Jadzia Dax, not used in Ds9 how she was supposed to be?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by RaymondJames, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Damask

    Damask Commander Red Shirt

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    Exactly. You couldn't have O'Brien, Rom, Nog act like a Romulan as Dax did "In the Pale Moonlight". You could have had Jake be comforted by anyone on the station after his father dies in "The Visitor" but it doesn't have the same impact as Dax. Or anybody striking up a friendship with Quark, Ferengi warts and all. Our "out-Klingoning" Worf. Eh, I like the character.
     
  2. AlxxlA

    AlxxlA Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Maybe it's just because Terry Farrell wouldn't have looked as good in red or gold because she has a very light complexion.
     
  3. SoM

    SoM Commander Red Shirt

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    Besides, wasn't it just Dax and Bashir who were in green/blue, while most of the Starfleet regular and recurring characters wore maroon or gold [and the Bajoran uniforms were primarily - if not exclusively - pink, red (for Kira) and beige]
     
  4. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

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    Engineering is an aspect of science, so that's right, there isn't a difference since engineering is science. O'Brien in his Engineer job played a vital role on the show, as indeed every other main character did, other than the Daxes.

    I agree that Keiko and Molly were useless characters, although at least they weren't main characters, so it's less of a big deal. That doesn't make Jadzia not likewise be a useless character, though. Simplest empirical benchmark test for this: did anything meaningful change about the show after Jadzia died? Nope. No effect on the show whatsoever. If she was a useful character, this would not be the case.

    I agree that the characters are important not just for what they said, but what they did. Although having generic, inter-changeable 'talking head' dialogue, which 100% of Jadzia's dialogue was, is always a sign of bad writing/bad character and universally makes for bad entertainment regardless of if her actions had some merit of her being a character that exists on the show.

    However, Jadzia fails on the "what she did" front too. She never did anything interesting or important. She did nothing that couldn't have been done by any of a whole slew of other characters. If O'Brien had 100% of her lines, they would have had to make very, very few changes to the scripts and how the scenes that they shot were shot, or what they shot. Anything that couldn't be given to O'Brien (ie: 'friend who listens to Sisko') could certainly have been given to Kira. There is no other main character on DS9 who could have been so easily removed (other than Ezri); because all the others are way more useful & intergral to the plot of the show.

    I agree that Worf was useless as a 'tactical officer' on the show and that job too was already more than adequately covered by other characters. But his presence on the show allowed them to segway into some excellent Klingon content which they couldn't have done without him. Which therefore made him a useful character to the show.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  5. The Caretaker

    The Caretaker Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    In the early seasons she definitely was the source for all non-medical science. She kind of lost that when her lab was blown up in, I think, The Alternate. Not that she ever seemed to use her lab much. She then seemed to become a character that the producers wanted to use for character development. We learnt a lot about her past lives over the course of the series, in episodes such as Equilibrium and Facets. And it's pretty obvious that as soon as Worf turned up she became his counterpart so that his Klingon side could be explored. Once they were married it really did seem as though they reached the end of the road for the character.

    As far as it goes with Terry, I never disliked her as an actress. I thought she did a great job with the material she was given. The less said about her hairstyle in The Search the better...!

    ;)
     
  6. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nah, Terry Farrell looks good in every uniform colour. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Eric Cheung

    Eric Cheung Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When you throw around numbers like 100% you put yourself at a disadvantage in this debate; you charge those who seek to disprove you with the easy task of finding even just one example (you could look here for some examples. It's not just that these lines come from a science officer or from a Trill, but that they come from Dax). O'Brien wouldn't have been the "friend who listens to Sisko" because they needed a character with a long history with him, that's one of the main reasons Dax was on board. And even if they could just switch these lines to someone else, why would they? They had a character that served a role.

    It must be a very personal distaste for the character for you, and that's fine. But to suggest that she's useless and does nothing to further the show is simply incorrect.

    It was correctly stated above that she was really the only person that could serve as a sounding board during "In the Pale Moonlight." The only three among the crew that could do it would maybe be Worf, Kira, or O'Brien. All three of them have demons of prejudice that they would have had to deal with. Dax was much more objective and insightful into Romulan philosophy and historical context, not to mention Sisko's closest friend. It couldn't be Garak or Quark because he hadn't considered going outside of Starfleet at that point yet.

