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Ferengi

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In TNG the Ferengi were used as enemies. That didn't work out very well. Probably they were too phony in their behaviour. So gradually they were transformed into scheeming little villains instead. That worked better.

 

DS9 took them a step further and made them a feature of the Galaxy. A race with its own distinct traditions and values. True most of these were an exhaggeration of similar human qualities but I suppose that makes it more interesting. Except for the Cardassians they are possibly the race that most resemble humans. Certainly they were given a wider range than say Klingons or Romulans.

 

There was also an interesting evolution building up for them throughout DS9. Everything pointed more and more towards a Ferengi womens liberation, and I was sure that in the end the breakkthrough in Ferengi society would be equal rights for women. It was all building up to that. It was surprising therefore to see the writers in the end taking a dump on all that and instead without any build-up whatsoever write a complete 360 degree turn-around of Ferengi nature and values. Effectively negating the whole races distinctiveness. Worse than that the whole thing completely overshadowed the womens equality issue. Quite naturally female ferengi would be just as capitalistic as the males, or they wouldn't be Ferengi. Don't know what the writers were smoking for that one, but then again there was a lot of questionable stuff surfacing towards the end of the seventh season.

 

VOY didn't do much with the Ferengi for obvious reasons. The few instance they were used they were the traditional scheeming villains.

 

Never follower Enterprise.

 

 

One thing I wonder about is the Ferengis status throughout the Dominion war. Were they allied with Dominion or with the Federation or were they Neutral? The Ferengi fleet (assuming they had one) was never seen in the battles. The Ferengi Marauder appeared as a capable ship throughout TNG, but I don't believe it was ever used in DS9. There was a CGI version in one of the late VOY episodes, but I assume something must have happened with the model to make it unavailable for DS9, where only smaller Ferengi ships were seen. One almost feels sorry for them as all the other races Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians etc. had their ships making appearances. Even Breen, and their ships were ugly toilet seats compared with the Marauders.

 

The Ferengi centred episodes in DS9 often relied on humour, and most of the time it worked. Occasionally they went to far. Profit and Lace, and the reanimation of Keevan comes to mind. Most surprisingly they managed to get an over the top character like Grand Nagus Zek to work. That was a balance the writers were able to handle.

 

Today I would never imagine Trek without the Ferengi. Just as long as they stay true to their nature.

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However, DS9 castrated the Ferengi and made them into a PC bunch of hippies just as fast as Voyager castrated the Borg and made them into villians of the week.

 

Star Trek does that so often to good villians. The Hunter Species from Voyager became all cuddley and full of remorse.

 

Imagine if Babylon 5 had've stuck the shadows into wooly jumpers and they all had've ended up eating Ferrero Rocher at teh Ambassader's party laughing etc ... no, it didn;t happen, that's why...

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In TNG the Ferengi were used as enemies. That didn't work out very well. Probably they were too phony in their behaviour. So gradually they were transformed into scheeming little villains instead. That worked better.

 

DS9 took them a step further and made them a feature of the Galaxy. A race with its own distinct traditions and values. True most of these were an exhaggeration of similar human qualities but I suppose that makes it more interesting. Except for the Cardassians they are possibly the race that most resemble humans. Certainly they were given a wider range than say Klingons or Romulans.

 

There was also an interesting evolution building up for them throughout DS9. Everything pointed more and more towards a Ferengi womens liberation, and I was sure that in the end the breakkthrough in Ferengi society would be equal rights for women. It was all building up to that. It was surprising therefore to see the writers in the end taking a dump on all that and instead without any build-up whatsoever write a complete 360 degree turn-around of Ferengi nature and values. Effectively negating the whole races distinctiveness. Worse than that the whole thing completely overshadowed the womens equality issue. Quite naturally female ferengi would be just as capitalistic as the males, or they wouldn't be Ferengi. Don't know what the writers were smoking for that one, but then again there was a lot of questionable stuff surfacing towards the end of the seventh season.

 

VOY didn't do much with the Ferengi for obvious reasons. The few instance they were used they were the traditional scheeming villains.

 

Never follower Enterprise.

 

 

One thing I wonder about is the Ferengis status throughout the Dominion war. Were they allied with Dominion or with the Federation or were they Neutral? The Ferengi fleet (assuming they had one) was never seen in the battles. The Ferengi Marauder appeared as a capable ship throughout TNG, but I don't believe it was ever used in DS9. There was a CGI version in one of the late VOY episodes, but I assume something must have happened with the model to make it unavailable for DS9, where only smaller Ferengi ships were seen. One almost feels sorry for them as all the other races Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians etc. had their ships making appearances. Even Breen, and their ships were ugly toilet seats compared with the Marauders.

 

The Ferengi centred episodes in DS9 often relied on humour, and most of the time it worked. Occasionally they went to far. Profit and Lace, and the reanimation of Keevan comes to mind. Most surprisingly they managed to get an over the top character like Grand Nagus Zek to work. That was a balance the writers were able to handle.

 

Today I would never imagine Trek without the Ferengi. Just as long as they stay true to their nature.

 

 

I agree with just about everything above, I disagree that the end of DS9 reversed the gains made in Ferengi society though. The appointment of Rom as Nagus would only tend to further those gains. Had Quark or Brunt become Nagus then the gains would have been reversed. Rom on the other hand was more influenced by Humans and Bajorans so he would tend to bring more equality to the female population.

 

The Ferengi of Enterprise were a mixture of TNG and DS9 Ferengi though, they were "bad guys" in that they attacked Enterprise and were going to take what they wanted (Females included) but they retained their lust for monetary gain that they had in DS9. Jeffery Combs was great in his role as well, he's got to be one of my favorite "non-Regular" actors in all of Trek. Though to call him a "non-regular" isn't really fair.

 

As for Profit And Lace, it was a silly and fun story. Seeing Quark as a female was priceless though lol. The Magnificent Ferengi was a great episode and I thought the reanimation of Keevan was brilliant. In fact I thought that bringing Keevan back after "Rocks and Shoals" was a great tie in for the 2 episodes. Iggy Pop did a great job playing Yelgrun despite having a bad back injury.

 

A classic scene from The Magnificent Ferengi is when Nog checks Moogie to make sure she's not a Shape shifter, then she beats him in the head to make sure he isn't one lol.

 

The DS9 Ferengi are definitely my favorite race and Nog's development from Episode 1 to the end was by far (IMO) the best character development of the series.

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The Ferengi represent humanity the way we are, not the way we want to be or the way we like to think of ourselves or what we tell others we are. In some ways, however, the Ferengi are better than we are. They never had war or genocide or slavery. They do occasionally lie but even then it is more about bending the truth than an outright falsehood.

 

They would have been an interesting contrast to the Federation with a running debate about which society is "better" but instead they were treated as comedic foil.

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