Was Flipping the Casting the Wrong Call?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Bry_Sinclair, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Admiral Admiral

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    I think part of the reason why the "two many female characters" and also the writing in general being bad popped up is because Roddenberry didn't have much of a history of writing interesting female characters. Not only that TOS basically revolved around 3 characters and some say two in just Kirk and Spock. On TNG though he had a ensemble and he wasn't going to just make them bit players like Sulu, Uhura, Chekov and Scotty to a lesser degree. Roddenberry also I guess hadn't written much of anything for years.

    He was basically a has been who was barely a was been even when he was something. While he actually had decent writing experience going into TOS it seems TOS was his only lasting creation. Well and TMP. It's really weird how he got both a second chance with TMP and third chance with TNG only to be replaced by better talents carrying on the franchise afterwards like Nick Meyer and then Michael Pillar and yes even Rick Berman.


    Jason
     
  2. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

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    Not weird at all, it was the financial success of Star Wars and Close encounters of the Third Kind was the reason.
    I agreed based on TOS, GR version of writing female officers working in Starfleet in the 23rd century still had his old school 1950's influence on it, at least he made the doctor and security chief female. It is a shame the Riker character was not a female Pike Number One.
     
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  3. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    He made the security chief female because he had seen Aliens and got the hots for Vasquez. And Beverly Crusher was supposed to be the Enterprise's school teacher until other members of the creative team decided to make her the Chief Medical Officer instead, and even so the first description of her character stated that she'd have the "natural walk of a striptease queen" which she was supposed to seduce Picard into allowing her child (back then still a daughter) onto the bridge.

    And Troi was supposed to be over-sexed and have multiple breasts. So it seems all three female characters were originally created to cater to fetishes/fantasies.
     
  4. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

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    but, but,but....Gene's vision!

    Seriously thanks for the background information, let's admit as much as we love Trek, GR was a pervert.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  5. NigellaDeanna20

    NigellaDeanna20 Commander Red Shirt

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    For me personally, no i don't believe so. I could never have seen Crosby int the role of Troi, given that, in my opinion, I think that Marina played that role to perfection given what little she had to work with. Now I'm not saying for one second that Sirtis as the security chief couldn't have worked, it could have, but here's the thing , sirtis was probably more well suited to play troi (as she did) than Crosby,. Tasha yar certainly didn't deserve to die the way she did in Skin Of Evil (her character deserved a much better death than that if they were going to kill her off)

    It would have been really interesting to see how Yar's character would have developed had Crosby chosen to stay with the show.
     
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  6. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I imagine Crosby Troi would have been more like what Kes ended up being, which might not have been bad (push a bit to play the character as less formal), and Sirtis Hernandez also like Torres ended up being (really pushing that she's devoted to Picard and maybe Riker, tough/standoffish otherwise), probably also quickly being pretty overshadowed by Worf.
     
  7. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Troi had a story.

    Banging Riker.

    Imzadi, courting, marriage, and kids.

    That's 4 seasons.

    Crosby could have stomped her feet, until the writers room got off their ass and gave me what was promised in the pilot.

    Then Yar was supposed to make the android into a real boy again, but that didn't have the juice to keep her interest either.
     
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  8. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While Yar's death was cheap, I find that, ironically, it suited her position.

    Security officers are regularly put in the line of fire. There's a reason why the joke is called a 'redshirt'. Being Chief of Security, Yar was even more on the line due to being on away teams. In the end, she died doing exactly what she was trained to do... protect her shipmates.

    Better death than Jadzia's.
     
  9. Blamo

    Blamo Commodore Commodore

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    Honestly, I feel TNG would lose less from Troi leaving. It's not the actresses fault, more the fact that there really is no need for Troi as a major reoccurring character.
     
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't Jenette Goldstein (Vasquez from Aliens) up for the role of Hernandez at some point?
     
