17. Bride of Chaotica! and the Femme Fatale

In this episode, Janine Engelbrecht discusses one of her favorite Star Trek: Voyager episodes, Bride of Chaotica! Janine applies a femme fatale reading to the episode, and explains all the ways in which Queen Arachina is a femme fatale.

The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
17. Bride of Chaotica! and the Femme Fatale

What’s in Episode 17, “Bride of Chaotica! and the Femme Fatale”?

Bride of Chaotica!

The episode starts with an excerpt from the Star Trek: Voyager episode, Bride of Chaotica!

Welcome back

Janine welcome listeners back and introduces the subject for today’s episode. Today Janine will talk about Bride of Chaotica and how Janeway is the ideal femme fatale in this episode.


Janine provides an overview of the synopsis of Bride of Chaotica! She explains the events that lead up to Janeway entering the holodeck program. She also translates some of Chaotica’s lingo.

The femme fatale

Janine fangirls over her friend’s Master’s dissertation. She then reads what her friend wrote about the femme fatale to give background on this archetype. In this discussion Janine also talks about a film called Gilda from 1946 and James Bond.

Janine finally summarizes femme fatales throughout history by reviewing a list compiled by Courtney.

Arachnia as femme fatale

Janine moves on to an analysis of how Janeway as Arachnia embodies the femme fatale. The first thing Janine describes is Arachnia’s sexuality, emphasized by her dress. Arachnia also uses her femininity as her power, as Janine explains.

Arachnia’s masculinity and femininity

Janine goes on to explain how masculinity and femininity are both embodied by Arachnia. She is very feminine, but has masculine power and strength, which makes her terrifying and mysterious, Janine explains.

Arachnia as seductress

Janine then shows how Arachnia, like the femme fatale, uses seduction to get what she wants.

Arachnia’s beauty and cruelty

Janine comments on how Arachnia controls Chaotica with her beauty and her pheremones, like the femme fatale also does.

Constance Goodheart

One of the final topics of the discussion is the good woman placed against the bad femme fatale. As Janine explains, Constance Goodheart plays this role on Bride of Chaotica! The good women are usually damsels-in-distress and blonde in contrast to the brunette femme fatale, Janine points out.

The femme fatale and men’s fears

The final topic Janine discusses is that the femme fatale still appeals to patriarchal standards of beauty. Janine briefly also compares Captain Janeway to Arachnia before wrapping up.

Wrap up

Janine thanks listeners and wraps up this week’s episode. She also gives a brief preview of next week’s episode.

Episode Credits


  • Janine Engelbrecht


  • Janine Engelbrecht

Small Print

The theme music is "Dashboard Light" by One Two Feet, and is licenced by Holosuite Media through Epidemic Sound.

This podcast is a fan production. All views made are that of the individual(s), and may not represent that of the podcast, or the Holosuite Media network.

The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
17. Bride of Chaotica! and the Femme Fatale