What would Roddenberry have thought about how the Sisko character turned out?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by at Quark's, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    I've come to understand that Gene saw DS9's concept before he died, and he basically OK'd it.

    Now, in the early seasons, Sisko's attitudes are ambiguous at best with regards to his Emissary role. Those wormhole aliens just might really be those Prophets from the Bajoran religion, or they might not. Sisko hadn't really decided if this Emissary stuff was for him , but he decided to go along with it for the time being, as his prime role was to get the Bajorans ready for assimilation admittance into the Federation.

    In the later seasons though, it seems he came to accept his emissary role more unreservedly and accept more of their guidance in his life, even though he still did not always agree with the Prophets' viewpoint. All the same, the "Prophets / just a wormhole species living outside of linear time" ambiguity never really was resolved. (I'm not saying it should have been, just that DS9 always left room for both viewpoints).

    Now, in TOS (and TNG) where his influence was strong, 'Gods' usually get unmasked as being counterfeit- though not always. What do you think he would have thought of this gradual evolution of perspective?
     
  2. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Depends on the size of his royalty check.
     
  3. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's a lot hanging on "basically." From what I understand, many major issues weren't even explored, not to say decided upon, until his death. I think the extent of his approval was passive nodding as Berman and Piller threw out some vague suggestions about a possible spin-off. One of those things was that the lead character would have a son--a detail that was at the center of Brandon Tartikoff's pitch, that was nowhere in Berman's discussions with Roddenberry.

    Had Roddenberry survived to see the end of the series, I think he would have weakly opposed the development of Sisko. He would not have been happy with the coexistence with religion that the series arrived at. However, Roddenberry cultivated stereotypes about women and minorities. Fifty Year Mission reveals that he held beliefs that were quite frightening and clearly contrary to the image of the visionary of a future utopia. To put it bluntly, I suspect Roddenberry would allow the writers to do more with Sisko because the character was black.
     
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  4. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He'd tell us Sisko wouldn't be the heroic noble perfect captain that Kirk or Picard were.

    He was aware of the spinoff, but all the stuff he'd call "apocryphal" wouldn't come for a few years. He would not begin to sanction anything like "For the Uniform" or "In the Pale Moonlight". He was on record being against religion so the Prophets stuff wouldn't have gotten very far other than the Trek cliche of "you humans are puny but can grow" (something TNG's Q subverted because he was more cynical and antagonist as opposed to all the incorporeal beings in TOS that were all sugary nice.)
     
  5. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Roddenberry's opinion stopped mattering to me a very, very long time ago.

    Speculation on what his opinion might have been matters even less.
     
  6. GulBahana

    GulBahana Commander Red Shirt

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    Roddenberry wouldn't have liked DS9 but I do.
     
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  7. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    DS9 breaks a pretty fundamental Roddenbox rule(which I will paraphrase):

    "There are lots of godlike alien beings, but humans are better, because they are mortal."

    In Roddenberry's 23rd/24th century, Humans would reject godhood/immortality if it were offered to them.
     
  8. Jonesy

    Jonesy Commodore Commodore

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    I think he believed his own press, and I think through that it went beyond simply being a television producer/creator.

    Roddenberry's final years were strange, to put it mildly. His involvement in TNG, setting aside the characters that he wrote, was fraught with problems once the series was created and was in production.
     
  9. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    It actually happens that way in that early TNG episode, Hide and Q. (to Riker).
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  10. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Huh? Why would Roddenberry allow the writers to do more with Sisko because he’s black?

    And what do you mean “cultivated stereotypes about minorities?” He was liberal for his time and minorities were got worse treatment, if any, elsewhere

    I think he would have had a problem with the Prophets being aliens yet being worshiped as gods (something never sufficiently addressed), he would have had a problem with the massive war arc, and he would have had a problem with Sisko being more angry and aggressive than what he might imagine a Starfleet officer’s default mode to be.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  11. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    I think the idea is that his personal viewpoints may not have been quite the same as the ideas he tried to portray on the show, and the spin that he always put on things in later years. After all, NBC sent him a memo saying the cast of TOS should more diverse after "The Cage."

    Kor
     
  12. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's all in Fifty Year Mission Volume 2: Roddenberry harbored racist and sexist notions. I'm speculating that he might have let Sisko be more "flawed"--less likely reflective of Roddenberry's ideal future human--if he were black.
     
  13. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That seems like the near opposite of what Roddenberry tried for.

    My father, when living, would say stupidly racist things too at times, yet could in the same breath completely overturn himself. He would also be enraged when black people were treated unjustly by the powers that be and railed against race being a manufactured tool by the powerful to divide and conquer. People can be complex.

    Was Roddenberry secretly racist? I suppose both he and Martin Luther King could have been too, but I find it extremely suspect.
     
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  14. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    It's not out of the realm of possibility that Roddenberry's personal life didn't live up to the ideals that he portrayed on Trek.
    He was also a heavy smoker, but he felt that nobody would smoke anymore in the Star Trek era and he fought against having cigarettes on the show.

    Kor
     
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  15. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm sure plenty of people who stood up for racial or gender equality may have been put off by people of a different color or ethnicity or sex. However, it is known that Roddenberry's beliefs affected the workplace, and in the end, affected how people worked or how episodes were shaped. The most famous example is Angel One, wherein Roddenberry insisted that the women leaders were portrayed as having distinctively "feminine" flaws and the men were portrayed as highly effeminate, all with the intention of discrediting the notion of women in power.
     
  16. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don’t know how accurate that is. If he were as chauvinistic as suggested, he wouldn’t have created a functioning matriarchal society in the first place. That the males were smaller and “effeminate” fits with the idea that the females were in power for reasons similar to why men are here on Earth.

    And the matriarchal Angel One-ians might have been the baddies, but he also came up with in that episode matriarchal Betazoids and they certainly weren’t.
     
  17. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    True, but in this thread the question was what would he be like professionally, and I think it’s too easy to have him paint Sisko any less heroic as he would his other characters.
     
  18. Beckerjr

    Beckerjr Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This could be said about allot of people when it comes to what they may say publicly.
     
  19. ToyBoxComix

    ToyBoxComix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm sure there are a number of things in DS9 that Roddenberry wouldn't have liked, and I don't really mind. He got more rigid in his ideas as he got older. TNG didn't really get good until his involvement decreased. I love the thing that he created, but as a person, he had some significant shortcomings.

    Intentional or not, I think Zefram Cochrane in First Contact is an allegory for Gene. He built something wonderful that made the world a better place but he did it mostly for selfish reasons.
     
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