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

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Old August 6 2014, 07:56 PM   #1
dstyer
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1st / 2nd season transitions

It has been a while since I've thought of this: There were so many transitions between TNG's 1st and 2nd season -

The bridge went through minor modifications, specifically the Conn and Ops chairs, Picard's armrest interfaces and the panels on the sides

Geordi and Worf got promotions (say what you want, the change in Worf's uniform from red to yellow indicates to me he was not formally placed as head of security/tactical until Season 2).

Riker, Troi and Wes all went through changes in appearance.

Beverly left for Starfleet Medical.

I don't recall that there was ever any real "tales" of explanation of all this happening. I know that other than "The Child" when Pulaski came on, and Geordi was in charge of the plague strains, we didn't even reference anything on screen that I can recall.

Does anyone recall anything about this other than what I've mentioned, either on screen or in print?
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Old August 6 2014, 08:12 PM   #2
T'Girl
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

Riker comments that calling Geordi Chief Engineer sound good.






Last edited by T'Girl; August 7 2014 at 10:52 AM.
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Old August 6 2014, 08:24 PM   #3
BillJ
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

dstyer wrote: View Post

I don't recall that there was ever any real "tales" of explanation of all this happening.
Why would there be? There are no tales of explanation when I change my clothes, shave my beard or paint my kitchen. Things being changed don't require fanfare or explanations.
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Old August 6 2014, 09:24 PM   #4
Armored Saint
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

It's pretty common to see adjustments between the first and the second season of a series. It's easier, especially with the episodic format, since you can justify that introducing the new season six months after. So there's the narrative aspect, but there's also the professional aspects since the actors contracts are renewed or not between seasons.

Worf was already going to be chief of security, so except Wesley, Geordi would have been the only junior officer in the main cast. This main cast had two helmsmen but no chief engineer. So why not making Geordi growing up?
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Old August 6 2014, 09:28 PM   #5
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

dstyer wrote: View Post
Does anyone recall anything about this other than what I've mentioned, either on screen or in print?
You forgot the biggest change - the addition of Ten Forward and Guinan. Also, while Worf and Geordi were given promotions and a change to yellow uniforms, only Geordi was promoted to full lieutenant. Worf received that promotion between season 2 and 3.

Season 1 lacked a casual setting for the crew to have character-building scenes (except maybe the Holodeck), so things felt pretty stuffy. Ten Forward helped with that greatly.

Last edited by jimbotron; August 6 2014 at 09:39 PM.
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Old August 6 2014, 09:37 PM   #6
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

dstyer wrote: View Post
Does anyone recall anything about this other than what I've mentioned, either on screen or in print?
The obvious one, didn't Riker grow a beard netween seasons.
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Old August 6 2014, 09:48 PM   #7
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

I think that a book taking place between Seasons 1 and 2 could be interesting, showing Worf being made Permanent Security Chief from his assignment as Acting Security Chief after Tasha died.

Geordi maybe having mixed feelings about leaving the Bridge full time, since he was always next to his best friend, Data. Also, whether or not Data had any concerns about that.

Also somebody explaining why Wesley got made full time helm officer would be nice.

Picard and Wesley saying goodbye to Crusher before she left for Starfleet medical, perhaps the former head of Starfleet Medical was a friend and she had a major choice to make, either leave her new friends on the Enterprise or letting down an old friend or mentor.

I think a useful plot device for it would be for some member of the crew to have been away for awhile during that time, surprised when they returned and saw bearded Riker.

Sometimes unseen transitions are necessary, sometimes they leave un-mined material. If not for the writers strike that year, maybe something more would've been made of some of these.
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Old August 6 2014, 09:59 PM   #8
dstyer
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

LeadHead wrote: View Post
I think that a book taking place between Seasons 1 and 2 could be interesting, showing Worf being made Permanent Security Chief from his assignment as Acting Security Chief after Tasha died.

Geordi maybe having mixed feelings about leaving the Bridge full time, since he was always next to his best friend, Data. Also, whether or not Data had any concerns about that.

Also somebody explaining why Wesley got made full time helm officer would be nice.

