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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old December 17 2012, 02:20 PM   #31
Timo
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

One then does begin to question why we saw Wesley Crusher at the Conn so often. Even a field promotion to that position very likely wouldn't make him a the lead / chief Conn officer. The only in universe explanation I can think of is its possible that a galaxy class ship has so much support staff for that position that a lead isn't a required position on that class of starship.
It is actually very seldom in Trek that a more experienced officer replaces the one currently crewing a console, even in a crisis situation. Supposedly, Chekov never was the senior navigator, but if he happened to be sitting in the chair when things began happening, he would not desert his station.

Thus, perhaps we meet Wesley so often simply because Picard wants to give him flying hours, and the camera typically joins the heroes when it's Picard's own watch and he's pandering to the boy. Or when it's Riker's watch and he's doing his duty as the assigned father figure.

Interestingly, Wesley did desert his station in "Where Silence Has Lease" when things got more exciting - a sage decision because soon thereafter, the commissioned officer who replaced him was killed...

I think we're beating around the bush and really looking for an absolute fact where strongly implied facts are all we REALLY have to go on.
Naah. We're debating our definitions of "strongly implied".

All the heroes show at least passing competence on all fields. Doesn't mean any of them would have been a Chief Engineer or Chief Medic or Chief Astrobiologist earlier in his or her career. To the contrary, Star Trek paints these professions as "freakish", establishing that a good Chief Engineer is pathologically interested in his or her profession and for this reason really amounts to comical relief.

Riker and Picard both display competence with engineering minutiae, but of course it's Picard's job to steer clear of micromanaging, and Riker's job to do the micromanaging for Picard. Both also engage in esoteric projects that paint them as quite the renaissance men: Picard specifically immerses himself in various engineering challenges ranging from cargo management streamlining to deciphering celestial mechanics to the raising of new continents.

Its kind of like having an understand of computers from the Pentium Era and then being asked to work on a computer from the Pentium i7 era.
Which would mean that Picard and Riker would have equal odds of having been CEO in the past. It would simply naturally follow that Picard's knowledge would be more outdated than Riker's.

But really, there is only so much that one can include in a character's past before it all becomes ridiculous. Riker seemed like a driven individual before he found his niche on the E-D (and got Picard to replace the father-he-never-really-had); it doesn't appear at all likely that he would have digressed into engineering when he wanted to command, and OTOH it doesn't appear that Starfleet wants its skippers to have an engineering background. Could you imagine Kirk as a Chief Engineer?

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Old December 17 2012, 06:03 PM   #32
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Lighthammer wrote: View Post
Honestly people, I think we're beating around the bush and really looking for an absolute fact where strongly implied facts are all we REALLY have to go on.
Yes, well, short of a character reminiscing about his or her career and explicitly saying "Back when I was Chief Engineer/Chief Tactical Officer/Grand Admiral of the Fleet...", we don't have much else to go on.

From my perspective, I've always been under the impression that Riker and Sisko both had served as Chief Engineers at one point and as XOs both on 1-2 ships before their current commands (or in Riker's case, before serving under Jean-Luc).
I can definitely see Sisko as a Chief Engineer, as his engineering background was implied. Certainly Leyton all but called him his chief engineer. Why would Leyton have picked a junior engineer to be his XO? It'd be like Picard selecting Barclay over LaForge to replace Riker.

Riker, though, I just don't see any particular engineering expertise there. His rise from ensign to commander was so meteoric that I just don't see how he'd have had time to be Chief Engineer anywhere. He was in the same Academy class as LaForge, and one was a junior lieutenant in 2364, and the other a commander. How'd that happen? Rapid promotion through engineering proficiency?

Tactical experience might be a better explanation for Riker's rapid rise. As a tactical officer he'd be on the bridge more often than if he were an engineer, and he'd be the type to take command if the other senior officers were down. Maybe something similar to Picard's incident on Stargazer - taking command when the CO and XO were out of commission - allowed Riker to rise so rapidly. His talents for command were probably recognized early. Having a knack for regulating plasma flow wouldn't lead to such a fast rise.
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Old December 17 2012, 09:50 PM   #33
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

I'm thinking Riker might have been an operations officer like Data was. At ops, it seems you have to know a little bit of everything (science, engineering, and tactical), IMO.
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Old December 17 2012, 10:05 PM   #34
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Where did we see LaForge and Riker were in the same graduating class?

I was under the impression that they were around the Academy at the same time with Riker having had just gotten out and was committed to an assignment still around Earth (such as the Shuttle Run described in Chain of Command) while LaForge was in his first or second year.

