Red or Yellow (well, green?)

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by C57D, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are actually quite a few differences! Security is now dark green. I do think that the tactical officer should be yellow - Chekov has absolutely no aptitude for security, and weapons we're always a command position. Linking them together was clearly just a clumsy way to get a security officer on the bridge and you have one at the internal security station anyway .
     
  2. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As much as it would make sense that Fletcher used the same principles for both sets of uniforms he mostly didn't:

    White: Command --> Command
    Orange: (Space) Sciences --> N/A
    Green: Medical and Life Sciences --> Medical
    Red: Engineering --> Cadets
    Gold: Communications, Helm/Navigation --> Engineering, Helm.
    Grey: Security and Services --> Sciences, Navigation, Communications.
    Dark Green: N/A --> Security
    Sky Blue: N/A --> Services

    Only two departments stay the same (Command and Medical), Bridge Officers are split into two different departments (Engineering and Sciences), Sciences takes the old Security & Services color (which is split into a darker shade of the medical color for Security and a new colour, frequently worn by police in the RW, for Services).
     
  3. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    As mentioned, there are some differences. As for the MA page, it appears to be an attempt to reconcile TMP divisions with the NG three color scheme. But as Fletcher laid it out in The Making of Star Trek the Motion Picture,

    White = Command
    Red = Engineering
    Orange = Science
    Pale Gold = Operations
    Green = Medical
    Gray = Security​

    IOW, each OS division had been split in two, with Engineering and Operations retaining their original colors (usual gold/green stipulation). Of course, this meant that Uhura was switching from a formerly red division to formerly "gold." Or switching back, really, since she had been in "gold" before. But her changes could be relatively minor tweaks in shipboard organization. Science blue was not retained because it wouldn't show up well on the slate blue Spock costume, and might cause issues with bluescreen shooting.
     
  4. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would have preferred blue to orange. It's hard to tell science from engineering in some shots.
     
  5. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    IMO, the teal that largely replaced blue in the TNG would work even better.
     
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  6. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Nice call with Aquiel!
    I really thought that DS9 and Voyager did simply an excellent job of the military/organizational aspects of Star Trek (and Ops, Voyager's bridge and the Defiant's bridge are just awesome sets), but the subsumption of communications duties by Harry, Tuvok, and Seven (Voyager) and pretty much any nearby warm body (DS9) always bugged me a little. If they were after some sort of "We're more advanced; we no longer need communications officers" premise, they couldn't be more wrong IMO.
     
  7. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Nice post. Thanks for the invaluable real-world perspective.

    I don't think the colors show how much where you came from as where you are now, though. Or at least, in many cases, the color seems to override your placement in the command chain. Otherwise Spock and Scotty would wear gold, right? Also, I don't think someone who was a science officer would stay in blue if they rose to command a ship, like Mirror Spock "if it should befall him." ;) Nobody suggests that Spock don goldgreen in The Tholian Web, either (but of course they were worried about other things besides wardrobe). (Nor does Riley switch shirts when he's sent down to engineering in Conscience.)

    But there are counterexamples, too, like the blue-sporting captain (Krasnowsky? Krasnovsky?) on Kirk's hearing board in Court Martial. And at least two commodores in red (Stone and Stocker). You can probably argue things either way. :shrug:

    I do love your thought that green-or-gold is flight and weapons control, though. That seems to fit what we know about Kirk's background and to explain Chekov and Sulu (although you can possibly make a case for Chekov being in blue, too).

    Maybe being in command only overrides your primary discipline in some cases, or the officer is given a choice. Or each ship's captain allows flexibility, which is why we see a few redshirts at the helm from time to time.

    Out of universe, I'm so glad they had the different colors. I remember loving how beautiful they were as a kid. And I adored the colored turtlenecks with the "Monster Maroons." The subsequent shows did a good job deciding to keeping the three-shade color scheme, too (with of course the red-gold color flip), and TNG might have even been more consistent about its application.

    Fun topic. :bolian:
     
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  8. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Yeah, where you are working now doesn't reflect where you fit before. Sulu was helmsman and "an experienced combat officer," but not too long before had been head of astrophysics.

