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Deanna Troi
Counselor Deanna Troi
Species Half Betazoid (maternal)
Half human (paternal)
Home planet Betazed
Affiliation United Federation of Planets
Posting USS Enterprise-D Counselor
USS Enterprise-E Counselor
USS Titan Counselor
Position Counselor
Rank Lieutenant commander,
Portrayed by Marina Sirtis

Commander Deanna Troi (pronounced /diːˈænə/) is a main character in the science-fiction TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation and related TV series and films, portrayed by actress Marina Sirtis. Troi is half-human, half-Betazoid and has the empathic ability to sense emotions. She serves as the ship's counselor on the Enterprise. Throughout most of the series, she holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In the seventh season, however, Troi takes the Bridge Officer's Exam, and (with the help of William Riker) is promoted to the rank of Commander, but continues as counselor.


Development and casting

Marina Sirtis at first read for the role of Tasha Yar in 1986. She had, in total, five readings all with Gene Roddenberry and other executives. It has been noted that Roddenberry took a liking to her almost immediately.[1] Denise Crosby, who eventually won the role of Tasha, auditioned for the role of Deanna Troi.[2] It was said that Marina Sirtis had a more "exotic" feel about her (as stated in the DVD extras found on a bonus Star Trek TNG DVD).

She was just about to return home, in debt and jobless, when she received "the phone call" alerting her that she had the role of Deanna Troi. She stated that if it had been an hour later she would have missed that call and been on her way to England. Sirtis' U.S. visa was expiring that day, and if she had stayed any longer, she could have run into legal trouble.

For Sirtis, Star Trek was her first big break. Prior to "Deanna Troi", her acting career was going nowhere: "What they told us about The Next Generation when we first started was that we were guaranteed twenty-six episodes. So that was the longest job I've ever had."[3] Also, Sirtis had virtually no knowledge about the Star Trek franchise and at first just thought of it as a good means to pay her bills.[4]

Initially, Sirtis/Troi was planned as the eye-candy of the show. Prior to filming, Sirtis was told to "lose five pounds" (5 pounds (2.3 kg; 0.36 st)), but thought herself that she had to drop even more, and was often wearing plunging necklines and form-fitting dresses. After six years, the producers decided to drop the "sexy and brainless" Troi and make her a stronger character:

"I was thrilled when I got my regulation Starfleet uniform... it covered up my cleavage and I got all my brains back, because when you have cleavage you can't have brains in Hollywood... I was allowed to do things that I hadn't been allowed to do for five or six years. I went on away teams, I was in charge of staff, I had my pips back, I had phasers, I had all the equipment again, and it was fabulous. I was absolutely thrilled."[5]

Commenting on the love triangle between Troi on one hand and Worf and William Riker on the other hand, she thought that Troi and Worf together just did not feel right, and that she "was glad that she and Riker were back together".[6]

Character background

In the series, Deanna Troi served as ship's counselor aboard the Starfleet starship NCC-1701-D, and later in the films, on board the Enterprise-E under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). In Star Trek: Nemesis, Troi leaves the Enterprise with husband William Riker who has just been promoted to captain of the USS Titan.

Deanna Troi was born on March 29, 2336, near Lake El-Nar, Betazed.[7] Deanna's parents are a Betazoid mother and Ambassador, Lwaxana Troi (portrayed by the late actress Majel Barrett, real life widow of television director/producer/writer and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and was also Nurse Chapel in the original series, as well as voice of the Enterprise computer) and a human father, deceased Starfleet officer Lt. Ian Andrew Troi (portrayed by Amick Byram). In the character background, an older sister, Kestra, drowned during Deanna's infancy (note: "Dark Page"). Although Deanna Troi has little exposure to planet Earth culture, she attended Starfleet Academy from 2355 to 2359, as well as the University on Betazed, and earned an advanced degree in psychology.

In depicting a possible phenomenon of galactic travel, the series creates several alien races including the Betazoid race that has telepathic abilities. Due to a half-human heritage, Deanna Troi has partial telepathic abilities and is an extra-sensory empath with clairsentience. As viewed in Star Trek: Nemesis, Troi has the ability to connect to another psychic and follow that empathic bond to its source. In this instance, her ability enables the Enterprise-E to target and hit the Romulan vessel Scimitar, despite the fact that it was cloaked. There are several species who are resistant to the telepathy of Deanna and other Betazoids, such as the Ferengi, the Breen and the Ulians.[8]

Early in the series, Troi finds herself working with an early love, the newly assigned First Officer to the USS Enterprise Commander William T. Riker (portrayed by actor Jonathan Frakes). In later episodes, Troi has romantic involvements with several others, including a brief relationship with Klingon Starfleet officer Lt. Worf (portrayed by actor Michael Dorn).

