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Old February 24 2012, 01:22 AM   #16
exodus
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Sandoval wrote: View Post
I've said this before, but how a decision based on looks leaves you keeping Garrett Wang and sacking Jennifer Lien baffles me.
A blonde haired blue eyes woman is common in American magazines.
For an Asian male actor(any Asian male actor) to make such a poll is a rarity. Garrett is also the first Asian actor to have a lead role in a Trek series since Takai. Trek is supposed to be PC. It's more PC to fire one of the 5 White actors to keep the one Asian one for reasons of diversity. Isn't Trek shown Internationally? Being a minority worked in his favor. They didn't care if they were going to develop his character or not. Garrett being Asian was all they wanted him for.
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Old February 24 2012, 01:30 AM   #17
You_Will_Fail
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Well the producers claim that the Kes character wasn't working and they didn't know what to do for her, but as sfdebris said in his "One" review - the writers didn't know what to do with ANYONE so it was hardly a special case for Kes. And Kenneth Biller even said in the season 4 extras that it was a pity that Kes left because there was a lot of potential for storylines given her unique physiology and telepathic powers.
SFdebris summed up the Kes/Seven exchange in his Kes retrospective like this
"Overall while you could have replaced Harry with just about anything and not lose, replacing Kes with Seven was like replacing a home theater system with a motorcycle. You haven't actually upgraded, you've just wound up replacing something with something different. You have something new and great but you've also lost something else you've had that you really liked".

Personally I thought getting rid of Kes was a big mistake, her character had a lot of potential and keeping Kes and Seven on the show would have helped make Voyager be more distinctive by not only having it be much more female-centric but also by having a more diverse mix of characters.
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Old February 24 2012, 01:42 AM   #18
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

exodus wrote: View Post
A blonde haired blue eyes woman is common in American magazines.
For an Asian male actor(any Asian male actor) to make such a poll is a rarity.
Right on both accounts, I believe. However, Sandoval still has a point. Jennifer wasn't in a top 50 of good looking folks, Garrett was. One might even argue if keeping an actor based on looks is in itself the opposite of being PC, despite Garrett being Asian, but I digress.

Wang was the one who was supposed to be canned, but after People magazine declared him to be aesthetically pleasing, they just kicked Jennifer out instead and rewritten the script so that Harry didn't die. And if this isn't true, it's one of the more persistent rumors.
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Old February 24 2012, 01:47 AM   #19
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

The Dominion wrote: View Post
Cyke101 wrote: View Post
It makes me wonder though how Garak could be in more episodes than Jake, when the former is a recurring character and Jake a regular. I bet the answer isn't simple, but it is kind of funny. Nog and Damar also appeared in more episodes than Jake in the last two seasons as well, I think.
There must be hierarchies of "regulars." But I think it just comes down to the writers knowing that Jake wasn't an important character, and not trying to overuse him.
the writers openly admit they dropped the ball when it came to Jake and that it was no fault of the actor or the character. They admitted they were the ones that failed in their duty.
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Old February 24 2012, 01:51 AM   #20
teacake
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

exodus wrote: View Post
Garrett being Asian was all they wanted him for.


Get me off the couch, I think that may be my Kim problem as well!
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Old February 24 2012, 01:56 AM   #21
exodus
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

NightOwl wrote: View Post

Right on both accounts, I believe. However, Sandoval still has a point. Jennifer wasn't in a top 50 of good looking folks, Garrett was. One might even argue if keeping an actor based on looks is in itself the opposite of being PC, despite Garrett being Asian, but I digress.
Sex appeal has always been a major factor in selling Trek to the public. Every show be they male or female has always had a sex symbol type character. Look on all the TV shows, how many ugly people are on TV? Even the old people are pretty.

As far as Kes, isn't there a recent interview with Jen Lien posted on this site that explains that her contact ran out and that she had talked to Berman about wanting leaving acting anyway? So it sounds like even if they killed off Harry Kim, Jen Lien didn't want to stay anyway. So they kept the guy that did.
Doesn't matter how much potential Kes the character had. If the actor isn't serious about the job anymore, then they aren't going to put their best into the role.
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Last edited by exodus; February 24 2012 at 02:14 AM.
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Old February 24 2012, 01:59 AM   #22
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

exodus wrote: View Post
Sex appeal has always been a major factor in selling Trek to the public. Every show be they male or female has always had a sex symbol type character. Look on all the TV shows, how many ugly people are on TV? Even the old people are pretty.
True, true. And even if they aren't, make up works wonders.

