Last time I heard anything on the subject, Wil Wheaton was among those who hated Wesley.
Actor Asteroid 391257, who rose to prominence for playing annoyingly precocious teen Starfleet member Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation, now has an asteroid named after him. Wheaton has gone on to earn a respected place in SciFi fandom, largely escaping fan ire about the Crusher character who even by the Trek …
A British IT new site runs a story about Wheaton but makes no mention of his involvement with NewTek and their Amiga Video Toaster 4000? For shame, you should treat the man with the respect due the bona fide geek that he is. As a lad, he typed in BASIC games from magazines into his Atari 400.
The Video Toaster was used for Babylon 5 and the Abyss, and part of it, LightWave 3D was spun out and has been used in films ever since.
Agreed on both counts. Wil is a cool guy.
As for Wesley? I've never understood the hate either. Saying he saves the Enterprise more times than seems plausible is silly, not just for the use of the word plausible to describe sci-fi but because he actually rarely saves the Enterprise at all. Sure he often comes up with good ideas that save the day, but he rarely executes them alone there is usually extensive help from LaForge or Data or others sometimes to the point that Wes did little more than provide the idea. In fact in The Game he barely discovers the problem before becoming a victim, it's Data that does all the actual saving of the day.
As for his excessive nobility? He's a kid trying to live up to ideals set by his dead father, and Picard as his surrogate father, so he's going to be trying harder than your average young person to be noble and achieve. He actually often fails to do so just like any kid trying to do such a thing. There's nothing strange about a young person being too idealistic and failing.
N.B. If you want to pick on implausible plot/character points, how about Picard? Who despite having his body and mind altered by advanced alien nanotechnology is allowed to take command of the flagship again only weeks (ok maybe a couple of months) after having it removed.
Or Reg Barclay, who is allowed to continue not only serving in Starfleet at the relatively senior rank of lieutenant, but also to continue to work in sensitive engineering areas or on highly advanced and secret projects despite having had his brain reprogrammed by an alien probe and taking over the ship, being de-evolved into a spider creature, and suffering from numerous psychological conditions that made him unreliable and at times unstable.
By comparison to these two (just for starters there's far more unbelievable characters in TNG,DS9 and Voyager), Wesley Crusher is just a bright young kid who happens to have come up with good ideas and got lucky that his mother was serving aboard the right ship.
@ Phil W ; Many of those are down to the limitations of the self-contained episodic format most older American shows followed. I've since heard this called the "reset button", i.e. everything basically goes back to normal the next week so you don't have to have followed other episodes.
The one that stuck in my head with respect to ST:TNG was where (*spoiler*) Picard has his mind taken over by an alien probe that makes him think he's lived an entire lifetime- complete with family- on another planet, as part of their culture, only for it to be revealed as an illusion put there by a dead civilisation.
That's going to have an incredibly major effect on a person's character surely?
Next week... back to normal, never mentioned again.
There are plenty of other examples. ST:TNG was still a great series, and I don't hold these things against it too much, that's just the sort of show it was.
Never minded Wesley Crusher that much either (would have been about the same age as the character when I first watched it). That's not to say the character was perfect- some of the criticism *was* obviously legitimate, particularly upon rewatching- but even then you can't really blame those flaws on Wheaton. Was his acting okay? Yeah, as far as I remember, and that's as far as his responsibility went, he wasn't the writer.
@ Michael Strorm
It was mentioned again a few times. That alien probe left him with the gift of music. Picard now plays a flute/recorder like instrument. He does so in his free time in his ready room. He even nearly got a wife because he was musician and she played the keys. Things do carry over in TNG, that is what made it so good.
Things do carry over in TNG, that is what made it so good.
Some things carry over in Trek, however I recall that even among most of the Trek fans (even the few-who-would-admit-it TNG ones) that TNG's ability to reset at the end of each ep was a too-long running joke. So much stuff just got forgotten at the end of each ep, including IIRC who they'd killed off.
TNG would've been much better if they'd combined Farpoint and AGT into one episode, and been done with it.
hell, for STng, it's practically a story arc....
Arc? In TNG? I thought the only "story arc" they had there was when Ensign Expendable was using some low-voltage console that would violently explode due to techonobabble overload, and of course a lack of even basic supply protections.
Icon -TNG when a 3v chip gets fed 3.00001v
... who is allowed to continue not only serving in Starfleet ...
SciFi has to be realistic at some level. *Nobody* would believe in a universe where repeated management screw-ups, negligence, lack of leadership, bonking of aliens in the office, the loss of dozens of red-shirts through recurring "elf & safty" issues ... and so on and so forth ... actually had any real consequences for management apart from a mild bollocking!?
I didn't see many episodes, but isn't it obvious why Wesley attracts attention? He is there so the very young male audience has someone to identify with. It's TV 101.
Given that, it's no wonder he is a target for those slightly less-young males who feel their earlier identification with Wesley is now embarrassing. It's just part of the dynamics of any long-running TV show.