Picard and Wesley saying goodbye to Crusher before she left for Starfleet medical, perhaps the former head of Starfleet Medical was a friend and she had a major choice to make, either leave her new friends on the Enterprise or letting down an old friend or mentor.

I think a useful plot device for it would be for some member of the crew to have been away for awhile during that time, surprised when they returned and saw bearded Riker.

Sometimes unseen transitions are necessary, sometimes they leave un-mined material. If not for the writers strike that year, maybe something more would've been made of some of these.
This is basically what I was intending. Back in my younger days, I'd actually toyed with writing this type of story for SNW, but never got it finished. There wouldn't even have to be a central narrative, just intersecting parallel threads, like "Data's Day" to a degree. I just didn't know (and maybe I should re-direct this to Trek Lit) if this had been done at some point.
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Old August 6 2014, 10:01 PM   #9
Armored Saint
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

Poor 1988 writers striker, she is the third person to be the most blamed by Star Trek fans after Bergman and Braga.
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Old August 6 2014, 10:16 PM   #10
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

dstyer wrote: View Post
Geordi and Worf got promotions (say what you want, the change in Worf's uniform from red to yellow indicates to me he was not formally placed as head of security/tactical until Season 2).
But that's not a promotion, because Worf wasn't in security to begin with. He was the bridge watch officer or officer of the deck. His job was to fill in at any bridge post that had been temporarily vacated by its normal occupant -- e.g. holding the conn when Picard was in his ready room, or manning ops when Data was on an away team. Filling in as acting chief of security when Tasha died was an extension of that job. He changed uniforms because he changed departments, from command to security. It's a lateral move, not an upward one. If anything, it's arguably something of a step down, because watch officer is sort of a training ground for a command officer (in that it entails gaining experience in every department of ship operations), while a security posting is more specialized.


There were also changes to the sets in season 2. As I recall, the original conn and ops seats were replaced, the command chair side consoles were changed, and the wall panels on the sides of the bridge had more blinky lights added. Also, the portmost aft console was rejiggered as an engineering station so that Geordi could have a station on the bridge. I think the aft consoles' pullout seats were replaced with different seats as well. Also, I believe a new sickbay set was constructed, replacing the original, which had been a redress of the observation lounge set.


LeadHead wrote: View Post
Sometimes unseen transitions are necessary, sometimes they leave un-mined material. If not for the writers strike that year, maybe something more would've been made of some of these.
Not necessarily. We're talking 1988, a time when continuity in episodic TV was still in its infancy (at least outside of soap operas). Plenty of shows still made cast and format changes without bothering to explain them in any detail. And sometimes you don't want to dwell on a change, because it's seen as a correction of something that didn't work before and you just want to forget that thing and move forward.


I'll say what I often say when this comes up: I think TNG would've been so much more interesting if Geordi had been made security chief and Worf the chief engineer. In security, Geordi could've actually made use of his VISOR, which pretty much got forgotten after season 1 except when the writers wanted something to go wrong with it or somebody to brainwash him with it or something. I mean, Geordi had an actual superpower and the producers didn't want to do anything with it. They even mentioned in "Up the Long Ladder" that he could tell when humans were lying, and then it was never mentioned again. That would've been a great skill for a security chief.

As for Worf, the only reason they put him in security to begin with was racial profiling -- he was The Klingon, the warrior, and the writers were far too content to make that the sole defining attribute of Worf as a character. If they'd made him the engineer, given him a job that contrasted with Klingon stereotypes instead of just playing into them, that could've let them develop his character in much more interesting ways, and we wouldn't have had to wait until DS9 to see him start to grow beyond being The Klingon.
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Old August 6 2014, 11:00 PM   #11
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

Christopher wrote: View Post
LeadHead wrote: View Post
Sometimes unseen transitions are necessary, sometimes they leave un-mined material. If not for the writers strike that year, maybe something more would've been made of some of these.
Not necessarily. We're talking 1988, a time when continuity in episodic TV was still in its infancy (at least outside of soap operas). Plenty of shows still made cast and format changes without bothering to explain them in any detail. And sometimes you don't want to dwell on a change, because it's seen as a correction of something that didn't work before and you just want to forget that thing and move forward.
Agreed, at that time, continuity wasn't a big thing in TV. Doesn't mean that there couldn't have been a good story written about it.

