Why was Kes written off the show?

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

  1. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sometimes it was like David E Kelly was running through the set of Boston legal with a bloodied Hatchet.
     
  2. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Exactly how would REPLACING the characters have made a difference without better writing? The characters didn't need replaced (except maybe Wang who realllly couldn't act), the writers just needed to get their sh*t together and find some direction for them and work on it and not just work on what the concept of the next episode would be.
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Over 70 writers for 170 scripts.

    Too much farming, not enough drive from the producers.

    JMS wrote almost 60 consecutive episodes of Babylon 5 all by himself.

    Some think that that's a good, others not.
     
  4. BrownShatner

    BrownShatner Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Take Chakotay, for example. They essentially killed the drama inherent in his character in the first or second episode. After that, he became another version of Fat Riker. So, after the audience has watched him sit around doing paperwork for three seasons, are they suddenly going to believe he's once again a dashing rebel commander? It seemed like once the VOY writers made someone a boring putz, they were resolved to keep him a boring putz for the next 7 years.

    Yeah, and the David Kelley reference is apropos. Most episodic dramas don't fear turning over their casts. Star Trek was lazy because they were immune to being cancelled.
     
  5. BrownShatner

    BrownShatner Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    That probably explains why the show was so inconsistent. It it was just bad, I would have never watched it. But every now and again you'd catch a great episode and foolishly get you hopes up for the next one.
     
  6. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    70 writers? That doesn't sound right, I think Guy is just exaggerating.
     
  7. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No.

    I counted them all.

    And this is before I was told about cutting and pasting, I manually transcribed from 170 episode listings to make a master list of writers, and 70ish is as close to the actual number as i can remember 10 years later.

    It took me hours.

    Of course some scripts are attributed to as many as 6 (RETROSPECT!) writers (and Berman, he was rubber stamped on every script because he owned the scripts and fixed the punctuation.). IMDB only lists actors/writers if they made more than one episode in the main parent list, and even so, there are 30 names listed as contributing to at least 2 Voyager Scripts.

    (edit)

    according to wikipedia unless I ####ed up, which I probably did...

    Andre Bormanis
    Andrew Price
    Anthony Williams
    Arnold Rudnick
    Bill Dial
    Bill Prady
    Bill Vallely:
    Brannon Braga
    Bryan Fuller
    Chris Abbott
    Clayvon C. Harris
    Dave Long
    David Kemper
    David Zabel
    Dianna Gitto
    Eileen Connors
    Evan Carlos Somers
    Gannon Kenney:
    Gary Holland
    Geo Cameron
    George A. Brozak:
    George Elliot
    Greg Elliot
    Harry 'Doc' Kloor
    J. Kelley Burke
    Jack Klein
    Jack Monaco
    James Kahn
    Jean Louise Matthias
    Jeri Taylor
    Jessica Scott
    Jimmy Diggs
    Joe Menosky
    John Bruno
    Juliann deLayne
    Karen Klein
    Kenneth Biller
    Larry Brody
    Larry Nemecek
    Lisa Klink
    Mark Gaberman
    Michael Perricone
    Michael Piller
    Michael Taylor:
    Mike Sussman:
    Mike Wollaeger
    Naren Shankar
    Nicholas Corea
    Nick Sagan
    Paul Brown:
    Phyllis Strong
    Raf Green
    Rich Hosek
    Richard Gadas
    Rick Brman
    Rick Williams
    Robert J. Doherty
    Robert Lederman
    Robert Picardo:
    Robin Burger:
    Ronald D. Moore
    Ronald Wilkerson
    Scott Miller
    Shawn Piller
    Sherry Klein
    Skye Dent
    Steve J. Kay
    Tom Szollosi

    68 human beings exactly had writing credits on Voyager.

    Oh.

    IMDB thinks that gene Roddenberry has a writing credit on 170 episodes of Voyager.

    69.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  8. DeepSpaceWine

    DeepSpaceWine Commander Red Shirt

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    You can see signs of it in Season 3. Take "Favorite Son" or the beach resort Holodeck vacation spot they had then, not to mention Kes going au faux-natural (has any female ever used her real hair in Star Trek? Maybe just Hoshi?) and wearing catsuits (/rolls eyes at the debate that just subsided on this thread).

    It's not unusual for the actress. Kate showed up, loving a mystery, and insisted she was Mrs. Columbo. Well, you know how well that went over. After going a few rounds with Catwoman (named the Red Claw, no doubt after her hairdo), she decided to board a starship for what seemed like it would only be a three hour tour. Well...
    The weather in the Badlands started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed, if not for luck (certainly not a fearless crew), Voyager would be lost. The ship set down in the sector of this uncharted Delta Quadrant...

    Chakotay's probably happy to be as far away from comet-induced zombie-ism as he can be.

    JMS's ability to churn out quality scripts like that is a lost art. Rod Serling had it, Stirling Silliphant had it, many shows back in that era of television had a lead writer, lead meaning they wrote more than half the episodes of each season, a season being 32-39 episodes each. The nature of television has changed and outside of rare niches like Babylon 5 was in (was lucky he got into Warner Bros. at the right time, as it was launching the PTEN venture which was aiming at a sci-fi audience. It certainly wouldn't have been on WB), that kind of singularity of writing just isn't seen on television.
     
  9. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you watch the episodes in seasons 1-3 again and read the Voyager books from the same era, you will see that Kes had more than two stories each year. There were many episodes where she wasn't the main character but still played a very important role. Compare that to Harry Kim who really was the one with two episodes each year when he was more than just a visible character in the background.

