Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by The Overlord, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. fish11111111111

    fish11111111111 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Let's say you were making a brand-new character's first Star Trek,...
    let's call this one the SS butterfly,,

    first all of You got a think of what kind of characters could bring to this show,. that you might be thinking of,.. you need a captain. first officer,.. you need a doctor ,. And an engineer,.//The first basic on Star Trek,.//You don't know what anybody's going to look like you don't know who they will become,.//What type of a venture that would be on. how you should develop the character.. the months and years the character comes into play,.//Where they been., And where they should go,.//And what they should do,.//And then you have a show,.//Those are the basics to start on,.//
     
  2. starlitegirl

    starlitegirl Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'll blame the writers.

    I'm not saying it wasn't an issue that they basically turned the rest of the cast into the equivalent of CSI staff. It just happened to work out well for me because I favored those characters. But I don't think it was due to ego. I think it was partially due to the limitations of the characters set up very early in the show.

    From the initial season, Janeway, Doc, and Kes had the most screen time. Episodes were devoted to other characters, however, given the nature that Janeway was the captain, she was ALWAYS going to have a high amount of screen time. Can't change that. It's silly to even try. Every Trek series has always devoted a good amount of screen time to the Captian. Doc was also always going to be a key because in enough of the episodes, he comes into play. Partly for his hologram nature and jokes centered around him. Partly because he was the doc. He was the equivalent of Data only in the role of the doc. Consider making Crusher a hologram or android in TNG and right off the bat, there's a lot of screen time. Crusher or a doc was in most every episode. Same for Data. Combine them and by default there's a large amount of screen time going to him because there's really no way around it. When it's not a hologram thing, it's a medical thing. Kes and Seven were his Mentor then Student in that order. He was crucial in fleshing out both characters and they were crucial in fleshing him out. Consider the relationship between Geordi and Data. This is the same here. A fair amount of screen time was devoted to it due to the fact that the doc was a hologram. Had the writers had the foresight to see that making the rest of the crew dislike the Doc from the start was narrowing their options, then others would have gotten more time with the doc and more involvement in his development over time for at least the first three years.
     
  3. starlitegirl

    starlitegirl Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I had to come back to this because in Cloud Neelix just called them a bunch of idiots right after the opening music for investigating the nebula. :guffaw:

    Edited to add Neelix's exact words: "These people are natural born idiots..."
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  4. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    DS9's guest characters were powerful religious icons, powerful warlords, former spies, etc. They were inherently more interesting characters to begin with.
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Why couldn't Voyager have had characters that were just as interesting?
     
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If they weren't just a bunch of random Maquis and Fleeters, and more of the crew were Delta Quadrant aliens, and the show wasn't all about the Fleeters/Maquis wanting to go home then there'd be room for interesting characters like that.

    As it was, the premise and set-up of the show limited it too much.
     
  7. creek_chub

    creek_chub Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    :guffaw: Too funny.
     
  8. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    VOY had a native American into native religions, pirates, a self-loathing half Klingon, a character facing mortality far sooner than her contemporaries, a drifter, etc. There was a lot of potential there for great character development. Its a virtual Canterbury Tales!

    I think the only ones with bland backgrounds were Kim, Tuvok, and Janeway. The sad fact is the writers just weren't creative enough to make interesting stories with the characters they had and found technobabble more interesting than character growth and meaningful commentary.
     
  9. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, with Chakotay the problem also was that Beltran was phoning it in nearly from day one.

    The Maquis, in general, were just not fleshed out enough to really work as the Foil to the Feds they were meant to be. Either the "other group" should've been a bunch of DQ aliens who were also on the Array when it blew up, or Romulans (since Cardassians were already getting plenty of development in DS9).

    Self-loathing half-klingon. Well, I guess that's a personal thing because I never thought that was interesting.

    Kes, yeah there was room there. They should have expanded on the Ocampan lifecycle better: She should have been introduced as a kid, be a teenager by season 2-3 (a young one in S2, a mature one by S3) and a mid-20s adult by S4.

    Neelix as well, I don't see why they didn't use that good backstory more.
     
  10. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I think I see one flaw in your logic.

    Writers created both sets of characters, if they found it difficult to come up with character devolpment ideas it could suggest a flaw in the inital characterisation they had created.
     
