|Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) – Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis)|
One of the most memorable characters on Star Trek: The Next Generation was Deanna Troi’s lovely cleavage. It started as a cameo role in the first episode but became a regular cast member by the sixth season. Over the years, the character of Counselor Troi (played by Marina Sirtis) has been maligned and hated for her chest. Most loved it, but anyone that ever hated on Troi mentions the neckline.
Some fans even called her “Counselor Cleavage.” Of course, there are lots of characters in Star Trek that displayed their bustline. The Klingon sisters Lursa (Barbara March) and B’Etor (Gwynyth Walsh) also displayed their ample chests. Captain Picard went shirtless in “Captain’s Holiday” and naked in “Chain of Command.” Seven of Nine had a very prominent chest.
But, for some reason, Troi gets the blame. But did you know the story behind Counselor Troi’s cleavage is as twisted as any alien character on the show? We can learn a lot about sexism in the industry by focusing on that one aspect of her character.
1. Troi Almost Had Four Breasts
According to the book Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek, Lt. Commander Troi was supposed to have a whole lot of cleavage. Originally, creator Gene Roddenberry imagined Troi as “a four-breasted, oversexed hermaphrodite.” Writer Dorothea “DC” Fontana convinced him to change the character. Fontana wrote,
“I honestly believe you will offend most women, and maybe a lot of men with this character. Besides, how are you going to arrange those four provocatively shaped breasts? Four in a row? They had better be small. Two banks of two? Do you know how much trouble women have with the normal number—keeping them out of the way of things, I mean. Four straight up and down? Don’t be silly.”
In the end, they decided to give her a standard cleavage but kept the eye candy.
2. The Pilot is the Only Time Troi Didn’t Have Cleavage
Marina Sirtis was a young actor who had done a number of topless roles, like The Wicked Lady (1983), but not in the first episode of Star Trek.
In the pilot episode of Star Trek TNG “Encounter at Farpoint” Troi wears a “skant” from the original series which was a “unisex” one piece skirt which had no cleavage. “We inherited my cosmic cheerleader outfit in the very first episode from the original show.” Sirtis told BBC, “It was ‘can we get Marina’s skirt any shorter than this?’ Fortunately, they decided that the outfit didn’t suit my character and we lost it by the second episode.”
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One – The Next Generation of Cleavage
Through seasons one through six, Troi wore two uniforms that accentuated her impressive décolletage. The first, was a variety of unitards in various colors, the other was a turquoise variant with a long skirt. Marina Sirtis talked about her ample neckline at DragonCon 2010 and how it affected her character by saying,
“There are certain rules in Hollywood. One of the rules is not written anywhere, but you just know: if you’re doing an action-adventure show, you gotta have chicks on the show for the boys to look at when they’re not blowing up other spaceships. Second rule: if the chick has a cleavage, she cannot have a brain.
“So, [after wearing a uniform in the first episode] I got a cleavage, and all my gray matter departed. Which was sad, because originally (I know this is gonna shock you), Troi was supposed to be the brains of the Enterprise. So when the cleavage came, all that left, and I became decorative, like a potted palm on the bridge.”
At 5’5″ she reportedly sported an impressive 34C bra. Sirtis insists that, while she was blessed with natural assets, the outfit added some bounce. The Deanna Troi costume dress had what she called “the Industrial Strength Starfleet Brassiere,” and when she took it off at night would think, “Oh blimey, where did they go?”
4. Troi Stops Running With “Her Boobs Hanging Out”
Troi’s fine bustline was on display for six years, but then a remarkable change happened. In the Star Trek episode “Chain of Command” Captain Jellico (Ronny Cox) temporarily takes command of the Enterprise, He demands that Counselor Troi change into a Starfleet uniform instead of her grey unitard because he’s used to “a certain formality on the bridge.” This is how we know Jellico is evil. He removes Troi’s cleavage!!
Cox said, “I think there were a lot of things that [Jellico] did that were really important for that show. Having Troi put on a d**m uniform? Give me a break! This is an officer on a ship and she’s running around with her boobs hanging out?” Yes, after all those years, only Jellico had a problem with Troi’s lovely cleavage.
Behind the scenes, producer Ronald D. Moore wanted to experiment with changing Troi’s costume and Sirtis was ecstatic about it. She said, “So I put [the Starfleet uniform] on, and by then I was skinny, and the director and all the producers were like ‘she looks good in that, why wasn’t she been wearing that for the last six years?’
“So I started to wear my spacesuit. I was thrilled to finally be in a spacesuit. First of all, my pips – cause I had a rank, you know. And then, it was very flattering actually, it looked really good. Suddenly, I was smart again. My cleavage had gone. My gray matter came flooding back. I was on away teams! I was the leader of one away team! I had a medical tricorder! And unlike Beverly, I seemed to know what was wrong with people.”
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5. The Return of Cleavage
In the movies Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis, Troi wears sensible clothing. There was an episode of Star Trek where the cleavage returned, though. The Voyager episode “Inside Man” has a guest appearance by Troi conveniently vacationing on a beach. The cleavage made another appearance as well.
6. The Toys Had Cleavage Too
Numerous toys were made from the Next Generation cast and there are a number of figures with “Counselor Cleavage.” Playmates created five figures of Deanna Troi and three of them have a plunging neckline. It wasn’t until 1999 that she got a Starfleet uniform that covered her chest.
Related Post: 16 Most Surprising Klingon Transformations
7. Sirtis’s Real Cleavage is Mostly Fake Now
In later life, Marina Sirtis was seen out of uniform with an impressive cleavage again, but she admits she has help. The 58-year-old is adamant against plastic surgery but opted to get breast enhancement surgery. “I had beautiful boobs,” Sirtis told Kougar Magazine, “But as I got older, of course, they got softer and they didn’t stay where I wanted them to stay so I went and had my boobs done. It is the worst thing I ever did; I regretted it from day one, which is maybe why I’m so adamant against everything else now because I hate ’em.
“And because I hate them, people ask, ‘Why don’t you have them taken out?’ Because I think that again is feeding into that whole thing of let’s fix it, let’s fix it, let’s fix it. You don’t have to fix it. I made a decision, I’ve made my bed, I’m lying in it.”
Marina Sirtis currently stars as Orli Elbaz, the Director of Mossad, on the CBS police procedural drama series NCIS. No word on if her cleavage will make a guest appearance.
What did you learn about Deanna Troi’s cleavage?
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