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Old January 4 2013, 01:14 AM   #21
Re: Enterprise-C Bridge Layout

Or, you can be a little more rational, accept that the production teams on the various series and movies were only human, and therefore made mistakes; and move on -- rather than trying to twist them into some semblance of a personal canon.
I vastly prefer systematic over "rational" because what makes sense and what does not is always highly subjective. And what "deviates from intent", or is an "error", is a matter of opinion when the end product is considered. Much of Star Trek is just error piled upon error, but that's how fictional universes are built. The entire initial costuming of TNG is just a series of errors and misunderstood, mis-executed intent, after all: Spiner ends up with mustard rather than blue or red by sheer accident, and the concept of Operations Officer is born; Stewart looks better in red than mustard, and suddenly the concept of Redshirt is gone.

I don't recall if there were any officer cadets on the Bridge Simulator when Spock uttered "Trainees, to the briefing room," was that blond kid playing navigator at the time?
Yup. But perhaps tellingly (and purely accidentally), neither he nor Saavik made an effort to go to the briefing room when the order was given. Saavik lingered; the blonde bloke disappeared from view.

It would be nice to be able to think that "Cadet" and "Midshipman" still refer to the academic students of naval soldiering, while "Trainee" refers to the enlisted lot. Whether there is a distinction between Cadet and Midshipman might depend on whether we really believe Peter Preston was a kid of fourteen, a classic case of sailing ship era Midshipmen but different from what we'd learn about Starfleet Cadets in the spinoff shows. Perhaps Starfleet readily takes in underage Midshipmen for "learn at work" studies, but people of such a low age have to compete fiercely, TNG "Coming of Age" style, to earn Cadet status in the rare underage quota?

That's nuances, though; splitting the redcollar lot to enlisted Trainees and another, academic, eventually commissioned bunch suffices for upholding naval tradition without contradicting the evidence. And yeah, Saavik sounds like a postgraduate taking Command School after brief field experience, whereas Kirk in both timelines apparently took Command as part of his undergraduate studies (unlike Saavik, he explicitly did the supposed final exam, the Kobayashi Maru simulation, while being addressed as Cadet, and we never saw any marks of commissioning on him at the time of the exam).

Why are you twisting yourself up in knots trying to shoehorn production errors in again?
Because errors are more common than lack thereof; intent, unless extremely rigorously enforced, simply fails to stick. Especially when it comes to costuming.

Bob Fletcher devised an elaborate scheme of uniforms and department colors. Elaborate is recipe for disaster without proper supervision, which the scheme never got. We're far better off forgetting all about this supposed scheme and simply believing what we see, which is a series of random costuming decisions across a range of movies and episodes.

Who's to say the regular bridge crew weren't already dead or injured prior to enlisted crew taking over?
Well, that was one of the original possibilities, the one negating the value of onscreen evidence. But it's not the only one - and accepting that the rigid uniform scheme of Fletcher never worked only makes things simpler, not more complex.

Timo Saloniemi
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