organ Donation by Andreas Rheinländer and consider becoming an organ donor.

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