I spotted the following interview quoting from TV Zone magazine with Tim Russ talking about what it means to be "the black Vulcan".

Tim Russ knows the reality of his place in Star Trek: Voyager. Whether he likes it or not, his character, Starfleet Tactical-Security Officer Tuvok, is the next big Vulcan, but Russ, ever the candid individual, knows that simply being a Vulcan is not the big hook.

“I’m being pushed as the black Vulcan,” chuckles Russ. “Look at me. I am black. It’s something I can’t get around so I might as well use it to my advantage. I don’t feel uncomfortable being pushed that way. It’s not like the question isn’t going to be brought up so I might as well accept it.”

I am not Spock! - TVZone Interview - Tim Russ

Inspired by this (alas, now deleted) question, were there other black Vulcans found elsewhere in the Star Trek canon, especially any that pre-date Tuvok/Voyager?

  • 3
    Also, there's another Black Vulcan Nov 5, 2016 at 1:20
  • 4
    @starpilotsix - Damn him. He keeps coming up in every bloody search I do.
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2016 at 1:38
  • 2
    Until this moment, even though I've watched all of Voyager through twice, I didn't notice Tuvok was black.
    – Vitani
    Nov 10, 2016 at 16:31
  • 6
    @Jocie - I can only imagine your shock when you realise that Janeway is a woman.
    – Valorum
    Nov 10, 2016 at 16:38
  • 7
    LOGICALLY, his parents must have been black as well. :P
    – Steve-O
    Nov 25, 2016 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


Yes, absolutely there have been other black-skinned Vulcans elsewhere in the main Star Trek canon, with several pre-dating Tim Russ's casting in Voyager. It should be noted that Tuvok is referred to in his StarTrek.com biography as being a ...

full Vulcan

... which strongly implies that having dark skin is a natural racial trait among Vulcans and in no way connected to interbreeding with other dark-skinned aliens.

In order of appearance:

Vulcan Midwife
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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

Vulcan Priestess (played by Beverly Hart)
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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

Unnamed Vulcan in Bar
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TNG: Preemptive Strike (1994)

T'Pel (Tuvok's wife) (played by Marva Hicks)
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VOY: Persistence of Vision (1995)

T'Kumbra Crew Member / Vulcan Baseball Player (played by Brett Bartlett)
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DS9: Take Me Out to the Holosuite (1998)

Sek (Tuvok's son) (played by Ronald Robinson)
enter image description here
VOY: Repression (2000)

Vulcan Monk (played by Larry Tolliver)
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ENT: The Andorian Incident (2001)

Vulcan Student (played by Sean Michael Tilghman)
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Star Trek (2009)

Vulcan Council Member (played by Brian Waller)
enter image description here
Star Trek (2009)

  • 13
    "Just as TNG’s Lt. Worf broadened the background of the Klingon empire to include a variety of skin tones, Lt. Tuvok would do the same for the Vulcans. “We came up with the wrinkle of making him a black Vulcan,” said Jeri Taylor. “We had just used a black Romulan on TNG [in ‘The Pegasus’] that we thought was a nice touch. Subsequently I have learned we were not the first. In the third feature there was a black Vulcan priestess, so it was clearly established there were different colors of people on Vulcan.”" - timrusstribute.com/interviews/Cinefantastique1st.htm
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2016 at 0:25
  • I think? There was a black vulcan in one of the TNG movies. The Zefram Cochrane versus the Borg one.
    – Aster
    Jun 4, 2017 at 22:26
  • @FinnO'leary - IMDB lists the three Vulcans in 'First Contact' as Cully Fredricksen (Caucasian), Noelle Hannibal (Caucasian) and Louis Ortiz (Hispanic).
    – Valorum
    Jun 4, 2017 at 22:38

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