Yeoman Basha wrote:
We all have different ideas about where that line is. For me, seeing two actors who obviously look (and sound) very different -- but I'm supposed to believe they are clones, or the same character at a different age -- crosses that line.
But, again, what's the alternative? There's only so much you can do to alter an actor's appearance, and it should be a given that you choose the best performer for a role regardless of what they look like. Sure, it's nice when the resemblance is convincing, but there's no way to guarantee that.
Heck, I never found Jeremy Kemp convincing as Picard's brother. He just didn't look like he could be related to Patrick Stewart. In an ideal world, I would've liked to see Sean Connery in the role. But I know there was no way they could've possibly afforded him. They made the best casting choice they could, and though it was difficult for me to suspend disbelief, I understand the realities of the situation and I don't condemn the episode for failing to achieve the impossible. Yes, I find Hardy's lack of resemblance to Stewart distracting, but I accept that getting the right performance and the best chemistry between the actors was a higher priority, and rightly so, than just what the actor looked like or sounded like. There's a reason it's called willing
suspension of disbelief. Sometimes, even when it's hard to believe, you just have to choose to play along for the sake of the story.
The alternative is to not write a clone story in the first place unless it can be done convincingly. Part of the screenwriter's job is not only to write a story that is dramatically compelling (not that Nemesis
was) but also to write a story that can be put on film in a convincing way -- using the tools that the filmmaker has on hand at the time. I wouldn't write a Picard clone story for the same reason I wouldn't write a story where the gravity on the Enterprise goes out and the characters spend the entire two hours floating around: it's just too difficult to put on film and make it look believable.
Shinzon was not convincing as Picard's clone, and he couldn't be no matter how many prosthetics they put on the actor. So don't write the clone story in the first place. It's not like the "evil twin" story is a story that needs to be told again because it's just soooo
original, or we didn't already see it done to death with Data and Lore. Just come up with a different story -- one that can be filmed in a more realistic way and that would actually be, you know, good.
We all have different thresholds for suspending our disbelief. This is one of mine. Yes, it's all fake and Star Trek is a fantasy but it's not supposed to be a parody. It's one thing to break the fourth wall in a movie like Airplane!, but that doesn't mean I want to see Spock turn to the camera after a fight with Uhura and say, "What a pisser!"