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Old September 14 2014, 02:21 AM   #1
Hypaspist
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TOS era homogenous crews

I'm sure the practical reason behind having a nearly all-human crew in TOS is obvious, so I'm not going to go down that road.

I can't remember which episode it was, but there was one where they encountered another Starship that was manned entirely by Vulcans. Seeing as how the Enterprise was almost entirely manned by humans, and how McCoy still wasn't able to understand Spock's physiology that well, I think it makes sense to assume that this was the common practice in the TOS era. It makes sense, because you hardly ever see anyone from the founding member planets of the Federation unless they have a cause to deal with them. It probably reflected a different mindset when it came to leadership and maybe even mission tasking - Andorian crews would be best for simple combat missions, Vulcans for diplomatic or scientific missions, and Human crews for things like the 5 year mission (where they didn't know what to expect).

Obviously by TMP's time they had begun experimenting with a new command philosophy, and by the time of Enterprise D, they wanted to have a wide variety of peoples to carry the flag of the Federation.
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Old September 14 2014, 02:52 AM   #2
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

Hypaspist wrote: View Post
I'm sure the practical reason behind having a nearly all-human crew in TOS is obvious, so I'm not going to go down that road.

I can't remember which episode it was, but there was one where they encountered another Starship that was manned entirely by Vulcans. Seeing as how the Enterprise was almost entirely manned by humans, and how McCoy still wasn't able to understand Spock's physiology that well, I think it makes sense to assume that this was the common practice in the TOS era. It makes sense, because you hardly ever see anyone from the founding member planets of the Federation unless they have a cause to deal with them. It probably reflected a different mindset when it came to leadership and maybe even mission tasking - Andorian crews would be best for simple combat missions, Vulcans for diplomatic or scientific missions, and Human crews for things like the 5 year mission (where they didn't know what to expect).

Obviously by TMP's time they had begun experimenting with a new command philosophy, and by the time of Enterprise D, they wanted to have a wide variety of peoples to carry the flag of the Federation.
How many different races were actually shown on the D aside from Worf and briefly Ro and a very human looking Deanna Troi?
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Old September 14 2014, 03:05 AM   #3
borgboy
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
Hypaspist wrote: View Post
I'm sure the practical reason behind having a nearly all-human crew in TOS is obvious, so I'm not going to go down that road.

I can't remember which episode it was, but there was one where they encountered another Starship that was manned entirely by Vulcans. Seeing as how the Enterprise was almost entirely manned by humans, and how McCoy still wasn't able to understand Spock's physiology that well, I think it makes sense to assume that this was the common practice in the TOS era. It makes sense, because you hardly ever see anyone from the founding member planets of the Federation unless they have a cause to deal with them. It probably reflected a different mindset when it came to leadership and maybe even mission tasking - Andorian crews would be best for simple combat missions, Vulcans for diplomatic or scientific missions, and Human crews for things like the 5 year mission (where they didn't know what to expect).

Obviously by TMP's time they had begun experimenting with a new command philosophy, and by the time of Enterprise D, they wanted to have a wide variety of peoples to carry the flag of the Federation.
How many different races were actually shown on the D aside from Worf and briefly Ro and a very human looking Deanna Troi?
Off the top of my head, there's the Vulcan doctor Selar. She's only seen in one episode, but she's mentioned a lot, so we know she was still around. Vorik's twin brother, another Vulcan was in the crew. I'm sure there are lots of one off aliens we see, but I don't deny that the crews were never as integrated as they should've been. For budgetary reasons if nothing else, the crew defaulted to human in appearance.
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Old September 14 2014, 04:11 AM   #4
Tosk
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
How many different races were actually shown on the D aside from Worf and briefly Ro and a very human looking Deanna Troi?
Not many that I can think of. Bolian, Vulcan, Bajoran, Napean, Benzite...and a bunch of ostensibly background characters like that alien getting their hair altered in Data's Day, or the instrument-playing alien in In Theory.
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Old September 14 2014, 04:14 AM   #5
JirinPanthosa
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

Yeah, DS9's really the only series where random extras are distinctly alien. But in 80s-90s Trek you at least get the impression that the ship is supposedly diverse even if it doesn't show that way on camera.
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Old September 14 2014, 07:06 AM   #6
T'Girl
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

Even in DS9, the majority of the featured Starfleet personnel seemed to be Human, for the first couple of seasons Dax was the only alien. Really the same with the Starfleet extras in the background strolling about.

