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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old July 17 2009, 11:10 AM   #1
Navaros
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"Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

I was watching the scant 'extras' (I am loathe to call them that since that word itself is way more high praise than they merit) on the Season 2 DVDs and Piller (I think) made a comment to the effect that since there was so much history in Trek before DS9, they could draw from the good things already established. Piller said something like "Trill: that's an interesting race, so let's use them."

I must strongly disagree with Piller. There is nothing interesting about the Trill race. For all intents and purposes, they are identical to humans, only far more boring, because they constantly say things like, "In a past life I did this, in a past life I did that" in the most mundane, colossally-uninteresting way possible. IMO the Trill are interesting only insomuch as a surefire cure for insomnsia, because listening to them endlessly drone on and on about generic stuff that no one cares about makes staying awake an extremely difficult challenge. Then again, even that is not interesting because all they are doing is lifting the behaviours of elderly persons; in other words, an already-established age-old human trait.

Now, if the Trill were to show the different personalities of all their past lives constantly, and always be switching between them, that would make Trill be an interesting race. In fact, that is about the only thing I can think of that would possibly make Trill an interesting race. I suspect somewhere along the line some of TPTB must have realized this, but they backed down because they were afraid the Trill actors wouldn't have the acting talent to pull off making them interesting by doing that.
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Old July 17 2009, 11:36 AM   #2
Captrek
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

I agree, mostly. It might have had the potential to be an interesting race back in S1 when they were trying to develop this concept of a “joined being,” but they pretty much abandoned that in favor of a model where the symbiont really has no personality of its own, it’s just a mechanism for passing some knowledge and memories from one person to another.

They repeatedly went to lengths to emphasize that Jadzia Dax and Curzon Dax were entirely different people. But they never made much of an attempt to establish that Jadzia Dax was really a different person than unjoined Jadzia. She had some of her previous hosts’ memories and knowledge, but that just gave her some new tools rather than making her an entirely different person. Jadzia usually referred to her previous hosts in the third person, but as far as I can recall (as far as I’ve gotten in the series) never referred to unjoined Jadzia in the third person. The case of Joran Dax shows that the joined Trill inherits the values of the host, not the symbiont. Jadzia Dax’s ignorance of Curzon Dax’s love for Jadzia shows that the joined Trill does not inherit the feelings and emotional reactions of the previous hosts. There’s no newly-created “joined being” at all. Just a humanoid carrying a memory-providing parasite.

Last edited by Captrek; July 17 2009 at 01:05 PM.
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Old July 17 2009, 11:46 AM   #3
Deckerd
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

Navaros wrote: View Post
but they backed down because they were afraid the Trill actors wouldn't have the acting talent to pull off making them interesting by doing that.
Who can you mean?

Seriously, I thought it was a missed opportunity too. On the other hand, DS9 had an unusually high number of regular cast members, so chances were bound to be missed. To be honest I found the Trill a bit doormatty, in that the race was beholden to creatures who were to all intents and purposes parasites.
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Old July 17 2009, 12:49 PM   #4
happydave
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

The one huge missed card was that they initially made Jadzia all perfect for the joining. As we've basically all seen, the characters with the most depth / interest are the ones with issues. In making Jadzia all perfect for the joining we lost so many plot threads about her dealing with the issue of multiple sets of memories and identity, what makes someone 'who they are', among other things. There was a whole bunch of ideas which if you made her flawed you could mine for the entire series. Issues of perspective, revision of/ incorrect history etc. I can see when Behr does say they had a million Ezri stories in Season 7, a lot of them could have been Jadzia stories if they didn't originally have Jadzia as a comfortable joined Trill.

But in the end they decided to made Jadzia a science officer which of course led to her answering the science questions since she had so much experience/knowledge (like Data in TNG), but unfortunately when writing for the character they never bothered to fill in her knowledge about inter-personal issues which is just amazing. For someone who has lived so many lives and had so many experiences from all different viewpoints (from Diplomat to Murderer to Musician to Sportswoman) Jadzia does seem to lack a lot of ability to recognise someone else's opinion. A few times Sisko had to basically hit her over the back of the head to get her to see sense.

