Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by Jetfire, Aug 18, 2011.
Holy crap, I've always thought the same thing. That Marsters should've played Shinzon!
The TOS characters (as distinct from the actors) have a lot of oomph to them. Even re-cast, they still have a great deal of appeal.
But the TNG characters just aren't like that. Maybe some rewriting could improve them, but if you're going to put that much work into things, why not just invent new characters? The TNG characters as such really aren't that compelling. Data is the only really iconic one of the bunch.
But the real problem is that to Hollywood, TNG = old stuff that failed and Abrams' Trek = new stuff that makes shitloads of money. You are never going to be able to get them interested in TNG again, because looked at simplistically (and it goes without saying that's Hollywood's mindset), TNG is what killed Trek and TOS resurrected it.
Picard is also pretty darn iconic, and I think there's a pretty open and shut case to be made for Worf. It's harder to argue for the iconic value of the rest of the cast, sure, but then the TOS films (and series) rested themselves squarely on the shoulders of the Big Three more often than not so I do not see that as a problem.
Picard was an old fart. there's something very detached about English people even the guy who played bond. There's something wierd about them. Even the guy from dune laughed at Stewart when he referred to himself as an ass in the desert. He's a nincompoop. Compounded by Brannon Braga also being detached and the rest just being greedy and power hungry. Sex appeal and magnitism is what Shat had in spades. avery Brooks was emotionally unavailable. His wife was killed horribly by the Borg, Picard's people, and he had a teenage whinny and emotionally needy kid and his hands full. Janeway was lost and loved holographic characters. the chemistry of enterprise sucked. T'Pol was incredibly uninteresting. they should have made her T'Pau at least. It's the tiniest of things that make the biggest difference. They didn't want the legal expense. They got 9000 lawyers working for them. No, Not Hal 9000. Braga is just stupid in many ways. Nobody can do everything. Berman was hamstringing him, bringing in Coto the clown over him. I mean how much can you take even if you are a genius. The rug was pulled over even his head by the power hungry political juggernaut politics in hell entrenchment that was Rick Berman.
So you're not fond of the English then?
You're right, those English are weird people, unlike Americans.
Anyways, I would be pretty surprised if they remade a show with as iconic characters as Picard, Data, Worf and Geordie on TV now. TNG might be dead, but it just doesn't feel like it's been long enough to do that. It would feel like too much Deja Vu too soon, and I would think it's a little like putting Clinton's face on the dime. It just hasn't been dead long enough.
I hate everybody equally.
It doesn't matter to me who the poeple are. It's all about outer space and rocket ships. But they should be A) alive and B) good looking and available. What ever happened to central casting? Even Riker's eyes were not straight. Conception is eveything. TNG was based on GR's TMP and no different.
Picard isn't very iconic when you separate him from Patrick Stewart playing him. Worf is basically just an iteration on Spock.
Iconic characters are the ones that can be recast and just continue merrily along, like JJ Abrams proved with the TOS characters. Do the same with the TNG characters, and I'm not sure what you'd have. Data would be the most reliable, because of his iconic status, but the rest could be dull or a train wreck or both.
For instance, folks are suggesting that Picard be actually French this time around. Interesting idea, but it takes the serious risk of a lead character who comes off as an obnoxious, stuck-up prig.
Stewart playing Picard got around that danger, but it's far from certain another actor wouldn't stumble right into that trap, especially if he has the handicap of an actual French accent, and let's be honest, that would be a handicap. People will either think he's an asshole right off the bat, or a joke like Inspector Clousea or PePe LePew, because that's how we've all been conditioned.
You're really funny (in a good way!)
Over the years, Picard basically became English; he had a very Anglo-Saxon attitude and stoicism, which went along with his being played by a fine English actor. So I think a re-cast Picard would probably have to at least look and act a little like Patrick Stewart.
But had he been played by someone like Jean Reno or Vincent Cassell, or some other charismatic French actor, who works well in English (this does not include Gerard Depardieu who can only do French, IMHO) I think he could have been an equally iconic though very French character.
I can see another actor having a stab at Data and providing a slightly different take on him, but Dorn and Stewart have very distinctive presences and with the possible exception of Geordi the other characters are, frankly, kind of generic. So we have a show where the distinctive characters are distinctive because of the performances of the actors and generally not in a way that lends itself to imitation or reinterpretation. I'd also question the wisdom of recasting and rebooting something that became - and for all I know still is - the most successful syndicated TV show in history. It would no doubt produce a lot of nostalgic discussions about how Picard (TV Picard) was the bomb and how Stewart was the only man for the job. Jean-Luc would have been a very different character without Stewart, who invested him with a dignity and forbearance that at times seemed almost superhuman.
No, no, no, no. Let's not even think about this.
TNG was made, it was done.
Come up with something new and different. Re-hashing TNG would serve NO purpose.
