Had Tasha Yar Remained on TNG

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Emperor Norton, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Captain Captain

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    Denise Crosby left Star Trek: The Next Generation before the first season was over because they were not using her character enough. And it is a fair point that the first season was a nearly unwatchable disaster, to quote Ron Moore. However, the show changed by season 3 thanks in large part to Michael Piller. Gone were shallow plots, shallow and perfect characters, and a monster of the week format. Instead, it turned to deep character exploration which was as much a focus as any other part of the plot. Crosby did not get to share in this period, which is the purpose of this thread. What if Denise Crosby had not left the show? How would that character have developed and what would it do to the show? Certainly one thing is the shifting positions of the crew. Worf was a character that simply filled any open gaps until the Tasha Yar character died. And around that time, Geordi was initially navigator until they made him the engineer.
     
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  2. General_Phoenix

    General_Phoenix Commander Red Shirt

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    Would have been interesting had she stayed on, and what position she would have had after some of the reshuffling. I think Worf as head of security was a great choice, maybe she could have been helm officer when Wesley wasn't there?

    Maybe it could have spared us some of the Troi-centric episodes that I cannot seem to sit through.
     
  3. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Commander Red Shirt

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    Was it established in S1 that Data was the Second Officer, because sometimes (Arsenal of Freedom for instance) Yar appeared to give orders to Data, suggesting that she might have become First Officer if Picard or Riker had been the one to leave? As far as who would replace Geordi as CONN then if it's a main character (as opposed to extras as was the case for much of seasons 4-7 which I prefered) then it would make sense for it to be Worf.
     
  4. Sophie74656

    Sophie74656 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I never understood the character shuffling. How did Geordi go from being the pilot to being the cheif engineer?
     
  5. Finn

    Finn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^They were still figuring out things.

    If Crosby had stayed on, the show would have looked much different. The Child would have been awesome if Yar was the one having the kid... She would have beat up Okona after he tried to grope her... Yar being alive would force the writers to rewrite some of Data's testimony in A measure of a man.

    That assumes those episodes were still going to be written...
     
  6. Tenacity

    Tenacity Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm pretty sure that Data was the second officer from the start.

    First off, if Tasha had stayed, her romance and subsequent marriage to Jadzia would have been awesome.

    If Tasha had stayed it's likely Worf would not have simply replaced her. Maybe they could have split tactical officer and security officer into two separate positions? I've though for some time that combining the two positions was strange.

    However this would have further diminished Crosby's screen time, and largely kept Dorn off the bridge.

    Really something else would have had to of been created for Worf, or he would have continued as a largely secondary character.

    Which would have been too bad, Worf's character arc is one of my favorites.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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  7. JonVP

    JonVP Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I don't think it would have had a big impact. From S3 onwards you had more character driven stories. The ones with Worf usually revolved around him being Klingon and how he had to find his way in this human centered universe. It could of course have opened up the possibility for an early transfer to DS9 when that show started.
     
  8. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Worf might have more overtly replaced LaForge at the helm when LaForge got his gig in engineering.
     
  9. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    But that's where they wanted Wesley... for a while anyhow

    I'd expect that it would've made it tough to develop Worf the way they did. Frankly, the best thing to ever happen was for her to leave, it cleared room for him to be featured, & in doing so, opened up an entire story arc, that while some people can take or leave it, I found it one of the most engaging things about the show. The houses of Mogh & Duras, K'mpec, the high Council, K'ehleyr, Gowron, Kurn, Romulan collusion, revolution, etc... If Tasha stays, you might not have gotten all of that, maybe some, but much less.

    Ultimately, Trek explores characters best, when they have an alien culture to explore with it, the very same way they did with Spock on TOS. That's what Worf brought to the table, an entire culture to explore. The only other Alien species in the main cast was Deanna & they sure as heck weren't interested in fully exploring Betazoid culture in the same way. Of course there was also Guinan, & Data who weren't human, but weren't really a whole culture to represent either.

    Nope, they were far better off having reworked the Yar concept into an alien named Ro Laren. That type of tough badass thing is really all they could've ever hoped for with the Yar character anyhow, that & a one off romance now & then. Look at the treatment her character got in Yesterday's Enterprise. I like the episode, because of other aspects, but her part in it was a big yawn. Honestly, I don't think Crosby was right for the part they wanted anyhow, the tough badass security chief woman, escaped from oppression & rape gangs etc.... She didn't really play that aspect very well at all, which is why I'm sure all parties weren't comfortable with what was coming of it. Michelle Forbes gets it. Nails that dynamic big time. She just exudes "Don't F### with me!", Crosby? It was more like "Gee, don't you feel sorry for how hard I've had it?"
     
  10. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Captain Captain

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    Well to be fair, no one looked that good in the first season. Emotionless Data mugs for the camera, and is emotionless only insofar as an emo kid distracted by a phone is emotionless. Picard is kind of a jerk mixed with everyone else thinking the bees knees of the other officers in disgusting extremes. And so forth.

    Also, the character was originally intended to be "Macha Hernandez", and a tough hispanic space marine type based on the "Alien" films. That went to the wayside.
     
  11. TheGoodStuff

    TheGoodStuff Captain Captain

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    To be honest, I have always been glad she left.

