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Old March 17 2013, 02:53 PM   #152
Vasquez Rocks
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Re: What sunk the TNG movie franchise: Insurrection or Nemesis?

Lance wrote: View Post
Joby wrote: View Post
TNG was a great TV series from the 2nd season onwards to the end. However it was a very lackluster movie franchise. The TV series was an ensemble show and the movies changed the characters and it turned to Picard and Data and Picard going from the dignified diplomat to the rule breaking action hero. Everything set up about Data from the TV series into Generations was suddenly forgot about after that. The writers wanted early TNG curious and innocent Data back and it just felt weird. Plus a lot of stuff happened in that first movie GEN which was huge for the TNG universe. The E-D was destroyed, Data got emotions, Worf was promoted, the Duras sisters were killed, and ofcourse Picard meets James. T. Kirk. All of these plots are big events for TNG and would have been a 2 or 3 parter of the TV series, but instead they got crammed into the 1st movie.

Now First Contact did work b/c we were able to accept Picard as an action hero in that movie b/c of his utter hatred for the Borg, which does have it's roots in the TNG TV series. There's another problem with the TNG movies, not enough good villains from the TV show could be used in a movie. The Romulans are interesting to Trekkers, but otherwise they are big shoulder pad wearing bores.
Sometimes I wonder if it was actually First Contact which torpedoed the Picard character we knew and loved from TV. GENS clearly shows us TV Picard, a man who tries to reason with Soran, and who tries to use brute force only once all other options are extinguished. FC, as you rightly say, still feels 'correct' with TV Picard, but only because the Borg situation opens up an old wound that he never truly healed. The kicker comes in Insurrection, where the relative success of FC seems to have resulted in the writer saying "Okay, so Picard is now an action hero". The unique qualities which made him stand out on TNG when compared opposite Shatner's Kirk were abandoned, and in the remaining two movies we got a very different interpretation of Picard. What the writers forgot is that his character transformation in FC was driven by the situation. The Borg were a wild card. His character transformation in INS and NEM on the other hand is driven by nothing. It just seems so out of left field, and ends up looking bizarre to those of us who have watched this character for 7+ years on television.
He's not all action in those two movies. It might seem that way at first, but with Insurrection he does try to reason with Admiral Dougherty before he resorts to taking action. Much of the fighting comes in the second half of the film. Same with Nemesis. There's the ready room scene between him and Shinzon where he actually stops the battle between the two ships and tries to reach him through reason. Only after all talk fails does he go action mode.

TV Picard is in those movies, maybe not all the way through, but then again there were some "action" Picard episodes on the series too. I think the movies had a pretty decent balance between the two. Do I wish they could have done more? Sure, but I'm willing to bet the studio wouldn't have gone for a less action filled science fiction film. Afterall they were the ones who wanted a more "actiony" ending in INS with the Enterprise coming to save the day and guns blazing.
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