I agree with this as, I remember when I watched it as a kid, thinking, I would have liked to have been him, there on the enterprise and be that intelligent, also thought it would have been great to be Data, processing, processing, tilt head, processing :)
Anonymous for obvious reasons :) and well I always am.
Being close to his age at the time I was more able to relate to Wesley Crusher. He did all the cool stuff, had great toys to play with (c'mon, site-to-site beaming!), fun travels, hung out with Ashley Judd before she was "cool," and befriended an android. I could have been just like him, or he could have been my best friend with the hot mom.
"I seriously don't understand the hate against Wesley Crusher."
He's the visible symptom of the problem, and caught all the hate.
The real problem was lazy writers.
"Hey Earl, what's this episode's resolution?"
"Uhhh... Wesley saves the day by suggesting they use anti-tachyons?"
"Meh, good enough."
"Dudes, Wesley was wrote out of the show last season, remember?"
"DAMN! Ok... Don't panic, I got this... Barclay saves the day by suggesting they use anti-tachyons!"
"Love it! That oughta keep those damn Trekkies happy."
>The real problem was lazy writers.
Star Trek was quite bad for lazy writing, but to be fair they're far from alone.
Actually, the one that always winds me up the most that seems to have originated in Star Trek, but is now all over Sci-Fi, is solving problems by "just reversing the polarity of X".
Since reversing the polarity translates as "put the batteries in the wrong way" you can at least have some fun by mentally swapping the two phrases to turn the script into a comedy.
"Of course! We can use the tractor beam to push the asteroid away by putting the batteries in the wrong way."
How many minutes into Encounter at Farpoint Premiere double episode was that then?
Let's see, Picard intro, ship, encounter with Q, yada yada, Q abomination court of 2071 scene, Riker intro, yada yada, Doctor Crusher and her chirpy enthusiastic son at Farpoint market.
In all my years of watching sci-fi, from Dr. Smith on "Lost in Space" to Boxy and his yappy mechanical dog on the first Battlestar Galactica to Tweeky the android in Buck Rodgers (Beedee, Beedee, way to go, Buck!). We(a)sley Crusher was the worst, most annoying TV sci-fi character ever! Only the excretion of Jar-Jar Binks from George Lucas' diseased imagination surpassed Weasely for obnoxious audience-tormenting sadism.
I'm taking bets that asteroid Wheaton gets knocked out of Orbit somehow, and ends up destroying all intelligent life on Earth.
I see your jar-jar and raise you one young anakin skywalker.
I didn't mind Will or his story lines.
If an asteroid does destroy all intelligent life on earth it's not really going to cause much damage.
Finally, Boxy and tweeky were great plus Dr Smith was a great advert for not accepting werthers originals off jimmy saville.
What is more interesting is why you (and others) find Wesley Crusher upsetting and then (even more interesting) why you (and others) find it so difficult to clearly separate a role from the person who plays that role. Seriously. "Audience tormenting sadism"???? The "audience" clearly does not include a sizeable number of people who did not experience your anger. Since anger is rooted in fear, I'm wondering what particular fear evokes so much anger. Crusher was the only adolescent character that got any screen time, so maybe there is something that really bothers some people about seeing some version of themselves in the character. Just wondering. Jar-jar is a bumbling clown who is a plot foil. Not sure why clowns evoke so much fear and loathing. Bumbling clowns don't get much screen time in any media, so It is curious why what little time they get evokes so much feeling. Perhaps the character subtracts from the time the fan gets to identify with the mythical, swashbuckling role they are feeding off of. But I am sure there are other hypothetical sources of fear that are more acceptable to the angered fans.
Wesley was one of several plot cheats to keep the series exciting without long-term consequences requiring viewers to watch episodes in order. Only an appearance in a season premiere or finale was allowed to have any lasting impact on the storyline.
That said, I'm a little worried about Trump and Asteroid Will Wheaton appearing in the opening of 2017.
You sure you've got your dates right?
Stewart was born July 1940 (76 years old).
NG aired in September 1987, so Stewart would have been 47 (on air date, perhaps 46 during filming).
Wheaton was born October 1972, so is currently 44 years old.
So still 2-3 years to go.
Still makes me feel old though :-/
"well, many people who are taught their first English pick up their accent of their teacher... I know a Portuguese guy that has a thick Scottish accent!!! :)"
I call it the "Jan Molby effect." His English was rudimentary when he came over from Denmark. After a couple of years at Liverpool he spoke fluent English, in an accent that he had definitely not acquired from watching the BBC.
You should also hunt down the episode of "The Nerdist" podcast where they interview Patrick Stewart and he ends up doing the opening intro and various of Picard's stock phrases in a French accent. He also alleges that there is a tape somewhere in the vaults of Paramount where they did if for real at the time before deciding that it really wasn't going to work...
