Was Counselor Troi is important enought to have a place on the bridge next to Captain Picard?
On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis) sat next to Captain Picard on the bridge of the Enterprise. Her duty as ship’s counselor was not only to help the crew adjust to the rigors of long-term space travel, but she assisted the captain with determining the intents of new contacts and potential enemies. But, in a conversation on Reddit, some commenters are asking whether she actually served that purpose.
While some say Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) was actually more beneficial to the crew as she had a better way of listening, others say we only saw when things went wrong with Troi’s sessions not when things were going right. Others also praised her presence as a nod to the importance of keeping an eye on mental health on long-term missions. But, inevitably, the question/comment always arises: was Troi really helpful on the bridge, or did she just stand around stating the obvious most of the time?
Counselor Troi didn’t have a lot of input in the first few years on the Enterprise.
Star Trek: The Original Series didn’t have a ship’s counselor, and though it was a good idea to add one in The Next Generation, it never looked like the writers knew what to do with Troi. As one Reddit commenter said, there were instances of “Captain, I can sense aggression from the ship,” when it was already firing at the Enterprise. In those instances, it sounded like a writers suggested that Sirtis be given a piece of dialogue because she was one of the stars of the show and should be talking. Even Sirtis herself made fun of some of the lines she said on the show.
Neither Voyager nor Star Trek: Enterprise had a ship’s counselor, and Deep Space Nine didn’t have a counselor until season seven when Ezri Dax showed up. So if a counselor was necessary to the ship and the crew’s welfare, why wasn’t there more effort to integrate Sirtis’ character into the series in the earlier seasons?
The conversation on Reddit contains many interesting observations that point to Troi’s necessity, but, of course, there is also plenty of dissent. Ahe time of this writing, the post already had over 350 comments. It’s a topic that continues to divide fans, but most everyone is in agreement that the writing for Sirtis’ character did pick up in the later seasons of the series.