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Old January 6 2012, 12:57 AM   #1
The Overlord
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When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic relief

Most people around here know that the Ferengi were originally supposed to be serious villains when TNG started, but they didn't work out in that role and were eventually demoted to comedic relief.

When do you think that change in roles happened, was it when DS9 went on the air or was it sooner then that? Perhaps this change of roles happened near the end of season 3 of TNG, with the episode "Ménage à Troi"?
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Old January 6 2012, 01:11 AM   #2
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

I think it happened in "The Last Outpost".
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Old January 6 2012, 01:32 AM   #3
The Overlord
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I think it happened in "The Last Outpost".
Yeah, but that wasn't intentional, the Ferengi were supposed to legitimate villains in that episode, its just the execution that failed.

They were still presented as legitimate threats in "The Battle" "Peak Performance" and "The Price". It wasn't till "Ménage à Troi" that the writers presented them in an intentionally goofy way.
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Old January 6 2012, 01:38 AM   #4
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

They were goofy from the get go. I know tbtb wanted new everything compared to TOS, but they're silly as villains. Compare to John Colicos and the first appearance of Klingons. Somewhat alien, but cool, calculating, menacing. My take, anyway.
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Old January 6 2012, 01:47 AM   #5
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

The Overlord wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
I think it happened in "The Last Outpost".
Yeah, but that wasn't intentional, the Ferengi were supposed to legitimate villains in that episode, its just the execution that failed.

They were still presented as legitimate threats in "The Battle" "Peak Performance" and "The Price". It wasn't till "Ménage à Troi" that the writers presented them in an intentionally goofy way.
They were never very threatening.
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Old January 6 2012, 01:57 AM   #6
JarodRussell
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Actually I think in DS9 they became pretty serious. Not as villains, but as characters.
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Old January 6 2012, 02:05 AM   #7
The Overlord
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Destructor wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
I think it happened in "The Last Outpost".
Yeah, but that wasn't intentional, the Ferengi were supposed to legitimate villains in that episode, its just the execution that failed.

They were still presented as legitimate threats in "The Battle" "Peak Performance" and "The Price". It wasn't till "Ménage à Troi" that the writers presented them in an intentionally goofy way.
They were never very threatening.
No, but there are episodes were writers intended to them to be threatening and episodes were the writers just played them for laughs.
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Old January 6 2012, 02:17 AM   #8
ArcherFanForever
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Be it villian or comic relief, I still liked the Fergengi......
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Old January 6 2012, 04:06 AM   #9
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

I am on record as disliking Trek (attempted) humor. But I like the Ferengi except those several DS9eps that got so broad in their humor (Grand Nagus and Quark's mom).

I think a lot of my general liking has to do with Quark's writing and acting. There's the whole satire on materialism thing, and I like the moments when Quark gets serious and philosophical.
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Old January 6 2012, 04:08 AM   #10
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

I can see what they were aiming or in The Last Outpost, but the way the actors were directed made the Ferengi ridiculous instead of scary
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Old January 6 2012, 04:22 AM   #11
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

I'd say it was in Menage a Troi. The viewers never took them seriously before that and for good reasons. However, it was in this episode where the writers finally began to use them as simply comic relief.

All of their appearances up to then were The Last Outpost, The Battle, Peak Performance (in all three the writers clearly meant for them to be taken as serious villains), The Price and Captain's Holiday (in both the "comedy" is easily seen, but they're still supposed to be the villains).
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Old January 6 2012, 10:19 AM   #12
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I think it happened in "The Last Outpost".
This. I think they represent the first sign that Roddenberry wasn't all there anymore.
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Old January 6 2012, 11:58 AM   #13
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

BillJ wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
I think it happened in "The Last Outpost".
This. I think they represent the first sign that Roddenberry wasn't all there anymore.
Note that "The Last Outpost" was Richard Colla's only stint as a director for the Star Trek franchise.

Prior to this, the only mention of the Ferengi was in "Encounter at Farpoint", where it was suggested that they were cannibalistic.
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Old January 6 2012, 01:18 PM   #14
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

I think it was with "The Price" in early season 3. Previous attempts - "Last Outpost", "Battle" and "Peak Performance" were all clearly trying to project a level of danger and threat from them. But from season 3 onward, they were used as comedy relief.
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Old January 6 2012, 03:18 PM   #15
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Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

Also they were designed wrong IMO to be credible villians. Those dumbo ears looks silly, not menecing.
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