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

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Old February 4 2013, 12:59 AM   #61
MacLeod
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
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.
The Yamato yes, the Odyssey no. As didn't they unload all unneccessary personnel at Starbase DSN?
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Old February 4 2013, 02:13 AM   #62
Hartzilla2007
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
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?
Because they station was threatened with destruction only a handful of times in seven seasons, which was helped by the fact that for most of the show it was a heavily armed space fortress which fried ships that could have and in one case owned a Galaxy-class.
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Old February 4 2013, 02:35 AM   #63
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Because they station was threatened with destruction only a handful of times in seven seasons, which was helped by the fact that for most of the show it was a heavily armed space fortress which fried ships that could have and in one case owned a Galaxy-class.
But remember, it's fiction, so who wins or loses an engagement is determined by dramatic necessity. The hero ship will always survive things that will destroy a guest ship of the same class. So that kind of ranking of relative strengths doesn't really hold up.

In principle, the E-D was just as heavily armed as DS9 was. In fact, it was more heavily armed than DS9 was in seasons 1-3. The ship was specifically designed to be as safe as possible for its inhabitants, which is why a ship that was intended as a research vessel had such massive phaser strips all around the top and bottom of the saucer. The ship wasn't meant to get into fights, but its designers made sure that if it did, it would be able to protect the people within. That was fundamental to the design philosophy.

The problem, again, is that the rules of fiction trump the rules of common sense. Dramatic tension required making the ship seem more vulnerable than it realistically would've been. In countless ways, good safety design was ignored in order to make things as perilous as possible -- there were no seatbelts, security had no armor, holodeck safeties could be deactivated, and systems that should've had multiply redundant safeguards didn't have them. I mean, come on, fiction requires putting characters in danger, so even if the series had been set at Starfleet Headquarters, you can bet that San Francisco would've become the most dangerous city on Earth. (How many times has New York City been trashed in the Marvel Universe? How many times has London been invaded in Doctor Who? Yet people still live there and raise families there, in real life and in fiction.)
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Old February 4 2013, 02:35 AM   #64
Unwrapped
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
HansentheSwede wrote: View Post
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.

I often think that the creators' original intention might've been better served if they'd had two (or more) ships all along -- a large civilian research vessel commanded by Captain Picard and its Starfleet escort (of one or more ships) commanded by Captain Riker. Not only would you have a clearer separation between the civilian and military functions, but you could've had more interesting tension between the scientists and defenders and their differing approaches to crisis situations. At the very least, Deanna should've been a civilian, to better represent that facet of the ship's intended complement.
I think this sums it up quite nicely.
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Old February 4 2013, 05:21 AM   #65
C.E. Evans
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
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.
The Yamato yes, the Odyssey no. As didn't they unload all unneccessary personnel at Starbase DSN?
Yeah, we discussed it on the same page:
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
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 4 2013, 01:51 PM   #66
Zaku
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

There is a nice scene in "The Bonding".

"I've always believed that having children
on a starship is a very... questionable
policy. Serving on a starship means...
accepting certain risks, certain dangers...
Did Jeremy Aster make that choice?"
"Death and loss are an integral part of life
everywhere – leaving him on Earth would
not have protected him!"
"No... but the Earth isn't likely to be
ordered to the Neutral Zone , or to repel a
Romulan attack! It was my command which
sent his mother to her death - she
understood her mission and my duty... Will
he?"
- Picard and Troi, on the turbolift talking
about how to break the news to Jeremy
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Old February 4 2013, 08:26 PM   #67
Captain Picard.
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Christopher wrote: View Post
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.
Well they could of fooled me.
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Old February 9 2013, 08:43 PM   #68
STR
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

DWF wrote: View Post
transporters failed more often than any other piece of high technology.
No way. Holodeck. That thing broke down every Tuesday and ALWAYS in a magically way that couldn't be cured by pulling the power cable. Whoever put in the safety should have been beamed into space.

