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Old March 6 2012, 08:38 AM   #196
Therin of Andor
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

sonak wrote: View Post
And Kes had MORE potential than Troi, so it's kind of silly to say that they had to dump Kes because it was "so hard" to write for her.
As I mentioned at the start of this thread, the actress playing Kes was also hard to write for, not just the character. Ms Lien is painfully shy in real life and, although she is capable of incredible performances on-screen (I liked her in the sitcom "Phenom" before I knew her on VOY), it could be that some directors found it hard to communicate with her. Why she made public appearances at conventions when she is so shy is also hard to fathom; Jennifer Lien came to Australia and was so freaked out on stage that the audience thought she was under the influence of drugs. Some demanded their money back. Hence the many rumours that were racing around about her dismissal.

As we've heard with other actors, some characters inspire the staff writers to greatness. Others, for hundreds of reasons, don't work out the way the creators imagined they might at initial casting.

"Kind of silly", but the writers did find Kes a difficult character to write for. You can see them tinkering with the character every season (her powers, her appearance, the relationships with other characters), but nothing seemed to be working as well as they wanted. Seven of Nine, however, opened many wonderful opportunities for character building.
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Old March 6 2012, 04:44 PM   #197
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
And Kes had MORE potential than Troi, so it's kind of silly to say that they had to dump Kes because it was "so hard" to write for her.
As I mentioned at the start of this thread, the actress playing Kes was also hard to write for, not just the character. Ms Lien is painfully shy in real life and, although she is capable of incredible performances on-screen (I liked her in the sitcom "Phenom" before I knew her on VOY), it could be that some directors found it hard to communicate with her. Why she made public appearances at conventions when she is so shy is also hard to fathom; Jennifer Lien came to Australia and was so freaked out on stage that the audience thought she was under the influence of drugs. Some demanded their money back. Hence the many rumours that were racing around about her dismissal.

As we've heard with other actors, some characters inspire the staff writers to greatness. Others, for hundreds of reasons, don't work out the way the creators imagined they might at initial casting.

"Kind of silly", but the writers did find Kes a difficult character to write for. You can see them tinkering with the character every season (her powers, her appearance, the relationships with other characters), but nothing seemed to be working as well as they wanted. Seven of Nine, however, opened many wonderful opportunities for character building.

I don't see how Ms. Lien's shyness would be relevant to the way writers treated her character. And no, I really didn't get the vibe that she was getting hard to write for, I think she was improving as the show went on. I think that's stuff made up after the fact as justification for dumping her to get a more conventional "babe." If anything, the show struggled with finding Neelix a role, as he went from "guide" to "morale officer" to "ambassador."

If there's stuff from long before her dismissal about the difficulties writing for her, then I'd believe it, but otherwise it just looks like rationalization.
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Old March 6 2012, 05:15 PM   #198
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

22 Stars wrote: View Post
jpch wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
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.
totally agree
This implies that they were going to add a character so someone had to go... No, the it worked was, let's get rid of Kes and replace her with a bombshell. That is very different and it was unfortunate.
And not the reason why it happened since the original idea was to get rid of Kim and keep Kes alongside the bombshell. They only kept Kim because Garrett Wang got noticed by People Magazine and felt that any press would be good for the show.

But they weren't going to have ten regular cast members for budgetary reasons no matter what.
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Old March 6 2012, 06:32 PM   #199
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

OK, so the fact that they were going to keep Kes and drop Kim would seem to settle the argument about how Kes had to go because she was so difficult to write for. Had that been the case, she would have been the first choice to go.
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Old March 6 2012, 06:37 PM   #200
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

You know, having worked in a couple of writers rooms now, and having observed and at times participated in conversations regarding the direction of characters, story arcs, and what not, it is entirely acceptable to me that they got rid of Kes, and I can absolutely believe that the writers genuinely ran out of stories for her. This kind of thing happens. Stories have endings.

The other thing to consider is the high turnover rate of the Voyager writers over the years. The same way everyone was up in arms a few months ago about "Tattoo" being racist because they never quite figured out what nationality Chakotay belonged to, getting rid of Kes could easily have been the result of the same writing staff still being there after three years and just creatively burned out, it could be that Jeri Taylor herself was burned out, it could be that a bunch of new blood couldn't figure out what to do with the character.
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Old March 6 2012, 07:49 PM   #201
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Kenneth Biller said that he thought it was a pity Kes left because there were so many possibilities for her given her unique lifespan and abilities, so I don't believe the writers couldn't come up with story ideas for her.
As for them not knowing which direction to go with the character....they didn't know which direction to go with hardly any of the characters! What "direction" did Chakotay, Harry, Neelix or Tuvok go in exactly from season 4.....except into the background. And even Janeway, while getting a lot of screentime, didn't seem to be getting much direction. I just think Taylor didn't like the character of Kes and decided to get rid of her, it was easier to write lines of dialogue for characters like Chakotay and Harry because they could be given filler lines or technobabble lines each episode. Kes actually had to be given her own stories or worked into other stories and that obviously required more effort. I don't think it was a question of "can't", simply "can't be bothered".
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Old March 6 2012, 09:56 PM   #202
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Not sure what direction a character like Tuvok would go in. He's a Vulcan so not going to have a big angsty time about being lost in the DQ. He's married with children so not going to have any relationship development. He's not a hotshot so not going to have any issues with wanting to do something he's not ready to do. Vulcans are a bit painted into corners unless them make them vulnerable like Spock or T'Pol. The Big Vulcan Storyline is always Pon Farr.

