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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old October 6 2012, 10:39 AM   #1
dstyer
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Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

A question (after all these years) just came to me about Captain Picard. Based on the history of the show, this man had a previous command that ended in the loss of a ship and a court-martial. That was followed by an apparent undocumented period of approximately 8 years that in seven years of episodes we never heard anything about. What made Starfleet decide that a captain with one command that ended in relative failure should be given the honor of the command of the Federation flagship?
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Old October 6 2012, 10:47 AM   #2
R. Star
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

A court martial was standard procedure then for the loss of a ship. He was acquitted on any charges, so it was hardly a disqualifying mark on his career.

Really there's any number of things he could have been doing besides commanding a Starship. He could have been doing his archaeology thing, he could have had a desk at Starfleet command, he could be teaching at the Academy or doing his diplomat/mediator thing. Picard did say he represented the Federation in first contact with a ton of worlds after all.
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Old October 6 2012, 10:55 AM   #3
T'Girl
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
he could have had a desk at Starfleet command
In Picard's ready room there is a display model of a Constellation Class starship, one of Picard previous commands. There is also a painting of the Enterprise, his current command.

In Picard's quarters there is a painting of a space station. This I feel represents another of Picard's commands, and where he spent at least some of the eight "unaccountable" years.







.



.

Last edited by T'Girl; October 6 2012 at 11:26 AM.
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Old October 6 2012, 01:00 PM   #4
BillJ
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

Well, Picard commanded the Stargazer for twenty-two years before it was lost. Then he was absolved of any wrongdoing in its loss.

So even if he spent eight years behind a desk, I don't see anything that would damage his chances at another command.
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Old October 6 2012, 01:09 PM   #5
Anwar
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

Didn't he work for one of the Admirals from "Conspiracy" in those 8 years? Maybe it was that guy's influence.
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Old October 6 2012, 01:11 PM   #6
BillJ
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

Anwar wrote: View Post
Didn't he work for one of the Admirals from "Conspiracy" in those 8 years? Maybe it was that guy's influence.
Admiral Quinn. No information is given one way or another on their history.
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Old October 6 2012, 01:57 PM   #7
Dream
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

I would say Picard was more qualified than that guy who became captain just because his daddy worked on the Warp 5 engine.
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Old October 6 2012, 03:12 PM   #8
The Librarian
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

A starbase command would make sense, and one of the big ones could certainly be prestigious depending on its location and importance. An admiral's chief of staff would also work. Really, it shouldn't be unusual for people to have 'shore' or flag staff postings between shipboard duty.
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Old October 6 2012, 04:00 PM   #9
horatio83
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

dstyer wrote: View Post
What made Starfleet decide that a captain with one command that ended in relative failure should be given the honor of the command of the Federation flagship?
Picard came up with a brilliant tactic while fighting against the Ferengi. He was not responsible for the loss of the ship just like Kirk could not do anything besides blowing up the Enterprise in TSFS.
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Old October 6 2012, 04:48 PM   #10
Mojochi
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

We don't exactly know the time frame in which Picard's assignment to the Ent-D spanned. We do know that it was a year after it was launched from the Utopia Planitia shipyards that he actually took command. He could have been in line for that posting long before the ship was commissioned or even completely constructed, and taking interim postings

As for the years awaiting his next command, there's been some good theories here, the space station he displays in his quarters, working for Admiral Quinn. Picard apparently conducted at least one inspection tour (& probably others) where he first met Geordi, & decided he wanted him on his next command

So in short.... he was working for Starfleet, waiting for another ship, or perhaps the best ship he could get, which would certainly take some time. Starships don't grow on trees, but try telling that to Will Riker

I would think that commanding the Stargazer for 22 years, with distinction, and found innocent of any wrong doing connected to it's loss, would be consistent with considering Picard a captain of the highest standing, such that with the proper patience & maneuvering he could land the new galaxy class flagship
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Old October 6 2012, 05:00 PM   #11
Timo
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

Just to be accurate, we have no idea how long Picard commanded the Stargazer. Might have been 22 years (which sounds like severe career stagnation), might have been more like three.

The 22-year reference was part of the original character concept and mentioned in the writers' guide, but the reference never made it into any episode or movie. Basically, from the episodes we only know that the Stargazer was Picard's first command, and also that Picard commanded the ship at the time of her loss in 2354, and we have no info on other commands of his before the E-D.

This allows for all sorts of interpretations, including one or more ships under his command between the known two ones; one or more ships under his command between putative two periods commanding the Stargazer; all sorts of other commands that did not involve starships and therefore might not have been a consideration when Picard claimed to Scotty that the Stargazer was his first command; and a host of exotic ideas about secret commands, temporary retirements and whatnot.

One would think Picard would need to spend a lot of time away from the isolation of starships and mingling with important people in order to secure command of the "Federation flagship". On the other hand, his association with Adm. Nechayev and the fact that he was the extremely unlikely candidate picked for a special ops mission in "Chain of Command" might suggest a cloak-and-dagger line of work during the "missing years".

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Old October 6 2012, 05:19 PM   #12
BillJ
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

Not stated explicitly, but we know that he was one of the youngest captains in the fleet (Conspiracy) that the Stargazer was his first command (Relics) and that he lost that command nine years prior to taking over the Enterprise (The Battle).

So based on what we believe his age to be, I think 22 years commanding the Stargazer is a pretty good guess.
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Old October 6 2012, 08:46 PM   #13
Timo
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

...To nitpick further, we don't really know he was among the youngest captains (or Captains?) in Starfleet. That reference from "Conspiracy" might have been aimed at Captain Keel or Captain Rixx instead.

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Old October 6 2012, 10:03 PM   #14
T'Girl
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

After the Captain and first officer were killed, Lt. Commander Picard took command of the Stargazer. But did he keep command? Or subsequent was a Captain of rank placed in the Captain's chair and Picard taking command (his first command) of the Stargazer only sometime prior to Jack Crusher death?

Picard, after briefly being in command of the Stargazer, might have serve on different ships, in different capacities, reaching the position of first officer on one of those ships. And only then returning to the Stargazer as it's Captain.


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Old October 6 2012, 10:15 PM   #15
scotthm
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Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

BillJ wrote: View Post
Well, Picard commanded the Stargazer for twenty-two years before it was lost.
That's a sign of a stagnant career, and would seem to be a strike against him, IMO.

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