I happened to see a bit of a TNG rerun last night: it was “Lonely Among Us,” the first-season effort in which Picard gets possessed by an alien presence and Data discovers Sherlock Holmes. It was, of course, awful, redeemed only by the fact that, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, and Denise Crosby sure were purty. (There’s a scene in which Crosby, dressed in the requisite catsuit, struts down the bridge ramp to deliver a message that almost makes up for the fact that they failed to kill Riker in this episode despite several obvious opportunities.)
There’s a lot of odd things in this episode. For instance, fairly early on, the ship, while on a fairly important diplmatic mission, pretty much breaks down; both propulsion & communications are online. In the next scene, Picard is getting briefed on the situation–by the ASSISTANT chief engineer. Why, I wondered, isn’t the chief engineer doing this? For that matter, why wasn’t the chief engineer one of the main cast from the get-go?
All of which brings me to the thread topic: redoing the TNG Bible. While you can’t change the basic premise or attitude of the show–no turning it into BSG or Firefly–you can tweak the elements that exist to make the show more coherent, or less annoying. If you wish, you can specify that you’re making changes for a specific season. You can make one and only one major character addition/deletion in a given season; in other words, you can get rid of Troi OR Wesley from the get go, but not Troi AND Wesley. But you can shuffle people around to different positions.
I’ll start with a few softballs:
Geordi’s chief engineer from Day One. Tasha’s helm officer, and a lieutenant commander; she’s second officer, because Starfleet’s iffy about putting an android so close to the center seat. Worf’s chief of security. Troi is still around, but not nearly as central; as ship’s counselor she explicitly works for Beverly Crusher, and her office is in sickbay.
Written into the bible: Worf must be SHOWN, not merely said, to be a bad-ass. If there’s a hand-to-hand fight, he always either wins or goes down under a mass of bodies, and it takes four or five big guys to do it. And his losing a fight is RARE. The most likely end to someone pointing a phaser at him is that Worf will take away the phaser and make the person eat it.