Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?
^ There is quite a fluidic feeling to the way the cast changes happen in the early days of TNG. First Tasha Yar's death sees Worf take her place, then Bev Crusher is unceremoniously moved off somewhere and replaced by Pulaski. So there was always a kind of feeling that they could turn the cast upside down at any moment and just kept moving forward. BOBW also had a potential 'departure' for Captain Picard that felt so organic that many people to this day still conjecture about how well it could have gone as a swansong for Patrick Stewart.
I think it would have been a disaster as Jonathan Frakes didn't have the acting skills to carry the series.
"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Jean-Luc Picard, "Encounter at Farpoint"