Shimoda, Singh and Sonya

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Ragitsu, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Good evening.

    Am I the only one who wished these "side" characters had stuck around? Engineering sometimes felt lonely when the only regulars, er regular was...Geordi. Data would drop by now-and-again and Barclay was good, but there still weren't enough regular faces.
     
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  2. Richard Baker

    Richard Baker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't remember a single engineering officer or technician besides Scotty in TOS...
    Same with Voyager and Enterprise, DS-9 had O'Brien and eventually Nog, but for the most part we just saw the primary.
    Oddly enough for the entire first season of TNG we never really saw much of the chief engineer at all- there apparently never was a full time person. I think the new Trek series was trying to de-emphasize the role of engineering and the crew being dependent on technology. There was almost no Main Engineering set at all- they wanted to save money and have most of the action on the bridge with other areas by intercom. Roddenberry disagreed and a scene was hastily written into 'Encounter at Farpoint' having Picard taking a tour of the facility so they had to build one. In the first season we had Lieutenant Commander MacDougal, Lieutenant Commander Argyle, Lieutenant Logan and Lieutenant Commander Lynch each representing the Engineering section at different times.
    I do like having regular background/secondary characters being seen though out the series- most look like good people and deserved more screen time (although if they utter a single word the actor gets paid a lot more, which is why the yeoman rarely speaks when Kirk handed her the signing padd back).

    Hey- at least later on Sonya Gomez got her own ship!
    (Lower Decks)
     
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  3. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like to think MacDougal, Argyle, Logan & Lynch were all assigned full time at different points... they just didn't manage to impress enough to hold it permanently, & there may have been overlap, when Riker makes a reference to "One of our chief engineers", being that some of them just weren't up to snuff (Looking at you Logan lol)

    There may have even been times during transfers where a guy like Singh was operationally in charge at a junior grade rank, & they were without a chief for some days/weeks. Point being, I like to think Picard was rather persnickety with the job, & went through them unforgivingly (Almost Jellico style) After all, Picard was a bit more straight laced in the beginning

    Heck, he maybe even had it in his mind that he wanted Laforge all along (Since he'd requested him for his skills after the shuttle encounter) but Laforge was junior grade at the time, & in the wrong track.

    As to keeping some other folks around, I didn't mind them, but none of them really added much (beyond a body) to the room imho, except maybe Gomez, & she was a bit much. We already had one wide eyed Wesley running around down there all naïve & whatnot. I much preferred having Lefler around. Forgetting the actress' star being on the rise, I thought that was a good fit for an Ogawa type in Engineering

    ... And while Lower Decks was near the end of the series, & (Spoiler alert) Sito died in it, I do wish we'd gotten a few more moments of Lavelle, Taurik, or Ben, given we'd invested so much into getting to know them.
     
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  4. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Commodore

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    It would have been nice to see Robin Lefler as a recurring character in more than few episodes.
     
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  5. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I remember the bathrobe dude that ordered Mr. 20th Century Pilot a delicious bowl of chicken soup.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They even lampshaded the whole "One of our chief engineers" thing in dialogue, in "Where No One". Unless Riker meant "one of Starfleet's chief engineers", which would also make sense in the context of this condescending snap at Kosinski who apparently wasn't "really" Starfleet, or not Starfleet enough for Riker's tastes at any rate.

    A revolving door would make sense if NCC-1701-D is just the second Galaxy around, and perhaps the first production model, USS Galaxy having been built differently: Starfleet would wish to create a pool of Chief Engineers capable of handling a ship of this class, and classrooms, simulators and holodecks would only carry so far. You don't leave the Enterprise when you fail to measure: you leave it when you have learned it all. And when all this is over with, after the scheduled shakedown year, LaForge can take over as planned.

    It's just too bad that LaForge never got a trusted staff of recurring characters. (Scotty eventually did, in TAS: this Gabler guy was cheap to have around for assorted reasons.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
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  7. matthunter

    matthunter Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, that was early days stuff from Roddenberry who thought a ship as big and as complex as the E-D would need differentiated engineering divisions - i.e. a Chief of Engineering for the propulsion systems, one for tactical systems, one for the computers/ODN.... it got dropped quickly.
     
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  8. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^Right, but nothing was ever really straightened out in the narrative. So we imagine our own lol
     
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  9. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe the season one engineers all had a jobshare:lol:
     
  10. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    This reminds me of issue 76 of the DCV TNG comic...
     
  11. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    I had a crush on Lycia Naff since she was on Fame, so yeah, I wish Gomez had stuck around for more than two episodes. :(
     
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  12. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    There's always Lower Decks...and the SCE novels...
     
  13. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Of course, it kinda seems Beyond Belief for Picard to take the Federation's flagship, this massive beast of the most advanced ship ever made, teaming with multiple Chief Engineers, and put it all in the hands of his 29-year-old, Junior Lieutenant, Conn Officer. They did fast track him to a reasonable rank in a couple years, but still, that must've took some convincing or batted a few eyes.

