The uniform change around 2350

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Lord Garth, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    For decades, from as early as 2278 ("Cause and Effect" - TNG) to as late as 2349 ("Family" - TNG), Starfleet had the TWOK-style uniforms. They may have been modified later on but it was still basically the same uniform for over 70 years.

    Then, by 2354 ("Violations" - TNG), Starfleet has changed over to the early-TNG uniforms.

    Now, think about that for a moment: there's a major difference between those two uniforms and it seems like it would be a radical change to go straight from one to the other.

    What prompted going from a multi-piece uniform (including the jacket) that looks militaristic and probably too fomral for its own good to one-piece spandex jumpsuits?

    There must've been a change in Starfleet's outlook or philosophy around then. Or the times must have been changing. What would've been changing and what would the uniforms be reflecting as a result?
     
  2. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The same question could be asked about the dramatic change in uniforms from TOS and TMP. Then again between the time of TMP and TWOK.

    Maybe Starfleet was more in a military mode during those years and then by the time of TNG was more of an exploration mode?

    That or the uniform designers lost the highly coveted Starfleet contract, and the top brass went with someone else by TNG.
     
  3. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't this around the same time as the Cardassian border conflicts? I'm not sure what one would have to do with the other, but it's a possibility.
     
  4. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    I don't think the TOS->TMP change was as dramatic as the TMP->TWOK or the TWOK->TNG changes were.

    From TMP->TWOK, I can see it as a combination of the TMP uniforms being unpopular (mirroring real-life cast discomfort and fan reaction) and Starfleet wanting to go for a more militaristic look. I'd think it would be easier for a military to want to look more military than to look less.

    For the TOS->TMP switch, I think it was an experiment: changing the colors of the tunics and having the lower-body match upper. It's more of a major modification than a complete and total change from scratch.

    With the TWOK->TNG switch, I'm leaning heavily towards the absence of the Romulans for decades, friendship with the Klingons, and only worrying about Cardassians in remote border disputes, leading Starfleet taking a less aggressive look since there was less of a need for it and it showed that Starfleet was more evolved.

    Maybe with Starfleet becoming more exploratory again, there was a feeling of nostalgia for Kirk's time during the five-year mission and might've been an influence for designers who wanted to go in a different direction.

    Neither do I, really, but I think fashion reflects the times no matter what century it is.
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Times like this, I like to stick my fingers in my ears and pretend really really hard that TNG actually takes place something like twenty years after TUC. The entire Trekiverse just works so much better without that big weird 80 year gap of nothing crammed into the timeline.
     
  6. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    what?

    eighty years of NOTHING?

    the Tomed Incident? the Betreka Nebula Incident? Narendra III and Khitomer? the Cardassian, Talarian and Tzenkethi conflicts? the battle of Maxia? a Tholian attack on a starbase?
     
  7. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    Well, more like 30 years of nothing.

    It does seem really stagnant in the middle of the missing years, where there's absolutely nothing from 2311-2344. The Star Trek Universe seems like it was in a deep freeze between the Tomed Incident and the loss of the Enterprise-C.

    EDIT: If I were TPTB and revisting the Prime Universe, my second choice for a timeframe (after the 25th Century) would probably be 2326, smack in the middle of what I consider the Dead Period. If anything, so it wouldn't be such an obvious sagging point.
     
  8. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    Yeah, that has always bugged me as well.
     
  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    Peacetime isn't that exciting, perhaps?

    IMO, that's simply what happened during that period. I'm sure there were minor conflicts here and there, but nothing that seriously threatened the survival of the Federation and its member worlds for any real length of time. This period of relative tranquility probably lead to Starfleet to focus more on peaceful pursuits and the TNG uniforms were introduced to reflect this new era in the same way the First Contact uniforms might have reflected a more turbulent time, IMO...
     
  10. barnaclelapse

    barnaclelapse Commodore Commodore

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    They wanted to make up for lost time with something dramatic?

    Not sure. Maybe somebody lost a bet.
     
  11. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    I was thinking about this before I even logged on, and if I were writing stories in that timeframe, I'd put the emphasis on the fact that it's peacetime and then go in a different angle from the late-24th Century (well, mostly just the 2370s). Show what else could happen or what type of progress could be made without the hindrance of interstellar conflict.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The jumpsuit is not new with TNG, they were in TMP for everyone, in TWOK for the junior cadets and the regular crew. One possibility is that the "militaristic" costume was a class A or a dress uniform. Who did we see them on, Kirk (admiral), Spock (senor instructor) and Saavik (senor cadet), the crew running around the Enterprise wore jumpsuits. In TSFS the captain of the Grissum wore his class A uniform on duty. The one-piece jumpsuits at the begining of TNG were nothing new, just a redesign. And the "militaristic" jacket didn't quite disappear, if you look at Picard's formal dress uniform (first season ?), the one with no pants, it sort of the same thing.

