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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

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

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Old July 16 2013, 03:09 AM   #1
mythme
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Why French?

I'm sure this is addressed somewhere. Why was Picard conceived as being French. Why, once a English actor was cast, did he remain French? Why not recon the part to be British or even have Stewart use a fake French accent? Why the hardline push for Picard being French?
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Old July 16 2013, 03:22 AM   #2
Sir Rhosis
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Re: Why French?

No proof, but I believe I've heard it was in honor of Jacques Cousteau.

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Old July 16 2013, 03:24 AM   #3
Trekker4747
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Re: Why French?

mythme wrote: View Post
I'm sure this is addressed somewhere. Why was Picard conceived as being French. Why, once a English actor was cast, did he remain French? Why not recon the part to be British or even have Stewart use a fake French accent? Why the hardline push for Picard being French?
I think him trying to do a French accent would have been painful and terrible for everyone involved. To make the character BRITISH you'd have to at the very least give the character a new name and potentially change some other character details that may have been in the series bible. But, really, I'm not clear why. Those could all be hurdles, sure, but not impossible ones to get through. But it could just boil down to they liked the name Jean-Luc Picard for the name of the character and probably just assumed that sometime between "now" and "then" French people merge culturally (at least linguistically. I believe Data even says French is a "dead language") with Brittan. Once a unified Earth happened it's likely a LOT of cultural borders broke down especially if travel between countries and such became easier and faster (there may be something in a non-canon background about Picard having doing extensive schooling in England.)
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Old July 16 2013, 03:27 AM   #4
R. Star
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Re: Why French?

World War 3 consisted of Britain conquering France.
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Old July 16 2013, 03:30 AM   #5
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Re: Why French?

mythme wrote: View Post
I'm sure this is addressed somewhere. Why was Picard conceived as being French. Why, once a English actor was cast, did he remain French? Why not recon the part to be British or even have Stewart use a fake French accent? Why the hardline push for Picard being French?
I've wondered this myself. Why not just make the character British? What's the big deal?
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Old July 16 2013, 03:33 AM   #6
Pavonis
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Re: Why French?

Why not French? And why would he speak with an accent? It is possible to learn a language so well as to speak it without an accent. And if Picard speaks English as a second language, Britain's proximity would undoubtedly lead to him developing a British accent rather than a neutral one.
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Old July 16 2013, 03:50 AM   #7
Mr. Adventure
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Re: Why French?

A Frenchman with a British accent who's into Shakespeare and Earl Grey tea.
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Old July 16 2013, 03:58 AM   #8
Trekker4747
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Re: Why French?

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
A Frenchman with a British accent who's into Shakespeare and Earl Grey tea.
And is also a wine aficionado and grew up on the family vineyard.
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Old July 16 2013, 04:06 AM   #9
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Re: Why French?

Sir Rhosis wrote: View Post
No proof, but I believe I've heard it was in honor of Jacques Cousteau.
Yes, and also he was named for the pioneering aviator-scientists the Piccard brothers. And I think Roddenberry wanted more of an international feel.

As for the accent, it's no more problematical than having African native Uhura speak with a Chicago accent. Or having Vulcan native Spock speak with a Boston accent. Or having an Indian Sikh named Khan speak with a Mexican accent.
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Old July 16 2013, 04:08 AM   #10
Nerys Myk
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Re: Why French?

R. Star wrote: View Post
World War 3 consisted of Britain conquering France.
As I've said before, they, just took back the land they lost in the 13th Century.
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Old July 16 2013, 04:19 AM   #11
TheSubCommander
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Re: Why French?

I always had a theory that the name Picard was chosen by Roddenberry because it sounds similar to Pike. Being French was secondary.
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Old July 16 2013, 04:20 AM   #12
scotpens
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Re: Why French?

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
mythme wrote: View Post
. . . Why, once an English actor was cast, did he remain French? Why not recon the part to be British or even have Stewart use a fake French accent? Why the hardline push for Picard being French?
I think him trying to do a French accent would have been painful and terrible for everyone involved.
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Sir Rhosis wrote: View Post
No proof, but I believe I've heard it was in honor of Jacques Cousteau.
Yes, and also he was named for the pioneering aviator-scientists the Piccard brothers.
According to Wiki:
Gene Roddenberry named Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek after one or both of the twin brothers Auguste and Jean Felix Piccard, and derived Jean-Luc Picard from their names.
BTW, the Piccard brothers were actually Swiss.
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Last edited by scotpens; July 16 2013 at 04:33 AM.
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Old July 16 2013, 04:21 AM   #13
Mr. Adventure
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Re: Why French?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Or having an Indian Sikh named Khan speak with a Mexican accent.
That was a rich Corinthian accent.
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Old July 16 2013, 04:51 AM   #14
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Why French?

Why wouldn't Picard speak Received Pronunciation English (or the 24th century thereof)? The character should probably have had more Gallic attributes, but he might well gravitate toward a British way of speaking English. Indeed, Received Pronunciation is a legitimate magnet in today's world for those aspiring to speak English, and people in many parts of the world perceive the way Englishmen pronounce words to be more prestigious. And if I am not mistaken, it is the way that most Europeans are taught English.
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Old July 16 2013, 05:08 AM   #15
Third Nacelle
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Re: Why French?

Picard's brother, nephew, sister-in-law, and that Louis guy were all French but spoke English - to each other! - in France! - with English accents.

That either means English has become Earth's primary language by the 24th century and the English accent spread out to the continent, or perhaps Picard was speaking French the whole time and the univeral translator gives him the accent.
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