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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 November 19 2014, 09:54 PM   #1
Nick086
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Wesley Crusher

I think if they made him young Starfleet officer fresh out of the academy i think viewers may of like or tolerated the character in the series.
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Old November 19 2014, 11:17 PM   #2
2takesfrakes
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Re: Wesley Crusher

Wesley should've been an adopted child of Bev & Jack's, with his exact origins in question. Perhaps, they found him as an infant and saved him from someplace foriegn. And though he's been taken as Human and in all probability is Human, there's something special about the boy. Instead, he's the fruit of Bev's womb and his family history is well known, so when he's marched in front of the camera and presented as The Next Step in Human Evolution ... audiences are displeased. Wesley is Gene Roddenberry's fantasy version of himself as a kid and wanted him to be more or less on the road we actually saw him on. When a character is framed in that fashion, what are you going to do? You know? What are you going to do ...
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Old November 19 2014, 11:41 PM   #3
f14peter
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Re: Wesley Crusher

Oy, where to start ...

I guess it begins with the whole "boy genius" schtick, in reality an already overused storyline. Then let's stir in some "he's extraordinarily gifted, almost Super-Einstein" and/or "Traveler Junior capable of unimaginable feats of brilliance" accented by the overbearing Starfleet Mother shamefully using her influence on the Captain to curry favor for her son (to which Picard eventually caves in with the whole "Acting Ensign" baloney).

Bake well with annoying know-it-all "excuse me Captain, but you're WRONG!" interjections, endanger the ship and/or personnel with ill-monitored home-grown experiments that get shrugged off with pat the shoulder and "oh Wesley, you scamp you!" Your problemtron experiment wasn't your fault" and able to pull out the magic McGuffin on demand.

Serve with an insufferably silly grin every time somebody praises him.

That all said, recently watched FINAL MISSION, clearly Weaton's best performance.

Okay, maybe a bit harsh but I really didn't like the character
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Old November 20 2014, 12:43 AM   #4
Orphalesion
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Re: Wesley Crusher

Yeah Wesley was not fun, I sincerely wish they would have traded him to the Talarians in exchange for Jono. At least that guy would have been competent/less annoying.

The ""boy genius" aspect would have had to be the first part of his character to go in order to make him likable.I have no idea why many writers/producers/whatever think that "smug, (pseudo) intelligent git" would be a likable character. I'm not saying intelligent characters can't be likable; Data is intelligent, but he is not arrogant about it and thus likable. A humbler Wesley might have been easier to stomach.

Making him a young ensign fresh from the academy unrelated to Dr. Crusher might have improved him, but wasn't his point to demonstrate that there were families on board? (which could have been done better as well in giving someone a spouse and a very young child perhaps, but then Roddenberry couldn't have had his crew of swinging singles like in TOS)
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Old November 20 2014, 12:46 AM   #5
Lance
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Re: Wesley Crusher

Early in TNG's conception, the production team (apparently at Bob Justman's suggestion) toyed with the idea of making him 'Leslie Crusher' instead -- a female character, partially because Justman theorized the boy genius trope in television was a little tired and that it might be good to mix it up with a girl genius instead, and partly because they thought there might be dramatic possibilities in exploring a mother/daughter relationship, something that at that point TV had rarely explored.

In retrospect I think Justman had the right idea, and one wonders if the public reception to the character might've been very different if he'd been female...

As far as the character we got, even at the time I thought the way he was written out in "Journey's End" was wrong. Yes, it sent a very powerful message about following your heart instead of your head, but really, it was so not the way for this particular character to go. I can't think of a character who'd be less likely to drop out than Wesley Crusher. It was a major out-of-character moment.
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Old November 20 2014, 12:52 AM   #6
Dobian
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Re: Wesley Crusher

Too bad Wesley wasn't played by today's Will Wheaton a la The Big Bang theory. The character would have been way better, lol.
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Old November 20 2014, 12:53 AM   #7
Lance
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Re: Wesley Crusher

I thought his cameo in that deleted scene in Nemesis was decent. It's a pity they didn't do more with him, there's certainly potential in an adult Wesley Crusher back in Starfleet.
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Old November 20 2014, 01:09 AM   #8
Orphalesion
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Re: Wesley Crusher

Lance wrote: View Post
Early in TNG's conception, the production team (apparently at Bob Justman's suggestion) toyed with the idea of making him 'Leslie Crusher' instead -- a female character, partially because Justman theorized the boy genius trope in television was a little tired and that it might be good to mix it up with a girl genius instead, and partly because they thought there might be dramatic possibilities in exploring a mother/daughter relationship, something that at that point TV had rarely explored.

In retrospect I think Justman had the right idea, and one wonders if the public reception to the character might've been very different if he'd been female...
Yes I have heard about Leslie. Handled good I could have imagined her to be a lot like Kitty Pryde in the old X-Men comics. However handled just as badly as Wesley was, she might have ended up something like Rose Tyler or Rory Gilmore. A wish fulfillment character is a wish fulfillment character no matter what gender.

However at least Leslie would have skewed the male/female ratio a bit more and had probably given Beverly more possibel interactions.

There could have been a lot of possibilities actually; in addition to having that mother/daughter relationship explored Leslie could have looked up to/idolized Tasha Yar or Troi and in later seasons might have gotten romantically involved with one of the male cast (Geordie?) leading to conflict between the guy and Beverly who accuses him of robbing her cradle.
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Old November 20 2014, 02:43 AM   #9
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Re: Wesley Crusher

Orphalesion wrote: View Post
Lance wrote: View Post
Early in TNG's conception, the production team (apparently at Bob Justman's suggestion) toyed with the idea of making him 'Leslie Crusher' instead -- a female character, partially because Justman theorized the boy genius trope in television was a little tired and that it might be good to mix it up with a girl genius instead, and partly because they thought there might be dramatic possibilities in exploring a mother/daughter relationship, something that at that point TV had rarely explored.