    In season 3, the season you accuse the character for doing nothing more than saying "yes Doctor", Kes was the main character in "Warlord" and "Before And After". She did also play a very important role in "Basics #2", "Sacred Ground", The Swarm", "Darkling" and "Scorpion". She was often visible and highly involved in many other episodes. That's a lot more than saying "yes Doctor".

    I don't think you know more than most of the rest of us what Jennifer Lien wanted. What I know, and I have that from many sources was that she enjoyed being a part of the Voyager cast and that she got very sad and depressed when she was kicked out.

    If your theory about Jennifer Lien leaving to do voice job instead of acting had been true, then those in charge of Voyager would have trumpeted it out in every possible statement and everyone of the many Star Trek magazine over and over again that Lien was leaving because she wanted to do voice job instead. Not to mention that Lien herself would have been showed up making the same statment.

    None of that happened. Instead we got half-done weak explanations about the writers being so lousy that they couldn't come up with stories for one character (which is a lie) and the usual crap about "mutual agreement", a word which makes me cringe. My exprience from the world of music tells me that everytime the words "mutual agreement" shows up, then it's foul play involved.

    And no, Taylor wasn't telling the truth. Her own writing confirms that.

    As for the merchandising, I'm not surprised considering the fact how Seven Of Nine was marketed by those in charge of Voyager. I mean, you could hardly open a Star Trek magazine without one poster, one lengthy interview and several pictures of Seven and you could hardly access the official Star Trek website without finding a picture and an inteview there too. Sometimes when reading those magazines and interviews I got the impression that season 1,2 and 3 was just something out of my own imagination and that Voyager actually started when Seven arrived. If Kes had got the same marketing as Seven did, then Kes would have been the great star of the show.
     
  10. BrownShatner

    BrownShatner Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Except for the fact that Kes wasn't a very marketable character (not that she was intended to be).

    You have to admit that 7of9 checked all the Trek boxes, even beyond her cup-size. Super-intelligent, logical, biologically unemotional, naive in ways, stark contrast with the Captain character yet subordinate. She was the kind of character that should have been on the first season.
     
  11. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You never heard my speech about her earginas?

    babies grow between their shoulder blades.

    Either the males penis is 6 feet long, the sperm can survive for 10 times longer than human sperm, or ocampan females don't have their sex organs between their legs.
     
  12. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Cue Martia.
     
  13. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're right about Kes not being intended to be a very marketable character.Personally I like her the way she was.

    I don't think that Seven was that extraordinary and when it comes to the super-intelligent, logical thing, well we already have had Data. As for bringing her in from the start, no. What they should have done was to introduce her as the main villain in season 4, maybe as a Borg Queen. Then she could have been captured at the end of season 5 and in season 6 and 7 been transformed to a loyal crewmember (just as they did in season 4 but somewhat slower). Anyway, none of the original crew members should have been dumped.

    When it comes to the Voyager crew, I think it was excellent as it was from the beginning. A good mixture of very different and interesting characters.
     
  14. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm kind of surprised they didn't consider dumping Neelix
     
  15. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Neelix brought out a lot of Tuvok.
     
  16. MrPointy

    MrPointy Commander Red Shirt

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    Like anger.

    Kes shouldn't have been dumped over Kim as she was a much more interesting character, with her elven nature, telepathy and wacky biology that makes no fucking sense. People say she's underutilised, but that's not entirely true.

    Kes pretty much had that love triangle arc throughout s1-2. And it's somewhat established in 'Caretaker' that Kes is an adventurous person with a rebellious streak. 'Darkling' and her not renewing her relationship with Neelix in 'Warlord' because she realised there's more to life than hedgehog sex show that, to an extent.

    In fact if you look closely, you could see each season Kes is on as a 'decade' in her life, so she's maturing and changing somewhat every year.

    Kes's problem is that she was written as a jack-of-all-trades character, which means she doesn't stand out as much as she should, considering her concept. She also got a lot of shit episodes in s1/s2 about her or built around her ('Elogium', 'Cold Fire', 'Parturition'). She's closer to Kim/Chakotay/Neelix tier, and not Doctor/7/Janeway tier because of that.
     
  17. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not likely.
    He was the only truly "alien" looking cast member and besides Kes and until Icheb, the only DQ native. Neelix was also a flawed hero which added more depth to his character. It was this lack of dramatic depth IMO that made Kes hard to write for.
     
  18. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    a "flawed hero?" If you say so. I do get the DQ alien thing, but in terms of pure practical terms, Neelix was by far the most expendable, he was no longer even the guide, just a cook. Also, he was deeply unpopular, the Binks/Wesley of Voyager.
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    it's fine to say that kes wasn't popular... but who was?

    Seven wasn't a break out character, she made out there, or broken, I'm not sure which, it was cheating either way.

    So if Kes stayed, would Tom have wound up with Kes or B'Elanna?

    Because before and After had some mighty strong opinions about Year of Hell.

    Kes jumping queue to mount Tom changes future history and saves B'Elanna from being killed during first contact with the Kremin. It was completely selfless of her to disrespect B'Elanna's heart to save her life.
     
  20. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I still can't understand why they did state that Kes was difficult to write for.

    In season 1, Kes had as much part of the action as Kim, Neelix, The Doctor and maybe Tuvok . In season 2, she was the main character in 2 episode and played a very important role in seven others which is more than Kim and Neelix achieved. In season 3 she as the main character in 2 episodes and played an important role in at leas 4 episode which is more than what Kim had and probably more than Neelix. Add to that that Taylor's "difficulties" to write for Kes didn't include her own books.

    Not to mention that if an amateur like me can come up with decent (and appreciated ;) ) Kes stories, then I expect the same from professional writers.