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Old January 6 2012, 04:13 PM   #16
Disruptor
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Tom wrote: View Post
Also they were designed wrong IMO to be credible villians. Those dumbo ears looks silly, not menecing.
Short statures didn't help. Yes, there's shorter than average human menaces in sci-fi, but it's still a visual thing for most people to overcome.
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Old January 6 2012, 04:17 PM   #17
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

I was always disappointed that they decided to use the Ferengi for comic relief. I loved their bad ass ships that we saw in early TNG, but they seemed to disappear. Shimmerman gave depth to his character, but the "race", as a whole, was badly handled.
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Old January 6 2012, 06:10 PM   #18
BillJ
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
I think it happened in "The Last Outpost".
This. I think they represent the first sign that Roddenberry wasn't all there anymore.
Note that "The Last Outpost" was Richard Colla's only stint as a director for the Star Trek franchise.

Prior to this, the only mention of the Ferengi was in "Encounter at Farpoint", where it was suggested that they were cannibalistic.
It was Roddenberry's show. He had final say on what made it to the screen and those Ferengi made it to the screen.
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Old January 6 2012, 06:16 PM   #19
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Ferengi spread a lot of lies about themselves to intimidate those they wished to exploit. Once the truth got out, that they were minor military power at best, they toned down their b.s..
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Old January 6 2012, 06:17 PM   #20
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

They could have made the short-guy Ferengi work: Just have them employ plenty of mercenaries and muscle so that they can honestly give off the image of benevolent/neutral businessmen.

After all, who'd suspect those tiny goofy guys of being Space Mafia/Corrupt Businessmen?
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Old January 6 2012, 06:40 PM   #21
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

I never thought the concept of the Capitalist Yankee Trader made for a good villain. They weren't out for conquest or power, just profit. That means they go where opportunity takes them. At some points they will be an adversary, but at others they would be an ally by their nature. It's not the stuff of a big, bad main villain. It's like having the Swiss as an arch enemy.
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Old January 6 2012, 08:31 PM   #22
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Exactly, they should be a Player in the Trekverse but their own premise doesn't work as an out-and-out villain.

If they wanted a new adversary species, the Cardassians would've been a better choice.
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Old January 6 2012, 08:45 PM   #23
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Even though it probably wasn't planned that way, I quite like the development of the Ferengi from a menacing power to regular people that we saw through Trek. I thought that was an interesting commentary on how our picture of another group can be quite distorted and far from the truth due to lack of knowledge.
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Old January 6 2012, 08:51 PM   #24
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

We have to remember TNG was gonig to be a VERY different show than TOS and even the movies. This was GR's second chance to make his own type of Trek. I think he may have lost sight of Trek needing classic action adventure, and in TV terms that equals shoot outs, hand to hand combat and a lot more space battles than early TNG seemed willing to do.

Generally more violence (as subdued as it was on family syndicated TV) than GR really wanted in Trek.
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Old January 7 2012, 12:38 AM   #25
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Jingle Balrog wrote: View Post
I never thought the concept of the Capitalist Yankee Trader made for a good villain. They weren't out for conquest or power, just profit. That means they go where opportunity takes them. At some points they will be an adversary, but at others they would be an ally by their nature. It's not the stuff of a big, bad main villain. It's like having the Swiss as an arch enemy.
Well Ultra capitalists can make good villains, Lex Luthor is Superman's arch nemesis and he is just a corporate tycoon. Sure Lex had motives besides greed, a lot of his villainy is because he is jealous of Superman, but then again the Ferengi don't need to have greed be their sole motive. Bok was motived by revenge, not all Ferengi are the same.

However if the Ferengi were serious villains, they would be different villains from the Klingons or Romulans, they don't want to take over the galaxy, they just want to make money. Perhaps like European Colonial powers they could conquer less powerful civilizations and exploit them, but they wouldn't pick a fight with the Federation. The Ferengi shouldn't be belligrent, they should be sly and slick, pretend to the Federation's friend until they can screw over the federation. Just because they don't want to take over the galaxy, doesn't mean they can't do bad things, they could sell weapons to dictatorships, dump toxic waste on other planets, create their own slave and drug trades. They could have good villains, with a little decent writing, not having them act like apes would have been a good start.

Last edited by The Overlord; January 7 2012 at 12:48 AM.
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Old January 7 2012, 03:54 AM   #26
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Unfortunately, they shot themselves in the foot by having Capitalism and currency be a non-issue with the Federation with the replicators.

If they had money, corporations, etc still used as much in the 24th Century as they are in the 20th/21st then there'd be easier usage of the Ferengi as Corporate villains.
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Old January 7 2012, 02:43 PM   #27
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Prior to this, the only mention of the Ferengi was in "Encounter at Farpoint", where it was suggested that they were cannibalistic.
It was suggested that they ate another species, their "associatiates". This makes them untrustworthy, not cannibalistic.
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Old January 7 2012, 08:04 PM   #28
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

I think they were treated better in "The Battle" than The Last Outpost (and getting rid of those whips was a good move). Those marauders were pretty impressive too, in both The Battle and Peak Performance they represented more of a threat. In Rascals (just a few episodes before we meet Quark + co on DS9) we saw them do something that the Klingons, Romulans or Cadassians could never do - they managed to take over the Enterprise (Between this and Generations, it's no wonder Riker was stuck as first officer for another 8 years, and shuffled off to an unimportant ship like the Titan before Picard's retirement)
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Old January 7 2012, 08:34 PM   #29
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Actually I think in DS9 they became pretty serious. Not as villains, but as characters.
Agreed. I didn't like the Ferengi until DS9. TNG's portrayal of them never endeared them to me.
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Old January 7 2012, 08:35 PM   #30
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from " to just comic reli

Zorn: "Captain, the Ferengi would be very interested in a base like this."

Picard: "Fine. I hope they find you as tasty as they did their past associates."

So, cannibalistic as in willing to dine upon another intelligent species. Which is stretching the usually meaning of the term somewhat, but is how it is used fairly commonly in science fiction. Picard was suggesting that the people of Deneb Four would be literally eaten by the then mysterious Ferengi.

It's possible that Picard alrady knew this to be a false rumor and was employing the alligation as a negotiation ploy

For the Ferengi to have been a credible " villain," they would have had to have been shown to be a actual threat to the Federation, in some fashion. Occasionally they would have had to win. They never did. Quark would sometimes "beat" Sisko and Odo, his little side business venture would succede. The Romulans in Data's Day handed Picard his hat and kicked him to the curb. The (pre-Dominion) Cardassina war "killed millions."

There could have been dialog of Ferengi victories, even if they never won against the hero ship Enterprise. Federation allies and members, becoming Ferengi allies or client states. The Federation being deprived of resources, having to deal with the Ferengi. The Ferengi causing political problem too.

It wouldn't have had to have been combat and warfare. There are other ways to fight, ways the Ferengi might have been better skilled at than the Federation.

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