She is called various names, usually depending upon the circumstances: Captain Picard calls her "Counselor", but when he is concerned about her or in emergencies, he calls her by her first name: "Deanna." Doctor Crusher (one of her most noted female friends) usually calls her "Troi". Data very rarely calls her by her first name, but usually he calls her "Counselor Troi". Depending on the situation, Cmdr. Riker will call her: "Deanna" or the more personal "Imzadi" which means "beloved".

On many episodes, Deanna Troi falls victim to aliens. She is usually targeted by aliens when they take control of her mind and then talk through her body. In a key episode of Season 4, entitled Clues, the Enterprise's crew lose a day's memory. As events unfold, Deanna is taken over by an entity in order to communicate with the crew. In addition she also gains temporary "super-human" strength and is able to toss Worf across the bridge and effortlessly break his wrist. In the season 5 episode Violations, the Enterprise encounters an alien species who are telepathic and specialize in being able to bring back lost memories. One of the aliens mentally assaults Deanna and also tries to physically assault her in her quarters. She is saved by Worf and one of his security teams. In addition, she is also mentally raped by Shinzon's Viceroy who is also telepathic in the film Star Trek Nemesis. The first time is in her quarters with her new husband and long time friend Commander Riker and the second time is seen on Star Trek Nemesis' bonus deleted scenes where she is mentally raped again in the turbolift.

At the end of Nemesis, Deanna transfers to the Titan as its new counselor, serving alongside her husband Will who is now the Titan's captain.

Troi is also an avid connoisseur of chocolate, a fact that is not insignificant in multiple episodes, including one in which she describes for another member of the crew how to properly enjoy eating it. In the episode in which Dr. Crusher is trapped in a warp bubble and is losing crew members, she briefly describes Troi to Captain Picard to jog his memory and mentions that she "loves chocolate". Troi's love of sweets was exceeded in an episode in which she was the host of a normally ascetic alien species who constantly indulged.

Scholarly and fan reception

Phil Farrand, author of The Nitpicker's Guides, criticized the way Troi was costumed and filmed. "Why does Troi get to wear the skin-tight bunny suit? ... Why would Troi want to wear the bunny suit? ... How would you react to a psychologist dressed like this?"[9]

Guest appearances

Besides being a regular in The Next Generation and its films, the Deanna Troi character later appears in three episodes of Star Trek: Voyager toward the end of its run (together with Reginald Barclay), and also in the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.


  1. ^ Adam Schrager, "Marina Sirtis: From Hoi Polloi to Counselor Troi" The Finest Crew in the Fleet: The Next Generation's Cast On Screen and Off. New York: Wolf Valley Books (1997): 147. "She landed a guest role on the series Hunter. Other small television roles followed, but no steady work came her way during her short stay. Just before she was to return home -- broke, credit cards "maxed out," and depressed -- Sirtis auditioned for the role of the chief security officer aboard the USS Enterprise, Lieutenant Macha Hernandez (later changed to Natasha Yar)."
  2. ^ Adam Schrager, "Marina Sirtis: From Hoi Polloi to Counselor Troi" The Finest Crew in the Fleet: The Next Generation's Cast On Screen and Off. New York: Wolf Valley Books (1997): 147. "Meanwhile, Denise Crosby had been auditioning for the role of Lieutenant Commander Deanna Troi, the ship's Betazoid counselor."
  3. ^ A Long Job,
  4. ^ Just Getting A Job,
  5. ^ Cleavage or Brains?,
  6. ^ Dating Games
  7. ^ " Deanna Troi". 
  8. ^ The inability of Betazoids to read the Ferengi, the Breen and the Ulians was established in the episodes "Ménage à Troi", "The Loss" and "Violations", respectively.
  9. ^ Phil Farrand, "Trek Silliness: The Top Ten Oddities of Star Trek: The Next Generation" The Nitpicker's Guide for Next Generation Trekkers New York: Dell (1993): 241

External links

Simple English

Deanna Troi is a Star Trek: The Next Generation character. Actress Marina Sirtis played the character on the television series and several movies. Troi served as the ship's counselor. She is half human and half Betazoid. She can sense how others feel. Troi was born on March 29, 2336 on Betazed, her home planet. She had an older sister, called Kestra. She attended Starfleet Academy between 2355 to 2359. She also attended the University on Betazed were she studied psychology.

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