Enterprise-C Bridge Layout

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Bry_Sinclair, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    I vastly prefer systematic over "rational" because what makes sense and what does not is always highly subjective. And what "deviates from intent", or is an "error", is a matter of opinion when the end product is considered. Much of Star Trek is just error piled upon error, but that's how fictional universes are built. The entire initial costuming of TNG is just a series of errors and misunderstood, mis-executed intent, after all: Spiner ends up with mustard rather than blue or red by sheer accident, and the concept of Operations Officer is born; Stewart looks better in red than mustard, and suddenly the concept of Redshirt is gone.

    Yup. But perhaps tellingly (and purely accidentally), neither he nor Saavik made an effort to go to the briefing room when the order was given. Saavik lingered; the blonde bloke disappeared from view.

    It would be nice to be able to think that "Cadet" and "Midshipman" still refer to the academic students of naval soldiering, while "Trainee" refers to the enlisted lot. Whether there is a distinction between Cadet and Midshipman might depend on whether we really believe Peter Preston was a kid of fourteen, a classic case of sailing ship era Midshipmen but different from what we'd learn about Starfleet Cadets in the spinoff shows. Perhaps Starfleet readily takes in underage Midshipmen for "learn at work" studies, but people of such a low age have to compete fiercely, TNG "Coming of Age" style, to earn Cadet status in the rare underage quota?

    That's nuances, though; splitting the redcollar lot to enlisted Trainees and another, academic, eventually commissioned bunch suffices for upholding naval tradition without contradicting the evidence. And yeah, Saavik sounds like a postgraduate taking Command School after brief field experience, whereas Kirk in both timelines apparently took Command as part of his undergraduate studies (unlike Saavik, he explicitly did the supposed final exam, the Kobayashi Maru simulation, while being addressed as Cadet, and we never saw any marks of commissioning on him at the time of the exam).

    Because errors are more common than lack thereof; intent, unless extremely rigorously enforced, simply fails to stick. Especially when it comes to costuming.

    Bob Fletcher devised an elaborate scheme of uniforms and department colors. Elaborate is recipe for disaster without proper supervision, which the scheme never got. We're far better off forgetting all about this supposed scheme and simply believing what we see, which is a series of random costuming decisions across a range of movies and episodes.

    Well, that was one of the original possibilities, the one negating the value of onscreen evidence. But it's not the only one - and accepting that the rigid uniform scheme of Fletcher never worked only makes things simpler, not more complex.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. Spike730

    Spike730 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Location:
    Austria
  3. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    Location:
    Deck 13, section 21-Alpha
    Hardly a valid argument - these are examples of pre-production decisions made to alter the departmental colours, resulting from costume & makeup screen tests with the actors; not some blatant error after the fact (such as giving Tuvok LtCmdr pips as of Caretaker in VOY, when he was only full Lt at that point).

    Hmm, I'd love it if that were so... may have to get my TWOK copy out and have an abbreviated viewing!

    He certainly looks a lot younger.. Also note Scotty makes a distinction between Preston and the trainees (not "other" trainees!) that fled engineering. Intentional? Flub? You decide...

    See Spike730's comments re the dept colour slashes. He's entirely correct.

    Let's not try to use the reboot as an argument for the original canon, shall we? There are more worms there than can possibly be digested in one sitting...

    Now that is simply not true - otherwise Kirk and co. would be department-hopping every other week.

    What he did was develop wide range of uniforms, to more closely echo a real-life navy - rather than the exact same blinking bell-bottom/tunic/boots ensemble that TOS had. The same was attempted in TMP, but with much less success. I may not agree with the Big Red Jackets, but everything else was spot on AFAIC.

    So is simple, if the amount of mistakes made in the latter series are anything to go by. Are you going to do the same contortions in order to excuse all of their little flubs?

    Versus assuming that either at least some of those enlisted crewmembers were there because they were, in fact, fully qualified and did operate those positions; or because the regular bridge crew were already injured/dead/dying?

