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Old March 4 2012, 10:24 AM   #181
Therin of Andor
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Lynx wrote: View Post
Well, Jeri Taylor wasn't telling the truth when she stated that "Kes wasn't working and was hard to write for". In fact, Mrs. Taylor herself managed to come up with two good Kes stories in the books "Mosaic" and "Pathways".
Huh? "Mosaic" was a flashback novel relating the story of Janeway's pre-Voyager family life and career. Kes was barely in it.

"Pathways" was a collection of "origin stories" of all the other main characters, told round the campfire. Kes had already left the show, so Taylor had to rewrite the Kes tale to be channeled by Neelix.

Neither of which example proves your claim that Jeri Taylor told lies. When a show-runner says a character is hard to write for, and therefore not working as they'd like, they are obviously not telling you all the reasons why that is so. But the writers certainly painted themselves into a corner. Kes was scheduled to become an old woman - very soon - wearing expensive latex wrinkles in every episode till the end.

Not to mention that Taylor and the other writers had no problems with writing stories for Kes in the first three seasons of the show.
But... ideas and opportunities can be exhausted.

"Jennifer Lien's schedule made her only available for the first two episodes". What schedule? Have I missed something?
Unemployment and auditions.

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
Wesley was written to be supercool. The Children watching the show were supposed to want to be Wesley or smooch with Wesley.
It worked. Wil Wheaton got more fan mail than any other character while he was on the show, AFAIK.

exodus wrote: View Post
That type of fan support can often save a character from getting the boot on a TV, much like Matthew Fox's character on LOST who was supposed to be killed off first season but huge fan support of the character made the TPTB change their minds.
I thought it was that he was originally scheduled to be killed off in the cliffhanger of the pilot episode, but they decided to keep him. This decision was before any episodes had aired.
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Old March 4 2012, 10:56 AM   #182
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
You_Will_Fail wrote: View Post
Well that 1.9 was that "special extra episode" Juggernaut so that doesn't count!
Huh? Since when was "Juggernaut" not a "regular" episode?

"Juggernaut" is simply "the 115th episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the 21st episode of the fifth season", according to Wikipedia.
Juggernaut aired on Monday the 26th of April 1999 and Someone to Watch Over Me aired two days later on Wednesday 28th of April, after a month long hiatus since March flapped off.

Voyager mostly aired on a Wednesday and the loyal audience was prepared for Wednesdays and were blindsided by anything but Wednesdays.

Jugernaut was a bonus show, becuase if there was a show on Wednesday how on earth would they be prepared to suspect that there were going to be two brand new epiosdes of voyager that week! it's an unthinkable ineffiable impossibibility.

This is back when TV Guide ruled the world, and we got paper cuts trying to figure out when we could go out and get laid or when we had to stay in for must see tv.

I swear to god, my step father didn't like the sound of the tape rolling from reel to reel in the VCR while recording Tv on a timer in the lounge while I was out, that he would turn the machine off. It got to the point that going out just wasn't worth the risk even if there was a good chance of running across a drunken orgy.

How was I to know that some numb nuts was going to invent dvd box sets or bit torrent?
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Old March 4 2012, 12:52 PM   #183
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Huh? Since when was "Juggernaut" not a "regular" episode?

"Juggernaut" is simply "the 115th episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the 21st episode of the fifth season", according to Wikipedia.
Juggernaut aired on Monday the 26th of April 1999 and Someone to Watch Over Me aired two days later on Wednesday 28th of April, after a month long hiatus since March flapped off.

Voyager mostly aired on a Wednesday and the loyal audience was prepared for Wednesdays and were blindsided by anything but Wednesdays.

Jugernaut was a bonus show, becuase if there was a show on Wednesday how on earth would they be prepared to suspect that there were going to be two brand new epiosdes of voyager that week! it's an unthinkable ineffiable impossibibility.

This is back when TV Guide ruled the world, and we got paper cuts trying to figure out when we could go out and get laid or when we had to stay in for must see tv.
Yes, "Juggernaut" is 1 of 2 Voyager episodes that aired on a special night first-run. The series was like a yin-yang, all Monday with 1 Wednesday episode amongst it, all Wednesday with 1 Monday episode amongst it. Those episodes were "Investigations" & "Juggernaut". The 1st was to demo Voyager on Wednesday before moving it there in the fall, the 2nd was for unknown reasons.

"Juggernaut" had such a low rating because it aired (4/26/99) the same week as a new episode and aired before that new episode aired ("Someone to Watch Over Me", 4/28/99). Very easy to miss. And it was the 1st week back from 3 weeks of reruns (Voyager was mostly reruns since "Course: Oblivion" aired 3/3/99, with 2 episodes airing in the middle to break up what would've been a 2 month stretch of reruns). Tune in Wednesday and you wouldn't even know you missed an episode.

