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

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Old February 2 2013, 03:14 PM   #31
Christopher
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Lance wrote: View Post
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: View Post
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.
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Old February 2 2013, 05:24 PM   #32
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Lance wrote: View Post
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.
There's nothing quite like internet hyperbole, warp core breeches were rare and some ships like Voyager were able to survive them. The thing about technology on any science fiction series is that it has to fail in order to create drama, transporters failed more often than any other piece of high technology.

As to the matter of children on starships TNG continued to do stories about children they weren't forgotten about, but they have to work around the shortened working schedules the minors are allowed. It should also be kept in mind that not everybody on Federation starships were in Starfleet and many people would want to bring their children with them.
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Old February 2 2013, 05:41 PM   #33
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
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.
There's no reason why television time must equate to real-life time. TNG did it, but no need for a series season to amount to one calendar year.

Number of eps, length of season, any amount of time in-universe can be portrayed. It needn't be one adventure per week due to television air times.
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Old February 2 2013, 05:56 PM   #34
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

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There's no reason why television time must equate to real-life time. TNG did it, but no need for a series season to amount to one calendar year.
I agree with you in principle, but try telling that to most TV producers these days. Whether we like it or not, it's quite fashionable to tell stories in real time -- even to write in big gaps in the story corresponding to midseason hiatuses and inter-season breaks. For instance, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's seasons usually started in the fall and ended in the summer, with the summer-vacation months being skipped over. Deep Space Nine often had a gap of 1-3 months in story time between the events of one season's finale and the next season's premiere, and quite a few other shows have done the same. Just recently, Arrow had its hero injured just before the midseason break, and the next new episode, aired five weeks later, said that he'd spent six weeks recuperating.

And there are countless shows where events in the previous episode are overtly stated to have happened the week before -- even something like House, where realistically one would expect the team to devote several weeks to each patient. Even when it doesn't make sense in-story, the real-time conceit is pervasive in television today. It's even pretty common, when a date is mentioned or shown in story, to have it be the actual scheduled broadcast date for the episode (although not always -- this past week's Person of Interest was set in late November 2012 according to an onscreen date).

True, there are some exceptions, like Lost, which took maybe 3 seasons to cover a few months of story time, but then jumped forward in time considerably. But they are exceptions to a very popular rule, for better or worse.
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Old February 2 2013, 06:27 PM   #35
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Fictional shows about real historic events can break this rule though. Hogan's Heroes were imprisoned for 6 years, the Germans occupied France for 10 years in Allo Allo, and the Korean War lasted 11 years in M*A*S*H.
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Old February 2 2013, 07:50 PM   #36
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

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As to the matter of children on starships TNG continued to do stories about children they weren't forgotten about, but they have to work around the shortened working schedules the minors are allowed.
And when children are on a set (even Wil), the production has to pay for a teacher as well. I don't remember the numbers, but child actors were required to have X hours of instruction each day they worked.
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Old February 2 2013, 10:23 PM   #37
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Still, we needn't have seen child actors or families on-screen. We could have gotten many more discussions in the Ready Room or on the Bridge about the children, civilians and families onboard, to remind us that they are still a major factor in the series.

Rather, Ent-D operated much like TOS Enterprise, doing starship duties that really were not appropriate or suitable for the intended mission of the Ent-D.

Many eps and situations happened without a word or acknowledgement of the kids and civilians on the ship. You'd think it'd be a major factor in all those conference room meetings.
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Old February 2 2013, 10:35 PM   #38
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

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Many eps and situations happened without a word or acknowledgement of the kids and civilians on the ship. You'd think it'd be a major factor in all those conference room meetings.
That's where my idea of having two ships could've helped -- if they needed to do an episode like that where the ship was on a mission that was inappropriate for the ship with all the civilian scientists and families aboard, then it could've just focused on the military escort ship and left the big research ship behind. Kinda like DS9 episodes that focused on the Defiant rather than the station -- except that DS9 had the same people in charge of both station and ship, which never really made sense.
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Old February 2 2013, 11:06 PM   #39
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Timo wrote: View Post
Clearly, Picard from the very start commanded a ship of war, and considered weapons or at least shields a key ingredient in conducting diplomacy and protecting the Federation. If a long mission of exploration was written out of the equation, it wasn't in search of conflict plots. It was probably simply because a long mission would have called for some sort of dramatic continuity, and the format of the show didn't cater for that.
But that's precisely what was intended, even till the end of "Encounter at Farpoint": "Let's see what's out there..." as the closing line. Q had prevented the ship going "where none [in Starfleet] had gone before...", Picard defended their right to continue on.

We had Bjo Trimble at an Aussie convention, just a short while after she'd been on that set, chatting with Roddenberry, Gerrold and Fontana, and her interpretation was that the ship wouldn't be returning to Earth, or UFP space, any time soon.

The first "Writers' Bible" stats that we wouldn't be meeting "familiar races", such as Klingons, Romulans, Andorians or other TOS species unless members of those races were on board. Hence there were a few Vulcan extras seen during the pilot, reminding us that Vulcan stories were possible. Worf would have been the only Klingon we got to know, unless the ship happened across a Klingon ship, as it did in "Heart of Glory".