Last edited by NightOwl; February 24 2012 at 01:59 AM. Reason: quoting fail >_<
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Old February 24 2012, 02:01 AM   #23
teacake
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

exodus wrote: View Post
NightOwl wrote: View Post

Right on both accounts, I believe. However, Sandoval still has a point. Jennifer wasn't in a top 50 of good looking folks, Garrett was. One might even argue if keeping an actor based on looks is in itself the opposite of being PC, despite Garrett being Asian, but I digress.
Sex appeal has always been a major factor in selling Trek to the public. Every show be they male or female has always had a sex symbol type character. Look on all the TV shows, how many ugly people are on TV? Even the old people are pretty.
While this is true Trek itself is pretty sexless. You want sexy moments in Trek you have to pretty much subtext it. I think the brief scene with Juilian and Ezri in bed when they finally got together in DS9 is the single sexy moment in all of Trek that doesn't requite a lot of fannish reading into everything.

Star Trek is quite hampered by this and if there is another series they will have to sex it up literally IMO. People are just used to quality, good looking sexy television nowadays.
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Old February 24 2012, 02:20 AM   #24
exodus
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

teacake wrote: View Post
exodus wrote: View Post
NightOwl wrote: View Post

Right on both accounts, I believe. However, Sandoval still has a point. Jennifer wasn't in a top 50 of good looking folks, Garrett was. One might even argue if keeping an actor based on looks is in itself the opposite of being PC, despite Garrett being Asian, but I digress.
Sex appeal has always been a major factor in selling Trek to the public. Every show be they male or female has always had a sex symbol type character. Look on all the TV shows, how many ugly people are on TV? Even the old people are pretty.
While this is true Trek itself is pretty sexless. You want sexy moments in Trek you have to pretty much subtext it. I think the brief scene with Juilian and Ezri in bed when they finally got together in DS9 is the single sexy moment in all of Trek that doesn't requite a lot of fannish reading into everything.

Star Trek is quite hampered by this and if there is another series they will have to sex it up literally IMO. People are just used to quality, good looking sexy television nowadays.
Well, Trek is supposed to be family friendly. So sexiness is kept to a simmer because of that. Too much sexuality, like on ENT. offended many people who had watched Trek for years with their kids.
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Old February 24 2012, 02:25 AM   #25
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

NightOwl wrote: View Post
exodus wrote: View Post
Sex appeal has always been a major factor in selling Trek to the public. Every show be they male or female has always had a sex symbol type character. Look on all the TV shows, how many ugly people are on TV? Even the old people are pretty.
True, true. And even if they aren't, make up works wonders.
If not, theres always plastic surgery.
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Old February 24 2012, 07:28 AM   #26
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Both the producers and the studio felt that the character wasn't working. When the character of Seven of Nine was conceived, there was already a sentiment by the studio that there were too many characters on the show as it was (i.e., they needed to trim the budget) and so someone had to go.
That Kes' character "wasn't working" was an excuse. They were openly changing her in Season 3. She was put in a catsuit before Seven even arrived and they were maturing her character in episodes like "Darkling", "Before and After". The budget reason is true. They didn't want a net addition of characters, so for Seven to appear, somebody had to go. It was originally Kim but was changed to Kes. *That* should say that the studio/writers felt Kim wasn't working, not Kes.

