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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

View Poll Results: Did you like the 'Bashir was genetically modified' retcon?
Yes, I think it was a good plot and it worked 35 47.30%
It was an interesting storyline, but I didn't completely buy it 25 33.78%
No, it made no sense 11 14.86%
I'm not sure 3 4.05%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 8 2010, 04:46 AM   #16
Terra Pryme
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

flemm wrote: View Post
It's interesting to read that quote because it confirms a number of my impressions concerning how Bashir was written over the years. Basically, the writers couldn't figure out how to make the character work and just kept throwing different ideas at him in the hopes that something would strike a chord.

The espionage angle actually ended up being the most successful because of some good scenes with Garak and eventually Section 31 and Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges, the best Bashir episode imo, by a wide margin.

As for the genetic enchancement idea, no, I don't think it works at all. For one thing, it turns the character into a hypocrite who has been lying to everyone from the beginning, including his best friend Miles. It turns out that Bashir's naiveté was just an act. Meh. This type of revelation would absolutely destroy his comrades' trust in him, or at least force everyone to re-evaluate their relationships with him, from Sisko as his commanding officer to Miles as his friend.

If the writers had really explored that aspect of the revelation concerning his enchancements, then that might have been interesting, but they never ended up doing that, largely because the retcon was motivated by the desire to give DS9 a superhumanly brilliant character like Spock and Data. In other words, it was pointless, because that Trek trope had no place on DS9: it didn't work with Dax in the early seasons, and it didn't work with Bashir. So, after a line or two of Data-esque calculations early in the sixth season, the writers just let it drop, until Extreme Measures anyway (another mistake).

The only other way Bashir's enhancements are addressed, as I recall, is in the "Jack Pack" episodes, and there Bashir is being presented as a paragon of how a genetically altered individual can integrate into society, i.e. the enhancements haven't really impacted his life at all despite years of dissimulation and deception.

Bad idea. The only thing that really could have saved it in my view is if it had really disrupted Bashir's existence and changed how everyone interacted with him, which the writers were understandably never prepared to do. I'm not surprised Alexander Siddig hated the change, since it undermined everything he had done with the character up until that point, basically like saying to him: nobody likes what you've done up until now, so we're going to see if we can Data-fy you! OK?!?!

Couldn't have said this better myself. Not only these points, but the fact that this practically undermined everything that was learned about Bashir from previous episodes, particularly "Distant Voices" (season 3), when he was telepathically attacked by the Lethean. The fact this never came up at all proves to be a major continuity problem, not to mention other episodes like when he had the surprised reaction of being "in the zone" when O'Brien introduced him to the dartboard game and then suffered an injury, as well as being able to patch up his teddy bear at 5 years old, even though he certainly wouldn't have been capable of doing so if he were deficient at that age. Note that in "DBIP", Julian said he had the genetic treatments just before his 7th birthday.

I never really cared for the Jack Pack episodes either. And the issue of eugenics being illegal seemed to be inconsistent as well. In TNG's "Unnatural Selection", there was the Darwin Genetic Research Station. And there was a colony of genetically-engineered people in "The Masterpiece Society", but in this case, they were isolated from the Federation, which makes me wonder what would have happened to those people who left the colony after that episode if laws against genetically-engineered people were enforced like they would be by "DBIP". Overall, it was a bad choice to place such a drastic change in a character like Bashir primarily because of these continuity problems.
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Old May 8 2010, 05:18 AM   #17
tkron
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

I thought it was a good idea that flubbed in a few places, like Jack's crowd. The idea of the enlightened Federation not letting genetically altered people contribute just rubbed me wrong. I can see some Federation member-planets that maybe aren't so hard-nosed about genetic engineering protesting that one.
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Old May 8 2010, 06:50 AM   #18
The Boy Who Cried Worf
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

Can't say I liked it very much. It was too much of a retcon. Are we really supposed to by that oh Bashir was a super-genius and superior physically all along he just never used it? And I really could have done without the crazy genius gang episodes.
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Old May 8 2010, 07:11 AM   #19
Myasishchev
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

Kai Winn wrote: View Post
unbelievable that no one ever figured out that bashir was modified, a scan with a tricorder reveals a single neuron out of line. don't they have medical check-ups before joining starfleet? the exploration of engineered humans in star trek was a great story arc, but tos and enterprise did it better.
Seriously? Space Seed and the Augment arc, where the genetically engineered are portrayed as nearly motiveless villains? The episodes that give us the most unnuanced, prejudiced, outright chauvinist stories in the history of Star Trek? (Barring Code of Honor of course, because just... wow.)

