Why was Kes written off the show?

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by Kooz, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    OO5, there is tons of fanfic out there. Are you asking to be linked to it? Clear your week.

    Personally I was either irritated or bored by the character and the only time I liked her was in Warlord when she was not really Kes. I don't like sweet, non-confrontational females which is what I found her to be. Someone once mentioned her "wide eyed wonder" and how they related to it.. I guess I don't find that very good tv viewing.
     
  2. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    I am not asking for fan fiction. I'm asking for stories from the people in this thread advocating that there were plenty of stories left for Kes to be a part of. There's a difference.

    It's far too easy today to get so riled up and complain and accuse show writers of lying for some nefarious purpose than it is to actually put your (again, general "your") money where your mouth is.

    If these people are still (still!) so incensed by how this was all handled more than a decade ago, they should be able to channel that energy into typing up a reasonable summary of their ideal Kes episode.

    I, personally, don't think that's entirely ridiculous a request.

    Kes was boring after a while. They did everything they could with her. Apart from actually aging her out and making *that* a story, there wasn't much left that warranted keeping her on another season.
     
  3. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Dear Penthouse Forum: I had this wild encounter with this female alien w/ pointy ears last Friday night that had this stimulating power of telekinesis.....
     
  4. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    See every forum on the BBS for decades old incensment. It's what we do.
    I hope to never see another episode of "The Deadly Years" which manages to make an appearance on nearly every sci fi-ish show out there.
     
  5. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    DoubeOhFive, like I've said a million times, Kenneth Biller said the character of Kes had a lot of potential for future stories. Not to mention the fact that Kes was featured quite a lot in season 3. So clearly not all the writers were drawing blanks on what to do with Kes.
    I still firmly believe that it all came down to who was EASIER to write for - characters like Tuvok and Chakotay who were pretty much the standard character types we'd seen before and could easily get their fill of lines throughout each season by spouting technobabble or in the case of Chakotay hardly anything at all. Only in that sense was Kes "hard" to write for for some writers, since she couldn't just get her fill of lines in any given episode by updating the captain on the shields and actually had to be inserted somehow.

    Also that's just your opinion. Clearly Biller, an actual writer on the show, disagreed. And I'm pretty sure I read somewhere Menosky felt there was a lot more juice left in the Kes character too.
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Any story ever produced by Voyager's writing room could have been about Kes instead of X with the mildest of tweakings.
     
  7. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    I have seen you mention this. I know about it, and I know Ken because I worked for him on Legend of the Seeker.

    But despite this fact, it is not the point I am trying to make. It does not, either, negate the fact that the people in charge of Voyager at the time, elected to write Kes out of the show.

    So yes, some of the writers and actors obviously felt differently than the studio and the showrunners. That fact is not in question.

    We've seen all kinds of things being bandied about in this thread. Among them:

    The writers lied.
    Jennifer Lien was on drugs.
    Kes was hard to write for.
    Jeri Taylor didn't like writing for Kes.

    Along with the -at times haughty- presumption that some in this thread could have written better. I have challenged them to do so.

    And, the beauty of it is that nobody will. Because that would require people like Lynx to stop blathering on about Jennifer Lien being wronged 24/7 and actually commit to writing something of substance for a change. Mark my words: It won't happen.

    Whatever the reasons, Kes was written out of the show. The writers were well within their right, creatively, legally, and just plain generally in their function as writers of the show to do so.
     
  8. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Also that's just your opinion. Clearly Biller, an actual writer on the show, disagreed. And I'm pretty sure I read somewhere Menosky felt there was a lot more juice left in the Kes character too.[/QUOTE]

    I guess you went back and added this last bit because it wasn't there when I replied earlier...

    Again, I'm not disputing that some of the writers still thought there were stories to be told. I'm saying that as the showrunners, Berman, Piller and Taylor were well within their rights to writer her out. Myself, personally, I understand that.
     
  9. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So basically you're saying "If you can do any better, prove it?". Well that's not very constructive and kind of childish.
    You're acting like we're being outrageous by daring to even question the story that "Kes was difficult to write for and wasn't working so we ditched her" since we weren't there in the writing room.
    There's absolutely nothing wrong with questioning the choices of writers or producers of a TV show, they're not Gods after all and sometimes they do seem to make choices to make lives easier for themselves even if it means sacrificing quality. God knows they did that with Voyager and its magical healing abilities/reset button/unlimited supplies nonsense that causes this show to draw criticism from so many people.
    Its not unreasonable for any of us to say that we don't buy the official line that she was such a difficult character. I agree with sfdebris who said that he didn't buy Kes being booted off because the writers didn't know what to do with her, because the writers didn't seem to know what to do with most of the characters, even the fraking captain.
     