Worf would in many ways be the easiest to recast. Data would be the most interesting.
That doesn't begin to make sense. Captain Kirk was also strongly tied to William Shatner. Some of the most famous or infamous things about Kirk (such as Shatner's unusual delivery) are directly attributable to the actor. Picard is an eloquent Man of Reason, a stoic and cultured and literate and accomplished starship captain. He had one of the biggest pop culture impacts of any Star Trek character, I know people who are not science fiction fans, aren't Star Trek fans, but still speak of 'Picard' or 'the one with Picard' as the one they liked.
Which says nothing. Data is also an iteration on Spock as far as that goes. Worf, by himself, is an iconic Star Trek character. He's the face of the Klingons, one of Star Trek's most popular - or at least well known - alien races. He's still the go-to guy example for honourable alien warrior - and that's something he didn't get from Leonard Nimoy's Vulcan.
Which just goes to show how un-iconic Picard, the character, is. His identity is too strongly associated with a certain actor.
Why bother dusting off a character who doesn't have a strong identity as written? Why not just have someone write a new character?
Kirk was tied to Shatner in both positive and negative ways, which is why when he was successfully recast with Chris Pine, it was a benefit that Pine shucked off a lot of the silliness.
The fact that Kirk survived recasting and a bit of reimagining underscores how iconic he is. An iconic character is one who transcends any given actor.
You're ignoring the other influences on Data - Pinnochio, the entire realm of artifical intelligence characters that predated him in science fiction. Data's iconic status was only partly created by Star Trek anyway; he was a pre-existing iconic type imported into Star Trek. Spock was pre-existing, too - the outsider alien, the "half breed" type from Westerns - but he was greatly adapted for Star Trek. Data wasn't adapted nearly to that extent.
However, I don't object to Worf as a fairly iconic character, the "noble savage type." Maybe I just find him a tad racist and it makes me uncomfortable?
I agree. I don't see the benefit, vs all the different character types and premises that could come from just inventing something new. Why give up the huge promise that lies in an entirely new story and cast of characters?
Because it worked for Kirk, who is also iconic. And I'd point out that if you take many of the Star Trek scripts - particularly the early ones - you could easily swap Captain Kirk for Jeffrey Hunter's Captain Pike or Leslie Nielsen's J.J. Adams.
Yes, Stewart helped define the character as rather British, but this was in part due to the writers playing to their actor's strengths, which is par for the course for any TV show.
This is one of those hindsight deals. Kirk's iconic and should be recast only because he has, because Picard hasn't, he shouldn't. Really, to do Picard well you need a balding Britishy actor with a bit of gravitas and some theatrical experience. You can probably throw a stone and hit someone of that vague description. He's a Dignified and Learned Starship Captain, full of Morals and Ethics and Thespain Intensity. Picard's pretty easy to type to, and he has a type, and the strength of it was sort of important to TNG's appeal.
I'm not. At least, not any more then you were when you pigeonholed Worf as 'the Spock' of TNG. Both characters owe something to Nimoy's Vulcan, but not everything.
There are certainly problems with the opposite of denigrating a foreign or 'primitive' culture because it is foreign and/or primitive, and that would be idealizing it - although I think this works in Worf's case because it's so utterly internalized.
Worf still wants to be his idea of the honourable Klingon that he so desperately loved in his basically human childhood, but The Next Generation kind of repeatedly throws cold water on the idea that the Klingon leadership is particularly honourable or even that the stiff-necked, humourless Worf actually fits in with their culture at all.
I recently had the opportunity to look back at some of the early design concepts of TNG's Enterprise interior and bridge, and I got the sense the creators in '87 wanted the ship to be twice as large, less militaristic, much more "casual" in the sense that this was To be a ship with a mission of deep space exploration that would take its crew and families years away from earth. Those artist conceptions looked absolutely impossible to create back then. Perhaps they would serve now, however, as a starting point for a 25th Century Star Trek television show.
That's my point - iconic characters are the ones worth recasting.
The way Kirk was developed in TOS, he greatly transcended the cookie-cutter square-jawed hero type. If he hadn't, he wouldn't be worth resurrecting, really. (However it remains to be seen if JJ Abrams is going to evolve his Kirk into that direction; in two hours, he didn't have much more time than just introduce him as a pretty generic smartass type).
And I agree with that. Well, broadly.*
I go further in stating that Picard is also iconic. He's easily one of the most well known Star Trek characters.
Both Pike and Adams are given to moments of introspection, and the end of Forbidden Planet, where Adams puts together the parts and speechifies wildly, could easily be the ending monologue for Kirk in a Star Trek episode. The big thing Kirk has they don't have is sufficiently more exposure, a memorable dynamic with two other characters, and William Shatner.
*Obviously if you're readapting a novel or something, you may bring back characters because they're part of the story, not because they have marquee value. And so on. Other discussion, of course.
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