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Why were so many characters on Voyager underdeveloped?

HisRoyalHighnessTheKing

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 3:58 am

Poor conception.


VOY had two interesting regular characters, Tom Paris and the EMH


The rest were bland, and were always going to be bland because they were poorly brainstormed during the initial creative process.


Torres was a weak retread of Worf, only far less interesting. She seemed to have permanent PMS


Kes was always doomed. Whenever you have a character described in the conceptual process as "ethereal" you know you are onto a dud. Deanna Troi was the same way. Jadzia Dax was too, before they rescued the character by making her into a wise-cracking "big sister" type.


Neelix was a whimsical and annoying character. Useless too once he reached the end of space that was known to him. There was nowhere for that character to go.


Harry Kim was completely pointless. A bland and weak character. He suffered greatly by being the OPS officer. OPS is simply not required on Star Trek. The role can be filled by the Science Officer and Chief Engineer.


Chakotay was undermined as soon as he decided to abandon Maquis principles to become Janeway's yes-man and secret admirer. His concept seemed to be based entirely on his ethnicity, which is simply not enough to make a character interesting.


Seven was the sure sign that the show was struggling. Her addition to Trek would cause damage that would be fully manifested with T'Pol on ENT. The Borg did not need to be humanised (or sexualised), although in fairness, this self-defeating process began with "Hugh" and the Borg Queen. The Borg should always have been a faceless monolithic civilisation devoid of individuality. Her character was too powerful and "uber". In essence, she was the female Wesley Crusher


Tuvok was OK. Neither great nor bad. Vulcans are best suited for Science roles, rather than Tactical and Security IMO. Tuvok needed to be the rational voice of reason, which is more suited for a scientific purpose on the ship


Janeway was the worst character, because she needed to be the best. She was irrational and stubborn, even when obviously wrong. Once you lose belief in the captain character, the rest of the show fails. Her "hands on hips, let's investigate, Starfleet is great!!!" attitude was jarring.


 


May God Save The King

Matthias Russell

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 8:16 am

You have to admit the Kes concept had great potential in developing a character with a short life span.

wissa

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 8:23 am

when you look at something like Firefly and what they were able to do with their group of characters in 12 episodes while still visiting planets and interacting with the locals you really grasp how all the star trek episodes squandered their time as far as character development went.


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SLagonia

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 8:29 am

Quote: wissa @ Sep. 14 2011, 8:23 am

>

>when you look at something like Firefly and what they were able to do with their group of characters in 12 episodes while still visiting planets and interacting with the locals you really grasp how all the star trek episodes squandered their time as far as character development went.

>


Very, very true. 


I think some of it may actually have been about the focus of the show.  Voyager was supposed to be (note: SUPPOSED to be) a character-driven show, but with the mindset that this was TNG season eight (TNG being a story-driven show), we were left with characterless character drama. 


Firefly on the other hand, was a full character-driven show that had a clear plan to flesh the characters out and use the events around them to their fullest potential.  In just a handfull of episodes, we had a good feel for every one of those characters.


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Blinkn

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 12:40 pm

YourRoyalHighness, well damn you just about hit the nail on the head.


Kelis, I can't argue with you about my the tenor of my concerns. Nobody wants a poorly concieved and portrayed cast, no matter their makeup. But I keep beating the dead horse, because EVERYBODY wants good characters, I just want a few of them to be something other than white and straight.


It may seem like a trite complaint, but part of developing a great cast of characters involves challenging everthing you take for granted. Otherwise, you may get your Malcolm Reynolds, but I'm stuck with another Harry Kim and Travis Mayweather, who it doesn't matter if the actor's any good cause the character's crap.


The characters gonna be crap, because he always has been, some half assed, half there, half talking, no personality having brown man like in every other show except DS9. And it would seem that too many Trek fan think the show and its captain were too dark and inconsistant with the franchize, pun intended.


And if we're not gonna bother with considering actually creating a worthwhile brown character, don't even dare think about getting a gay.


 


 

SLagonia

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 12:57 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>I'll disagree with you on Janeway of course. She wasn't "perfect Picard", she was real and had flaws. One of the reasons I liked her so.


Yes, but those flaws were unintentional.  Jeri Taylor apparently felt Janeway was Jesus, or something.


"If it doesn't work, paint it." -Unofficial Motto of the Starfleet Border Patrol -------- "Speak for the unheard, secure the vulnerable, bring light to the dark, fight for those who cannot" -Real motto of The Starfleet Border Patrol

SLagonia

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 1:49 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>

>

>I'll disagree with you on Janeway of course. She wasn't "perfect Picard", she was real and had flaws. One of the reasons I liked her so.

Yes, but those flaws were unintentional.  Jeri Taylor apparently felt Janeway was Jesus, or something.

