ST: Discovery showrunners fired for "increasingly abusive" behavior
June 15, 2018 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Star Trek: Discovery's production woes continue, after it broke last night that showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts were fired for abusive behavior and budgetary overruns. Multiple writers on the show are reported to have been so upset that they threatened to go to HR or quit the series entirely. Executive producer Alex Kurtzman will take over showrunning duties, although it's not clear if this is a temporary or permanent decision.

Akiva Goldsman, brought in after original creator and showrunner Bryan Fuller was fired, is also gone.

Rocky production is nothing new for Star Trek, though--most famously, the behind-the-scenes abuses at Star Trek: The Next Generation in its first two seasons nearly torpedoed the series until Rick Berman and Michael Piller were hired as executive producer and showrunner, respectively. The events were immortalized in the 2014 documentary Chaos on the Bridge. Veteran Original Series writers DC Fontana and David Gerrold left the series because of similar abuses.

The second season of Star Trek: Discovery is scheduled to premiere in 2019.
posted by Automocar (82 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Given the super out of left field and creepy direction the show's narrative suddenly took at the end of its first season, this news doesn't surprise me.
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:06 PM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


On why 'good, I hated the first season anyway' is not a good response.

Anyway, it's good to know that action was actually taken this time. It sounded like they were already planning to change things up a lot - hopefully that will help make the transition smoother.

(note: this comment was not in response to Hermione Granger's)
posted by dinty_moore at 1:07 PM on June 15, 2018 [10 favorites]


As someone who really liked the first season - with caveats, of course - I have hope for the second season, and Star Trek in general. I'm grateful to have some new Star Trek in my life.
Keep moving forward, keep IDIC in mind, and stay the course.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 1:12 PM on June 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


Sadly, I suspect the budget overruns were the real reason the runners got ousted.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:14 PM on June 15, 2018 [14 favorites]


It could be worse, the whole thing could have just been quietly shitcanned. I'm glad STD still exists and can't wait to see where it goes next.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:15 PM on June 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


It’s interesting that going to HR is a threat. Everyone pretends that HR is a resource for employees to get help and that employees are protected from abuse but no one really believes it.
posted by shothotbot at 1:20 PM on June 15, 2018 [15 favorites]


Season 1 is probably the best first season of any Trek since the first one, which is not to say it wasn’t wildy uneven and weirdly paced at times and doesn’t contain quite a few missteps. There’s no way of knowing if these people were responsible but it doesn’t sound like they helped, so here’s hoping this gets it to being the even better consistently good show it should be.

Also that they take care t off the stupid subscription thing and put it on proper TV.
posted by Artw at 1:21 PM on June 15, 2018 [14 favorites]


Also it’s good that horrible people aren’t harassing people anymore. That’s number one really. Honestly if they were utter geniuses and evrything they touched turned to gold their asses getting fired would be a good thing.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on June 15, 2018 [35 favorites]


On why 'good, I hated the first season anyway' is not a good response.

I mean... I kind of disagree? I don't think it's a good blanket response, but in this particular instance, it seems fairly clear that Berg and Harberts were over their heads trying to wrangle a production of this size and scale. If you didn't like the first season (and full disclosure, I was not in love with it) why wouldn't this be anything but good news, especially since it's been revealed the people in charge were being seriously abusive to their staff? The only people that lost their jobs were the abusers. How often does that happen?
posted by Automocar at 1:25 PM on June 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Hopefully this means less (no more!) body-horror.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:26 PM on June 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


The problem with the 'good, I hated the first season anyway' response is it implies that the reason why you're glad they got fired is that you didn't like their work, and that you would have been okay with the abuse if it created good TV. There's a lot I found questionable about the first season, too, but the reason why I'm happy hearing about this has more to do with the possibility that abusive assholes won't get a pass in hollywood than any possible change in direction for Disco.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:34 PM on June 15, 2018 [29 favorites]


It’s interesting that going to HR is a threat. Everyone pretends that HR is a resource for employees to get help and that employees are protected from abuse but no one really believes it.