One of the reasons you know it wouldn't have been done back then is that, with the new jobs comes the potential of stories that show the characters making "First Day" mistakes. Since the TNG crew was always portrayed as being near perfect, the idea wouldn't have flown.
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Old August 6 2014, 11:24 PM   #12
Armored Saint
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

Christopher wrote: View Post
He was the bridge watch officer or officer of the deck. His job was to fill in at any bridge post that had been temporarily vacated by its normal occupant -- e.g. holding the conn when Picard was in his ready room, or manning ops when Data was on an away team.
So, Worf was a ridged talking Hadley.

As for Worf, the only reason they put him in security to begin with was racial profiling -- he was The Klingon, the warrior, and the writers were far too content to make that the sole defining attribute of Worf as a character. If they'd made him the engineer, given him a job that contrasted with Klingon stereotypes instead of just playing into them, that could've let them develop his character in much more interesting ways, and we wouldn't have had to wait until DS9 to see him start to grow beyond being The Klingon.
At least, he was seen as a plausible successor to Data at Ops in The Most Toys and Future Imperfect. I'm perfectly okay with Worf as the security guy, but I agree sending him at engineering would have fitted with the Worf of Heart of Glory.
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Old August 7 2014, 12:15 AM   #13
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

The first season, by itself, was nothing but transitions, throughout. One change which I appreciated was Worf's rubber head. Season One had the ridges above his eyes cut out in a semi circular pattern, which looked really bad, because you could see how the mask was glued to Michael Dorn. In the second season, they did away with that and gave him a straight ridge over the eyes that made him look more badassed, actually.
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Old August 7 2014, 04:46 AM   #14
Harvey
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

Christopher wrote: View Post
Not necessarily. We're talking 1988, a time when continuity in episodic TV was still in its infancy (at least outside of soap operas). Plenty of shows still made cast and format changes without bothering to explain them in any detail. And sometimes you don't want to dwell on a change, because it's seen as a correction of something that didn't work before and you just want to forget that thing and move forward.
While it's certainly true that many shows of the period still made cast and format changes without bothering to explain them, it's worth pointing out that serialized dramas weren't just starting out in 1988. Hill Street Blues had wrapped up the year before, St. Elsewhere was just getting finished with its six year run, and L.A. Law was getting underway with its second and third seasons.

By the standards of these and a few other dramas in the 1980s (all of them, to some extent, critically recognized) Star TreK: The Next Generation was a bit behind the times.
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Old August 7 2014, 05:15 AM   #15
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

Christopher wrote: View Post
Also, the portmost aft console was rejiggered as an engineering station so that Geordi could have a station on the bridge.
I liked how when Geordi would walk onto the bridge, the engineering console would 'power up'. It was one of the few instances of seeing the ship being "90 percent automatic", as stated by Geordi himself in Contagion.

Christopher wrote: View Post
In security, Geordi could've actually made use of his VISOR, which pretty much got forgotten after season 1 except when the writers wanted something to go wrong with it or somebody to brainwash him with it or something. I mean, Geordi had an actual superpower and the producers didn't want to do anything with it. They even mentioned in "Up the Long Ladder" that he could tell when humans were lying, and then it was never mentioned again. That would've been a great skill for a security chief.
I remember seeing the series promo (you know, the "This is like no vessel I've seen before" one...which was in reality a reference to the Farpoint station!) When I heard the "Geordi, a man with unique vision" bit, I kinda cringed that it was going to be some sort of gimmick. I ended up being pleasantly surprised and annoyed at the same time, because so little ended up actually being done with it. Why the Visual Acuity Transmitter was never seen again, I'm never know.

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
One change which I appreciated was Worf's rubber head. Season One had the ridges above his eyes cut out in a semi circular pattern, which looked really bad, because you could see how the mask was glued to Michael Dorn.
There was one single episode, I forget which, where the temple seams were quite apparent. It only lasted for that one episode, so whether it was just a makeup experiment, vacationing makeup artist, or re-use of a used appliance, who knows?
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