Did TNG have too many characters at first?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by The Overlord, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    Did TNG have too many characters at first? It seems like TNG got better after Tasha Yar died and they focused more on other characters like Worf, with one less character hogging the spotlight. It seems like at first there were too many characters to handle, Tasha Yar made Worf seem redundant. Also the series got even better after Wesley Cruhser was demoted to guest star.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  2. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, just because they didn't know how to use them effectively, it doesn't mean there were too many characters in an absolute sense. DS9 did splendidly with a considerably larger ensemble. Rather, they had to many characters for the direction of storytelling they chose too adopt. TNG wasn't really a very character-driven show, especially early on before Piller came along, and there were too many characters for the little character time they had going around initially.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I am sure the "equal screen time" clause that was in place for the tng actors didn't help either. Or was that just a myth?
     
  4. Bisz

    Bisz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm with Sho, other shows have managed to do very well with larger casts (DS9, Firefly). It all goes to what kind of show you are doing and TNG was a show about going places and doing things, not about characters developing. And that's where I agree with you Overlord, there was no need for both Tasha and Worf since there was no need for two security people.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If they had a larger cast we might've been spared such classics as Birthright, Sub Rosa, Inheritance and Bloodlines.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Worf wasn't a security person til Crosby left the show...
     
  7. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the problem was more that Yar and Wesley just weren't terribly interesting characters. The writers clearly had a hard time thinking up good storylines for them, and it just made sense that they finally had to go.

    Of course Troi, Beverly, and George weren't all that interesting either, but they at least served a functional purpose on the show.
     
  8. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sarcasm sensor is broken, because I thought Birthright and Bloodlines were good episodes...
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That makes one of us... :techman:
     
  10. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think some of this is true. Remember, it's not just Tasha. LaForge was on the bridge meaning they had to have a guest star in Engineering. Wesley was annoying becase this was a character with no training that knew everything. Why is he on the bridge of the flagship of the Federation? There was something very mystical abot his character in the first season. Worf was essentially a guest-star in the first season. He had nothing important to do or say (until Heart of Glory).

    But the series had other problems as well. They didn't have any mysteries--characters figured out what was happening, speculated. For instance, in Datalore without any testing of the hypothesis Riker comes up with all the answers and there's no investigation or confirmation. That's bad writing.

    The bridge crew was too eager to please and behaved like they werre always under fire. I found the audiotrack to be quite annoying.

    Anyway, I like the pace of the show once the third season rolled around. The subtle nature of Patrick Stewart's acting and it really became a show about Picard's decisions. We didn't have too many problems that didn't end up on his desk.

    I like Worf better in DS9 than the brute he was in TNG. I don't like Riker much. These were foils around Picard. It wasn't as much of an ensemble as we like to portray.
     
  11. BennyRussel

    BennyRussel Commander Red Shirt

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    Anwar I don't know why people rip on "Birthright." I thought it was a good episode.

    HaventGotALife please elaborate on the above statement. Are you saying they were too eager to follow the Captain's orders? It seems to me that they were just doing their jobs.

    HaventGotALife I agree that the "ensemble" became "Stewart/Spiner/Dorn." Not to the extreme that it became "Shatner/Nimoy/Kelley" on TOS but close.
     
  12. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the "Birthright" two-parter may have been Worf's best outing in the franchise.
     
  13. Anji

    Anji Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There were too many characters in the beginning...and I think in another two or three edits of the piolet Gene and Dorothy would've seen their mistakes.

    I heard there were some heated arguments between Roddenberry and Berman in regards to rearranging the characters, but I have never heard what each party wanted to do.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  14. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Later on they had Chief Obrien, Ensign Ro, Reg Barclay added to the mix.

    RAMA
     
  15. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think most of the problems with the characters had to do with the fact that people high up in the food chain were at odds with the staff writers. I know Maurice Hurley screwed over Tracey Torme's original script for The Royale and IIRC he blocked the writer for The Arsenal of Freedom from establishing a Picard/Crusher romance. In fact, his only good contribution that I know of is helping create the Borg.
     
  16. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What I mean is that their acting performances were overly agressive. For instance, the "hostile overtaking us" in Encounter at Farpoint. It's almost as if they are pleading with the Captain.


    I don't think that it was Worf, it was Troi. She was Spock in terms of who Picard consulted on conflicts. She didn't tell him what to do, but she did provide the information for a solution. Picard was the main character and they only deviated from that script when they wanted to do something with Data. Data still gave Picard the finest lines in the show, looked the most articulate.

    Technobabble from the various departments about a problem, finding a solution, or attempting a solution, and Picard says "Make it so." Everyone leaves the briefing room. Data looked at Picard with puzzlement. Picard greets him with warmth and the following conversation takes place:
    "Captain, I am puzzled by something humans do."
    "Data, this is why we do this. And sometimes we don't know why we do this."

    How many times have we seen some sort of variation on that?

    Riker, LaForge, Crusher, Worf--they are all department heads. If the actors changed every season, it wouldn't matter. These characters are there to advise Picard and little else.
     
  17. CaptainMatt

    CaptainMatt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TNG did have a lot of characters to write for, but I do not think all the problems can be laid at Tasha Yar's door. They had a young Wesley Crusher and they shoehorned (so it felt to me at the time) him into so many Season One episodes to give him something to do. Plus, once Guinan came in the next year, Counselor Troi was nearly rendered pointless.
     
  18. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I disagree. If you take a look at the last few seasons, sure there are Picard/Data/Worf episodes; but there are also Riker and Troi episodes in roughly equal measure. They might not be as POPULAR, but they are there.

    It was Crusher and Geordi that got the short shrift of attention, but I thought the ensemble feel to the cast was always present.

    It was the movies - and Stewart and Spiner's egos - that changed this dynamic forever.
     
  19. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

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    Having recurring guest stars was probably a good way of doing things.
     
  20. ReedEnterprise

    ReedEnterprise Captain Captain

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    In the beginning they did have too many "stars", but they could have easily picked one or two per episode to highlight. Didn't have to be done all at once, make the intros and then take it from there. I never really liked Tasha but when they brought her back as Sela and then in "Yesterday's Enterprise" I thought it was good. They needed to work the kinks out in the first season but I don't know if they had the patience or really the time to do it. I'm just glad they worked it out and we got to see some amazing characters. I loved Worf and all the Klingon episodes. Those are some of my favorites still.