Beltran's character started as a racial stereotype & only got worse. How they were supposed to magically fix it is beyond me. And apparently beyond Beltran, who is on record as saying he wasn't supposed to do what Colm Meaney did to keep O'Brien from turning into a stereotype or what Picardo did to get more to do: give the writers ideas.
Thing is, there are times that you simply have to go above and beyond your job description. Beltran chose to whine & complain & trash other people publically instead of doing that.
Being someone who worked her way up from a blue collar job by taking every opportunity thrown at me and running with it, I don't have a whole lot of respect for that.
Some great points to be had here:
#1.) Someone else mentioned (though it was too much to quote there) Picardo did a lot of poking and working with the writers and directors to build his character and even lean on his own talents. This really DID make The Doctor come even more alive because it allowed Picardo to add so much more of himself into the character. It was really quite awesome.
#2.) They started playing around with the concept that Chakotay had graduated Star Fleet Academy with a focus in Anthropology, but they always stopped short of directly stating this or even focusing on this. Maybe its because I majored in Social Sciences, but I found the idea of a scientist who's focus was Anthropology aboard a star ship encountering new species every week REALLY POTENTIALLY COOL. They could have played with that in all manor of ways to really draw the character out. We got a really, really, really great taste of this "Distant Origin" (S03E23), in "Blink of an Eye" (S06E12) and finally in "Natural Law" (S06E22). This is something if executed a ton better after "Distant Origin" (which was a really good point when we should have felt like Chakotay could leave his guard down now and start really acting like a scientist), we probably could have seen a lot better use of the character in an almost CSI Alien kind of way. To me, this was a really big missed opportunity.
#3.) There were also some really great threads that lead us to believe Chakotay was actually the one who trained Ro Laren in "Preemptive Strike" (TNG S07E24). Some retcons outright state it was him. This would have been really fun to play around with. If Chakotay was in fact the guy teaching a course in tactical training that 2/3s of the attendees washed out of every year, Chakotay may have been able to put Tuvok through his paces tactically. This is something else they really could have drawn on (though I would suggest Berman & Co. themselves didn't see the connection they accidentally made themselves till it was way too late).
Even if Harry had been made the First Officer, he probably still would have been an Ensign.
Did Harry ever do anything to really earn a promotion? Did he ever go above and beyond?
- How about helping invent the first Federation Transwarp?
- How about helping create the most advanced astrophysics sensors in all of Star Fleet (with 7 of 9s help)?
- How about helping finding FriendshipONE ?
Harry did PLENTY to warrant him getting a promotion to full Lt. by the end of the series, if not Lt. Cmdr.