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Old September 14 2014, 07:26 AM   #7
Mojochi
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

Tosk wrote: View Post
CommishSleer wrote: View Post
How many different races were actually shown on the D aside from Worf and briefly Ro and a very human looking Deanna Troi?
Not many that I can think of. Bolian, Vulcan, Bajoran, Napean, Benzite...and a bunch of ostensibly background characters like that alien getting their hair altered in Data's Day, or the instrument-playing alien in In Theory.
In Second Chances Riker's jazz band keyboardist is some kind of funkazoid too, & let's not forget Guinan. I'd also hardly include Data as being part of the homogenous Human crew

When reprimanding Worf for killing Duras, Picard states that 13 planets are represented among the crew. I'd say they did a good deal on TNG to add a variety of species aboard a 24th century ship compared to one from the 23rd, given their budgetary constraints
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Old September 14 2014, 04:48 PM   #8
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Tosk wrote: View Post
CommishSleer wrote: View Post
How many different races were actually shown on the D aside from Worf and briefly Ro and a very human looking Deanna Troi?
Not many that I can think of. Bolian, Vulcan, Bajoran, Napean, Benzite...and a bunch of ostensibly background characters like that alien getting their hair altered in Data's Day, or the instrument-playing alien in In Theory.
In Second Chances Riker's jazz band keyboardist is some kind of funkazoid too, & let's not forget Guinan. I'd also hardly include Data as being part of the homogenous Human crew

When reprimanding Worf for killing Duras, Picard states that 13 planets are represented among the crew. I'd say they did a good deal on TNG to add a variety of species aboard a 24th century ship compared to one from the 23rd, given their budgetary constraints
So if you're counting Guinan and Troi as being aliens who's to say there aren't half a dozen betazoid and El-Arians in the TOS crew? Or any of the human-looking aliens encountered in TOS or ENT.
And Mars is a different planet from Earth, so that could be regarded as one of the 13 planets.

I just don't remember the ENT-D being filled up with alien crew. I'd say it looked at least 95% human.

DS9 looked more heterogeneous. As did VOY.
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Old September 14 2014, 06:31 PM   #9
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

I vaguely think that Betazed was an early member of the Federation, but do we know for sure that Betazoid was part of the Federation during the TOS era? I don't recall ever running across Betazoid characters in TOS fiction, but I may be forgetting and there's lots of books I haven't gotten around to reading yet.
I know that Trills were around in TOS era and we've seen them in Star Fleet in novels.
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Old September 14 2014, 06:38 PM   #10
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

Mojochi wrote: View Post
When reprimanding Worf for killing Duras, Picard states that 13 planets are represented among the crew. I'd say they did a good deal on TNG to add a variety of species aboard a 24th century ship compared to one from the 23rd, given their budgetary constraints
And in the season 6 episode "The Chase", it is stated that there are 17 crewmembers from non-Federation planets aboard the Enterprise-D.
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Old September 14 2014, 07:23 PM   #11
drt
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

Hypaspist wrote: View Post
I'm sure the practical reason behind having a nearly all-human crew in TOS is obvious, so I'm not going to go down that road.
I think one could employ the "practical" reasoning in-universe as well. I think an argument could be made that for life-support optimization, food-stuffs carried (in the pre-replicator age), quality of medical care, etc., that largely homogenous crews were easier to manage overall. And that when resources and technology advanced, it became easier for ships to support more varied crew.
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Old September 14 2014, 07:32 PM   #12
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

Sounds a plausible explanation drt.
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Old September 14 2014, 08:48 PM   #13
Hypaspist
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

Yeah it makes sense. I think as far as Trills and Betazoids, it would make sense to have included them because they are almost indistinguishable from humans. I'm pretty much ignoring all of the other exactly like Human people they find on random planets. The first episode I ever saw was The Paradise Syndrome and I figured that it was all about finding displaced humans or something like that. I was really young so I assumed they were recurring.

It made sense for it to be a big deal to have Worf's presence being a big deal.
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Old September 14 2014, 10:44 PM   #14
SiddFinch1
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

Its non canon but as a kid in the 70s I always thought it was like NATO or the UN where human; Vulcans; Andorians and Tellarites all served in seperate ships in seperate organizations under the umbrella of starfleet
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Old September 15 2014, 01:12 AM   #15
Shawnster
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Re: TOS era homogenous crews

SiddFinch1 wrote: View Post
Its non canon but as a kid in the 70s I always thought it was like NATO or the UN where human; Vulcans; Andorians and Tellarites all served in seperate ships in seperate organizations under the umbrella of starfleet
On screen evidence would tend to support that idea during the TOS era. It's been conjectured that the organizational structure of Starfleet changed between TOS and TNG. Perhaps the Federation itself changed in structure as well.

Since the Enterprise nil was constructed at San Francisco shipyards, and the D was built at Utopia Planetia Mars, perhaps that affects crew compliment, too. Perhaps ships built at specific planets tend to be crewed primarily by people from that particular star system. Shuttling personnel around the galaxy every time they get reassigned could be too much of a task, even in the 24th century.
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