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

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Old February 1 2013, 10:03 PM   #16
Christopher
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Melakon wrote: View Post
I suspect the growing use of military force was the writers' attempts to introduce dramatic conflict, since everyone on the ship were all supposed to be good buddies without arguing amongst themselves.
Or just generally the pressure to make it more of an action-adventure show, rather than the more rarefied sort of thing Roddenberry aspired to.
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Old February 1 2013, 10:39 PM   #17
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

I think GR's intention to do a series built around exploration and establishing peaceful relations with "Strange worlds and new civilizations" is just not as practical for a weekly show. Griding out shows about peaceful exploration for 22 weeks per season leaves me with visions of "Code of Honor" and "Royale". I wonder if Q's appearance warning Picard that space is dangerous and if you can't take a bloody nose you should stay home wasn't someone's rejection of GR's dreamy idealism.

I gotta agree, I keep thinking the same thing as Swede...what do you tell the kids all those times they were on the brink of destruction along with the Enterprise and how many counselors would you need to keep them from growing up as traumatized wrecks?
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Old February 1 2013, 11:30 PM   #18
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

I think that a majority of ships in the Enterprise's situation aren't in as many unexpected dangerous situations. So most Galaxy class ships are normally on routine exploration and diplomacy, and when they know they're being sent into danger they separate. They were originally planning to separate the ship frequently and only didn't because it was a budget issue.

But I also think part of it is the Starfleet philosophy not to fear the unknown and not to fear death.
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Old February 2 2013, 12:10 AM   #19
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
I gotta agree, I keep thinking the same thing as Swede...what do you tell the kids all those times they were on the brink of destruction along with the Enterprise and how many counselors would you need to keep them from growing up as traumatized wrecks?
I grew up in the height of the Cold War, and spent most of my childhood in a climate of constant fear that the world was on the brink of nuclear annihilation. You know those warning sirens that go off to warn of severe weather? They were originally air-raid sirens to warn of incoming Soviet nukes or bombers. I even remember having to do a nuclear-defense drill in school that, while not literally a duck-and-cover drill, was just about as futile (huddling in the hallways wasn't much better than hiding under your desk).

Granted, I only grew up under the abstract threat of doom, not actual enemy fire. (Although I grew up in tornado country, which can be pretty darn scary.) But I had a friend in college who'd been a child in Vietnam during the war, and she'd just seen the violence and death around her as an ordinary part of life and taken it in stride. Whatever we grow up with, that's normal to us.
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Old February 2 2013, 12:48 AM   #20
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
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Doesn't that seem like they're putting a lot of innocent people at risk?
But they would be doing the exact some thing by "leaving them behind." The 24th century is a dangerous place, Planets are attacked, civilian populations are wiped out. The long war with the Cardassians (pre-Dominon war) iirc cost millions of lives, it's doubtful all of those deaths were solely from starships. During the Dominion war San Fransisco was attacked by the Breen, if say one percent of the people in San Fransisco were casualties, how many attacks on starships (where again one percent of the people were casualties) would it take to equal the attack on San Fransisco? A thousand? Ten thousand?

Except the amount of firepower necessary to destroy or even devastate a planet or space station is far more than needed to take out a starship, in fact I'm pretty sure there were way more threats to a starship than threats to a planet show in Star Trek, so you have better odds living on a planet or space station.
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Old February 2 2013, 03:27 AM   #21
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

This is one of the "duck and cover" government propaganda films Christopher speaks of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfHhKLz6TKc

They were shown during the '50s and '60s in classrooms or school assemblies, and I remember us doing such drills in elementary school. Sometimes their true intent was disguised as "tornado drills".
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Old February 2 2013, 04:10 AM   #22
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

While watching TNG, I eventually came to the conclusion that the Enterprise's missions were probably atypical of other Galaxy-class vessels and that her sister ships rarely encountered the kinds of dangers that she did (I doubt the Galaxy-class ships we saw during the Dominion War had families aboard, but the Yamato and the Odyssey probably did, though--but the tragic fates of those vessels are more indicative of the inherent dangers of space in general, IMO).

I think that any civilian that chooses to be a passenger aboard a starship or any Starfleet crewmember who brings their family with them accepts the risks of being in an untamed frontier just like the pioneers and colonists of old did.
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Old February 2 2013, 04:25 AM   #23
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Sigh. I'm tired of this argument. If you going on a vessel in which you're going to spend next couple decades of your life you'd probably want your family with you. Keep in mind that overall life on the Enterprise was extremely boring! Yes every few episodes the ship meets with some sort of situation that could kill all of them in one way or another but those are but a few days worth of time out of SEVEN YEARS worth of the mission!

It's sort of like saying it's too risky living in the city because a couple of times over the last few of years you almost got in a traffic accident. IIRC "Pen Pals" is an episode where the ship is doing research in a remote part of space and that episode in of itself passes over the course of weeks of time during which the ship was dicking around in that sector doing an analysis of the region. Yeah. Dangerous. Dangerously boring.
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Old February 2 2013, 05:19 AM   #24
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

^Yup. Characters in series fiction get into mortal danger far more frequently than people in real life do -- even people in dangerous jobs. For instance, plenty of police officers go their entire careers without ever having to fire their weapons outside of the practice range.

