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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

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

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Old July 9 2013, 04:52 AM   #1
issreliant
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A Question about Data

I have been going through a rewatch of all trek in a chronological order with my wife, and as we are into season two of TNG she posed a question that I couldn't answer.

That Question is: If Data holds both the title of second officer and science officer on the Enterprise, Why is his uniform gold, which would indicate engineering or security? Is there a in-universe or production reason for his gold uniform?
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Old July 9 2013, 04:54 AM   #2
Third Nacelle
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Re: A Question about Data

Because he's also the operations officer.
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Old July 9 2013, 04:56 AM   #3
R. Star
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Re: A Question about Data

I don't think he actually was ever officially the science officer in title even if he basically was the ship's smart guy.
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Old July 9 2013, 04:57 AM   #4
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Re: A Question about Data

issreliant wrote: View Post
I have been going through a rewatch of all trek in a chronological order with my wife, and as we are into season two of TNG she posed a question that I couldn't answer.

That Question is: If Data holds both the title of second officer and science officer on the Enterprise, Why is his uniform gold, which would indicate engineering or security? Is there a in-universe or production reason for his gold uniform?
Outside universe explanation, Data looked better in a gold uniform.

In-universe explanation, The Operations position was something new created for TNG and that was in the gold department along with engineering and security. Data was more of a gold shirt officer with command experience. Spock himself was a first officer but wore a blue shirt since he was also the science officer.
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Old July 9 2013, 05:59 AM   #5
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Re: A Question about Data

I see, thanks for the info, I had forgot about him being the operations officer, well that explains it. While I'm here, I know there was a production reason for the switch from command and operations colors in TNG from TOS, but was there ever an in-universe explanation?
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Old July 9 2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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Re: A Question about Data

I see, thanks for the info, I had forgot about him being the operations officer, well that explains it. While I'm here, I know there was a production reason for the switch from command and operations colors in TNG from TOS, but was there ever an in-universe explanation?
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Old July 9 2013, 09:18 AM   #7
Mario de Monti
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Re: A Question about Data

Dream wrote: View Post
Outside universe explanation, Data looked better in a gold uniform.
That was my first thought, too
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Old July 9 2013, 02:29 PM   #8
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Re: A Question about Data

issreliant wrote: View Post
I see, thanks for the info, I had forgot about him being the operations officer, well that explains it. While I'm here, I know there was a production reason for the switch from command and operations colors in TNG from TOS, but was there ever an in-universe explanation?
No in-universe explanation for the shifting colors of the departments was ever given. Apparently Starfleet just likes to shake things up occasionally.
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Old July 9 2013, 06:42 PM   #9
DavidGutierrez
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Re: A Question about Data

Pavonis wrote: View Post
issreliant wrote: View Post
I see, thanks for the info, I had forgot about him being the operations officer, well that explains it. While I'm here, I know there was a production reason for the switch from command and operations colors in TNG from TOS, but was there ever an in-universe explanation?
No in-universe explanation for the shifting colors of the departments was ever given. Apparently Starfleet just likes to shake things up occasionally.
No explanation was given, but I'd like to think one was implied. If one looks at the design lineage for the uniforms, then the command red division color seems to have evolved directly from the movie-era uniforms, which lasted until at least 2348 based on on-screen evidence.

Start here: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star...Kirk,_2293.jpg
Then here: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star...ndrew_Troi.jpg You can't see it, but the only change was the crewneck collar. The uniform still had the belt.
Then here: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star...e=Castillo.jpg
Now here: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star...r_hologram.jpg
Finally, here: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star...form,_2365.jpg

In addition, the department colors for operations and science divisions could be extrapolated from the movie-era department colors.
For instance: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star...enerations.jpg vs. http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star...form,_2365.jpg
And: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star...cCoy,_2293.jpg + http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star...hura,_2293.jpg = http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star...form,_2364.jpg

Okay, so that last one might be a bit of a stretch. Also, I obviously love Memory Alpha.
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Old July 9 2013, 11:13 PM   #10
LobsterAfternoon
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Re: A Question about Data

Plus there's a tradition of second officers wearing the color of their primary area of responsibility rather than the command color. Scotty did the same thing on the original series.
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Old July 9 2013, 11:40 PM   #11
Dream
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Re: A Question about Data

Pavonis wrote: View Post
issreliant wrote: View Post
I see, thanks for the info, I had forgot about him being the operations officer, well that explains it. While I'm here, I know there was a production reason for the switch from command and operations colors in TNG from TOS, but was there ever an in-universe explanation?
No in-universe explanation for the shifting colors of the departments was ever given. Apparently Starfleet just likes to shake things up occasionally.
Production reason, the producers thought Picard looked better in red.
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Old July 9 2013, 11:40 PM   #12
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Re: A Question about Data

It's important to note that gold isn't strictly engineering/security it's "operations." In other words the people do the daily "grunt work" of operating and maintaining the ship. Data as the Operations Officer was largely in charge of those departments and its why he wore gold. He operated and coordinated those departments from his console on the bridge. Now at the same time he also served in some capacity as the "science officer" meaning he ran and interpreted the sensor data. But this is different than being a science officer -someone who gathers and interprets data to prove a theory and studies the discoveries made by the ship. These people wore blue (the Sciences/Medical color.)

Data wasn't strictly a scientist on the ship he just happened to operate the sensors and such on the bridge, possibly gathering the data for the actual scientists to use and form conclusions with.
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