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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 January 31 2009, 01:08 AM   #1
Lyon_Wonder
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Enterprise-D chief engineer

Why didn’t TNG have a chief engineer as a main character in the first season? In the second season Laforge was promoted. Maybe the producers didn’t want another Scotty-type “miracle worker”. It probably would have better to have Laforge as chief engineer from the beginning of S1.
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Old January 31 2009, 01:40 AM   #2
Red Ranger
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

Lyon Wonder:

As I recall, in the original series bible, the idea was the Galaxy-class ship was so advanced that it didn't really need a chief engineer. A silly notion, one of several ill-considered ideas thankfully scrapped.

I think you may be right they didn't want a Scotty "miracle worker" in the cast, but it would seem obvious that if you have a new, advanced piece of technolgy, that you'd need a chief engineer even more.

As you may also recall, they tried to "take back" that decision by having a rotating number of chief engineers -- four to be precise -- including Lt. Cmdr. Sarah McDougal (The Naked Now), Lt. Cmdr. Argyle (Where No One Has Gone Before, Datalore), Lt. Logan (The Arsenal of Freedom), and Lt. Cmdr. Leland T. Lynch (Skin of Evil).

What's interesting is the reason why it appeared there was a rotating staff of engineers because of one line Riker uttered introducing Argyle: "one of our chief engineers, in this case, [Mr.] Argyle." This implies that as a new vessel, they needed more than one chief engineer to guide its early development. It would've made more sense if Riker simply said, "one of our engineers."

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Old January 31 2009, 10:44 PM   #3
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

I've always thought that the many engineers of season 1 were simply rotating through whilst training on the relatively new Galaxy class.Holodeck training will only carry you so far.
Just my thoughts.
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Old January 31 2009, 11:00 PM   #4
Bacl
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

It is probably very uncommon to serve for years and years in the same position. For most, you get an assignment, and work there for 3 months, 6 months, maybe a year or two. Deep space missions create a different climate, but when you get back, you get a promotion.

The Enterprise was a new ship, a flagship, and was not on long deep space missions. A lot of its early assignment were pomp and diplomacy, and many episodes both began and ended at a starbase.

For the first year, chief engineers came and went. Most probably had 3 month assignments, where they would have the option of continuing if the Captain so chose. Most likely served for 3 months, were offered a plum position or promotion elsewhere, and moved on. Eventually, both starfleet and Picard felt the need for a more stable element, reorg, etc. LeForge was promoted, and worked out so well that he stayed right where he was, to everyone's satisfaction.
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Old January 31 2009, 11:59 PM   #5
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

Red Ranger wrote: View Post
As you may also recall, they tried to "take back" that decision by having a rotating number of chief engineers -- four to be precise -- including Lt. Cmdr. Sarah McDougal (The Naked Now), Lt. Cmdr. Argyle (Where No One Has Gone Before, Datalore), Lt. Logan (The Arsenal of Freedom), and Lt. Cmdr. Leland T. Lynch (Skin of Evil).
You forgot Mr. Singh from Lonely Among Us.
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Old February 1 2009, 01:11 AM   #6
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

I think he was identified as Assistant Chief Engineer.
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Old February 1 2009, 01:59 AM   #7
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

You know, I think you're right. My bad.
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Old February 1 2009, 04:03 AM   #8
Trekker4747
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

flandry84 wrote: View Post
I've always thought that the many engineers of season 1 were simply rotating through whilst training on the relatively new Galaxy class.Holodeck training will only carry you so far.
Just my thoughts.
That has pretty much been my fanwank. Picard's recolection of his first meeting with Geordi in "The Next Phase" suggests Picard brought Geordi aboard with the intent of making him CE. So it seems to me that perhaps the Ent-D was hosting various CEs who were training for other Galaxy-class ships or other ships intergrating the Galaxy's new systems.

That's the best "in universe" explanation I can come up with.

As explained, the meta/real world explanaiton is that Gene felt that the Ent-D was so advanced it didn't really need a Chief Engineer so a part wasn't made for one, nor was there ever even going to be an Engine Room! But things changed the closer they got to making the show, a special scene was written in the pilot in Main Engineering so they had an excuse to build the set and I guess it just took them time to figure out/make the changes for a Chief Engineer.
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Old February 1 2009, 09:59 PM   #9
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

Nitpicking the list given above, Leland T. Lynch was never quite identified as a Chief Engineer, either. He could have been a dilithium-swapping specialist, and the very fact that he was an obscure specialist who nevertheless had the fate of the ship in his skilled fingertips is what made him spell out his name and rank to Picard again and again. "No, it's not the CEO down here, it's me: Lieutenant Commander Clarence Leland-T'lynch. Remember? The only guy in the quadrant who can hot-swap your dilithium. Chief Argyle is there in the corner, biting off his fingernails."

So that leaves McDougal, Argyle and Logan.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old February 1 2009, 10:20 PM   #10
Red Ranger
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

Timo wrote: View Post
Nitpicking the list given above, Leland T. Lynch was never quite identified as a Chief Engineer, either. He could have been a dilithium-swapping specialist, and the very fact that he was an obscure specialist who nevertheless had the fate of the ship in his skilled fingertips is what made him spell out his name and rank to Picard again and again. "No, it's not the CEO down here, it's me: Lieutenant Commander Clarence Leland-T'lynch. Remember? The only guy in the quadrant who can hot-swap your dilithium. Chief Argyle is there in the corner, biting off his fingernails."

So that leaves McDougal, Argyle and Logan.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo: You are the king of nitpickers on this board! I think the implication is if Picard is speaking with someone in engineering, it's usually the chief engineer. -- RR
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Old February 1 2009, 10:45 PM   #11
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

Roddenberry didn't want TNG to be to centered around Engineering like TOS did, so he didn't cast a Chief Engineer. As the show progressed, it turned out that the Chief Engineer would be crucial to plots, hence LaForge being promoted.
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Old February 2 2009, 07:29 AM   #12
Red Ranger
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

I always wished that they had an Indian chief engineer as a regular, but that might have been too much of a stereotype -- I have a fondness for South Asian accents and culture. Wasn't the actor who played Singh Kavi Raz, who was in the show St. Elsewhere? -- RR
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Old February 3 2009, 04:32 AM   #13
NCC1701
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

^ IMDb seems to agree with you there: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0713576/
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Old February 5 2009, 02:14 AM   #14
Dane_Whitman
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

What I always found amusing is that Picard seems to react with irritation when he calls down to Engineering and Leland T. Lynch is the one to respond. Am I the only one to notice this?
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Old February 5 2009, 02:38 AM   #15
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Re: Enterprise-D chief engineer

Dane_Whitman wrote: View Post
What I always found amusing is that Picard seems to react with irritation when he calls down to Engineering and Leland T. Lynch is the one to respond. Am I the only one to notice this?
It's because every time he speaks to Lynch, he introduces himself as "Leland T. Lynch." I'd find that annoying, too! -- RR
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