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Old October 6 2012, 03:38 PM   #19
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Re: Would Nemesis have been better if Jonathan Frakes had directed?

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
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Captain McBain wrote: View Post
Probably not. Sadly, all of the TNG movies were subpar and had glaring holes in them. The producers should have just made a Season 8 and concluded the series with a 3- or 4-part finale, instead of those crappy movies.

well I liked both Generations and FC, but even if I had been disappointed in both, I think a TNG season 8 would have been a very bad idea. TNG was clearly running out of gas by the end of the show run. Folks tend to forget this because of the well-received AGT, but season 7 was one of the worst of the entire series.
Marina Sirtis has said recently that TNG's 7th season was a victim of the POTB cutting it's budget and forwarding it to DS9. We the audience could also come to this conclusion. Along with the budget many TNG writers and idea men also jumped ship for DS9. I find it funny that with all that the first 2 seasons of DS9 are terrible and boring, despite a majority of the producing and writing talent spending years on TNG. You would think they would've had a working formula by then.

Sirtis at times is nothing more than a little gossip queen in regards to Trek. I suppose that is what her career has come down to. Unfortunately she gets stuff wrong way too often. Always has. And she has always been one to take shots (some subtle, some not) at DS9 or place blame at the feet of DS9 for something she thinks went wrong. She has been doing this since the early to mid 90s.

As a person who kept up with all things Trek during that time let me make it clear that TNG wasn't losing any of its budget to DS9. To make such a claim is absurd. TNG was king. It remained the first priority of Paramount and Rick Berman. They weren't about to cut the budget in its final season and hand the extra dough over to DS9. DS9 already had a big enough budget of its own. The seventh season of TNG aired at the same time DS9's second season aired. What would be the point of increasing DS9's budget? TPTB didn't take any money away from TNG a year earlier when DS9's first season and TNG's sixth season co-existed on the airwaves. Why all of a sudden would TPTB divert funds from TNG during the following season, particularly considering they wanted TNG to go out with a bang? It wasn't as if DS9 was having any ratings problems back then. Its first season ratings were probably its strongest. And it wasn't as if DS9 went through a major shakeup between season #1 and season #2.

Here are the more plausible reasons for what affected season seven of TNG. Rick Berman had to handle the final season of TNG, keep close tabs on season two of DS9, take care of pre-production and oversee the script of the upcoming Star Trek movie and spend a lot of time and effort preparing for the launch of Star Trek: Voyager. Jeri Taylor had all but turned her entire attention to Star Trek: Voyager at this time, including creating the Maquis storyline on TNG which she knew would be carried over to VOY as a major storyline. Ron Moore and Brannon Braga had the duty of not just writing and taking on extra duties as producers for TNG, but they also had to devote at least half of their time developing the outlines for a script for the TNG film and then typing up that script. And about halfway into the production of that final season the writers and producers (such as Moore, Braga, Rene Echevarria, etc.) had to decide whether they were going to a)move on to VOY b)move on to DS9 or c)leave Trek altogether. So in other words there were a lot of distractions and no one was allowed to concentrate strictly on TNG. Those distractions grew further with the countless media requests for interviews regarding the final season of TNG and the upcoming TNG motion picture. Plus years later guys like More and Echevarria would admit that they had all but ran out of stories to tell for the TNG TV series and needed a fresh start. What this means is that there was an issue regarding a lack motivation, inspiration and creativity that had nothing to do with a lack of money or funds.

Now perhaps for Sirtis that is not as thrilling a story to tell at a convention as "DS9 stole our money", but I would bet my house that is far closer to the truth than anything Sirtis suggested. Again, she has never gotten her information right so I don't expect her to do so now. I guess she feels maybe there is a willing audience out there who are eager for her to make DS9 out to be SGU to TNG's SGA. By that I mean she is making the case that TNG's demise was the result of DS9 coming on the air. Nonsense. TNG and DS9 existed for two years in which they were on the air at the same time. The ratings were great. TPTB didn't pull TNF for DS9. Once TNG was over though VOY would fill in for it and for five seasons DS9 and VOY co-existed. That's seven straight years in which Paramount produced two Trek shows simultaneously. TPTB could have kept TNG going for five or so years if that was what they wanted; the cost would have not been a problem. If any show can therefore be blamed for TNG going off the air it is VOY because technically it actually replaced TNG. I don't think Paramount was ever going to do a CSI by having three Trek shows on at once. Of course I'm not blaming VOY for TNG's end. TNG wasn't going beyond 7 seasons with that cast regardless. But I am saying if Sirtis wants to stick by her theory that the addition of a new Trek show meant the demise of TNG on TV, then logically the show that would have to take the blame for that is the show that ended up replacing TNG on the air. And that show was VOY, not DS9.

Also Sirtis and Frakes were the two cast members reportedly most upset about the ending of TNG. They did not want the show to end. They wanted the show to go on. Those two would have probably done TNG for another seven years if they had the chance. Honestly TNG could have probably gone on seven more years in some form, even with TNG movies being made. Just look at the X-Files. The first X-Files film hit theaters when the show was still on the air and still at its peak in the ratings. Unfortunately for Sirtis and Frakes the two cast members who were the most eager to see TNG as a show come to an end were Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner. These two were considered the best actors on the show as well as the biggest stars. They had the biggest pull and they also were considered to have the best prospects post-TNG. They were more than happy to do the movies, but wanted no more part of the daily grind of a TV series. Frakes and Sirtis wanted the show to continue perhaps because they could see the writing on the wall in that the TNG movies would marginalize all characters outside of Picard and Data. To be blunt I think Sirtis was self-aware enough to realize that TNG would be the best gig she ever had and unlike some of her fellow cast members she did not have any directorial experience to fall back on. But Paramount and TPTB had a choice to make: end TNG and simply make movies for the next decade or make TNG movies while keeping a Stewart-less and Spiner-less TNG on the air at the same time. They went for option #1.

As for DS9 all those remaining TNG "idea men" did not jump to DS9 until season #3 (not including of course those that went to VOY instead). So their departure had nothing to do with any drop in quality of TNG's final season because they didn't move on until AFTER TNG wrapped up its last episode. That being said I nonetheless love the second season of DS9 and would put it up with some of the best seasons of TNG in general. If anyting it was DS9's first season which was subpar. There was no "working formula" for it to go by because DS9 was obviously going in another direction than the Trek shows that came before it. It wasn't until it fully embraced that concept that it started to go on a great roll of putting out one great season after another.
You will be missed, Richard Biggs
1961 - too soon
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