Michael Dorn introduction vs. Jeri Ryan

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by IntrepidMan, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. IntrepidMan

    IntrepidMan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    I was wondering how similar Michael Dorn's introduction on DS9 was to Jeri Ryan's on VOY. In both cases the writers/producers decided to bring in a new regular character in the fourth season to boost the ratings and rejuvenate the series. With DS9, they went with a popular, big-name character from a previous series, whereas on VOY they brought in a "babe" to boost sex-appeal.

    I've heard there was tension on the set when Ryan came to VOY--some of the other actors were jealous that this newcomer was stealing the spotlight and getting all of the attention. Was there similar tension when Dorn came to DS9? And did bringing Worf back work? Supposedly Seven really did boost VOY's ratings and saved the show--did Worf do the same for DS9?
     
  2. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Gray Owl Wizard Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    If Jeri Ryan brought in new Veiwers, then that means she also drove away viewers, because Voyager had a steady slide in ratings every single season, I believe.
     
  3. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Both Voyager and DS9 got ratings boosts from adding Seven and Work but the boosts pretty much faded quickly and ratings still continued to slide.
     
  4. indolover

    indolover Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Post-Scorpion, Seven became the major character in the show.

    DS9 remained an ensemble post-Way of the Warrior. I would say though that both Scorpion and Way of the Warrior are amongst the best of their respective series.
     
  5. IntrepidMan

    IntrepidMan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    Seven became a major character on the show. Janeway and the Doctor were also major characters, Janeway by virtue of being the captain and the Doctor because the writers just liked him. The other characters--especially the male ones--suffered and were never fully developed. But I don't think that's Seven's fault. The writers didn't care much for Chakotay, Kim, etc. and probably wouldn't have done much with them anyway, even if Seven had never showed up. Hell, they were going to kill off Kim in Scorpion.

    Both Scorpion and Way of the Warrior were good shows, I agree.
     
  6. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    I could be wrong since I wasn't there, but I'd heard Michael Dorn was generally a very easy actor for others to work with, and well liked.

    Stuff like this (go to 10:29 on this video to see his one-liner) shows why.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=362wQRCy5xQ
     
  7. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    A little off topic, but Michael Dorn did say that when he got to DS9, the mood and atmosphere amongst the actors was very serious, not much joking around, having fun etc, unlike the TNG set. I think he'd like to believe he tried to change that!
     
  8. PKTrekGirl

    PKTrekGirl Arrogant Niner Thug Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2001
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Jeez, these spambots are getting annoying.

    [/mod rant] :p
     
  9. DeepSpaceWine

    DeepSpaceWine Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    The Seven-Janeway-Doctor show didn't start until May 1999 ("Someone to Watch Over Me" [April 28th actually], "11:59", "Relativity", "Warhead"). She was on the show for 2 seasons when it was ensemble. Harry Kim & Chakotay had a fair number of episodes in Seasons 4-5. Neelix had 1 per season and was already obsolescing after Season 3 (Fair Trade, Rise).

    The only person who had tension with Jeri Ryan was Mulgrew. Must've been some queen bee vs. rival young queen bee kind of fight. They were both quite professional to mask that hostility (which sounded like it was one way, from Mulgrew) given all the scenes they had together. Beltran couldn't mask his apathy. Wang could act his way out of a wet paper bag, but a wooden crate or barrel? Not quite.

    As for ratings, I've seen 'em, have 'em on another computer. The premieres were a spike (Scorpion Part II, Way of the Warrior), but it's hard to separate out the new arrival from the event (Borg, Klingons attack). Ratings were high, but not as high over the next episode or two, and then returned to the normal pattern of declining ratings. Draw a steep line down a short distance, then change the angle to a long gradual decline- that's DS9 & Voyager's overall ratings over 7 seasons. Oh yeah, toss in a low spike for the finale, and a spike for DS9's tribble episode.

    Seven seemed to work out better than Worf. She had a lot of good episodes and she had a good role and even came with her own 'playset' (Astrometrics). She was basically Sacagawea 2.0 to Neelix the 1.0, bringing Borg knowledge of races and space ahead. She was in the becoming human role filled by Data & the Doctor. She played the vulnerable/weak side of that quite well in Season 4 (the strength of being part of the collective vs. the weakness of the individual). Only over Season 5 did she turn into the typical superhuman like Data, Spock (the one immune to all the effects of something, with the occasional reversal where they are the only one vulnerable to something in one episode). They were able to get more out of her character than others, though Voyager writers were kind of lazy (Chakotay could've been interesting), though nowhere near as lazy as Stargate writers in late Atlantis into Universe.

    Worf by contrast felt like he didn't bring much. Him doing double duty between DS9 & the TNG movies seemed very contrived. He would've been stronger as a recurring character like Martok, a special liaison to DS9 for the Klingon War then the Dominion War (basically like hired muscle, reassigned whenever DS9 needed him since he was the only Klingon in Starfleet and he brought tactical/weapon skills). He wasn't really necessary and only contributed to the Klingon episodes as an ally & confidante of his own kind to Martok. Dax's character turned from Jadzia into Kurzon when they decided to pair her up with Worf. She became more brash, boorish, losing all of the charm she had in the 1st 4 seasons. Worf episodes that weren't Klingon episodes were pretty weak ("Let He Who is Without Sin..."). He was good against the Jem'Hadar though ("To the Death", "By Inferno's Light").
     
  10. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    Trill, Federation World and Proud
    I'll say this. Voyager needed Seven of Nine a heck of a lot more than Deep Space Nine needed Worf to come on board. I thought DS9 was doing just fine without Worf and didn't feel he added anything to the show and actually detracted from Jadzia's character, VOY desperately needed something to spice it up and Seven had a hugely positive impact. As for her impact on ratings though, that was pretty negligible.
     
