Scotty as second officer

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Lance, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why, do we think, was Scotty a part of the Enterprise chain of command?

    I know in theory, the officer on deck could be whoever the Captain appoints

    So we got DeSaul for one episode

    But from what we gather, more often than not if Kirk and Spock were not aboard ship, Scotty was the default

    Is it common for chief engineers to be placed in charge?

    My feeling is they have very specialized skills that would basically require them to stay 'downstairs'

    Geordi, Torres, etc were never placed in command

    (Geordi did command the Enterprise early on, but he was a bridge officer at that time and still in command red)

    It seems as though Scotty was formally part of the command structure

    I always read the TOS chain of command as being Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura

    Unless it was simply that Kirk had reasons to personally trust him in command, or he'd had some experience with starship command that other chief engineers hadn't?

    It's peculiarly noteable that he never performs the role after the original five year mission, but then by The Final Frontier it's simply presumed the likes of Chekov have moved up in rank

    Any idea if there's precedent for any of this?

    And what are your thoughts of Scotty in command? :)
     
  2. dodge

    dodge Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Trip was second officer on the NX-01 Enterprise.
     
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  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...And was evidently supposed to be the first officer until T'Pol barged in.

    Okay, so probably Archer was gonna get a human first officer originally, before it turned out his one and only chance to get to deep space was to rush it and take the Klaag ferry mission even without a full crew aboard. But Archer did sail out with his pal Trip as the de facto first officer, until stuff happened.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  4. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Because he was the next senior qualified officer.

    In real life? In the US Navy, there's nothing but precedent. After much 19th century back-and-forth which I won't go in to, in 1899 the US decided navy engineer officers should be in line of command, the same as the "deck" or "seaman" officers. And it has worked very well since. If you look at USN ship captains today, many if not most will have served as chief engineer, and ALL of them will have been engineering department officers at some point. The exception are officers who came up through aviation, and most of them will have been squadron maintenance officer.

    Of course not a lot of thought was put into the chain of command arrangements (unfortunately in "Arena" Sulu takes command when Scott is avaialable) and the day-to-day work of an officer is never really considered much. And certainly the captain and F/O both leaving the ship all the time is not realistic. But Scotty as third-in-command is totally believable to me.

    He's great. I have said this before, but Doohan brought a really authoritative, low-key, self-assured command style that worked extremely well. The idea that really took hold later, that Scotty was sort of a one-dimensional mechanic/tinkerer, was kind of a waste of the character and Doohan IMO.
     
  5. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What you're able to do when necessary and what you prefer to do can be two different things. Scotty loves his engines and devices. He knows his duty and does it when ordered or asked, but when a captain or personnel officer can, they try to assign people where they'll work best and be happiest, unless they're short-staffed, in the middle of a crisis, or punishing said crewmember for some reason.
     
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  6. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ...Because he consistently took over command of the ship when Kirk and Spock weren't available?
     
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  7. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Absolutely agree.

    I think that of the three, Scotty would be the first to shoot first and ask later even though Kirk is accused of that.

    Slow down there Einstein! Can you explain it in regular words for us regular folk? :lol:
     
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  8. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Technically, I don't think the first officer on a real-life navy ship would also be full time head of sciences, either. But Starfleet isn't the navy.

    ...or is it? :shifty:

    Kor
     
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  9. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Definitely not a military
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Nothing on TOS suggests Uhura is in the chain of command. We saw Sulu take the conn four times whereas Uhura never did.
     
  11. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always wondered if Scotty was back at a Starbase during the events of The Omega Glory because Kirk appoints Sulu to the chair, but I guess he could have been busy down in Engineering and he's mentioned as taking over command twice in Journey To Babel but never seen while Kirk recovers from the stab wound!
    JB
     
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  12. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    She's in the chain of command just not directly below Sulu. Typically the helmsman (who is most often a command lieutenant) will take priority but often the helmsman and navigator on duty may be ensigns. In those circumstances, I would expect Uhura to be in command if everyone is elsewhere. There are a couple of episodes where everyone ahead of her in the chain of command is on the landing party and she picks up surface to ship calls. She is communications officer but, that said, often surface to ship comms are picked up directly by the officer of the deck so it's equally possible that she's in charge.

    The reality may be that at the time they did not want to pay an extra actor to voice the officer of the deck but 50 years later we can put a more positive real world spin it.

    Scotty though is a fantastic officer. He's so no-nonsense, even calling out McCoy on his griping. I love it when he's in charge.
     
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  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    @Maurice is right. There is nothing in TOS that suggests Uhura is in the chain of command. We even get DeSalle in the chair, but no Uhura.
     
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  14. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Everyone is in the "chain of command" because "chain of command" does not mean "order of succession."
     
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  15. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Uhura was in command during the Naked Time. But whatever.
     
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  16. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I think saying there is 'nothing to suggest' she's in command is absolutely wrong. There's nothing overt to confirm where she sits in the chain of command but quite a few things to suggest she's in it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  17. GNDN18

    GNDN18 Gravissime Premium Member

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    I don’t think she was. She relieved Riley at navigation, but I don’t think she took the conn.
    AFB543F9-161E-467A-96B9-82270D18728A.jpeg
     
  18. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I understand, also, there was no, "take the conn, Uhura" but...

    Kirk was affected trying to get Spock to snap out of it, Scotty was taking too long cutting through the wall and Sulu was in sickbay. Riley was in engineering.

    Uhura was running the show on the bridge probably from the navigator's station. At least that's how I see it.
     
  19. GNDN18

    GNDN18 Gravissime Premium Member

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    Painter had taken over navigation by then. But you’re right:
    Like Hansen said, “There’s no one up there giving orders, sir.”
     
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  20. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    ^ The guy in your avatar just popped up in the teaser for next week's Lost in Space on MeTV! :lol:
     
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