RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 135,698
Posts: 5,213,701
Members: 24,208
Currently online: 792
Newest member: meshman63


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Welcome to the Trek BBS! > General Trek Discussion

General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 8 2013, 12:47 PM   #16
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: How characters received their names

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
TV shows can't name a character after anybody out of the 300 million people in the United States?

How do any TV characters have common names?!
The goal is to avoid names that are too identifiable with a specific individual -- either because there's only one person in the country with that name, as stated above, or because there's a real person with that name who comes too close to the character's description, e.g. having the same job. For instance, in the Dresden Files novels, one of the main characters is Chicago detective Karrin Murphy, but for the TV adaptation, the researchers learned there was a real Chicago detective named Karen Murphy, so they changed the character's name to Connie Murphy for the show.

It's related to the disclaimer you always see, "The characters in this show are fictitious and any resemblance to any individual, living or dead, is purely coincidental." It's a hedge against lawsuits for defamation in case someone thinks a fictional character is based on them and portraying them in a bad light, or otherwise undermining their ability to earn a livelihood.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 1/21/14 including non-spoiler discussion for Rise of the Federation Book 2

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8 2013, 06:17 PM   #17
alpha_leonis
Captain
 
Re: How characters received their names

Christopher wrote: View Post
It's related to the disclaimer you always see, "The characters in this show are fictitious and any resemblance to any individual, living or dead, is purely coincidental." It's a hedge against lawsuits for defamation in case someone thinks a fictional character is based on them and portraying them in a bad light, or otherwise undermining their ability to earn a livelihood.
Which I find really amusing, considering that my sister IRL is a young-adult novelist, and her first book was based directly on our family. A fictional version of me makes a couple of cameos as the main character's younger brother. And yet her book still carries that disclaimer!
alpha_leonis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8 2013, 09:07 PM   #18
scotpens
Vice Admiral
 
scotpens's Avatar
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: How characters received their names

Christopher wrote: View Post
. . . It's related to the disclaimer you always see, "The characters in this show are fictitious and any resemblance to any individual, living or dead, is purely coincidental." It's a hedge against lawsuits for defamation in case someone thinks a fictional character is based on them and portraying them in a bad light, or otherwise undermining their ability to earn a livelihood.
Those disclaimers seem pretty silly in an obvious film à clef like The Rose or The Greek Tycoon. Of course, a different standard applies in the case of portraying public figures, whether or not the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
__________________
“All the universe or nothingness. Which shall it be, Passworthy? Which shall it be?”
scotpens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9 2013, 02:19 AM   #19
Maurice
Vice Admiral
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Location: Maurice in San Francisco
Re: How characters received their names

"The names have been changed to protect us from lawsuits."
__________________
* * *
“The absence of limitations is the enemy of art.”
― Orson Welles
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9 2013, 02:31 AM   #20
CDR6
Lieutenant Commander
 
CDR6's Avatar
 
Re: How characters received their names

Dr. McCoy being called "Bones" (TOS) a contraction of the term "Sawbones", which comes from the old nautical term for a doctor... and has nothing to do with a divorce... (ST 2009)
__________________
We're Star Trek fans, weird is just part of the job.
CDR6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9 2013, 03:07 AM   #21
Nerys Myk
Fleet Admiral
 
Nerys Myk's Avatar
 
Location: House of Kang, now with ridges
Re: How characters received their names

CDR6 wrote: View Post
Dr. McCoy being called "Bones" (TOS) a contraction of the term "Sawbones", which comes from the old nautical term for a doctor... and has nothing to do with a divorce... (ST 2009)
I don't think that's exclusively nautical. It was a widespread term derived from a surgeon's tendency to amputate limbs.

As I kid I thought McCoy was called "Bones" because he was thin.
__________________
The boring one, the one with Khan, the one where Spock returns, the one with whales, the dumb one, the last one, the one with Kirk, the one with the Borg, the stupid one, the bad one, the new one, the other one with Khan.
Nerys Myk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9 2013, 11:06 PM   #22
CDR6
Lieutenant Commander
 
CDR6's Avatar
 
Re: How characters received their names

More on Sawbones-
From what I understand from our "Doc" in our civil war reenacting group (he is a real doc) so I will call him a "resource". The term predates the American Civil War, from where it gained wide spread use. He said it was used by the author Charles Dickens, some twenty or so years pryor in one of his stories. (He told me which of Dickens works but I've got a dead cell in the old noggen today). So you are in fact, at least partly correct.

Regards,
Chuck
__________________
We're Star Trek fans, weird is just part of the job.
CDR6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9 2013, 11:29 PM   #23
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: How characters received their names

In real life, "Bones" was coined by the writers based on "Sawbones." But we never heard it stated that that was the in-universe derivation as well, so the movie wasn't wrong to offer a different one.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 1/21/14 including non-spoiler discussion for Rise of the Federation Book 2

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10 2013, 01:06 AM   #24
Harvey
Admiral
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Re: How characters received their names

Christopher wrote: View Post
The goal is to avoid names that are too identifiable with a specific individual -- either because there's only one person in the country with that name, as stated above, or because there's a real person with that name who comes too close to the character's description, e.g. having the same job. For instance, in the Dresden Files novels, one of the main characters is Chicago detective Karrin Murphy, but for the TV adaptation, the researchers learned there was a real Chicago detective named Karen Murphy, so they changed the character's name to Connie Murphy for the show.
Indeed. Here's an obscure example of this policy of legal clearance on Star Trek, from a May 29, 1967 de Forest Research memo for "Amok Time":

Admiral Westervliet -- There is a serving Captain in the United States Navy, Westervelt. To avoid conflicts, suggest: Komack, used in previous scripts.
Either this issue was later resolved or the name slipped under the producer's radar since an Admiral Westervliet later appeared in "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky," although the name wasn't spoken on screen. (Interestingly, the same actor -- Byron Morrow -- played both Komack and Westervliet. I wonder if the name slipped into the end credits of the season three episode by mistake?)
__________________
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:10 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.