Evil Holographic Lincoln is BACKKKKK!!!!!
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Old February 17 2013, 06:28 AM   #69
WesleysDisciple
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

Would like to say, that in Emissary


they had HOURS to prepare for the battle

ITs seems contrived that they DIDNT at least evacuate the children.
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Old February 17 2013, 05:12 PM   #70
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

WesleysDisciple wrote: View Post
Would like to say, that in Emissary


they had HOURS to prepare for the battle

ITs seems contrived that they DIDNT at least evacuate the children.
Yep, I agree.
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Old February 17 2013, 05:42 PM   #71
heavy lids
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

If you watch the episode "The Bonding", Picard and Troi have a conversation that pretty much answers any questions. Yes, it's a bit irresponsible to have families on a vessel that faces danger on a regular basis but, the galaxy is a dangerous place and no one can be totally safe at all times.
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Old February 17 2013, 06:15 PM   #72
Christopher
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

WesleysDisciple wrote: View Post
Would like to say, that in Emissary


they had HOURS to prepare for the battle

ITs seems contrived that they DIDNT at least evacuate the children.
Evacuate to where, though? "Hours" isn't much when you're dealing with interstellar travel, which typically takes days or weeks. The Saratoga's position may have allowed it to reach Wolf 359 in time for the battle, but left it no time to divert to a starbase or unload its civilian personnel to a different ship.
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Old February 17 2013, 06:30 PM   #73
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

heavy lids wrote: View Post
If you watch the episode "The Bonding", Picard and Troi have a conversation that pretty much answers any questions. Yes, it's a bit irresponsible to have families on a vessel that faces danger on a regular basis but, the galaxy is a dangerous place and no one can be totally safe at all times.
You mean this one here? From http://www.chakoteya.net/NextGen/153.htm:

The Bonding wrote:
TROI: I sense the weight of this duty on you, Captain.
PICARD: I really wonder. Halt. I've always believed that carrying children on a starship is a very questionable policy. Serving on a starship means accepting certain risks, certain dangers. Did Jeremy Aster make that choice?
TROI: Death and loss are an integral part of life everywhere. Leaving him on Earth would not have protected him.
PICARD: No, but Earth isn't likely to be ordered to the Neutral Zone, or to repel a Romulan attack, It was my command which sent his mother to her death. She understood her mission and my duty. Will he?
TROI: In time, and with help. Wesley Crusher does. He does. And so will Jeremy.
PICARD: Resume.
ETA: And partially recounted upthread.
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Last edited by Cookies and Cake; February 17 2013 at 06:46 PM.
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Old February 17 2013, 06:33 PM   #74
Marten
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

heavy lids wrote: View Post
If you watch the episode "The Bonding", Picard and Troi have a conversation that pretty much answers any questions. Yes, it's a bit irresponsible to have families on a vessel that faces danger on a regular basis but, the galaxy is a dangerous place and no one can be totally safe at all times.
And they are wrong. It's two entirely different things to face the dangers of everyday life and putting children in ships that are supposed to do dangerous things, like patrolling the romulan border or just go to places no one has ever explored.

Overall, Star Trek is kind of oblivious to the value of life. They just don't seem to care.
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Old February 17 2013, 06:46 PM   #75
Mojochi
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Re: Is it smart to have families on the Enterprise-D?

By all accounts, it's unsafe just living in the 24th century

Riker's mom? Dead
Beverly's husband, Wesley's dad? Dead
Geordi's mom? Dead
Data's creator & daughter? Dead (Brother deactivated)
Worf's Klingon parents & baby mama? Dead
Troi's dad & sister? Dead
Ro Laren's dad? Tortured to death in front of her
Picard's entire family except maybe his sister-in-law? Dead
Tasha's parents? Dead
Tasha? Dead
Data? Destroyed

& that's just from TNG, the show people complained was too squeaky clean. Hell, the only person seemingly untouched by an untimely death is nutty Barkley. The 24th century is a damn dangerous place
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