When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic relief

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by The Overlord, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    Most people around here know that the Ferengi were originally supposed to be serious villains when TNG started, but they didn't work out in that role and were eventually demoted to comedic relief.

    When do you think that change in roles happened, was it when DS9 went on the air or was it sooner then that? Perhaps this change of roles happened near the end of season 3 of TNG, with the episode "Ménage à Troi"?
     
  2. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    I think it happened in "The Last Outpost".
     
  3. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    Yeah, but that wasn't intentional, the Ferengi were supposed to legitimate villains in that episode, its just the execution that failed.

    They were still presented as legitimate threats in "The Battle" "Peak Performance" and "The Price". It wasn't till "Ménage à Troi" that the writers presented them in an intentionally goofy way.
     
  4. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    They were goofy from the get go. I know tbtb wanted new everything compared to TOS, but they're silly as villains. Compare to John Colicos and the first appearance of Klingons. Somewhat alien, but cool, calculating, menacing. My take, anyway.
     
  5. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    They were never very threatening.
     
  6. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    Actually I think in DS9 they became pretty serious. Not as villains, but as characters.
     
  7. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    No, but there are episodes were writers intended to them to be threatening and episodes were the writers just played them for laughs.
     
  8. ArcherFanForever

    ArcherFanForever Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    Be it villian or comic relief, I still liked the Fergengi......
     
  9. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    I am on record as disliking Trek (attempted) humor. But I like the Ferengi except those several DS9eps that got so broad in their humor (Grand Nagus and Quark's mom).

    I think a lot of my general liking has to do with Quark's writing and acting. There's the whole satire on materialism thing, and I like the moments when Quark gets serious and philosophical.
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    I can see what they were aiming or in The Last Outpost, but the way the actors were directed made the Ferengi ridiculous instead of scary
     
  11. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    I'd say it was in Menage a Troi. The viewers never took them seriously before that and for good reasons. However, it was in this episode where the writers finally began to use them as simply comic relief.

    All of their appearances up to then were The Last Outpost, The Battle, Peak Performance (in all three the writers clearly meant for them to be taken as serious villains), The Price and Captain's Holiday (in both the "comedy" is easily seen, but they're still supposed to be the villains).
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    This. I think they represent the first sign that Roddenberry wasn't all there anymore.
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    Note that "The Last Outpost" was Richard Colla's only stint as a director for the Star Trek franchise.

    Prior to this, the only mention of the Ferengi was in "Encounter at Farpoint", where it was suggested that they were cannibalistic.
     
  14. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    I think it was with "The Price" in early season 3. Previous attempts - "Last Outpost", "Battle" and "Peak Performance" were all clearly trying to project a level of danger and threat from them. But from season 3 onward, they were used as comedy relief.
     
  15. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    Also they were designed wrong IMO to be credible villians. Those dumbo ears looks silly, not menecing.
     
  16. Disruptor

    Disruptor Commodore

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    Short statures didn't help. Yes, there's shorter than average human menaces in sci-fi, but it's still a visual thing for most people to overcome.
     
  17. siskokid888

    siskokid888 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    I was always disappointed that they decided to use the Ferengi for comic relief. I loved their bad ass ships that we saw in early TNG, but they seemed to disappear. Shimmerman gave depth to his character, but the "race", as a whole, was badly handled.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    It was Roddenberry's show. He had final say on what made it to the screen and those Ferengi made it to the screen.
     
  19. Disruptor

    Disruptor Commodore

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    Ferengi spread a lot of lies about themselves to intimidate those they wished to exploit. Once the truth got out, that they were minor military power at best, they toned down their b.s..
     
  20. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: When did the Ferengi go from "serious" villains to just comic reli

    They could have made the short-guy Ferengi work: Just have them employ plenty of mercenaries and muscle so that they can honestly give off the image of benevolent/neutral businessmen.

    After all, who'd suspect those tiny goofy guys of being Space Mafia/Corrupt Businessmen?