Picard Alpha wrote:
I believe you've developed a fondness for Stewart's portrayal of Picard. Stewart displays experience, charisma, aged persona, and a very 80s style of leadership. Who wouldn't want Picard to be your boss? He's able to solve real problems, and commands with excellence. Stewart played him like a fine wine. Really all of the ingredients were ripe, which is why you may get the feeling of "role of his career". In the series, the writing was typically spot on as well as the direction and his approach to the character. Later, the only thing that saved the movies was his ability to read lines.
Shatner's portrayal of Kirk is probably next to best, especially in the movies. You have to forgive the nature of how they shot the show in the 60's. Often times the scripts were delivered so late Shatner was unable to memorize his lines, which reportedly created "The...Shat...As..We Know It!"
I actually thought Brooks really developed with his character throughout the duration of DS9. Some call it over the top, some say over acting, but I've always been fond of Ben Sisko. I'm not sure any other actor could have done as good of a job in this role. The only thing I cringe at is that "Wow" moment in the pilot on the beach with Jennifer.
If you can get past Mulgrew's voice you'll love the Janeway. I think Mulgrew single handily saved this series. She's a class act.
I've always been a huge fan of Bakula. I was so excited when Enterprise was announced with him at the helm. I think that's the reason I hung on to this show for so long. Honestly though, I blame the weak episodes and writers that made his character so wishy washy. Season 4 was a vast improvement for Archer.
I echo everything you said, even down to Mulgrew's voice. They were all very good for their time and place. It's so difficult to really know what went on behind the scenes, unless someone credible can tell us and even then it's just one person's perspective. Shatner wasn't a bad actor... actually pretty good. But as you say, the schedule for TOS was really rough. Scripts were often late to the game. And there was a real script deficit going on. They got some seriously crappy scripts in Season 3... and everyone's acting took a hit.
I wouldn't call Stewart wooden or stiff... he was certainly unpolished in the first few seasons. It took everyone time to settle into their roles. Stewart being the seasoned Shakespearean actor that he is brought a great depth to his role. Nobody is perfect, but he's still my favorite captain of all the series.
Bakula took a while to get into his groove. They all did. Actually, I found a number of the supporting characters a bit stiff... which I don't know if it was the acting, directing, the scripts, or all three combined. It wasn't until the 3rd season that they started to get things going, but by then it was too late. Bakula was getting very comfortable with his characterization--I was really starting to like him. Very sad he didn't get to finish the mission.