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Old September 16 2009, 04:18 AM   #11
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Re: Cleopatra's Needle - Design Proposals

BolianAdmiral wrote: View Post
How is that in any way different than what I was talking about? Yes, it was a non-Starfleet ship, that was used by Starfleet, as it had a "U.S.S." designation...
But in the episode, it was not used by Starfleet. It was used by the Hansen family, who were civilian scientists.

I did not ever state that it was designed by Starfleet... where did I say that? Show me.
Of course you didn't say that. I'm saying that. I'm saying that, even though the concept and the scripts of "The Raven" and "Dark Frontier" required it to be a civilian vessel, the production design made it look like a Starfleet vessel. And I reconcile the discrepancy by conjecturing that it was a Starfleet-built vessel that somehow ended up in civilian hands.

The LCARS and MSD can be accepted, as many ships in today's maritime world use the same or similar navigation and control software, so it's not outlandish, to think that LCARS would be on the Raven.
That's a valid point. I guess it's possible. Still, I would've rather seen a civilian ship given a distinct design aesthetic. Sometimes ST gives the impression that Starfleet is the Federation rather than just one organization within it. There are actually people out there who believe the Federation is a military dictatorship because sometimes ST treats Starfleet and the Federation as interchangeable. (One of the worst examples being movie-Pike's line about the Federation being a humanitarian and peacekeeping armada. Obviously that was supposed to be a reference to Starfleet.) So I'd like to see more differentiation between Starfleet and civilian ships. Heck, that was a large part of my thinking in creating Cleopatra's Needle and its expedition -- I wanted to see the civilian side of Federation life and Federation science for a change. And what I'd like to see in a design for the Needle is something that's distinct from the Starfleet look, while still looking like 24th-century Federation technology.

I just don't see what issue you're taking with my point?
You're proposing the Raven was a civilian vessel used by Starfleet. I see it as a Starfleet vessel used by civilians. And when you said "used by Starfleet," I took it to mean that you thought the Hansens were members of Starfleet. If that's not what you meant, then I'm confused by the phrase.

EDIT: The Hansens were civilians, but had to be in some way sanctioned by Starfleet, to have gained access to Starfleet records, concerning the Borg (Even though this whole farce of an episode took place before the 1701-D's encounter at System J-25). They may have been doing a private-sector project, but I'm sure Starfleet had a role in it, at some point.
When was it ever said that the Hansens used Starfleet records concerning the Borg? The only line of dialogue in either "The Raven" or "Dark Frontier" that contains the word "Starfleet" in connection with the Hansens is the following from "Dark Frontier":
Field notes, U.S.S. Raven, Stardate 32611.4: It's about time. The Federation Council on Exobiology has given us final approval. Starfleet's still concerned about security issues but they've agreed not to stand in our way. We've said our goodbyes, and we're ready to start chasing our theories about the Borg.

And the only uses of the word "records" are in reference to the Hansens' own expedition records downloaded by Voyager.

So there's no indication that the Hansens were making use of any Starfleet records -- and indeed they can't have been, since Starfleet had no records of the Borg prior to "Q Who." What the Hansens were following must have been legends and anecdotes that hadn't found their way into Starfleet files. Starfleet had no involvement beyond asking some security questions about a mission that was approved by a civilian Federation agency.
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