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Pel

Pel
Gender: Female
Species: Ferengi
Occupation: Waiter
Status: Alive (2370)
Played by: Hélène Udy
For the Vidiian doctor, please see Denara Pel.

Pel was a female Ferengi, alive during the late-24th century. Known for disguising herself as a Ferengi male, Pel was an advocate of women's rights, believing females were just as capable at making profit as males.

HistoryEdit

In 2370, Pel was employed as a waiter at Quark's bar on Deep Space 9, but due to Ferengi customs, she disguised herself as a male in order to make profit.

During a Tongo game with Quark, Pel advised him to stock Gramilian sand peas as a bar snack to increase profits. She later assisted Quark in trade meetings with the Dosi to purchase Tulaberry wine. Her advice was instrumental in obtaining an extended contact with the Dosi. However, she would end up falling in love with Quark, to the point where she kissed Quark on their mission to the Dosi homeworld.

Rom, who was jealous of Pel, ultimately exposed her as a female. At first, Grand Nagus Zek was going to have Pel and Quark arrested, because it was against Ferengi law to take financial advice from a female, but Quark pointed out to the Nagus that he, too, was guilty, as he had also taken advice from her. She told Quark that she loved him, but he tells her he would not be happy with a non-traditional Ferengi wife.

Pel then left the station, as there was no place for a clothed Ferengi female with good business sense. (DS9: "Rules of Acquisition")

Memorable quotesEdit

"So what do you think about my idea?"
"I think I agree with the fifty-ninth Rule of Acquisition. Free advice is seldom cheap."
"True, but the twenty second rule says, A wise man can hear profit in the wind."
"I see you know your Rules."

- Pel and Quark


"A hundred thousand vats. That's a lot of tulaberries."
"You'll get them."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Because you're good. And with me helping you, you're even better."

- Quark and Pel


"I didn't know the Replimat had a Ferengi menu."
"It doesn't. I like to try new things."
"That's unusual for a Ferengi."
"I never heard of a Trill who could play tongo."
"I guess that makes us both unusual."

- Jadzia Dax and Pel


"On my world, women aren't allowed to leave the house, or wear clothes, or learn to read."
"And you wanted more."
"Why not? I'm as smart as any man. So I made myself a pair of synthetic lobes and became one."

- Pel and Jadzia Dax


"I'm sorry, but it's time he learned that when it comes to accumulating profit, women are as capable as men."

- Pel

AppendicesEdit

Background informationEdit

Pel was played by actress Hélène Udy.

The character is the first Ferengi female seen on-screen. Quark's mother Ishka would later make an appearance in "Family Business".

The script for "Rules of Acquisition" describes the relationship between Quark and Pel; "There's a real rapport between these two that Dax picks up on. Rom can see it too and it leaves him seething with jealousy." Later, of the scene in which Pel removes her fake lobes, it says, "Pel opens the case up (we don't see its contents) and then stares back for a beat at the mirror before reaching up and gently PULLING OFF HIS LOBES revealing the small delicately shaped ears of a Ferengi female. Yes, that's right, Quark's assistant and friend is really a woman. She carefully places the synthetic ears into the case which we now see houses two extra pair of lobes. The interior of the case has all kinds of tech devices to keep them looking and feeling real. Pel then takes off her jacket revealing the outline of her breasts." [1]

Udy enjoyed playing Pel, whom she described as, "a very determined young woman who was trying to change the role of females within her species. She had tremendous courage and tremendous honour. And she was a boundary breaker. The character was an absolute honour to play because the character’s soul was so full of honour." In preparation for the role, the actress called one of her boyfriend's friends who was a Star Trek fan, staying on the phone for over an hour discussing the Ferengi. Aside from this, however, she didn't do too much studying so as not to get caught up in what was expected of her. "Once I found the voice, I found the character," she explained. "I loved the characters courage. That was my grounding post. I did not actually study too much on Ferengis except with the information I was given. I am glad of this. It allowed me to look at the needs of the script and the story and form the character form there, as opposed to getting caught up in what the producers might expect, and getting lost in that vortex of people pleasing. The need to please can often kill the ability to venture out. It is always best for me, to come from my own heart and hope for the best." [2] [3]

Though she enjoyed playing the character, Udy did experience a number of issues with the Ferengi makeup. "We had the hardest time with the kiss, because the dentures were modelled very carefully after Piranha teeth. And they were extremely sharp. We had a few painful encounters. But Armin was such a lovely and welcoming guy. And very funny. He had great comic timing. We got over it." As a result of wearing the makeup for long periods of time, Udy also learned that she was in fact claustrophobic. "This uncontrollable need to tear my face off as the day wore on almost overcame me one very long 14 hour day. In my delusion, I called my then boyfriend and told him that I was very close to pulling my face off. Lucky for me, we lived 5 minutes from the set and he appeared immediately to make sure I did nothing stupid. But I do think the producer was aware that I was losing my mind." As a result of her unfortunate experience, the producers of the show warned future guest stars against auditioning if they had claustrophobia, something Udy thought was a shame. "Kind of a pity." she recalled. "Pel had the potential to recur, but they knew in that first episode that my claustrophobia would make that unlikely." [4]

The case in which Pel carries her lobes was designed by Illustrator Jim Martin while Makeup Designer Michael Westmore created the lobes themselves. Property Master Joe Longo was charged with making the case, which he did from scratch. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, P.98)

The idea of putting breasts on Pel so the audience knew she was a female was the idea of Director David Livingston. "A director has to take what's in the script and then make sure that all of the intentions are realized visually," he recalled. "I asked them to give her breasts. Because just taking off an ear, to a human audience, doesn't necessarily signal a female." Indeed, Livingston thought Udy as Pel was, "just extraordinary. I've talked to people who've said that they didn't know she was a woman until she took off her vest." Ira Steven Behr said in agreement, "One of the problems of doing science fiction is you're ultimately dealing with human actors and human concepts and a TV show isn't a book where you can imagine all kinds of things. So, yeah, it's very important that the audience gets it, up front, right away." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p.97; Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p.65)

Though he was happy with some elements of Pel's episode, Behr had mixed feelings overall, especially in relation to the kiss between her and Quark. "I thought they blew the big scene in the tent when [Pel] kisses [Quark]. It was not done the way I expected it to be. It was too schticky and slapstick and it should have been a wonderful, confusing scene. I was not a happy camper when I saw those dailies." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p.65)

Star Trek author Keith R.A. DeCandido wrote that Udy, "does a fine job as Pel", going on to describe Pel herself as, "an interesting character, who earns Quark’s respect (and Rom’s ire), but she ruins all of it by letting her infatuation with Quark get in the way of her mission, which is to earn profit as a female. It cuts the episode off at the knees by not letting her be what she can be because of a romance." [5]

ApocryphaEdit

In Legends of the Ferengi, Pel is shown under Rule of Acquisition #33; "It never hurts to suck up to the boss." An image from "Rules of Acquisition" showing Quark grovelling to Grand Nagus Zek with Pel looking on, is included with the caption, "Some would call this grovelling. To a good businessman, it's tactical. It also impresses the females. Note the admiration in Pel's eyes."

Pel also appears in the Seven Deadly Sins novella Reservoir Ferengi which reveals she became stuck on the planet Solamin Prime during the Dominion War, where she learned how to pilot shuttles. Later, in 2377, Pel partners up with Gaila, serving as his pilot aboard the Golden Handshake. At the same time, Brunt becomes another partner of hers, causing Gaila to suspect that they are plotting against him. He orders his Breen guards to kill them both though Brunt saves Pel and the two began a new partnership.

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