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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old May 14 2010, 09:39 AM   #1
crohnie
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Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

Hello All,

I recently watched "The Outcast" and loved it. However I do have a question about the ending.

When Riker attempts to rescue Soren, she stops him with this:
SOREN: It was all a mistake, and I should have realised it from the beginning.
RIKER: What?
SOREN: That I was sick. I had these terrible urges, and that is why I reached out to you. But it was wrong, and I see that now. I do not understand how I could have done what I did.
And yet a few scenes prior She gives an impassioned speech that she wasn't sick. So I'm wondering why is there such a defeatist attitude already? Did they already start that treatment on her?

Also I saw the homosexual undertones in her speech. And I read on Memory Alpha (so I don't know how creditable it is) that they had an idea of casting a male actor for the role of Soren, but a kiss between two men wasn't network friendly. At least 3 years later they were able to have a kiss between two females because one of them was a male in a past life... (DS9: Rejoined)
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Last edited by crohnie; May 14 2010 at 09:39 AM. Reason: tags
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Old May 14 2010, 10:53 AM   #2
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

I'm not sure how serious the idea of casting a man as Soren was, but Frakes has gone public saying he would have been okay with kissing a guy on screen.

It's been a while since I last saw the episode, but if they hadn't already started the treatment on her, they at least had her acceptance that she needed treatment, so in that sense, her rejection of her previous feelings for Riker was only to be expected.
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Old May 14 2010, 03:12 PM   #3
Praxius
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

crohnie wrote: View Post
Hello All,

I recently watched "The Outcast" and loved it. However I do have a question about the ending.

When Riker attempts to rescue Soren, she stops him with this:

.......

And yet a few scenes prior She gives an impassioned speech that she wasn't sick. So I'm wondering why is there such a defeatist attitude already? Did they already start that treatment on her?
By the time he got to her to take her away, they already did their treatment and messed up her head, kinda like those straight camps you hear about (Which really don't work, but I imagine these folks in the future perfected their treatments)..... he was too late.

Also I saw the homosexual undertones in her speech. And I read on Memory Alpha (so I don't know how creditable it is) that they had an idea of casting a male actor for the role of Soren, but a kiss between two men wasn't network friendly. At least 3 years later they were able to have a kiss between two females because one of them was a male in a past life... (DS9: Rejoined)
Agreed.... while Star Trek itself always had a nack for pushing the cultural envelope with such things in order to show the fear and paranoia towards such things isn't as warranted as some think they are.... they still have to balance their approach for the eras they're airing the shows.

Sure they could have tried to get away with casting a male just to prove the point and to shove it into people's faces as it seemed to be needed.... but it could have put a serious risk to the show overall and some wing nuts in society might have tried to shut them down or threaten their cast & crew..... it would have been noble especially at the time, but it'd be at the cost of jeopardizing the many other morals and messages they would try and get across to their fans/viewers in the future.

But still, their message still got across probably just as well the way they made the show we're talking about now.

While someone may want to get a message across to society in their work, one also has to gauge how to get that message across in regards to what society at the time will accept.... nudge them gradually in the direction you want, then after a while you can send out the real message you originally intended and society will accept it easier.

Like this episode.... which could be suggested that it lead to the Dax episode you mentioned, which eventually helped open the door for many other shows to talk openly and freely about homosexuality.... heck many sitcoms today revolve around the main characters being homosexual.... which probably wouldn't have been easy to do without past writers and shows taking the risks they did.

Like Uhura on TOS in the 60's where before her, there weren't any black actors playing any major roles on TV...... it was risky back then, but Roddenberry took that risk because he thought it was the right thing to do, and it was.
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Old May 14 2010, 08:14 PM   #4
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

Praxius wrote: View Post
crohnie wrote: View Post
Hello All,

I recently watched "The Outcast" and loved it. However I do have a question about the ending.

When Riker attempts to rescue Soren, she stops him with this:

.......

And yet a few scenes prior She gives an impassioned speech that she wasn't sick. So I'm wondering why is there such a defeatist attitude already? Did they already start that treatment on her?
By the time he got to her to take her away, they already did their treatment and messed up her head, kinda like those straight camps you hear about (Which really don't work, but I imagine these folks in the future perfected their treatments)..... he was too late.

Also I saw the homosexual undertones in her speech. And I read on Memory Alpha (so I don't know how creditable it is) that they had an idea of casting a male actor for the role of Soren, but a kiss between two men wasn't network friendly. At least 3 years later they were able to have a kiss between two females because one of them was a male in a past life... (DS9: Rejoined)
Agreed.... while Star Trek itself always had a nack for pushing the cultural envelope with such things in order to show the fear and paranoia towards such things isn't as warranted as some think they are.... they still have to balance their approach for the eras they're airing the shows.

