Marina Sirtis wasn't happy with Troi in Star Trek; The Next Generation's pilot


The pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation wasn't one of its best. Encounter at Point was simply the jumping off point for the new series which struggled through its first season with far more bad episodes than good. The actors had to find their place, learn their characters, and grow into them. And not all of them were happy with how they saw themselves onscreen.

In the Star Trek oral history,The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Yearsby Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, [via Screenrant], Marina Sirtis said it was difficult for her to watch the pilot, and she wasn't happy with what she saw on the screen.

Troi did change after the first episode, but it didn't seem like the writers really knew what to do with her or her character's Betazoid abilities. She was often stuck with obvious lines like "I sense anger" or "I sense pain" when the viewer could already see that from the actions of the character or characters she was discussing. Needless to say, Troi didn't really find her way aboard the Enterprise until later on in the show's seven season run.

"The characterization and look changed after the pilot; we felt the character was a little bit too intense and there wasn’t enough range in Troi. Basically, we were concentrating on her Betazoid abilities; I worked more on developing the human side of her, which is far more interesting to play. It was difficult to watch the pilot with my hands over my eyes; I didn’t feel it was working really well. Personally, knowing what I can do as an actress and seeing what was up there, I wasn’t happy."

Marina Sirtis

Fortunately, Sirtis was able to shine in later episodes like in the seventh season's "Dark Page" or even in season five's "Disaster." Even by the season four episode "The Loss," Sirtis was given more to do with her character and was able to shape Troi into a solid member of the crew who not only offered a listening ear but sound advice. And her character really stood out in the final season of Star Trek: Picard, playing a pivotal role in saving members of the crew, including her husband.

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