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. Balrog

    Balrog Commodore Commodore

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

    I never thought the concept of the Capitalist Yankee Trader made for a good villain. They weren't out for conquest or power, just profit. That means they go where opportunity takes them. At some points they will be an adversary, but at others they would be an ally by their nature. It's not the stuff of a big, bad main villain. It's like having the Swiss as an arch enemy.
     
  2. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Exactly, they should be a Player in the Trekverse but their own premise doesn't work as an out-and-out villain.

    If they wanted a new adversary species, the Cardassians would've been a better choice.
     
  3. Count Zero

    Count Zero Watching Moderator

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

    Even though it probably wasn't planned that way, I quite like the development of the Ferengi from a menacing power to regular people that we saw through Trek. I thought that was an interesting commentary on how our picture of another group can be quite distorted and far from the truth due to lack of knowledge.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  4. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

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

    We have to remember TNG was gonig to be a VERY different show than TOS and even the movies. This was GR's second chance to make his own type of Trek. I think he may have lost sight of Trek needing classic action adventure, and in TV terms that equals shoot outs, hand to hand combat and a lot more space battles than early TNG seemed willing to do.

    Generally more violence (as subdued as it was on family syndicated TV) than GR really wanted in Trek.
     
  5. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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

    Well Ultra capitalists can make good villains, Lex Luthor is Superman's arch nemesis and he is just a corporate tycoon. Sure Lex had motives besides greed, a lot of his villainy is because he is jealous of Superman, but then again the Ferengi don't need to have greed be their sole motive. Bok was motived by revenge, not all Ferengi are the same.

    However if the Ferengi were serious villains, they would be different villains from the Klingons or Romulans, they don't want to take over the galaxy, they just want to make money. Perhaps like European Colonial powers they could conquer less powerful civilizations and exploit them, but they wouldn't pick a fight with the Federation. The Ferengi shouldn't be belligrent, they should be sly and slick, pretend to the Federation's friend until they can screw over the federation. Just because they don't want to take over the galaxy, doesn't mean they can't do bad things, they could sell weapons to dictatorships, dump toxic waste on other planets, create their own slave and drug trades. They could have good villains, with a little decent writing, not having them act like apes would have been a good start.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Unfortunately, they shot themselves in the foot by having Capitalism and currency be a non-issue with the Federation with the replicators.

    If they had money, corporations, etc still used as much in the 24th Century as they are in the 20th/21st then there'd be easier usage of the Ferengi as Corporate villains.
     
  7. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    It was suggested that they ate another species, their "associatiates". This makes them untrustworthy, not cannibalistic.
     
  8. Paul Weaver

    Paul Weaver Fleet Captain Premium Member

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

    I think they were treated better in "The Battle" than The Last Outpost (and getting rid of those whips was a good move). Those marauders were pretty impressive too, in both The Battle and Peak Performance they represented more of a threat. In Rascals (just a few episodes before we meet Quark + co on DS9) we saw them do something that the Klingons, Romulans or Cadassians could never do - they managed to take over the Enterprise (Between this and Generations, it's no wonder Riker was stuck as first officer for another 8 years, and shuffled off to an unimportant ship like the Titan before Picard's retirement)
     
  9. antiquityscion

    antiquityscion Commander

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

    Agreed. I didn't like the Ferengi until DS9. TNG's portrayal of them never endeared them to me.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Zorn: "Captain, the Ferengi would be very interested in a base like this."

    Picard: "Fine. I hope they find you as tasty as they did their past associates."

    So, cannibalistic as in willing to dine upon another intelligent species. Which is stretching the usually meaning of the term somewhat, but is how it is used fairly commonly in science fiction. Picard was suggesting that the people of Deneb Four would be literally eaten by the then mysterious Ferengi.

    It's possible that Picard alrady knew this to be a false rumor and was employing the alligation as a negotiation ploy

    For the Ferengi to have been a credible " villain," they would have had to have been shown to be a actual threat to the Federation, in some fashion. Occasionally they would have had to win. They never did. Quark would sometimes "beat" Sisko and Odo, his little side business venture would succede. The Romulans in Data's Day handed Picard his hat and kicked him to the curb. The (pre-Dominion) Cardassina war "killed millions."

    There could have been dialog of Ferengi victories, even if they never won against the hero ship Enterprise. Federation allies and members, becoming Ferengi allies or client states. The Federation being deprived of resources, having to deal with the Ferengi. The Ferengi causing political problem too.

    It wouldn't have had to have been combat and warfare. There are other ways to fight, ways the Ferengi might have been better skilled at than the Federation.

    :)
     
  11. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    What did the Klingons ever do, on-screen, in TOS except lose or something similar? All they had going for them were good actors like Colicos and Ansara.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Kirk: "They've invaded our territory, killed our citizens."
     
  13. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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

    They were certainly menacing in that war games episode, and what if they did destroy the Enterprise, that might have started a war.

    In that prostitute episode when the Ferengi were a joke they came up with his lame excuse that he was looking for the barber....
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Just because there's none on his head, doesn't mean there isn't bountiful amounts of hair elsewhere that need trimming.

    :)
     
  15. 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

    But, to fire the director would have meant delays, so compromises get made. Even on TOS, Roddenberry didn't always get his own way. During the week of filming "The Last Outpost", they probably all felt the Ferengi were working. They certainly made some brave choices. I rather liked the ADHD qualities, the animal skins, the energy whips.

    20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing. It's interesting, though, that the director never worked for TNG again. The directors who get excellent results are invited back over and over.
     
  16. 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

    But he was reimagined that way. Luthor started off as a small-town scientist type. The corporate tycoon Luthor, and then politician-type, was part of a huge overhaul of the "Superman" titles.

    A humanoid species eats (presumably humanoid) former business associates. How is that not a hint that they may be cannibals? (Broadening "cannibal" to all humanoid species here, not just fellow Ferengi.) I assume it's meant to be a wry dig at corporations consuming their rivals.
     
  17. Anji

    Anji Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Why does everything in Star Trek have to be so serious???

    Personally I loved the Ferengi. They were pretty damn funny and Star Trek needed the comic relief.

    I think it was Shimerman who said that when he saw the big ears it was difficult to play the role anyway but silly.

    Corsentino however really rocked in Menage a Troi and I think is responsible for the creation of the Ferengi attitude.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  18. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Did we ever SEE any of that, though? Even the Romulans were SHOWN to do some damage in their first appearance.
     
  19. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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

    And in Voyager they were shown as snickering conniving greedy trolls.
     
  20. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    I don't think it's that people don't want comic relief in Trek. I think it's the fact that they attempted to play the Ferengi serious, and utterly failed, that makes the early appearances of the Ferengi painful to watch.