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Old April 16 2013, 07:18 PM   #1
lordbaltimore1
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Best female Star Trek Cast?

The answer should actually be a no-brainer and a resounding Yes.

Seven of Nine -- despite, not because of, the catsuit -- was easily the best-acted female Star Trek regular ever. Jeri Ryan put 110% into that role week in and week out...amazing performance.

B'Ellana was an underrated character, IMO, and was definitely on par with Kira from DS9 (which I consider a good thing) and better than the TNG ladies IMO. The writers did some interesting stuff with her and had she not been overshadowed by Janeway and Seven she would have been considered one of the most prominent females of the franchise.

Janeway was in a prominent position, of course. She can be polarizing but I like her an think that her critics overstate their objections. I also think she was the first captain since Kirk to look like they were really enjoying themselves. Picard and Sisko were great but were usually pretty earnest, while Janeway brought back some of the swashbuckling, impulsive, and fun qualities that Kirk took to the show. And she wasn't above joking around with her fellow crewmates -- enjoyed watching them poke fun at each other from time to time.

Kes -- about the same level as Crusher/Troi IMO, which still is quite good. She had a few great episodes like Warlord and Before/After but was the most clear-cut "side character" on the show. Had they developed her more and kept her on longer I think she would have had some great episodes. Jennifer Lien did a very good job with what she was given and like Sulu (another underutilized character) has a very rich, full, classic-sounding "radio announcer" kind of voice which gives her some extra charm. Lien should have done books on tape instead of going the nutritionist route...

Last edited by lordbaltimore1; April 16 2013 at 08:28 PM.
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Old April 16 2013, 07:31 PM   #2
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

I love Janeway. I like B'Elanna. Seven was too perfect for me, though I'll agree Jeri Ryan acted the hell out of that role. Kes was a missed opportunity. Seska was evil fun.

I think the best female cast was Deep Space Nine. When Kira was around Dukat, I could really feel her years of anger welling up. Jadzia was one of the most interesting characters since Spock. Tora Ziyal was just a heartbreaking tragedy (believably played by 78 different actresses). Ezri got on my nerves, but she's grown on me. Finally... Louise Fletcher as Winn Adami is my absolute favorite Trek villain.
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Old April 16 2013, 07:33 PM   #3
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

Well the numbers would argue it. Three on Voyager, two on TNG, two on DS9, two on ENT, one on TOS. Jadzia/Ezri and Seven/Kes cancel each other out since they basically replaced each other.

As for which cast was better? Well you're going to have as many opinions on that as posts. Really Trek did their females a disservice on many levels by either just making them into two dimensional characters or self-parodies.

Uhura really was just a glorified extra. Troi's just hard to take serious. Crusher's there... probably doing something important, but not too interesting. Kira was a nice change with a strong female, but even so her anger made her a parody sometimes. Jadzia was just too random. Drinking with Quark one episode, aloof scientist the next, killing people with Worf the one after that. I found Ezri refreshing with a nice set of flaws and strengths that seemed real, but... she really was just an afterthought. Janeway... let's just say I'd take her strong character more seriously if she didn't contradict her self so much. Torres was really... stereotypical Klingon. She either fixed things or smashed them. Kes.. really had no plan or designated purpose beyond she was there, had mysterious powers and... yeah. Seven was an awesome character... but was objectified in that catsuit to the point where you just wondered how seriously they took her? Hoshi... seemed a realistic character but faded to glorified extra. T'Pol... also objectified but she makes up for it by being bitchy at every opportunity.

So who had the best female cast out of all that? Well I can say I think DS9 had the least worst female cast anyways...
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Old April 16 2013, 08:36 PM   #4
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

R. Star wrote: View Post
Well the numbers would argue it. Three on Voyager, two on TNG, two on DS9, two on ENT, one on TOS. Jadzia/Ezri and Seven/Kes cancel each other out since they basically replaced each other.

As for which cast was better? Well you're going to have as many opinions on that as posts. Really Trek did their females a disservice on many levels by either just making them into two dimensional characters or self-parodies.

