does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by bluepicard27, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The real, answer, of course, is that the executive producers assumed that the audience was too stupid to understand why a LT. CMDR would be addressed as "Captain" aboard ship.
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    To be fair, not everyone is familiar with naval ranks and traditions. Most first-time or uninitiated viewers may know that a captain outranks a lieutenant, but that's about it.
     
  3. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I submit television should challenge its viewers, not pander to them.
     
  4. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Been tried over time, doesn't work.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It should. But if you go out of your way to make audiences feel stupid, then your cancelled in thirteen weeks. :techman:
     
  6. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Does it confuse audiences that in The Caine Mutiny Humphrey Bogart is called "Captain Queeg" and "Lieutenant Commander Queeg"? Or in the various Bounty movies "Captain Bligh" is also called "Lieutenant Bligh"? Or Captain/Commander Richardson in Run Silent Run Deep, Captain/Lieutenant Commander Morton in Mr. Roberts, or Captain/Lieutenant Collins in The Sand Pebbles? I don't think the audience would think twice about it actually, if a writer cared to write it that way. It just seems they default to captain rank for the captain position.

    Justin
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    And there's really nothing wrong with defaulting to that if the intention isn't to realistically depict the current US Navy.
     
  8. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But none of those had executive producers who assume the worst of their audiences.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I don't think the Genes assumed the worst. They just wanted to keep things simple. We are talking about TOS right? ;)
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'd think a movie and a TV show would be fundamentally different in the above respect. A movie doesn't need a followership - people come to see it once and won't get their money back even if they can't figure out who outranks whom. But if a TV show is too weird for the audience, it won't develop a following, except on those rare occasions where Dada is the word and things like consistency or story logic would ruin the charm of the concept.

    A scifi show might be seen as being entitled to more Dada than other types. But it's basically in a jam due to being weird by default, and in fact needs to simplify and pander just to get even with a no-brainer cop show...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Simpsons once made a joke about captains holding ranks other than Captain, where Homer referred to himself as a Colonel, then added he was the Captain of a rocket ship. Bart, totally confused asks "Are you a Captain or a Colonel?"
     
  12. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I was actually kind of confused when "Colonel" West appeared in Undiscovered Country, wearing what appeared to be a full Admiral's rank insignia (probably should have been referred to as a general, or else wearing a Starfleet captain's insignia) and nothing else to designate that he was a member of some unknown branch of Starfleet Marines. But I was in the minority. I went to see this movie with a bunch of friends from college and nobody else noticed the anomalous rank grade, nor did they really seem to care.

    So, in this case, the reverse of expected confusion happened - non-fans watched and enjoyed the movie without issue and a fan (me) was confused by something thrown into the mix by an overzealous costuming department that didn't track with what I already knew was Fletcher's insignia guidelines. :shrug:
     
  13. pimp

    pimp Commander Red Shirt

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    I have always wanted to know can someone above the rank of captain take command of a ship permanently. Like I mean can an Admiral have his full time job in a starship and go exploring or are all these admirals just sitting in starfleet HQ and doing a desk job. Would be nice to see an admiral in charge of a next series instead of captain (just a dream) :)
     
  14. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^^^ It's long been implied in trek that an Admiralty means "no command of a ship", and on-screen dialog supports this. In Wrath of Khan, Spock admonishes Kirk that it was a mistake for him to accept promotion and that command of a starship was his "first, best destiny". In Generations, Kirk tells Picard never to accept a promotion and always remain in command of a ship.

    Then again, their are also on-screen exceptions. In both Borg incursions into Federation space, Admirals were in command of ships that flagged larger battle groups.

    During WWII, Admirals did command ships, but they were always flagships of battle groups and task forces - it's probably considered a purely wartime TDY posting, as it appears to be in Trek. I don't know if they still do it today with our carrier fleets. I'm inclined to say it is a super-rarity, if it's even done at all any more.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    What evidence do we have for this? In neither instance was the Admiral seen sitting in the center chair of the starship, nor was there proof that a CO of Captain rank would have been absent.

    It is quite possible and even likely that the Admirals were commanding from abroad the ships, not commanding the ships themselves.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sure it's open to interpretation, but it sure looks to me like Admiral Hanson is in a center seat at Wolf 359: http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=74&page=6. Is that a bridge railing behind him?
     
  17. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't have any problem with admirals commanding starships. It suited the story of TMP (and Khan) to have the rank associated with deskjob duty, but it doesn't necessarily mean every admiral HAS to be relegated purely to deskjob duty.

    The idea was that Kirk was a victim of his own reputation and the powers that be wanted him to pump out cadets in his own image. Other captains that rose up to the admiralty might have been allowed a more active role than that, because you can only have one person in Kirk's capacity.

    One thing Gene wanted to do in TOS was flatten out the org chart. That's why there's no ranking braid for ensign. We also never saw a lt. jg. in TOS although I think the single dashed braid is canon.

    The admiralty in Star Trek wasn't shown that often because it made Starfleet feel too bureaucratic. It suits the universe for the higher-ups to be more active. It's boring to watch orders cascade their way down through the chain of command.

    The captain going on away missions is something that wouldn't happen in the real world, for instance, and the attempt to address that with a stronger first-officer in TNG failed. Picard was supposed to lead more from the conn. Frakes was supposed to be the swashbuckler. However, since Patrick Stewart had more charisma, he wound up going down to the planet surface as much as Kirk.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Looks like Hanson was in the center seat to me as well.
     
  19. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    OTOH, the TV show will have much more time to clarify or explain the relationships between the characters, if they need explaining. But who outranks whom should be pretty obvious based on character interactions, regardless of titles.

    It's definitely still done and not uncommon, but to be clear, the admiral does not command a ship. The admiral commands a group of ships (carrier or expeditionary strike group now, task group/force in WW2, battle squadron in WW1 etc.) The ships each have their own captain, and even though the admiral lives and works on one of the ships, his relationship with that captain is in theory supposed to be no different from the captains of the other ships.

    Justin
     
  20. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Admiral J.P. Hanson (George Murdock) died on the Melbourne at Wolf 359 in 2366 (Best of Both Worlds).

    Admiral Hayes (Jack Shearer) was on an unnamed vessel that was destroyed at Sector 001 in 2373, followed by Picard's take-over of the battle group (First Contact). Hayes apparently escaped and survived, as he sent Janeway a message in ST: Voyager a year later in 2374. Kind of irritated by that, as I always thought he was a bit of a douche.
    Thanks for the clarification. Makes sense.