Picard qualified to command Enterprise?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by dstyer, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. dstyer

    dstyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    A question (after all these years) just came to me about Captain Picard. Based on the history of the show, this man had a previous command that ended in the loss of a ship and a court-martial. That was followed by an apparent undocumented period of approximately 8 years that in seven years of episodes we never heard anything about. What made Starfleet decide that a captain with one command that ended in relative failure should be given the honor of the command of the Federation flagship?
     
  2. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A court martial was standard procedure then for the loss of a ship. He was acquitted on any charges, so it was hardly a disqualifying mark on his career.

    Really there's any number of things he could have been doing besides commanding a Starship. He could have been doing his archaeology thing, he could have had a desk at Starfleet command, he could be teaching at the Academy or doing his diplomat/mediator thing. Picard did say he represented the Federation in first contact with a ton of worlds after all.
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In Picard's ready room there is a display model of a Constellation Class starship, one of Picard previous commands. There is also a painting of the Enterprise, his current command.

    In Picard's quarters there is a painting of a space station. This I feel represents another of Picard's commands, and where he spent at least some of the eight "unaccountable" years.

    :devil: :devil: :devil:





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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Well, Picard commanded the Stargazer for twenty-two years before it was lost. Then he was absolved of any wrongdoing in its loss.

    So even if he spent eight years behind a desk, I don't see anything that would damage his chances at another command.
     
  5. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't he work for one of the Admirals from "Conspiracy" in those 8 years? Maybe it was that guy's influence.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Admiral Quinn. No information is given one way or another on their history.
     
  7. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I would say Picard was more qualified than that guy who became captain just because his daddy worked on the Warp 5 engine.
     
  8. The Librarian

    The Librarian Commodore Commodore

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    A starbase command would make sense, and one of the big ones could certainly be prestigious depending on its location and importance. An admiral's chief of staff would also work. Really, it shouldn't be unusual for people to have 'shore' or flag staff postings between shipboard duty.
     
  9. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Picard came up with a brilliant tactic while fighting against the Ferengi. He was not responsible for the loss of the ship just like Kirk could not do anything besides blowing up the Enterprise in TSFS.
     
  10. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    We don't exactly know the time frame in which Picard's assignment to the Ent-D spanned. We do know that it was a year after it was launched from the Utopia Planitia shipyards that he actually took command. He could have been in line for that posting long before the ship was commissioned or even completely constructed, and taking interim postings

    As for the years awaiting his next command, there's been some good theories here, the space station he displays in his quarters, working for Admiral Quinn. Picard apparently conducted at least one inspection tour (& probably others) where he first met Geordi, & decided he wanted him on his next command

    So in short.... he was working for Starfleet, waiting for another ship, or perhaps the best ship he could get, which would certainly take some time. Starships don't grow on trees, but try telling that to Will Riker

    I would think that commanding the Stargazer for 22 years, with distinction, and found innocent of any wrong doing connected to it's loss, would be consistent with considering Picard a captain of the highest standing, such that with the proper patience & maneuvering he could land the new galaxy class flagship
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just to be accurate, we have no idea how long Picard commanded the Stargazer. Might have been 22 years (which sounds like severe career stagnation), might have been more like three.

    The 22-year reference was part of the original character concept and mentioned in the writers' guide, but the reference never made it into any episode or movie. Basically, from the episodes we only know that the Stargazer was Picard's first command, and also that Picard commanded the ship at the time of her loss in 2354, and we have no info on other commands of his before the E-D.

    This allows for all sorts of interpretations, including one or more ships under his command between the known two ones; one or more ships under his command between putative two periods commanding the Stargazer; all sorts of other commands that did not involve starships and therefore might not have been a consideration when Picard claimed to Scotty that the Stargazer was his first command; and a host of exotic ideas about secret commands, temporary retirements and whatnot.

    One would think Picard would need to spend a lot of time away from the isolation of starships and mingling with important people in order to secure command of the "Federation flagship". On the other hand, his association with Adm. Nechayev and the fact that he was the extremely unlikely candidate picked for a special ops mission in "Chain of Command" might suggest a cloak-and-dagger line of work during the "missing years".

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Not stated explicitly, but we know that he was one of the youngest captains in the fleet (Conspiracy) that the Stargazer was his first command (Relics) and that he lost that command nine years prior to taking over the Enterprise (The Battle).

    So based on what we believe his age to be, I think 22 years commanding the Stargazer is a pretty good guess.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...To nitpick further, we don't really know he was among the youngest captains (or Captains?) in Starfleet. That reference from "Conspiracy" might have been aimed at Captain Keel or Captain Rixx instead.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    After the Captain and first officer were killed, Lt. Commander Picard took command of the Stargazer. But did he keep command? Or subsequent was a Captain of rank placed in the Captain's chair and Picard taking command (his first command) of the Stargazer only sometime prior to Jack Crusher death?

    Picard, after briefly being in command of the Stargazer, might have serve on different ships, in different capacities, reaching the position of first officer on one of those ships. And only then returning to the Stargazer as it's Captain.


    :devil:
     
  15. scotthm

    scotthm Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's a sign of a stagnant career, and would seem to be a strike against him, IMO.

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  16. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, Picard was offered the role of Commandant of Starfleet Academy early on by Admiral Quinn. I'd imagine he'd have had prior academy teaching experience to be offered such a post.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Or that the ship was sent out on assignments that lasted years at a time. Kirk commanded the Enterprise off and on for twenty-eight years. We know Spock served aboard for a stint of sixteen years in a row, eleven with Pike and five with Kirk.

    It's obvious that Starfleet looks at staying in one place a long time differently than we do today. :techman:
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But similar to Picard and the Stargazer, prior to his time with Kirk, how long was Spock with the Enterprise? Spock served with Pike for Eleven years, four months, five days.

    Pike and Spock were both aboard the Enterprise thirteen years before the events of The Menagerie, when the ship went to Talo Four. And they were both (presumable) aboard the ship just prior to Kirk taking command.

    But was Spock continuously aboard the Enterprise the entire span of time?
     
  19. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The original premise for TNG was that the Enterprise-D was going to be out on the edge of known space for 2 decades and would rarely have contact with Starfleet. I'm guessing that in the past other starships were sent out on long deep space voyages and Stargazer was one. So it's not really some kind of career staller to be on a long deep space voyage.

    My theory on Picard's whereabouts in the year between the Stargazer and th ENT-D is that he was working for Starfleet Intelligence and that's why there's never been any dialog aboutt hose missing years...it's classified.
     
  20. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Picard's just not the intelligence type.