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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 November 12 2010, 10:00 AM   #1
ReadyAndWilling
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What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

So I was watching TNG earlier and Picard is perfect. I'm watching him right now just sitting in the chair and everything is perfect. It was almost like Stewart was born to play the role.

The other captains were good, too. I'm not saying they were terrible and he was the only one. Kirk seemed too smarmy with his 'acting'. Sisqo had some weird, 'I've got a chip on my shoulder' or 'I'll show you I can do it'. Janeway seemed better and Archer just seemed really bad for the role.
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Old November 12 2010, 03:48 PM   #2
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

I believe you've developed a fondness for Stewart's portrayal of Picard. Stewart displays experience, charisma, aged persona, and a very 80s style of leadership. Who wouldn't want Picard to be your boss? He's able to solve real problems, and commands with excellence. Stewart played him like a fine wine. Really all of the ingredients were ripe, which is why you may get the feeling of "role of his career". In the series, the writing was typically spot on as well as the direction and his approach to the character. Later, the only thing that saved the movies was his ability to read lines.

Shatner's portrayal of Kirk is probably next to best, especially in the movies. You have to forgive the nature of how they shot the show in the 60's. Often times the scripts were delivered so late Shatner was unable to memorize his lines, which reportedly created "The...Shat...As..We Know It!"

I actually thought Brooks really developed with his character throughout the duration of DS9. Some call it over the top, some say over acting, but I've always been fond of Ben Sisko. I'm not sure any other actor could have done as good of a job in this role. The only thing I cringe at is that "Wow" moment in the pilot on the beach with Jennifer.

If you can get past Mulgrew's voice you'll love the Janeway. I think Mulgrew single handily saved this series. She's a class act.

I've always been a huge fan of Bakula. I was so excited when Enterprise was announced with him at the helm. I think that's the reason I hung on to this show for so long. Honestly though, I blame the weak episodes and writers that made his character so wishy washy. Season 4 was a vast improvement for Archer.
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Old November 12 2010, 03:55 PM   #3
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

To be fair, his portrayal of Picard was a bit wooden at times during season 1 and parts of season 2 as well.

But I agree with most of Picard Alpha's points.
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Old November 12 2010, 05:46 PM   #4
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

SPCTRE wrote: View Post
To be fair, his portrayal of Picard was a bit wooden at times during season 1 and parts of season 2 as well.

But I agree with most of Picard Alpha's points.
In his defense, he wasn't convinced TNG was a real job until halfway through season 1.
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Old November 12 2010, 06:16 PM   #5
indolover
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

I think Picard's intelligence and good analytical skills was the character's redeeming quality. And Stewart pulled this off well. Picard seemed to me to be a character whom you would have full confidence in his ability to reason out/suss out a situation. He's kind of like a wise father/grandfather figure one can look up to.

Picard was not the only well acted captain though. I think Brooks on the whole played Sisko well, since Sisko is a person who does let anybody mess with him.
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Old November 13 2010, 02:03 AM   #6
Saquist
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

It was the actor not the character.
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Old November 13 2010, 02:36 AM   #7
billcosby
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

Being British while playing a French character.
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Old November 13 2010, 03:09 AM   #8
Avon
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

being an awesome actor probably helped
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Old November 13 2010, 04:32 AM   #9
JoeFromEarth
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

Didn't Patrick Stewart say that all his acting experience was just to prepare him to be the Captain of the Enterprise?
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Old November 13 2010, 04:38 AM   #10
Galileo7
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

Stewart's Shakespearian acting training and growing into the role by season 3 he was comfortable.

I still remember before NG premiere fall 1987, some of the cast were preparing for it to be a failure by being guarded about Roddenberry being able to do another successful version of Star Trek, particularly Frakes was very defensive.
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Old November 13 2010, 06:13 AM   #11
braveheartlion
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

What's w/ ppl calling him too stiff in the beginning? In most work environments it takes ppl time to get to know each other and warm up. It would be unrealistic to expect him to take his post by the steers and start commanding confidently from the very beginning. Yes I agree that his Shakespearian training had a great deal to do with his style of acting. Many great actors have a Shakespearian background, and I find it refreshing when someone has a commanding presence. Especially given the fact that Stewart isn't the most imposing-looking person in the world. He is all character. He's the judge everyone wants to have. Completely impartial, sensitive to all sides; and above all, fair.
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Old November 13 2010, 07:32 AM   #12
brandomack
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

in short:

Four Lights.
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Old November 13 2010, 08:16 AM   #13
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

Picard had presence and a great voice.
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Old November 13 2010, 07:40 PM   #14
Listener4
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

Patrick Stewart is completely convincing as a wise, experienced, honorable, trustworthy leader.
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Old November 13 2010, 09:41 PM   #15
Gary7
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Re: What made Patrick Stewart so perfect as a starship captain?

Picard Alpha wrote: View Post
I believe you've developed a fondness for Stewart's portrayal of Picard. Stewart displays experience, charisma, aged persona, and a very 80s style of leadership. Who wouldn't want Picard to be your boss? He's able to solve real problems, and commands with excellence. Stewart played him like a fine wine. Really all of the ingredients were ripe, which is why you may get the feeling of "role of his career". In the series, the writing was typically spot on as well as the direction and his approach to the character. Later, the only thing that saved the movies was his ability to read lines.

Shatner's portrayal of Kirk is probably next to best, especially in the movies. You have to forgive the nature of how they shot the show in the 60's. Often times the scripts were delivered so late Shatner was unable to memorize his lines, which reportedly created "The...Shat...As..We Know It!"

I actually thought Brooks really developed with his character throughout the duration of DS9. Some call it over the top, some say over acting, but I've always been fond of Ben Sisko. I'm not sure any other actor could have done as good of a job in this role. The only thing I cringe at is that "Wow" moment in the pilot on the beach with Jennifer.

If you can get past Mulgrew's voice you'll love the Janeway. I think Mulgrew single handily saved this series. She's a class act.

I've always been a huge fan of Bakula. I was so excited when Enterprise was announced with him at the helm. I think that's the reason I hung on to this show for so long. Honestly though, I blame the weak episodes and writers that made his character so wishy washy. Season 4 was a vast improvement for Archer.
I echo everything you said, even down to Mulgrew's voice. They were all very good for their time and place. It's so difficult to really know what went on behind the scenes, unless someone credible can tell us and even then it's just one person's perspective. Shatner wasn't a bad actor... actually pretty good. But as you say, the schedule for TOS was really rough. Scripts were often late to the game. And there was a real script deficit going on. They got some seriously crappy scripts in Season 3... and everyone's acting took a hit.

I wouldn't call Stewart wooden or stiff... he was certainly unpolished in the first few seasons. It took everyone time to settle into their roles. Stewart being the seasoned Shakespearean actor that he is brought a great depth to his role. Nobody is perfect, but he's still my favorite captain of all the series.

Bakula took a while to get into his groove. They all did. Actually, I found a number of the supporting characters a bit stiff... which I don't know if it was the acting, directing, the scripts, or all three combined. It wasn't until the 3rd season that they started to get things going, but by then it was too late. Bakula was getting very comfortable with his characterization--I was really starting to like him. Very sad he didn't get to finish the mission.
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