Jolene Blalock has graced science fiction and fantasy productions beyond Star Trek Enterprise.
When planning the role of T’Pol for Star Trek Enterprise, the creative team, in co-creator Brannon Braga’s words, “wanted a Vulcan babe,” “someone who is stunningly beautiful and can act” (Altman & Gross, The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, page 656). Jolene Blalock fit the bill.
Her “smart, sexy vibe gave the writers a lot to work with,” says director James L. Conway (Altman & Gross, 657), and Blalock delivered the franchise’s “second-best portrayal of a Vulcan,” in writer-producer David A. Goodman’s estimate (Altman & Gross, 658). (All despite her reservations about how her role was written.)
While T’Pol is the most famous character Jolene Blalock has played in science fiction and fantasy, she isn’t the only one, before or since Enterprise.
Here’s a warp 5 tour through this talented actress’s out-of-this-world credits.
Jolene Blalock casts a spell as the mythic sorceress Medea
The year before Star Trek Enterprise premiered, Blalock starred in another epic, incredible journey. She played the sorceress Medea in Hallmark Entertainment’s TV miniseries Jason and the Argonauts.
Variety called the two-night event a “beautifully executed take on Greek mythology’s most noble pursuit,” the quest for the Golden Fleece. But apart from calling her “fetching” (which she certainly is), Variety’s review said nothing about Blalock, which is too bad.
She enjoys a fair amount of screen time during the miniseries’ second half, and proves much more than a pretty face when Medea asserts her magical powers and authority over the Fleece to King Pelias.
The whole miniseries is available on YouTube, and you can watch this climactic scene starting at about 02:35:55.
Those of you up on your Greek myths know things don’t work out well for Jason and Medea (not to mention their kids) in the long run. But this miniseries ends in happier times for the couple.
In 2001, the year Enterprise debuted, Blalock starred in the interstitial portions of the anthology film On the Edge. This project is comprised of three short sci-fi films directed by Anne Heche, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Helen Mirren, all of whom were making their directorial debuts.
IMDB user reviews describe the project as The Twilight Zone with a feminist sensibility. It sounds hard to catch, however. One reviewer calls it “one of those amazing movies you get lucky and catch in the middle of the night.”
Jolene Blalock steps through a stargate
During Enterprise’s run, Jolene Blalock guest starred twice on Stargate SG-1. She played the role of Ishta in two episodes, “Birthright” (2003) and “Sacrifices” (2004).
Ishta was an alien priestess of the Jaffa, the genetically modified humans designed to host Goa’uld symbiotes. Unlike Star Trek’s Trill symbionts, the Goa’uld are power-hungry parasites bent on ruling the universe as gods.
Ishta led a rebellion on her planet against a Goa’uld who was murdering women and building an all-male army.
Ishta is different from T’Pol in many ways. But as the clip from “Birthright” below shows, she’s no less formidable and principled a presence than T’Pol!
Christopher Judge, who played Teal’c on SG-1, wrote “Birthright” for Blalock. As he told the site Gateworld in 2004:
"They asked me who I saw, and I said, “Well, I kind of wrote it with Jolene Blalock in mind.” So it was either—if we hadn’t gotten Jolene, the only two people I really saw doing the role at all was either Jolene or Victoria Pratt. And we were fortunate enough to get Jolene."
Jolene Blalock in the shadows and among the stars after Enterprise
In 2007, Blalock starred with Tony Todd—whom Star Trek fans know best as Worf’s brother Kurn and the adult Jake Sisko in DS9’s “The Visitor”—and Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s James Marsters in the supernatural horror thriller Shadow Puppets.
Shadow Puppets closed the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in April 2007, and enjoyed a week-long Beverly Hills theatrical engagement before releasing to DVD.
The next year, Blalock found herself in the Federation—not the UFP of Star Trek, but the Federation of the Starship Troopers franchise, where citizenship is earned through military service. She played Captain Lola Beck in Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, fighting the alien “bugs” on a far-off desert planet.
Here’s Blalock talking about the project and her character during San Diego Comic-Con that year, which was—surprisingly, for a Star Trek star—her first trip to the event:
Jolene Blalock, self-described “complete geek”
Sorcery bookends Blalock’s fantastical credits. Her most recent genre work was her two-episode stint as Sister Nicci in the second and final season (2009-10) of the fantasy series Legend of the Seeker. (Emily Foxler took over the role after Nicci’s resurrection.)
In this interview with L.A. station KTLA 5, Blalock discusses not only her (wet and cold) experience working on the show but also her life-long love of speculative fiction. “I’m a complete geek,” she says.
Since 2017, Jolene Blalock has focused on being a mother to her three children and on charitable work.
Should she return to acting, let’s hope the fantastic stories she and we love make up a big part of her future filmography!