It’s time for the next two characters and these are also longer profiles, like Riker’s. With no Lt. Worf in this draft there are only two non-humans among our cast. Lt. Commander Data, the second officer, and Deanna Troi, the
psychiatrist ship’s counselor. The former offers an interesting insight into the future while the latter maybe not as much.
Data was played by Brent Spiner, a great actor that I don’t think gets enough appreciation outside of geek circles. Troi was played by Marina Sirtis, who I had the honor of joining a press junket she was in and even got to ask her a couple of questions. That’s why I really would like to get press credentials if ever get to go back to ConnectiCon. Neither of them benefited from being part of season one, and I think Sirtis really got the short end while Spiner managed to get past the crap and be fun to watch, even when he was asked to do the dumbest things. But this is the season one writer’s guide from before either of these characters were cast. What showed up here that didn’t show up in the show?
Data’s entry is just full of interesting tidbits to explore, the first one right out the chute if you know the later seasons.
Second-in-command of Number One’s away team, Data (rhymes with that-a) is an android so perfectly fabricated that only a skilled biologist would know he’s not composed of normal flesh and blood.
Look at the pronunciation and realize that technically, and it pains me to write these words, Dr. Pulaski was right!
Unless they pronounce “that” differently in California, and there are a lot of weirdos in Hollywood, everybody else has been saying it wrong. I’d almost suspect this was meta humor, that the writer was having fun with the difference between what had been on the show by this point and what was written in the writer’s guide. I don’t know off-hand which episode this was so I don’t know if this writer was there for season one, but this scene immediately jumped into my head when I read that statement. As for fooling people into thinking he was flesh-and-blood, that’s inconsistent. Some people can tell right away that he’s an android while others have to have it pointed out.
In spite of this–or perhaps because of it–he and Geordi have become very close friends.
This did happen over time, but in the first episode Geordi was just starting his assignment aboard the Enterprise while Data was already a senior member of the bridge crew. The guide goes more into his appearance and it’s really not what we ended up with. You see Data above, but compare that to his profile.
Data’s appearance is that of a human in his mid-thirties. Until the role is cast, Data can be defined as representing any racial group between Pacifica Oceana and the Middle East.
I looked up “Pacifica Oceana” and all I got was the California town of Pacifica and various places named “Oceana” like the high school and a few businesses. So I have no idea what that means. The guide also says he was meant to be a repository for all the knowledge of a doomed Earth-Asian space colony. So Asia isn’t on Earth anymore, or is this the hyphenation of the future? No, that would be Asian-Earth and still wouldn’t make sense. However, while in the show Data was created by a Doctor Noonan-Soong (who was also a white man as we’d learn later) the guide claims he was created by unknown aliens for this job. Why did aliens care about an Earth-Asian colony except to ask “isn’t Asia still on Earth”?
In giving Data the ability to handle so many memories, the aliens equipped him with other capabilities they apparently considered “normal” (at least for themselves). Thus, Data has a memory capacity of phenomenal size as compare with humans, enabling him to serve both the vessel and away teams as something of a “walking library”, his reading speed, manual dexterity, strength, and vision are superior to those of humans.
Outside of the “aliens” bit, this is the first thing that has been accurate to what we saw in the show. I’m guessing Data underwent a lot of changes between this supposed final draft of season one and what finally made it on-screen. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this in a show bible. Remember Mr. Freeze?
When a Starfleet vessel arrived to search for the colonists, they found Data alone on the planet. This was Data’s first contact with any sentient life form, and he saw his Starfleet rescuers as a beau ideal of existence….
Wait a minute? That’s how Tasha saw Wesley in that article I keep linking to. So unless Data wanted to date every one of his rescuers, I must be getting “beau ideal” wrong. Let me find a definition…okay, Merriam-Webster says “the perfect type or model”. Bing stated it was “a person or thing representing the highest possible standard of excellence in a particular respect“. So it’s not “beau” as in boyfriend? Tasha doesn’t want to be fully functional with a teenage boy? Oh, that’s a relief. So, Data wants to be like humans. That’s another part of his character that made it in. Oh, and that “fully functional” line from “The Naked Now”? It’s in here.
Data is of the male gender, fully functional, possesses the dominant emotional traits of his “parent-colonists”, and appears to be incapable of falsehood.
