The Original Plan for Kes

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by GulBahana, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. GulBahana

    GulBahana Commander Red Shirt

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    Anyone know what the writers originally had in mind for Kes? Were they gonna put a lot of old age makeup on her for the later seasons?
     
  2. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    That was indeed Jeri Taylor's idea per her early notes: "We first meet her as a young woman; she will age every half season and progress into old age." Quoted on Memory Alpha here: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Kes

    Kor
     
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  3. Oddish

    Oddish Commodore Fleet Captain

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    And it would have been very interesting to see that unfold. We got, I think, a blueprint for how that could have happened in "Before and After".
     
  4. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fortunately, it never develope into some syrupy "grow old and die" melodramatic crap. Such storylines belongs to third-rate soap operas and B-movies, not Star Trek which is about adventures and exploring space.

    Instead another idea showed up in season 2.

    It was obvious that the Ocampa could prolong their lifespans, due to what was stated in "Cold Fire". Tanis stated that he was more that 20 years old and that could be possible for Kes as well.

    Obviously the writers toyed with that idea long before the stupid decision to dump the character.
     
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  5. Oddish

    Oddish Commodore Fleet Captain

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    It would have been complicated, for sure. If Kes got married, to Neelix or someone else, there would be the "she's only 2/3/4 years old" argument. If she had a child, and the child aged according to Ocampan norms, you'd have to cast a pair of infant twins, then toddler twins, then single kids of varying ages over the course of a year until you had an adult version. Also, you'd be putting increased amounts of makeup on Kes. Done properly, this could have been wonderful: we'd see, in microcosm, life unfolding in all it's glory and sorrow. Done poorly... syrupy melodramatic crap.

    "Before and After" was actually a clever decision, when you think about it. You see how Kes's life would have unfolded, and even a bit of absurdity in how Tom and Harry wind up as in-laws (and sidestep most of the awkwardness). Because it happens faster (and backward) and the audience sees less, the writers can get away with more.
     
  6. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I considered the whole thing as a mistake from the beginning. The nine-year lifespan which was over -the-top to say the least since such a short lived species could never develope into more than primates, the impossible "only one child" thing and some other craziness as well.

    I remember when I watched "Elogium" for the first time and thought "what were the writers on when they came up with that"? It must have been some potent stuff.

    If there ever were any fragments of truth when they came up with all those explanations about how difficult it was to write for the character, then the lifespan and everything with that was probably those fragments of truth.

    It was notable that the lifespan thing was more and more shoved in the background as the show processed, very seldom mentioned. It actually fits perfect with how the writers reacted when the realized that something they came up with didn't work. Sort of "ah, never mind, the viewers won't notice" or "no problem, we'll fix it later".

    There were actually hints for that in "Cold Fire" when Tanis's talked about Ocampa who had become 20 years old so I guess that the writers were toying with the idea of giving Kes a longer lifespan, maybe with the help of The Doctor or the female Caretaker Suspiria.

    Not to mention that they could have used Q! :techman:
     
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  7. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Aging is part of the human condition that other Trek productions have done very well at addressing. I'm not sure that VOY would have done a great job with it, though.

    Kor
     
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  8. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    Voyager didn't do well with most concepts it brought forth.. Including the whole "lost ship" thing.
    Would have been a good character arc for her, steadily grow older, by season 5 have grey hair , season 6 older, the ship starts looking for options to save her, by season 7 she would be 9 and an old lady.
    Having her pass away after she sees earth would have been emotional. Then maybe lady Q come by and take her away.
     
  9. Bornin1980something

    Bornin1980something Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You know, I only watched Cold Fire once (and hated it), but I clearly remember that Tanis stated that he was 14 years old. His father lived to be 20, and was dead by the time of the episode.
     
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  10. Oddish

    Oddish Commodore Fleet Captain

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    The "lost ship struggling for resources" thing was carried on (somewhat) for awhile, then abandoned. At some point, Voyager gained the ability to infinitely replenish shuttles and torpedoes and build experimental ships from scratch.

    Ironically, they also played out the "ship pushed to its limits" trope in "Year of Hell", when we see Voyager go from immaculate Starfleet vessel to shattered wreck over 257 days, and Janeway go from smartly attired Starfleet captain to disheveled and half crazed woman in a tank top. Like B&A, it's undone by the Voyager Super Strength Reset Button.
     