  11. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was looking forward to Kes before the show started. Then the writers missed the whole point of her. She was a great way to tell stories about aging and facing death. You could start with her seeing life through the optimism and hopes of a teenager and end the series wise, calm, reflective. But instad they just used her for telepathy stories. Her major contribution was helping the Doctor gain his humanity; and the Doctor was the highligh of VOY to me in how he explored growing pains and obtaining a sense of identity.

    Same with Neelix. Neelix was filled with regrets and bitterness but you rarely saw that side. They made him into the ship's clown and irrepresible happy go lucky guy. Neelix shined when he had to face the deaths of his family or prove he was not a coward, but those instance were few and far between.

    I have heard the big problems with Chakotay and Kim were Beltran and Wang were unreliable and unprofessional. I guess with them and Lien, the bigger question is, "Did producers drop the ball during casting?" They sure did in their first attempt to cast Janeway.
     
  12. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They did drop the ball with some casting: Beltran and Wang as the prime candidates.

    Kes, well the telepathy and telekinesis were fun and a proper plot point for keeping her around. If they'd done like I'd suggested (start her off as a kid, and change to an older actress each season until she's Jen Lien) they could keep her as Lien for the rest of the series and say "Her reawakened powers fixed the aging thing."
     
  13. starlitegirl

    starlitegirl Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I KNEW that would crack you up! The minute I heard of it you popped into my head, and I scurried here to post.

    Natural born idiots! Yep, you called it!
     
  14. starlitegirl

    starlitegirl Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I wanted Kes to stay. Personally, I still feel we could have done without Harry. There was great potential there with Kes. Also, she is one when she boards. I think maybe she just turned one or something. Or maybe a little past one.

    I have to say that I don't see much difference between TNG and VOY. Granted there was a lot of Worf development TNG. And not so much with VOY probably because of TNG. It was already done a lot. But they are almost, in essence, the same characters.

    Data = Doc (add sarcasm and turn him into a beam of light)
    Troy = Kes (empath to telepath)
    Worf = Belana + Chakotay
    Geordi = Harry but far less interesting and not even 1/4 as charismatic
    Crusher = template for Janeway then tone down the mothering, make the crew the family, Voyager itself as the child, plus add a whole lot more presence, confidence, tenacity.
    Remove Riker and Picard - no matches there which is probably why so many dislike VOY characters, but really, Riker and Picard cannot be reproduced.
    Toss in a Vulcan for good measure, and two likeable misfits for fun.

    See? Basic recipe is still the same. Some tweaks here, some tweaks there. Remove two key ingredients then add a few in their place. Viola! VOYAGER is born.
     
  15. fish11111111111

    fish11111111111 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    even today even today there are people out there that don't have certificate's graduate's
    that didn't do the job just as well as a graduate can,.,. I think this is why Voyager into existence,...
     
  16. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Mulgrew & Picardo openly admit and never denied going to the producers to have more screen time and larger roles in the series. It's comon knowledge that Mulgrew felt threatened by the introduction of Ryan and how they used Seven instead of Janeway to promote Voyager. Mulgrew felt as if she were being replaced as the main draw to the series. Based on those facts, neither Mulgrew nor Picardo felt as you do in regards to the amount of screen time their characters would receive.

    Kes has never had equal screen time to that of Janeway or the Doc. Even during the first 3 seasons when the cast was a more balanced ensemble, Kes had lesser screen time compared to that of her co-stars. Due to that, IMO that's why it was so easy to cut her ties to the cast when it came time to write her out.
     
  17. starlitegirl

    starlitegirl Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Doesn't matter to me how it happened really. I like season 4-7 the most and mainly because of them. I'm glad they pushed for more time. Good for them. It worked out well for me since I loved their character.
     
  18. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sorry, I was here to talk about the topic.

    Thanks.:bolian:
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think Tuvok was physically underdeveloped.

    They should have been using SFX to illustrate what it looks like when someone is 3 times stronger than a reasonably hefty human being starts pushing his weight around.

    Tuvok should have been able to grab by the ankles and use a fully grown Kazon like a base ball bat to club other Kazon into mush.
     
  20. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The problem for me was partially the characters / development, but partially the cast.

    In DS9 difficult to take to characters really grew on me through the strength of the writing and some great performances - i.e. Sisko, Kira and Odo. Even supporting characters like Garak and Rom came into their own.

    In Voyager, Janeway, Tuvok, Torres and Neelix ended the series just as unlikeable as when it started, and the majority of the rest of the cast were just making up the numbers.

    Paris and Seven were OK, Chakotay could have been interesting but really wasn't, Kes was insipid and Harry was bland. The only character I really liked was the Doctor...