Just imagine if Roddenberry had still been in his prime, if his handlers hadn't driven the other co-developers away -- or if he'd had the sense to step back and let Justman, Fontana, and Gerrold run the show. What we got would've been very different, but it could've been a genuinely good show in the same vein as TOS. Although one can question whether a show like that would've really succeeded in the '80s and '90s.
But Roddenberry was very reluctant to put in too much TOS into TNG. Vulcans were pretty much ignored, the Chief Engineer position wasn't suppose to be important, the Security Chef position was given to a main cast member, and any hints to TOS characters were discouraged with the exception of the Naked Now
I just wanted them to do a sequel to TOS not do TOS all over again with different characters. TOS was great for the 60s, but TNG need to develop its own identity.
Dale Sams wrote:
Perhaps he's referring to the fact that Chakotay was a generic fictional Indian rather than being based on any authentic culture. Although the reason they did that was to avoid the risk of misrepresenting or offending a real Native American culture.
That never bothered me. It wasn't like they hit us over the head over the fact that Chakotay was a generic Indian every episode.
They really could have done a better job with Janeway though. They made her a little too perfect for me, probably wanting to avoid offending anyone since she was the first female Trek Captain with her own series.