I saw every episode of Voyager on its premiere or on the Saturday/Sunday 2ndary timeslot (tv was on for "Resistance", but I slept through the most of it past the beginning...) and regularly kept a tv guide (TV Week from the sunday paper?) around because I watched DS9, Hercules, Xena, et al and their station had a habit of shifting them around for baseball. I was a conscientous viewer to make sure I knew when new episodes were airing to catch or record them and despite all that I still almost missed "Juggernaut". I only remembered 10 or 15 minutes before it aired that it was supposed to air that night. And I knew from the internet (probably Vidiot's site) that it was the more interesting of the 2 episodes that week (it's the Juggernaut bitch, you know. Aren't we all supposed to know what it is?)

Contrast with "Investigations". Now, the week before was a rerun, but if you tuned in Monday 3/11/96 and didn't find Voyager, you'd probably try and find the tv guide and flip through and see it was airing on Wednesday. Where a special timeslot is relative to the primary timeslot is key to the audience having chances to remember or not.


Now, for a little more than a month, there were Tuesday reruns around Sept 1999 in addition to episodes on Wednesday and 1 episode aired on a Tuesday in a summer (Summer 97 I think).



Now, the story behind why "Juggernaut" aired Monday- I'd like to know. It wasn't an issue of not being ready. Star Trek usually wrapped production in March, maybe early April, Juggernaut had 5 episodes ahead of it. They always seemed to have episodes finished well ahead of time. They were no X-Files (they usually finished episodes that Sunday after working all weekend. "Gethsemane" only finished right before the upload date and the West Coast actually got a different version, one that had more CGI work in it). I doubt it wasn't ready to air Wed 4/21/99.

I remember history well (I damn well better since I lived through it and wasn't a child) and there was a certain event Tuesday 4/20/99, one which had an impact on tv scheduling. Columbine led 2 episodes of Buffy to get pulled, 1 episode of 7 Days (Voyager's companion show) to get pulled. "Timeless" aired the next day (4/21/99). Was "Juggernaut" pulled because it was about anger and violence? No. "Timeless" (R) was on the schedule for at least all of April for 4/21/99. Besides, all the delayed episodes aired in Fall 99 or in the case of Buffy's season finale, in July. If it was for its themes, it wouldn't of aired 6 days after Columbine. Now, that 7 Days episode was scheduled to air 4/28/99 but was replaced with a rerun.

Was it just a matter of UPN scheduling being stupid and not scheduling a new ep for 4/21/99 meaning they would have to fit one somewhere? The much loathed Tribune was that incompetent (1 ep of Earth: FC & 1 ep of Mutant X aired in July because they were idiots when it came to scheduling the spring block), but UPN... we have schedules for all 11 1/2 seasons it was on the air. They may have lost a billion dollars over their short history but they weren't idiots when it came to scheduling. Was it just 1 scheduling error that can even happen to other networks every once and awhile (Simpsons in 2002 had a 'bonus episode' air after the season finale)? Who knows. We still don't know why Season 5 had such a late start (mid October).


And "Investigations" is memorable as the only Star Trek episode a future head of state appeared in. The current King of Jordan is seen talking to Harry Kim in 1 scene. I think he was wearing a blue uniform. His father died and he took over in 1999, sometime around the airing of "Dark Frontier" if I recall correctly.

Last edited by DeepSpaceWine; March 4 2012 at 12:55 PM. Reason: added "Inv" factoid
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Old March 4 2012, 05:42 PM   #184
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
Neelix was supposed to be annoying. they wrote an annoying character to piss off the Vulcan.

Success!

Wesley was written to be supercool. The Children watching the show were supposed to want to be Wesley or smooch with Wesley... The adults should have wanted him to be their child, who they could be infinitely proud of for being thoroughly upstanding.

Epic fail.

Neelix was supposed to annoy TUVOK, not the audience.
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Old March 5 2012, 03:48 AM   #185
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

spot_loves_data wrote: View Post
Lynx wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
can you cite support for that, your idea that Neelix was more popular in early seasons, and more popular than Kim or Kes? I really tend to doubt that. I remember in the early days of the interwebs when there were polls of Voyager fans, and Neelix routinely came in as most unpopular character.
I remember that too. It was almost like the "anti-Wesley" campaigns some years earlier.