    I have wondered sometimes whether people have more of an ocean liner or merchant ship model in mind than a navy. On a merchant vessel, there are generally three divisions of crew: deck, engineer and purser/hotel staff. The officers of the three departments are separate but equal, with the purser running the biggest department and the chief engineer having charge of incredibly valuable machinery and equipment, but the captain can only come up from the deck department. Whereas on a US Navy ship, the operations officer can succeed to command, and so can the chief engineer, so can the navigator, so can the weapons officer, so can the damage control officer and so on.

    Agreed, there are plenty of inconsistencies. It does seem pretty much certain, though, that whatever the colors do mean, they don't indicate who is or is not qualified to take command.
     
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  9. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Even if they were unwilling to show it onscreen for whatever reason, there are a handful of episodes of TOS where Uhrua is likely in command. "Balance of Terror" is one, with many of the senior staff away at a briefing.

    I could go back and check a couple other examples, but I seem to remember that "Journey to Babel" and "Friday's Child" may have moments like that for similar reasons: Uhura calls in, voice-over or on the monitor from the Bridge, and at that moment, she is likely the senior officer present. There is even one where the senior officer walk onto the bridge and she is standing by the chair, but I can't recall what episode that is right now.

    I have supposed that she was a navigator, as other have said. There is a joke in the book "Inside Star Trek" that when Dave Bailey was moved from Communications to Navigation in the script to make room for Uhura, it is called a "demotion," implying that Communications is the higher position. Riley and Farrell both were navigators and were later moved to communications (Riley was only in communications in dialouge and then was sent back to Engineering).

     
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  10. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This part some how got buried in a quote but was part of my post:

    As someone mentioned the TNG-era, I have suggested that many of the jobs that would have been done by goldshirts in TOS are still being done by goldshirts in the TNG-era. It seems to just be the top few officers for which we see more redshirts (in the TNG-era). On that basis I have suggested that the top few commanding officers are allowed to continue wearing the color they would wear in their old job. Chekhov has a science background, so perhaps that is why, as a Commander since TWOK, he wore the sciences color as a navigator. This reasoning explains Kransnovsky as a blue shirt in TOS, and also Janeway as a redshirt in Voyager, since some female science officers wore red in TOS.
     
  11. Yonder Star

    Yonder Star Commodore Premium Member

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    The ship seems to have a dual command structure: Military Ranks and Administrative Divisions. Your uniform color reflects your Division. Your arm strips reflects your Rank (with time in rank indicating who out ranks who in that rank.) Before Spock was promoted to full Commander, Spock was most senior as Lt Commander, with Scott behind him. The "other" Lt. Commanders all had less time in rank than them or where not line officers like Dr. McCoy.

    Would have Spock continued to wear blue if he got the captainship during the TOS era? If he also continued as the head of the sciences division in addition to his captain duties, then he might still wear blue like he did as 1st Officer and head of the sciences division. This could explain Captain Krasnovsky; he is also the ship's Head of the ship's Sciences Division.

    Spock in WNMHGB wore only gold suggesting he was acting as the 1st Officer with Science Officer "duties". Who was the head of the sciences division? Either Mr. Spock, Dr. Piper or Lt. Sulu or none; my bet is none.
    MITCHELL: Department heads, sir. You wanted everybody on the Bridge before we left the galaxy.
    SULU: Astro sciences standing by, Captain.
    SCOTT: Engineering division ready, as always.
    PIPER: Life sciences ready, sir. This is Doctor Dehner, who joined the ship at the Aldebaran colony.
    DEHNER: Psychiatry, Captain.​
    1. All the ship department heads are present on the bridge. At least one is a division head.
    2. Scott is clearly over the Engineering division.
    3. No one person seems to be over a combined Sciences division. If it was Spock, then he would have reported for the Science Division as Scott did, but he was silent while both Sulu and Piper reported separately.
    4. Dr. Piper is only over the Life Sciences department. Dr. Dehner is clearly under him, representing the Psychiatry office.
    5. Sulu is over only the Astro Sciences department.
    6. Both Helm (Lt. Kelso) and Navigation (Lt. Cmd Mitchell) were under the Engineering Division, perhaps a Ship Systems department under Lt. Cmd Michell which reported to the Engineering Division (Scott)?
    7. Later in the episode, Kirk calls Spock his "Science Officer", but this title may not be the same thing as the administrative position of Head of the Science Division. By the next episode (production order), Spock wears blue maybe indicating that he is now the official head of the Sciences Division.
     