All that changed after "The Naked Now" when, after searching for the SS Tsiolkovsky - which may well have been on their way "out there" - suddenly the huge Enterprise-D was on a local milk run in "Code of Honor", seeking a medicine needed back on a Federation world. The "ongoing mission" beyond Farpoint Station seemingly abandoned.
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Old February 3 2013, 12:46 AM   #40
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

On the subject of the families being evacuated to the saucer in dangerous situations, there's something about that which has bugged me ever since I first saw the original pilot: wouldn't it have made more sense to have put them in the stardrive section, which has got a warp drive, allowing them to escape while the parred down saucer engages enemy fire? Wouldn't the non-essentials have a greater chance of escape in the stardrive than in the saucer? What sort of propulsion has the saucer got, anyway?
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Old February 3 2013, 01:33 AM   #41
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Lance wrote: View Post
On the subject of the families being evacuated to the saucer in dangerous situations, there's something about that which has bugged me ever since I first saw the original pilot: wouldn't it have made more sense to have put them in the stardrive section, which has got a warp drive, allowing them to escape while the parred down saucer engages enemy fire? Wouldn't the non-essentials have a greater chance of escape in the stardrive than in the saucer? What sort of propulsion has the saucer got, anyway?
Well, I think the intention of the designers was that the saucer would normally be left behind in a safe place before the battle section went off to a military engagement. Or, as we saw in "The Arsenal of Freedom," if the ship came under attack, they would retreat to a safe place, separate the hulls, and then take the battle section back to engage the enemy. The situation in "Encounter at Farpoint" was presumably meant to be somewhat anomalous because the ship was unable to retreat from the threat and had no choice but to separate the saucer during pursuit and hope it would be left alone.

I imagine that if the miniature with the separating hulls had been easier to work with and the producers had used it more regularly, you might've seen more episodes opening with something like, "Captain's Log, stardate 42424.2. The Enterprise has been ordered to investigate a possible border incursion by the Meanalien Conglomerate. Thus, we are leaving the saucer section behind at Starbase 23-Skidoo and will proceed to the border in the battle section." Heck, they even could've done an A-plot with the battle section engaging the bad guys and a more character-driven or comic-relief B-plot back aboard the saucer.

You have a point, though; it would've made more sense if maybe both hulls had had warp capability. I guess they didn't go with that because it would've been too great a departure from the familiar saucer-and-two-nacelles design.
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Old February 3 2013, 01:59 AM   #42
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

[QUOTE=Christopher;7625218]
JiNX-01 wrote: View Post
Children on board a military vessel -- dumbest idea ever.
But that's exactly the point -- it wasn't intended to be a military vessel.
And yet it was bristling with weapons and often came under attack from various adversaries such as the Borg, Romulans, Cardassians and a cranky Klingon or two ...

One of the less realistic aspects of Roddenberry's vision was the absence of deaths involving children and spouses who were not in Starfleet.
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Old February 3 2013, 02:37 AM   #43
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

[QUOTE=JiNX-01;7630657]
Christopher wrote: View Post
JiNX-01 wrote: View Post
Children on board a military vessel -- dumbest idea ever.
But that's exactly the point -- it wasn't intended to be a military vessel.
And yet it was bristling with weapons...
Which were intended to be strictly defensive. A city has an armed police force, but that doesn't mean the mayor is planning to invade the next county. (At least, not usually.)


and often came under attack from various adversaries such as the Borg, Romulans, Cardassians and a cranky Klingon or two ...
Later in the series. As I and others have repeatedly pointed out, the people who created the show and designed the ship were not the same people who made most of the series. By the start of season 2, all of them except Roddenberry had left the show, and Roddenberry had stepped back to a less central role in the production due to his failing health. So what we've been talking about for most of this thread now is the discrepancy between what was planned for the ship and what was actually done with it. It's that mismatch of intention and execution that creates the paradox.

Here are some quotes from the original March 1987 draft of the TNG writers' bible (credited to Roddenberry but mostly written by David Gerrold, with input from Bob Justman and D.C. Fontana as well as GR), just to underline what the original developers intended for the show:

Starfleet is not a military organization. It is a scientific research and diplomatic body.

Although the duties of the Enterprise may include some military responsibilities, the primary purpose of the Enterprise -- as with all Starfleet vessels -- is to expand the body of human knowledge. ...

In practice this means that our armaments and militarism have been de-emphasized over the previous series and very much de-emphasized over the movies.
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Old February 3 2013, 03:03 AM   #44
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Lance wrote: View Post
On the subject of the families being evacuated to the saucer in dangerous situations, there's something about that which has bugged me ever since I first saw the original pilot: wouldn't it have made more sense to have put them in the stardrive section, which has got a warp drive, allowing them to escape while the parred down saucer engages enemy fire? Wouldn't the non-essentials have a greater chance of escape in the stardrive than in the saucer? What sort of propulsion has the saucer got, anyway?
But the star-drive section needed the speed and power of the warp engines (not to mention the main armaments of the torpedo launchers) for combat. I believe that the "idea" is that the saucer has "sustainer" engines that allowed it to "coast" at a warp speed for a short-while before dropping to impulse.

The star-drive section likely would lure the attacking vessels away from the saucer section by being the bigger threat.
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Old February 3 2013, 03:21 AM   #45
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
SchwEnt wrote: View Post
Many eps and situations happened without a word or acknowledgement of the kids and civilians on the ship. You'd think it'd be a major factor in all those conference room meetings.
That's where my idea of having two ships could've helped -- if they needed to do an episode like that where the ship was on a mission that was inappropriate for the ship with all the civilian scientists and families aboard, then it could've just focused on the military escort ship and left the big research ship behind. Kinda like DS9 episodes that focused on the Defiant rather than the station -- except that DS9 had the same people in charge of both station and ship, which never really made sense.
It makes a lot of sense actually, you have budget and time to consider. With longer stories and bigger budgets like The Way Of The Warrior you can do things like that, but you can't with a mere 42 minutes to tell a story.
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