Neelix got a lot of criticizm and there were also some debates about Janeway and Paris, many liked them but there were those who didn't. Kim was criticized for being boring. As for Kes, she wasn't the most popular character but definitely not the most disliked either.
Ditto. I always assumed Neelix was kept on the show because Phillips was friends with TPTB. I don't have any support for that, it's just that I couldn't think of any other reason to keep him despite his lack of popularity. After all, the audience hated Wesley and he was written off.

I'd trade Neelix for Kes in a heartbeat. The Kes character was just starting to get really interesting when she was got her superpowers and went away. Warlord was just so damn good.
Her superpowers was just a way to have a plot device to get her off the ship. She hadn't used her powers and refused to do so after "Coldfire". She said so at the end of the ep. and in "The Gift" again explains how she hadn't been using them in a while. TPTB had no intention of using Kes' abilities to any great degree because it made her too powerful, therefore there'd be no challenge Voyager would encounter she couldn't fix. Plus we saw how every time she'd used them, she'd cause something dangerous to happen.

This is another reason why she was written into a corner. They gave her abilities that she could never use.
If Kes has the ability as in "Fury" to transverse space and time, then she had the ability to get Voyager home by season 4. Couldn't have that, so she had to go.
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Old March 5 2012, 03:52 AM   #186
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Lynx wrote: View Post
Well, Jeri Taylor wasn't telling the truth when she stated that "Kes wasn't working and was hard to write for". In fact, Mrs. Taylor herself managed to come up with two good Kes stories in the books "Mosaic" and "Pathways".
Huh? "Mosaic" was a flashback novel relating the story of Janeway's pre-Voyager family life and career. Kes was barely in it.

"Pathways" was a collection of "origin stories" of all the other main characters, told round the campfire. Kes had already left the show, so Taylor had to rewrite the Kes tale to be channeled by Neelix.

Neither of which example proves your claim that Jeri Taylor told lies. When a show-runner says a character is hard to write for, and therefore not working as they'd like, they are obviously not telling you all the reasons why that is so. But the writers certainly painted themselves into a corner. Kes was scheduled to become an old woman - very soon - wearing expensive latex wrinkles in every episode till the end.

Not to mention that Taylor and the other writers had no problems with writing stories for Kes in the first three seasons of the show.
But... ideas and opportunities can be exhausted.



Unemployment and auditions.

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
Wesley was written to be supercool. The Children watching the show were supposed to want to be Wesley or smooch with Wesley.
It worked. Wil Wheaton got more fan mail than any other character while he was on the show, AFAIK.

exodus wrote: View Post
That type of fan support can often save a character from getting the boot on a TV, much like Matthew Fox's character on LOST who was supposed to be killed off first season but huge fan support of the character made the TPTB change their minds.
I thought it was that he was originally scheduled to be killed off in the cliffhanger of the pilot episode, but they decided to keep him. This decision was before any episodes had aired.
I'm going to go out on a limb an assume it might have been a test audience then.
All your other points, I agree with as well.
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Old March 5 2012, 04:27 AM   #187
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

jpch wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Both the producers and the studio felt that the character wasn't working. When the character of Seven of Nine was conceived, there was already a sentiment by the studio that there were too many characters on the show as it was (i.e., they needed to trim the budget) and so someone had to go.
totally agree
This implies that they were going to add a character so someone had to go... No, the it worked was, let's get rid of Kes and replace her with a bombshell. That is very different and it was unfortunate.
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Old March 5 2012, 04:52 AM   #188
sonak
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

exodus wrote: View Post
spot_loves_data wrote: View Post
Lynx wrote: View Post

I remember that too. It was almost like the "anti-Wesley" campaigns some years earlier.

Neelix got a lot of criticizm and there were also some debates about Janeway and Paris, many liked them but there were those who didn't. Kim was criticized for being boring. As for Kes, she wasn't the most popular character but definitely not the most disliked either.
Ditto. I always assumed Neelix was kept on the show because Phillips was friends with TPTB. I don't have any support for that, it's just that I couldn't think of any other reason to keep him despite his lack of popularity. After all, the audience hated Wesley and he was written off.

I'd trade Neelix for Kes in a heartbeat. The Kes character was just starting to get really interesting when she was got her superpowers and went away. Warlord was just so damn good.
Her superpowers was just a way to have a plot device to get her off the ship. She hadn't used her powers and refused to do so after "Coldfire". She said so at the end of the ep. and in "The Gift" again explains how she hadn't been using them in a while. TPTB had no intention of using Kes' abilities to any great degree because it made her too powerful, therefore there'd be no challenge Voyager would encounter she couldn't fix. Plus we saw how every time she'd used them, she'd cause something dangerous to happen.

