Re: the Enterprise originally being a 'deep space' exploration craft: ISTR a season one episode (Conspiracy
?) sees Starfleet command being very surprised at the arrivial of the Enterprise in Earth's solar system, with the admiralty even saying that the presence of a Galaxy Class ship in proximity of Earth was rare. Later seasons it seemed like they were always
going back to Earth!
That reminds me of how in "Contagion," the crew was shocked at the very idea that a ship could suffer a warp core breach, because the odds against all those built-in safeguards failing at once were astronomical. The nigh-impossibility of such a breach was a critical clue to the fact that it wasn't an accident. Yet within a couple of years, warp core breaches were happening all the time.
Whenever a new incarnation of Trek comes along -- a decade ago it was Enterprise
, now it's Abrams -- some fans scream and holler about every continuity error as if it were some unprecedented corruption of the purity of the franchise and required dismissing the whole thing as alternate or imaginary. But the fact is that every individual Trek series is riddled with continuity errors, and TNG is one of the biggest offenders. You just can't go through such a wholesale turnaround of creative staff as TNG did in its first few seasons without ending up getting a radically different show than you started with.
Captain Picard. wrote:
Exactly, any sensible person would not allow children on a star ship especially the Enterprise!
But the word "starship" refers to any large vessel capable of interstellar travel. If children and families weren't allowed on any
starship of any kind, how could people ever colonize space? How could there be interstellar commerce and tourism and cultural exchange? If you'd said "military vessel," you could've made a case, but generalizing it to any and all starships is as far from sensible as you can get.