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  11. Bornin1980something

    Bornin1980something Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Before and After was where the idea for Year of Hell came from.
     
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  12. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    How can anybody hate "Cold Fire", the best of all Voyager episodes? :weep:

    But that's not the main issue here.
    As for my comment about "an Ocampa which was 20 years old", OK, I admit that my comment was a bit sloppy and unclear .
    In which I was referring to an Ocampa who was his father! Of course, I should have mentioned that.

    But my point is that an Ocampa, in this case Tanis's father lived until he became 20 and that Tanis himself was 14 years old, looking like someone not even middle age and could probably live longer than 20 years.

    And that would be possible for Kes as well! :techman:
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  13. Bornin1980something

    Bornin1980something Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sorry, misread you. I did get the impression that Tanis was anticipating further progress, including living longer than his father.

    I was only 11 (at most) when I saw it. Too much horror. And I never liked the mental powers. To me, Kes was the Doctor's friend, like the schoolfriend I didn't have, and also a live lung donor. The real reason I didn't rewatch Cold Fire was Fury, which appears to build on part of the Cold Fire premise in the worst possible way.
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Cartoon Premium Member

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    Do you even Star Trek, bro?
     
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  15. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I can see your points and I really agree with some of it.

    As for me, I was a lot older than you when I watched the episode and as a fan of the character Kes and also a fan of somewhat spooky episodes, I really like it.

    I also like the scenario of Kes being tempted by evil forces but overcoming it with her sharp mind, strong will and determination. After all, without Kes and her powers, the ship would have been doomed.

    I also liked the fact that her increasing powers in that episode was temporary, she lost them when Tanis left the ship. It should have stayed that way because Kes's strenght as a character I see it was her sharp mind, curiosity, strong will and determination, not some superhero thing.

    You do have some points when it comes to "that episode which never should have been made". That episode was nothing but downright insulting crap and you're right about the "writers" using some of the events in "Cold Fire" to come up with the story in the horrible episode in season 6, the episode which finally made me stop watching Voyager. So far, I've only watched "Endgame" in season 7 and that was a big dissapointment.

    However, if Voyager had had thinking writers instead of fools, they may have come up with a good Kes comeback at the end of the show or nothing at all about her which actually had been better instead of insulting the fans of Kes with the crap they did. In that case, what happened in "Cold Fire" would have been an isloated event.
     
  16. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've watched all episodes of TOS, TNG, DS9, season 1-6 of Voyager up to a certain episode in season 6 plus "Endgame", the 5 first episodes of "Enterprise" and the TOS and TNG movies plus the first NuTrek movie and some episodes of "Discovery" and "Picard".

    Ad to that my own constant re-runs on DVD:s of TOS, TNG, DS9 and the first three seasons of Voyager. So yes, I do have certain knowledge of Star Trek

    Unfortunately, the current doom-and-gloom trend in movies and series had affected Star Trek as well which have kept me away from a lot of the recent movies and shows. I'm still waiting for a real return to the 24th century in some series or movie.
     
  17. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Cartoon Premium Member

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    Yes you watch Star Trek, but do you Star Trek? Because syrupy,growing old melodramatic crap(IN SPAAAACE!!!) is about as Star Trek as it gets.
     
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  18. Oddish

    Oddish Commodore Fleet Captain

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    A lot of things would have been different. The show's realism (within the parameters of the fandom) could have been preserved with some very minor changes.
     
  19. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    I thought it was a wonderful idea and if done well, which it was never explored or made interesting, could show life is a blessing and we, however age we are, should live life to our fullest. Age is just a number and we can make it however we want it to be but it doesn't have to be dreadful.
     
  20. Oddish

    Oddish Commodore Fleet Captain

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    A 9-year lifespan could have worked. The one-child limit... did not. If there were 1000 Ocampa, best case scenario is that they would go extinct in under 50 years. A million would be gone in 100, and Earth's current human population would be gone in 160.

    Many countries today have a similar issue: with their one- and two-child families, they're slowly shrinking themselves out of existence.