Uhura really was just a glorified extra. Troi's just hard to take serious. Crusher's there... probably doing something important, but not too interesting. Kira was a nice change with a strong female, but even so her anger made her a parody sometimes. Jadzia was just too random. Drinking with Quark one episode, aloof scientist the next, killing people with Worf the one after that. I found Ezri refreshing with a nice set of flaws and strengths that seemed real, but... she really was just an afterthought. Janeway... let's just say I'd take her strong character more seriously if she didn't contradict her self so much. Torres was really... stereotypical Klingon. She either fixed things or smashed them. Kes.. really had no plan or designated purpose beyond she was there, had mysterious powers and... yeah. Seven was an awesome character... but was objectified in that catsuit to the point where you just wondered how seriously they took her? Hoshi... seemed a realistic character but faded to glorified extra. T'Pol... also objectified but she makes up for it by being bitchy at every opportunity.

So who had the best female cast out of all that? Well I can say I think DS9 had the least worst female cast anyways...
The catsuit is a liability instead of an asset, but even so I think Jeri Ryan overcame that liability and really took VOY to another level. I'm not saying that cause I'm a guy either...she could have easily been a Pamela Anderson type, all looks and no real talent, but her talent easily surpassed her appearance in my opinion. Ryan, Stewart, and Picardo brought a truly "professional" spirit to their roles -- took them very seriously and put everything they had into them. Not that other Trek actors were slacking or anything, but some folks just have that natural acting ability where you're like "this person was born to do this." Jeri Ryan, Patrick Stewart, and Robert Picardo had the most of that quality among Trek actors.

So when VOY's writing wasn't the best, you still knew in seasons 4-7 that you had two top notch acting talents in Ryan and Picardo that would still make it worth watching.
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Old April 16 2013, 10:21 PM   #5
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

lordbaltimore1 wrote: View Post
The answer should actually be a no-brainer and a resounding Yes.

Seven of Nine -- despite, not because of, the catsuit -- was easily the best-acted female Star Trek regular ever. Jeri Ryan put 110% into that role week in and week out...amazing performance.

B'Ellana was an underrated character, IMO, and was definitely on par with Kira from DS9 (which I consider a good thing) and better than the TNG ladies IMO. The writers did some interesting stuff with her and had she not been overshadowed by Janeway and Seven she would have been considered one of the most prominent females of the franchise.

Janeway was in a prominent position, of course. She can be polarizing but I like her an think that her critics overstate their objections. I also think she was the first captain since Kirk to look like they were really enjoying themselves. Picard and Sisko were great but were usually pretty earnest, while Janeway brought back some of the swashbuckling, impulsive, and fun qualities that Kirk took to the show. And she wasn't above joking around with her fellow crewmates -- enjoyed watching them poke fun at each other from time to time.

Kes -- about the same level as Crusher/Troi IMO, which still is quite good. She had a few great episodes like Warlord and Before/After but was the most clear-cut "side character" on the show. Had they developed her more and kept her on longer I think she would have had some great episodes. Jennifer Lien did a very good job with what she was given and like Sulu (another underutilized character) has a very rich, full, classic-sounding "radio announcer" kind of voice which gives her some extra charm. Lien should have done books on tape instead of going the nutritionist route...

You forgot to mention 2 prominent women from ST: Voyager.

Seska... an excellent traitor and villian who even managed to come back once in season 3 and season 7, years after she died.

and...

of course...

She who MUST NOT BE RESISTED

The BORG Queen.

QUEEN: Welcome home. You've changed. Your exo-plating, your ocular implant. They've taken you apart and they've re-created you in their own image. Hair, garments, but at the core you are still mine.
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Old April 17 2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

OOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo the Borg Queen..

Gave me the shivers reading that JRulez
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Old April 17 2013, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

B'Elanna was great. Kes was good. Janeway was alright. Seven ruined the show for me.

Seska was a good character but they never really made proper use of her. Samantha Wildman became Crusher from TNG-S1 (of no real point except being a mother of another character). The Borg Queen was overused.
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Old April 17 2013, 02:03 PM   #8
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

Kes was my favorite actually, she was hamstrung by the script but Lien was actually a very talented and emotive actress, it's a shame she wasn't given more to do and more time on the show as she had real up-side imo. Wasted talent.

B'Elanna was very good, and evolved a lot over the course of the show.

Janeway, hmmmmmm not the best imo, Mulgrew was OK but in the captain role she didn't stand up to Shatner, Stewart and Brooks.

