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Old August 31 2011, 07:41 PM   #16
exodus
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

I think the issue is learning to distinguish the character development of the characters with dominate personalities like 7 & the EMH from those with less dominate personalities like Tuvok or Kim.

They all had development and story arcs, just some were more subtle while others were more pronounced.

Tuvoks develpoment carries thru the series and is fleshed out in "RISE".
Tuvok's stroy arc was to learn that just becasuse he believes he is superior, he had to learn tolerence and that EVERYONE derseves respect, regardless of his personal feelings for them. It was because of this Tuvok learned to tolerate the practical jokes by Tom & Harry and too learn to respect Neelix. At the start of the series Tuvok barely wanted to speak to any of them. By the end, he was Kalto partners and friends with Harry. He accepted relationship and sexual advice from Tom and had an ever growing friendship with Neelix. By the end of the series, Tuvok is a more open minded and socially friendly Vulcan.

Harry's development is fleshed out in "Favorite Son", about how he was always told by his parents that he was special. What Harry had to understand was, he wasn't. He was just adverage and had to learn by trial and error just like everyone else. Harry ambition was the wanted to be more like Tom. Harry was bland on purpose, to bring home how not special he was. This is why his failure in "Timeless" haunts him and again in "Nightinggale".

Neelix' development is fleshed out in "Fair Trade", about how he has to learn to let go of his past insecurities and leartn to have faith in himself and in the surrogate family he's made on Voyager. His comic relief is only a mask that hides a sole that desperate to be needed because he's terrified of being alone. IMO I think many fans missed out of Neelix' development because of the bias against him. They turned their backs on him and didn't care to learn what he was really about to care about his development but it was there. Duie to Neelix' mistake of abandoning his people during war (Jatrel), Neelix now stands up anmd fights for them in "Homesteafd". That alone shows development by learning from a mistake.

Chakotay development is based on the Angery Warrior speech.
He desrcibe himself as someone angry and aggressive, we saw this aspect of him whenever Janeway left him in charge. He was tired of playing leader and was looking for someone to help him shouldre the burden and stresses of life. Most of his eps. put him in situations where he has to be the aggressor but he's always reluctant to do so. This why from the very start Chakotay gives up being Maquis and supports Janeway fully.

All these themes and arcs with these characters carry thru out the series.
While not as pronounced as Janeway or 7, they sre still there and show subtile character development but development none the less.
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Old September 1 2011, 02:12 AM   #17
Laydin
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

exodus wrote: View Post
Neelix' development is fleshed out in "Fair Trade", about how he has to learn to let go of his past insecurities and leartn to have faith in himself and in the surrogate family he's made on Voyager. His comic relief is only a mask that hides a sole that desperate to be needed because he's terrified of being alone. IMO I think many fans missed out of Neelix' development because of the bias against him. They turned their backs on him and didn't care to learn what he was really about to care about his development but it was there. Duie to Neelix' mistake of abandoning his people during war (Jatrel), Neelix now stands up anmd fights for them in "Homesteafd". That alone shows development by learning from a mistake.
TOTALLY AGREE!

Especially Neelix. I love this character and I have always see him as a tragic character instead of comic relief.
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Old September 1 2011, 02:37 AM   #18
creek_chub
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

In regards to Neelix, I also sort of often got the impression that he knew the crew found his antics laughable, but that it didn't bother him because, in a sort of innocent but ethnocentric way, he assumed he was the superior life form. Not that he felt anything bad towards humans or thought they were stupid per se, just...for example, I love my dog to pieces and consider him to be super smart for a dog but would be more inclined to be amused than offended if he thought I was the cute, funny one.
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Old September 1 2011, 02:46 AM   #19
starlitegirl
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

creek_chub wrote: View Post
In regards to Neelix, I also sort of often got the impression that he knew the crew found his antics laughable, but that it didn't bother him because, in a sort of innocent but ethnocentric way, he considered himself the superior life form. Not that he felt anything bad towards humans or thought they were stupid per se, just...for example, I love my dog to pieces and consider him to be super smart for a dog but would be more inclined to be amused than offended if he thought I was the cute, funny one.
Yeah that! Though for me, it was not so much that he was superior as he was he seemed to find them a pessimistic bunch who went in search of trouble. He even got pissed at Janeway a few times for it whether it was examining a nebula or strange phenomena. I remember a few episodes where he thought she was craaaazy for peeking into every nook and cranny they came across. Looking back, I suspect he thought they were all a little nuts.
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Old September 1 2011, 03:00 AM   #20
creek_chub
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

