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Old October 11 2012, 02:19 AM   #16
J.T.B.
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Re: TNG uniform question.

Three colors is a perfect fit for the system of line vs. restricted line vs. staff. On the other hand, it's a piss-poor fit for a system of divisions, because Starfleet clearly has far more than three divisions, and uniform color never tells apart a useless cosmologist from a vitally important surgeon.
That implies that we know something about how the divisions are divided, but we don't. Three broad shipboard divisions of red (command, flight control, weapons), blue (science and medical) and gold (engineering, services and catch-all) seems to offer no more objections than line/staff/restricted. Indeed it may be a better fit: Data is qualified to command and slides right into being captain of a starship, why not just assume he's a line officer who happens to work in the gold division, rather than his status switching back and forth between restricted and unrestricted?

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Old October 12 2012, 04:17 AM   #17
tighr
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Re: TNG uniform question.

Timo wrote: View Post
AIt just so happens that a character in a certain line of work wears a certain color, and may mention wearing that color because of being what he is. But "is engineer -> wears mustard" is not the logical equivalent of "wearing mustard -> being engineer", or even of "being engineer -> wearing mustard"...
When Data is appointed First Officer in Chain of Command, he switched away from the yellow Operations uniform to a Red Command uniform for the remainder of that episode.

Likewise, the Doctor switched from blue to red when he activated the ECH subroutine.

LaForge switched to yellow from red when he went to engineering from helm control.

Worf switched from yellow to red when he went from tactical operations to command division at DS9.
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Old October 12 2012, 04:39 AM   #18
Nerys Myk
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Re: TNG uniform question.

In TOS they also used the ship's emblem to define the divisions. The definitions pretty much carried over to TNG. Though there were the occasional slips where the emblem didn't match the shirt or the shirt and emblem didn't match the job.
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Old October 12 2012, 07:05 AM   #19
Timo
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Re: TNG uniform question.

The small emblems would be both informative and in line with classic military practices (except in high-confusion, low-visibility environments calling for instant recognition, such as pre-20th century battlefields or modern carrier decks, where prominent color coding indeed serves an important purpose).

The uniform colors don't seem to have any information content that would match their extreme prominence, though. In a crisis situation, seeing red tells you exactly nothing: you may see somebody skilled in defending you from the charging Klingon warriors, or somebody who knows how to stop the deadly radiation leak under your console, or somebody who knows how many left foot boots size 6 there are in the inventory. Seeing blue in the battlefield may mean that a medic is approaching you to get your arm reattached, or that an expert in dilithium energizing is coming to ask you for fire cover so that she can return to the beam-up site, or that a herpetologist mistakes your severed arm for an exotic space amphibian. That's not just confusion, that's deadly confusion.

...Perhaps that's the very intent? The enemy is led to believe that a certain color denotes a certain skill set for his opponent - and if he learns to see through the subterfuge, the color scheme is rotated or otherwise shuffled to ensure continuing confusion.

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Old October 12 2012, 03:51 PM   #20
137th Gebirg
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Re: TNG uniform question.

Timo wrote: View Post
Moreover, nobody in the Trek universe actually outright comes and says that the colors denote divisions.
IIRC, in the DS9 episode "Trials and Tribblations", O'Brien explains this very concept to Bashir when he was confused about him wearing red instead of gold after the Defiant had gone back in time to Kirk's era.
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Old October 12 2012, 03:56 PM   #21
Timo
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Re: TNG uniform question.

It's about as vague as him mentioning that he got the yellow shirt due to his Setlik III antics in "Paradise".

Sisko: "In the old days, operations officers wore red, command officers wore gold."
Which doesn't mean that red was the dedicated Ops color or gold the dedicated Command color. Just that these two professions fell into these two categories, alongside other professions, and for unestablished reasons.

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Old October 16 2012, 06:04 PM   #22
Mrs Q
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Re: TNG uniform question.

Thanks to everyone who's replied, but the red's still confusing me.

Perhapse I'll go for the easier explanation of wearing whichever colour suits you.
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Old October 16 2012, 06:41 PM   #23
137th Gebirg
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Re: TNG uniform question.

^^^ That always works. Or, you could make an alternate universe uniform (not necessarily mirror universe) and pick purple, or hunter-green instead of the done-to-death red/gold/blue designs.

I did a variation on the movie uniforms - originally it was going to be mirror universe, but then I decided to go for prime universe, as Starfleet SEALs.

Worked out pretty well, I think. Here's the original site link. This was probably almost 20 years ago, BTW.
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