Continuity of TNG

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by CPT Baldwin, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. CPT Baldwin

    CPT Baldwin Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    1. Why does Miles O'Brien have the rank of lieutenant when it's been stated that he didn't attend the Academy or have a commissioned position? Hence the chief petty officer.

    2. Holographic matter cannot exist outside of the holodeck. As we found out in "The Big Goodbye". Therefore, why does the piece of holographic paper maintain existence outside the holodeck in "Elementary Dear Data"??

    Any more issues??
     
  2. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I believe it was some sort of temporary appointment ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acting_(rank)#United_States_Navy ) when Enterprise was still relatively new to fill some positions until they received the rest of the permanently assigned crew - recall even their XO doesn't show until during the first episode. Once the crew was fully up to strength, O'Brien reverted back to his original/permanent rank as a CPO.
     
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  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The writers and the costuming department didn't hit it off. Too much textile dust and too many allergies, I guess.

    However, we can steer around this on both sides of the marker buoy. Nobody ever refers to O'Brien as "lieutenant" in dialogue, so the rank pins are our only real worry. (Yeah, Riker speaks to a Lieutenant in "Where Silence Has Lease", but obviously that's Lieutenant Worf!) And of course the enlisted folks need rating pins of some sort, with differing numbers of symbols for different ranks. So first O'Brien has one pip, then two, and by the time of DS9 he still has the same two - only now explicitly coupled with three chevrons, which during TNG were somehow implicit...

    Because the user wanted it to. The holodeck is a user-pleasing device, and by no means short on means to do the pleasing. Just replicate the paper. And dereplicate it if the user changes his mind.

    Well, that very same piece of paper. Note how Data flips it to demonstrate what is on it. So he was originally holding it upside down! Why?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  4. CPT Baldwin

    CPT Baldwin Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Riker DOES refer to O'Brien as Lieutenant in an episode; that much is true hence the question lol.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, let's debate that one.

    Riker asks O'Brien whether he can transport the boarding party to the bridge the mysterious "Yamato". When O'Brien nods, Worf chimes in, suggesting tactics. "Recommend the aft station of the bridge!" is what he contributes, to which Riker then says "Agreed. Aft station, Lieutenant".

    Even though O'Brien then beams Riker and Worf to said aft station, it's equally natural to assume Riker was speaking to Worf there.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Because O'Brien was a character who evolved gradually bit by bit rather than through any kind of systematic plan, so the idea of making him a chief petty officer came along well after they'd first put him in a uniform with lieutenant's pips. And it took them a while after that to get around to designing a pip for a CPO. Series fiction is often made up on the fly and so there are things in early episodes that get overwritten by later continuity. You see a lot of this in early TOS -- James R. Kirk, lithium crystals, Vulcanians, UESPA, etc. There was a fair amount of it in early TNG too, particularly because of the behind-the-scenes chaos and the heavy turnaround in the creative staff in the first season or two.

    I don't think Roddenberry even wanted there to be enlisted personnel in TNG. By that point, he'd adopted the idea that all Starfleet personnel would be highly trained spacefarers and the equivalent of officers.


    The "holodeck matter" thing was a simplification for onscreen dialogue. The actual operation of the holodeck, as explained in the behind-the-scenes technical notes and eventually the TNG Technical Manual, involved a mix of holograms and shaped force fields to simulate large or mobile constructs and replicators to create real props and items that players would interact with (for instance, food or drink replicated on the holodeck would be real).

    I think the writer of "Elementary" intended the paper's survival to be a clue that Picard was lying to Moriarty about his inability to survive outside, but I'm glad they cut that out, both because it contradicts the tech notes and because it casts Picard in a bad light.
     
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  7. Takeru

    Takeru Space Police Commodore

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    O'Brien was supposed to be a Lieutenant, chief was his job title (short for transporter chief) not a rank. Making him a chief petty officer later was a retcon and quite frankly a silly one. There should be no disctinction between commissioned and non commissioned officers, not in an egalitarian society like Star Trek's.

    On DS9 he was the chief engineer, a part of the senior staff and often bossed commissioned officers around so why keep pretending he's "different". He should have been a Lt. Commander at that point, academy or not, who cares? Definitely not starfleet, they were okay with Wesley being a full ensign before he ever set foot on the academy campus.
     
