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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 April 16 2014, 10:37 PM   #1
RoJoHen
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What was the point of Sela?

When we first meet her, there is intrigue and shock. How could Tasha Yar have a daughter? Why is she a Romulan commander?

Sela's existence is an interesting follow-up to "Yesterday's Enterprise," but what exactly was the point of bringing her into the fold? Aside from the brief scene in "Redemption" where she meets Picard in the Observation Lounge and talks about her parents, she's basically treated like any random Romulan. She later appears in "Unification," but there's no reason that character had to be Sela. It could have been anybody.

Was there a goal in mind when they wrote her? Aside from the shock value of seeing Denise Crosby in Romulan makeup, was there any intention for a real character arc?
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Old April 16 2014, 10:54 PM   #2
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
When we first meet her, there is intrigue and shock. How could Tasha Yar have a daughter? Why is she a Romulan commander?
Actually, before she was revealed (back when she was just in shadow but you could clearly hear Denise Crosby's voice), I thought she actually was Tasha Yar, and that she'd faked her death and was a Romulan spy all along.

Sela's existence is an interesting follow-up to "Yesterday's Enterprise," but what exactly was the point of bringing her into the fold? Aside from the brief scene in "Redemption" where she meets Picard in the Observation Lounge and talks about her parents, she's basically treated like any random Romulan. She later appears in "Unification," but there's no reason that character had to be Sela. It could have been anybody.

Was there a goal in mind when they wrote her? Aside from the shock value of seeing Denise Crosby in Romulan makeup, was there any intention for a real character arc?
From what I understand, it had to do with Crosby simply wanting to return to TNG in at least a semi-recurring role, and the producers obliging her. I never really had much of a problem with her at the time, but in retrospect I find it odd that this 20-something girl (yes, that was the age Sela was supposed to be) is suddenly now this high-ranking commander of the Romulan forces. Where, exactly, did she get the qualifications to do that, other than her father being some admiral or somesuch? Was it just nepotism?
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Old April 16 2014, 10:58 PM   #3
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

What was the point of Sela?
Exactly.

The point was to let an actress know they didn't hate her.
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Old April 16 2014, 11:48 PM   #4
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

What was the point of Sela?
Denise Crosby wanted a pay check?

Bringing her back for "YE" was brilliant and well-done, hell I think using her in "Redemption" was pretty clever in the time-travel whackery created by "YE" but Sela's use in Unification was too much.
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Old April 17 2014, 12:25 AM   #5
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

Adding Sela pretty much messed up the whole point of bringing back Tasha in YE. Tasha had a lame death in Skin of Evil. In Yesterday's Enterprise, she decided to go out in a blaze of glory in order to avoid her original death. But then with Redemption, we find out that the alternate Tasha survived, had a child, and then .... died a different lame death.

The universe really has it out for Tasha Yar. They even manage to kill Tasha a third time in All Good Things, but that one was finally towards a good cause.

Last edited by jimbotron; April 17 2014 at 12:41 AM.
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Old April 17 2014, 01:53 AM   #6
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

Sela was Crosby's sad desperate attempt to return to TNG. Thankfully, the writing staff abandoned the character after "Unification."
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Old April 17 2014, 03:22 AM   #7
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

^ I suspect that's mostly the truth.

Sela was envisaged by Crosby herself, but as Tasha's human daughter, with Lt Castillo, and who had grown up on Romulus thinking like a Romulan after her parents were captured, and later killed after her birth. The producers were the ones who suggested making her half-Romulan instead, and it was Ronald Moore who thought up the new backstory about alt-Tasha becoming a Romulan sex slave or whatever it was. So Sela as we know her was mostly Moore's work, albeit informed by Crosby's idea for coming back as alt-Tasha's daughter.

Quite what changed between "Redemption" and "Unification" I don't know, but I suspect they still had doubts about the whole endeavour and tried to make the concept work in "Unification", before deciding that Sela was just unworkable and quietly dropped her.

To be honest I'd be fine with that as long as "Unification" suggested closure on the character. But it doesn't really. One can imagine the Romulan big-wigs shunting Sela off after her grand plan to invade Vulcan blew up very publically in her face, but sadly all of that is only inference, and what happens on-screen is that she simply doesn't show up again. It would have been more satisfying for them to have actually drawn a line through the character and said "We're Done", but I suspect they didn't want to categorically rule anything in or out.
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Old April 17 2014, 03:28 AM   #8
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

I always thought she would have been executed, along with the other idiots behind a plan to take over a planet with only 2000 troops.
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Old April 17 2014, 04:55 AM   #9
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

The point of Sela was simple and direct: ratings.

As it happens, I was in the room when one of the TNG producers offhandedly indicated to a number of the show's staff that Crosby would be returning again. The reactions were generally negative - eyerolling, groans - not, as far as I could tell, because of any dislike whatever for Crosby but probably because folks were somewhat protective of "Yesterday's Enterprise," in which they had considerable pride.

The producer was sympathetic, remarking "What can I say? Sweeps casting."
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Old April 17 2014, 07:01 AM   #10
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

We all know how the fanbase reacted to "Mr. Worf......fire" at the end of season 3.

How did the fanbase react at the time to "and humans have a way of showing up when you least expect them" with a Romulan Denise Crosby freezeframe?
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Old April 17 2014, 07:07 AM   #11
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

I don't what the fanbase thought at the time, but when I saw it, I thought "Oh, crap. Not Denise again."
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Old April 17 2014, 11:40 AM   #12
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

Dennis wrote: View Post
The point of Sela was simple and direct: ratings.

As it happens, I was in the room when one of the TNG producers offhandedly indicated to a number of the show's staff that Crosby would be returning again. The reactions were generally negative - eyerolling, groans - not, as far as I could tell, because of any dislike whatever for Crosby but probably because folks were somewhat protective of "Yesterday's Enterprise," in which they had considerable pride.

The producer was sympathetic, remarking "What can I say? Sweeps casting."
Interesting, and also utterly understandable.
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Old April 17 2014, 12:31 PM   #13
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

I don't doubt the story, but I have to question the reasoning of the producers. I mean, they had Leonard Nimoy doing TNG...who the hell cared about Sela?

But following that, I would have been happier if they'd brought her back one more time, just to give the illusion that her character had some sort of arc.
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Old April 17 2014, 05:35 PM   #14
Hober Mallow
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

Apparently the Romulans had both a double of Picard and a virtual double of Yar for years.
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Old April 17 2014, 09:31 PM   #15
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Re: What was the point of Sela?

I am not that fond of Sela came to be, but the crew's WTF reaction and the near-acknowledgement of what the alt-Enterprise crew moved me, and made me think of how YE never happened from their POV, and how their Tasha had been killed by the goo-monster, and her return was utterly out of the blue. I was happy at that in-universe revelation, even if Sela wasn't all that fun to watch.
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