The Daughter of the 5th House

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by 2takesfrakes, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 13, 2013
    California, USA
    I have always felt that Lwaxana Troi was an aweful character that, had she not been a vehicle for Majel Barrett, would've been - at most - a one off character we'd never have to see again. In the main, I found watching her perpetual mid-life crisis to be awkward and irritating ... though, occasionally, she would have a decent moment, or so. But these were infrequent and rarely worth suffering through. Partly, this has to do with the writing. What I find, however is that it's more to do with having been miscast. Even if she were only ever intended for Mrs. Roddenberry, Majel's often ill-considered performances made her scenes a chore to suffer through, rather than to be entertained by. I've said it before that Sophia Loren would've been a far better choice for the role. The writing, as a result would've improved appreciably and I'd probably look forward to her unannounced visits to the good ship Enterprise. So ... are you in full agreement with that assessment? Or ... do you see Lwaxana from a different perspective?
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  2. ALF

    ALF Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 12, 2005
    Program Melmac1 - Holodeck 3
    Never thought about recasting. I find it difficult to imagine. Who for example might have worked in the role?
    I do find I need to be in the mood to enjoy the Lwaxana episodes... except Dark Page. I am never ever in the mood for Dark Page, ever.
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  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Great Britain
    Wasn't the character written to be annoying/over bearing etc...
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  4. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 18, 2007
    In a way, yes, but Majel's interpretations & influence also made her seem, crass, shallow, entitled & inconsequential. There seemed to be no point to her. Be honest. Was there ever a time you heard her use her full ambassadorial title, where you didn't think OMG who gives a crap? I never heard an official title in all of Star Trek that seemed less important. It was so much of a running gag, that I think I recall even HER using it once & could barely be bothered to make all the way to the end, without being completely unimpressed by it lol

    While she is supposed to be an overbearing mother to Deanna, I really don't think the intention was for her to be a total gag of a character, & with the exception of one or 2 stories, that's all she ever was

    I agree that in the hands of a better, more nuanced, less hamfisted actress, it need not have been that way, & as we know of tv development, sometimes the characters are developed based on the input & or at least the interpretations the actors bring to them. She really gave em nothing imho

    Edit: Also, the dead black eyes, did her no favors. It sucked all the expression out of her face, unlike Sirtis, who could at least work with it
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  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    Of course. And that was the whole point.

    Lwaxana was intended from day one to be a pushy, flamboyant Auntie Mame. And at that, she succeeded brilliantly.

    Who knows, it may have been decades (if not centuries) since any of her actual ambassadorial titles had any meaning. But that's why we love her so much - she takes the most inconsequential things and blows them up way out of proportion.

    In my mind, Lwaxana is the greatest Trek character Majel ever played. Nobody could have done it the way she did.
  6. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 18, 2007
    I don't know. I'm betting any comic actress with any salt could've played it exactly the same. Lucille Ball, could've run laps around her on that track. The question is, why would you want to play that on Star Trek?

    I'll admit some bias though, because I've never been a fan of the hammy Star Trek characters at all, like Harry Mudd. I'm not fond of schtick on Star Trek. Even Q pushes it, & if it weren't for the fact that DeLancie is just terrific, I wouldn't like Q. In the hands of a lesser actor, that character might not play as well.
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  7. Herbert

    Herbert Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 20, 2017
    CT - The sad land of Lamont. We're screwed
    Never liked the character and when they moved away from her dog and pony show into more serious topics, it got even worse. Majel may have been the perfect choice to play the character but the character was pretty bad. Manhunt is the only episode with her that I truly enjoy. Cost of Living is kind of a guilty pleasure. The rest? I wish they had never made the rest.

    Two characters that were definitely overused in Trek were Lwaxana and Q.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  8. Catarina

    Catarina Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 29, 2014
    Well acted. Annoying character. That's to put it simply. I do empathize with her in Dark Page. There is something endearing about Majel that comes through but ehhhh I just don't like that character.
  9. Kytee

    Kytee Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 18, 2003
    Calgary, AB
    I've grown to appreciate her a bit more then when I first watched her. I do agree that she has to many over the top reactions to things , but I liked that she pushed the characters out of their comfort zones.
    To be honest , when I think of her character the first episodes that come to mind are her appearances in DS9 , not TNG. That's probably why I remember her fondly more then anything, her interactions with Odo were extremely touching, and I think they showed more of what the actress could do with less comical writing .
    I always wondered if she was written so eccentric in TNG to contrast her with the cold clinical computer voice ; making it less likely for the audience to realize the same actress was the voice of the computer we heard every episode
  10. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    The glorious Shetland Isles!
    She's the TV trope of the overbearing and/or interfering mother, who still treats her adult offspring like a child.

    I've never had any issues with Lwaxana, yes she can be a little annoying at times but then she'll be very endearing the next moment. DS9 did a lot more for her, seeing as how she didn't have a daughter present to pester.
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  11. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 22, 2001
    Burlington, VT, USA
    I liked Lwaxana both as a comic foil and a serious character. Sadly I don't think Majel did crying scenes well...or maybe she did them very well, because I always found them incredibly awkward and uncomfortable, but then...maybe that's the point?
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  12. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 20, 2016
    Anyone who could make stuffy Picard uncomfortable was fine by me
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  13. Armus

    Armus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 14, 2003
    Massachusetts, USA
    "Oh Jean Luc shame on you for thinking such a thing..."

    Haven was my favorite Lwaxana episode because I enjoyed the playful bickering with Wyatt's parents. I agree that the more serious Lwaxana episodes were tiresome. I still haven't haven't felt any desire to watch Dark Page all the way through.
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  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    After all these years it really kind of creeps me out to see Robert Knepper playing such a...nice guy. You really can't watch that episode now without going "Hey! It's T-Bag!"
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  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    I agree that the 'overbearing entitled noble' part of her character was annoying but I think she had some positive moments the times we see some other sides of her character. More so in her relationship with Odo in DS9 than we usually saw in TNG. And I think the attributes that are usually annoying worked to her favor in Menage a Troi.
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  16. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Jul 31, 2001
    Dahar Master final exams
    She got better character development on DS9.

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  17. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 9, 2015
    She was powerful in Half a Life. The writers got carried away with the overbearing parent thing. Barrett is a capable performer -- if the writers had just reigned the comedy in somewhat with some of the episodes she would've been a stronger character and less of a caricature.
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  18. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

    Dec 15, 2012
    Deanna's log says it all:

    "Counsellor Deanna Troi, personal log, stardate 44805.3. My mother is on board.<silence>."
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  19. Terok Nor

    Terok Nor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 26, 2015
    Rigel VII
    I adored Lwaxana. Funny, overbearing, self important, ultimately kind and passionate.

    Her friendships with Odo and Alexander were sweet.
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  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Kang, now with ridges Premium Member

    Nov 4, 2001
    House of Kang
    Not a lot of competition there. ;)
    1. Lwaxana
    2. Computer
    3. Chapel
    4. Number One.
    In that order. :p