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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 February 4 2012, 07:47 AM   #1
The Overlord
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Did TNG have too many characters at first?

Did TNG have too many characters at first? It seems like TNG got better after Tasha Yar died and they focused more on other characters like Worf, with one less character hogging the spotlight. It seems like at first there were too many characters to handle, Tasha Yar made Worf seem redundant. Also the series got even better after Wesley Cruhser was demoted to guest star.

Last edited by The Overlord; February 4 2012 at 07:58 AM.
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Old February 4 2012, 08:11 AM   #2
Sho
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

Well, just because they didn't know how to use them effectively, it doesn't mean there were too many characters in an absolute sense. DS9 did splendidly with a considerably larger ensemble. Rather, they had to many characters for the direction of storytelling they chose too adopt. TNG wasn't really a very character-driven show, especially early on before Piller came along, and there were too many characters for the little character time they had going around initially.
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Old February 4 2012, 08:37 AM   #3
sojourner
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

I am sure the "equal screen time" clause that was in place for the tng actors didn't help either. Or was that just a myth?
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Old February 4 2012, 05:12 PM   #4
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

I'm with Sho, other shows have managed to do very well with larger casts (DS9, Firefly). It all goes to what kind of show you are doing and TNG was a show about going places and doing things, not about characters developing. And that's where I agree with you Overlord, there was no need for both Tasha and Worf since there was no need for two security people.
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Old February 4 2012, 05:22 PM   #5
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

If they had a larger cast we might've been spared such classics as Birthright, Sub Rosa, Inheritance and Bloodlines.
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Old February 4 2012, 05:23 PM   #6
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

Bisz wrote: View Post
I'm with Sho, other shows have managed to do very well with larger casts (DS9, Firefly). It all goes to what kind of show you are doing and TNG was a show about going places and doing things, not about characters developing. And that's where I agree with you Overlord, there was no need for both Tasha and Worf since there was no need for two security people.
Worf wasn't a security person til Crosby left the show...
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Old February 4 2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

I think the problem was more that Yar and Wesley just weren't terribly interesting characters. The writers clearly had a hard time thinking up good storylines for them, and it just made sense that they finally had to go.

Of course Troi, Beverly, and George weren't all that interesting either, but they at least served a functional purpose on the show.
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Old February 4 2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

BillJ wrote: View Post
If they had a larger cast we might've been spared such classics as Birthright, Sub Rosa, Inheritance and Bloodlines.
Sarcasm sensor is broken, because I thought Birthright and Bloodlines were good episodes...
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Old February 4 2012, 08:55 PM   #9
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

Anwar wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
If they had a larger cast we might've been spared such classics as Birthright, Sub Rosa, Inheritance and Bloodlines.
Sarcasm sensor is broken, because I thought Birthright and Bloodlines were good episodes...
That makes one of us...
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Old February 5 2012, 02:01 AM   #10
HaventGotALife
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

The Overlord wrote: View Post
Did TNG have too many characters at first? It seems like TNG got better after Tasha Yar died and they focused more on other characters like Worf, with one less character hogging the spotlight. It seems like at first there were too many characters to handle, Tasha Yar made Worf seem redundant. Also the series got even better after Wesley Cruhser was demoted to guest star.
I think some of this is true. Remember, it's not just Tasha. LaForge was on the bridge meaning they had to have a guest star in Engineering. Wesley was annoying becase this was a character with no training that knew everything. Why is he on the bridge of the flagship of the Federation? There was something very mystical abot his character in the first season. Worf was essentially a guest-star in the first season. He had nothing important to do or say (until Heart of Glory).

But the series had other problems as well. They didn't have any mysteries--characters figured out what was happening, speculated. For instance, in Datalore without any testing of the hypothesis Riker comes up with all the answers and there's no investigation or confirmation. That's bad writing.

The bridge crew was too eager to please and behaved like they werre always under fire. I found the audiotrack to be quite annoying.

Anyway, I like the pace of the show once the third season rolled around. The subtle nature of Patrick Stewart's acting and it really became a show about Picard's decisions. We didn't have too many problems that didn't end up on his desk.

I like Worf better in DS9 than the brute he was in TNG. I don't like Riker much. These were foils around Picard. It wasn't as much of an ensemble as we like to portray.
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Old February 5 2012, 04:22 PM   #11
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

Anwar wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
If they had a larger cast we might've been spared such classics as Birthright, Sub Rosa, Inheritance and Bloodlines.
Sarcasm sensor is broken, because I thought Birthright and Bloodlines were good episodes...
Anwar I don't know why people rip on "Birthright." I thought it was a good episode.

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
The bridge crew was too eager to please and behaved like they werre always under fire.
HaventGotALife please elaborate on the above statement. Are you saying they were too eager to follow the Captain's orders? It seems to me that they were just doing their jobs.

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
It wasn't as much of an ensemble as we like to portray.
HaventGotALife I agree that the "ensemble" became "Stewart/Spiner/Dorn." Not to the extreme that it became "Shatner/Nimoy/Kelley" on TOS but close.
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Old February 5 2012, 04:32 PM   #12
Sho
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

I think the "Birthright" two-parter may have been Worf's best outing in the franchise.
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Old February 6 2012, 04:19 AM   #13
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

There were too many characters in the beginning...and I think in another two or three edits of the piolet Gene and Dorothy would've seen their mistakes.

I heard there were some heated arguments between Roddenberry and Berman in regards to rearranging the characters, but I have never heard what each party wanted to do.
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Last edited by Anji; February 6 2012 at 04:19 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old February 6 2012, 04:20 AM   #14
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

Later on they had Chief Obrien, Ensign Ro, Reg Barclay added to the mix.

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Old February 6 2012, 04:26 AM   #15
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Re: Did TNG have too many characters at first?

I think most of the problems with the characters had to do with the fact that people high up in the food chain were at odds with the staff writers. I know Maurice Hurley screwed over Tracey Torme's original script for The Royale and IIRC he blocked the writer for The Arsenal of Freedom from establishing a Picard/Crusher romance. In fact, his only good contribution that I know of is helping create the Borg.
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