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Old January 28 2013, 05:15 AM   #15
CorporalCaptain
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

Anji wrote: View Post
They were created as comic relief
No, they weren't. From http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Ferengi#Background:

  • The Ferengi were initially conceived by the early writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation to become a real threat to the Federation, as the Klingons were in The Original Series. In fact, the Ferengi were intended to take the place of the Klingons, who could no longer be used as regular antagonists. It was soon realized, however, that nothing about the Ferengi was threatening at all. Producer Robert Justman later reckoned, "If you wanted to keep the characters around I suppose that's what you have to end up doing – you can't have them always hissing at each other. I guess Rick [Berman] took the road that was the best way to go once they became popular." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 12, p. 21) The Ferengi's level of technological development therefore also changed. For example, in "The Last Outpost", the Ferengi have technology on par with that of the Federation, but by the time of "Little Green Men", it is revealed that they are not that technologically advanced, and have bought a good share of their technology.
  • Many people (including Ira Steven Behr and Armin Shimerman) consider the introduction of the Ferengi in TNG to be "a disaster". Indeed, Behr asks, "Was there ever an alien race on Star Trek that did not work more than the Ferengi when they were introduced?" (Quark's Story, DS9 Season 2 DVD special features) Likewise, Wil Wheaton has stated that the Ferengi were "probably the lamest enemy ever introduced in the history of television." [2] On the other hand, Robert Justman thought the Ferengi worked best when they were first introduced. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 12, p. 21)
  • [...]
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine re-imagined the Ferengi as a scheming, profit-driven, yet likable species – a change that had begun in TNG episodes such as "Ménage à Troi". As Ira Behr states, "Deep Space Nine and Armin Shimerman and Quark and some others, have made the Ferengis a race to be enjoyed and cherished." (Quark's Story, DS9 Season 2 DVD special features) Indeed, Armin Shimerman himself even goes so far as to say of his DS9 character, "My agenda in playing Quark was to try to undo the horrible thing that I had done to the Ferengi in "The Last Outpost", where I had presented a real one dimensional character." (Crew Dossier: Quark, DS9 Season 6 DVD special features)
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Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
No reason why they can't be both.

In episodes like "Peak Performance" (TNG) they seemed menacing enough.
Yeah. Personally, I agree with both of these points.

Some of the DS9 comedy involving the Ferengi was truly funny; I found a lot of Rom's lines hilarious. But some of those episodes were monumental bores.
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