How come the TNG cast is the closest of all show casts?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by indolover, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. indolover

    indolover Fleet Captain

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    Quite often, the cast would say in conventions or even general media interviews that the cast remain their greatest life friends. Yet the DS9 and Voyager casts don't seem as close.

    Granted, not everybody in life does and will get on. However, it just seems strange that the TNG cast is still very close whilst in the other shows that doesn't really exist.
     
  2. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's a coincidence, nothing else.
     
  3. Iamnotspock

    Iamnotspock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I gather that the VOY and ENT casts are reasonably close too, though perhaps not to the same degree as the TNG lot. Nevertheless, certain members of those casts seemed to have issues with the shows themselves, to greater or lesser degrees; you had Robert Beltran publicly denouncing VOY and its creative forces, and the cast, particularly Kate Mulgrew, having issues with Jennifer Lien's sacking, ENT's Jolene Blalock criticising that show's direction and accusing the series of lacking creativity, and the producers of being out of touch with the fans. These factors were bound to create some tension.

    In the case of TOS, you had the supporting cast's well-publicised issues with Shatner, and the DS9 set was by all accounts a very serious place; much more of a working environment. Michael Dorn, in comparing the TNG and DS9 sets, has said he feels that was down to Avery Brooks being a "pretty serious guy," as the leading actor often sets the tone.

    The TNG years seemed to be a time when everything came together; a cast whose personalities gelled and an environment where everyone was pretty much happy with the working conditions and the management of the show.
     
  4. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Why do fans care about the off-screen relationships between Trek actors? Picard and Data were close, but why should anyone care whether Patrick Stewart likes Brent Spiner or not? What difference does it make?
     
  5. Jim Gamma

    Jim Gamma This space left blank intentionally. Premium Member

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    It makes a difference because actors' attitudes in real life can come across on the screen, even if it's not intentional. For example, in George Takei's autobiography, he says Shatner intentionally screwed up a scene where Kirk was going to tell Sulu that he had been given the Excelsior (by failing to completely commit himself to it), so the scene was dropped. (I think this was either film 4 or 5 - not sure now.) Shatner's insistence on being the star of any scene he's in, and the ONLY one to get any of the limelight in those scenes, affected the development of the relationship between Kirk and other characters.
     
  6. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, considering a lot of fans in the 70's and early 80's were under the impression everyone on TOS was chummy shows that good actors with chemistry don't need to be friends. Kirk and Scotty had a wonderful on screen vibe while apparently Jimmy Doohan hated Shatner to pieces.

    And the alleged scene you refer to was from Star Trek 2, in the shuttle on the way to the Enterprise. You can easily spot the edit as George Takei is cut off mid sentence.
     
  7. Jim Gamma

    Jim Gamma This space left blank intentionally. Premium Member

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    ^Ah, thanks - wasn't sure which film it was. :)

    I'm not saying they can't act like they're friends on-screen, I'm just saying that you can get things like that scene, or subconscious tics that most wouldn't notice, but a psychologist might.
     
  8. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When the show was on the air, maybe it didn't matter, but considering that the TNG cast are kind of a traveling road-show now, and they all have a schtick, like Frakes and Sirtis acting like a married couple, or Spiner impersonating Stewart from the audience, I'd say it matters. That kind of interplay just wouldn't happen if they didn't get along so well.
     
  9. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This could well be a totally porridge-brained suggestion, but... maybe the warmth of the sets were a factor? I mean, DS9 had a fairly moody look, and much of VOY was cold and metallic, neither being all that inherently conducive to kiddiing around and having good times, whereas the TNG sets were bright, cheerful and colorful by comparison. Of course, that could never be the sole factor, but I doubt it would have hurt.

    Also, it probably didn't hurt that, after a rocky start, TNG was a huge hit, whereas the subsequent shows had to live in its shadow.
     
  10. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    It doesn't really matter if the casts are buddy buddy are not. Is it a nice bonus as a fan to know that they get along? Sure. But they're actors, as long as they act like they are supposed to, I don't really care.
     