In retrospect I think Justman had the right idea, and one wonders if the public reception to the character might've been very different if he'd been female...
Yes I have heard about Leslie. Handled good I could have imagined her to be a lot like Kitty Pryde in the old X-Men comics. However handled just as badly as Wesley was, she might have ended up something like Rose Tyler or Rory Gilmore. A wish fulfillment character is a wish fulfillment character no matter what gender.

However at least Leslie would have skewed the male/female ratio a bit more and had probably given Beverly more possibel interactions.

There could have been a lot of possibilities actually; in addition to having that mother/daughter relationship explored Leslie could have looked up to/idolized Tasha Yar or Troi and in later seasons might have gotten romantically involved with one of the male cast (Geordie?) leading to conflict between the guy and Beverly who accuses him of robbing her cradle.
Or better yet the Captain now that robbing the cradle to a far or make it odd make have a strange attraction towards Data or Mott the Bolian barber.

http://youtu.be/jBZ5OLy2EDg
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Old November 20 2014, 03:29 AM   #10
trekshark
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Re: Wesley Crusher

first season wesley was pretty bad. second season was better
after they put him in a real uniform he was decent

and to be clear, my issues are with the writing, not the actor. Will Wheaton was fine as an actor even as a kid
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Old November 20 2014, 05:08 AM   #11
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Re: Wesley Crusher

Lance wrote: View Post
I thought his cameo in that deleted scene in Nemesis was decent. It's a pity they didn't do more with him, there's certainly potential in an adult Wesley Crusher back in Starfleet.
I agree wholeheartedly. I always thought the Traveler advanced Wesley farther than he should have evolved, probably for companionship, and Wesley finally realized he wasn't supposed to be roaming around like that and went back to Starfleet, and his original iteration (human) so he could live the life he started with.
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Old November 20 2014, 06:29 AM   #12
Lance
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Re: Wesley Crusher

FormerLurker wrote: View Post
Lance wrote: View Post
I thought his cameo in that deleted scene in Nemesis was decent. It's a pity they didn't do more with him, there's certainly potential in an adult Wesley Crusher back in Starfleet.
I agree wholeheartedly. I always thought the Traveler advanced Wesley farther than he should have evolved, probably for companionship, and Wesley finally realized he wasn't supposed to be roaming around like that and went back to Starfleet, and his original iteration (human) so he could live the life he started with.
I liken the idea of Wesley's diversion in "Journey's End" being like a kid who drops out after college to do a gap year travelling the world, and coming back to Starfleet (and humanity) with all kinds of advanced experiences from his travels, which are of a benefit both to both Starfleet and also to him as a person (rounding him out in ways that simply moving straight from the Academy through the ranks would never have allowed).
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Old November 20 2014, 05:00 PM   #13
f14peter
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Re: Wesley Crusher

trekshark wrote: View Post
and to be clear, my issues are with the writing, not the actor. Will Wheaton was fine as an actor even as a kid
Me too, it was the role, not the actor I really didn't care for. And as I mentioned FINAL MISSION had him playing Wesley not as the insufferable smartass but as a young adult, and he played it rather well.

A female iteration might have been interesting, especially the mother-daughter angle, but it still would have had to ditch the "semi-superbeing uber-genius destined for multi-planal experiences" angle. Either version, boy or girl and still Beverly's offspring storylined out as extremely intelligent, but still corporeal, fast-tracking through the Academy serving some sort of internship on the Enterprise would have been much more palatable .
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Old November 21 2014, 02:47 AM   #14
Praxius
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Re: Wesley Crusher

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
Wesley should've been an adopted child of Bev & Jack's, with his exact origins in question. Perhaps, they found him as an infant and saved him from someplace foriegn. And though he's been taken as Human and in all probability is Human, there's something special about the boy. Instead, he's the fruit of Bev's womb and his family history is well known, so when he's marched in front of the camera and presented as The Next Step in Human Evolution ... audiences are displeased. Wesley is Gene Roddenberry's fantasy version of himself as a kid and wanted him to be more or less on the road we actually saw him on. When a character is framed in that fashion, what are you going to do? You know? What are you going to do ...
Maybe Wesley was brought about through natural causes in human nature, but what about his Father, Jack?

Maybe there was something odd about his background that was never mentioned.

Beverly's family already had a long history of having a phantom alien seducing the women of the family and sorta sucking the life out of them.... there's a few unknowns.
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Old November 21 2014, 07:11 AM   #15
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Wesley Crusher

Wesley was annoying as hell to watch, the whole 'boy genius' thing made him very unlikeable from very beginning which tarred him throughout.

The character could've worked better if they'd stuck with Leslie (another actor with more charm might've shaved off the harsh edges), whilst also having a close mother/daughter bond and Bev laying the law down to Riker about keeping his distance if he wants to keep all his appendages in place.

Likewise having Wesley/Leslie as an alien (especially one with a significant amount of prosethetics) who was adopted by the Crushers' would also have been an interesting angle, though already exists in TNG in the form of Worf (as well as partially through Data and Yar too). But withe the W/L character having that backstory Worf might've been dropped entirely or reworked into something different.

Alternatively, had the W/L been new, rookie officer from the very beginning it would've opened up even more stories, with more plots and elements similar to "Lower Decks" where life onboard is looked at from those without the privilege of rank or position. They could have been used as the audience perspective at times, with things being explained to them since they were such a green character, whilst also making importNt contributions when on the bridge or volunteering for away missions, enough to have Picard and Riker really sit up and take notice of the newbie.
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