I am an employment lawyer. I'm seeing a sea change out there. What you describe is exactly how it was. Now, employers are taking this seriously. We'll see how long it lasts, but things appear to be way different.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:35 PM on June 15, 2018 [25 favorites]


seriously, has this kind of abusive shit really been going on basically everywhere all this time, or is it just that everybody must now be shitty and awful to everybody else all the time without exception, i just do not understand
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:38 PM on June 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


Yeah, that's a questionable motivation for sure, dinty_moore. However, I'm still kind of loathe to assume that from people? I dunno. "I didn't like the first season so I'm glad they got fired, even though it was for a horrible reason" and "I liked the first season so I don't care if they were abusive" doesn't seem like the same reaction at all. I don't know. This stuff is hard to parse and modern fandom makes us assume the worst of everyone all the time.
posted by Automocar at 1:38 PM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was braced for something really awful but then the specific example of "abusive" the article gives us is "said to have leaned across the writers room table while shouting an expletive at a member of the show's staff." I mean sure that's crummy but not that big a deal. Maybe it was just one example though, the article sure paints a picture that it was miserable for the writers if they were ready to quit. (Going to HR, it's hard to imagine that's a threat with any teeth.)

I really liked the first season. I hope the rest of the cast and crew can sort this out and make good TV.
posted by Nelson at 1:44 PM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


People with anxiety or panic issues, or for whom verbal attacks was part of an abusive living situation, or any of a number of similar problems, can easily be triggered by behavior like this no matter how many times it happens. It doesn't matter how awful it looks to you, it matters how awful it felt to them, and shouldn't be tolerated in any working environment.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:50 PM on June 15, 2018 [33 favorites]


Yeah, that's a questionable motivation for sure, dinty_moore. However, I'm still kind of loathe to assume that from people? I dunno. "I didn't like the first season so I'm glad they got fired, even though it was for a horrible reason" and "I liked the first season so I don't care if they were abusive" doesn't seem like the same reaction at all. I don't know. This stuff is hard to parse and modern fandom makes us assume the worst of everyone all the time.

I mean, I'm not assuming everyone who didn't like the first season doesn't care about the abuse or anything like that, it's just that phrasing is suspect and super common in discussions of media and abuse (the 'I never liked their work anyway' thing). And it's natural to feel vindicated when you find out that people you thought were kind of shitty turn out to be actually shitty, but it's also worth taking a second to think about whether it's worth separating the two reasons why someone might be glad with the change of ownership into two different sentences. It's not the worst thing to think, but it's worth a second pass, especially since we do have a history of giving abusive assholes who do create good work a free pass.

Anyway, Javi Grillo-Mauxuach also has a twitter thread on this. Media hires have so much to do with working well with others that it becomes nearly impossible to speak up about abuse from the top.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:00 PM on June 15, 2018 [10 favorites]


I hope this means we'll get someone who can make a season of prestige TV without feeling the need to throw in sexual violence because "that's how you know it's mature"
posted by Ferreous at 2:22 PM on June 15, 2018 [22 favorites]


Two unicycles and some duct tape: "seriously, has this kind of abusive shit really been going on basically everywhere all this time, or is it just that everybody must now be shitty and awful to everybody else all the time without exception, i just do not understand"

I don't know about every show but Gene Rodenberry was pretty horrible to the women in Star Trek.
posted by octothorpe at 2:39 PM on June 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


That Javi Grillo-Mauxuach thread was great, dinty_moore. There's also a link there to his The Eleven Laws of Showrunning [PDF], which looks pretty good on first skim. Also, Grillo-Mauxuach retweeted this thread from Robert Hewitt Wolfe, former writer on DS9 and currently on Elementary, that's relevant.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:55 PM on June 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Maybe they were the showrunners from the mirror universe.
posted by cacophony at 2:57 PM on June 15, 2018 [23 favorites]


I don't know about every show but Gene Rodenberry was pretty horrible to the women in Star Trek.

I saw Michael Dorn speak at a convention years ago and he told two stories that could have been titled "Gene Roddenberry was a clueless racist that everybody loved" and "Gene Roddenberry was a clueless misogynist that everybody loved."

But I think it's still okay to like Star Trek.
posted by peeedro at 3:00 PM on June 15, 2018 [20 favorites]




I’ve been saying for years that 95% of things that people love about Star Trek are in spite of Roddenberry, not because of him.
posted by Automocar at 4:02 PM on June 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


Season 1 is probably the best first season of any Trek since the first one
I’m-a let you finish, but DS9 :(
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:42 PM on June 15, 2018 [12 favorites]


DS9's pilot is strong but the first season is blighted by all kinds of leftover TNG episode dross and the whole thing doesn't really get going till near the end of S1. Great after that, mind.
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on June 15, 2018 [5 favorites]


It does not sounds like shouting or otherwise being verbally abusive and intimidating was a one time thing. I'm pretty comfortable with the idea that habitually shouting at your employees *should* be a fireable offense. Everyone deserves a working environment that's better than that.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:13 PM on June 15, 2018 [17 favorites]


It’s interesting that going to HR is a threat. Everyone pretends that HR is a resource for employees to get help and that employees are protected from abuse but no one really believes it.