It was that 50 most beautiful people of Hollywood, and he was the token Asian on the list. Paramount felt that would look bad to fire him or that having him on was an asset. Digging around, it was People magazine. Influential? Not on regular people, but on Hollywood studios? Maybe. Looks like the issue came out around early May 1997. The Asian-American community really liked it because for them "finally" an Asian male made the list. Here's the list:
#1-10: Winona Ryder, Toni Braxton, Brad Pitt, Claire Danes, Michael Flatley, Roma Downey, Cuba Gooding Jr. The Spice Girls, Oscar de la Hoya, Marie-Chantal
#11-20: Tom Cruise, Mia Hamm, Jared Leto, Juliette Binoche, David Chokachi, Gwen Stefani, Garret Wang, Lauren Bacall, Tom Ford, Lisa Kudrow
#21-30: Oprah Winfrey (her influence probably got her on that list out of fear on the magazine's part), Rebecca Romjin, Matt Lauer, Leonardo diCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, Andre Braugher, David Baldacci, Kristin Scott Thomas, Harrison Ford, Gillian Anderson
#31-40: Paul Sereno, Jacinda Barrett, Derek Jeter, Michelle Yeoh, Deana Carter, Jeff Gordon, Liv Tyler, Kramer de los Reyes, Lucy Lawless, Jeanine Pirro
#41+: Drew Barrymore, Christopher Cuomo, Gavin Rossdale, Pattie Maes, Jim Carrey, Vivica Fox, where I copied the list from stops numbering and formatting goes wonky from there.


Wang was #17. Look who he was put above: Rebecca Romjin, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, Drew Barrymore, Jim Carrey. He wasn't just on the list, he was in the top 20. Obviously many would take exception to the list and that ordering of the list (I'd imagine many women in the '90s who read People were pissed Duchovny didn't make the list).



Besides that, Kes was a talented nurse on a terribly undermanned medical staff, and was developing telepathic powers that Troi couldn't even dream of. What did Kim do? Some undefined console work on the bridge, and undefined science/engineering filler. There was no reason to keep him in the show. Oh, but his actor ranked in a magazine article, clearly he was the better choice.
The telepathic flare-up was the excuse to get her off the show. It was created to give Voyager some reason for jettisoning her in space and conveniently to skip over Borg space. Did the writers even think of how they were going to get Voyager to the other side of Borg space before the decision to remove Kes from the show was made? Borg fulfill their end of the agreement? Borg betray Voyager but she gets a transwarp coil in a battle or even from a leftover obliterated Borg ship from the many Species 8472 destroyed? Or the convenient wormhole?.

And Kim was at Ops, basically what Data did on the Enterprise. Ops is sensors, communications, and ships systems. It's a position built into most scripts and usually they want a castmember reading those parts, not a Lt. Ayala. Maybe they could've used the Delaney Sisters. One could start a sentence, the other could finish it.


I think Kes was chosen because she was redundant. Everyone else had a vital role.
* Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok, The Doctor, Torres: key personnel
* Paris: he was not only the navigator, he was also field medic before Kes. He was also their resident 20th century historian and had a more developed backstory. Besides the disliked by Starfleet & Maquis early on, he was sort of the cynic, the one that balks at hierarchy and regulations, which of course led to his prison sentence, and all this in the context of being a skilled pilot and son of an Admiral who was descended from one of the higher-ups in the Yankees' front office 370 some years 'ago' . There was more substance in his background than some characters... scratch that, most characters.
* Kim: he was admittedly the most dull. That seemed to be part of the intention, the green ensign, by the book but in no way street wise. Paris made an ideal friend/counterpoint. Of course, while there are many people that aren't wild exciting characters in real life, it doesn't really translate well into dramas or sitcoms. His role in Ops would need to be filled.
* Neelix: people would have loved to get rid of him and his usefulness did end in "Fair Trade", but the Mess Hall was his set and they seem to have wanted a ship cook (need someone to cook for the dorm that is Voyager and feed < 150 people 3 times a day and prepare the snacks for off-hours). And each Star Trek show needed someone with mandatory heavy makeup, Worf was it for TNG, Quark for DS9, Phlox for ENT. Torres' little forehead wasn't enough, so the taxidermists' Frankenstein was made and behold, Neelix!