  11. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If you watch the S1 Blu-Ray documentaries, they go into this a little bit. It was basically a result of everyone on the cast deciding to take things easy on the set to avoid getting crushed by the pressure of bringing back an icon or getting cancelled soon.
     
  12. Joby

    Joby Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Partly a coincedence that those particular actors had personalities that gelled with each other.

    Also partly b/c maybey at the time of TNG, they had no idea if the show would be successful or not. In 1987 Star Trek was all about Kirk and Spock and it was sacrilegious to do any different. Those actors had no idea that TNG would take off the way they did, and they were all likely very grateful for the work and minor stardom.

    With DS9, VOY and ENT, it was proven that Trek could be done w/o and Kirk and Spock and more importantly w/o Shatner and Nimoy and the NCC-1701 starship Enterprise.

    That may have played a part in later Trek actors pysche of hey "this is just my job and these are my co-workers", rather then a "unknown journey with some friendly people that turned into life long friends while we tap into an icon". Same with the TOS cast in 1966, at that time it was likely just another sci-fi TV show to them, plus the supporting players weren't given as much to do and they weren't given royalties. I think this may have to do with some of the reason the TNG cast got along so well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  13. John Sheppard

    John Sheppard Ensign Newbie

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    I've never yet watched TOS...ok that's a bit of a lie because I have seen an episode, but I've not seen anymore yet. So I can't really say anything about that. But I guess it just depends on people's personalities, obviously not everyone will like everyone else, but there will be people that are close to certain people more then others.

    Gaith: Actually that's good reasoning, but like you said isn't the sole reason, but if you're constantly working somewhere where there's a negative atmosphere it's going to bring you down and you might not feel as happy working there, but if it's cheerful (obviously people are going to have days where they're not feeling so cheerful) then you'll feel more happier and maybe make an effort sort of thing to get to know the others. I dunno, is that a stupid response.
     
  14. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    The VOY and ENT casts also talked shit about their writers. That had to be a BAD working environment. They should have been happy they had jobs in the first place.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    This. Never understood why people cared what actors did or who they got along with behind-the-scenes. They sure don't give a shit about those watching the show.

    TNG was a huge hit right from the beginning, getting renewed for a second season in early November of 87 six weeks after the show premiered in most markets. :techman:
     
  16. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it just comes down to the personalities of the actors. By all accounts, Frakes was a huge cut-up on the TNG set, and Spiner was of course a natural and gifted comedian. Then you add in Sirtis's sarcasm and Dorn's inability to keep a straight face, and that's probably enough to get everybody going.
     
  17. John Sheppard

    John Sheppard Ensign Newbie

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    I think for some people it goes to their head a little and they get a bit too entitled, and don't appreciate it as much. I'm not saying this how everyone is, but there are probably one or two who are like that.
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ With the few actors that I met in my life, it's more than just a jobs for money, they regard what they're doing as an art form, and themselves as artists.

    Consider Denise Crosby, she likely knew that leaving TNG would result in long stretches of unemployment, but it wasn't enough for her to simply stand in the back of the set and deliver a handful of lines per episode. She wanted an opportunity to work her craft, not just show upk for a paycheck.

    She only came back to the show on those occasions where her characters were given something meaty to do. If her character on Yesterday's Enterprise was to have the typical size role she had before, it's unlikely she would have taken the role.

    Leonard Nimoy agreed to do TWOK because it included a juicy death scene, if all he wanted was a paycheck to play Spock again, the script largely wouldn't have mattered.

    That some of the cast of Voyager bitched about the writers, especially after it turned into the Kate, Seven and Doctor show is completely understandable. There only so much you can do as an actor in a scene if you're not given lines.

    :)
     
  19. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Especially if you're a hero to fans at cons who often hold you personally accountable to writers' decisions beyond your control.

    Also, good luck being any kind of actor and not identifying to some degree with your character. And when the character's being written with you in mind, reacting both to your performance and to the reactions of others to the same... well, if you're given crap day after day, it'd be hard not to take it personally. Feeling insulted and unappreciated would be a totally natural response.
     
  20. Salinga

    Salinga Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Wil Wheaton is a good example. He was punished by the fans for the crappy writing of his character.