Armin Shimerman Feels Responsible For Failed Ferengi Introduction On ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’
When Star Trek: The Next Generation was being developed, the Ferengi were created to be the main recurring antagonists. They were ominously name-dropped in the series premiere and made their first on-screen appearance going up against the Enterprise crew in the fourth episode, “The Last Outpost.” The fans, writers and producers generally agreed that this introduction was a failure, and the Ferengi didn’t end up meeting the goals set by series creator Gene Roddenberry.
I don’t know how they would have been the new ‘big bads’ for Star Trek. Other than being a capitalist society, centered around the acquiring of wealth by any means, rubbing the post-scarcity, post-currency Federation the wrong way. That would have been fairly boring. A utopian civilization getting nibbled on by a greed-based civilization only works in the dull ideology of Roddenberry’s notion of what TNG was supposed to be, where nobody ever disagreed with anyone else. That doesn’t make for compelling TV.
I don’t know how they would have been the new ‘big bads’ for Star Trek. Other than being a capitalist society, centered around the acquiring of wealth by any means, rubbing the post-scarcity, post-currency Federation the wrong way.
Context isn’t just for kings – you have to keep in mind that TNG premiered just before Black Monday, and even before that, you had the beginning of the savings & loan collapse, the big scandal over insider trading with the leveraged buyout/arbitrage/junk bond market (look up Ivan Boesky or Michale Milliken)…the Ferengi were among us already. Gene just put big ears on them and made aliens out of them.