This is one reason I like it that a lot of shows these days have shorter seasons. At 13 episodes per year, and including the occasional 2-parter or cliffhanger, it means the heroes only get into trouble roughly once a month on average, rather than every couple of weeks. Still implausible, but not quite as bad.
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Old February 2 2013, 05:37 AM   #25
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Melakon wrote: View Post
This is one of the "duck and cover" government propaganda films Christopher speaks of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfHhKLz6TKc

They were shown during the '50s and '60s in classrooms or school assemblies, and I remember us doing such drills in elementary school. Sometimes their true intent was disguised as "tornado drills".
That doesn't even make any sense. Why train children to protect themselves from something they can't be protected from under the guise of protecting themselves from something else.

The entire point of "duck and cover" was to give the illusion that you could walk away from a nuclear attack.
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Old February 2 2013, 05:49 AM   #26
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
(I doubt the Galaxy-class ships we saw during the Dominion War had families aboard, but the Yamato and the Odyssey probably did, though--but the tragic fates of those vessels are more indicative of the inherent dangers of space in general, IMO).
I'm pretty sure the Odyssey did. There was a line about "offloading all nonessential personnel" to DS9 before going to the Gamma Quadrant, and that likely meant families.

And as the Yamato was during the Roddenberry era, I'm sure it had families as well.
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Old February 2 2013, 06:03 AM   #27
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

jimbotron wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
(I doubt the Galaxy-class ships we saw during the Dominion War had families aboard, but the Yamato and the Odyssey probably did, though--but the tragic fates of those vessels are more indicative of the inherent dangers of space in general, IMO).
I'm pretty sure the Odyssey did. There was a line about "offloading all nonessential personnel" to DS9 before going to the Gamma Quadrant, and that likely meant families.
Then she went into battle without families aboard. I was thinking the same thing about the Galaxy-class ships consigned to the war effort against the Dominion.
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Old February 2 2013, 06:31 AM   #28
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Squiggy wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post
This is one of the "duck and cover" government propaganda films Christopher speaks of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfHhKLz6TKc

They were shown during the '50s and '60s in classrooms or school assemblies, and I remember us doing such drills in elementary school. Sometimes their true intent was disguised as "tornado drills".
That doesn't even make any sense. Why train children to protect themselves from something they can't be protected from under the guise of protecting themselves from something else.

The entire point of "duck and cover" was to give the illusion that you could walk away from a nuclear attack.
The best advice I ever saw was a poster at the head shops in the early 70s.

What to do in case of nuclear attack:
1. Bend over.
2. Grab your ankles.
3. Put your head between your legs.
4. Kiss your ass goodbye.
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Old February 2 2013, 08:45 AM   #29
Lance
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
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The only excuse I could think of is extended time out in space of a decade or so.
Right. The original intention of TNG's creators, which unfortunately got lost due to the revolving door of producers, was that the Enterprise-D was a deep-space research vessel designed to go as much as 15 years without returning to a home port. It wasn't supposed to be doing diplomatic milk runs to Federation members and neighbors like it ended up doing for most of the series, but instead was supposed to be far beyond the fringes of known space, years' travel from home -- somewhat similar to Voyager's situation, really, except on purpose.

So think about it. How many volunteers would you get for such a mission if everyone had to leave their families behind, or defer starting families, for 15 years or more? That's a huge chunk of a person's entire life. It's not something very many people would be willing to give up. And for those who did, going a decade and a half without family life could be extremely stressful and harmful to crew morale and cohesion. The only way such an extended deep-space mission could really be feasible is if the ship isn't just a ship, but a whole community, a small, self-sustaining city in space.

Also, keep in mind another thing that later producers forgot: this was meant to be a research vessel, not a military one, so its crew included a large complement of civilian scientists. It wasn't just Starfleet personnel and their families, not as originally intended. I like to think of it as a university village in space. It was supposed to be primarily a research vessel -- with enough Starfleet presence and weaponry to defend it if it became necessary, but never intended to go into combat except as an absolute last resort. Maybe you could find enough military personnel willing to commit to giving up 15 years of their lives, but you'd be harder-pressed to get civilian scientists to join such a mission.

And then there's the other abandoned element, the ability to separate the saucer and leave it behind with the civilians aboard while the Starfleet personnel went into battle in the engineering hull.

So the problem wasn't with the idea of families on the ship. That idea was very well thought out in terms of the creators' original intentions. The problem was with the way the later producers screwed things up by ignoring those original intentions and turning the E-D from a ship exploring strange new worlds to a ship that spent most of its time hanging around known space and going on diplomatic or political missions -- and bringing the saucer along into combat because the only miniature they had that could separate was too cumbersome to use regularly. And forgetting the civilian presence altogether except for Keiko.
Agreed. It's a problem with the intentions of the original team being at odds with those of later writers/producers, though people like Ron Moore and Michael Piller seemed aware of the issue but unable to figure out how to resolve it. So the families would appear occasionally when relevant to a story, but would vanish without trace if not.

IMO they'd have been better off making it a plot point after Best Of Both Worlds, ie. that it was becoming increasingly too dangerous for this kind of civilian presence to be aboard ships. Instead they kind of acknowledged it right up to the death of the Ent-D, and then quietly tried to ignore it (IIRC Janeway acted like the very idea of children on Starfleet ships was unheard of when Naomi Wildman was born; and the Ent-E famously ditched any hint of there being families on board as well).

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!
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Old February 2 2013, 02:27 PM   #30
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Melakon wrote: View Post
I suspect the growing use of military force was the writers' attempts to introduce dramatic conflict, since everyone on the ship were all supposed to be good buddies without arguing amongst themselves.
Exactly, any sensible person would not allow children on a star ship especially the Enterprise!
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