Do you think there should have been more stories focused on the families and civilians on the ship?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Skipper, Feb 19, 2024.

  1. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As you all know, the initial idea was that the Enterprise crew would have to bring their families with them as they were engaged in a very long mission "where no one has gone before".

    In reality this concept has been used very little or not at all (I think not even 2-3 episodes on this?). I actually think there could have been some interesting stories. People who aren't professional explorers thrown into the midst of Borg, Romulians, spatial anomalies and who knows how much else. Children forced to share the same risks as adults, without being able to fully understand what is happening. For example, it would have been interesting to have a story about, I don't know, a husband of a crew member torn between love and an objective fear of what could have happened to him.

    So the question is this: do you think there should have been more stories about Enterprise civilians, or were they right to gloss over the subject to avoid, well, unpleasant questions? I only remember one time Picard wondered if he should bring children with him and Troy brushed his doubts away with a couple of lines.
     
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  2. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    By the way, I think all children raised on the Enterprise suffer from some form of PTSD as adults, triggered by any sound resembling a "Red Alert"...
    [​IMG]
     
  3. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well they did have some civilian characters in Worf's son, and Keiko, OBrians wife, Guinan, and a few others, like that planet kidnapping all the children.

    In the grand scheme of things, the Enterprise D was suppose to be a "Safe" posting, as in it seemingly didn't go to far from the federation boarder, not a "5 year Mission" but mostly doing work in the safer space. Now, as always, not a guarantee that its 100% safe, It's space.

    For me, with DS9, the first episode, where Sisko's wife dies, WHY was she there in the first place? Its not like it was a pop up emergency, they had time to bring together the fleet, so why where any civilians onboard a ship that was going to fight the borg? Transfer to a safe ship, or throw them in a shuttle or escape pod before the battle.
    Same with the D, the saucer section was suppose to separate in emergency's

    But I agree, maybe a few episodes showing some daily life of a civilian, but honestly it wouldn't be much different from any other story, Life on the Enterprise.
     
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  4. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They even abandoned the idea of having civilians and children wandering the corridors. Even that small detail would have continued the concept. But, I guess that would have increased costs to have extras in costumes added to short walk-and-talk scenes.
     
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  5. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I remember watching Generations with some friends who had never seen TNG. There was the scene when they evacuated the children on the saucer. After the film one of the friends asked me a little perplexed: "But why were there children???".

    Me: "It's complicated...":whistle:
     
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  6. MrPicard

    MrPicard Jean-Luc's Loving Husband Fleet Captain

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    Considering how terrible the TNG writers could be when it came to writing relationships, I'm not sure I'd have liked to see more stories about civilians... ;)

    I do think there should have been a LOT more discussions about civilans on a starship tho. Especially families. I can understand bartenders and whatnot, but families? After the ship encountered threats like the Borg?! I realize that the Enterprise-D was supposed to be away from Earth for a long time etc, but I'm not sure I agree with the logic of "I'd rather take my family along and make them face the same mortal danger I face than having them relatively safe back on Earth". I know the subject popped up from time to time but nobody ever really questioned it much. (Aside from Jean-Luc every now and then.) I'd have liked an episode where Jean-Luc marches into Starfleet Headquarters like "STARFLEET, WHY ARE THERE CHILDREN ABOARD MY SHIP WHEN WE FACE THREATS LIKE THE BORG"
     
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  7. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He tried. Troy just answered "Oh well, they can die here as well on Earth. What's the difference?".
     
  8. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well not everybody is from Earth, not even every Human. As we can tell from Deneva and the Crystaline enity that colony worlds aren't exactly 100% safe either.
    Certain species, especially ones that are rare in starfleet service may require companionship, a mate or family for emotional support.
    but as said, Family's wouldn't be on every ship, even married couples may not serve on the same ship even if there both in starfleet.
    I agree that with a spouse, another adult, they can accept the danger of space service, but having kids there, they may find it cool, but it is quite dangerous, and consular should talk to the kids regularly to make sure there okay.
     
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  9. BillJ

    BillJ The King of Kings Premium Member

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    No. They were already entertainment death when they showed up.
     
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've been googling around on the topic a bit to find some behind the scenes information. And the consensus is: the kids on board were entirely Roddenberry's idea that everyone found stupid and yet no one had the courage to tell him. And how difficult it was to write episodes that focused on the kids on the Enterprise while trying to gloss over how stupid the concept was.
     
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  11. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    More stories.
     
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  12. Oddish

    Oddish Admiral Admiral

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    Hmmm...
    "When the Bough Breaks" :thumbdown:
    "The Bonding" :rolleyes:
    "Imaginary Friend" :shrug:
    "New Ground" :mad:
    "Rascals" :barf:

    No. They should not have.
     
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  13. at Quark's

    at Quark's Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I had to look 3 of those up, to check which stories they were, which is telling in itself, I suppose.

    The only small element of rascals I like is young Ro vs young Guinan.
     
  14. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    I liked "Rascals", for the most part. Young Ro, Guinan, and Picard were fun.

    Young Keiko, whining that adult Miles wouldn't touch her the same way he'd touch an adult woman was just creepy, like it never occurred to her that Miles would have reservations about intimacy with someone who was physically 12 years old.
     
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  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, they had been married for how long and she needed the comfort of her husband in the moment.

    Rationally, of course she has reservations, but like Picard wanted to remain captain, Keiko tries to carry on regardless. Keep calm, etc.
     
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  16. aquova

    aquova Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, this is my opinion as well. Disaster might be the one example where the kids positively contributed to an episode, but even then they weren't the main focus and weren't even the highlight. In most situations they were a big drag.
     
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  17. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At least not in series like TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager.

    Maybe in some special family-related series.

    Personally I can live without them. I do find Voyager's Real Life (why do I always start to write "Still Life" whcih is a somewhat nightmarish Iron Maiden song? ;) ) one of the worst episodes in the first three seasons of the show.

    Not to mention all TNG episodes with Worf's son Alexander. :(

    As for the episodes you mention above, I actually like Imaginary Friend. It was a little spooky.
     
  18. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Commodore Commodore

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    Not in this version of TNG. If there had been a version of TNG where they were actually out in deep space and wouldn't see home for like twenty years then sure. I think the Resolute from "Lost in Space" did the Enterprise and families much better than TNG.
     
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  19. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This would have posed another interesting ethical question. In "Lost in The Space" the Earth was dying and abandoning it would have been the only hope of salvation for the children. But in TNG, Earth is basically a utopia. By what right do families deprive their children of the opportunity to grow up there by exposing them to terrifying risks? I doubt that a 16-year-old's dream is to spend his adolescence locked in a flying can, with the occasional Romulian attack or Borg kidnapping as entertainment. Yes, I know that in the real world, military families don't exactly live dream lives, but it's not as if soldiers literally take their family members into war zones.
     
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  20. Oddish

    Oddish Admiral Admiral

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    Both DS9 and Voyager had workable premises for including kids in the ship/station company. And, the situation we saw in SNW would have worked, as long as the Enterprise was actually on a deep space exploration mission: just have the cure turn up, but the ship is too far out to go home to deliver one person.