Seven, I agree with Bry, I found Ryan a downgrade from Lien. Boring character, just pure eye-candy and was teased to be an evolving character but perhaps not given enough time to do it properly. By the end of season 7 she was much the same as she was in mid season 5, and imo that's a failure in character development for a person supposed to be finding their humanity.
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Old April 17 2013, 02:07 PM   #9
lordbaltimore1
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
B'Elanna was great. Kes was good. Janeway was alright. Seven ruined the show for me.

Seska was a good character but they never really made proper use of her. Samantha Wildman became Crusher from TNG-S1 (of no real point except being a mother of another character). The Borg Queen was overused.
Seven and The Doctor were like Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo on Saturday Night Live in the early 80s. I suppose there are folks who think those guys were overused but they were the best talent the show had at the time and the SNL probably wouldn't have survived without them.

Same with Seven and the Doctor. I'm glad the writers and producers turned them loose in seasons 4-7. Others may not agree but I believe it kept Voyager relevant and prevented it from going the way of Enterprise.
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Old April 17 2013, 02:11 PM   #10
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

lordbaltimore1 wrote: View Post

Seven and The Doctor were like Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo on Saturday Night Live in the early 80s. I suppose there are folks who think those guys were overused but they were the best talent the show had at the time and the SNL probably wouldn't have survived without them.

Same with Seven and the Doctor. I'm glad the writers and producers turned them loose in seasons 4-7. Others may not agree but I believe it kept Voyager relevant and prevented it from going the way of Enterprise.
No doubting Picardo's acting talent but Jeri Ryan's "talents" were somewhere other than in her acting range imo.

Picardo carried that double act but Ryan's "talents" certainly attracted a certain market to voyager.

Didn't make for the most compulsive viewing though imo, and served to re-affirm certain steriotypes about the fanbase.
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Old April 17 2013, 03:33 PM   #11
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

For me the Doctor was alright, but by no means my favourite on the series. It annoyed me when he basically became Seven's sidekick as well as the whole ECH thing, then there was the holographic rights non-issue.

Anyways, back on track. Infern0, I totally agree with Jennifer Lien. She was a good actress who did good work with poor material, her line from Caretaker ("I saw the sunlight") is my favourite of the series, as it just sums her up in such an emotive way.
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Old April 17 2013, 05:03 PM   #12
lordbaltimore1
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

Infern0 wrote: View Post
lordbaltimore1 wrote: View Post

Seven and The Doctor were like Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo on Saturday Night Live in the early 80s. I suppose there are folks who think those guys were overused but they were the best talent the show had at the time and the SNL probably wouldn't have survived without them.

Same with Seven and the Doctor. I'm glad the writers and producers turned them loose in seasons 4-7. Others may not agree but I believe it kept Voyager relevant and prevented it from going the way of Enterprise.
Jeri Ryan's "talents" were somewhere other than in her acting range imo.
I'm sorry you feel that way and could not disagree more with that statement. I actually think Jeri Ryan was less physically attractive than the long-haired Jennifer Lien...I like women with a more natural look like Lien or even Mulgrew or the gal who played B'elanna. But I do think she was the best actress by far and carried the show.
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Old April 17 2013, 08:11 PM   #13
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

It's odd that Ryan, who early as Seven used a flat monotone delivery, and Jolene Blalock as T'Pol, also using early monotone delivery, get singled out as poor actors, when we've seen male actors as Vulcans or other characters use monotone but not get criticized.
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Old April 17 2013, 08:16 PM   #14
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

Melakon wrote: View Post
It's odd that Ryan, who early as Seven used a flat monotone delivery, and Jolene Blalock as T'Pol, also using early monotone delivery, get singled out as poor actors, when we've seen male actors as Vulcans or other characters use monotone but not get criticized.
And given Jeri's ebullient nature, it's apparent that the monotone is acting.
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Old April 17 2013, 09:07 PM   #15
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Re: Best female Star Trek Cast?

teya wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post
. . .blah bla-blah blah. . .
And given Jeri's ebullient nature, it's apparent that the monotone is acting.
Exactly. It's acting! If the performance was no different than what they present on a late night talk show (which can also be a type of acting as in pretending to be a regular person), then the criticisms might be justified. This is why I find out-takes useful for study, besides the obvious laughs. You can see whether an actor is submerging themself or playing close to the surface. There's usually a giveaway that they're inside the character, like an odd reaction in the eyes, or in the face, before they break or crack up.
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