They did do some development with him and Neelix however, good character development for Tuvok to come to grips with his negative emotions and how it was effecting his crew interaction. This theme wasn't a one off ep either so I'd say Neelix and Tuvok were used to good effect as a duo.
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Old March 7 2012, 02:36 AM   #203
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

sonak wrote: View Post

She wasn't "written into a corner," she had some of the best potential of any of the characters. If they were going to keep her around, they simply wouldn't have "powered her up" to the levels of "The Gift."
Those with actual power behind the show disagree.
That that solid fact trumps any opinions we may have.
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Old March 7 2012, 02:39 AM   #204
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

doubleohfive wrote: View Post
You know, having worked in a couple of writers rooms now, and having observed and at times participated in conversations regarding the direction of characters, story arcs, and what not, it is entirely acceptable to me that they got rid of Kes, and I can absolutely believe that the writers genuinely ran out of stories for her. This kind of thing happens. Stories have endings.

The other thing to consider is the high turnover rate of the Voyager writers over the years. The same way everyone was up in arms a few months ago about "Tattoo" being racist because they never quite figured out what nationality Chakotay belonged to, getting rid of Kes could easily have been the result of the same writing staff still being there after three years and just creatively burned out, it could be that Jeri Taylor herself was burned out, it could be that a bunch of new blood couldn't figure out what to do with the character.
QFT.
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Old March 7 2012, 05:34 AM   #205
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

exodus wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post

She wasn't "written into a corner," she had some of the best potential of any of the characters. If they were going to keep her around, they simply wouldn't have "powered her up" to the levels of "The Gift."
Those with actual power behind the show disagree.
That that solid fact trumps any opinions we may have.

no, they said that apparently after the fact, and after coming close to dumping Wang first. So that doesn't hold a lot of credibility. Again, if someone can point out stuff said about her being hard to write for long before the fourth season, then I could buy that argument a little more.
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Old March 7 2012, 06:51 AM   #206
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Just because someone has power or is in charge doesn't mean that this person is right or is telling the truth.
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Old March 7 2012, 07:00 AM   #207
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Lynx wrote: View Post
Just because someone has power or is in charge doesn't mean that this person is right or is telling the truth.
Likewise, just because you think there were more stories for Kes to be written and told, it does not necessarily follow that those persons in charge of writing the show felt the same way.

The writers could have, easily, determined that there were in fact no more stories to be told and chose to write her out of the series and in their capacity as the showrunners and writers would still be absolutely right to do so.

As for "having the power" or "telling the truth," well to begin with, the showrunner is the king of the castle on a show. They're the voice, the head of the table and they make the big decisions. And for something like this, they'd likely have to sell it to the studio and network executives, so if you want to blame anyone, you better start blaming them as well.

Lastly, "telling the truth"? Seriously? Is this such a matter of import that even if the writers were lying (which I sincerely believe they weren't), we're going to sit around and point fingers?

Screw that. It's a goddamn TV show. Get some perspective.
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Old March 7 2012, 07:11 AM   #208
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

doubleohfive wrote: View Post
Lynx wrote: View Post
Just because someone has power or is in charge doesn't mean that this person is right or is telling the truth.
Likewise, just because you think there were more stories for Kes to be written and told, it does not necessarily follow that those persons in charge of writing the show felt the same way.

The writers could have, easily, determined that there were in fact no more stories to be told and chose to write her out of the series and in their capacity as the showrunners and writers would still be absolutely right to do so.

As for "having the power" or "telling the truth," well to begin with, the showrunner is the king of the castle on a show. They're the voice, the head of the table and they make the big decisions. And for something like this, they'd likely have to sell it to the studio and network executives, so if you want to blame anyone, you better start blaming them as well.

Lastly, "telling the truth"? Seriously? Is this such a matter of import that even if the writers were lying (which I sincerely believe they weren't), we're going to sit around and point fingers?

Screw that. It's a goddamn TV show. Get some perspective.
The interesting thing is that the loss of the ability to write for Kes was very sudden. They were actually coming up with stories where Kes played an important part up to the last minute of her presence on board (I'm not counting "The Gift" since that one was a sad mess, written with the only purpose to get rid of the character as soon as possible, no matter how unrealistic the story was).

And only because someone has the power or is in charge, they are not above criticizm. In fact, it's our right as fans and supporters of the show to criticize what we think is wrong. After all, we did help to keep them in charge for seven years just by watching the show.
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Old March 7 2012, 07:17 AM   #209
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

I agree with Lynx that saying, "we're gonna axe Wang" in one breath and "we ran out of stories so it's Kes instead" in another is not really adding up when we know a People magazine poll was behind the change. What was the time frame between the Wang axe and the reversal of the decision and deciding to axe Kes instead?
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Old March 7 2012, 07:58 AM   #210
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

They were probably going to get rid of both of them...Wang in Scorpion part 2 and Kes some episodes later in season 4. Wang only got spared because he got picked by People magazine as on the most beautiful. Otherwise his unprofessional behavior was getting his ass canned.
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