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  12. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Given that the dialogue is specific on the point that Krasnovsky is a Starship Captain, the original intent clearly seems to be that it is permissable for a Science Officer who is also a qualified Bridge Officer to attain the rank of Captain and command a starship while continuing to wear blue.

    As with some of the more 'problematic' dialogue, I think we can reasonably assume that he is a starship Captain (post-TOS definition) rather than a Starship(-class) Captain (TOS definition) and that he (is permitted to) wear Science Division because the ship he commands is a dedicated survey/science vessel, rather than a generalist Constitution-class. All Good Things appears to contradict this notion, but it should be noted that with one exception, Captains, Admirals and even a Commander or two, who were specifically identified as holding Operations positions wore Command red, so Beverly is merely consistent with the previous oddity rather than anything else (CMDR Quinteros, CAPT Louivois and VADM Henry of SSEC are the best examples I can think of off the top of my head).
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Might also be the same thing, this department/division. But preferably not.

    Or then he's merely economial with self-expression, and feels that only those who arrived are duty-bound to do the song and dance. Navigation would seem to be Mitchell's gig, but he doesn't utter a word, either.

    Well, she's also new to the setup; old man Piper would feel compelled to introduce her regardless of the command arrangements.

    It almost seems as if Starfleet wanted to send Dehner to spy on the crew - so, way to blow cover here, telling them she's studying their reactions! Especially as she has managed to keep that under wraps until that moment. But perhaps Kirk wouldn't allow random blueskirts to wander on his bridge without a proper excuse? Dehner could well be outside the command structure to better facilitate her role. Kirk's interactions with her are rather indirect, as can be seen later... (He only "asks" her to do things, she does a lot on her own initiative, and when he finally does give her a direct order, she refuses.)

    Or then those department/division heads just remained silent when their peers spoke.

    Actually, Kirk doesn't call anybody in particular his Science Officer. Rather, he addresses the entire audience to express his displeasure on a specific subject relating to Science Officers. The subject being, Science Officers must tell the CO the truth, however unpleasant.

    Now, there are three people in the room who should pay heed. In a descending order of relevance:

    1) Dr. Dehner, who has been remiss in her duties and failed to reveal the full dirt on Gary.
    2) Mr. Spock, who now has to step in and do Dehner's job for her.
    3) Sulu, a fellow Science Officer who would do well to watch and learn, preempting future mistakes.

    Functionally, we can interpret Kirk as chiding Dehner for her omissions, which means Spock can remain a "pure" Executive Officer. Or we can interpret Kirk as defending Spock now that the Science Officer has spoken ill of Gary.

    Grammatically, there's no preference there. Interestingly, we can't even tell whether Kirk speaks of his Science Officer or his Science Officers, there being the possessive s at the end of the latter word...

    Kirk's next act is to ask Spock to proceed - in interrogating Dehner for further truths. So if Kirk now wants his Science Officer to speak, well, both Spock and Dehner do, but Dehner is the one who does what Kirk really wanted the Science Officer to do.

    Perhaps he has even been demoted to Second Officer, for the duration of the earliest episodes (in stardate order) and at least up until "Enemy Within" where he self-addresses himself thus. His duties might not yet encompass the Executive role (although it's difficult to see who else would be doing that one), perhaps excusing certain oddities in what Spock does or fails to do for his captain in these early adventures...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  14. Yonder Star