Well, she was the first "gal" in the hot seat, so she had to come off competent...

Just like Sisko as the first black Captain. He had to succeed, especially early on.


Except Sisko was writen as if he were any other person.  None of the writers really cared what race he was.  Janeway was clearly written to be a woman, and I think that really hampered Kate's portrayal of the character, and it was only after the character was able to begin grow that she able to spread her wings a little.  The lines she was given in the early going were all very stilted and her character was written to be a know-it-all superwoman who kept making stupid decissions and getting people killed. 


"If it doesn't work, paint it." -Unofficial Motto of the Starfleet Border Patrol -------- "Speak for the unheard, secure the vulnerable, bring light to the dark, fight for those who cannot" -Real motto of The Starfleet Border Patrol

KelisThePoet

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 1:55 pm

Well, I've revisited this thread today to find more of the same I found yesterday: general, blanket assertions that the Voyager characters are "bad," and a few posts that go into more detail about why they're supposedly "bad," but what do those details have to do with development or underdevelopment of the characters?  If you hate the concept of the characters from the beginning (and, of course, you're entitled to hate anything you want to hate), there's no way the writers will please you.  Any character development will be bad development if you hate the way the characters were initially conceived.


So, can anyone really point to evidence that the Voyager characters were underused--either in comparison to other shows, or in relation to what could have been done, were any of the Voyager characters given insufficient screen time.  Or does anyone have a specific gripe about how a character changed or didn't change--not how they were originally conceived, but how they developed, in contrast to how they realistically could have been developed?


Or is this just another generic "I hate Voyager" thread around which the show's perennial detractors can rally because they personally prefer watching something completely different?


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willowtree

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 6:10 pm

if you think that the characters were underdeveloped you need to actually WATCH the show. Voyager had the MOST developed and interesting characters in all of Star Trek.

willowtree

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 6:11 pm

"Or is this just another generic "I hate Voyager" thread around which the show's perennial detractors can rally because they personally prefer watching something completely different?"


 


BINGO!


 

Matthias Russell

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 6:19 pm

Kelis, I mentioned Kes, didn't I?


I was looking forward to Kes before the show started. Then the writers missed the whole point of her. She was a great way to tell stories about aging and facing death. You could start with her seeing life through the optimism and hopes of a teenager and end the series wise, calm, reflective. But instad they just used her for telepathy stories. Her major contribution was helping the Doctor gain his humanity; and the Doctor was the highligh of VOY to me in how he explored growing pains and obtaining a sense of identity.

Same with Neelix. Neelix was filled with regrets and bitterness but you rarely saw that side. They made him into the ship's clown and irrepresible happy go lucky guy. Neelix shined when he had to face the deaths of his family or prove he was not a coward, but those instance were few and far between.  I liked Neelix but he is probably the most hated main character in the franchise and I can understand why.


 


So there are 2 characters with great potential but never used properly.  Heck, they simply gave up on Kes and got rid of her before ever properly developing her.  Then her return which once again missed a great opportunity to explore her looming mortality.  They sent her away and pretended she could make it home!


Matthias Russell

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 6:27 pm

Quote: willowtree @ Sep. 14 2011, 6:10 pm

>

>if you think that the characters were underdeveloped you need to actually WATCH the show. Voyager had the MOST developed and interesting characters in all of Star Trek.

>


 


I think this could be true of Seven and the Doctor.  Janeway was was well developed but could have used more.  I definitely would have liked more Janeway back story; to really learn more about the experiences that made her who she is. 



Most of the characters lacked the back story the other show's had but being far from home and away from family and past aquaintances, they were limited in this ability without flashbacks.


Matthias Russell

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 6:44 pm

This old thread had some excellent points as how Kim was powerly developed or simply not interesting


http://www.startrek.com/boards-topic/33345299/the-harry-kim-thread


 

Tureaz'47

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 6:53 pm

Were they Adolescent?



It's strange, being a catalyst for things that move outside.

willowtree

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Report this Sep. 14 2011, 7:10 pm

come on now, pretty much every character had major development, especially tom and b'elanna. They went from being rebellious kids to adults, married with a family on the way. Pretty much every character on voyager had a great backstory....Chakotay left his tribe, turned his back on the way of his people to join starfleet. Kes left her friends and family possbly to never see them again to try to get to the surface and then again when she decided to stay on Voyager. Tuvok was ready to give up logic and the ways of Vulcans for the love of a girl. Neelix watched his home destroyed and his family die. Tom grew up in the shadow of an admiral, never living up to the potential his father wanted from him. B'elanna was split among two worlds neither of which wanted her, and with the shadow of her father leaving because she was too klingon for him hanging over her her whole life.


 


that's far more intersting that the perfect cookie cutter starfleet officers of TNG and DS9

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