I am an employment lawyer. I'm seeing a sea change out there. What you describe is exactly how it was. Now, employers are taking this seriously. We'll see how long it lasts, but things appear to be way different.



That is seriously good news!


And may I say, we don’t hear nearly enough from you, Ironmouth. Always appreciate your contributions!
posted by darkstar at 5:23 PM on June 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


>Season 1 is probably the best first season of any Trek since the first one


I’m-a let you finish, but DS9 :


Move along home
posted by nubs at 6:01 PM on June 15, 2018 [9 favorites]


I will fight you nubs “Move Along Home” is CHOICE TREK
posted by Automocar at 6:08 PM on June 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


Twenty quatloos on the TOS fan!
posted by nubs at 6:10 PM on June 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


(Just to be clear that’s me.)
posted by nubs at 6:20 PM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


OK but the real problem is now the showrunner is the guy who wrote the script for Into Darkness, which was the most ham-fisted bad decision Star Trek ever did

and by ham-fisted I mean Kurtzman and JJ Abrams literally strapped salt-cured pork legs to their arms and fisted Wrath of Khan with them
posted by Jon_Evil at 6:23 PM on June 15, 2018 [14 favorites]


Get in Edgar Wright, he knows how to write Trek.
posted by Artw at 6:24 PM on June 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


Get in people who know how to make something that isn't grim and miserable.
posted by Ferreous at 6:25 PM on June 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


I liked season 1! but I mostly credit that to bryan fuller.
posted by likeatoaster at 7:02 PM on June 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


With the state of the world how it is, I would have liked a more hopeful, more TNG-feeling show. Star Trek isn't where I go for grit.
posted by demiurge at 7:41 PM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


Someone liked Move Along Home? What about Storyteller?? What about If Wishes Were Horses??? Honestly there no shortage of bad Star Trek episodes of any series or any season, and at least there’s no Code of Honor or Clipshow but I will say PUA Bashir present in season 1 is the worst character of any season ever.
posted by midmarch snowman at 8:29 PM on June 15, 2018


“Storyteller” is decent. “If Wishes Were Horses” is trash. Any other questions?
posted by Automocar at 8:38 PM on June 15, 2018


The usual - Which DS9 Character would you fight?
posted by Artw at 8:42 PM on June 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


Media hires have so much to do with working well with others that it becomes nearly impossible to speak up about abuse from the top.

This. And this will be an excellent test if the metoo movement "has legs". Metoo will only be a win if the writers move on to other shows in a couple seasons or five. But it seems to be a tight insular community and a showrunner may have them in for a pitch, love their work but pass for creative mismatch or something. There have been any number of causes that no one remembers and abuses discovered and drop off the front page. Sure hope it's a cultural change.
posted by sammyo at 8:52 PM on June 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Based on my marginal but "off the record" tastes of Hollywood and what machinations and bullshit actually go on in reality - none of this is new or uncommon at any level beyond, say, the most professional live theater group and definitely not outside of any major/syndicated media.

This data is an essential core element of my distaste of mainstream media and consuming it.

It isn't "I'm too hip for this shit." but "The people who make this shit are almost always fucking horrible, awful people and giving them any money at all is not a wholesome, productive idea in line with my values."

This is why I cannot stomach George R.R. Martin or Game of Thrones. Fuck his creepy ass and his historically accurate fantasy rape scenes. He creeps me out so much, and I really don't care for the stories he tells. There's enough real and/or dramatized rape, violence and otherism in the world, and I have found none of the facets of the books I've been exposed to edifying in the way I've found, say, Ursula K. LeGuin edifying or rewarding.

Additionally, I want to point out in no uncertain terms it's specifically because of this pervasive sexism and het/cis male controlled media that's the cause of all of our media being unrepresentative and horrible.

None of them want to see happy PoC/women/queer/other stories of significance. None of them want to write/produce quality SF, fiction, or drama that isn't all the same standard boy-gets-girl bullshit.

