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Star Trek’s Quark Actor Apologizes, Accepts Blame For TNG’s Ferengi Mistake-TGN

Summary

  • Armin Shimerman apologized for his performance as a Ferengi in an early episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, taking responsibility for not meeting the expectations of the character.
  • The Ferengi were originally intended to be threatening and menacing like the Klingons but ended up becoming comedic relief on TNG.
  • Shimerman’s portrayal of Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine allowed him to completely change the perception of the Ferengi and established his legacy as a Star Trek great.


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s Armin Shimerman apologized for the way he portrayed a Ferengi in an early episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Shimerman is best known for playing Ferengi entrepreneur Quark in all seven seasons of DS9, but Quark was not the only Ferengi Shimerman portrayed. The season one TNG episode “The Last Outpost” introduces the Ferengi as antagonists for Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the USS Enterprise-D, and Shimerman plays Letek, one of the original Ferengi in Star Trek.

On an episode of The Shuttlepod Show podcast filmed before the SAG-AFTRA strike, Armin Shimerman outright apologized for his Ferengi performance in Star Trek: The Generation to Star Trek: Enterprise actors and hosts Dominic Keating and Connor Trinneer and podcast host Erica LaRose. Check out Shimerman’s quote and watch the video of The Shuttlepod Show below, with the Ferengi talk starting at the 41:18 time stamp:

I apologize for that first episode. Not the episode, my performance. Letek was the character, the Ferengi’s name was Letek. And it was nothing like what I was told they wanted. And I’m the one that screwed up. It’s all my fault. I take responsibility.

The Ferengi, originally, were meant to be the new Klingons. We were supposed to be threatening, we were supposed to be a menace to the Federation, we were supposed to be everything that the Klingons were and more. And I had the largest Ferengi part on that episode… I thought I played it seriously, but I failed miserably… I am so enormously embarrassed by that performance. And all of Quark, my whole agenda for seven years, was to eradicate that Next Generation performance.

Related: “We Didn’t Laugh”: Star Trek’s Quark Actor Explains DS9 Cast’s Big Difference From TNG


How DS9’s Quark Changed & Fixed Star Trek: TNG’s Ferengi

After “The Last Outpost” photon torpedoed the Ferengi as fearsome menaces, the capitalistic aliens became comedic relief on TNG, and Shimerman would appear as another Ferengi, DaiMon Bractor, in the TNG season 2 episode, “Peak Performance.” As Shimerman said, his main goal in portraying Quark was to “eradicate” that original TNG performance from the minds of viewers. But it wasn’t really Shimerman’s fault that the Ferengi failed as major antagonists, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine would allow him to completely change the perception of the Ferengi.

On DS9, Quark, along with fellow Ferengi Rom (Max Grodénchik) and Nog (Aron Eisenberg), became fully fleshed-out characters with distinct personalities that redefined the culture of the Ferengi. Over the course of DS9, Quark proved to be a complex and compassionate character, despite his often shady business dealings. Quark gave Armin Shimerman the opportunity to play a truly multi-faced character than the two Ferengi he played on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Quark cemented Shimerman’s legacy as a Star Trek great.

Source: The Shuttlepod Show

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