    Riiiight. ;)
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Lots of agreement with the above. Points of disagreement or ambiguity:

    The slash thing appears in two forms in Fletcher's notes: color on red, and red on color. Lamentably, that's not quite systematically applied in practice, as none of the Academy scenes feature the supposed "instructor" model, red on color. Dropping the concept and accepting full red as a generic Academy color applicable to instructors as well would basically eliminate some discrepancies, such as Valeris.

    I'm curious as to what the next movie in the reboot series has to offer in the uniform, rank, and training department; so far, things don't seem to be too contradictory...

    But even dismissing STXI, the backstory of ST2 has Kirk do the no-win scenario and thus supposedly complete his Command studies while a "Cadet", as per McCoy's words. Makes sense, I guess: driven individuals won't wait until after graduation. Saavik may have dedicated the precious study hours to some sciences pursuit or another, calculating that she could get the command training later on; the Academy certainly appears flexible that way, in both universes.

    If we don't count onscreen hours but rather individual costuming decisions, it's not really exaggerated to say that more (main and guest) characters in TOS are introduced in "wrong" colors or ranks than in "right" ones. When they then stick to those, wrong simply becomes right.

    Basically, I'm saying that none of the complex models created backstage are valid, and that the simple thing is to assume Starfleet in-universe uses a complex (or flexible) model that differs from the defunct intended ones. The little flubs are features rather than bugs: some science officers really wear red in TOS for some unknown but perfectly valid reason, and the "single excuse" that this just happens and should happen is better than the "double excuse" that this was an error motivated by this complex out-universe factor or other (the character looked better in that color, there were no sizes available that week for the other color, whatnot).

    The former seems unlikely, considering how officer-heavy all the TOS movie era bridges are under this particular uniform scheme, and how TNG goes all-officer with the next uniform scheme again.

    The latter is a perfectly okay explanation. Still, those officers apparently weren't killed by exploding consoles, as the consoles are intact - begging the question of what killed or incapacitated them; did all perhaps stand beneath one of those collapsing girders? Or would this lend support to the model of a large, round bridge, where officers at forward stations were lost when half the bridge was destroyed? We could even speculate that the bridge lost life support at some point when Garrett was elsewhere (scrambing up from her quarters in the early stages of the fight?), killing everybody on the bridge, and life support was subsequently restored and the bridge crewed by the personnel we see.

    But Fletcher's scheme already crumbles under the weight of errors elsewhere, so it should not be considered as a strict limiting factor when considering our options here, either.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    Location:
    Deck 13, section 21-Alpha
    Agreed, but all we do is ignore the production failures; it's quite simple.

    And if it were a "real" scenario that would be completely and utterly stupid: You'd have no way to distinguish between a graduated Lt who works as an Academy instructor, and a Lt who is at the Academy and attending further training courses.

    Valeris was a costuming error; it's as simple as that. By rights she ought to have been wearing operations gold for her undertunic, so the fact that they mixed in a red undertunic is the absolute least of my concerns.

    On this it seems we all agree. I'd go so far as to suggest that Saavik had graduated as a junior science(s) officer some time prior to TWOK, supported by her manning Navigation during that film (Chekov setting the precedent, IIRC he was able to stand-in at the science station in TOS), and then assigned as Science Officer, probably Head of Sciences; or possibly even Exec on Grissom.

    A) TOS has little to do with this, as the 1701-C appeared in a TNG episode.
    B) Go and count all of the costumes used for Starfleet guest appearances on TNG, go on. I dare ya. When you compile a complete list and you've determined how many were right or wrong, come back and we'll talk.

    And when have they stuck with these mistakes? Even Tuvok eventually was given appropriate rank insignia. (and then later on promoted up to LtCmdr).

    Trying to wrangle up some other "complex (or flexible) model" for Starfleet is not the simple option. You're trying to fix something that wasn't broken to begin with. And as far as those models being valid is concerned: I'll take Bob Fletcher's word over yours any day of the week! :p

    It sounds more like what you're saying is: You want to replace one model which was perfectly rational, and despite your protestations is not really that complex; comes from a member of the original production team, and furthermore was adhered to in all subsequent productions (albeit somewhat sloppily by the time of TNG) with something infinitely less consistent, and over-complicated -- all so you can fit production flubs into your personal head canon.