    Maybe when they realized that the Galaxy class was becoming a failure (i.e. novelverse supposition based on the Yamato incident), they recalled their best and brightest and allowed a little more leeway from Picard. Perhaps La Forge was a wunderkind (almost certainly), and his tenure on the Enterprise-D as a flight controller was tailored to prepare him to take over as the permanent Chief Engineer, perhaps for decades, after a year or so of cautious supervision during Picard's initial exploratory mission. Logan's relationship with Geordi takes on a new perspective if he knew that this guy was going to replace him in a few months, or become his boss.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Picard is running a freak show to begin with: the Flagship is the perfect place for the First Klingon In Starfleet (even if nobody listens to him or trusts his expertise), the Ambassador's Halfbreed Daughter (even if she's basically an invalid), and the Amazing Talking Android (even when his babbling, too, is largely ignored). It seems that Starfleet is either giving Picard leeway to go woke (shudder, I thought I'd never get around to using that one, but it sorta fits Picard in his 24th century context), or telling him to.

    The Blind Helmsman would be part of the package either way. And once slipped aboard, he could be promoted to the position Picard always had in mind for him, sidestepping tedious Starfleet procedure and prejudice.

    Certainly the first, shakedown year involved shaking not just the ship but also the crew, and seeing which pieces fall where. Some people Picard may have had Plans for; others just failed to disgrace themselves enough to get transferred, or were pretty good at what they had been initially slotted to do but not quite that brilliant in the alternative jobs tried (such as letting Worf do engineering stuff or having Yar handle communications and alien contact).

    That the Galaxy would be a failure must have been one of Starfleet's fears. But nothing concrete came of it, and a Galaxy still represented Starfleet's bleeding-edge response to the Dominion.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think it was the intent of the show to present the crew as being a collection of Picard's oddities, but when you get down to it, the only Klingon in Starfleet, the only known android anywhere, the daughter of the Betazoid Ambassador, the wife & son of his best friend, & a 1st officer who should've been a captain already. Even Tasha is like a refugee or something. Is it any wonder he picked up Ro Laren & Barclay along the way? That ship is like a home for wayward indigents lol

    At that point, Geordi being a freshly minted lieutenant managing one of the most important departments on the ship is plain boring in comparison :guffaw:
     
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  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I mean, it's not simply a diverse crew - it's a celebrity team of unique and famous "First in Starfleet" or "Best in Starfleet and the whole damn Federation" individuals, very much unlike Kirk's bluecollar posse or Sisko's team of outcasts. Picard would be well justified in assembling a team like that to present the Federation and Starfleet in the most flattering light.

    Giving LaForge a heftier promotion in the third season already might have helped suggest he had potential and was held back by circumstance, a bit like Data. But Roddenberry originally thought to sideline the CEO altogether, and having high-ranking incidental guest stars in that position and having a low-ranking regular are both valid ways to downplay the character... Although of course the CEO once again assumes the role of all-important miracle worker and even takes on some of the tasks of the Science Officer, sharing with his buddy Data.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think we're supposed to gather, especially by the 24th, that lots of starship crews have rare or unique or differently abled folks on them, like Geordi & Troi, but yeah, Worf & Data kind of take the cake on that. You'd be hard pressed to find more unique than them

    Kind of makes me realize just how humdrum Voyager's crew was, if you exclude the Delta Quadrant stowaways (Which includes Seven) & factor in that all the ships have a holo-doc. They just went off the rails with theirs. I guess B'Elanna is still sort of unusual
     
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  18. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  19. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know if Troi is that unique. Her mother was an Ambassador, certainly, but seemed to be mostly an Ambassador-at-Large with no official posting. Troi is just one of perhaps many Betazoid half-breeds (we know of the Rals and its a good presumption that they were generally favorable to making more hybrids with outsiders) who can be seen in Starfleet.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Fair enough. Then again, Troi's personality might make her a fairly prominent UFP envoy, if not in terms of assignments, then at least in terms of public footprint. Having her daughter aboard might be something Starfleet had no real say on, really...

    Then again, Lwaxana does come as a rather explicit surprise to Picard in "Haven". Doesn't mean he wouldn't be aware of all the, umm, issues at an abstract level - meeting Lwaxana in person must be an experience every time anyway.

    Yes, that always bugged me. Unless he's using the expression in the sense that thirteen planets have Council Members or Ambassadors aboard, it's a surprisingly low figure for a crew of a thousand in a spinoff show with a big makeup budget. And it's "planets", so humans could already take up something like seven of those slots, with Earth customs differing radically from those of Mars or Haven or Halka or whichever human-looking population we want to include.

    Might be the ship was celebrating a Racial Purity Week during that adventure, of course. But if the point is to strive for unity, then using this as an example of diversity is all the less fitting.

    Timo Saloniemi