  8. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's not a social distinction, it's a matter of function. The officer corps and the NCO corps exist to fulfill two different places in how things work.
    [/QUOTE]
     
  9. Takeru

    Takeru Space Police Commodore

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    It used to be a social distinction and by the 24th century I'd expect it to be completely abolished, there's no reasons officers can't do NCO's jobs or the other way around.
     
  10. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    I can answer #2. Some things from the holodeck are replicated. Same reason you can eat holographic food and have it not disappear from your stomach.
     
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  11. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've never found the "everyone in Starfleet is an officer" thing to make a whole lot of sense. The enlisted/officer divide works just fine - and I say this as someone who was an NCO in the US Army.

    Commissioned officers are broadly trained "generalists". Enlisted personnel are more narrowly trained in a specific specialty. I was an enlisted solider, and later an NCO in the US Army and rarely if ever felt I was being "discriminated" against by officers. I had my place in the system, and they had theirs (and they were more than welcome to it, IMO). And pretty much everyone respected that.

    Not everyone in the service needs (or wants) to have a four year degree and a commission, and it would be a waste of and a strain on resources to insist on such. Not every job needs that level of education/training in any case. An enlisted ordnance specialist, for example, just needs to know how to do the job they're expected to be doing. And the NCO Corps fills a valuable niche as a sort of middle management. The officers decide what needs to be done, the NCO's ensure it gets done. And a career NCO is an invaluable resource to a new young Ensign or Second Lieutenant - while an Ensign may outrank a CPO, a smart ensign will listen to the advice/guidance of a CPO who may have as much time in the service as the ensign has been alive.
     
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  12. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What you clearly failed to notice, was that O'Brien's pips are 11% smaller, and 12% less shiny, indicating an enlisted man... Obviously:p
     
  13. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just remember, O'Brien technically had to call Nog "Sir"
     
  14. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    The melding of force fields, imagery, and replicator technologies for smaller items (to save on energy strain?) was pretty brilliant. A shame more hadn't been said earlier as that would also allow Picard to stay in a good light.

    Plus, if they could create actual beings from replicators - just think of the children ramifications! "What would God need with a starship?" as impetuously asked by Kirk in STV also gets an answer accidentally in the process.

    Though also note that Geordie is holding it upside down while viewing and recognizing the shape Moriarty drew, a simple turn of the paper horizontally rather than vertically would have resolved the issue and still keep the cliffhanger drama. :D
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I dunno, it seems really overcomplicated compared to modern virtual reality concepts. By the 24th century you could probably project sensory illusions directly into the brain.
     
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    Or like in “Encounter at Farpoint” you have Wesley emerge from the holodeck dripping wet after his fall in the river, and he was leaving a puddle of water on the deck (of course then it would’ve been great if the holodeck had dematerizlized the water from Wesley’s clothes, since he could’ve left dry). Or “Angel One” where Picard and Worf get hit by snowballs (and their uniforms get wet as the snowballs melt) that Wesley and his friend through, as Picard and Worf are walking past the holodeck!

    But the holodeck must have a replicator built in, since if you are running a program, and you walk in in one costume (and I’m not referring to Riker’s costume overlay from “These Are The Voyages”) but need to change into another costume during your program (I.e. you’re in a novel and you need to change from your character’s normal clothes to formal clothes for a Royal ball), if you exit the holodeck, and you didn’t change back, is the computer going to dematerialize your costume and have you leave in your underwear or even in your birthday suit?
     
  17. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    he probably can't see a thing through that visor
     
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  18. CPT Baldwin

    CPT Baldwin Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    But after Riker says "Agreed", there is a slight pause when he says "Aft station, Lieutenant." O'Brien then says "Aye sir"
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Technically, though, Riker wasn't addressing O'Brien, because at that point there was no character named O'Brien. There was a guy called "Transporter Chief" that Colm Meaney was playing for the second time, after having played a conn officer and a security guard in season 1. The concept of "Chief O'Brien" wouldn't be invented for another five episodes. Like I said, sometimes things in series fiction get created gradually and it's best not to take the early-installment weirdness too literally, because it's all just trial and error.
     
  20. Finn

    Finn Bad Batch of TrekBBS Admiral

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    Shush! We aren’t supposed to notice or speak of it...like Worf’s changing cranial ridges....


    :shifty: