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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 March 10 2008, 04:20 AM   #1
James Wright
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A Data ?

How long had Data served in Starfleet at the time of "Encounter at Farpoint"?

JDW
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Old March 10 2008, 09:37 AM   #2
matthunter
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Re: A Data ?

He said in the episode "Unification", which was in Season 5 and so roughly five years into the Enterprise-D's mission, that he had 26 years of Starfleet service. That means 21 years as of EaF, though it's likely that includes the standard 4 years at the Academy.
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Old March 10 2008, 10:33 AM   #3
Jon1701
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Re: A Data ?

Doesn't he say that in Redemption Pt II?

Isn't it when he complains to Picard about not getting a command in the the taskforce?

We also have the odd statement in the pilot that Data graduated in the "Starfleet class of '78", which I believe happened because they moved around the time frame.

Either that or Data was at Starfleet a really, really long time.
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Old March 10 2008, 10:44 AM   #4
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Re: A Data ?

Or then the 78 doesn't have that apostrophe there. Data could be saying that his class had 78 people there.

Remember that Riker is insinuating that Data's rank is "only" honorary and that he has gone through Starfleet training and service in some unique, "lesser" manner. Data would then be saying that he has 77 witnesses to the fact that he did it just like everybody else, that he graduated just like those 77.

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Old March 10 2008, 10:57 AM   #5
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Re: A Data ?

True.

To be honest, I always had the class of '78 down as some sort of special class at the academy. Named for a really, really special class.

Bit like Red Squad.
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Old March 10 2008, 04:15 PM   #6
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Re: A Data ?

By the timeline I've looked at, Data was about 3 years old when he entered the academy.

He spent four years there, so basically just take his age at any given time and subtract 7.

As for class of 78... I'm pretty sure that could be taken as a big huge mistake by the writers... or perhaps there were 78 people in his class? I simply choose to ignore that statement.
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Old March 10 2008, 06:30 PM   #7
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Re: A Data ?

K-Star wrote: View Post
As for class of 78... I'm pretty sure that could be taken as a big huge mistake by the writers...
No, I'm pretty sure that 78 was selected with some consideration.
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Old March 10 2008, 06:49 PM   #8
James Wright
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Re: A Data ?

Does anybody know why Data wasn't commanding a ship by the time of the movies?
I can't help but wonder how he might've done as Captain!?

JDW
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Old March 11 2008, 06:14 AM   #9
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Re: A Data ?

K-Star wrote: View Post
As for class of 78... I'm pretty sure that could be taken as a big huge mistake by the writers... or perhaps there were 78 people in his class? I simply choose to ignore that statement.
That would be Mister Gene Roddenberry and Ms. D. C. Fontana. Two people I think not likely to make mistakes, but then, I also ignore the "Class of '78" line as it's clear from "The Neutral Zone" that Data did not graduate in 2278. Much like when Star Trek TOS had its Stardates all sorts of messed-up because Gene picked numbers at random, and by TNG, they actually had a system working for them.

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Old March 11 2008, 06:19 AM   #10
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Re: A Data ?

As an aside, however... I'd like to point out the 26 years of Starfleet service might qualify an officer for command... so long as it's the /right/ officer. Just because you have the years, doesn't mean you have the chops to command a ship. Add to the fact that Data was also fighting for android rights pretty much most of the time he was in Starfleet (ie: "Encounter at Farpoint," "The Measure of a Man," "The Most Toys," "Brothers," "Redemption, Part II," etc..) which might have also led to a prejudice against him in promotion or assignment.

Since Captain Picard obviously had no issue with Data, Starfleet's Bureau of Personnel (or whatever they use for handling personnel) might've thought it politic to keep him where he was likely to cause less of a problem for Starfleet. Alternatively, while I'm sure Gene Roddenberry disliked the notion of humanity being flawed, I believe there would be a lot of COs out in Starfleet who might block Data's request for a transfer to their vessel, based on Lieutenant Commander Hobson's initial reaction to him aboard the Sutherland.

Just my $0.02.

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Old March 11 2008, 01:22 PM   #11
USS Excelsior
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Re: A Data ?

I believe he entered Starfleet in 2341 and graduated in 2345.
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Old March 11 2008, 03:03 PM   #12
JoeZhang
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Re: A Data ?

USS Excelsior wrote: View Post
I believe he entered Starfleet in 2341 and graduated in 2345.
His academy service must have been a very mixed bag - some things such as piloting skills, combat he's get first time but other things such as leadership etc must have been a complete struggle.

Last edited by JoeZhang; March 11 2008 at 03:03 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old March 11 2008, 03:20 PM   #13
erastus25
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Re: A Data ?

Nebusj wrote: View Post
K-Star wrote: View Post
As for class of 78... I'm pretty sure that could be taken as a big huge mistake by the writers...
No, I'm pretty sure that 78 was selected with some consideration.
I'm pretty sure that the discrepancy is due to the fact that the creators were still pinning down when the TNG era was. Kind of like the inconsistency in time references relative to the 20th Century during the first season of TOS.
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Old March 11 2008, 07:03 PM   #14
James Wright
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Re: A Data ?

I yhink Data would've made a great Captain, sort of in the mold of Captain Picard & Captain Riker, officers able to buck the system.
Hobson was just PO'd because he wasn't in command!

JDW
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Old March 11 2008, 08:36 PM   #15
22 Stars
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Re: A Data ?

JDW wrote: View Post
Does anybody know why Data wasn't commanding a ship by the time of the movies?
I can't help but wonder how he might've done as Captain!?

JDW
That would have required the producers to grow the TNG movie franchise, instead of just repeating the same tired dynamic over and over and over. There is a good thread about action hero Picard that really well defines this dynamic.
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