  10. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I know she has written a lot of fan fiction, which you dismiss as not being the kind of writing you want. However there is no reason to assume that Lynx couldn't take her story ideas and type them into a post here and show you what "writing for the character" could be about. You act as though there is a finite amount of story out there and because the writers say they ran out of story that is the truth. But there is not a finite amount of story, there's just stories people want to tell and stories which aren't as interesting so don't get picked up, or stories which cost too much, or stories which take a show into an area it doesn't want to emphasize such as romance or comedy.

    If someone does post a story they would want to see told about Kes it will be easy to point to it and say "too.. X" and so it wouldn't work, if you apply a critical eye. I imagine any posted stories will get that response.
     
  11. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  12. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Very interesting YWF, thanks.
     
  13. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    This decision was so above these peoples pay grade.

    Berman or/and Braga were given a short list of options by the money.

    Anyone else is just a tiny cog trying to justify/explain the decisions made around them and through them.

    Biller and Taylor may have been asked their opinions because the B's liked and valued them as people, writers and underlings, but they got a pay check or a pink slip each week depending on how much/well they danced like monkeys for their organ grinder.

    Being in the inner circle made their lives more dangerous not safer.
     
  14. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Again, no. I'm saying - if people think there are more stories that could have been told, they should tell them.


    Well, you are. Again I will say it -and at the risk of sounding like a complete douche- unless you've worked in a writer's room, you don't have the whole picture in terms of all the things that are considered when writing these stories. Every decision is meticulously discussed, every plot point cleared by a dozen checkpoints throughout the production process... its not simply a matter of "Hey, this would be cool, let me sit down and write it!"


    Agreed. But there's a difference between the above statement and accusing writers of being liars, which is what I was responding to previously.

    I can't comment on any of this as I wasn't part of the writers room at the time, and while I agree sometimes it got to be patently ridiculous on Voyager, again, the writers were the ones in charge. Who am I to tell them they're doing their jobs wrong? Who am I to question the decisions they made when I have no insight in to their reasoning for how and why they made those decisions?
     
  15. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You're the consumer, the person watching the show.
     
  16. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    I can offer critical commentary and analysis of the content of the show itself. I don't think though, I have the right to tell other writers how to do their job.
     
  17. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    1. The sky being blue is not on the level as a statement of "Kes is hard to write for." Silly comparison. One's a fact, one's a party line.

    2. Writers are NOT like doctors, there is a history of successful writers who don't have extensive formal education in writing. There's no such case with doctors that I know of, the level of technical expertise is different. Silly comparison.

    3. I have more to my skepticism than just disbelief for the heck of it. As I've written, Kes was NOT the original choice to leave, which you'd think she would be if she were so hard to write for. Secondly, there are a lot of good episodes that feature Kes, some in the third season, odd for a "difficult character to write for." And finally, I've seen nothing of this "Kes is hard to write for" stuff until AFTER she was dropped, which makes me skeptical.

    Good reasons or not, it's more than just "I don't believe it because I think I could write awesome stuff for Kes."(I don't think that)
     
  18. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ok so we're not writers so we shouldn't dare question them whatever.

    Anyway I still don't firmly believe that all the writers had much of a problem writing for Kes moreso than any other character.
    However I definitely have no problem believing that studio research showed Kes to be a less than popular character on the show and that played a major role in ditching the character.
    And considering what Kenneth Biller said about the studio being the one pushing to drop Kes, I believe that definitely played a much bigger part than her character allegedly being difficult to write.

    "Kes was hard to write for and wasn't working as a character" sounds much better than "The studio found Kes wasn't popular among the important demographics, and Garret Wang is our poster boy for diversity".
     
  19. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm still waiting for an answer to my time frame question. People "should" answer me.

    Wang is slated for the axe, to make room for an additional character.

    Wang gets voted beautiful by People magazine.

    Lien is axed instead of Wang.

    Party line says "Kes was difficult to write for".

    What's the time for all this? If she was that difficult to write for why did they want to get rid of Wang who only had to say technobabble filler?

    Now what if we heard:

    Our first choice was Wang because he is always late and has a bad attitude and not important to the show. Our second choice, which we tossed around when considering who to axe is Lien because Kes is hard to write for. BUT now that Wang is supposedly hot we are going with our second choice.

    That would all make perfect sense. See how a time line makes it all less grey and open to accusations of lying and murder (oh wait, that was the TNG thread..)
     
  20. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I made a thread ages ago (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=128891) outlining some DS9/VOY story ideas, and one of them did actually involve Kes. I mean she's the go-to for psychic stories, so to be honest there's a lot of possibility there. Its called "Into the Fold" and it involves Voyager being captured by a race of beings that uses telepathy as a weapon. They send most of the crew of Voyager into slavery, Tuvok/Vorik into servitude (as a lower level telepath) and discover that Kes has the power to amplify and extend their own telepathic abilities, so blackmails her into assisting them in a major military campaign. While the Voyager crew attempt to escape, Kes becomes more and more corrupted by the power she's gaining.
     

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