For the first entry in the ST:TNG Archive featuring one of the main crew members, I thought I'd start with the one and only Deanna Troi. Deanna wasn't one of my favorite characters from the TNG cast, though. Maybe that's because her character was so underutilized. According to the book, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Continuing Mission, Marina Sirtis (the actress who played Troi) claimed that the writers didn't know what to do with her character because she was psychic and therefore a plot destroyer. It was difficult to write around her ability to read the minds of the antagonists and end the story prematurely. But another reason I was never a big Deanna fan is that I always found her character to be repetitive. Guinan often fulfilled the "character who senses something wrong" shoes with less plot-destruction and more plot-construction. Anyway, let's check out all the 4.5" figures related to Deanna Troi from the classic Playmates line.
Counselor Deanna TroiSeries: 1 (lavender), 2 (burgundy)
Episodes: Seasons 2-7
Year Stamped: 1992 (lavender), 1993 (maroon)
Here we see Deanna in her most familiar countenance. With the exception of Season 1, it was her primary costume for all seasons until Season 6's Chain of Command, the episode in which Captain Jellico orders Deanna to wear a standard issue Starfleet uniform (Star Trek: TNG Companion). I suppose Picard agreed with Jellico, because Deanna started periodically wearing the Starfleet duty uniform from then on.
Although I normally don't include variations in the archive, both of these variants count because they were featured prominently in the TNG series. I'm not exactly sure why the TNG producers made color variants of the same costume pattern, but it seems like it was a method to set the tone of the scene. Deanna typically wore the lavender suit in scenes of a playful nature, whereas the burgundy suit was worn in the more serious, dramatic scenes. (There are obvious exceptions, like the murder scene in Eye of the Beholder.) On a maybe-related note, the Continuing Mission book states that the Starfleet ID room labels on the Enterprise-D were colored brown for duty decks and lavender for residential. I wonder if Deanna's costume was designed with a similar idea in mind, with the burgundy suit as her "work clothes" and her lavender suit as her "casual Friday" look.
Lt. Commander Deanna Troi (Starfleet duty uniform)Series: 3
Episodes/Movie: Seasons 6 and 7, Generations
Year Stamped: 1994
1994 saw the release of Deanna in her Jellico-approved Starfleet duty uniform. One of the most distinctive things about this figure is its hands. Deanna figures tend to have hands sculpted in a manner that is too dainty to hold accessories, but this figure breaks that trend. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, its hair paint seems to chip easily so you'll want to stay frosty if you're trying to get a mint sample.
Ambassadress Lwaxana TroiSeries: 4
Episode: Ménage à Troi (Season 3)
Year Stamped: 1995
Given Lwaxana's familial connection to Deanna, I'll lump this figure in with the Troi figures. This costume comes from the episode Ménage à Troi, in which Deanna and Lwaxana are kidnapped by an amorous Ferengi. The skirt makes it one of those dreaded "salt shaker" figures that were so common in the late 90's. Despite Majel Barrett-Roddenberry's ubiquity as different characters in the Star Trek universe, this Lwaxana Troi is one of only two Majel characters to be immortalized into plastic (the other being Nurse Chapel, in 1996). On the other hand, I think the only other characters she played were Number One (in the ST:TOS pilot) and the computer's voice. And I'm at a loss as to how you would make a figure of the computer's voice.
Counselor Deanna Troi as DurangoSeries: 5
Episode: A Fistful of Datas (Season 6)
Year Stamped: 1995
I've grown to love Star Trek figures featuring the characters in wacky, period-specific costumes, which makes this Durango Troi my favorite of the bunch. In the episode A Fistful of Datas, Worf, Alexander and Troi are trapped in a Wild West simulation, while a malfunctioning Data-inspired hologram hunts them down. The before-mentioned dainty hands syndrome rears its ugly head here, as the hands are unfortunately not sculpted in a way that can make the figure effectively aim the rifle. The costume is screen-accurate for the most part, even though the pattern of the shirt isn't.
Counselor Deanna Troi (First Contact uniform)Series: Target Exclusive Starfleet Command Edition
Movies: First Contact, Insurrection, Nemesis
Year Stamped: 1999
Finally, we have Deanna in her First Contact uniform (so named because this style of the uniform first appeared in the movie). The figure was technically an Insurrection figure released as a limited-edition Target exclusive, but the costume also works for First Contact and Nemesis. The head is reused from the duty uniform figure, creating its main discrepancy: the hair style of the movies was straighter and had a brown coloration. But check out the cool Voyager-style articulation in the legs!
Timeline? This is no time to talk about time. We don't have the time!
Some Playmates figures just didn't fit in with the "timeline" of the ST:TNG universe. (Remember that the figures in this archive have to be reasonably representative of an appearance on a ST:TNG episode or movie.) So, a few figures didn't make the cut:
- Commander Deanna Troi (Generations, shown above): The Generations figures were based on concept art that was never seen on screen. Fail.
- Cadet Deanna Troi (Starfleet Academy): In 1997, a series of TNG characters reimagined as Starfleet cadets was released. This is more of an Expanded Universe series than anything else. Fail.
Sometimes a cake is just a cakeAnd that's it for Deanna Troi in the 4.5" scale. Although she ended up with a pretty good number of figures (especially given the importance of the character), there are still a few that would have been cool to see:
- Season 1 Jumpsuit: This costume was awful, but given its prominence in the first season, it would be nice to have anyway.
- Blue Dress: Episodes from earlier seasons frequently featured Deanna wearing a distinctive blue dress.
- Crazy Aging Deanna (with streaked hair) from Man of the People: This is one of Deanna's most striking looks and would have worked great with the Lwaxana Troi figure.
- 19th-century Deanna from Time's Arrow: Speaking of period-specific costumes a few paragraphs back, this one would have been awesome.
- Cellular Peptide Cake (with Mint Frosting) Deanna from Phantasms: This episode was an abomination, arguably the worst Next Gen episode made. But the image of Deanna as a cake really sticks with you. I'm not sure how this figure could see plastic since it would really be just a half of a figure... maybe it would be included in a two-pack along with Straw In The Temple Riker.