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. Timewalker

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

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    Voyager should have had a few more kids, given that Janeway didn't know they'd only need 7 years to get home. Did she think she'd still be the captain in 70 years?

    At least they should have said what happened to the Borg baby.
     
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  2. Oddish

    Oddish Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed... Janeway should have been seen marrying a few couples, and Neelix could have been drafted to run the nursery once the replicators started working again.

    It never made sense that only one couple wound up getting married in the whole seven years. But then, "doesn't make sense" was almost the norm for VOY.
     
  3. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, it starts with a very large spaceship to run laps in, a stork, a couple of Apis mellifera or similar, and jazz. Just not Dixieland, because you can't dance to it... :shifty::guffaw:

    But do I think the show needed more outright kid stories? Not necessarily, though I liked your idea of their take on experiencing the same issues as the adults (but not all save the day thanks to a cheesy script moment). They did wind down and, once they had the semi-regular recurring Alexander, it all seemed to get too bland. Plus, generally the audiences didn't care for them so instead of doing a dozen kid POV episodes they'd find something else to boost the ratings with.
     
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well not necessarily just the kids, but the civilian families or the partners of crew members too
     
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  5. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given TNG's success rate with telling stories about families, I'm just as glad they didn't, especially if it would have meant fewer of the good stories we got.

    It's a conundrum for the writers though, because the families being onboard in the first place makes sense based on the original premise of the series but makes far less sense in terms of how things ultimately played out...

    Maybe they needed an episode or a short arc where they explained that with the emergence of increased threats from the Borg, Cardassians and Romulans, Starfleet was rethinking its policy on allowing families on certain vessels, including the Enterprise.
     
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  6. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even considering the original premise of the series, IMHO children on the Enterprise makes absolutely no sense. Going "where no one has gone before" is a dangerous activity by its nature. Having children on board is irresponsible towards them and in any case also a liability (in fact in one episode they were kidnapped).
     
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  7. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So do the reverse; have someone take their elderly civilian parent along. Or their irresponsible ex-con sibling. Or their recently widowed/divorced friend, looking for a change of pace.
     
  8. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    How is it better to tell your kids, "Going on a mission for seven years, see you when I get back, if I ever do!"?
     
  9. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A Day-in-the-life kind of episode from a family point of view, dropping kids off at school etc than all hell breaking loose with space battles and boarding parties would have been fascinating.
     
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  10. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Exactly. In the vein of Lower Decks episode. I don't understand why the writers didn't write a story like this for the 6th or 7th season, in which they repeatedly said they were desperate for ideas. On the other hand, they made it clear several times that they didn't really like the concept of families on board and therefore...
     
  11. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    By the way, did they ever say explicitly how many civilians were on board?
     
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  12. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    Not that I recall. Occasional episodes would trot out the parents of some kid in some kid-focused episode, of course, but the show wasn't really conceived as a soap opera either, but usually the idea wasn't even thought about.

    Or, like with saucer separation, showing family stuff took too much away from the stories they preferred telling, and kept focus on it minimal as a result. Honestly, would TNG - if given the same format as "Our House"*,** but in space, really be anywhere near as good?

    * starring Jono himself, Chad Allen, how's that for a fun crossover? :devil:

    ** I'm not saying "Our House" is a bad show, it's just a different format...
     
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  13. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    Not for 26 episodes a year, but who couldn't want a very special episode where the Romulans or Borg appear, start to pewpew*, and all the kids in the classroom are strewn around the room? Alexander** didn't exactly have many stellar episodes, and didn't fifty actors play him in his TNG episodes, but you know he'd land on top of someone and the cranial exoskeleton impacting would require an emergency visit to sickbay? :crazy:


    * Or Ferengi in "Rascals" :whistle: managing to miss the mark in that regard :guffaw:

    ** Oh wait, that's arguably a reason why turning the show into a generic kid drama soap opera would not be effective, look what season 5 started. It's no different than having characters finally marry as, every single time a show does that, it's in their penultimate season. Then again, of all the shows that did that, "Get Smart" was one of the better offenders...
     
  14. JamesRye

    JamesRye Captain Captain

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    I loved TNG because it was an idealised version of the future. In the vast majority of episodes, conflict was avoided and the show was about exploration, not pew pew action.

    Data's day was kind of a nice change of pace in that it showed a day in the life of Data on the Enterprise. I also liked Lower Decks. It could have been cool to have a crisis on the ship - the twist being, we get the story through snippets of information from the main characters - but for the majority of the show, we are with civilians who aren't sure what's happening. But, they have faith in Picard and his team - so that when they ask them to do something crazy, they do it. Disaster was a cool one, with the kids in the turbo lift. Maybe the episode could revolve around the bridge crew trying to evacuate the saucer section following a biological outbreak or something...
     
  15. Herbert

    Herbert Commodore Commodore

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    Good god, NO!
    They polluted enough of the later seasons of TNG with episodes featuring family members, ancillary characters that no one ever cared about, and other filler that makes so many of those later episodes so forgettable. At least 50% (I say 75% at minimum) of that could have been replaced with more action oriented episodes or episodes of actual, you know, exploration of space. Instead we get crap like Dark Page, Rascals, Homeward, Attached, and many many more.
     
  16. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You can't do that with civilians?
     
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  17. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yep. Just a single episode about what it means to be a civilian on the Enterprise. I mean, we had Mask in season 7! Couldn't it have been an episode about the life of any John Smith, husband of a bridge officer who doesn't know if he'll see his wife again after yet another attack by a mysterious cosmic entity?
     
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  18. Herbert

    Herbert Commodore Commodore

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    If the civilian is on the Enterprise and the Enterprise is exploring space then the civilian is involved in space exploration, even if on the periphery
     
  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, yes, which I think is a welcome change of view with the Enterprise D. Having civilians automatically gives us a different perspective from Starfleet. so, if you're going to explore space why not involve civilians?
     
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  20. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This reminds me of a scene in the I Love Lucy episode "Homecoming". Lucy feels left out after all their friends and neighbours worship new movie star Ricky when they return from Hollywood after his movie is filmed. When a reporter comes to interview Lucy, she dismisses Lucy's attempts to tell her own life story, asking only about when Lucy met Ricky. She explains to Lucy that the redhead is only interesting to her readers in how she reflects Ricky (not for her own merits).

    Essentially, the guest civilians are only interesting in how they reflect upon the Starfleet/main characters. In and of themselves, they aren't as interesting to many viewers.