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Old February 7 2009, 06:51 PM   #1
Mr. Laser Beam
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Stargazer question

I got to thinking of this when I read the "Picard's rank?" thread, in the TNG forum.

AFAIK, the Stargazer series states that Picard - a Lt. Cmdr. at the time - was made the Captain of the ship when its original CO (Daithan Ruhalter) was killed, and the original XO (Stephen Leach) wounded and comatose. Can this really be true, though? An early TNG episode - might have been the pilot, I can't remember - mentioned that Picard was once an XO. (Something about Riker's refusal to let Picard beam down to a planet. Riker says that because Picard was once an XO himself, he'd understand the reasoning behind it.)

So even after the Stargazer's two most senior officers were out of action, Picard couldn't have immediately become Captain, because we'd already been told he spent some time as an XO first. Do the novels explain this?
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Old February 7 2009, 06:57 PM   #2
Mike Winters
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Re: Stargazer question

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
I got to thinking of this when I read the "Picard's rank?" thread, in the TNG forum.

AFAIK, the Stargazer series states that Picard - a Lt. Cmdr. at the time - was made the Captain of the ship when its original CO (Daithan Ruhalter) was killed, and the original XO (Stephen Leach) wounded and comatose. Can this really be true, though? An early TNG episode - might have been the pilot, I can't remember - mentioned that Picard was once an XO. (Something about Riker's refusal to let Picard beam down to a planet. Riker says that because Picard was once an XO himself, he'd understand the reasoning behind it.)

So even after the Stargazer's two most senior officers were out of action, Picard couldn't have immediately become Captain, because we'd already been told he spent some time as an XO first. Do the novels explain this?
I do not remember any reference to Picard being referred to as an XO by Riker at all. Looking at Memory Alpha which uses primarily filmed Trek as its source (thus the dreaded Canon word), it doesn't refer to him ever being an XO.

Mike
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Old February 7 2009, 07:06 PM   #3
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Re: Stargazer question

^No, Babaganoosh is right. There's a scene in "Encounter at Farpoint" where Picard and Riker discuss the right of a captain to participate in away missions, and Riker says "Having been a first officer yourself, you know that assuming that responsibility must by definition include the safety of the captain."
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Old February 7 2009, 07:08 PM   #4
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Re: Stargazer question

I guess it is one of the many cases where the show reversed itself, or perhaps Riker was mistaken, assuming Picard had been a First Officer since he was now a Captain. It would be understandable for one to assume a Captain had once been an XO.
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Old February 7 2009, 07:16 PM   #5
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Re: Stargazer question

Mike Winters wrote: View Post
I guess it is one of the many cases where the show reversed itself, or perhaps Riker was mistaken, assuming Picard had been a First Officer since he was now a Captain. It would be understandable for one to assume a Captain had once been an XO.
I would think that if Riker had gotten it wrong, Picard would have corrected him.
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Old February 7 2009, 07:18 PM   #6
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Re: Stargazer question

And there isn't any evidence that the show reversed itself. What little Stargazer/Picard backstory is actually given onscreen doesn't prevent his having served as a first officer; it's the elaborated version in the novels that rules it out.
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Old February 7 2009, 07:19 PM   #7
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Re: Stargazer question

Doesn't the show also refer to his having become a Captain very young?
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Old February 7 2009, 07:26 PM   #8
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Re: Stargazer question

^In "Conspiracy" Picard says that Tryla Scott made captain faster than anyone else, "present company included," which suggests that he made captain fairly young, but still doesn't rule out brief first officer service.
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Old February 7 2009, 08:23 PM   #9
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Re: Stargazer question

Picard was the ship's second officer before becoming captain. He pretty much did the job of an XO.
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Old February 7 2009, 09:42 PM   #10
William Leisner
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Re: Stargazer question

Wouldn't the first officer, technically speaking, become captain upon the CO's death, regardless of his capacity to carry out that duty? And thus, wouldn't Picard have technically been the ship's second in command, acting in Leach's stead while he was out of commission?
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Old February 7 2009, 09:56 PM   #11
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Re: Stargazer question

Mmmn... tenuous, but it could work.
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Old February 7 2009, 10:13 PM   #12
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Re: Stargazer question

not tenuos or 'technically' true. from what we've previously seen in Trek, it's true.
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Old February 8 2009, 06:23 AM   #13
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Re: Stargazer question

William Leisner wrote: View Post
Wouldn't the first officer, technically speaking, become captain upon the CO's death, regardless of his capacity to carry out that duty? And thus, wouldn't Picard have technically been the ship's second in command, acting in Leach's stead while he was out of commission?
Could be. I don't remember whether Ruhalter's death or Leach's coma came first. If it was both at the same time, then the above couldn't happen, because Picard (as the next senior officer) would go straight to being CO.

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Picard was the ship's second officer
I thought that was Jack Crusher. But I suppose Picard could have become that, after Jack's death.
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Old February 8 2009, 06:52 AM   #14
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Re: Stargazer question

^ Crusher only joined the crew much later into timeline, by which point Picard had already been captain for quite a while.

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Old February 8 2009, 06:58 AM   #15
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Re: Stargazer question

Could Picard have been a XO on a ship BEFORE Stargazer?
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