starlitegirl wrote: View Post
creek_chub wrote: View Post
In regards to Neelix, I also sort of often got the impression that he knew the crew found his antics laughable, but that it didn't bother him because, in a sort of innocent but ethnocentric way, he considered himself the superior life form. Not that he felt anything bad towards humans or thought they were stupid per se, just...for example, I love my dog to pieces and consider him to be super smart for a dog but would be more inclined to be amused than offended if he thought I was the cute, funny one.
Yeah that! Though for me, it was not so much that he was superior as he was he seemed to find them a pessimistic bunch who went in search of trouble. He even got pissed at Janeway a few times for it whether it was examining a nebula or strange phenomena. I remember a few episodes where he thought she was craaaazy for peeking into every nook and cranny they came across. Looking back, I suspect he thought they were all a little nuts.
Weren't there also a few instances where Neelix would take aside whichever DQ native the humans were currently annoying and be like, "Hey, look, I know they're kinda weird but they're ok, really."

I actually really liked Neelix and felt like, yeah, he was in the background a lot, but his character is actually rich with characterization. The change in his relationship with Tuvok alone is a fascinating, though somewhat subtle at times, arc.
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Old September 1 2011, 03:27 AM   #21
starlitegirl
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

creek_chub wrote: View Post
starlitegirl wrote: View Post
creek_chub wrote: View Post
In regards to Neelix, I also sort of often got the impression that he knew the crew found his antics laughable, but that it didn't bother him because, in a sort of innocent but ethnocentric way, he considered himself the superior life form. Not that he felt anything bad towards humans or thought they were stupid per se, just...for example, I love my dog to pieces and consider him to be super smart for a dog but would be more inclined to be amused than offended if he thought I was the cute, funny one.
Yeah that! Though for me, it was not so much that he was superior as he was he seemed to find them a pessimistic bunch who went in search of trouble. He even got pissed at Janeway a few times for it whether it was examining a nebula or strange phenomena. I remember a few episodes where he thought she was craaaazy for peeking into every nook and cranny they came across. Looking back, I suspect he thought they were all a little nuts.
Weren't there also a few instances where Neelix would take aside whichever DQ native the humans were currently annoying and be like, "Hey, look, I know they're kinda weird but they're ok, really."

I actually really liked Neelix and felt like, yeah, he was in the background a lot, but his character is actually rich with characterization. The change in his relationship with Tuvok alone is a fascinating, though somewhat subtle at times, arc.
Yes. Yes! YES! I love his scenes with Tuvok. I really loved the episode when Tuvok lost his memory. That was so beautifully done. And Homestead makes me cry it's so awesome. I felt like Tuvok truly grew fond of him and his ways. That episode was a thing of beauty just for capturing that.

And yes to him pulling the DQ aside. He did that a lot actually, didn't he? Now I'm wondering if it was because he thought they were a little crazy or a little daft? Or maybe a little of both?
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Old September 1 2011, 08:43 AM   #22
henbane
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

Overall, I think Voyager suffered more from inconsistent writing rather than poor character development. Characters were actually well developed compared with TOS and ENT, but inconsistent writing created problems for their character directions at times.
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Old September 1 2011, 06:48 PM   #23
creek_chub
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

starlitegirl wrote: View Post
Yes. Yes! YES! I love his scenes with Tuvok. I really loved the episode when Tuvok lost his memory. That was so beautifully done. And Homestead makes me cry it's so awesome. I felt like Tuvok truly grew fond of him and his ways. That episode was a thing of beauty just for capturing that.
I will admit I definitely teared up a little at the end of the Homestead. Riddles had a similar effect on me...considering he's lost his memory, all Tuvok really knows is what people are telling him, and most of them are telling him there's something wrong with him. Neelix is the only one who isn't making a fuss and is taking him as he is, no questions asked. No wonder Tuvok clings to him the way he does.
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Old September 1 2011, 08:27 PM   #24
TheLobes
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

I think its because the writers just pitched 'interesting characters' without giving any though to how they would function within the show.

'Oh, the engineer. Okay! Shes part human, part Klingon, and shes like... the fiesty one! Oh! And shes part of the marquis and distrusts the federation!'

In TNG, TOS and DS9 the characters all revolved around who the captain was and what the situation was. They made an interesting team because of how they reacted to each other rather than just existing seperately. Like in TNG, Picard was the humanist, Riker was more of the mans man type officer who could liase between him and the crew and be trusted in tight spots. Data was the naive child who helped Picard reinforce or challenge his ideas on humanity. Every other crew member has a specific skill that they are the best at.

Nothing like that occured in VOY, there isnt any strong character dynamic, and nobody seems to have any speciality. Torres is the engineer, but its seems like anyone else can do her job, and Janeway can pretty much do any job herself.
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Old September 2 2011, 12:25 PM   #25
DarKush
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

Laydin wrote: View Post
I disagree with the original poster that many characters on Voyager were underdeveloped.