At any rate, I can kind of get on board the unlikelihood of Bashir not being discovered, but that's glossable. I mean, if they did it well enough to make it look like he'd born that way, I could see it getting through subsequent checkups that weren't actively looking for modifications. The fact that Bashir almost without a doubt had a prior medical history makes it harder to cover, though, so I'll give you the point for its implausibility.
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Old May 8 2010, 07:41 AM   #20
RobertScorpio
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
In this Trek Today article, Alexander Siddig reveals just how much he hated the 'Bashir was genetically engineered' plot:

“…on Thursday the script arrived,” explained Siddig. “We started shooting on Friday. I was so shocked. You know you get the impression that maybe the producers sit down and talk about strategies and character arcs with actors but this thing came out of the blue and pissed me off so royally. It was a reaction to the fact that the character was genuinely unpopular in the early days. Because he was not fancy; I mean this is a time where 90210 was at the top of the charts in American TV and this guy was so not the hunk, he was the anti-hunk. “He was a man of science; he was like half good looking, rubbish at pulling girls. I mean it was all the wrong kind of archetypes. And so they kept trying to do things to make it happen. Eventually they did the Bond thing (Our Man Bashir) – they did the Bond thing before that actually. And that kicked it off. I have to say that I’m still pretty angry. Well, not angry…”
Siddig turned his anger to action. “I did it the only way that an actor can,” he said. “I completely destroyed the lines that they gave me regarding the situation. Every time something came up that was to do with being kind of Data-esque – I mean, I couldn’t get away from the fact – I thought I was being a Data, which is what they wanted to do, they wanted to switch the characters from all the shows, which they ended up doing with Voyager.
“Well, it was a bit cynical at the end of the day. But I just fluffed the lines; well I didn’t fluff them completely I literally pinned the lines on the back of someone’s shoulder once, reading them. I wasn’t bothered even to learn them. I just pinned them around the office as if they were lines needed for daily modification. And they got the message and dropped it kind of.”
Which prompted me to start this poll and ask: did you like the storyline, and did you think that this storyline was convincing ?

I'm a bit torn about this. I remember that, the first time I watched Doctor Bashir, I Presume?, I thought "Well, that came out of the blue". It seemed sudden and far-fetched. But now I'm all right with it - for a 5th season retcon, it kinda sorta works, or at least is not too improbable, and it gave us some interesting insight into 24th century attitudes to genetic engineering - and lead to the appearance of Jack Pack and Statistical Probabilities, one of my favorite season 6 episodes.
I agree. I think Bashir, up to that point, was just a useless character...and that Bashir I Presume episode, I think, had one of his best performances. He should be thanking them instead of blasting them...oh well...Like Nimoy, Siddig will eventually change his tune and we'll get the "I AM Bashir" speech someday...

rob
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Old May 8 2010, 11:57 AM   #21
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

Myasishchev wrote: View Post
My first reaction was "Wow, that is so unprofessional, my opinion of the man just dropped etc.," but then I realized the only reason I responded that way is because I disagree with his position, and I've lauded actors in the past (Nimoy, for example) who thought they knew their characters better than the writers, and who were proven right.
Off-topic, but what are you referring to when it comes to Nimoy?
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Old May 8 2010, 01:13 PM   #22
JoeZhang
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
Myasishchev wrote: View Post
My first reaction was "Wow, that is so unprofessional, my opinion of the man just dropped etc.," but then I realized the only reason I responded that way is because I disagree with his position, and I've lauded actors in the past (Nimoy, for example) who thought they knew their characters better than the writers, and who were proven right.
Off-topic, but what are you referring to when it comes to Nimoy?
I think it's a reference to the "Spock had a nervous breakdown" back-story that GR introduced for TMP, Nimoy thought it was junk.
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Old May 8 2010, 04:36 PM   #23
ClayHefner
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

I thought it was pretty awesome, especially in retrospect.
Like when Bashir shot Garak in the holodeck in OMB, we can assume he knew exactly what he was doing and where he was going to hit him.
Or the whole thing with getting that one question in the exam wrong. Before, we had to beleve he failed the question because he was afraid of being the best, now it makes much more sense.
And the Darts thing works well, too. Even when he was not in the mood, he could always be "just good enough" to keep the game going, without Miles complainng he wasn't trying.