This is another reason why she was written into a corner. They gave her abilities that she could never use.
If Kes has the ability as in "Fury" to transverse space and time, then she had the ability to get Voyager home by season 4. Couldn't have that, so she had to go.
She wasn't "written into a corner," she had some of the best potential of any of the characters. If they were going to keep her around, they simply wouldn't have "powered her up" to the levels of "The Gift."

If they could write for Troi on TNG, they could easily write for Kes on VOY. Kes was like a more powerful and more interesting version of Troi.
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Old March 5 2012, 08:33 AM   #189
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

exodus wrote: View Post
TPTB had no intention of using Kes' abilities to any great degree because it made her too powerful, therefore there'd be no challenge Voyager would encounter she couldn't fix.
Agreed, there's no room for a mini-Q/omnipotent elf living on the ship full time. But to reiterate Sonak's post, her powers wouldn't have been supercharged if they hadn't planned to write her off the show.

exodus wrote: View Post
Plus we saw how every time she'd used them, she'd cause something dangerous to happen.
Hey, that just adds more drama and it's one more reason to keep her on the show. I would have liked to watch her powers develop over a season or two.

sonak wrote: View Post
If they could write for Troi on TNG, they could easily write for Kes on VOY. Kes was like a more powerful and more interesting version of Troi.
Yup, Troi makes for the best comparison, but let's not forget all the other aliens with superpowers, who were also regulars on various series. Vulcans have super strength, telepathy, the ability to mind meld, and greater intelligence. Klingons have super strength. Guinan was old as dirt, had ability to sense alternate realities, and could sort of take on the Q (though she's a recurring cast member, I suppose). Seven was a borg - she had all sorts of super human abilities, and held the health crisis reset button (nanoprobe cure-all). Data and the EMH were superhero-esque.

So, yeah, I don't see any reason why Kes's powers would be too much for the writers to handle.

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
But the writers certainly painted themselves into a corner. Kes was scheduled to become an old woman - very soon - wearing expensive latex wrinkles in every episode till the end.
I'll bet they could've come up with some way around that. There was that colony of Ocampans who lived to 18 or 20, that guy from Seinfeld cured the phage in no time, nanoprobes work wonders, the EMH came up with all sorts of new treatments... there's no shortage of medical miracles.

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Old March 5 2012, 08:46 AM   #190
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

22 Stars wrote: View Post
jpch wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Both the producers and the studio felt that the character wasn't working. When the character of Seven of Nine was conceived, there was already a sentiment by the studio that there were too many characters on the show as it was (i.e., they needed to trim the budget) and so someone had to go.
totally agree
This implies that they were going to add a character so someone had to go... No, the it worked was, let's get rid of Kes and replace her with a bombshell. That is very different and it was unfortunate.
please read every other post in this thread.

Wang was going to be fired.

They changed their mind because of the People sexiest list.

Wang Stayed.

But they had to fire some one.

They'd budgeted for a Termination.

A Termination had to happen.

Jennifer was terminated.
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Old March 5 2012, 08:49 AM   #191
Therin of Andor
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

sonak wrote: View Post
If they could write for Troi on TNG, they could easily write for Kes on VOY. Kes was like a more powerful and more interesting version of Troi.
Keep in mind that Deanna Troi gave the writers many headaches, and they ended up not even using her in several late Season One scripts. Troi was slated to be written out for Season Two, but then Denise Crosby asked to be released from her contract. Then Gates McFadden's contract was not renewed.

Thus, they were stuck with Troi, and added the Ten-Forward set - and planned a counselor's office set - to give Troi some potential strong scenes. They also realised that "The Child", an old Ilia "Phase II" story, would work for Troi. Whoopi Goldberg had declared her availability, Guinan was given the bar set, and Whoopi ended up getting Troi's best potential scenes most times she was able to shoot an episode.

So comparing Kes to Troi is quite apt. Difficult characters/powers to use well.

spot_loves_data wrote: View Post
there's no shortage of medical miracles.
Why not? They'd already stretched believability that the one woman with only seven years left to live would undertake training as the only ship's nurse.
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Old March 5 2012, 02:18 PM   #192
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Lynx wrote: View Post
Well, Jeri Taylor wasn't telling the truth when she stated that "Kes wasn't working and was hard to write for". In fact, Mrs. Taylor herself managed to come up with two good Kes stories in the books "Mosaic" and "Pathways".
Huh? "Mosaic" was a flashback novel relating the story of Janeway's pre-Voyager family life and career. Kes was barely in it.

"Pathways" was a collection of "origin stories" of all the other main characters, told round the campfire. Kes had already left the show, so Taylor had to rewrite the Kes tale to be channeled by Neelix.

