Star Grinch wrote:
Regardless if you like the character or not, she did bring a very interesting bit of drama that TNG lacked. The TNG command clique through all seven seasons for the most part lived in a bubble, where they're all happy go lucky and are fairly harsh towards all outsiders.
Shelby did penetrate the bubble and did shake things up. She brought a sense of conflict and drama to the command crew that was entertaining and refreshing for TNG. The only person that did this better was really Jellico.
Way back in the early 90's, I made a similar observation about TNG that lines up perfectly with what you're saying here.
If you look at how the Enterprise-D command crew regards the rest of the TNG Universe, it is much like a Cosmic Clique floating along on some moral island, casting aspersions on the Outsider of the Week, who usually represented the Threat of the Week, and it was this clique's Mission of the Week to use the Technobabble Solution of the Week to send the Outsider of the Week packing.
This seemed especially unfortunate given how the clique responded to Shelby and Jellico, which seemed in this light to be two sides of the same coin.
I didn't like the obvious message in "Hollow Puruits" (something Cinefantastique
magazine picked up on at the time) about how Riker and company handled Barclay. If the guy was that serious of a problem, he should've been relieved of duty on the spot. (No consideration was apparently given to the clique's invasion of Barclay's privacy, something that seemed ridiculous after Riker's schmoosing with Minuet.) The writers' repudiation of Barclay's escapism could only be disingenuous, since the story's commentary could only be taken as a derrogatory swipe at TNG's fans, who were simply responding to what the writers were putting out in the first place.