Fans suggest a Cardassian series with Garak in the lead!

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Lynx, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I seem to remember A Stitch in Time leaving lots of unfilled time in Garak's backstory. It's been a long time since I read it, so I may be wrong, but I don't think the idea that he might have infiltrated the Federation at some point automatically contradicts the novel.

    Yeah, but there again we might get the benefit of another brilliant actor. That's not so much a "disadvantage" as it is a creative decision with both pros and cons.

    I mean, that's a feature, not a bug. There is a point where a creator has to acknowledge that it's questionable whether or not a mass audience of millions of people will be able to connect to a primary character wearing a rubber face as well as they would to a main character where we can see the actor's face.
     
  2. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Admiral Admiral

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    People like Saru and besides this is Trek. Rubber faced aliens is kind part of the franchise.
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Saru is not the series lead, and in particular he's not the primary character of a show explicitly built around that one main character.
     
  4. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I can find such a scenario acceptable, as long as they don't mess up an established timeline too much.

    I read A Stitch In Time for the second time this winter and I don't think that there were so much unfilled time in it to make room for a longer assignment in the Federation.

    As for rubber faces, if it is Garak, then he should look like Garak and behave like Garak. I mean, would people accept a series where Picard is disguised as a Romulan and behave like a Romulan for several seasons? I have my doubt about that.

    As for rubber faces and such, we had Worf for seven TNG seasons and Quark for seven DS9 seasons.
     
  5. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    That is your creative choice, and it is a legitimate one. But the legitimacy of that creative choice does not mean this creative choice would succeed in attracting or retaining the kind of mass audience even niche web television programs need to survive. The producers of a television program have creative constraints, and one of them is that they can't make choices that alienate so many potential audience members (actively or passively) that the show can't survive financially.

    Bad comparison:

    1. Picard as a character is not a spy, and a show built around Picard is not going to be a spy show if it is true to the essence of him as a character.

    2. Romulan makeup is much less extensive than Cardassian makeup. Particularly if they go with the "Southern Romulan" makeup design that is just eyebrows and ears, that level of makeup is quite negligible.

    3. Garak is a spy, so doing a show about Garak inherently means doing a show about lying and about behaving falsely for long periods of time. I can frankly see creative opportunities where the creators could do episodes using the dichotomy between Garak's human appearance and his true Cardassian appearance (and his behavior in one role vs. another) are used to make deeper thematic points about the nature of truth, the nature of personal identity, and the concept of "masks," and it could even get a little meta with the human-vs-Cardassian face in-universe vs. out-universe. These are creative opportunities, not creative dilemmas. They may not be to your taste, and that's fine, but that doesn't make them illegitimate creative choices.

    As with Doug Jones's Saru, neither Michael Dorn's Worf nor Armin Shimerman's Quark were the primary characters on a TV show built around them as individual characters. They were both supporting characters in ensemble shows led by characters played by actors not wearing prosthetics.
     
  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    Rubber faces aren’t a problem if they still have the full range of emotional expression. Humans will identify with anything with a face.

    Worried about attracting an audience just give Garak a close confidant with big breasts.
     
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  7. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Admiral Admiral

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    Hey if people can bond over Mando in SW where he wears a helmet like all the time they can bond over a character like Garak. Besides this one would basically be one targeted towards the old fans. Lots of its appeal would of course be nostiga. Something you can get away with in a limited series better than something you expect to have long multiple seasons. Plus if you have it confirmed he is LGQBT then that creates additional buzz and if it proves to be popular you might even get to extend extra years like what happened to Picard.
     
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  8. Batai

    Batai Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    What if Garak really is just a simple tailor?
     
  9. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    And???

    ???

    Please continue?
     
  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I think that's a really strong argument against my concern that a series whose primary character is in major prosthetics might not be able to attract and retain a large enough audience to sustain itself. Certainly getting the audience invested in the title character of The Mandalorian was a huge accomplishment on LucasFilms's part.

    But... CBSViacom is not Disney, Paramount+ is not Disney+, and Star Trek is not Star Wars. It has never attracted audiences as large as Star Wars. Given the disparity in audience sizes, I am still not confident that a Star Trek series with a protagonist whose actor's face is obscured on Paramount+ would retain the audience levels it would need to sustain itself.

    Has there ever been another successful drama with a strong focus on a single primary character where that character was in major non-human-looking masks or prosthetics the majority of their screen time?

    Those are valid points too. I wonder if a Star Trek: Garak would be more likely to get produced if it were a limited series rather than an ongoing series.
     
  11. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    The disparity in audience sizes makes it easier to have an alien lead, not harder. The audience that's okay with that sort of thing has already self selected.

    People project the whole range of human emotions and drama into their pets, I think they can do it for a fully humanoid person whose only difference is skin texture.

    Hell, there's a Disney film coming out where the protagonists are humanoid sea monsters.
     
  12. Takeru

    Takeru Space Police Commodore

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    Ariel und Sebastian aren't monsters. :(
     
  13. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe it’s Pixar or Dreamworks, I meant Luca.
     
  14. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    People are way too hung up on the idea that the lead of everything must be human.
    Freaking Wall-E had a very non-humanoid Robot as the lead.

    The important part is that the lead must have human-like motivations, emotions and so forth, and the Cardassians definitely fit that bill.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  15. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yep. The most popular TOS character, in almost every poll, is Spock, who's non-humanity or struggles with humanity are at the core of his essence and a major part of his appeal. TNG had Data, a Pinocchio analogy who at least this viewer identified with perhaps a bit too strongly (an enduring trait of those named Timothy). DS9 was all about exploring the human spirit, ethos, whatever, from a mostly outside perspective. Saru, on Discovery, while not *the* main character (that was a human woman matriculated in an alien culture, whose journey of self-Discovery probably named the show), showed us a Starfleet crew ably commanded by a non-human on the flagship series.

    We're about to get a show in less than two months where none of the leads are human. Does that diminish the quality? The appeal? The allure? I think not. I think we'll discover that Star Trek works well, perhaps even better, when it sheds the chain of a standard-issue human lead and embraces the more abstract characterization it has used primarily for their secondary leads.

    It's not like the aliens are real aliens anyway. They're all human analogies and I think everyone who has ever watched Star Trek gets that.
     
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  16. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    Let's face it, the real reason why we don't have more alien main characters is because of the amount of time and budget that goes into alien make-up, just like the real reason why older Trek didn't have more space battles and action scenes was because of budget and not some attempt at being "cerebral"
     
  17. Alisa K

    Alisa K Ensign Newbie

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    Since they brought Q back with Star Trek Picard, I think there is a good chance we might see other beloved characters as well. I would personally pay good money to see Garak in at least one episode. I don't think a whole spin-off series could be made, because it wouldn't appeal to the masses (altough I think Star Trek's popularity amongst the masses went downhill in the 2000's), causing the show to lose a considerable amount of money. The fans would love it, but the corporations wouldn't.
     
  18. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Fleet Captain

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    I think that's it. And Cardassian make-up for dozens of characters and extras, daily, would make it prohibitively expensive. If we were going to have a Cardassian series, it would have to be computer generated or something.
     
  19. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    That’s the reason we didn’t have more space battles but there’s plenty of counterexamples in 1960s TV that were very talky but never raised the kinds of questions about the human condition Star Trek raised.