As I have mentioned before, growing up I really hated Wesley Crusher. Wil Wheaton, on the other hand, I am a big fan of. Recently Wil has been reviewing old episodes of The Next Generation over at TV Squad. His review of Lonely Among Us hits on something that makes me hate Wesley a lot less, and turn my anger towards the people who created him:
Behind the Scenes Memory: I don’t recall much about working on this particular episode, but I can clearly and painfully recall something that happened right around the time we filmed it: D.C. Fontana, who wrote this episode and is presumably responsible for all the lame dialogue I had to deliver in it, was part of a panel at a convention in 1987 called “Solving the Wesley Problem.” The whole thing was focused on attacking me and my character, and lamenting the fact that there was a damn kid on the Enterprise. Patrick Stewart called me from the show and encouraged me to come to the convention and speak on my own behalf, which I did with some success. That panel and the audience’s comments really hurt me when I was a 15 year-old kid, but while I watched this episode as a 34 year-old man, I had this crazy idea: Maybe instead of sitting on this panel and trashing me, D.C Fontana could have written intelligent dialogue for me and helped solve the “Wesley problem” herself. I don’t know, maybe she tried to do that and didn’t get a lot of support from the rest of the producers and writing staff, but even I know of Dr. Channing’s theory of not writing cliched dialogue for kids in science fiction, and then blaming the actor who is forced to deliver it.
Right on! By the way, Wil’s reviews of these episodes on TV Squad have been hilarious and really spot on with his critiques, praises, and other remembrances.