    To determine whether or not a character is useful is to ask if they have a point of view, something that motivates them, and if that motivation complements the show through that character's interactions.

    Dax, much more than any character, served as a voice of calm reason having lived far longer than any other character, and long since having grown used to her own skin. She has not become bored with life lamenting her long life like Quinn the Q. Instead she embraced life and seized every day, learning to live with moderation without getting bored, and empowered by her lifetimes of accumulated knowledge and natural intelligence.

    But the OP was referring to her role as science officer. The above suggests that she was very strong character, job title notwithstanding. You argue that any of her lines could be uttered by O'Brien or Nog. Maybe while on the bridge (though even on the bridge they managed to get some character based dialogue in, believably demonstrating a crew waiting for the storm to come), but then who really cares? They are after all trained Starfleet officers. In a real pinch all of their lines could be interchangeable to some extent. One doesn't watch a show just for the bridge or ops scenes or there wouldn't be any reason to do 178 episodes. That Dax served a purpose long after science became a secondary priority only boosts her as a character, both professionally and in terms of her relationships with the rest of the characters.

    Some examples of quotes from IMDB that reveal to me the character of Jadzia Dax (most of which couldn't be spoken by Miles Edward O'Brien with all respect due to him):

    Major Kira: [after revealing that she and Shakaar have split up] The way I see it, people are either meant to be together, or they're not.
    Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax: I guess I'd rather believe that any relationship can work as long as both people really want it to.

    [COLOR=#003399]Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: If I were in your shoes, I would be looking for someone a little more entertaining, a little more fun and maybe even a little more attainable.
    [COLOR=#003399]Lt. Commander Worf[/COLOR]: You are not in my shoes.
    [COLOR=#003399]Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: Too bad. You'd be amazed what I can do with a pair of size 18 boots.

    [COLOR=#003399]Sisko[/COLOR]: All right, say it.
    [COLOR=#003399]Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: What?
    [COLOR=#003399]Sisko[/COLOR]: That I have lost all my perspective, that I'm turning this into a vendetta between me and Eddington and that I am putting the ship, the crew and my entire career at risk, and if I had any brains at all I'd go back to my office, sit down and read Odo's crime reports.
    [COLOR=#003399]Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: I wasn't going to say that.
    [COLOR=#003399]Sisko[/COLOR]: But that's what you were thinking, right?
    [COLOR=#003399]Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: No. Actually, what I was thinking is - you're becoming more like Curzon all the time.
    [COLOR=#003399]Sisko[/COLOR]: I don't know how to take that.
    [COLOR=#003399]Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: Consider it a compliment. And the next time I go off, half-cocked on some wild-eyed adventure, think back to this moment, and be a little more understanding.

    [COLOR=#003399]Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: Maybe it was arrogant to think you could find a cure, but it's even more arrogant to say there is no cure just because you couldn't find one.

    [Dax is trying to work, but Virak'kara, a Jem'Hadar, is staring at her]
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: Am I really that interesting? You've been standing there staring at me for the last two hours.
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: You are part of my combat team. I must learn to understand your behaviour - anticipate your actions.
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: There must be something you'd rather do. Maybe get some sleep?
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: We don't sleep.
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: How about getting something to eat?
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: The white is the only thing we need.
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: [pondering] Don't sleep... don't eat... What do you do for relaxation?
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: Relaxation would only make us weak.
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: [aghast] You people are no fun at all - I'm glad I'm not a Jem'Hadar woman.
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: There are no Jem'Hadar women.
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: So what do you do? Lay eggs?
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: [proudly] Jem'Hadar are bred in birthing chambers. We are able to fight within three days of our emergence.
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: Lucky you. So let me get this straight: no sleep - no food - no women. No wonder you're so angry. After thirty or forty years of that I'd be angry too.
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: No Jem'Hadar has ever lived thirty years.
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: [puzzeled] How old are you?
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: I am eight.
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: I would have guessed at least fifteen.
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: Few Jem'Hadar live that long. If we reach twenty, we're considered honored elders.
    [leans in]
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: How old are you?
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: I stopped counting at three hundred.
    [COLOR=#003399]Virak'kara[/COLOR]: [amazed] You don't look it.
    [COLOR=#003399]Jadzia Dax[/COLOR]: Thank you.
     
  8. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

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    My mistake for not being more clear. What I meant in my previous comments was that any of her lines that are of any use, can have been given to either O'Brien or Kira or Nog or a whole slew of other characters.

