So what's with all the Archer hate?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by jibrilmudo, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd say the flaw was you bringing it up to begin with. It's a faulty conclusion and diminishes yourself and your argument.
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I've been watching "Anomaly" over the past week, while going through the episodes in sequence for reviews, and Archer really becomes a more determined figure compared to his happy-go-lucky guy in the first two seasons. The character really begins to change now that he doesn't have Starfleet propping him up anymore. It's more of a change in how Archer is written than Bakula's performance. But I still think some of Scott's best work were those little things he'd invent with silent reactions, like when Malcolm's bemoaning the need for Epsom salts to soak his aching feet.
     
  3. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, if you're really keen to have an argument about it you can certainly start up another thread for that purpose.
     
  4. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You threw out the questionable comment of sexism, sir. But keep pointing that finger. :)
     
  5. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Um, no the comment wasn't "questionable" at all and yes, I'm actually really saying that if you want to have an argument about it, I will. Just not on this thread. I'm all for arguments, love 'em to pieces, I just don't want to threadjack. If it's important enough to you to start a new thread and hash it out in detail, I will go to that thread and we will do that.

    Do you want do that? It's not a rhetorical question. I'm asking you.
     
  6. bluedana

    bluedana Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Feel free to continue your Janeway conversation in another thread (preferably in the VOY forum), or between yourselves in PM. But that's the end of it here. Thanks.
     
  7. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, I don't think so. Some producers might choose to do that but it isn't etched in stone that they have to. In retrospect it would have been better fo Ent if they had written Archer in a way that would have been easier for for Scott to play. But looking back even further, if they had no desire to ever "customize" Archer, then Scott probably should never have been cast in the first place.
    You're saying that our knowing too much about Archer somehow kept Scott from making Archer as good a character as Trinneer made Trip? Please explain. Just because we know a lot about a character doesn't keep an actor from making the most of the role.
    Please keep in mind that my argument isn't tthat Scott is not a good actor (not saying he is, or isn't). My point is that he was wrong for Archer.
    Add comedic acting to the list. Scott had lots of trouble when Archer was supposed to be amusing. The weird scene in Babel in the mess hall with Trip; that was supposed to be funny. The trip to the fast food joint in Carpenter Street (an episode I personally love) could have been much funnier with a different actor but fell flat, the sick bay scene with Archer, Trip, and Phlox, in Bound, and pretty much all of his scenes in ANiS. When I wrote the thing about Nathan Fillion as Archer, I was thinking of ANiS in particular. With Fillion, that episode would not get the amount of derision from the fans as it currently receives.
    What revisionist history? After season 1, Trip was most fans favorite character by far. That surprised me because at the time, I was one of the ones who didn't like him. But as time went on, he grew on me. But for most fans, from what I recall here and on other Trek sites back then, he was the favorite character practically from the start.

    As for the shipper wars, I really think that if Scott had handled Archer better, there may not have been the animosity there was. Lets put a much more capable actor in the role of Archer, again, like Nathan Fillion, and the battle between the T/Ters and ATPers cuts way down or ends, IMO.
     
  8. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    No, I'm not.

    Having numerous complex, often conflicting, motivations hampers the ability of the actor to make decisions about portraying a character. The more demands placed on the actor, the more likely the performance will be unsatisfactory. That says nothing about the specific complexities of the Archer character, his family history with the Vulcans and the disappointments of his father, his frustration with the hostility he encounters in space, the distrust he receives from his own commanders, etc.

    However, if you think that a change of actor would make all the difference, tell us how well you think Connor Trinneer would do delivering Archer's most problematic scenes? How would he look expressing Archer's opinions about the Vulcans (what most posters here call Archer's racism)? How would he look better telling T'Pol he wanted to knock her on her ass? How charming would he be hemming and hawing about the Vulcan HC with Admiral Forrest on subspace? How about surrendering to Phlox over the treatment of the Valakians? Would he be more likable stealing the warp core in Xindi space?
     
  9. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, this is not true at all. Look at Edward James Olmos' Adama (if you're familiar with BSG). That character had way more conflicting motivations than Archer. It enhanced his performance. Most actors feel that the more conflicting things going on with the character, the better the role. Olmos is another actor who I've imagined as Archer. I used to compare the two quite a bit when BSG and Ent were in production. Actors want demanding roles where their character is pulled in several different directions at the same time. That is what creates great drama.

    If you're talking about the often brought up week to week character changes to Archer, I say again, a better actor might not have liked the changes but would have still been able to credibly drag his character through those changes without sacrificing Archer's dignity (well, too much of his dignity) and audience respect.

    Actors sometimes go on auditions and may several completly different characters in the same day or several different versions of the same character in one audition. Why would a professional actor not be able to handle week to week changes in his character's personality?
     
  10. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    You need not sell me on Olmos' abilities. Mijo did more acting in a coma that the rest of the BSG cast. Bakula and Trinneer can't hold a candle to Olmos.

