Marina Sirtis thinks Best of Both Worlds changed her character
Counselor Deanna Troi took a lot of flack from viewers, at least for the first two to three seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Writers have said they didn’t know how to write her, and many fans have said that she was nothing more than eye candy for the series. To an extent, Marina Sirtis, who played Troi agreed.
The Hollywood Reporter published an in-depth report on The Best of Both Worlds, Part !, calling it “Star Trek: The Story of the Most Daring Cliffhanger in Next Generation History” that offered insight from the actors, the makeup crew, the prop master, and many more behind-the-scenes people who worked to make the episode a success. In that report, Sirtis declared that The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1 was a very important one for her character and essentially became a turning point for Troi. Prior to that, the actress admitted that a lot of the time, she was decorative.
Marina Sirtis is okay with that description
Though Sirtis, like most actors, wanted more for her character, she didn’t have a huge problem with being described as decorative, mainly because of her childhood.
"“A lot of the time, I was decorative. Hey, that was fine. I was a very ugly child, so if you had said to me when I was 13, “One day you are going to grow up to be this sex symbol,” I would have asked if you were high.”"
Things did begin to change for Sirtis in the third season of the series. She started to become more than just a pretty face who sensed an emotion here or there. Sirtis said she always treasured those moments when her character’s advice was listened to. And the change in her character had a huge effect on the fans she met at conventions.
"“Every weekend at a convention, someone will say to me it was so nice to see a competent woman on a TV show who wasn’t “the bitch.” Troi was strong and professional, but took a pride in her appearance. It was kind of a first, to have a professional woman, who wasn’t “the bitch.”"
It did take the writers a while to figure out what Sirtis could bring to the character and how they wanted Troi to become an essential member of the team. There were additional episodes beyond season three where they still struggled to utilize the character correctly, but, by the time season five rolled around, those were fewer and farther between. Troi really became a bigger part of the crew and team in the later seasons of TNG. She still had the beauty, but the writers actually allowed her to show her intelligence as well.