So yeah, it was excellent as it turned out imo.
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Old May 8 2010, 04:46 PM   #24
TheGodBen
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

I'm not a fan of how the retconned it in and we have to make excuses for many of the earlier episodes, but in the end I enjoyed it because of his interactions with the Jack Pack and Section 31.
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Old May 8 2010, 06:35 PM   #25
Myasishchev
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
DevilEyes wrote: View Post
Myasishchev wrote: View Post
My first reaction was "Wow, that is so unprofessional, my opinion of the man just dropped etc.," but then I realized the only reason I responded that way is because I disagree with his position, and I've lauded actors in the past (Nimoy, for example) who thought they knew their characters better than the writers, and who were proven right.
Off-topic, but what are you referring to when it comes to Nimoy?
I think it's a reference to the "Spock had a nervous breakdown" back-story that GR introduced for TMP, Nimoy thought it was junk.
That's one (I don't think that was necessarily a bad idea, though). The examples I was thinking of, even if they are kind of hazy in my memory, are the things about Spock that are now considered iconic, like the nerve pinch and the finger-touch kiss thing, amongst other things. These are directly attributable to Nimoy himself, not to any writer or producer, and I think he had to argue with people to get the nerve pinch in.

A good non-Trek example is Harrison Ford saying screw it and gunning down the Arab swordsman in Raiders instead of shooting for hours to get the fight scene in the script on film. Even if it was basically only because his tummy hurt, ultimately, it was a much better movie moment than some forgettable fight.
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Old May 8 2010, 07:00 PM   #26
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

Seems
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Old May 8 2010, 07:04 PM   #27
OldManDax
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

Seems very few people are aware of the reality that some of the most talented and gifted people in the world can also be some of the most insecure people, constantly worried that someone will "find them out", and that maybe, as a human being, they won't measure up. That's especially true if one has whole areas of their lives (in Bashir's case, family and women) where they feel a vacuum, unfulfilled needs. Do you know of how many times i've heard of academic overachievers having emotional breakdowns, turning suddnly violent (even committing murder) or committing suicide?
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Old May 9 2010, 03:08 AM   #28
Kai Winn
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

Myasishchev wrote: View Post
Kai Winn wrote: View Post
unbelievable that no one ever figured out that bashir was modified, a scan with a tricorder reveals a single neuron out of line. don't they have medical check-ups before joining starfleet? the exploration of engineered humans in star trek was a great story arc, but tos and enterprise did it better.
Seriously? Space Seed and the Augment arc, where the genetically engineered are portrayed as nearly motiveless villains? The episodes that give us the most unnuanced, prejudiced, outright chauvinist stories in the history of Star Trek? (Barring Code of Honor of course, because just... wow.)
well, i don't like space seed and wok too much for their overacting, but aren't they universally regarded as the best epsiode and movie in star trek history? enterprise did it just brilliantly, also because it did much for the canon (including the episodes where the klingons experiment with genetic engineering). i thought that montalban portrayed the capable, overambitious and vicious villain not too well, but the actors in enterprise certainly managed it.
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Old May 9 2010, 05:30 AM   #29
RobertScorpio
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

Kai Winn wrote: View Post
Myasishchev wrote: View Post
Kai Winn wrote: View Post
unbelievable that no one ever figured out that bashir was modified, a scan with a tricorder reveals a single neuron out of line. don't they have medical check-ups before joining starfleet? the exploration of engineered humans in star trek was a great story arc, but tos and enterprise did it better.
Seriously? Space Seed and the Augment arc, where the genetically engineered are portrayed as nearly motiveless villains? The episodes that give us the most unnuanced, prejudiced, outright chauvinist stories in the history of Star Trek? (Barring Code of Honor of course, because just... wow.)
well, i don't like space seed and wok too much for their overacting, but aren't they universally regarded as the best epsiode and movie in star trek history? enterprise did it just brilliantly, also because it did much for the canon (including the episodes where the klingons experiment with genetic engineering). i thought that montalban portrayed the capable, overambitious and vicious villain not too well, but the actors in enterprise certainly managed it.
Yeah...I agree. Space Seed is a good episode, and one fan poll after another usually puts KHAN at number one. But, heck, we are all allowed our own opinions but in this case? IMO..the majority has it right,when considering seed/Khan..

rob
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Old May 9 2010, 06:39 AM   #30
DarthPipes
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Re: Bashir's genetic modification: yes or no?

I thought it was a good storyline but I really don't think they did that much with it. It could have been so much more but outside of those Jack Pack episode, Bashir's genetic engineering wasn't really a factor in anything.
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