Kim. He started out green and would do anything to get back to Earth. Paris' sidekick, second guesses himself whenever possible. Throughout Voyager's journey, Kim showed again and again that he is extremely capable engineer, he even designed the Astrometrics. And don't forget about Kim's speech in Endgame.

Kim is not a well developed character I agree but at least he isn't one dimension in the end like Chakotay. Chuckles is the only character I agree that is mostly stagnant in character development to the level of Mayweather.

But in an ensemble cast the less popular characters/actors must take a back seat. Even in TNG and DS9 had them.

TNG: Crusher and LaForge. Except for Crusher trying at command in the later seasons, what has changed for her character since season 1? Same with LaForge. After he's promoted to Chief Engineer, what other developments did he have? He's still just as lame with women as the beginning.

DS9: Jake and Jadzia. Besides being there to support Ben and refused to join StarFleet, what exactly made him a well developed character besides the obligatory teen turned to man cliche. Jadzia was Jadzia through and through. Even Ezri got more in one season than Jadzia in six.

Voyager/ENT was no different. Popular characters got more, less popular characters take the back seats.
I'm not so sure I buy your argument where TNG is concerned. LeVar Burton, going into TNG was the most popular actor for American audiences (due to Roots and Reading Rainbow). Geordi should've been a much bigger character in order to capitalize off his familiarity and relative popularity, but they didn't do much with his character. Ergo his character didn't become 'popular', which meant he got even less development. So I think the writers/powers that be, have some say in terms of who gets how much of the pie. And that in turn leads the audience. It doesn't always work, ex. Wesley, who I think was given some prominent screentime, that created a fan backlash, but I think it has worked more often than not. If the writers get a feel for a certain character I think they are more apt to write or find ways to do something with that character.

Geordi and Dr. Crusher didn't get that. Despite LaForge's popularity and the potential romantic tension existent in the Crusher-Picard relationship, that never really got the attention it deserved during the course of the series. Trek Lit. has handled it much better.


Regarding VOY, I'm not sure how much behind-the-scenes, office politics played a part in who got how much screentime and development. It certainly didn't hurt Jeri Ryan to be in a relationship with Brannon Braga during her time on the show, to be honest. Though I thought Ryan is a good actress and Seven was an interesting character until they decided to make the show mostly about her.

On the surface I thought VOY had a very nice looking, interesting cast, and I think the writing staff failed a good number of them. Even Janeway came off as an uneven character, though she did get development. The best were the Doctor and Seven. Torres, Paris, Neelix, and Tuvok all had interesting hooks about them as characters, that were sometimes explored, sometimes not. Even Chakotay and Kim got some episodes (like Mayweather), but I can accept how they and most of the cast except Doctor, Janeway, and Seven weren't sufficiently developed.
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Old September 2 2011, 01:09 PM   #26
TheLobes
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

DarKush wrote: View Post
[Geordi and Dr. Crusher didn't get that. Despite LaForge's popularity and the potential romantic tension existent in the Crusher-Picard relationship, that never really got the attention it deserved during the course of the series. Trek Lit. has handled it much better.
.
One of my favourite things about TNG is that it didnt feel the need to 'flesh out' every single character, and I am beyond grateful that the writers never put Crusher and Picard together. Not everything has to be 'developed', in fact it can really ruin a show. The Picard/Crusher relationship got the exact right amount of attention, it was something always present between the two characters that served to give them some more depth and give an impression of their pasts in an interesting way.

Its a relationship that never quite happened for a number of reasons, but theres still a slight feeling between them. I found it subtle and interesting, and am glad they never made it into a 'relationship'. It just seemed so real and natural.

Same with Laforge, or even Riker. He was a well developed character in terms of personality, and there was really no need to make any changes or give him any particular arcs. The idea that every character needs 'development' is something that killed trek, in my opinion.
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Old September 2 2011, 05:03 PM   #27
Daggin
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

Kudos to Exodus on their glance back at Tuvok, Kim, and Neelix. As for the latter, I'm pleased to see that there are actually some fans, who DO find the character likeable, and worthwhile. I believe that some aspects of him get focused upon too much, and the rest overlooked.
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Old September 3 2011, 01:24 AM   #28
exodus
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

TheLobes wrote: View Post
I think its because the writers just pitched 'interesting characters' without giving any though to how they would function within the show.

'Oh, the engineer. Okay! Shes part human, part Klingon, and shes like... the fiesty one! Oh! And shes part of the marquis and distrusts the federation!'