    [​IMG]

    From Memory Alpha:
     
  13. NIUPonyBoy

    NIUPonyBoy Captain Captain

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    There were changes in the TWOK style uniform before TNG.

    You see the toned down TWOK styles ones on the holo of Jack sent to Wes and the crew of the ENT-C.
     
  14. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    If you mean they wore them without shirts and belts, then yes.
     
  15. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    It could have been a period of rapid expansion in both geographical size and membership numbers for the Federation. The Enterprise-B may have had her part in all of that, IMO, with first contacts and interstellar diplomacy being her primary mission during that time (perhaps prompting Starfleet to make modifications to the original TWOK uniforms to make them look less "militaristic?").

    Elsewhere in the Galaxy, the Klingon-Romulan alliance may have been coming to an ugly end, with the Federation being a neutral observer (for now anyway)...
     
  16. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This reminds me of a similar issue in the Texas History Museum. There is one small room dedicated to the time between Reconstruction and the Texas centennial in 1936. Basically nothing exciting happened for 50 years in Texas.
     
  17. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, I was thinking more about technological and political development. TNG just doesn't seem like eighty years of advancement from the TOS movies. Still using phasers and photon torpedoes, still grappling with an uneasy peace with the Klingons, still using Miranda and Excelsior class ships with a smattering of new designs here and there. Same shuttles as TFF, but different nacelles and windows. Basically the same transporters. On top of that, no new weapon developments until later in DS9.

    Just doesn't seem like a mid-to-late 24th century level of development. Early 24th, maybe (which would be consistent with it being "the next generation." Most of the 24th century events--Cardassian Wars, Tomed Incident, etc--could easily have taken place during Kirk's era; hell, the Tomed Incident might well be the Federation word for what Romulans call "The Enterprise Incident."
     
  18. Data Holmes

    Data Holmes Admiral Admiral

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    Military advancements happen in spurts, and usually tied to a war. During peace time, most military build upon what they have at the time, if they expand at all that is. Most of the time, peace sees a shrinking/cutting back of the military.
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ True as that is, nothing stimulates weapons development like a cold war/arms race. That, arguably, is what Starfleet was left with after the Khitomer Accords, at least insofar as the Romulans.

    Besides which, "relative peace" is something you get when all the people who used to be hostile to you no longer are for some reason. As the Federation expands, it is constantly running into people who aren't very peaceful (Cardassians, Talarians, etc) and some older adversaries remain very much un-peaceful too (the Gorn, the Tholians, the Sheliak, the Suliban probably). In light of the galaxy--even the Federation's tiny corner of it--being very big and very dangerous, TNG just doesn't seem to show eighty years of political or technological development, especially with ships like the Stargazer and the Saratoga still being in service.

    It just seems to me that TNG would fit alot better without that big historical gap between the two eras. A more direct overlap would tie the technology and politics together more coherently to smoothe the transition; if, for example, Jean Luc Picard has memories of participating in the Battle of Khitomer as an ensign on the Excelsior, putting some personal as well as universe historical context on exactly where the Enterprise-D stands in the scheme of things.

    But again, that's just me. The reboot of the franchise means I'm just one of a million trekkies who will probably never get my way :D
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding the sudden appearance of the jackets in ST2, well, perhaps it wasn't all that sudden. Both TOS and TMP featured jackets to be worn over the usual wear, even though these were very rarely used. But we might argue that the jackets were formal wear, while the jumpsuits or shirts were casual wear - and Kirk seldom had reason to go formal. When he did, his attire of choice did indeed feature a jacket.

    Perhaps TMP was a rare case of casual Friday back on Earth? Or perhaps summertime in San Fran? Generally, people operating from or near Earth or on important missions of representation might be required to don their ST2 jackets, whereas officers in deep space all on their own might wear just the colorful turtlenecks with their black pants, looking very much like their TOS colleagues.

    Either that, or then Starfleet tightened some purse strings in the 2280s and lowered temperatures aboard its vessels.

    Timo Saloniemi