And none of them want to even think about the #metoo movement or lose that sexual access or power over the narrative. Even in Star Trek. Even now, in 2018, after some of the fictional dates in Star Trek.

And this is why I don't consume any of this shit any more. I'm not too hip for it. It does nothing for me, doesn't speak for me or who I am, actively denies and works against my own living narrative that's barely able to breath as it is.

I not only don't have time for this made up, unrewarding, unoriginal bullshit as a distraction - I actively find it harmful on an ongoing basis for my actual identity and world view and the world I'm trying to help build a few spare calories at a time.

And, well, this is a horrible thing to have to say about Star Trek, but even they don't get it at all. Especially the newer Trek output.

The mark is easy, well established in SF and planet-sized, and it's been long missed by the Trek franchise.
posted by loquacious at 9:30 PM on June 15, 2018 [14 favorites]


I'm glad STD still exists and can't wait to see where it goes next.

Are we still doing phrasing?

(Seriously, show-namers... did not not consider the abbreviation?)
posted by rokusan at 10:22 PM on June 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


The STD should have a colon!
posted by Artw at 12:11 AM on June 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


love trek. wonder... were there any women or people of color involved in the writers' room or directorial of TOS?
posted by wibari at 12:30 AM on June 16, 2018


The STD should have a colon!

ST:Disco is so much better, though < /sarcasm>
posted by mikelieman at 12:39 AM on June 16, 2018


Wibari - TOS didn’t really have a writers’ room, that wasn’t the production model back then. And I’m pretty sure none of the episodes were directed by women. But D.C. Fontana was a woman writer on the show, and is generally credited with establishing the canon Vulcan culture.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:53 AM on June 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


PUA Bashir present in season 1 is the worst character of any season ever.

I reject your assertion in the face of a world that includes Neelix or Dr. Pulaski or Tom Paris or Deanna Troi or Alexander Rodchenko or...
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:56 AM on June 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


...Westley Crusher.
posted by octothorpe at 4:27 AM on June 16, 2018


If my boss leaned across a table and shouted expletives in my face it would be me or them, even if it was the first time. As long as I wasn't financially desperate at the time, I'd take it up the chain with an "either they go, or I go" ultimatum. If I were desperate, then I would find another job first, then quit and explain why. Shouting curses at your subordinates should be completely unacceptable in any profession where you're not actually being shot at.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:41 AM on June 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Neelix or Dr. Pulaski or Tom Paris or Deanna Troi or Alexander Rodchenko

Other than Alexander, I have met people who like all of these characters. I'm sure he has his defenders too!
posted by chaiminda at 7:22 AM on June 16, 2018


I reject your assertion in the face of a world that includes Neelix or Dr. Pulaski or Tom Paris or Deanna Troi or Alexander Rodchenko or...

Neelix is one of the best characters in Voyager. A man whose entire family was killed in a WMD attack, who was then completely lost and started wandering the galaxy to try and escape his pain, affecting a happy-go-lucky personality to hide the deep core of despair at the heart of his being.

Deanna Troi is similarly misunderstood and a really great character who is only a punchline because of misogyny. Same with Dr. Pulaski.
posted by Automocar at 8:01 AM on June 16, 2018 [12 favorites]


love trek. wonder... were there any women or people of color involved in the writers' room or directorial of TOS?


A white woman, D.C. Fontana was story editor for TOS
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:30 AM on June 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Worst TNG character is something that needs to be scientifically determined.
posted by Artw at 8:46 AM on June 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Other than Alexander, I have met people who like all of these characters. I'm sure he has his defenders too!

Right here. One of the things I like about Star Trek (as a soft and feelingsy transmasc person) is the variety of different models of masculinity it offers (a lot of which, as in the real world, are hella toxic, but not all), and I've always really ID'd with Alexander and how he's a kid who Worf kinda tried to make all tough and butch, but who can't help being a sweet litte crybaby. I also love Lwxana Troi, though, so I totally understand that my opinions are unpopular.

I'm glad steps are being made to make ST:D's writers room less toxic. I hope that they learn some lessons that make the show more watchable, especially with regards to Gays, Burying Of.
posted by ITheCosmos at 9:42 AM on June 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


It’s interesting that going to HR is a threat. Everyone pretends that HR is a resource for employees to get help and that employees are protected from abuse but no one really believes it.

