|Gral, a Tellarite male (2154)|
|Place of origin:||Tellar Prime|
Tellarites were a warp-capable humanoid species from the class M planet Tellar Prime located in the Alpha Quadrant. In 2161, their homeworld became a founding member of the United Federation of Planets.
On average, Tellarites were shorter than Humans.
Though the medical condition known as dyspnea is normally considered a symptom (i.e. the patient notices it him/herself) and not a sign (i.e. only a doctor notices the sign during a medical examination) in most species, it is regarded as a sign when present in Tellarites. (DS9: "Inquisition")
Tellarites were known to be an impatient people. (ENT: "United") They were also known for their "stubborn pride." (ENT: "The Forge") They had a propensity toward strong emotion. However, they enjoyed a good argument, and they even considered it (presumably in the form of debate) a sport on Tellar. (ENT: "Bounty") Tellarites often began an interaction with a series of complaints; this was how they started arguments with someone they had recently met. If they had nothing to complain about they would simply insult the person. Because of their ability to argue, Tellarites made excellent politicians. (ENT: "Babel One")
Tellarites were warp-capable and involved in inter-species communication by the 20th century. In 1957, a Tellarite freighter picked up the distress call of a Vulcan ship that had crash landed on Earth, near Carbon Creek, Pennsylvania. They passed this information onto the Vulcan High Command. (ENT: "Carbon Creek")
Some time before 2154, the Tellarites were in conflict with the Andorians. Ambassador Gral recalled being aboard a Tellarite cruiser as they drove "those blue demons" back into their own territory by force. (ENT: "Babel One")
In April 2152, a passing Tellarite vessel directed the Enterprise NX-01, suffering severe damage after an encounter in a Romulan minefield, to an automated repair facility. Sub-Commander T'Pol then stated that Tellarites were generally considered trustworthy. (ENT: "Dead Stop")
However, as of the 2150s, some Tellarites were also involved in dubious businesses. In March 2153, the Tellarite bounty hunter Skalaar, working for the Klingons, captured the Human Jonathan Archer, captain of the Enterprise. However, he later helped him to escape from the Klingon ship. Skalaar's brother, Gaavrin, who worked on a space station at that time, used to run a freighter, the Tezra, together with him. In May 2154, a Tellarite was bidding at an Orion slave auction on Verex III in the Borderland. (ENT: "Bounty", "Borderland")
In November 2154, a Tellarite delegation led by Ambassador Gral was being transported to the planetoid Babel by the Enterprise to resolve a long standing trade dispute with the Andorians. The original purpose of the conference was to resolve a long standing trade dispute between both factions. However, the Romulan Star Empire had become aware of the threat posed by a closer partnership between Tellar, Andoria, and its neighbors. The Star Empire's attempts to destabilize the region led to the Babel Crisis, during which a secret mission by the Romulans involved the use of two Romulan drone-ships, which were able to camouflage themselves as various other vessels. By destroying the Andorian vessel Kumari under the guise of a Tellarite cruiser, thereby causing the cancellation of the Babel conference and nearly escalating an old conflict between the two races, the Romulans nearly succeeded with their plans. However, Cpt. Archer of the Enterprise defused the tension between the Andorians and Tellarites by unexpectedly answering Cmdr. Shran's Ushaan challenge, thereby protecting Naarg of the Tellarite delegation and deliberately sparing Shran's life by incapacitating him. Archer subsequently allied the Tellarites, Andorians, Humans, and Vulcans to find and destroy the drone-ships, thereby altering the result of this Romulan mission to the exact opposite of what it was intended to achieve. (ENT: "Babel One", "United", "The Aenar")
In 2155, a Tellarite delegation attended talks on Earth about forming a Coalition of Planets. Minister Nathan Samuels joked that the new universal translators were working a little too well when it came to talking to the Tellarites. During the conference, the Coridans also rejected the Tellarite proposal of a trade embargo against the Orion Syndicate. The Coridan representative claimed his people have been trading with the Orions for centuries and that the accusation of Orions attacking Tellarite freighters constituted slander. Despite subsequent terrorist acts by the xenophobic Terra Prime movement, which tried to drive all non-Humans out of the Sol system, the conference was eventually resumed with a passionate speech by Cpt. Archer, earning the applause of all attendees including the Tellarite delegation. (ENT: "Demons", "Terra Prime")
