Why was their not a navigation station?

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by SignGuyHPW, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I'm surprised no one's made a joke yet about not having a nav station being why Voyager got lost in the Delta Quadrant. Or, they could've gotten home faster, if only they'd had a nav station! ;)
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Perhaps it's because by the time VGR came along, we'd had seven years to get used to helm and navigation being combined in the conn station.
     
  3. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I know you've presented this theory before, and it's starting to make a bit of sense to me now. Roddenberry was an aircraft pilot, and in WWII ships of the type he flew had a separate navigator's station. As technology advanced, navigation duties were eventually handled by computer on larger craft like 747s.

    So perhaps during early starship development, those same advanced navigation systems were adapted to the NX class. By the time of NCC-1701, they realized they needed the separate navigator station again.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In my novel Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures, I do offer an explanation for the addition of a dedicated navigator's station in later ship designs. IIRC, it was so that ships would be able to rely on ongoing, real-time updating of object tracking and navigational data rather than relying on pre-existing maps that might be rendered obsolete by changing conditions. So basically, where NX-01 was constantly relying on "the Vulcan star charts," later ships had navigators whose job it was to maintain and update the charts on a continuous basis, based on things like sensor data and up-to-the-minute status reports from other ships and stations.
     
  5. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Double the silence. Double the pecs!
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    The helm console on Voyager's bridge is fairly wide, in comparison both with the other consoles on the Voyager bridge and with the helm console the Enterprise-D bridge. Tom often rolled his chair around the console to press buttons for special purposes.

    I thought that both of those factors indicated the need for two people to be sitting at the console, for Tom to have a copilot, especially during combat. I don't recall whether there were times when Tom did have a copilot.
     
  7. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Tom's a hands-on, touchy-feely type of guy. See the Delta Flyer's controls and the Delaney Sisters.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, if that had been the case, we would've seen Stadi with a copilot/navigator before the ship's abduction, when it was fully staffed. But we didn't. And the console was designed with a track for the seat to slide on, something that wouldn't have been needed if there were meant to be two people side by side. It was always meant to be a one-man console. Note that NX-01's helm also had a seat that slid back and forth on a track. It's probably just something the show's designers put in to make the operation of the helm look more dynamic.

    Besides, the Galaxy-class starships, the hugest vessels in the fleet, had one-person conn stations, so why would the newer and smaller Intrepid class be so comparatively primitive as to require two people to do the job? We have never, as far as I can recall, seen any 24th-century starship that needed more than one flight controller. Separate helm and navigation stations are unique to the 23rd century.
     
  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    ^ My point is that needing to slide implies having some controls out of reach at all times. That doesn't sound like a good idea, though admittedly failing to fix the problem of exploding consoles going on 100 years after TOS seems like a more serious problem.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Sure, I'm not saying it's a good design. There are lots of designs in Trek that are highly impractical. I'm just saying that it was always intended to be a one-person station.
     
  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Ah, got you.

    I guess what I'm getting at also is that every time I saw Tom slide back and forth, it drew a red circle in my brain around the fact that there wasn't someone else sitting beside him. In designing the Voyager bridge set, they put something in front of the captain that resembled the TOS helm/nav desk, but they kept to having only one person behind it, like in TNG, but manning all that.

    That seemed a little strange to me.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Like I said, it was probably meant to be more visually dynamic -- and maybe to allow setting up different camera angles with Paris in the foreground and other characters in the background as needed.
     
  13. cylkoth

    cylkoth Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly. With the ENT-D having 3 seats in the Captain/command circle, putting 2 separate stations for helm and ops balanced the set's layout... when the designers settled on Voyager having only 2 primary command seats (yes, there were spaces on either side for additional personnel), having a single position up front made sense, aesthetically.
     
  14. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    ^ Exactly as I said back on page 1 of this thread. :) The Voyager bridge has got both Conn and Ops, just like TNG. But Ops was relocated to the back of the bridge by designer Richard James, apparently for the purposes of making it easier for directors to frame shots. In TNG they always had to work around having both stations at the front and sometimes needing to cut between actors, but in Voyager they could do loads of one-takes of Paris in the foreground and Kim in the background, or Paris in the foreground and the Captain in the background, or Paris in the foreground and Tuvok in the background..... just by moving the camera a little bit they could make the shots much more dynamic.

    I think it was director Winrich Kolbe who said the Ent-D bridge set was sometimes a real pain in the ass to work on because it wasn't a very dynamic set. There were only a small handful of things you could do in it with a camera. Voyager's bridge is designed to be more camera friendly. ;)

    (Of course, it also helps that both Conn and Ops are staffed by regulars, whereas on TNG once Wesley left the Conn was more often than not staffed by either a guest star, a semi-regular or a non-speaking extra. Voyager never had that problem because Paris was front and centre and was always there.)