The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek's Welfare Program:
A Cynics Corner Special Report

by David E. Sluss

23 November 1997

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[I never wrote an actual review of "Resurrection" This tangentially related article was posted to Usenet on 11/23/97. It is included in the archive for historical purposes, as it is the first reference to
Star Trek's Welfare Program, a long-running Cynics Corner institution]

After surviving one viewing of the deadly dull and monumentally cliched DS9 travesty "Resurrection," it occurred to me that the episode was so ... unnecessary. I mean, was anyone really that interested in seeing Bareil again? Well, thought The Cynic, there's at least one person who was, namely Philip Anglim, the actor who portrays Bareil, and he doesn't seem to be getting a lot of work. A-ha, thought The Cynic, "Resurrection" was another chapter in Star Trek's Welfare Program for unemployed former recurring actors. The program works like this. Star Trek has a recurring character who dies or becomes otherwise unavailable for appearances, thus putting the actor portraying that character out of work. If, after a certain amount of time, that actor is still not making a living wage, Star Trek writers will concoct a half-baked way to bring that character back, thus providing said actor with a much-needed paycheck. Other actors, besides Philip Anglim, who have been on Star Trek's welfare rolls include Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar) and Martha Hackett (Seska). It's possible, perhaps even likely, that DS9's Mirror Universe and Voyager's Holodeck were built into the shows with the specific purpose of making the welfare program work more easily and in a manner less obvious to the average viewer. Unfortunately, pabulum such as "Resurrection" totally destroys the illusion that actual thinking goes into these characters' returns, and only fuels the fire of cynicism raging through fandom. That is all.

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