Why was there never a major Romulan character in a Star Trek TV show?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by The Overlord, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    Re: Why was there never a major Romulan character in a Star Trek TV sh

    Maybe Temis, there is a place in Star Trek for a mysterious enemy, who are largely a unknown quantity.

    One of the complains you hear here concerning the Borg, is that we came to know them too well. They lost part of their scary factor.

    If we learn too much about the Romulans, what will they lose?

  2. GNDN

    GNDN Commodore Commodore

    Nov 20, 2003
    Geosyncrhonous orbit over NJ
    Re: Why was there never a major Romulan character in a Star Trek TV sh

    Well we did get to see Tomalak somewhat regularly, but his character was never too far developed (and came out downright manic in All Good Things) A mysterious enemy is great, and the glimpses we saw from the 2 major Romulan Commanders in TOS were wonderful, as was that provided by Alidar Jarok and the scheme in Data's Day. Wonderfully creepy and unsettling.

    But overall, the more we found out about them, the more conventional they started to become. See Face of the Enemy. Another ship, another crew, another version of the Obsidian Order or Section 31. It is a tough line to walk between the implacable enemy of The Neutral Zone and the more commonplace political maneuvering seen in Unification. I've longed to see more done with the Romulans, but perhaps in many of these cases less was indeed more.

    DS9 did have a wonderful opportunity with Sub Commander T'Rul to have that recurring character and give a better glimpse to the unique Romulan point of view, unfortunately the character was quickly dropped. Any bts info on if there was a larger plan for the character or why she was never seen again?
  3. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 26, 2010
    Re: Why was there never a major Romulan character in a Star Trek TV sh

    The Cardassians were further developed in DS9 and that was seen as a good thing.

    The thing is the Borg were supposed to be scary bogey men, where knowing less about them would make them scarier. The Romulans are not nearly as scary as the Borg were when they started out, so making them more unknown doesn't make more scary like with the Borg, so perhaps developing them more is the way to go. The Romulans don't work as bogeymen the way the Borg do.
  4. tafkats

    tafkats Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 17, 2003
    That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!
    Re: Why was there never a major Romulan character in a Star Trek TV sh

    It would have been cool to explore Romulan culture more, through the lens of a main or recurring character. But I don't think there was any particular reason it didn't happen -- it's just that there were only so many seasons and only so many hours, and that just didn't happen to be the direction anyone went.
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Oct 30, 1999
    Re: Why was there never a major Romulan character in a Star Trek TV sh

    That sort of thing is okay for a short period of time, then it gets dull. It's just a gimmick. The Romulans have been around for close to half a century. They're way past the time when they could rely on mystery alone for interest.

    Well developed characters are always preferable to gimmicks. Of course someone could come along and totally blow the Rommie's development, but I'm always in favor of the riskier option vs boring stagnation.

    Knowing everything about the Borg isn't what destroyed them. They are implacable and unstoppable, and therefore a threat like no other - knowing that doesn't make them less fearsome.

    What screwed them up was being overused, which required them to be beaten by Starfleet on a regular basis, and for assimilation to be reversed whenever it happened to an important character that couldn't be written out of the story. This made the Borg look like chumps. Since their un-chump-hood is their most salient feature - really, their only feature - this was a huge problem.

    The solution there is for the writers to treat the Borg with respect. The Borg always beat Starfleet with very few exceptions, and only when Starfleet is being exceptionally clever (and therefore, the writers must earn this privilege by being exceptionally clever in what they have Starfleet do.)

    I'd impose an ironclad No-Going-Back rule to assimilation. If Spock gets assimilated by the Borg, guess what, now he's a Borg. Forever. So don't play this card unless you're willing to live with the consequences forever.

    Or, to summarize: don't be sloppy and cheap in how you write anything, but most especially, not the Borg.
  6. CaptainMatt

    CaptainMatt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2011
    Sector 001
    Re: Why was there never a major Romulan character in a Star Trek TV sh

    I agree about the Borg issue, but have to say i have been enjoying the VOYager episodes all the same.
    As for recurring Romulans, I always thought TNG would have made better use of Commander Sela. but then I was a huge Denise Crosby fan at the time.