Dr. Helena Susan Russell

 

 

 


 

Helena Russell was born in Chicago. Her father was a doctor, like her, and discovered a cure for cancer, which meant a high benchmark - and at the same time an incentive - to Helena, to make her own contribution to the wellbeing of the world. While still at college, she was awarded the Donnelmyer Prize for her achievements.

After graduating, she became an expert for space medicine and worked for the Space Commission. In her capacity as a consultant she dealt with the case of Cellini, whom she pronounced mentally unstable. This was indirectly responsible for John and Victor being relieved from Alpha.

Her husband, astronaut Lee Russell, disappeared mysteriously with his ship and crew during the Astro 7 Mission near Jupiter. After that, Helena took a position as Chief Medical Officer on Moonbase Alpha and concentrated on her work.

The events leading to Breakaway get her into a difficult position because the results of her research don't concur with the wishes of those in charge. In fact, her warnings are ignored, and she is disregarded in spite of her reputation as an expert.

With John becoming the new Commander, her personal situation clearly improves, as he quickly sees through the political game behind the false information, and Helena soon understands that he is an individualist driven by a strong moral motivation. In him she finds not only a superior who respects her professional qualities, but also a trustworthy partner. It is not his power she cares about, or the respect he gains as the leader of the small community. It is his integrity, his great personal commitment, and his attitude towards her. He makes it quite plain what she means to him. This strongly fulfils her inner need for security which had suffered severely after her husband's disappearance. His intuition, his emotionality, and his optimism are abilities she can show only to some extent, which is why she appreciates them all the more in him. The opposing nature between herself and John is a connecting element, because even though they basically agree on their views of the world and their task in it, both of them lack something the other one has. Being united is what makes them complete.

Helena is a modern woman, powerful and self-confident, experienced and competent - but at the same time vulnerable and fragile enough to avoid an amazon-like impression. In her appearance she demonstrates silent strength, not being in need of showing off her authority, even though she - just like John - has to play a role she never expected when taking her assignment on the moon, exposed, often pushed to the limits of what humans can do, responsible not only for herself but for all inhabitants of the moon.

On the outside, she appears mostly reserved, her behaviour is efficient, professional, and sensible. One has to know her very well to see the fear and disappointment behind the disciplined façade in everyday life - feelings that sometimes get obvious during extreme situations (e.g. in Matter Of Life And Death, or War Games).

The demands she makes to herself are high. Persistently she deals with her tasks, not forgiving herself any failures. The way she handles things is methodical, always following the guideline of logic and reason. She is most likely to overstep the boundary of rationality when it gets in the way of her perseverance and her determination to reach her goal. Her patients know her as a kind-hearted, caring doctor who does everything in her power to help them, but when she is confronted with stupidity and ignorance, she does use harsh words.

She acts as John's extended arm, but when he thinks globally, she always sees the individual, the single person. During discussions, she always supports the human - humane - solution, and she doesn't balk at being on a "collision course" with her superiors. The wellbeing of the people she has taken charge of has top priority for her. Not only is she directly responsible for the people's health, she is also in control of the base's life support system, which suits her character well. She is the keeper and the protector of life on Alpha.

Helena's character has an enormous mythological potential, since in all cultures and mythologies exist matriarchal figures with healing powers, who all merge into the archetype of the Great Mother. Picking up the thread of the legend of King Arthur again (see John Koenig [translation not yet available]), we find her in the role of the original Morgan le Fay, a kind sorceress with healing powers, whose character also shows a connection to the Celtic Morrigan, to Mother Earth, and to the goddess of health and healing power.

Translation by Barbara Conrad

 

John, I deserted Kelly. I - I just keep thinking that maybe we could have saved him!
Collision Course

You mean you're going to try to save Voyager? At the risk of all our lives?
Voyager's Return

John is already dead. His body is dead and his mind. I - can't deceive myself any longer.
Missing Link

John, violence is not the answer!
War Games

'Cause the solution has got to be simple, applied science!
Catacombs of the Moon

Dr.Vincent: OK. What do we do now?
Helena: We try again.
Vincent: Again?
Helena: Again... and again.
Catacombs of the Moon

 

 


 

La dotoressa: in The Black Sun..

...Space Brain..

... and Catacombs of the Moon

 

With Victor and John in Earthbound

In better (The Taybor)...

...and less good times (Journey to Where)

 

 Fear in The Mission of the Darians

 As stoneage witch doctor in Full Circle

 Sick in Beta Cloud

 

As older version of herself in Another Time Another Place

On the icy planet Ultima Thule in Death's Other Dominion

As her younger self in Dragon's Domain

 

 

Spare time in The Exiles

No regrets in Journey to Where

Alone on Alpha in One Moment of Humanity

 


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