Note that the underlining is in the guide. They wanted to make sure the writers and directors know that Data was capable of sex, or at least someone took that and ran with it in that episode. (Then again, given how Gene Roddenberry approached sex in this season I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s as it looks. This is a man who wanted the Ferengi to be masters of the Kama Sutra and have undercarriages the size of those giant novelty pencils.) Also interesting is when it talks about the “dominant emotional traits” of his “parent-colonists”. Consider Data has little understanding of emotions until Generations without a certain chip they must have been a colony full of people with no emotional register whatsoever. And I do know a couple of real-world people like that, though only online, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, it is something else altered by the time they reached the pilot. The last paragraph talks about him wanting to be human and his favorite story being Pinocchio, which was in the pilot.
And from there we move on to Deanna Troi. Troi is probably the best example among the cast, at least as you dig into the writer’s guide, of how Roddenberry envisioned the future, and I really wished I had read this before that press junket with Marina Sirtis. I would love to get her reaction to some of this.
Tall and slender, and appearing about thirty years old (no doubt she’s actually somewhat older)…
I can relate. I’m 45 and I’ve still been told I look like I’m in my late 20s.
…Lt. Commander Deanna Troi is half Betazoid, her Starfleet officer father having lived on Betazed with one of the humanoid females of that world. Although Betazeds are telepathic, human descendants have only limited telepathic ability, which in Troi’s case is mainly limited to being able to “read” the emotions of others. (We consider there to be nothing “paranormal” in this ability.
It’s still paranormal, it just isn’t supernatural. And really most people with psychokinetic powers in science fiction aren’t supernatural, even if the supernatural exists in that universe. Look at the Shining versus the pyrokinetic abilities in Firestarter or the telekinetic abilities of Carrie in that book. Assuming of course their in the same universe. Steven King does have his own shared universe. But what gets me is the parenthesis concludes with its explanation of how telepathy works in the Star Trek universe.
For example, Spock’s mental abilities in the original series were explained as an extrapolation of the often science theory that all life in the universe is somehow related.)
I’m no scientist so maybe that’s why I’ve never heard this theory about psychic phenomenon in the real world. But I don’t remember ever hearing this on the show either. Vulcans are a race of telepaths as seen with healing trances and mind melds. That’s not enough?
A Starfleet academy graduate, now holding the rank of Lieutenant Commander, Troi serves as the ship’s Counselor–where her Betazoid abilities are especially useful. Her starship specialty might have been known in earlier days as psychologist or psychiatrist but now in the 24th century the science of human behavior has grown into a much more precise and important discipline……In cases where starships encounter other life forms in deep space, the counselor’s role is considered second in importance only to the captain and first officer.
Which explains why she has a chair on the bridge on Picard’s left side with Riker on his right. The guide continues to go on and on about how great it is that humanity has “matured” to the point that they’re a okay with their therapist and how important she is to the overall health of the ship and crew. Look, I have nothing against therapists, but usually they’re around for people who need them. Sure there are people who need psychiatric help and don’t realize it, but considering how they try to push her in stories you have to wonder how many of these writers, including the people behind this story bible, spent a lot of time on the therapy couch. Then you go to the show and see how useless she sometimes is, including stating the obvious as if we need her to read the emotions of someone so obviously angry or full of crap. It’s like the writers were trying to find uses for her but wasn’t sure how to do it. I think only Wesley was harder for them to write because they didn’t seem to know what “children” were. Sirtis herself has commented on this, as well as the low-neck outfits she wore in season one and her amazing ability of crashing the ship she’s in charge of.
Troi and Number One have met before; they both felt a strong mutual attraction then, they still feel it now; but their relationship remains unconsumed.
No, I’m pretty sure it was at some point before the show. She referred to him as “imzadi“, which according to Memory Alpha can be platonic but usually translates to “beloved”. By the way, she says that to him telepathically and she can telepathically communicate with her overbearing mother (what did Deanna’s dad see in her?) so sometimes the writers didn’t realize what her mental power levels were. Then again, it could have been Lwxanna doing all the work. The guide notes that Riker isn’t willing to resume their relationship (and it’s rare we see Deanna want to either) due to their rank, but the first season would instead suggest that Riker was too drawn to his career, as Deanna noted at one point, and that caused their break-up. But obviously the feelings are there but due to their professionalism only rarely shows up. Her later relationship with Worf showed the emotions were still there, as was a visit from Riker’s transporter clone “Thomas”, and they did finally become a couple again in the movies.
Her section ends with her supposedly “mysterious” personality due to her powers but that had to be a relic of an earlier draft because she’s only supposed to have empathic abilities. She never comes off as “mysterious” on the show. And it won’t end without one more declaration about how everyone loves the ship’s therapist. I’m not saying the ship couldn’t use one even with the whole “we don’t grieve” nonsense but maybe she’s a little too high on the food chain, don’t you think?
Next time on Star Trek: The Next Story Bible we’ll go to the blind man and the serial rape victim. The future everybody!