Based on what transpired, he was obviously the one character they didn't know what to do with. Except for when they decided to growth-accelerate Naomi to an age where the kid can act somewhat and pair Neelix with her, all he got was, what, 2 or 3 lines in the mess hall per episode? Quark was an excellent example of how to use a B-story character or character who only appears in the downtime/interim scenes, not in the action scenes. Notice they stopped even using Neelix as a liaison for first contacts.
* Kes: nurse, she was mainly there for the Ocampan POV (young, curious about the galaxy, but also accelerated lifespan). She came with her own set, hydroponics, which wasn't really too important or utilized in those 3 seasons. She overlapped with Paris as medic/nurse, she overlapped with Torres as love interest for Tom, she overlapped with Seven for blonde in a catsuit. Her character had growth potential, but it was those redundancies that did her in.
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Old February 24 2012, 08:21 AM   #27
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

DeepSpaceWine wrote: View Post
Maybe they could've used the Delaney Sisters. One could start a sentence, the other could finish it.
Turn them into Bynars. Two token aliens, at least one female, and a much more interesting way to take care of Ops.
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Old February 24 2012, 09:59 AM   #28
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

exodus wrote: View Post
The Dominion wrote: View Post
Cyke101 wrote: View Post
It makes me wonder though how Garak could be in more episodes than Jake, when the former is a recurring character and Jake a regular. I bet the answer isn't simple, but it is kind of funny. Nog and Damar also appeared in more episodes than Jake in the last two seasons as well, I think.
There must be hierarchies of "regulars." But I think it just comes down to the writers knowing that Jake wasn't an important character, and not trying to overuse him.
the writers openly admit they dropped the ball when it came to Jake and that it was no fault of the actor or the character. They admitted they were the ones that failed in their duty.
Yeah, I read that part on memory alpha. Still, I wonder why Garak wasn't upgraded to regular status and/or Jake wasn't demoted to recurring status.

DeepSpaceWine wrote: View Post
It was that 50 most beautiful people of Hollywood, and he was the token Asian on the list. Paramount felt that would look bad to fire him or that having him on was an asset. Digging around, it was People magazine. Influential? Not on regular people, but on Hollywood studios? Maybe. Looks like the issue came out around early May 1997. The Asian-American community really liked it because for them "finally" an Asian male made the list. Here's the list:
#1-10: Winona Ryder, Toni Braxton, Brad Pitt, Claire Danes, Michael Flatley, Roma Downey, Cuba Gooding Jr. The Spice Girls, Oscar de la Hoya, Marie-Chantal
#11-20: Tom Cruise, Mia Hamm, Jared Leto, Juliette Binoche, David Chokachi, Gwen Stefani, Garret Wang, Lauren Bacall, Tom Ford, Lisa Kudrow
#21-30: Oprah Winfrey (her influence probably got her on that list out of fear on the magazine's part), Rebecca Romjin, Matt Lauer, Leonardo diCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, Andre Braugher, David Baldacci, Kristin Scott Thomas, Harrison Ford, Gillian Anderson
#31-40: Paul Sereno, Jacinda Barrett, Derek Jeter, Michelle Yeoh, Deana Carter, Jeff Gordon, Liv Tyler, Kramer de los Reyes, Lucy Lawless, Jeanine Pirro
#41+: Drew Barrymore, Christopher Cuomo, Gavin Rossdale, Pattie Maes, Jim Carrey, Vivica Fox, where I copied the list from stops numbering and formatting goes wonky from there.


Wang was #17. Look who he was put above: Rebecca Romjin, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, Drew Barrymore, Jim Carrey. He wasn't just on the list, he was in the top 20. Obviously many would take exception to the list and that ordering of the list (I'd imagine many women in the '90s who read People were pissed Duchovny didn't make the list).
Yes, I think we'd have to take into account the timing here as well. As you point out, the issue came out in May 1997. Both DS9 and Voyager were pretty well respected critically (ratings be damned), First Contact came out a year before, and Trek was still in the midst of its wave of popularity and power. If a major mainstream magazine -- and let's remember that printed media was much bigger and more widespread in the 90s than it is now -- recognizes Trek, *especially* for something other than sci-fi, it's something that Paramount can plan around to draw in a wider audience.

Funny enough, whatever momentum People Magazine provided for the writers was pretty much squandered anyway. For all the attention Garrett Wang received, you'd think that would be a sign to overhaul the character in some way, especially if the goal was to streamline the cast yet capitalize on the attention.
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Old February 24 2012, 10:11 AM   #29
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Thinking back on it, I really don't see how many things would have changed if Kim had left and Kes had stayed. Either character was gonna get largely ignored like everyone who wasn't Janeway, Seven or The Doctor from Season 5 onward.
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Old February 24 2012, 10:32 AM   #30
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Why didnt they get rid of Neelix instead?
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