  11. Winterwind

    Winterwind Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Location:
    London, Canada
    ^ I agree with that. VOY needed Seven more than DS9 needed Worf and Jadzia's character, at least for my tastes, suffered as a result of that pairing.
     
  12. IntrepidMan

    IntrepidMan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who disliked the way Jadzia changed. Apparently the writers didn't know what to do with her, how to develop her cool, mysterious "Grace Kelly"-type persona that we saw in the first few seasons. So they went in a different direction and made her much more aggressive. Like you say, she lost all of her charm and I just didn't enjoy watching her anymore.

    Yes I agree. The Defiant and the Dominion are what really spiced up DS9. Not that I am at all criticizing the space-station setting, but having a starship to roam around in really opened up possibilities, and of course the continuous war storyline dominated the last seasons. These things, much more than Worf, are what turned the show around.

    Contrast that with Seven, who like you say had an hugely positive impact. I don't mind that the writers focused on her character because there were interesting things to explore and it was fun watching her interact with the rest of the crew. Still, it would have been nice if her development didn't happen at the expense of ignoring almost all of the other characters.

    The bottom line is, I can imagine DS9 without Worf, or at least without Worf as a main character. The Dominion War, the inter-species conflicts--these are what defined the show. Whereas it is difficult to picture VOY without the Seven of Nine character because she just came to dominate the show, to the point where the viewer is surprised if she only makes a brief appearance in an episode.
     
  13. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    I didn't like Jadzia either. But I still like Worf. Personally, I think he could've done better than her. He needed someone where there would be mutual respect, and the pairing with Jadzia did not fit the bill.
     
  14. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    Trill, Federation World and Proud
    Jadzia was probably the most eligible bachelorette in the whole Federation, I don't know how anyone could have done better tbh.
     
  15. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Oddly enough, I think that had Bashir not ruined it by stalking her, he would have been a better match for Jadzia given that they both had a similarly light attitude towards relationships. If they both understood their relationship the same way, that would've worked since they'd be on the same page with each other as Worf and Jadzia were not.

    But of course Bashir ruined it by being a creepy stalker in the earlier seasons.
     
  16. IntrepidMan

    IntrepidMan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    The fact that Jadzia spoke Klingon and her knowledge of Klingon culture seemed to make her a good match for Worf, although I guess if that's what really mattered then he would have been better off with an actual Klingon wife. I agree that they had very different personalities--Worf serious and taciturn, Jadzia gregarious and light-hearted. But you know what they say about opposites attracting.

    At least Jadzia was a better match than Troi, although it depends on which Worf we're talking about. If Worf is as a big teddy bear, like he was sometimes portrayed on TNG, then Troi might be a good partner. But if you think of Worf as the snarling Klingon that he actually is, then he needs a partner willing to duke it out with him in the holosuite--which Jadzia does. :klingon:
     
  17. Thestral

    Thestral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Worf has a history of going after women that, on the surface, don't seem a good match for being either too "irreverent" (Keh'leyr, Dax), or too "soft" (Troi).

    You think Jadzia was "disrespectful"? At least she was willing to marry the guy - Keh'leyr said "Um... not." Also, was an awesome character for what little we saw of her.
     
  18. BennyRussel

    BennyRussel Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Right around the corner. Just across the track.
    K'Ehleyr was willing to take the oath with Worf and tried to do so just before she was killed. Worf backed down because of the shame he felt regarding dis-commendation and what it would mean for his wife and son.
     
  19. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    I am in agreement that Worf did not radically change DS9, whereas Seven radically changed Voyager. Worf was part of an ensemble in DS9, where he fitted in very well, and developed very well. It certainly helped that the writers who had done him well in TNG were working on DS9 too.

    We are forgetting, however, that from The Way of the Warrior onwards, the amount of Klingon time on DS9 increased so much so that it dwarfed their appearances on other shows. Worf's introduction was part of a refocusing of the show away from the then-nebulous and intangibly sinister Dominion threat, to more concrete antagonists and situations. This refocusing saw what became Homefront and Paradise Lost bumped to the mid-season, and WotW and the Klingon situation created - which was only made better by Worf's inclusion in the show. *

    This narrative change, which was helped through the placement of Dorn's character and indeed his talent in the already large and talented DS9 ensemble localised the threat and sense of danger in the show (which was echoed by the idea of 'Borg space' in Voy's S4). Unlike in Voyager, the introduction of Worf, the new Klingon-Cardassian conflict and such like were not (quite) 180 turns away from changeling infiltrators, given that the writers skillfully placed the changeling threat in established AQ locations and races (with a course correction away from Earth). This of course was highly important for development of the series henceforth, since though the GQ presense was lessened, the GQ effect on the AQ (through the familiar guises of Klingons, Cardassians, and so on) was heightened enormously. It also laid the seeds for the idea of a war situated in the AQ a creative year and half later.

    * indeed, think how different plots like Sins of the Father, Redemption, etc., would have been without Worf as our protagonist. They would be more comparable to plots like Unification, where we simply perceived this alien state, and never quite entered into it or got to believe in it. Without Worf in DS9, the Klingon situation (a) would not have been developed, and (b) would have been a bit less well felt, given the absence of a protagonist whose story was tied to the machinations of the Klingon nobility.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  20. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Worf did not detract from DS9, but he also did not add anything to it. Worf is a completely unnecessary character.

    DS9 has plenty of those. Other include Jadzia, Ezri, and Keiko. Those characters actually do detract from the show.

    As for Voyager, it absolutely needed to add the visual appeal of Seven, because Voyager had nothing else going for it.