updated: 17/05/2010

Star Trek makeups: Kira Nerys

When Benjamin Sisko arrives to take command of Deep Space Nine he meets Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) his reluctant First Officer and Bajoran Liaison Officer. Their relationship starts with mutual suspicion but Kira soon becomes one of his strongest supporters and at the end of the series takes over from him as Commanding Officer. In accordance with Bajoran custom her family name comes before her given name: hence she is called Major Kira but is Nerys to her friends.

Kira had been a long-term member of the Bajoran resistance and having helped to free Bajor from Cardassian domination is deeply suspicious of the Federation’s intentions (‘It's good when friends come to visit and good when they leave’, as the Arab saying goes).

These images show Nana as Kira Nerys in episodes from each of the seven seasons for which the show ran. In the episode ‘Second Skin’, set in 2371, Kira had a very different look: she was kidnapped and surgically altered to be Cardassian as part of a dastardly and elaborate plot by the Cardassian Obsidian Order.

Even a straightforward Star Trek alien makeup, like the Bajoran nosepiece, takes time and it can get just a little bit wearing after seven years (not least because it makes already long days even longer):

It took two hours in the morning (to put on) and twenty minutes to take off. It was interesting to me because I thought they’d have some special glue that you put prosthetics on with, and it just comes off easily but it sticks all day. Uh-uh, they just use glue. I mean like, practically wood glue, so it would take twenty minutes to get the damn thing off at the end of the day. Ouch. Ouch is right.

Camille Calvet was Nana’s makeup artist and discussed changes in the design of her nose prosthetic in one interview:

It was thinned down last year, at the top so that you didn’t see it so much in the middle. That’s been it, otherwise it’s been the same exact ridges I guess from the beginning … It was a T shape … it just wasn’t working, especially when they furrow their brows or anything, it just doesn’t work. So they’ve become a little bit more dainty. That’s about it.

The original design of the Bajoran nose is probably best seen in the earlier makeups on Michelle Forbes as Ensign Ro Laren.