Though I guess the one thing they did manage to pull off wonderfully (if it was intentional) is that they did make her fairly smug which is an attribute I can see confident Trill's with (I've had years of experience so I know better), as some human adults do show this characteristic even after a few years.
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Old July 17 2009, 01:10 PM   #5
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

I always liked the Trill, and the character of Jadzia. I agree, though, that the TV series did not do them justice. Happily, the books have explored the issue of Joining in much more depth (and the ideas involved translate far better into print stories than screen stories).
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Old July 17 2009, 01:20 PM   #6
Pemmer Harge
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

I regret that I find it hard to take a species named after a brand of birdseed seriously... Dax was OK though, although she was not always well served by the writers.
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Old July 17 2009, 02:36 PM   #7
Jono
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

Pemmer Harge wrote: View Post
I regret that I find it hard to take a species named after a brand of birdseed seriously... Dax was OK though, although she was not always well served by the writers.
How about a character that was named after a German stock market index?
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Old July 17 2009, 03:07 PM   #8
Seven of Five
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

I liked the Trill but agree that they were never used to their full potential. I liked Jadzia, but when Ezri joined, it was more interesting. Of course developing her was done so at the expense of other potential storylines during season 7, so bit of a double-edged sword really.
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Old July 17 2009, 03:14 PM   #9
Pemmer Harge
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

I've not seen the Ezri stuff, but it's a bit odd they gave her so much character development when they really didn't give Jadzia any at all until about half way through season 2 (witness the episodes Dax and Invasive Procedures, that are nominally about her, but in which she barely speaks...)
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Old July 17 2009, 05:08 PM   #10
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

Pemmer Harge wrote: View Post
I've not seen the Ezri stuff, but it's a bit odd they gave her so much character development when they really didn't give Jadzia any at all until about half way through season 2 (witness the episodes Dax and Invasive Procedures, that are nominally about her, but in which she barely speaks...)
Well they knew the show would end with that season, and they had a new character - naturally they decided to give her a lot of screentime and development immediately, before concluding the show's storyarc in the final chapter. There was later time when they could do it.
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Old July 17 2009, 05:15 PM   #11
Sci
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

Anyone who thinks Trill society is boring needs to read Trill: Unjoined by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels.
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Old July 17 2009, 07:10 PM   #12
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

Pemmer Harge wrote: View Post
I've not seen the Ezri stuff, but it's a bit odd they gave her so much character development when they really didn't give Jadzia any at all until about half way through season 2 (witness the episodes Dax and Invasive Procedures, that are nominally about her, but in which she barely speaks...)
That's probably the key problem about the Trill - they spend so much time developing the past lives of Dax, Lela, Tobin, Emony, Audrid, Torias, Joran, and Curzon, that they completely forget to develop Jadzia. They just didn't do much with her. I think the most we learn about her beyond the fact that she's joined to Dax in her six years on the show is a throw-away line about her having a sister. They just don't do anything with the character of Jadzia.

It would have been a fascinating idea to have an episode that cuts Jadzia off from the symbiont without removing it so that we could actually meet the woman behind the slug, so to speak, like what was done in the DS9 novel Cathedrel. Give us a chance to meet the pre-symbiont character so that we can see how being joined has affected her.
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Old July 17 2009, 07:22 PM   #13
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

Sci wrote: View Post
Anyone who thinks Trill society is boring needs to read Trill: Unjoined by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels.
And if they have and still think Trill society is boring?
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Old July 17 2009, 07:42 PM   #14
AdmiralGarak
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

Deckerd wrote: View Post
To be honest I found the Trill a bit doormatty, in that the race was beholden to creatures who were to all intents and purposes parasites.
Oddly enough, I view them the other way around. The symbionts are completely beholden to getting crammed into the guts of a series of short-lived bipeds to have any chance at a life better than that of a cave salamander.
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Old July 17 2009, 08:21 PM   #15
Sci
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Re: "Trill: that's an interesting race"...um, no, no it's not

Jono wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Anyone who thinks Trill society is boring needs to read Trill: Unjoined by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels.
And if they have and still think Trill society is boring?
Then they're pure crazy. No society that torn apart by elitism, secrecy, and domestic terrorism can reasonably called "boring."
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