Several species represented at the Coalition of Planets conference became welded together when the conflict with the Romulan Star Empire escalated into the Earth-Romulan War. After the war between United Earth and the Star Empire began in 2156, a humiliating defeat of the Romulans by an alliance of Tellarite, Andorian, Vulcan, and Earth forces at the Battle of Cheron in 2160 effectively ended the conflict and led to the establishment of the Romulan Neutral Zone between the two power blocs. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"; TOS: "Balance of Terror")
- See also: Federation history
In 2161, Tellar - along with its old war allies Earth, Andoria, and Vulcan - founded the United Federation of Planets in San Francisco on Earth and established a joint Starfleet. (ENT: "Zero Hour"; TNG: "The Outcast", "The First Duty"; DS9: "Inquisition") As a result, Tellar Prime held a seat on the Federation Council and Tellarites served as Starfleet officers. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")
In 2268, the planet Coridan sought admission to the United Federation of Planets. However, due to the wealth of dilithium available on Coridan and the presence of illegal mining operations, Coridan's admission was a controversial subject between Tellarites and Vulcans. The Babel Conference was convened to settle the matter and ultimately approved Coridan's admission. Tellarite Ambassador Gav was among the delegates to the Babel Conference, but Thelev, an Orion infiltrator in Andorian disguise on board the Federation starship USS Enterprise, assassinated him and unsuccessfully tried to frame Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan, who, at the conference itself, was ultimately credited with achieving the consensus towards admitting the planet to the Federation. (TOS: "Journey to Babel"; TNG: "Sarek")
In 2286, at least one Tellarite was serving on the Federation Council. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) In 2293, at least two Tellarites were present at the Khitomer Conference. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
By the late 24th century, Tellarites were serving in Starfleet. A drunken Klingon at the celebrations for the Order of the Bat'leth in 2373 bragged about having killed the Tellarite helmsman of Laporin's starship. (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")
Major Malcolm Reed and Doctor Phlox of the ISS Enterprise tortured a Tellarite crewman named Terev in the agony booth as a demonstration of the device for Captain Maximilian Forrest and Commander Jonathan Archer. Reed's philosophy on Tellarites was that they were "all guilty of something". (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")
At one point, frustrated with a lack of progress while trying to apprehend the rogue Gorn Slar aboard the stolen USS Defiant, Archer raged that "we'd have more luck sending a squad of Tellarites to capture this thing!" (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")
The Tellarites's fate in the 23rd and 24th centuries, particularly after the fall of the Terran empire, is not known.
- See: List of Tellarites
- Star Trek films:
- TNG: "Conspiracy" (reused footage)
- VOY: "Non Sequitur" (reused footage)
Background information Edit
No female Tellarites have ever been explicitly shown on any of the movies or television series that we know of. Still, Worene's species is a possible candidate for a female Tellarite.
Gav actor John Wheeler noted, "The makeup department at Desilu [...] put a plaster mask all over my head and left me two little straws to breathe through." (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Two) The Tellarite makeup in "Journey to Babel" mainly consisted of a one-piece prosthetic appliance, which was made from foam latex and covered the central part of the actor's face. This type of primordial mask prevented the performer from seeing through its lunettes. To complete the makeup, a beard and mustache were added. Both these hair pieces were hand-laid and were intended to blend into the actor's own head hair. The faux mustache helped to hide the edge of the snout appliance. (Star Trek: Aliens & Artifacts, p. 48) Character gloves were worn for these. (Star Trek: Aliens & Artifacts, p. 49)
Two images taken from apparent make-up tests appeared in the ending credits of the Original Series episodes "The Deadly Years" and "A Private Little War". These tests appear to be for either Gav or his aide. The second image features regular stand-in and background actor William Blackburn.