I *DID* get the impression they knew each other from the Academy scene, but not necessarily as class mates.

If LaForge and Riker both WERE in the Academy together, I would have accepted LaForge to be introduced AS the Chief Engineer, not fighting for the promotion to that posting. After all, LaForge was a military brat growing up --- I'm sure he would have gotten some form of push if by nothing else then his parents talking him up to his CO.

But after all that's said, its also fair to point out that there's no way any of these facts would have bearing on the first season since these facts didn't evolve till much later :-|. It's not exactly like the character bios were THIS descrip before starting season 1.
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Old December 17 2012, 11:12 PM   #35
Pavonis
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Lighthammer wrote: View Post
Where did we see LaForge and Riker were in the same graduating class?
It's on Memory Alpha, and I can only imagine that the dates were taken from a screencap of personnel service records shown briefly in "Conundrum".

I was under the impression that they were around the Academy at the same time with Riker having had just gotten out and was committed to an assignment still around Earth (such as the Shuttle Run described in Chain of Command) while LaForge was in his first or second year.
No, according to MA, they were in the Academy together from 2353 to 2357, after which Ensign Riker when to the Pegasus and Ensign LaForge went to the Victory. They eventually ended up on the Hood together, but by then Riker was XO (supposedly) and LaForge...wasn't. I don't know what he did wearing red. General junior officer stuff?

I like backstories in characters, and sometimes the writers develop one for their own use, and sometimes characters just collect random factoids which become a backstory. That's how most of Kirk's backstory came together. Sisko's apparently came together in much the same way.
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Old December 18 2012, 06:25 AM   #36
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I like backstories in characters, and sometimes the writers develop one for their own use, and sometimes characters just collect random factoids which become a backstory. That's how most of Kirk's backstory came together. Sisko's apparently came together in much the same way.
Also sometimes writers (script and book) absolutely disregard previously established facts in lieu of their own 'story' :-\.

Hmm, I hadn't realized that they were at the academy at seemingly the same time. That just doesn't seem right, although, I suppose it is note worthy that Riker went out of his way to make a name for himself while LaForge apparently didn't. No doubt his actions on the Pegasus (for better or for worse) led towards Riker getting recognition. In light of Riker and LaForge graduating in the same year, that actually DOES suggest Riker probably benefited from that event a lot more then he'd like to admit.

I should also suggest where Sisko is involved (since this thread IS about him), he entered the Academy in 2250. He apparently ALSO made some effort to stand out too (compared to LaForge) considering he was a commander by the time DS9 was established and also apparently even a chief engineer long before LaForge was even in a gold uniform.

Bah, LaForge's history really needs some reconciliation. It sounds like he got screwed some where in his career where he essentially hit a full stop for reasons unknown.
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Old December 18 2012, 07:38 AM   #37
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

So for shits and giggles, I decided to make a cross chart to see "who got gypped" in ranks versus experience and who seems to be a target.

See what you think:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...FE&output=html

Just for the record, I picked 2378 as the last reference date because thats the year Voyager arrives home. I didn't want to use Insurrection as the last reference date because that leaves a lot of people hanging with us not being able to provide a canon rank that everyone can agree with.
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Old December 18 2012, 09:09 AM   #38
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

...according to MA, they were in the Academy together from 2353 to 2357
That indeed comes from "Conundrum" Okudagrams, which the blu-raying process ought to make fully legible to the discerning audience (and never mind that it may still require freeze-framing, which is "cheating" of sorts, just like reading the Okudagrams through backstage sources would be).

FWIW, the "Conundrum" files seem to establish that everybody spent exactly four years at the Academy, which is different from what our TOS heroes experienced. Supposedly, even brilliant students could not shave a year from their studies, and nobody did a fifth year. (Well, Wesley might have, had he ever graduated.)

Maybe something similar to Picard's incident on Stargazer - taking command when the CO and XO were out of commission - allowed Riker to rise so rapidly. His talents for command were probably recognized early.
Or then it's simply that Captain Pressman made sure that Ensign Riker would become Lieutenant Riker ASAP, and in all that hurry would conveniently forget what he and Pressman had recently been through.

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Old December 18 2012, 09:58 AM   #39
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Pressman helping Riker is exactly what I was touching on. To me, Pressman came off as a guy who would reward loyalty. I'm very much under the impression that Riker didn't really fully understand why he was technically in the wrong till years down the road.

