Thread: Michael O'Hare
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Old February 13th 14, 19:42   #3
Raw Shark
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 162
Re: Michael O'Hare

I was really disappointed when Michael O'Hare left the series. The character and O'Hare's performance really grew on me. I always thought it was plausible that the rumors were true, Warner Bros. wanted him replaced in order to renew the show for a second season. It just sounded right, partly because so many people complained about his performance. As it turns out, it was about mental health issues, and that certainly does add a new layer to his tenure. A man trying to hold it together playing a man trying to hold it together, I'm not sure how often that happens.

I have also been confused by the criticism that he was 'wooden,' because given Sinclair's tastes throughout the first season, it was obvious to me early on that he was a stoic individual. The Tennyson recordings, talking about meditating with the Jesuits, breathing exercises, appreciating the solitude of C&C when no one is there, staring at the Japanese stone garden, 'walking in the green' when G'Kar finds him, everything points to someone who needs contemplative time to himself, someone trying to construct and maintain a calm center. The character has wartime pain inside that he generally doesn't want to talk about, but sometimes it comes out, like in 'And the Sky Full of Stars.' Although JMS has stated that it was a mistake to make his character so complete (or 'arrived' is the word he used), who would not be as interesting to watch go through the hero's journey throughout the story (paraphrasing), I think Sinclair was one of the best-written characters in the entire series. After the shallow, not-much-to-them characters in Star Trek: the Next Generation (who talks about chocolate that much?!?), it was a relief to find a lead with real depth, a painful past, hopes for the future, and even a death wish. I love the idea of a leader who appears to be stable, but hides serious flaws within, who then has to take on an increasingly important role in a universe that's much more dangerous than he's ready for. And from time to time, circumstances force him out of his carefully-built shell of serenity, and when that happens Sinclair usually turns explosive. If he had remained, Sinclair might have been a time bomb. It's too bad we missed out on whatever JMS had planned for his death wish.

My favorite O'Hare performances were in 'Soul Hunter,' 'Infection' (I still think the most underrated episode in many ways, even JMS says it's one of his least favorites), 'And the Sky Full of Stars' of course, 'Deathwalker,' 'By Any Means Necessary,' and 'Chrysalis.' His voice was astounding. I used to crank the opening credits through my biggest speakers because his narration sounded so good, so deep, it was haunting and inspiring.

I was so glad O'Hare came back for 'War Without End,' and I was glad to hear the real story for his departure last year in Phoenix. That was a very cool convention, I hope there will be another one.

Raw Shark

"Be careful, Ambassador. Not every dream I've heard lately ends well for you."
Commander Sinclair
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