Well, no one really believes it because it's kind of true but it's only really the surface layer of the truth. The way I understand it is that HR is a resource for the organisation to protect itself from its employees. Employees are generally protected from abuse mainly because an abused employee can bring a lawsuit against the organisation, which would be relatively expensive and damaging compared to not protecting people up front. But this is not at all a universal rule.
posted by qntm at 11:11 AM on June 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Season 1 of DS9 has Duet, making it the best first season.
posted by BeeDo at 11:38 AM on June 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I also love Lwxana Troi, though, so I totally understand that my opinions are unpopular.

There are people who don't like Lwaxana Troi?
posted by Mavri at 12:45 PM on June 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Request for Disco S2:

PAKLEDZ
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:07 PM on June 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Deanna Troi is similarly misunderstood and a really great character who is only a punchline because of misogyny.

Listening to a podcast that was running through old TNG observations i definitely think I was unfair, disliking "her" and blaming Sirtis when the issue was of course the writers.

Still I think she is a punchline because for the most part because of the way she is written, which is for sure misogyny related. The Troi we see is just not a strong character, IMO. "Likes chocolate" and "embarrassed by mom" were her main personality traits and "space rape" and "space pregnancy" were the roles she got those rare times she had a major part to play. Her sci-fi power--reading emotions--would be great but were trotted out to state the obvious and ignored all the time when they could have been useful.
posted by mark k at 9:41 PM on June 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


With the state of the world how it is, I would have liked a more hopeful, more TNG-feeling show.

I know this is going to sound positively insane, but, if you can overlook some corny jokes (and as S1 progressed the show got more confident and relied much less on cheap laughs), you might actually find The Orville to be what you're looking for. Seriously! I know, I was surprised too!

Deanna Troi is similarly misunderstood and a really great character who is only a punchline because of misogyny. Same with Dr. Pulaski.

I largely agree with you about Troi, but I hate Pulaski because she is utterly, appallingly shitty towards Data literally all of the time. She is virulently bigoted about androids/artificial intelligence - and yet everybody else in the crew just kind of ignores it. I don't think it's misogynistic of me to want better from the ST:TNG crew than a heap of casual bigotry and casual bigotry getting a free pass.

Anyways, actually on topic: while I do think "Oh Season 1 sucked, I'm glad these 2 are fired, maybe the show will be better now" is a shitty response for many of the reasons laid out in this thread and on Twitter, it is also a shitty response since Berg and Haberts weren't the showrunners in Season 1. They've only been the showrunners for the first five episodes of Season 2. If you see a big change in quality between the first five episodes of Season 2 (whenever they actually air) and the rest of Season 2, then it's reasonable to lay that on them getting fired. But if you're comparing the beginning of Season 2 to the first season, the differences may actually be the result of them taking over as showrunners, not them getting shitcanned, so whatever judgement you make may not be saying what you think it's saying.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:45 PM on June 16, 2018


Berg and Haberts weren't the showrunners in Season 1.

Berg and Harberts took over as showrunners upon Bryan Fuller’s departure in 2016.
posted by Automocar at 8:09 AM on June 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I find this a very heartening story, especially for the future quality of the show, because management made a decision that's good by our aspirational standards (fire the abusive, toxic people who won't change their behavior, and this sure sounds like a clear pattern), and good for the show, because they kept their writers.

It seems like a no-brainer, to value the people who invent and make the actual product that you sell, but of course this industry has always paradoxically seen its behind-the-scenes creative personnel as expendable and endlessly renewable. That shifted significantly with the rise of the auteur, star show-runner about 15-20 years ago, but that positive change allowed behavior like this, creating divas behind the camera, too. I'm glad that we're starting to see people valued over profit a little bit, and that some entertainment industry corporations are beginning to understand that making high-quality creative product does not provide any excuse for abusive behavior.

This also is a reminder of Sony Pictures Television's back-and-forth behavior on this quandary when they faced something similar with Community: as discussed here previously, many--though not all--of the problems through season 3 stemmed from executive producer Dan Harmon's romantic fixation on writer Megan Ganz, and how he treated her because of her disinterest in response. (Harmon made a very thorough reckoning of his own behavior, which was helpful to Ganz, and that she generously acknowledged.) But it sure looks like Sony first made the decision to fire a show-runner because of unacceptable personal behavior, one who truly was creatively integral to the week-to-week quality of that show, causing the quality of the show to drop drastically; and then hired him back for the following season to get their product back, causing most of the veteran writers to leave (seriously: Harmon and Chris McKenna return as show-runners for S5, and among the six writers who had been with the show since season 2, only two returned).

