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

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Old February 3 2013, 05:03 AM   #46
Christopher
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
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.
That's right. It's the same principle that allows photon torpedoes to be fired at warp. They sort of pinch off a bit of the warp bubble, carry it along with them, and sustain it for a little while before it collapses.
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Old February 3 2013, 05:21 AM   #47
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
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.
That's right. It's the same principle that allows photon torpedoes to be fired at warp. They sort of pinch off a bit of the warp bubble, carry it along with them, and sustain it for a little while before it collapses.
AMOF I think that this is pointed out in "Brothers" where the crew try and to devise a way to regain control of the ship -presumably seized by Data on the bridge." One of the suggestions is to detach the saucer where it's said it'll coast out of Warp after a few minutes.
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Old February 3 2013, 05:54 AM   #48
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Yeah, I remember the original press info saying the Enterprise was on a 20 year mission and bringing families along was necessary for the crew's mental health and whatnot. Also, as late in the first season as "Conspiracy," they made a huge deal about the Enterprise returning to Earth. It was clear they weren't expected back for a really long time. Two years later, going to Earth was nothing much.
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Old February 3 2013, 06:03 AM   #49
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

One of the gripes I had with season one of TNG was this little exchange, right out of the gate, in Encounter at Farpoint [http://www.chakoteya.net/NextGen/101.htm]:

Encounter at Farpoint wrote:
PICARD: One further thing. A special favour.
RIKER: Anything, sir.
PICARD: Using the same kind of strength you showed with Captain DeSoto, I would appreciate it if you can keep me from making an ass of myself with children.
RIKER: Sir?
PICARD: I'm not a family man, Riker, and yet, Starfleet has given me a ship with children aboard.
RIKER: Yes, sir.
PICARD: And I don't feel comfortable with children. But, since a captain needs an image of geniality, you're to see that's what I project.
RIKER: Aye, sir.
PICARD: Welcome to the Enterprise, Commander Riker.
Picard's attitude seemed incongruous to me. You'd think Starfleet would have chosen someone to captain the Enterprise who was not so overtly uncomfortable with children, especially if the ship was really going out into deep space for over a decade.
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Old February 3 2013, 06:35 AM   #50
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Maybe they were more concerned with his qualifications as an explorer and leader than whether or not he likes kids. Besides, maybe he didn't put that in his file.
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Old February 3 2013, 09:33 PM   #51
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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.

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.
Maybe transporting families to colonies but not living there on a long term basis especially on the flag ship of star fleet it would be a big target.
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Old February 3 2013, 09:44 PM   #52
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Captain Picard. wrote: View Post
Maybe transporting families to colonies but not living there on a long term basis especially on the flag ship of star fleet it would be a big target.
But see, again you're looking at it from the perspective of later TNG and subsequent series, in which we more often saw Starfleet portrayed in a military role. As I quoted above, the original TNG writers' bible asserted that Starfleet was not a military organization, but a scientific and diplomatic one. Part of the reason Roddenberry made its captain a Frenchman is because he was paying tribute to Jacques Cousteau. He saw the Enterprise-D as being more like a really big Calypso than a battleship or an aircraft carrier. Would you expect the Calypso to have been a big target?

The problem, as I've been stressing throughout the thread, is that the later showrunners who'd taken over TNG after the first season abandoned most of what the creators had intended, and had the ship engaged in military and political missions more often. So there's a discrepancy between the model that Roddenberry intended -- in which having civilians and families onboard was not only believable, but essential -- and the very different model that subsequent showrunners employed, in which having families onboard made less sense.

Maybe it would've made more sense if Roddenberry hadn't been so attached to the Starfleet paradigm. I think his later self who was less comfortable with the military was at odds with his '60s self who was comfortable with being a WWII veteran and making his show about a military vessel. What he tried to do was keep the name and trappings of Starfleet but re-envision it as a more peaceful, scientific organization, yet that clashed with viewers' expectations about Starfleet being a military service. So maybe what he should've done instead was to have two distinct space services, one scientific (say, UESPA) and one military (Starfleet). That would've fit right in with my two-ship model.
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Old February 3 2013, 09:54 PM   #53
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

I am just saying on star ships like the Enterprise kids should not be allowed it is simply to risky. Fine allow kids on star ships that mainly go on routine missions to transport people around different colonies in deep federation space but not go and check up on what's going on near the Romulan border or lead the fleet into a battle with the Borg.
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Old February 3 2013, 10:57 PM   #54
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Even with the Enterprise doing more military-like stuff during the series I see no problem with there being civilians and children on the ship. People want to do their job and have their family around, not go on a years-long mission with their family light years away on Earth. What kind of future for humanity is that when you consider the idea that Starfleet was supposed to be so "over staffed" everyone wanted to be an officer because being in Starfleet was the culmination of humanity's goals to explore the galaxy. But to do that you have to give up ever having a life and family? Nuts to that.

