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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old August 10 2010, 10:34 PM   #1
jonathan252
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Observation having to do with the cast

Greetings. This is my first stop here on these forums, but I've posted on other forums before many times.

Have you noticed that Patrick Stewart is at least 12 years older then all the rest of the cast of Star Trek TNG? He looks much older then that though, due to his white hair. Plus he's the captain - that sort of casts him in the role of a fatherly figure, doesn't it? The producers of Star Trek TNG may have messed up here - why would they cast him as a fatherly figure? It serves no point. I never noticed it before today, and I've watched Star Trek TNG, occasionally after the show ended, for quite some time.
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Old August 10 2010, 10:40 PM   #2
milo bloom
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

When casting TNG, one gets the feeling that, not only were they going for a diverse crew, but they were also intentionally looking to not simply duplicate the TOS cast. Thus the youngish cowboy-diplomat captain becomes a seasoned man of letters, and his XO is the up and coming young fellow quick with a bit of wit or his phaser.

See also: the totally different bridge stations, and the lack of a chief engineer for the first season.

I can't say that I saw him as a father figure to most of the cast outside Wesley (or sometimes Data or Ro). Just a really good mentor.
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Old August 10 2010, 10:53 PM   #3
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

It was 20 years later, so it was bound to be different. Also, I doubt that the producers noticed the potential psychological transference.
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Old August 10 2010, 11:03 PM   #4
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

I think it's fairly obvious they were going for a paternalistic character in Picard, especially at the start. It's not just his relationship with Wesley, he does the same for Tasha (she even mentions this in her own eulogy), and to some extent Worf and Riker. Even bits of Geordi's dialogue in stuff like Arsenal of Freedom can be interpreted within this dynamic.

The captain of this series was deliberately not the action man of the captain of TOS, but a more diplomatic, thoughtful - and yes, fatherly (albeit crusty) - presence, at least at first. Riker took on the action man aspects of Kirk from TOS. The shift in S2, and esp. from S3 onwards is quite striking, but aspects of the stern father figure remain.
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Old August 10 2010, 11:07 PM   #5
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

That's a good point. They make it fairly obvious at some points. It's unhealthy that they don't have him interacting with people that are older then him and that also outrank him though. They should have the full range of interactions possible. Is there even one episode where Picard interacts with someone who is older and also outranks him, which can only be an admiral? Or even who is the same age and is the same rank? I don't recall any.
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Old August 10 2010, 11:18 PM   #6
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

Picard is not good with people on a personal level. Well, actually he's VERY good with them, but only on his terms where he contains the conversation's emotional content and flow, but not when he lets his guard down. He's very INTJ in that regard, really.

In terms of social interaction, we know he's friends with several Starfleet Captains and Admirals, but you're right, we barely see more than fleeting glimpses of this. The captain of the Yamato, Phillipa Louvois, Admiral Nechayev, and so on. These interactions are generally friendly or if not, very boundaried... even with Louvois to be honest.

Vash and Kamala are the only ones to really disturb his equilibrium, and it's interesting they're the ones he has romantic flings with. Nella Darren is another, and the only example I can think of Picard having an equal adult relationship. Even there, he eventually pulls rank on her.
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Old August 10 2010, 11:37 PM   #7
jonathan252
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

The only person who he interacts with extensively and who outranks him is Q - however John De Lance acts like a child around him, in my opinion, and he's 8 years younger. So not once in this series does he interact with someone who is at least his age and is the same rank or greater for more then a few seconds. One of the women you mentioned is only 7 years younger, the staff captain, and with her we see aspects of his personality that do not show themselves anywhere else in the series (although it's still not quite equal, since she's 7 years younger). However he looks much older then just 7 years older - he looks older then he is - I would've guessed 20 years older then De Lance.

Outside of Star Trek TNG he interacted extensively with Ian McKellan in X-Men, who is actually 1 year older and the same rank, in a sense. That was very controlled however - they probably stuck completely to the script.
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Old August 10 2010, 11:41 PM   #8
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

Also, it's still not quite an even relationship with the staff captain, as they are not the same age.
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Old August 11 2010, 12:01 AM   #9
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

How about Admiral Satie? She outranked him and was older than him, and their relationship changed a great deal during the episode.

I think it makes perfect sense to have a senior captain commanding the Federation flagship.
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Old August 11 2010, 12:25 AM   #10
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

jonathan252 wrote: View Post
Greetings. This is my first stop here on these forums, but I've posted on other forums before many times.

Have you noticed that Patrick Stewart is at least 12 years older then all the rest of the cast of Star Trek TNG?
Actually, he is just 9 years older than Brent Spiner and Gates McFadden.

Plus he's the captain - that sort of casts him in the role of a fatherly figure, doesn't it? The producers of Star Trek TNG may have messed up here - why would they cast him as a fatherly figure? It serves no point..
I don't get what you mean.
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Old August 11 2010, 03:52 AM   #11
Vasquez Rocks
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

jonathan252 wrote: View Post
That's a good point. They make it fairly obvious at some points. It's unhealthy that they don't have him interacting with people that are older then him and that also outrank him though. They should have the full range of interactions possible. Is there even one episode where Picard interacts with someone who is older and also outranks him, which can only be an admiral? Or even who is the same age and is the same rank? I don't recall any.
Two characters that were older than him were Boothby from The First Duty and Professor Galen from The Chase. They weren't admirals, but they were mentors to him.
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Old August 11 2010, 04:12 AM   #12
Vanyel
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

Vasquez Rocks wrote: View Post
jonathan252 wrote: View Post
That's a good point. They make it fairly obvious at some points. It's unhealthy that they don't have him interacting with people that are older then him and that also outrank him though. They should have the full range of interactions possible. Is there even one episode where Picard interacts with someone who is older and also outranks him, which can only be an admiral? Or even who is the same age and is the same rank? I don't recall any.
Two characters that were older than him were Boothby from The First Duty and Professor Galen from The Chase. They weren't admirals, but they were mentors to him.
How about Sarek and Spock? Don't Ambassadors have pull over captains? It can be argued that because of the mind meld with Sarek, his relationship with them is the closest he has to any one.
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Old August 12 2010, 07:39 PM   #13
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

Holdfast wrote: View Post

In terms of social interaction, we know he's friends with several Starfleet Captains and Admirals, but you're right, we barely see more than fleeting glimpses of this.

To be fair, they did a good job in Season One of showing his realationship with Greg Quinn (Adm) in Coming of Age & Conspiracy. Also, even though the screen time was brief, they were able to establish just how deep his friendship was with Walker Keel (Cpt) in Conspiracy.
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Old August 14 2010, 06:16 PM   #14
Tora Ziyal
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

jonathan252 wrote: View Post
The producers of Star Trek TNG may have messed up here - why would they cast him as a fatherly figure? It serves no point.
I don't understand YOUR point. Why do you think they messed up? And what point would be served by his NOT sometimes being a fatherly figure?
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Old August 14 2010, 11:21 PM   #15
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Re: Observation having to do with the cast

jonathan252 wrote: View Post
Have you noticed that Patrick Stewart is at least 12 years older then all the rest of the cast of Star Trek TNG?
He was only born in 1940. Two of the cast members were born in 1949.

Never mind. Devil Eyes beat me to it.
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