1st / 2nd season transitions

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by dstyer, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. dstyer

    dstyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    Battle Creek, MI
    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?
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    Riker comments that calling Geordi Chief Engineer sound good.





    :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    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.
     
  4. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Quebec City
    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?
     
  5. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    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: Aug 6, 2014
  6. JesterFace

    JesterFace Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2014
    Location:
    Suomi Finland
    The obvious one, didn't Riker grow a beard netween seasons.
     
  7. LeadHead

    LeadHead Director of Comedy Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Location:
    On the Citadel or The TrekBBS Armada Starbase
    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.
     
  8. dstyer

    dstyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    Battle Creek, MI
    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.
     
  9. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Quebec City
    Poor 1988 writers striker, she is the third person to be the most blamed by Star Trek fans after Bergman and Braga. :p
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    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.


    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.
     
  11. LeadHead

    LeadHead Director of Comedy Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Location:
    On the Citadel or The TrekBBS Armada Starbase
    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.
     
  12. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Quebec City
    So, Worf was a ridged talking Hadley. :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.
     
  13. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    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.
     
  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    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.
     
  15. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    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.

    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.

    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?
     
  16. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Location:
    France
    Just like on DS9 when they changed their uniform in the middle of the fifth season, there was no explanation given whatsoever. I hear we're supposed to assume that it was because of the movie First Contact. The funny thing is that I didn't notice anything different for about two of three episodes.
     
  17. Disco

    Disco Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    I seem to recall Beverley's decision to head to and then return from Starfleet Medical being covered in one of the old style TNG books. As I recall there was a mentor involved as her reason for leaving and missing Wesley was the reason for her return but it's been years since I read those books.
     
  18. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    My guess is that it was simply a matter of time. When you're nearing the end of the day and realize Dorn's appliance is getting unglued, do you send him back to the make-up chair, OR ... do you just keep shooting and hope nobody notices? That's my take on it, anyway. But Worf's head was always an experiment in progress, was it not? His hair was always going through changes that made me wonder sometimes, "is this some kind of an inside joke?" ... it never seemed to settle down.
     
  19. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    I don't know what you're talking about. We have always been at war with Eastasia.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I'd say, rather, that both approaches were in common use side by side. It wasn't like today where all shows were expected to be serialized; serialization was an option that coexisted alongside the more common episodic approach.

    And I question the value judgment implied by the phrase "behind the times," as if serialization were a technological advance upon episodic storytelling. The fact is, serialization has always existed in broadcasting, going back to soap operas and children's adventure dramas on radio and Saturday matinee adventure serials in the movies. But at the time, it was mainly associated with more lowbrow or juvenile genres. In the first decade or two of television, the classiest shows were the dramatic anthologies that put on a different self-contained play every week. So in the '50s through the '70s, pure episodic storytelling was considered smarter and more sophisticated than serialization, the opposite of the modern preference. Even shows with continuing characters aspired to be as anthology-like as possible, with formats that let the characters plug themselves into different stories and situations every week (e.g. Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, The Fugitive) and a general avoidance of multi-episode arcs (except for the occasional 2-parter) and references to past episodes. The adoption of soap-style serialization by more sophisticated dramas like Hill Street Blues was merely a shift in approach and perception, not some fundamental innovation. It was a stylistic novelty that did not immediately displace the more episodic style of storytelling.
     

Share This Page