How many shifts on a Starship?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by YARN, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    It's strange. Whenever anything happens on a starship it happens when the captain is on watch.

    Not only is the Enterprise the only ship in range, it always happens when the Captain is on watch.
     
  2. Starfury

    Starfury Captain Captain

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    And there's always a camera-team in the middle, filming all the action. Incredible!
     
  3. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Nobody wants to watch Lt. Sanchez answer hails.
     
  4. Finn

    Finn Admiral Admiral

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    Picard was in his quarters when the plot device of the episode/movie happened in Conspiracy and First Contact (the movie). Picard wasn't in control of the bridge during many episodes like The Neutral Zone, Disaster and Rascals when "something" happened. Janeway wasn't in control when "it happened" in Omega Directive, Time and Again, and the 37s, among others. Sisko most definitely was not in control at OPS when the wormhole was found. Kira "There's your wormhole!" handled the whole thing.

    What's your point?
     
  5. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    LOL

    but... ...whenever they watch footage recorded by the ship it is always the same camera angle the viewer watched earlier (e.g., Star Trek III and watching Spock die in the engine room.

    At any rate, you'd think that they would occasionally mention these other duty shifts and show them transitioning on and off the bridge.
     
  6. Finn

    Finn Admiral Admiral

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    ^shift change was part of the plot in many episodes like Data's Day, Chain of Command (both parts) and The Warhead.
     
  7. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I think starships have automatic transmissions - no shifting required.
     
  8. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    But how many shifts are there on a starship? 3? 4?

    It's nice that some episodes deal with shift changes. It would be a little more realistic if Picard was more often woken up in the middle of sleep or called away from a meal then it is to almost always find him on the bridge when things go sideways.

    What they did worked for the show(s) for the most part, but if one were really trying to flesh things out and break away from the old formula, it would be interesting to see different shift watches interacting with one another.
     
  9. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Commodore Commodore

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    Based on "Chain of Command", it varies per commanding officer. Jellico wanted Enterprise to run with four shifts, which was contrary to Picard and Riker's preference for three.

    Someone from the senior staff is always on duty when "it" happens for the same reason that most of the senior staff is involved on away teams. The command crew are the cast of the show. Gotta keep `em in front of the camera.
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Cartoon Premium Member

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    Then there would be a thread on how Picard is never on the bridge.
     
  11. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    Oh yeah, right. I remember that now. Thanks.

    The other part, no doubt is production costs. Paying other actors to inhabit the bridge is more expensive then just having your main players on the bridge when "it" happens.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There was one time when Jim Kirk was in sick bay with his shirt off when the ship went to red alert (McCoy turned off the signal).

    This gave us the opportunity to watch Kirk strutting down a ship's corridor dhirt less while the theme music to "Shaft" played in the background.
     
  13. Boxyno1

    Boxyno1 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    I think there's been many times when Picard hasn't been on the bridge during an emergency, and according to Data's Day, he doesn't have a shift where he's in command, Data has the night shift, Riker the day shift, and Worf the evening shift. I'd guess that Picard has a ready room shift where he does the 'paper work' and organizes starbase stop offs and potential political, diplomatic or first contact missions.

    Whenever a mission is in progress, that's when Picard is in command, it's almost like Riker is in command of the ship, but whenever there's a mission Picard takes command because he's the senior officer
     
  14. Subcommander R.

    Subcommander R. Commodore Commodore

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    Since submarines (the closest thing to starships today) have an eighteen hour day with six hours on, 12 hours off, three shifts seems likely.
     
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I'd go with three 8-hour shifts. Way back in the beginning (Conscience of the King?) Kirk pointed out they try to simulate Earth's day/night cycle by dimming the lights for half the ship's "day." I'd say a 3 x 8-hour shift schedule works well with that.
     
  16. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not saying it's the same for starships,
    but doesn't the USN have four-hour watches rather than eight-hour shifts?
    Maybe there's something similar for starships, crew can stand watch for a time amounting to an eight-hour shift?
    Dog watch, anyone?
     
  17. KJbushway

    KJbushway Commodore

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    A ship has three shifts I believe. Early morning, day(when the captain is on the bridge), and night time.
    I think each shift is like 8hrs each.
    If not so I am not sure.
     
  18. Subcommander R.

    Subcommander R. Commodore Commodore

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  19. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Usually. But there've been times when something significant happened on TNG or Enterprise (maybe the other series, too, but those two for sure), and the captain was asleep, or at least in his quarters.

    In answer to the question... three 8-hour shifts/watches, I believe.
     
  20. Verteron

    Verteron Lux in tenebris lucet Premium Member

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    It seems pretty standard for the senior command staff to be called to the bridge when an incident occurs, so you get the Captain / XO etc. involved at the earliest opportunity. We've seen Riker, Troi, Data, etc. sitting in Ten Forward or elsewhere when the red alert is sounded and them trotting off to join the fun.

    Certainly this is something that could easily be left out of most episodes to avoid slowing down the story-telling, although it is featured as a plot point in several episodes mentioned in the thread here.

    When involved in dangerous or tense situations it may be common practice that the senior staff stay around. Keep in mind that 24thC medical technology may be able to provide short term solutions that allow people to stay awake and alert for far long periods than we can today, easily 24 or 48 hours on the trot without any negative consequences, for example (such drugs are only a few years away from being generally available in real life).

    I'm not sure how this compares to modern ships/submarines, I was under the impression that a lot of large ships often had two people at the rank of Captain, for example, to command different watches. I'm not too sure about this however.