As far as the four year thing goes --- that's generally backed up except where Beverly is concerned. According to Memory Alpha, she was there for 8 years, which doesn't exactly jive with Julian only being there for four. However, the discrepancy might be explained away by there being an additional 4 years between Julian graduating and being posted to DS9.

Additionally, according to Memory Alpha, Barclay was offered the commission for Lt. without going to the academy, instead, he got his masters in Computer Systems from the Daystrom Institute. He was there for 8 years.
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Old December 18 2012, 10:00 AM   #40
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

That indeed comes from "Conundrum" Okudagrams, which the blu-raying process ought to make fully legible to the discerning audience
Except neither La Forge's nor Riker's file were shown in "Conundrum". And the ones shown (Crusher, Data, Troi, Picard, MacDuff, and Ro Laren) are perfectly legible even on DVD. Crusher was 8 years at the Academy and Ro Laren 6 years (this was later changed to 4 years in "The Next Phase").

One example of this is that in TNG, Dr. Crusher is a full commander, but with only one exception, she is not seen to take command
Crusher was shown in command in "Thine Own Self". This episode also stated that non-line officers had to take the bridge officer's test to achieve commander-rank and be able to take command.

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Old December 18 2012, 10:17 AM   #41
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

According to Memory Alpha, she was there for 8 years, which doesn't exactly jive with Julian only being there for four.
Perhaps Crusher learned medicine at the Academy whereas Bashir learned it elsewhere beforehand?

There are two canon dialogue tidbits on medical academies: in DS9 "Rivals", a Starfleet Medical Academy is mentioned, while in VOY "Nothing Human", a Federation Medical Academy is. (Every other reference from Memory Alpha is completely noncanonical, mere speculation on how a random mention of an "Academy" should be interpreted when relating to the various medical heroes.) So possibly Crusher attended the former (as indicated on her "Conundrum" Okudagram), thus making her Starfleet studies longer, while Bashir attended the latter or neither.

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Old December 18 2012, 10:33 AM   #42
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Like I said, Bashir had a whole additional 4 years between Starfleet Academy and DS9.

I think its very easy just to make the logical deduction that he attended Starfleet, then attended their medical program and for whatever reason Crusher's was chunked together as one long stay and Bashir's wasn't. Heck, there's almost 20 years between the time Beverly went to the Academy and Bashir did. Its also possible things just changed (for an in universe explanation) how they do things.
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Old December 18 2012, 10:46 AM   #43
Timo
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

We don't know when Bashir entered the usual SF Academy (only that he did) or when he graduated (only that he did), so the extra four years or whatever could be slotted in various places. We have no clear-cut reason to think that Bashir would have graduated at a rank higher than the usual Ensign, so slotting the extra years after graduation and before DS9 probably works best.

But we also know Bashir was still at the Academy as late as 2367, according to "Explorers" ("four years ago" from that 3rd season viewpoint). Or at least that he was at a New Year party that preceded his graduating. Perhaps he completed Starfleet Academy by 2363 and then did medicine at Starfleet Medical Academy, Federation Medical Academy or some other Academy for the next four years?

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Old December 18 2012, 11:05 AM   #44
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Meh, I'm generally pulling my info off Memory Alpha where this debate is concerned which is intended to be all canon info (pulled from what happened on screen, specifically).

That being said --- although I find it a bit hard to believe this info, Memory Alpha also suggests Tasha graduated from the academy and was posted directly as LT with the enterprise as her first post.

A captain DOES have their pull, but I do find it remarkably hard to believe Picard would pluck newly graduated officer as his chief tactical / security officer unless someone can parse some rationale argument that he did so only because he ALSO had Worf as some unidentified post along with her who DID have experience (yea, I am not buying this either!).
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Old December 18 2012, 12:23 PM   #45
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Re: Had Sisko Always Been Command Track

Memory Alpha also suggests Tasha graduated from the academy and was posted directly as LT with the enterprise as her first post.
Umm, how so? Picard in "Legacy" was said to have asked for the transfer of Yar to the E-D from her current Starfleet assignment, not from the Academy; it was said Yar's previous CO, the skipper of the ship where Yar was said to have served at the time, owed Picard a favor.

We don't know Yar's rank at the time of the transfer, but we next see Yar coming aboard the E-D in the "All Good Things..." flashback with full Lt pips on her collar. Supposedly, she was serving on the previous ship in 2363, then, having had plenty of time to complete her Academy studies (for which there of course is no "Conundrum" derived date, because the character was dead by then).

Memory Alpha jumps to conclusions on many things, but it doesn't appear to suggest the direct Academy-to-Lt-and-E-D thing at all.

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