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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 April 20 2014, 04:11 PM   #1
varek
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reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

As an Engineer, I am big fans of Geordi La Forge, Chief Miles O'Brien and my fellow-Vulcan, Taurik. However, my favorite is Reginald Barclay.
With all of his idiosyncrasies, he is a memorable character. And, he briefly knew great insights, when the Cytherians took charge of his body.
He appeared in several movies and subsequent series, as well as in several books, but only as a transitory figure. I think he should have been given more of a chance to shine.
What do you think?
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Old April 20 2014, 07:37 PM   #2
PhoenixClass
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I enjoyed the character also. Exploring his development from his extreme shyness would have been a very engaging story.
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Old April 20 2014, 07:54 PM   #3
Melakon
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I had no problems with Barclay in Hollow Pursuits. But for me, he quickly became one of the most overused characters, even making several appearances on Voyager. I got sick of him.
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Old April 20 2014, 08:01 PM   #4
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I always enjoyed Barclay. He's my most favorite non-senior staff officer.
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Old April 20 2014, 08:46 PM   #5
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I never watch Voyager, so I never got sick of him showing up, per say, but I do agree with what I thought the sentiment of this thread was, that his skill as an engineer went a long time overlooked... among the crew

It's clear he has enough skill & knowledge to be amongst "Starfleet's Finest". He actually had some unique insights in a few situations, & as time went on, they began treating him as someone who's insight was worth finding out, despite his personality drawbacks

It's an interesting story arc, hinting on the real phenomena of social skills being an important factor of success in any field. Had he not endeavored to improve his esteem issues, they might never have known what a solid crewman he'd be to the department & the ship
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Old April 20 2014, 09:03 PM   #6
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I think the rest of the A-Team (including Mr. T) should have made guest appearances on TNG.

"In 2352, a crack redshirt unit was sent to a penal colony by a starfleet court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security facility to the Martian underground. Today, still wanted by the Federation, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."
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Old April 20 2014, 09:28 PM   #7
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I adore Barclay. He was huge breath of fresh air.
Flawed. Awkward. Insecure.
Just like most of the rest of us mortals.
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Old April 21 2014, 01:07 AM   #8
2takesfrakes
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I'm afraid I'm going to be the Party Pooper, here. Mine is a dissenting vote against Reginald Barclay.

Maybe he has the booksmarts to be in STARFLEET, but that's all he's got. His social awkwardness, first of all, was uncomfortable to watch. It wasn't entertaining, watching other people laughing at somebody else. Especially in the 24th Century, where Man has evolved sensibilities that would find doing so ... distasteful.

Secondly, how can someone socially awkward be packed-in with hundreds of other people, like a sardine and expect them to function like that for years and years? He seemed substandard to me, when the rest of the crew is the best the Federation has on offer - the best fit, mentally, physically, people who were up to the challenge of the ENTERPRISE mission.

Again, it begs the question of what Barclay's even doing onboard the "flagship" of the Federation. I never bought it, actually. It seemed like a conceit, of some kind, by the writers. Another "peggy sue" of some kind. Only to find out through boards like these that Barclay was meant to represent TREK fans (!!!) - say what?! No. No, no no ... that's a little like STAR TREK biting the hand that feeds it, isn't it?

When he showed up in FIRST CONTACT, the first time I saw it, my jaw dropped, like ... "holy shit! You meant to tell me this imbecile's got a big part in this GEM?! Well SCREW that!!!" Thankfully, he wasn't on hardly five minutes, but I always wince at it. Barclay's an embarassment and I really wish they wouldn't have made such a nod to the fanbase who apparently finds him endearing. But they did, so ... every movie's got to have one major flaw, I guess. And for me, that's FC's, right there. Get rid of him ...
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Old April 21 2014, 01:17 AM   #9
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I've said it before, so it's worth repeating here. I generally like Dwight Schultz' body of work as an actor. But I would have much rather preferred him returning as different characters, rather than always as Barclay. He could have been as versatile as Jeffrey Combs proved to be.
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Old April 21 2014, 02:44 AM   #10
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I like Barclay. I thought his sense of innocence was very refreshing. Plus he really is a very good engineer. He's just shy. Nothing wrong with that!
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Old April 21 2014, 03:31 AM   #11
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I liked Barclay but I don't totally "get" "how" he could exist. I mean, don't they have Ativan in the future?
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Old April 21 2014, 04:03 AM   #12
The Old Mixer
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

Kevman7987 wrote: View Post
"In 2352, a crack redshirt unit was sent to a penal colony by a starfleet court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security facility to the Martian underground. Today, still wanted by the Federation, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."
Think you need to Star Trek up the name of the group a bit...the Aw-A-Team?

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
Another "peggy sue" of some kind.
You mean "Mary Sue"?
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Old April 21 2014, 04:14 AM   #13
PhoenixClass
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
Maybe he has the booksmarts to be in STARFLEET, but that's all he's got. His social awkwardness, first of all, was uncomfortable to watch. It wasn't entertaining, watching other people laughing at somebody else. Especially in the 24th Century, where Man has evolved sensibilities that would find doing so ... distasteful.

Secondly, how can someone socially awkward be packed-in with hundreds of other people, like a sardine and expect them to function like that for years and years? He seemed substandard to me, when the rest of the crew is the best the Federation has on offer - the best fit, mentally, physically, people who were up to the challenge of the ENTERPRISE mission.
I understand what you mean about laughing at his expense. A central theme of Star Trek - understand others who are different - would contradict that.

On the other hand, it did set up the moment when Picard tells Geordi to take Barclay seriously, get to know him, and be more of a leader to him. That scene shows more thoughtful and considerate form of leadership Picard practiced and tried to instill in his crew.

As for the rest, we can only speculate. Maybe he always had a deep-seated self-doubt, despite his engineering skills. Being among the best and brightest on the Enterprise exacerbated his self-doubt. We were not shown anything to that effect, so I admit I am filling in his backstory in an attempt to rectify the contradictions.
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Old April 21 2014, 04:15 AM   #14
Melakon
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

^^ That's a fake. He doesn't look anything like Gary Busey.
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Old April 21 2014, 05:20 AM   #15
Makarov
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Re: reginald barclay, overlooked engineer

I think Barclay is awesome and his social problems make him one of the most interesting members of the enterprise crew. Hollow Pursuits is one of, if not THE best holodeck episode. Considering he saves the enterprise multiple times, he's definitely one the best of the best in starfleet.
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