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Old January 7 2014, 05:30 PM   #1
sonak
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Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season 3?

So the story is that originally Harry Kim was going to be killed off at the end of season 3, but instead Kes was ultimately removed from the show. I've always been baffled as to why Neelix wasn't the obvious choice to be replaced with the coming of Seven of Nine.

First, it was no secret that he wasn't popular among fandom. He often came at or near the bottom in polls in online communities and sites. His character was considered annoying and overly jealous and possessive toward Kes.

Secondly, his character was struggling to find direction. The relationship with Kes had ended, and as "Fair Trade" showed, his usefulness as a guide was coming to an end. And as season 7 would show, he didn't really fit in to a "Voyager comes home" storyline since he wasn't from the Alpha Quadrant. It would have made perfect sense to drop him off somewhere at the end of season 3, maybe with some Talaxians as they eventually would.

And yet, as much sense as this would have made, the two candidates for removal were Kim and Kes. This isn't meant to be a "bash Neelix" thread, and I think his character improved in the later seasons, once they found a suitable role for him and he was no longer defined as "Kes' jealous bf," but still, he would have seemed to me to be the obvious choice for writing out of the show, not Kim or Kes.
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Old January 7 2014, 05:46 PM   #2
2takesfrakes
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

Neelix was the only latex alien, how could they get rid of him? And besides, like Spock was in TOS, Nexlix is the outsider, commenting on whatever the story's about, from an outsider's point of view. But yes, he was an annoying, directionless, jealous boyfriend, always trying to find some busy work to do, to keep himself out from underfoot. So while he didn't have the right personality, he had the right look. And in Hollywood, that's all it takes to keep on the Gravey Train for a long ... long time.
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Old January 7 2014, 07:50 PM   #3
SpocksLeftEar
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
Neelix was the only latex alien, how could they get rid of him? And besides, like Spock was in TOS, Nexlix is the outsider, commenting on whatever the story's about, from an outsider's point of view.
This is not quite correct since the role of exploring humanity was actually given to the Docbor (and later 7). Neelix was more kind of a comic relief and only a secondary Spock-a-like.
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Old January 7 2014, 07:57 PM   #4
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

Maybe it was more because Ethan Phillips was the better, more dynamic actor. The character may have been unpopular, but was probably more versatile because of Phillips acting skills.
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Old January 7 2014, 08:19 PM   #5
Guy Gardener
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

Wang was constantly late for work, and showed up with out knowing all his lines routinely.

His behaviour was so bad that they banned him from 2 episodes in season 3 (which cost the boy 10's of thousands of dollars, since he's not going to get paid for work he doesn't do.)

When they hired Jeri, Wangs exits was forgone.

They were going to pay Ms Ryan (Mostly, but I doubt completely) with the money that usually kept Wang fed and housed.

But suddenly they had to keep Wang.

Frakk.

Not enough money?

Not enough money!

Frakk.

...

If Neelix was kept becuase there was more investment in his latex, consider Jennifer the reverse, since she had developed an allergy to latex and could no longer safely wear her ears, and might as well be another bloody human being.
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Old January 7 2014, 09:33 PM   #6
trekker670
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
His behaviour was so bad that they banned him from 2 episodes in season 3 (which cost the boy 10's of thousands of dollars, since he's not going to get paid for work he doesn't do.)
Is this true? I'm not familiar with SAG rules and what's in an actor's contract, but I recall reading something somewhere that stated something to the effect that "regular" actors on a series (those with their names in the opening credits) get paid regardless of whether or not they actually appear in an episode (unless there's a clause stating otherwise). It could be the case that they get more money if they appear in an episode, but still get some base amount if they aren't in an episode. Or this information could be incorrect.
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Old January 7 2014, 09:47 PM   #7
Dale Sams
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

I wonder if any writers said, "Wait, we set Kes up with the melodrama of dying of old age before the series ends....now we're ditching her?"

Lol. Funnily enough, the Harry we see in episode one is indeed quite dead.
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Old January 7 2014, 09:47 PM   #8
Guy Gardener
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

I'm probably making an assumption about the money.

I thought the SAG rule was that if you were on camera in the background that it counted.

Pay or play is another rule used.

But consider, what sort of punishment is a paid vacation?

I suppose that would make him ineligible for residuals, but in season 3, syndication would have seemed like a long way off.
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Old January 7 2014, 09:49 PM   #9
Relayer1
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

I'd have got rid of Neelix. Janeway, Torres, Tuvok and Kes too...
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Old January 7 2014, 09:57 PM   #10
Richard Baker
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

How and what a character contributes to a show should be special and unique- Harry Kim's lines could have been spoken by just about anybody and nothing would have been different. When one of your main cast members is essentially a walk on part, something is wrong.
Never cared much for Neelix/Kes, but at least they were distinctive individuals and brought something to the show.
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Old January 7 2014, 11:49 PM   #11
Guy Gardener
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

Harry was supposed to be a boring failure so that we would identify with him.

Berman is a mean ####.
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Old January 8 2014, 12:03 AM   #12
teacake
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
I'm probably making an assumption about the money.

I thought the SAG rule was that if you were on camera in the background that it counted.

Pay or play is another rule used.

But consider, what sort of punishment is a paid vacation?

I suppose that would make him ineligible for residuals, but in season 3, syndication would have seemed like a long way off.
When I saw Wang at a con he said they hardly make any money from syndication, dvd's etc..

Though what his hardly any money means I don't know. He talked about it like they get a couple hundred in the mail every few months.
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Old January 8 2014, 12:24 AM   #13
Relayer1
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

Ethan Phillips.

Neelix grated on me rather less as the show went on, largely due to his portrayal. Despite the scripts...
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Last edited by Relayer1; January 8 2014 at 09:39 AM.
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Old January 8 2014, 12:24 AM   #14
USS Triumphant
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

If what I have read is correct, Neelix was originally envisioned as the hero of the whole series, and I'd bet that even if his role was ultimately diminished, there was someone in the creative team that still loved the character and held on to some of that.
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Old January 8 2014, 12:34 AM   #15
teacake
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Re: Why Wasn't Neelix considered a candidate for removal after season

Neelix never bothered me at all, I thought he was a decent outsider character if under used and over humanized, but that's par for Trek. VOY is the comedy of the Trek stable and Neelix fits right in with that.
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