    If she had stayed, I think it would have negatively impacted Worf: I can't see his character development being anywhere near as good while Tasha is still security chief. Worf might have ended up playing second fiddle to her or at the very least, competing with her for screen time. Thus would he have been popular enough to go to DS9 etc.

    I also think it created an imbalance in the cast. Where, exactly, does Tasha fit in within the show itself? Is she Picard's trusted soldier? Well there goes Worf. Is she the first on away-missions? Well there goes Riker. Is she really smart/efficient? Well there goes Geordi/Data. I think her absence allowed the other characters to gel together.

    I must also admit to not being a tremendous fan of Crosby. I've seen her in a few things and her acting to me is...less than stellar.
     
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  12. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles HHHHIIIIIIIIIIII... Premium Member

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    Apart from the obvious impact on Worf's character development, this is the biggest thing about Crosby that made me glad she decided to move on. Not that the first season offered a lot of great performances in general, but next to Troi's "Pain... pain..." in "Farpoint," Tasha had some truly cringe-inducing moments... the penalty box in "Hide and Q," her "Just say no" speech to Wesley in "Symbiosis," and the less we say about "Code of Honor" the better. And she didn't impress me much when she came back for "Yesterday's Enterprise" or as Commander Sela in "Redemption" and "Unification." I never could understand why anyone thought adding Sela to Nemesis would have actually made that film better.
     
  13. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Captain Captain

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    The writing for those episodes was not especially good, though, and there were cringe worthy moments of acting from everyone. I felt a cringe at everyone in season 1. It was all a lot of maudlin, melodramatic, saccharine bologna. I felt cringe at "I would give it all up to be human," and smart ass "Red Alert" from Data, Picard defending Riker to Wesley as his BFF Bridge Off, smug arm cross Picard "Yours truly is a different world", and so many other lines of dialogue and acting moments. I thought she did fine in later episodes after her character proper had died.
     
  14. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    She was truly horrible in Hide & Q. But I don't think she was conspicuously bad generally. She had as much range in that first season than Gates did. She would've done well enough given that her performance in Yesterday's Enterprise was fine. The big thing is that it would've been less likely that we would've got the rich Worf arc which some people don't like but I rather did.
     
  15. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    I think she's the lamest part of that episode. If that's what we had more of to look forward to, we're better off without it, & you're right about Gates, & she paid a price for that. I'm pretty sure that if Pulaski hadn't tanked so hard with cast & fans alike, she'd have been dealt a similar blow. I don't care much for Crosby as an actress, but I can't blame them for the whole thing. TNG's writers did a pretty poor job of developing Troi, Crusher, & Yar, especially in the early years, but hell, they did a poor job of developing Geordi too. A lot of his development was just as weird or awkward, but he's a pretty good actor, & made the best of what he had, which made the character likable. I'd say Sirtis pulled that off too, eventually, but I honestly get rubbed the wrong way by Crusher a lot, & Yar was just awful, & I can't see how it would've gotten much better, by the look of Crosby's later TNG appearances. Face it, character development was a struggle on that show
     
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    With Yar I think the worst part of her whole character arc was "Skin Of Evil". I think it would've been better had Yar not died, but like Beverly, been mentioned as being reassigned to say Starfleet Intelligence, and then we could've seen her in her own story arc.
     
  17. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles HHHHIIIIIIIIIIII... Premium Member

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    You're giving them too much credit. TNG handled character arcs clumsily, or stumbled into them, and we sort of regarded them as arcs in retrospect. Tasha wasn't around long enough to get an arc; half the time she barely had anything to do besides opening or closing the hailing frequencies.
     
  18. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would have liked to see Tasha remain in the series.
     
  19. SAndrews10

    SAndrews10 Captain Captain

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    Ok so all some one needs to do is cross over to a universe where she stayed and bring back a copy of the DVD box set!! :hugegrin:
     
  20. Sakonna

    Sakonna Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I always thought it was such a shame that we didn't get to see how Tasha's development would have been handled with the writing staff from season 3 on. I agree the character and performance can be a bit of a mess in season 1, but I would say that of every regular in season 1. And her backstory offers a lot of interesting raw material that I have no doubt the later-season writers could have done great things with. I don't think her presence would have been a significant impediment to Worf's arc. Memory Alpha tells me Worf was both Chief Tactical Officer and Security Chief. Give Tasha one title, Worf the other. If you don't want him buried at the back of the bridge, put them at different ends of that console they both stood at. None of that is any more of a stretch than the other reshuffling they did at the start of season 2. Problem solved!

    That being said, for me her death adds a lot to the series as a whole (given that this was before the days where every show shockingly kills at least one regular, just so you know they can). I remember finding the occasional moments in the later years where we see how the crew is haunted by her death so powerful, and they were smart to dole those moments out sparingly. The two that stick with me the most are Picard's first interaction with her when he is transported back in time in "All Good Things." And in "Ethics," when Worf wants to kill himself, Riker yelling at him about their deceased crewmates who fought for life and invoking Tasha's name (which was the first mention I heard of the character, having discovered TNG shortly before that episode aired -- I was immediately dying to know what that was all about)

    In the fantasy TNG reboot that exists only in my mind, Wesley starts as a proper Ensign and Academy grad, and Beverly gets the Armus (or whatever) death at the end of the first season. Then you can use that death to spin interesting new stories for Wesley and Picard, and keep Tasha alive to properly explore her for the first time.