"FORMER VOYAGER STAR JENNIFER LIEN, who played the alien Kes, is returning for a one-off episode.
"The actress has signed to reprise her role in an episode which appears late in VOYAGER'S sixth season, and which began shooting early in the new year."
Star Trek Communicator 125
Aliens of the Delta Quadrant
KES & THE OCAMPA
"The race of meek and peaceful beings remained compelling for viewers of Star Trek: Voyager through the performance of Jennifer Lien, who portrayed the Ocampan girl Kes for the show's first three seasons. While the actress downplays her contributions to the show and to her character's development, few would argue that Lien embodied through Kes a sense of wonder for the Delta Quadrant and the advancements of the 24th Century that was unmatched on the show."
"'I felt that I identified with her,' says Lien, deferring any insight to the character to the show's scriptwriters. 'I just went with the writing. Kes was really genuine to me, the character came out that way.'"
"Lien said she used her training as an actress not to dwell on the situation [being a member of a race that only lives for nine years] but to take each experience as it came for Kes as she explored her role through the story of each script.
"'I didn't have a different approach to Kes as she got older,' says Lien. 'My character didn't live that long, and because of that, she had ideas of her own.
"'The character was what I was doing, and to go beyond that ...it was acting,' she says. 'To go beyond the parameters well, there weren't too many parameters. I don't view acting like that. Acting is how you are able to express yourself with what is given to you, and I did so.'"
"Lien laughs about the metaphysical aspects of her character. 'I never bought into that. It was a science fiction show, and isn't all of that stuff just science fiction?'"
"Kes would not experience a natural demise as told in the fourth-season episode, 'The Gift,' Lien's final appearance as a series regular. In that episode, the Ocampan helplessly watched as her body went into a state of cellular destabilization . . . into a being of pure energy."
While Kes would hardly be the first Star Trek character to reappear from a perceived oblivion, Lien says she might consider but does not expect making a return appearance as the Ocampan-cum-energy-being. Today, the unassuming actress makes occasional convention appearances while looking toward future projects, which include a role in the feature film Rubbernecking to be released next year . Lien says she looks back on her three-year turn on Star Trek: Voyager with pleasant thoughts for all involved."
"'I was really able to understand the situation that the crew was in--all of them--and how Kes related to that. I don't think of them as detached as such from the rest of the world,' she says. I enjoyed working with the other actors and guest stars. It was an entirely good experience.''
In the article "The Future of Trek,"and what of Jennifer Lien? Has there been much of an outcry about her fate? 'I haven't gotten a great deal of input about that,' Berman notes. 'I don't feel that the character is terribly missed. It's unfortunate. It had nothing to do with Jennifer. She's a wonderful actress. But the character wasn't working. We knew we wanted to bring on a new character. We had nine characters already and the idea of bringing on a tenth was more than we could deal with in terms of writing. I think it was a good decision.'"
"The stories have been great, and I'm very pleased."(Issue May 1998.)