Hopefully CBS sticks to their decision on this, no matter what happens to ST:D. No made-up show is worth terrible treatment of actual human beings.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:39 AM on June 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


you might actually find The Orville to be what you're looking for.

I tried but it's unforgivably boring.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:47 PM on June 17, 2018


Worst TNG character update
posted by Artw at 5:03 PM on June 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


hate Pulaski because she is utterly, appallingly shitty towards Data literally all of the time. She is virulently bigoted about androids/artificial intelligence - and yet everybody else in the crew just kind of ignores it.

Pulaski doesn't work because they tried to recreate the Spock - McCoy dynamic, a being of logic and intellect matched with a being who is more intuitive and emotional intelligence. But unlike Spock, who had a legit inner conflict - he did have emotions, just suppressed and managed, along with a certain antipathy towards being "human" - Data has no such conflict. So Pulaski points out, again and again, that he isn't human, and Data can only nod and agree.

She looks like a bulky, and even worse, her victim goes along with it. And as you point out, nobody steps in, even after the show does "The Measure of a Man", a very well done exploration of Data as a unique being with rights. It was during S2, Pualski's season, and I don't even recall her as being part of the episode, which was a huge wasted opportunity for some character growth. Spock & McCoy had conflict, but could also work with each other and had a mutual respect.
posted by nubs at 6:03 PM on June 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


Alrighty, let's talk about these maligned Trek characters:

PUA Bashir present in season 1 is the worst character of any season ever.

"PUA" isn't a generic insult for "guy who tries too hard to get laid"; it's a specific set of manipulative behaviors, in particular negging, and Bashir didn't do that. What he did do that was bad, twice, was go out with patients while they were under his care; I don't care what century it is, that's not good. (There's also an effective later-season retcon that Bashir was genetically re-engineered as a child, which explains a lot of his earlier behavior (but not dating patients!) as him trying to imitate normal folks.)

Neelix

Pretty awful when he was with Kes; breaking those two up was the best thing that the show could do with either character. As already mentioned, he's had some decent character development (he's also died and been resurrected, and unlike almost every other character resurrection, had a genuine existential crisis because of it).

Dr. Pulaski

nubs already got it above. (Gates McFadden was fired from TNG because Maurice Hurley, the head writer for most of the first two seasons, didn't like her, and was re-hired after Hurley left.)

Tom Paris

I get why people might not like yet another bad-boy character, but Paris had some genuine character development during VOY, which not all the characters really got.

Deanna Troi

Also noted above. It was not a bad idea to have a ship's counselor for people to talk to in the aftermath of whatever crazy shit they had to deal with as they boldly went wherever, but she got saddled with crappy storylines, and the rest of the time she'd sit on the bridge and when some hostile alien showed up and started showering the Enterprise-D with photon torpedoes, she'd helpfully pipe up with "I sense that they don't like us."

Alexander Rodchenko

Mostly there for Worf to be Grumpy Space Dad, which was OK. DS9 decided to speed-age him to young adulthood so that he could be Klingon Butt-Monkey Warrior, which was a bad decision.

Wesley Crusher

Notoriously badly written, which gave a bunch of fan assholes an excuse to pick on Wil Wheaton.

Lwaxana Troi

Basically created to be Space Auntie Mame, and didn't get developed much beyond that (except for "Dark Page") on TNG, but DS9 did a fantastic job with the character, especially playing off of Odo.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:31 AM on June 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


In the first season Bashir also served as excuse for some really heavy handed objectification of the women in the cast and sexist comment under the guise of it being, roughly, his POV. It's one of those asinine little have it both ways tricks shows like to pull, where one character gets to serve as viewer surrogate for some unsavory viewpoint or action which is then called out by another in supposedly semi-humorous fashion so the show can claim innocence over what they're doing.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:46 AM on June 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


See also Q
posted by gusottertrout at 9:47 AM on June 18, 2018


Oh god, Q. If there's any character that turned me off from TNG, it was fucking Q.
posted by octothorpe at 11:27 AM on June 18, 2018


Per the poll: "That guy at the party who's trying way too hard to be funny using a brand of humor that's older than your grandpa"

If he had one thing in his favor there was only one of him so it kept them from introducing introducing a bunch of other shitty godlike aliens to do shitty plots with.

