Star Trek: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Deanna Troi
I’m sensing you want to know more about Deanna Troi. Grab a chocolate sundae and let's get going!
This empath, ship’s counselor, imzadi, chocoholic, dress-down-Friday-is-every-day, one-time Romulan, and designated driver is certainly a fan favourite. The character’s return in Star Trek: Picard was the highlight of an otherwise chaotic season, and she is always the star of any Lower Decks episode we see her in.
At least at the beginning of The Next Generation, Deanna Troi wasn’t used to best effect. The writers had painted themselves into a corner somewhat by creating a character whose empathic abilities could easily spoil the nub of the plot without careful consideration. As the seasons progressed, she did get some more meaty storylines in episodes such as Face Of The Enemy or The Loss.
Although appearing more perturbed than Worf at a Betazoid wedding such that her final fate is anyone’s guess, Troi features in the thrilling season three trailers for Picard, and so looks set for some proper screen time once more. Usually, of course, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to discuss such matters, because hours in the day are always lacking. Still, we await the final season of Picard, and especially Troi’s part in it, with bated breath. See Temporal Mechanics Department for introductions that have aged badly.
It seems to appropriate, therefore, to discuss some little-known facts about this beloved character. So, get comfortable on that chaise longue as we take a deep dive into Troi’s persona.
Paging Dr Freud. Paging Dr Freud...
10. The Role First Went To Denise Crosby
Before filming began on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the producers were set on casting Denise Crosby in the role of Deanna Troi, and, at the same time, Marina Sirtis was reading for the part of Macha Hernandez, who later became Natasha Yar. Crosby admitted that she had difficulties with her fit for the role, not quite grasping, as she once stated, the "gobbledygook and weird" concept of a Betazoid. It was Gene Roddenberry who eventually swapped the roles.
It was decided that Sirtis was a better fit for the part of the empathic Troi. In Crosby’s words (citing Roddenberry, however), she, the actress, was "just this kind of American golden girl" compared to the more "exotic," "otherworldly" element that was wanted for Troi.
In any case, the switch happened not a moment too soon! When Sirtis got the call confirming she’d got the part, her US visa was due to expire that very day. The actress was packing her bags, a little dejected, for a return to her hometown of London. Thankfully, the rest is history.
Had Roddenberry not changed things, perhaps Troi, and not Yar, would have met her end at the hands (gloopy pseudo-appendages?!) of grumpy ol’ prank-bait Armus?