Female Shapeshifter

TREKCORE > DEEP SPACE NINE > CAST > Female Shapeshifter

PLAYED BY: Salome Jens
FULL NAME: has no name
SPECIES: Changeling
POSITION/OCCUPATION: Spokes-being of the Founders
BIRTHPLACE: Founder homeworld, Gamma Quadrant

In "The Search, Parts I and II", this individual Changeling (also known in scripts as the Female Shapeshifter) was the one who greeted Odo when he first arrived at the Great Link, answered his questions, attempted to instruct him in the ways of their people, and linked with him. Afterwards, when he realized that the Changelings were the Founders, she confirmed it.

Later that year, in "Heart of Stone", the Female Changeling implemented a scheme in order to learn the "true" reason why Odo had rejected his people, and hopefully to sever his "link" to the solids. She posed as a Maquis fugitive, lured Odo and Kira to a moon in the Badlands, and impersonated Kira, leading Odo to believe that she was being slowly engulfed by a living crystal, and was about to die. He confessed his love for her, but then finally caught on to the ruse, and the Female Changeling beamed away after telling him that Kira could never love him.

A year and a half later, when Odo became deathly ill, and the Defiant entered the Gamma Quadrant seeking the Founders' help, the Female Changeling came aboard, stabilized Odo, and told him he was to be judged for having killed another Changeling. She also spoke briefly to Sisko and Bashir after Odo was turned human, explaining his new status ("Broken Link").

Odo did not see her again until "Behind the Lines", after he had become a Changeling once more, and the station was occupied by Dominion and Cardassian forces. The Female Changeling arrived, saying she had been trapped in the Alpha Quadrant by the minefield across the wormhole's entrance, and craved the company of one of her kind. She proceeded to manipulate Odo by linking with him, and succeeded until she let slip the news to him that Kira had been arrested and would be executed. Later, she evacuated to Cardassia with the rest of the Dominion forces on the station ("Favor the Bold"/"Sacrifice of Angels").

The Female Changeling became stricken with the disease that had infected the Great Link, but continued to command the Dominion from Cardassia, directing the war effort and initiating the alliance with the Breen, until "What You Leave Behind", when the Dominion headquarters was finally captured by Damar's rebels. At that point, she was so ill that she was no longer able to shapeshift, and was taken prisoner. However, she was then cured by Odo, who arrived and linked with her, gaining in return her agreement to cease hostilities and stand trial for her crimes. She was taken away by Starfleet after signing the peace treaty between the Dominion and the Alpha Quadrant powers.

Salome Jens

Born in Milwaukee, American actress Salome Jens was named after her Polish-born mother, Salomea.

After brief studies at the University of Wisconsin and North-western University, she set out for New York City, working for a time as a secretary.

Jens began studies with Herbert Berghof and dance work with Martha Graham. She later managed to switch to acting classes with teacher Lee Strasberg. After several unsuccessful attempts, she won a place in the Actor’s Studio training workshop.

Her stage debut was in 1956, and, after a couple of years, she began landing off-Broadway roles. Jens also made some performances at her hometown’s Swan Theatre (later known as the Milwaukee Rep).

Jens was a founding member of Lincoln Center's early repertory company. Whilst there, she appeared in Elia Kazan’s premiere of Arthur Miller's After The Fall, his Tartuffe and But For Whom Charlie.

Her first film appearance was in 1961’s Angel Baby, also Burt Reynold’s first movie.

In 1966, Jens had her most famous screen appearance, as Norma Marcus in Seconds, the Rock Hudson sci-fi movie.

Amongst her many awards, Jens has picked up several L.A.'s Dramalogue Awards and San Francisco Bay Area's Critics Awards, the latter for About Anne. She has won the Clarence Award for The Balcony and the Straw Hat award for And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little and Chicago Critics Award for A Moon for the Misbegotten.

Jens was the narrator of the acclaimed eight-hour mini-series The Great War and Shaping of the 20th Century.

Since the mid-Nineties, she has been a visiting Associate Professor at the theatre department at U.C.L.A.

Recent sci-fi fans may also recognise Jens from her role as the unnamed Female Shapeshifter in charge of the Dominion on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.