  11. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

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    I’d have been happy keeping Yar on no matter how it worked out. I don’t think Crosby was that bad in the role. She’s a bad actress, no doubt, but as Yar it worked. I don’t think Sirtis is that much better. It all depends on whether you found her tough guy act in Power Play believable. But I’d take a wooden performance to keep Yar around. She may have been conceived as Gene’s femdom sex fantasy, but having a fierce woman on Trek was refreshing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
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  12. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    This thread kinda made me wonder whether Crosby or Sirtis were the best choice to play an action oriented character. Neither of them looked particularly fit or physically imposing. If the character was supposed to be an off-brand Vasquez shouldn't they have looked for an actress who's more muscular and/or physically imposing? Particularly since they seemed to fond of having Yar go hand-to-hand with opponents, resulting in a lot of awkward flailing in Season 1.

    Interestingly I once read that Rosalind Chao (Keiko O'Brien) was a runner up for the Hernandez/Yar character. While she wasn't muscular either, making my above point moot, I think she might have been a better choice for the role. She gives some good and believable performances as Keiko (and Keiko, most of the time, isn't written any better than Troi or Tasha) and I also found her pretty good in her small What Dreams May Come.
    It would have been interesting to see her as a main character/However they would have renamed Hernandez.

    And also, considering that there seem to have been quite a few actresses that they considered for Yar, it's a missed opportunity that they didn't bring any of them back to play a new, action-oriented female character in Season 2.
    Or instead of flipping the cast they could have just not hired Crosby and instead use one of the runner ups for Yar :-P
     
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  13. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hernandez would very roughly translate to Yong/Yonggan in Chinese (from Gan or Mandarin), so that's possible.

    Yuan Zhen or Jin Zhen would be a rough translation of Jeanette Gold or Jinshi Zhen for Jeanette Goldstein.
     
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  14. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Frankly, I can see quite clearly why they put Crosby in as Yar. It's a much more suited casting. I personally have never seen her inhabit any role that played the kind of sensitivity & intuitiveness that Troi is meant to embody. She's a very wooden actor TBH. Playing toughs or hard cases is what she's most cut out for

    I also doubt the reason she left the show was actually as much about the unfulfilling role as it was the marginal prospects of the show in general. She didn't think it was going to work. None of them did. So she just wanted to flee for other opportunities, before it tanked altogether & tarnished her prospects. Of course, when it didn't tank, she jumped at opportunities to play the character again, which rather contradicts the notion that she didn't care for the character. Plus, when being interviewed, it's doubtful she'd say she left the show because she thought it sucked. Saying it was the limitations of the character is a more diplomatic statement.

    I kind of feel like putting Sirtis in as the Yar type would've been kind of a waste of her as well.... well, as much of one anyway. They did their share of wasting her as is
     
  15. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    In the interviews included with my TNG Season 1 DVDs Denise Crosby claims that Roddenberry was chiefly motivated by the physical appearances of her and Marina Sirtis when he flipped the casting. She says that he felt that Troi had to look "exotic" while she was looked too much like an "All American Golden Girl" (she then smiles and further claims that he said she "looked too much like Grace Kelley") So I'm not sure whether their skill factored much into it, though in an interview Marina Sritis also claims Roddenberry called her (Sirtis) the best actress out of the three female cast members in season 1.

    Though that being said I have read about actors being switched from one part to another or reading for multiple parts in other productions as well, so this case might not be as unusual as it sounds at first.
     
  16. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A good example of that is Robert Picardo and Ethan Phillips. They were originally going for each other's roles.
     
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  17. PhotoBoy

    PhotoBoy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Were Crosby and Sirtis actually hired/cast in the roles of Troi and Macha respectively and then the change was made, or did they just come in to read for those parts and someone suggested they try swapping? I'm just curious how far along things were before the switch.
     
  18. ThankQ

    ThankQ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It'd have been nice to see the version of Yar we would have gotten in Seasons 3-7. Everything else was 50x better. Surely she would have been, too.
     
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  19. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They all took time to grow into their roles and I'd think that Denise Crosby would be the same.
     
  20. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It bothered me that Guinan said she had an empty death when it was actually pretty heroic of her.