    The vast majority of those lines you listed are completely generic and inter-changeable with one or more of them.

    All the lines you have listed by Jadzia that have plot-value or entertainment-value are inter-changeable with either O'Brien, Kira, Nog, or another character.

    Those few lines that are not inter-changeable, are completely useless. They do not add any value to the show; neither plot-wise nor entertainment-wise.

    There are a few lines delivering totally unfunny 'Trill jokes' that 'only Jadzia could tell', but the show wouldn't be missing anything without them -- rather, it would be improved. Likewise for Jadzia dictating some boring statements about "Curzon did this, Curzon did that..." in the most mundane, uninteresting way possible.

    It's not correct that's she the only person who could serve as a sounding board in ITPM. Tons of characters could have done that. Garak, Kira, O'Brien. It's not like Jadzia did or said anything compelling in that scene that any of those other characters couldn't have done just as well, or better. If they were 'role-playing with prejudice' then the Sisko could have told them to cut it out, and got them to do it properly. Or found someone else if they continued to not comply with that. I don't think they would have displayed prejudice at all though since those characters already had episodes of them dealing with and overcoming their prejudices. It wouldn't matter if Sisko went to Garak about the roleplay, it's not like he was planning to do anything devious at that point when the roleplay occurred. Simply a clean discussion.

    The concept of Dax having lived longer than anyone was never utilized well on the show. A great concept on paper, but they did absolutely nothing with it. There's actually a quote from Farrell that is relevant to this:

    It's correct - that was no help. Jadzia did not come across like Yoda or like someone who is wise. Her supposed extremely long-life was not at all congruent with her acting, or the writing behind her character.
     
  9. Eric Cheung

    Eric Cheung Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Part of the fun of watching a TV show or reading a book is in the character moments, especially since character-based dialogue is one of the hallmarks of DS9. Maybe her initial direction was that she was supposed to be Yoda-like, but characters evolve from where they are on the page in large part because of the writers and the actor collaborating (the degree of collaboration differs of course).

    The "Trill jokes" aren't just jokes about being this particular kind of alien, but from her point of view of what it's like to be that particular type of alien. She was a character at peace with herself. The lines spoken by her could not have been spoken by Ezri becuase she was someone who was thrown into being the next Dax host out of unusual circumstance.

    The reasons I gave for Dax being the sounding board in ITPM were character-based reasons. Could the other characters you mentioned have done it? Yeah, but why have them do it when to the writer it was a more interesting choice to have someone like Dax do it. She knows Sisko well enough that doing the seen as a role-playing exercise seemed more natural. If it was one of the other characters it would have been akin to the expository Observation Lounge scenes in TNG, it might have been okay, but it would have been expository filler to connect plot points. Storytelling isn't about getting to a destination but the fun you have in the car on the way.
     
  10. KeepOnTrekking

    KeepOnTrekking Commodore Commodore

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    I vaguely remember an interview with one of the producers who said that dax was originally conceived as the wise, old mentor type like Yoda (or Spock in TWOK) but after killing off Jadzia and bringing in Ezri they realized that the character of Dax was more interesting to portray as the confused host trying to adjust and incorporate the personalities of all the previous hosts and they wished that they had went that route in hindsight from the beginning.
     
  11. AdmiralGarak

    AdmiralGarak Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And much of Jadzia's more interesting character development actually fell into this category, with stories such as Equillibrium and Facets.
     
  12. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I really liked Jadzia- and far more than Ezri at that. Jadzia showed a good aptitude for sciences as already pointed out. But because she was drawing on what? 6 former lives? It wouldn't make sense to limit her to that capacity. She was a capable theorist and intellegent, and her repair/engineering/computer skills were also really good. It makes sense for an officier to not be limited, say the way Julian sometimes seems to be baffled by engineering stuff- tho he may be doing it intentionally. Also, the war was a big part of it- hard to study things while grenades are going off in your face (reference stolen from Jarhead). However- in "the Jem'Hadar"- it was Jadzia who pointed out that detaining Sisko would not stop them from exploring the GQ. And whose to say that a lot of the time she sat at her console she wasn't doing science-y things? I studied science for 3 1/2 years- you don't spend a crazy amount of time in the field or dissecting, etc. Most of its using a pencil or a computer... and sitting on your butt. Booo!