Human women generally have nine-month gestation periods before they give birth. Betazoid women carry their pregnancies for ten months, or three days, depending on whatever is floating around in space at the time.
Since we are celebrating the conception and birth of Airlock Alpha, and since the 10th anniversary of Airlock Alpha is nine months from now, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss a topic rarely addressed by fanboys anywhere. Its time for the Ten Strangest Pregnancies On Science-Fiction television.
As a reminder, Im doing this with some provisos. One is that since I have not seen every single episode of every single science-fiction series on television in the past 10 years, I may not mention one that you recall.
If there happen to be others that I neglected to mention, add it to the list in our forums. For example, Rachel Lutrells pregnancy reportedly will become part of her story in Stargate: Atlantis, but since I havent seen those episodes yet, we can discuss them as they happen – if indeed Teyla turns out to be pregnant and it turns out to be a strange or unusual pregnancy.
The following list is not in any particular order.
1. Sharon Boomer Valerii – Battlestar Galactica
Cylon Sharon Valerii had a half-human/half-Cylon baby fathered by the extremely principled Karl Helo Agathon. The baby, Herra, was supposedly the only human/Cylon hybrid and was virtually worshipped as a sign of the existence of God by the Cylons. Now theyll have to explain the baby of sleeper Cylon Chief Tyrol and human crewman Cally.
2. Darla — Angel
Darla was a vampire. She was dead, or undead, twice. Undead vampire Angel impregnated Darla with hell-knows-dead-what, yielding super-human baby Connor (who after being kidnapped into a hell-dimension – Kortoth — comes back in virtually no time as a psycho-superteen who impregnates Cordelia, Angels almost but not quite girlfriend, leaving Angel severely messed up for the rest of the series.
3. Cordelia – Angel
Early in the first season, Cordelia experiences her first unnatural pregnancy. She picks up future Vinnie Van Lowe from a bar, takes him home with her, and wakes up alone, but appearing fifteen months pregnant with what turns out to be a slew of acid demon babies. Fortunately, they were neutralized before the next episode.
4. Cordelia (again) – Angel
This pregnancy was almost a jump-the-shark measure in a season where the series seemed to be struggling. Charisma Carpenter, wrongly blonded and really pregnant, just couldnt fit behind tables and big purses anymore, so she gave birth to Zoe Washburn … err … Jasmine – the demon-god love-child of Cordelia and Connor. It turns out she was also part of an elaborate scheme of Wolfram and Hart to bring about the apocalypse that Angel was supposed to play a major role in and break Angels spirit. It didnt work.
5. Aeryn Sun and Dominar Rygel XVI — Farscape
Aeryn Sun and John Crichton created a pregnancy and then were broken into millions of cells at the bottom of the ocean. The two got reconstituted, but one piece was missing. That piece was gathered and swallowed by Dominar Rygel XVI, who who brought it back to replant in Aeryn. Aeryn later gives birth to a boy.
6.Vala Mal Doran – Stargate SG-1
What do you do to make up for SG-1 losing Richard Dean Anderson? Bring in cancelled John Crichton and Aeryn Sun – um – Ben Browder and Claudia Black to try to make peace with Farscape fans. Ironically, Claudia Black turned up really (really!) pregnant, so the showrunners had to do something with that, because the tables at SG-1 werent big enough, either. Blacks character, Vala, found herself with child from an immaculate pregnancy, and gave birth to Morena Baccarin, who terrorized the universe in the name of the Ori. The sharks were dipping their heads low for this one.
7. BLanna Torres – Star Trek: Voyager
BLanna, who had donned the Starfleet lab coat through most of the season Roxanne Dawson was pregnant, was able to go coatless in a holodeck hostage scenario that somehow made her pregnant. This may have been the most inspired in-joke in the entire series.
8. Dana Scully – The X-Files
Shark jumping at its fishiest. The seventh season finale of a show that was losing its most popular actor (male lead David Duchovny) left barren Dana Scully pregnant and weepy-eyed. Didnt anyone tell Chris Carter that getting pregnant to keep a guy around is a serious mistake? After a season of Scully crying about missing Mulder, she gave birth to a telekinetic kid who might be Mulders, but who she eventually unloads on some unsuspecting adoptive parent who somehow in their ignorance were supposed to be safer parents for little William. (Swiss cheese has fewer holes than this story).
9. Lily Tyler — The 4400
Lily has an unexplained pregnancy that turns out to be the child of her grandmothers forbidden lover, Richard. That baby, Isabelle, grows up suddenly (saves on the boring and smelly diaper-changing years) and becomes a child-like adult terror who is scary-powerful and invincible. (Im kind of glad kids dont grow up as quickly in real life as they do in science-fiction. It gives parents a lot more time to get their psycho-kids under control: or to create them.)
10. Charles Trip Tucker – Enterprise
A pregnant man may be considered premature shark jumping, but for a largely abysmal series, it was the story in one of the more entertaining early episodes. Thatll teach Trip to keep his appendages out of alien waters. Until the next alien babe comes along, anyway.
Honorable mention: The pregnancies of Kira Nerys on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation were the two most mentioned incidents by Airlock Alpha readers. I didnt include them on the official list, because both occurred outside the 10-year time period we are covering; however, they were too good not to mention.
Deanna Troi had that three-day space-borne pregnancy that was made up of her genetic material, yet somehow yielded a son – who died and disappeared as quickly as he appeared.
Kira Neryss pregnancy was something of an inspired improvisation. The writers had already made Keiko OBrien pregnant when Nana Visitor turned up fragrant with Alexander Siddigs child. Suddenly, Keiko was in a life-threatening accident where her pregnancy had to be transferred to a surrogate mother in order to save both mothers and childs lives. How cool was it that Kira, who was from an entirely different planet and was not human, was a perfect match to be surrogate to Keikos baby?
The miracle of birth in the hands of science-fiction writers truly is extraordinary. Babies skip childhood, become psychotic killers, and eventually grow up to be healthy and well-adjusted (if you know the right demonic sorcerer to make a deal with). Birth on sci-fi is also very hazardous for the babies who dont grow up within a week. Those babies generally die young, are abandoned, and/or signal the end of the series.
Airlock Alpha, on the other hand, is growing slowly, steadily, and relatively without major psychoses. And yet, in nine months, well have a healthy 10-year-old.
In the next edition of Ten Forward, in honor of the striking WritersGuild of America scribes, Ill discuss 10 television episodes and/or movies depicting Workers And Unions In Science-Fiction And Fantasy. If you have any ideas as to what you would like to see included in this list, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.