    Yonder Star Commodore Premium Member

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    I re-read the "Science Officer" line again, and you may be right, Kirk may have been addressing general duties of a Science Officer, namely Dehner's failures as a Science Officer, and not a set-up reference to Spock to imply he is a Science Officer, too. Kirk may be going to Spock to pick up the slack in the Sciences Department, namely Dehner's lack of reporting to Kirk on Gary's real condition. So, in WNMHGB, Spock wore gold and not blue because he is not a Science Officer nor the Head of the Sciences Division or any of the Science Departments. Later in the series, Kirk definitely refers to Spock as his First Officer and Science Officer (and he is wearing blue, then.) The first two references:
     
  15. BK613

    BK613 Commodore Commodore

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    ^^And from "Court Martial" Spock appears to officially occupy two billets:
    COMPUTER: Spock, serial number S179-276SP. Service rank, Lieutenant Commander. Position, First officer, science officer. Current assignment, USS Enterprise.
     
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  16. Yonder Star

    Yonder Star Commodore Premium Member

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    Mystery solved on why Spock wears gold in WNMHGB and blue in the rest of the series. :techman:
     
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  17. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    How much bearing it had on the color schemes is anyone's guess, but behind-scenes material posted by member Harvey suggests that the original intent was that the starship's science officer was automatically second-in-command.
     
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  18. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It seems logical that Krasnovsky might be Captain of a Science Ship. And I would argue that this is why there are so few blueshirts on Voyager, a science ship supposedly. Everybody on Voyager might wear a blue shirt if they were on a less specialized ship. And Janeway could be considered the head of sciences on Voyager. The same goes for Captain Beverly Picard and the others you mentioned. They may wear red to differentiate themselves on the ship, but would wear blue on any less specialized ship.

    I do not think that it is any way a desirable suggestion for TOS as a work as whole that Spock went from being Science Officer, to a promotion to only XO, then demoted to Science Officer, and then promoted back to both.

    I know that authorial intent is not the entire story in a such a matter, but a number of book sources about the making of the suggest that in re-imagining the crew for the second pilot, Spock became First Officer and Science Officer owing to the omission of Number One. This is during the creation of the second pilot, not after. The simple (and I think logical, lol) solution, is that as a First Officer, Spock could wear either the command color or his division color, and after a short time switched from one to the other.
     
  19. Yonder Star

    Yonder Star Commodore Premium Member

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    In my head canon, I have Captain Krasnovsky as the captain of the Intrepid, which we learn later is mostly manned by Vulcans. We know the Intrepid is on Station. A Vulcan crew implies a science mission ship or perhaps a test bed to develop advanced ship systems. If it had a Vulcan captain, why wasn't he there at the court martial? Assuming the Intrepid's captain is human, then a senior captain with a science background like Captain Krasnovsky would be appropriate to be over a crew of Vulcans.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not disputing Spock's position as Science Officer in "Where No Man" - after all, this is the very job we see him doing, giving all the relevant sensor readings and analyses and doing all the egghead stuff save for Sulu's one "exponential growth" line.

    I just wish to dispute the idea that the actual dialogue would nail Spock as "my Science Officer" exclusively. That is, regardless of what Kirk says, Spock is not the only Science Officer around, and the dialogue even leaves open the question of whether he is the division boss at all.

    Spock's other actions aren't those of an underling, though, and in the very briefing, he acts as a coordinator, contributing little beyond command decisions he then subjects to the CO's judgement. So him being the XO and the CSO simultaneously is the safe bet here, too. (And the chief consequence of this is precluding Mitchell from being the XO in this adventure, I guess.)

    That Spock would briefly lose the XO position for episodes up until "Enemy Within" is a trick we can play to justify his "as the Second Officer" line in that episode. It's not as if there would be an abundance of alternatives for the XO role, but at least Scotty wears equal rank. I mean, strike that, he doesn't wear it - it's just that further dialogue we may wish to justify nails Spock as a mere Lieutenant Commander despite his braid. If this is a case of Spock getting a complicated field promotion of some sort, Scotty might tehnically remain the one senior to the "actual" rank of Lieutenant Commander and at least formally qualify for the top position.

    So it's a two-birds-with-one-stone-or-then-none situation, where we can disregard both dialogue bits, on whatever basis. (Not as character errors, of course, as Spock or Starfleet court computers wouldn't make such errors.)

    Timo Saloniemi