    And yet we see a large number of extras in the later TOS movies manning assorted stations on the various bridges. It could very well be that by the 2340s we see the outcome of a long slide towards greater complements of enlisted crew versus officers. Likewise, there are a good 20/+ years until TNG rolls out so that the reverse may have occurred (though with the Ent-D being the flagship by that point, this may not be par for the course throughout the fleet!) ETA: I assume of course you mean rank scheme, not uniform; since by that era the uniforms are... *ahem* uniform for all personnel.

    Not that I'm necessarily arguing the point on this one - it's merely a possibility.

    Good point - this could be taken as supporting that this is merely an Auxiliary Control, and that the regular bridge officers are corpses somewhere on the Main Bridge. :D

    In your opinion. Personally I'll take the official production materials as they were intended, and consider this to be another TNG-era production c^ck up... :vulcan:
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    To put the fundamental problem simply, it is your approach that is "head canon", because it is in clear conflict with onscreen facts, that is, the Star Trek universe as portrayed to us. Errors are onscreen facts, therefore real. Schemes are offscreen ideas, therefore unreal and irrelevant. They just confuse the issue, creating expectations the actual show doesn't always meet.

    I'll go for the dare over the weekend, but I'll just clarify in advance that I'll be counting speaking-part guest stars rather than recycled extras (speaking or non-speaking). Although the latter present a problem of their own when the same face is associated with multiple colors of uniform...

    That's a strong candidate for an explanation. OTOH, that would force us to invent an excuse for why Garrett abandoned her post up there...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    I thought that there was (i.e. that the counterpart to Worf's console on the Hathaway had just been removed or dismantled, leaving his as the only one left) but that's not the case. On that ship, the captain's chair and that one console are all that there is at that location. You can tell by the pedestal they're sitting on. There's no room for an equivalent console on the other side of the captain - the pedestal is built for exactly that width, for the command chair and the one console. That's it. Neither of them is at center.

    Which is odd, really. Although I chalk this up to my irritating sense of order. I hate it when bridges aren't symmetrical.
     
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
    But not always meaningful, and therefore could be ignored as being either isolated cases or just minor breaches of protocol that nobody noticed. In the case of Valeris' shirt, for example, it actually works just as well to assume that the quartermaster simply ran out of red shirts in her size and gave her a white one instead.

    Considering Chief O'Brien has effectively never been an officer throughout TNG, despite occasionally having the pips for it, it's entirely likely that a lot of the extras running around on the ship during TNG's run aren't actually officers at all. There may be some cosmetic difference in O'Brien's pips that doens't show up on screen; say, the officers pips are silver while the noncoms are bronze? The only thing indicating O'Brien might be an officer is when Riker calls him "Lieutenant" in that one episode; easily explained by saying Riker wasn't paying attention and misspoke.
     
  9. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Well, by "other side of the bridge", I meant that there might be a match to the other console that we see on the side of the bridge when everyone first comes in. We don't see the corresponding part of the set on the starboard side, so there conceivably could be one sitting there. In production reality theyre probably wasn't, since that and Worf's console are two elements of a pair of consoles we usually see on guest starships; but in-universe, assuming the side console was part of a symmetrical setup, there could have been a third console on teh starboard side of the bridge.

    But as I mentioned earlier, I like the notion that the two-seat central config we saw was hastily slapped together by someone before the Hathaway was towed to the site of the exercises. IMO it could easily represent the bare minimum that a crew would need to fly and fight the ship (something we sorta see again in "Relics" with Geordi manning the CO seat with con/ops panels and Scotty backing him up on the engineering console in that case) so that's what they started with.

    For all we know, in the latter part of the episode both the side console we see and a potential third console were both manned and simply out of sight since we don't see them at all after the establishing shot later on. IMO no, but we can't positively rule it out.

    Mark
     
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    IIRC, the dual setup of Riker's command chair and Worf's console is at the dead center of the bridge. Both of those things themselves are off center, of course, but the midpoint between them is the center.