The makeup for the Tellarites was slightly revised for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Kirk Thatcher referred to these members of the species, whose makeup was done by Richard Snell, as "new Tellarites" and went on to say, "They don't look so 'rubber masky.'" (Starlog #111) The Tellarite councilor in Star Trek IV is wearing robes that were originally created for the white-furred Kazarite from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Although it is unclear from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country whether an alien species that is present at the Khitomer Conference was intended to be a Tellarite and despite its make-up (a man with a beard and large, upturned nose) only vaguely resembling the Tellarites seen in other incarnations, the alien was indeed meant to be a Tellarite, as confirmed in an interview with Richard Snell. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 22, No. 5, p. 34)
Makeup Supervisor Michael Westmore wanted to create an updated version of the Tellarite ever since 1998, a wish he expected would be practical. (Star Trek Monthly issue 46, p. 83) In 2002, Westmore related, "I've already sent Brannon [Braga] a note and said I want to do them. The eyes probably wouldn't be as deep sunk, I'd probably modify the pig-like nose a little bit, and the hair would be better – we'd probably have a thousand-dollar lace beard on him instead of that bushy thing they wore!" (Star Trek Monthly issue 98, p. 45)
The Tellarite makeup was again changed, the species receiving a completely new makeup scheme, in "Bounty" in 2003, due to improved makeup techniques as well as a greater budget. "The hunter in 'Bounty' [namely Skalaar] was originally a non-descript alien, but making him a familiar species helped jump-start the episode," explained Mike Sussman. (Star Trek Monthly issue 108, p. 48) Shortly after completing work on "Bounty", Executive Producer Brannon Braga commented on how the Tellarites had been updated, saying, "We reconceived the makeup a little bit so it's not quite as hokey. They were never really developed, so we also tried to create a little character and culture for them. We [....] wouldn't hesitate to do the Tellarites again." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 145, pp. 31-32) One thing missing in the Star Trek: Enterprise makeup were the three fingers which some Tellarites had in Star Trek: The Original Series, though a slight reference to that can be seen in their cloven fingernails.
There was apparently a recurring motif of being punched in the gut by a Tellarite in Star Trek: Enterprise. In the final draft script of "Bounty", a visual reaction Skalaar gave to his brother – Gaavrin (also a Tellarite) – revealing to him that Tezra, a freighter Skalaar had owned and loved, had actually been cannibalized by the Klingons was described thus; "Skalaar looks like he's been punched in the gut." Similarly, in the episode "Observer Effect", Charles "Trip" Tucker comments that he feels like he has been "gut-punched by a Tellarite."
A Tellarite costume was put up for auction in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction. This auction has revealed that a fat suit was used under the Tellarite uniform to give the appearance of added weight.  
Shane Johnson, in The Worlds of the Federation, described Tellarites as belligerent, but good engineers, and called debate a favorite form of entertainment amongst Tellarites. Though series canon, as has been shown, offers hints of both, it has not definitely confirmed either as yet.
In the novel Articles of the Federation, Bera chim Gleer was a Tellarite representative in the Federation council in the late 2370s, and early 2380s known for his long speeches, and opposing Federation President Nanietta Bacco's inauguration. He is also referenced by political figures in Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume 2 and A Time to Heal. Articles of the Federation also featured Kav glasch Vokrak, a Tellarite reporter.
A Tellarite named Colv served as an Engineer on a cargo freighter in Star Trek: SCE: Breakdowns. The Tellarite people are later referenced in the novel for their involvement in "the infamous Tellarite bar-fight story," which is popular among the da Vinci crew.
In the eBooks of Star Trek: SCE that are eventually printed as paperback novels, a Tellarite character called Mor glasch Tev takes over the position of Second Officer after Kieran Duffy's death.
In the novel The IDIC Epidemic, Tellarites are listed as composing less than 28% of the Vulcan Science colony Nisus.
In the Star Trek: 25th Anniversary game, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy encounter a Tellarite on Pollux V who describes the Krognik demon – a creature from Tellarite mythology. This creature is the traditional shape of the Tellarite devil and his minions. Its physical appearance is described as being decidedly wolfish, with sharp teeth in a long snout.
Tellarites have made two appearances in comics from IDW Publishing. Christopher Pike encountered some on Babel in 2265 when he was being feted as Fleet Captain. One, Administrator Muso, was a wanted criminal and bounty hunter, and was taken into custody with the help of an Orion slave girl. (Alien Spotlight: "Orions") While investigating a conspiracy in Starfleet, Jean-Luc Picard was fired on by a Tellarite in the shadows on the grounds of Starfleet Academy. (Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Space Between: "An Inconvenient Truth")
The Star Trek Roleplaying Game Starfleet Operations Manual and Aliens supplements characterize Tellarites as having great mechanical aptitude, perhaps due to their greater perception of distance, dimension and depth, as well as being extensively trained in engineering at every level of the education process.
Female Tellarites are a playable race and gender for the Federation faction in Star Trek Online. Females are depicted as having the same pig-like facial features, but with pointed, wide extended ears.
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