Maybe by the 24c people lost the "Think of the children!" mentality and thought brining them along on a decade-long space mission was worth the risk given the odds they were presented with. Which, again, consider that over the course of seven years there were only a handful of time the ship's occupants were under real mortal danger. Civilians and families today live on military bases, in or near countries not entirely friendly to the U.S. and do work for a greater cause either on their own, through an organization or for the military.

Is someone wanting to be a botanist on a starship really that much different than someone who up-roots their entire family to live in a hut in Africa to provide good medical care?

People take risks all of the time with their children either by choice or bu living circumstances. Should people who live in the ghetto not do so with/have children? I mean it's not safe to go out on the streets or to school there.

The "OMG think of the children!" mentality is gone, hell episodes even suggested that the fear, worry and mourning of death itself was gone. People saw bringing their children on the ship as an acceptable risk and a necessary part of wanting both a career in Starfleet and a family.
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Old February 3 2013, 11:06 PM   #55
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Captain Picard. wrote: View Post
I am just saying on star ships like the Enterprise kids should not be allowed it is simply to risky. Fine allow kids on star ships that mainly go on routine missions to transport people around different colonies in deep federation space but not go and check up on what's going on near the Romulan border or lead the fleet into a battle with the Borg.
And you keep missing what I'm saying, which is that the creators of the show did not intend the ship to do those kinds of things. It says right there in the passages I've quoted from the original series bible that the ship was intended to be a research and diplomatic vessel, not a military vessel. That's why they conceived it as a ship that would have civilian scientists and their families aboard.

But those original creators left and were replaced by different people who changed the way they portrayed the ship and its mission -- changed it in ways that conflicted with the original intentions, by taking what had been meant to be a deep-space research platform that was as much civilian as Starfleet and instead using it as a diplomatic and military flagship closer to home with the civilian population all but forgotten. And that's the reason for the contradiction you're seeing.
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Old February 3 2013, 11:20 PM   #56
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

I seem to recall episodes with children in "Wagon Train", too?

"Wagon Train to the Stars..."
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Old February 3 2013, 11:33 PM   #57
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Personally I think the mission originally intended for the E-D -- spending 15 years in uncharted space, making new discoveries, never dealing with the familiar races or politics back home -- could've been more interesting than the series we ended up getting. It's basically the sort of mission undertaken by the Titan in the novels I and others have written about that ship, so naturally I have an affinity for it. But I'm not sure we ever really could've gotten that series. As others have pointed out above, even in the first season we had plenty of episodes about diplomatic or medical relief missions, or dealing with crises involving Federation citizens or border incidents with the Romulans. I guess the writers just couldn't think up enough stories that took place in uncharted space and didn't deal with familiar races and interstellar politics. So the focus of the show shifted, and might inevitably have done so even if the original creative staff hadn't been replaced. In that sense, maybe the "university village in space" idea (as I like to call it) was one that never would've worked out.

Although come to think of it -- why does nobody ever complain about the fact that they had civilians and family members on Deep Space 9? That station was hardly safe; it was in the most strategically important and contested part of the quadrant. So how come you never hear people raising the same objections to Jake and Keiko and Molly -- not to mention civilians like Quark and his family -- being on the station that they raise to families and civilians aboard a Starfleet vessel? Isn't that a contradiction? If fans can live with it on DS9, why can't they live with it on TNG?
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Old February 3 2013, 11:45 PM   #58
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Personally I think the mission originally intended for the E-D -- spending 15 years in uncharted space, making new discoveries, never dealing with the familiar races or politics back home -- could've been more interesting than the series we ended up getting.
You just perfectly described what Voyager should have been.
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Old February 3 2013, 11:46 PM   #59
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Personally I think the mission originally intended for the E-D -- spending 15 years in uncharted space, making new discoveries, never dealing with the familiar races or politics back home -- could've been more interesting than the series we ended up getting.
Totally agree. I recall the night a large group of us got together to watch an air-freighted tape of "Code of Honor", hot off a US video recorder, and we suddenly realised the "Let's see what's out there..." aspect had been seemingly dumped for local milk runs in familiar territory.

However, for me, it meant that the chances of seeing an Andorian or two in TNG might have increased. (Not by very much, as it turned out, but I didn't know that then.)
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Old February 4 2013, 12:50 AM   #60
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Families were probably placed onboard the Enterprise and other ships because of some politician who wanted to shift StarFleet's budget away from space exploration to defense. Think about it.

"1,014 men, women, and children were killed earlier today when the Enterprise-D was destroyed by some strange inverted nebula that caused the crew to turn inside-out. Horrible deaths, but the worst thing is that this never had to happen. First we create an enemy out of the Borg that threatens our very existance and now this. How many more lives will be lost before StarFleet stops poking its nose where it doesn't belong?" -- FOX News, Stardate 47457.1.
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