    Although I do agree that this was probably an emergency bridge just thrown together at random. There's no way Starfleet would design a real bridge that looked like that. As I said, it looks bad because it's not symmetrical.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Well, life isn't. And in this particular case, it's amusing to note that the uniform colors of TOS originally had no discernible meaning. If there was any rhyme or reason to them, it was invented afterwards - and certainly shouldn't be set in stone, as "afterwards" is still ongoing.

    Or was speaking to Worf; our favorite Klingon at the time was both discussing the very subject Riker commented on, and being particularly thickheaded and possibly in need of some otherwise extraneous-sounding remarks. :devil:

    Good point, and another odd configuration for a bridge. Especially one supposedly sitting beneath a neat round dome, one we see in the exterior view to closely resemble those of the hero cruisers.

    Although we get no actual confirmation that this location would be the ship's bridge. The away team probably homed in on the only signs of life or energy aboard - and these emanated from Scotty's jury-rigged transporter, which may have been situated in a transporter room (a small one dedicated to crew rather than passenger/cargo use), or in a room of some other function but featuring a small transporter (like the K-7 manager's office).

    On the other hand, we saw that at least one of Kirk's old transporter rooms had a viewscreen. And while the Jenolan location appears to have a Helm/Nav pulpit, the TOS ship had a pulpit just like the TOS Helm/Nav at the transporter room...

    It would make some sense for Scotty to have chosen an engineering-related space as his survival bunker, and to have the ability to fly the old ship from there.

    Yup. But there is an unused pulpit to port (audience right) of this raised central area that features these two chairs, and the question goes, is there another such unused pulpit to starboard (audience left) for symmetry?

    The ladder-pillar thing creates asymmetry, but not necessarily more than the asymmetric door layouts of many bridges. On the other hand, the TOS movie bridges were also asymmetric, with the prominent weapons console to port but nothing comparable to starboard.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    True dat. But at least the actual 'meat and potatoes' of the bridge - the center - has always been symmetrical, in every Starfleet bridge we've ever seen. Every real one, anyway. Which lends credence to the theory that the Hathaway bridge was just a temporary one built from junk and discarded gear.
     
  13. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    It's not just that console - heck, with the exception of the central three seats and the turbolifts (and whatever console is aft of the CO chair in a given movie), NONE of those stations are symmetrical in size or shape for the first four TOS movies.

    And regarding the Jenolan, she had a con/ops console AND a CO chair, which Geordi used at the end with its popout consoles kinda hard to justify both in a transporter room...

    http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/s6/6x04/relics037.jpg

    Incidentally, that CO chair was an E-D style chair with the older popout consoles, i.e. the one that Picard uses in the first season, albeit with slightly different consoles (perhaps they had been removed in the interm and needed replacement?). So the chair design is eighty years old? Is Picard a real softie for antique furniture on his bridge?

    Mark
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Amusingly, several TOS episodes have the centerpiece wantonly rotated for better viewing angles... We might do well to infer that the circular center area indeed can be turned around, as this would better excuse the otherwise dysfunctional layout where many of the stations are hidden behind the CO's back. :)

    Every department has a chief; why not give a throne to the person who presides over these numerous more or less identical-looking consoles (one of which happens to be in front of a big viewscreen, but quite possibly all of them are, including the one Riker and pals access to reincarnate Scotty)?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Weeeeeeeelllllllll....
     
  16. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    Location:
    Deck 13, section 21-Alpha
    Let me re-iterate: Your opinion, based on slavishly adhering to onscreen visuals - even those we know for a fact to be errors - versus production materials from TWOK that have since been referenced by the subsequent productions. I'd sa it's pretty obvious to most people which is best taken as anything near to gospel.
    You're not going to win this, despite the fact that I know you've been banging on this particular drum since at least 2007... ;)
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    I just had another thought about the Hathaway: The set designers probably made such an odd, non-symmetrical setup because Riker and Worf would be the only ones whom we would regularly see on the Ent-D's viewscreen during communications.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    This might be of relevance if non-errors were somehow superior to errors... But there's no real difference. If anything, erroneous Trek writing, costuming and modeling tends to be more interesting than its "thought out" counterparts.

    Timo Saloniemi