In TNG, TOS and DS9 the characters all revolved around who the captain was and what the situation was. They made an interesting team because of how they reacted to each other rather than just existing seperately. Like in TNG, Picard was the humanist, Riker was more of the mans man type officer who could liase between him and the crew and be trusted in tight spots. Data was the naive child who helped Picard reinforce or challenge his ideas on humanity. Every other crew member has a specific skill that they are the best at.

Nothing like that occured in VOY, there isnt any strong character dynamic, and nobody seems to have any speciality. Torres is the engineer, but its seems like anyone else can do her job, and Janeway can pretty much do any job herself.
You can't or rather shouldn't compare the crew of the Enterprise: the Flag ship of the Federation with the Voyager. Only the top graduates of the Academy serve on the Enterprise, anyone else serves on all the rest. Sorry but it's like comparing the crew of the Queen Mary to the crew of a Carnival Cruise ship. Picard is an ambassador to the Federation. That's the title you take upon being captain of the Enterprise. That's why Riker didn't want to captain any other ship. LaForge graduated top honors and is blind, Torres dropped out. How is there even a comparison? Torres can't even serve on another starship after Voyager because she doesn't even have a degree.

The point was, Voyager was a ship of average people with an extraordinary task set before them.

Regarding VOY, I'm not sure how much behind-the-scenes, office politics played a part in who got how much screentime and development. It certainly didn't hurt Jeri Ryan to be in a relationship with Brannon Braga during her time on the show, to be honest. Though I thought Ryan is a good actress and Seven was an interesting character until they decided to make the show mostly about her.


Did Robert Picardo have to suck cock too for his part to increase?

No, it's simple economics.
Paramount spent millions of dollars in advertising to promote the character to the general public. So if you tuned in to see her, there she was because her image sold TONS of merchandise. Otherwise, she'd be a wasted investment. Paramount was giving the audience just what they were paying into. Does Tuvok even have a T-Shirt with just him on it?
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Last edited by exodus; September 3 2011 at 01:50 AM.
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Old September 3 2011, 01:50 AM   #29
TheLobes
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

exodus wrote: View Post
You can't or rather shouldn't compare the crew of the Enterprise: the Flag ship of the Federation with the Voyager. Only the top graduates of the Academy serve on the Enterprise, anyone else serves on all the rest. Sorry but it's like comparing the crew of the Queen Mary to the crew of a Carnival Cruise ship.
Yes, I can compare them, and really its more relevant to say its like comparing the crew of a modern day flagship with, say, a frigate or something. Theyre both instruments of the same authority, and theyre both highly prized in terms of technology, if not grandeur. The crew of the frigate might not be quite as good as the crew of the flagship, but they would still have had to go through years of training and experience in order to be trusted and relied upon with such responsibilities. Not everybody on board was starfleet, but the ones that werent did have skills learnt from the maquis.

The point was, Voyager was a ship of average people with an extraordinary task set before them.
You mean the average people who built a ship capable of breaking a speed barrier previously thought impossible by the federations top scientists?

Even if they are just ordinary people, that doesnt invalidate the point Im making. The problem is that so many other people on the ship seem to be just as capable at engineering as her; there wasnt anything she alone seemed capable of doing, as had been the case with Scotty, Laforge and O'Brien. She did indeed drop out of the academy, but then she also spent that time with Chakotay, in which she acted as chief engineer on his ship.
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Old September 3 2011, 02:06 AM   #30
exodus
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Re: Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

TheLobes wrote: View Post
exodus wrote: View Post
You can't or rather shouldn't compare the crew of the Enterprise: the Flag ship of the Federation with the Voyager. Only the top graduates of the Academy serve on the Enterprise, anyone else serves on all the rest. Sorry but it's like comparing the crew of the Queen Mary to the crew of a Carnival Cruise ship.
Yes, I can compare them, and really its more relevant to say its like comparing the crew of a modern day flagship with, say, a frigate or something. Theyre both instruments of the same authority, and theyre both highly prized in terms of technology, if not grandeur. The crew of the frigate might not be quite as good as the crew of the flagship, but they would still have had to go through years of training and experience in order to be trusted and relied upon with such responsibilities.
Tal Celest passed the Academy.
Had the same training and experience as Harry Kim.
Same rank.
Is she on equal standing as an Ensign on the Enterprise?

Even if they are just ordinary people, that doesnt invalidate the point Im making. The problem is that so many other people on the ship seem to be just as capable at engineering as her.
Like who?
Who else but her, Harry and Seven did they ever show build something?

I recall O'Brian needing ALLOT of help getting DS9 to stay up and running. Sisko built the Defiant, that also trumps O'Brians skills and I also recall Dax having skills in Engineering too. LaForge often asked Data for help for almost EVERYTHING he did. Westly had ideas and created stuff LaForge never even dreamed of.
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