    However, his abilities are not germane to the question of Trinneer's ability to play the role of Archer as written.
     
  11. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't think the question about Trinneer's ability to play Archer was germane to the thread topic, that's why I didn't address it. I only brought up Olmos because he is an example of an actor who had no trouble with conflicts and contradictions in his character, something you stated was a problem for actors. I disagree with that contention.
     
  12. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    No, the thread is not about who would make a better Archer. However, it was you who introduced the notion that other actors did or could do significantly better with the same material (as if the fact that the characters were written by the same people made the characters somehow similar in their complexity). That makes relevant the question about how the specific actors you mentioned would improve upon the most problematic material. And I'm sure Olmos would have greatly improved Enterprise had he been cast as the captain--if the role were written around his acting strengths. As a lifetime fan of Olmos, I can confidently assume Berman and Braga would never have cast him, especially since the bulk of his work reflected an interest in ethnicity rather than adventure. Moreover, it would have significantly undermined the hero story they wanted to tell. Would Olmos have delivered the same dialogue better than Bakula? Considering Olmos almost never talked in his best scenes--Adama wasn't particularly well known for exposition--he probably would have looked silly playing Archer as written in Broken Bow. On the other hand, had the character been rewritten to allow Olmos to bring more texture to the character, it would have been stellar. However, that would have required them to allow Olmos the space to do what he wanted with the character rather than overload it with dialogue, which is exactly what the writers did with Archer.
     
  13. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But when I brought up the other actors, the point I was trying to make was that just because Scott was unable to make his character consistently thrive with the way Archer was written, other actors were not so limited.

    I wasn't saying that the characters were similar because they were writen by the same people. My point was that the writers wrote the other characters no better or worse than they wrote Archer. The difference was the actors playing the roles, not the writing.
    We disagree. This is the crux of my issues with Scott's interpretation of Archer. I think Olmos would have given that same dialogue a gravitas that Scott just doesn't possess the ability to to present -- so would Nathan Fillion. In the hands of the right actor, bad dialogue may still read like "bad" dialogue to the naked eye, but might "play" much differently. Just because Scott could not prevent his character from falling victim to the buffoonish nature of some of the Archer dialogue, does not mean a "better" actor would have that same limitation.
    I don't think Olmos is the kind of actor who has to have his character's dialogue tailored to fit within his acting limits in order to create a good characterization. He is better than that. What you are talking about here is a directorial/actor function rather than a writer function.
    Finally, we agree on something -- I think. I wrote further upthread, (and have been writing about this issue for some time) that one of the problems with Scott's performance of Archer was that he was given way too much dialogue which he could not handle. With his lack of charisma and presence, they could maybe have manufactured some of this by having Scott simply remain somewhat quiet and then "finally" delivering his line. They could also have built up a bit of tension this way. I think Scott as "the quiet man" would have worked better.

    Of course, this also goes back to my issue, that Scott is the kind of actor who requires tailored writing. :)
     
  14. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    The jackasses are the Vulcans, and not the writers; apparently, everybody forgot how Vulcans regarded humans on TOS, and so they also forgot how Spock and McCoy's rivalry started. I didn't, and so therefore, I had no problem with Enterprise in that regard.

    Amazing how Enterprise got higher ratings in repeats on SyFy over BSG...:vulcan:
     
  15. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    gblews:

    Look at the script for Strange New World, the second regular episode of Enterprise. Archer has just over 1200 words of dialogue. In Water, the second regular episode of BSG, Adama has around 560 words. That's writing. Moreover, you can compare the dialogue for yourself to see just how predetermined Bakula's acting choices were. If you like, you can read Archer's dialogue in Olmos voice: it would probably add 30 minutes to the episode.
     
  16. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't get your point, here. Can you clarify?
    Same here. Can you clarify? What are you trying to tell me?
     
  17. BruntFCA

    BruntFCA Commander Red Shirt

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    One of my least favorite Archer moments was when after 3 seasons of him getting his ass kicked they have him win the one fight he should of lost against Shran. Instead of Shran losing an antennae the fight should have ended with Archer losing an eye.
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    One thing that isn't always clear about Star Trek during the Berman years, is the written word on the page is sacrosanct. Actors were rarely allowed to rephrase the dialogue into something more natural for them, or easier to say. Often a writer or Berman himself would have to come down to approve it.
     
  19. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    ^The standing order on BSG was, according to Sam Witwer, "Give us one as written, and then say whatever you want." It used a lot of improv. Of course, that's how a $100,000 model ship was destroyed.
     
  20. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    His winning that fight actually made sense, though. He won by cunning and guile, not brute strength. Shran was going all out trying to kill Archer, because that's how the ushaan works and that's just the kind of guy Shran was. Archer found a loophole and did all he could to stay in the fight (I think it was pretty clear that Shran would have eventually killed Archer) until he could get into an advantageous position and disable Shran.