Sure they could have tried to get away with casting a male just to prove the point and to shove it into people's faces as it seemed to be needed.... but it could have put a serious risk to the show overall and some wing nuts in society might have tried to shut them down or threaten their cast & crew..... it would have been noble especially at the time, but it'd be at the cost of jeopardizing the many other morals and messages they would try and get across to their fans/viewers in the future.

But still, their message still got across probably just as well the way they made the show we're talking about now.

While someone may want to get a message across to society in their work, one also has to gauge how to get that message across in regards to what society at the time will accept.... nudge them gradually in the direction you want, then after a while you can send out the real message you originally intended and society will accept it easier.

Like this episode.... which could be suggested that it lead to the Dax episode you mentioned, which eventually helped open the door for many other shows to talk openly and freely about homosexuality.... heck many sitcoms today revolve around the main characters being homosexual.... which probably wouldn't have been easy to do without past writers and shows taking the risks they did.

Like Uhura on TOS in the 60's where before her, there weren't any black actors playing any major roles on TV...... it was risky back then, but Roddenberry took that risk because he thought it was the right thing to do, and it was.

I think that was an excellent post, and I agree with much of what you have said. However, as a TNG fan, one of my few regrets about the show is that homosexual people were not part of the Enterprise crew.
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Old May 15 2010, 08:20 PM   #5
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

Thanks guys for your posts.

I did have another question. I know Gene Roddenberry died during this season. Did he have any creative input in this episode? I would guess not but I wanted to make sure.
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Old May 17 2010, 03:15 PM   #6
Praxius
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

That's I am not sure on.
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Old May 19 2010, 12:32 AM   #7
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

Praxius wrote: View Post
Like this episode.... which could be suggested that it lead to the Dax episode you mentioned, which eventually helped open the door for many other shows to talk openly and freely about homosexuality.... heck many sitcoms today revolve around the main characters being homosexual.... which probably wouldn't have been easy to do without past writers and shows taking the risks they did.
I'd not credit Star Trek for helping open any doors in this regard. Trek's couple of hesitant forays were already behind the times, as shows like the sitcom Brothers had already dealt with the subject head-on, and that show was in syndication by Paramount two years before TNG premiered. The ABC series Hooperman (1987-1989 with John Ritter) featured a gay cop as a reqular.
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Old May 31 2010, 11:22 PM   #8
Hober Mallow
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

Star Trek has always pretended to push the envelope, but is usually way behind the times, at least with modern Trek. During TNG's time, they made a big deal out of "Star Trek now has a female doctor!" A female doctor? What a novelty! When Voyager premiered, a big deal was made about a female captain. In the 1990s, a female captain was supposed to be a big thing. Never mind that we'd always seen several female captains in various incarnations of Trek, but even in the 1990s, woman with power was hardly a new concept.
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Old June 1 2010, 02:34 AM   #9
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

I agree with Hober Mallow. In addition to the above examples, what about that ENT episode that was supposed to be an AIDS crisis allegory and it came out in 2002!!!

2002. What is that, twelve -fifteen years after the emergence of most major news stories about the AIDS crisis?

And being self-congratulatory about a female captain in 1995 was just silly.
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Old June 2 2010, 12:03 AM   #10
Hober Mallow
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

sonak wrote: View Post
And being self-congratulatory about a female captain in 1995 was just silly.
There was also lots of mention before DS9 premiered of a female first officer. Thankfully, they didn't make a big deal out of a black captain.

The idea of a female captain breaking barriers in 1995 still floors me. Wasn't Sherri Lansing head of Paramount in 1995? What did she think, "Thank God Star Trek is paving the way for me to make something of my life!"? I mean, really...

Even on TV, female main stars weren't new. The dreadful Earth 2 starred a female lead, and that was, what... a year or two before Voyager.
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Old June 3 2010, 10:50 AM   #11
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

Captain's log, stardate 45614.6. We have been contacted by an androgynous race called the J'naii

SOREN:
He? Commander, there are no he's or she's in a species without gender.
The idea of gender. It is offensive to my people. You see, long ago we had two sexes, as you do.
I am tired of lies. I am female. I was born that way.
crohnie wrote: View Post
Also I saw the homosexual undertones in her speech.
Mr Cool Dude wrote: View Post
However, as a TNG fan, one of my few regrets about the show is that homosexual people were not part of the Enterprise crew.
I real believe this episode is less about homosexuality and more about gender identity. The J'naii are transgender, they actual have two sexes, what their society has done is discarded gender roles within their culture. What Soren's, a biological female, crime was under the J'naii law was is that she identified with being feminine. Androgyne feel neither masculine nor feminine (or sometimes both) but not one or the other.

I too regret that TPTB choose not to have a few guest stars and at least one main character be gay. Not so much to be "daring," more to simply show a truthful society.

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Old June 3 2010, 11:16 AM   #12
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Re: Questions/Thoughts on "The Outcast"

I enjoyed 'The Outcast' when I watched it again recently. I think they conveyed the message more subtly, and without the whacking you over the head with it which is done in many Trek outings.
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