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Old November 8 2011, 09:58 PM   #117
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Re: Re-booting TNG For TV?

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Why bother dusting off a character who doesn't have a strong identity as written?
Because it worked for Kirk, who is also iconic. And I'd point out that if you take many of the Star Trek scripts - particularly the early ones - you could easily swap Captain Kirk for Jeffrey Hunter's Captain Pike or Leslie Nielsen's J.J. Adams.

Yes, Stewart helped define the character as rather British, but this was in part due to the writers playing to their actor's strengths, which is par for the course for any TV show.

The fact that Kirk survived recasting and a bit of reimagining underscores how iconic he is. An iconic character is one who transcends any given actor.
This is one of those hindsight deals. Kirk's iconic and should be recast only because he has, because Picard hasn't, he shouldn't. Really, to do Picard well you need a balding Britishy actor with a bit of gravitas and some theatrical experience. You can probably throw a stone and hit someone of that vague description. He's a Dignified and Learned Starship Captain, full of Morals and Ethics and Thespain Intensity. Picard's pretty easy to type to, and he has a type, and the strength of it was sort of important to TNG's appeal.

You're ignoring the other influences on Data -
I'm not. At least, not any more then you were when you pigeonholed Worf as 'the Spock' of TNG. Both characters owe something to Nimoy's Vulcan, but not everything.

However, I don't object to Worf as a fairly iconic character, the "noble savage type." Maybe I just find him a tad racist and it makes me uncomfortable?
There are certainly problems with the opposite of denigrating a foreign or 'primitive' culture because it is foreign and/or primitive, and that would be idealizing it - although I think this works in Worf's case because it's so utterly internalized.

Worf still wants to be his idea of the honourable Klingon that he so desperately loved in his basically human childhood, but The Next Generation kind of repeatedly throws cold water on the idea that the Klingon leadership is particularly honourable or even that the stiff-necked, humourless Worf actually fits in with their culture at all.
'Spock is always right, even when he's wrong. It's the tone of voice, the supernatural reasonability; this is not a man like us; this is a god.'
- Philip K. Dick
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