(covers information from several alternate timelines)
This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Discovery, and thus may contain spoilers.
Tellarites were a stout humanoid species with an average body height shorter than that of Humans. They had distinctive snouts, wore beards, and their hands were sometimes hoof-like in appearance. Their lower jaw possessed a pair of small tusks. (ENT: "Bounty"; TOS: "Journey to Babel") At least one Tellarite in the mirror universe possessed more prominent tusks. (DIS: "The Wolf Inside")
Though a particular medical condition known as dyspnea was normally considered a symptom (i.e., the patient noticed it him/herself) and not a sign (i.e., only a doctor noticed the sign during a medical examination) in most species, it was 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 a sport on Tellar (presumably in the form of debate). (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 on to 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 of 2152, a passing Tellarite vessel directed 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. By 2151, a Tellarite merchant operating in the area around the Akaali homeworld was a competitor of unscrupulous, covert mining entrepreneur Garos. In March of 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 a 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 of 2154, a Tellarite was bidding at an Orion Syndicate slave auction on Verex III in the Borderland. (ENT: "Civilization", "Bounty", "Borderland")
In November of 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. 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, Captain Archer of the Enterprise defused the tension between the Andorians and Tellarites by unexpectedly answering a Ushaan challenge on which Commander Shran insisted, Archer 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 had been 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 new universal translators, which the participants were given, were working a little too well when it came to talking to the Tellarites. During the conference, the Coridans also rejected a Tellarite proposal to enact a trade embargo against the Orion Syndicate. The Coridan representative claimed his people had been trading with the Orions for centuries and that the accusation of Orions attacking Tellarite freighters constituted slander. Despite subsequent terrorist acts by Terra Prime, a xenophobic movement which tried to drive all non-Humans out of the Sol system, the conference was eventually resumed with a passionate speech by Captain 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 Human 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 a 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 after Archer and an away team under his command stole the USS Defiant, Archer, frustrated with a lack of progress while trying to apprehend the rogue Gorn Slar aboard the ship, raged, "We'd have more luck sending a squad of Tellarites to capture this thing!" (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")
- See: List of Tellarites
- Tellarite freighters:
- Tellarite ship
- Tellarite shuttle
- Tellarite cruiser
- Star Trek films:
- TNG: "Conspiracy" (archive footage)
- VOY: "Non Sequitur" (archive footage)
Background information Edit
The Tellarites were designed by Fred Phillips. Given virtually no notice that he would be required to design their make-up, Phillips had to do so overnight. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 17, No. 2, p. 32) Two Tellarite nose appliances were designed and manufactured for the appearance in "Journey to Babel". (Star Trek: Aliens & Artifacts, p. 27; Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, pp. 190-192)
The appliances 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 was glued on in such a way that the actor's eyes couldn't be seen, and consequently prevented the performer from seeing through its lunettes. This forced the actor to tilt his head back when he was delivering his lines in order to see through his mask. (Star Trek: Aliens & Artifacts, p. 48) 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)
To complete the makeup, a beard and mustache were added. Both these hair pieces were manually applied and were intended to blend into the actor's own head hair. The faux mustache helped to hide the edge of the snout appliance and created an interesting effect with the character's bushy eyebrows. The look was completed with character gloves, worn to represent the Tellarite hands. (Star Trek: Aliens & Artifacts, pp. 48-49)
Two images taken from apparent make-up tests appeared in the ending credits of the TOS 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. For that film, Kirk Thatcher explained that makeup was done by (newcomer to the Star Trek franchise) Richard Snell and, as such, "we played a little bit. We stuck an Andorian in there and Tellarites, but new Tellarites. They don't look so 'rubber masky.' We tried to maintain the Star Trek look throughout, but bring it up to date." (Starlog #111, October 1986, p. 40) The Tellarite councilor in Star Trek IV is shown wearing robes that were originally created for the white-furred Kazarite from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Special effects makeup artist Ed French, who described many of the representatives present at the Khitomer Conference as a "homage to television," explained, "We also threw in a couple of the piglike Tellurites [sic], modified a bit from the old Star Trek episode 'Journey to Babel'." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 22, No. 5, p. 34; Charting the Undiscovered Country: The Making of Trek VI, p. 90)
There was no support, in the writing staff of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, for the possibility of a Tellarite or multiple members of the species appearing on that series. (AOL chat, 1997) However, 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)
Finally, with the advent of Star Trek: Enterprise, a chance to again show Tellarites on screen seemed more feasible than it had before. While working on ENT in 2002, Michael 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) In addition, he mentioned that he "would like to put a bony ridge on them." (Starlog #311, June 2003, p. 33)
When the opportunity finally presented itself for the Tellarites to appear on Enterprise, the 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 have in Star Trek: The Original Series, though a slight reference to that in ENT can be seen in their cloven fingernails.
Several Tellarite costumes from Enterprise were sold in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction. The auction listings also revealed that a fat suit was worn under the Tellarite uniform to give the appearance of added weight.       Also included was a lot of latex Tellarite face, hand, and arm makeup appliances. 
Trivia and unused material Edit
A Tellarite named Vashi was to have appeared in Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "Point of Extinction", though that installment was never produced. In the episode's first draft script, a somewhat lengthy description of the Tellarites referred to them as "short-tempered."
In the first draft script of ENT: "Strange New World", a group of Tellarite survivors were referred to in a ghost story told by Charles Tucker. These Tellarites, according to the tale, had survived the crash landing of their Tellarite transport on Pluto but had then eaten one another.
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."
Shane Johnson, in The Worlds of the Federation, described Tellarites as belligerent, but good engineers, and called debate a favorite form of entertainment among 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 Two 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 same 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, which 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. In Alien Spotlight: "Orions", Christopher Pike encounters some on Babel in 2265, when he is being feted as fleet captain. One of these, Administrator Muso, is a wanted criminal and bounty hunter, and is taken into custody with the help of an Orion slave girl. In Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Space Between: "An Inconvenient Truth", Jean-Luc Picard, while investigating a conspiracy in Starfleet, is fired on by a Tellarite in the shadows on the grounds of Starfleet Academy.
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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