(Looking at you, TOS)
posted by Artw at 11:48 AM on June 18, 2018


"seriously, has this kind of abusive shit really been going on basically everywhere all this time, or is it just that everybody must now be shitty and awful to everybody else all the time without exception, i just do not understand"

Yeah, I think it has. You'd always hear rumors of it or quiet mumblings, but mostly it went unpunished and unnoticed. It's kind of scary how much shit we can let slide. It's not just abuse either.

I was having a conversation with someone yesterday and the topic of surveillance came up at one point and they looked at me like I was a conspiracy theorist mentioning some of the tools they have, like, it's not a big secret or anything, the PATRIOT act was a big deal and I felt the other rights erosion after that were too. Even finding a specific named program for like recording from a phone or TV or whatever they still refused to believe the government could spy like that.

When you have power you can get away with a great deal more than anyone ever should.
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:55 PM on June 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: I'm glad STD still exists and can't wait to see where it goes next.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:02 PM on June 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Oh god, Q. If there's any character that turned me off from TNG, it was fucking Q.

At least they waited until the pilot to introduce him.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 6:08 PM on June 18, 2018 [8 favorites]


ActingTheGoat, I laughed out loud

I think the best description I've ever heard of DS9 Season 1 Bashir was "if Data convinced himself he was Riker."
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:20 PM on June 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


OK, the worst TNG character poll was great, but this tweet got me to follow Carl Garcia.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:20 PM on June 18, 2018


What he did do that was bad, twice, was go out with patients while they were under his care; I don't care what century it is, that's not good. (There's also an effective later-season retcon that Bashir was genetically re-engineered as a child, which explains a lot of his earlier behavior (but not dating patients!) as him trying to imitate normal folks.)

Supposedly he was deeply upset with himself for dating that second patient and nearly ruining her life. And yet, in a later episode (When It Rains), we have this exchange:

BASHIR: Anyway, I finally tracked her down to Quark's and I asked her flat out, 'Ezri, why are you avoiding me?' She was just about to answer when I got called away.
O'BRIEN: I haven't noticed her avoiding you. Are you sure you're not imagining things?
BASHIR: Our paths haven't crossed in days.
O'BRIEN: Well, it's a big station. The truth is, you want to spend time with her, so it seems that she's never around.
BASHIR: There's something going on, and I'm going to find out what it is when she gets here. I told her I'd like to discuss the results of her last medical exam.
O'BRIEN: Isn't that unethical, or something?
BASHIR: Well.

If I had crossed some ethical lines regarding my profession and my love life and felt bad about it, I sure as heck wouldn't be using my profession as an excuse to talk to someone I was interested in. And if a sensible friend reminded me of my ethical obligations, I wouldn't just shrug it off. I would really love a series that was just wall-to-wall ethics investigations of Bashir's more questionable decisions .
posted by creepygirl at 11:25 PM on June 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


Star Trek: JAG would be a really interesting show, actually.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:11 AM on June 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


The exec producer behind CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery has renewed his overall deal with CBS Television Studios, signing a massive five-year extension with the studio behind the drama. The new agreement keeps Kurtzman, whose deal was up this year, with the studio through 2023. Sources say the deal is estimated at $5 million per year as Kurtzman receives a sizable back-end on his programming.

Under the new pact, Kurtzman will serve as the show's lone showrunner after taking over Star Trek: Discovery from Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg, who were recently fired from the series. Kurtzman will also expand the Star Trek franchise for the small screen, developing new series, miniseries and other content, including animation.


Also this:
The new deal comes as rumblings about another Star Trek series, featuring Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Star Trek: The Next Generation's Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, have been heating up.
posted by octothorpe at 10:18 AM on June 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


Variety:

The potential new shows are said to include:

* A series set at Starfleet Academy from creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz. The duo most recently developed the CW’s reboot of “Dynasty” and previously created shows like “Gossip Girl” and Hulu and Marvel’s “Runaways.”
* A limited series whose plot details are being kept under wraps.
* A limited series based around the “Wrath of Khan” story. Khan’s full name is Khan Noonien Singh. He was famously portrayed by Ricardo Montalbán in both the original series episode “Space Seed” and again in the film “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.” Benedict Cumberbatch then played the character in the 2013 film “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
* An animated series whose plot details are being kept under wraps.

posted by Artw at 11:35 AM on June 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


All extended universes everywhere
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:05 PM on June 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'll tell you what, though, I would LOVE to see something post-DS9 set in this universe. Maybe even another century into the future.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:31 PM on June 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


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