I remember hearing an interview with Sir Patrick Stewart where he said that the LA Times had listed him as an English Shakespearean actor because they hadn't heard of him*. He also didn't unpack for 6 weeks convinced that the series wouldn't last. I did like the fact that they'd finally worked out that having the captain beaming down to every odd planet that they came across (like Kirk) was probably not the safest thing for the captain to do. I was on the fence about WW and at times he did seem to be there to save the script writers when they needed to solve a problem. The episode where he essentially got drunk and took control was fun though. Dwight Schultz is an acting legend and I won't hear a word against him (I'll put my fingers in my ears).
*Well they obviously didn't see the classic film Lifeforce which is where I first saw him act. I was aged 10 at the time watching an 18 rated horror film (with the odd nude lady in it) that scared me sh¡tless but you could tell him and Peter Firth were class acts. I didn't get much sleep that night.
"You should also hunt down the episode of "The Nerdist" podcast where they interview Patrick Stewart and he ends up doing the opening intro and various of Picard's stock phrases in a French accent. "
He also did it in a broad Yorkshire accent in an interview with Johnathan Ross (when he had his Saturday morning Radio 2 show)
I blame the Universal Translator.
I love the way it 'fails' and people who are dying, seem to utter their dying phrases in their native language. (DS9, the hispanic guy who gets shot, for example).
Best use: when Julian Bashir switches it OFF to analyse a cardassian conference with his guest geniuses.
Also, when the Ferengi are back on earth causing the roswell incident, and they have to reboot using a hairpin.
Whuich then begs the question, where does Odo keep his universal translator/communicator...
Indeed, her role did seem to be window dressing most of the time (althought they didn't keep her in the minidress for very long, maybe only the pilot) but on the other hand if there was no Troi then we wouldn't have had Lt Tawny Madison in Galaxy Quest.
Agree with the earlier comments about Kirk though, hated TOS and always have. Mind you, when I was a kid Shatner wasn't Kirk, he was TJ Hooker......
"... it was all the 'Troi has a headache' episodes that used to annoy me."
Oh, god. Or the "My empathic powers are on the fritz again," and that always somehow happened at the worst possible time.
I've long thought that Wheaton was added to attract both the gay and straight teenybopper demographic to the audience. It's not like Gene Luck Pikurd (as "Q" once pronounced it) could ever fill that role.
Oh, god. Or the "My empathic powers are on the fritz again," and that always somehow happened at the worst possible time.
I always thought it was just her bullshiting. When tiny little spaceship/barely tech capable planet is being threatened by the big bad Fed pricks "I am sensing fear". When Mr Alien obviously was happy "I am sensing he likes..". When Mrs Alien had an ambiguous expression or she hadn't yet been able to sum up1 the situation, it was "oh my magical powers are not working right now, I have a headache dear"
Actually.. Perhaps it wasn't WW who ruined Trek after al..
Paris coz she'd have made it much more interesting, and seriously increased the teenage boy viewership.
1 If you can call a 45 minute boring psychobabble monologue "sum up".
So remind me again exactly how a 13 year old kid gets to be helmsmen of the flagship? Or how he ends up working with the chief engineer, redesigning starship engines? Or how he and teh science officer rely so heavily upon each other tosolve "stuff" ( normally with a wingwang beam being emitted from a reconfigured inverse reverse springient bracket) How he becomes an integral part of the command staff? All before he even joins starfleet?
That's why its such a shitty character, its nothing to do with being brainy.
This is a common complaint for me about television in general, there's always a kid that comes across as being so much more worldly wise. so much more together than all the highly qualified/ experienced adults around them.
My experience of real world children / teens does not reflect this in any way... quite the opposite in fact.
"This is a common complaint for me about television in general, there's always a kid that comes across as being so much more worldly wise. so much more together than all the highly qualified/ experienced adults around them."
You must've hated Seaquest DSV then.
I believe that Wesley's role in the organisation is to sign off on things that he doesn't understand so that every cock-up and failure bears his name. Eventually, he will be court-martialled and ejected into space, nekkid, for his crimes.
Pickard and his cronies will have a drink and cigar while they briefly lament his untimely passing in front of the panorama windows. Then they will request a successor. Maybe a diversity candidate this time?
You might also like John Scalzi (sci fi author) performing a skit with WW on that very subject:
It's from his "Redshirts" book promotion tour (the book loosely being a Trek parody) and, if I recall correctly, WW was reading his part live so didn't know where it was going ...
We've all been where Wesley was. No peers. No friends. The only acknowledgment he ever got as an individual was by being smarter than anyone else. It was his entire identity.
And we know what that feels like. It's hell on Earth. If you ever falter--ever stop acing everything--you will become less than nothing.
And how did Wesley behave? Like everything was wonderful and life was beautiful. The writers completely betrayed young geeks with the character of Wesley.
it was the writers who ruined Trek, and the slavering twats who lapped up every foul episode causing that festering mess to be further imposed on the world.
By the time TNG came along, well... Captain Daft covered it pretty well above.
(Interests of disclosure, watching VOY at a friends place, 1-2 eps/week. Not intolerably horrible yet but some of the plot-lines... If you want to torture someone, make them watch the series of DS9 in a very short time frame)