Neither of which example proves your claim that Jeri Taylor told lies. When a show-runner says a character is hard to write for, and therefore not working as they'd like, they are obviously not telling you all the reasons why that is so. But the writers certainly painted themselves into a corner. Kes was scheduled to become an old woman - very soon - wearing expensive latex wrinkles in every episode till the end.

Not to mention that Taylor and the other writers had no problems with writing stories for Kes in the first three seasons of the show.
But... ideas and opportunities can be exhausted.
Re-read "Mosaic" and you will see that Kes played a very important role in the story during the crew's adventures on the planet.

And in "Pathways", Taylor managed to come up with a good and detailed background story for Kes, in fact one of the most interesting background stories in that book.

Ideas and opportunities may be exhausted but it's still a somewhat lame excuse in this case, especially if you watch season 3 where it looks like Kes is getting a more important role in the future of the series.

As for the aging thing, my theory is that they probably would have prolonged her lifespan to avoid all the make-up work. It was actually hinted already in "Cold Fire" that it was a possibility.
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Old March 5 2012, 02:29 PM   #193
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

sonak wrote: View Post
She wasn't "written into a corner," she had some of the best potential of any of the characters. If they were going to keep her around, they simply wouldn't have "powered her up" to the levels of "The Gift."

If they could write for Troi on TNG, they could easily write for Kes on VOY. Kes was like a more powerful and more interesting version of Troi.
No, she was not "written into a corner" in any way. That's just one of the lame excuses they tried to come up with to justify their actions. In fact, if you look at season 3, I get the impression that Kes was becoming a more important member of the crew.

However, I must state that the somewhat ridiculous development of her "superpowers" in "The Gift" was a way to dump the character as soon as possible, just as the writer who wrote the story was ordered to do.

It's also ironic that they used Kes's "superpowers" as a way to get rid of her when they just had brought in another main character with "superpowers" who could fix everything with her Borg knowledge.

As for the comparision between Kes and Troi, I think that Kes was the more interesting of those two. Kes had more guts and were in many ways smarter than Troi. Mind you, I actually like Troi too but compared to Kes, she was a bit wimpy sometimes and not as clever. And Kes had at least the good taste not to end up in soppy relationships now and then.
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Old March 5 2012, 06:25 PM   #194
sonak
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
If they could write for Troi on TNG, they could easily write for Kes on VOY. Kes was like a more powerful and more interesting version of Troi.
Keep in mind that Deanna Troi gave the writers many headaches, and they ended up not even using her in several late Season One scripts. Troi was slated to be written out for Season Two, but then Denise Crosby asked to be released from her contract. Then Gates McFadden's contract was not renewed.

Thus, they were stuck with Troi, and added the Ten-Forward set - and planned a counselor's office set - to give Troi some potential strong scenes. They also realised that "The Child", an old Ilia "Phase II" story, would work for Troi. Whoopi Goldberg had declared her availability, Guinan was given the bar set, and Whoopi ended up getting Troi's best potential scenes most times she was able to shoot an episode.

So comparing Kes to Troi is quite apt. Difficult characters/powers to use well.

spot_loves_data wrote: View Post
there's no shortage of medical miracles.
Why not? They'd already stretched believability that the one woman with only seven years left to live would undertake training as the only ship's nurse.

I'm aware of the early difficulties they had with Troi, but the bottom line is that they worked through them. By the second or third season, she was a solid character. And Kes had MORE potential than Troi, so it's kind of silly to say that they had to dump Kes because it was "so hard" to write for her.
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Old March 5 2012, 06:45 PM   #195
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Re: Why was Kes written off the show?

You_Will_Fail wrote: View Post
Well the producers claim that the Kes character wasn't working and they didn't know what to do for her, but as sfdebris said in his "One" review - the writers didn't know what to do with ANYONE so it was hardly a special case for Kes. And Kenneth Biller even said in the season 4 extras that it was a pity that Kes left because there was a lot of potential for storylines given her unique physiology and telepathic powers.
SFdebris summed up the Kes/Seven exchange in his Kes retrospective like this
"Overall while you could have replaced Harry with just about anything and not lose, replacing Kes with Seven was like replacing a home theater system with a motorcycle. You haven't actually upgraded, you've just wound up replacing something with something different. You have something new and great but you've also lost something else you've had that you really liked".

Personally I thought getting rid of Kes was a big mistake, her character had a lot of potential and keeping Kes and Seven on the show would have helped make Voyager be more distinctive by not only having it be much more female-centric but also by having a more diverse mix of characters.
I completely agree with this! Kes was an interesting character, and while Seven was as well, having both could have made for some interesting moments. I think he show could have done without a lot of the other characters. So few actually created a lasting impression.
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