Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Captain Clark Terrell, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Then why didn't she say "the Enterprise?" "Your first command" is a strangely distancing way of referring to the ship she and her listener are aboard at the moment she says it.


    As zarkon says, a destroyer-class ship could be captained by someone of commander's rank. And The Making of Star Trek says explicitly that Kirk did have an earlier command, and that predates StarTrek.com by decades. It was written during the production of the original series by a journalist who had extensive access to the production staff and documents. It probably reflects the creators' original intentions better than any later source.
     
  2. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    OK, all fair points. but...
    I felt her saying "your first command" was the writers way of telling us this was Kirk's first command without having to spell it out.
    The Making of Star Trek may say so, but that doesn't make it canon, does it?
    And...since when does starfleet have anything called a destroyer?

    You're probably right, though, i'd been equating becoming captain with being in command, given that they make occasional reference to him being the youngest captain in the fleet, but if he commanded a ship as a lower rank (not that I remember any pre-ds9 precedent for that?) then that would explain it.
    I don't recall any canon reason to think he had a pre-enterprise command, though, if you discount Dehner's line as open to interpretation either way.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And now you know it wasn't.

    "Canon" is beside the point. TMoST, as I said, was written during the production of TOS by an author who was immersed in that production, directly interviewed its creators, and had access to its production memos. It reflects the plans and intentions of the show's creators better than any other source. I'm always surprised when I encounter people who haven't read it, because it should be essential reading for anyone who's more than casually interested in Star Trek.

    TOS was, after all, made mostly by WWII veterans, people who had some insight into how the military works. And they would've therefore been aware that commanders need to work their way up from smaller ships before they're given command of the biggest capital ships.


    The actual line in TMoST -- which, I cannot stress enough, is immensely worth reading -- is, "Kirk rose very rapidly through the ranks and received his first command (the equivalent of a destroyer-class spaceship) while still quite young." So no, not an actual destroyer, but an analogous category of vessel, a smaller craft with a smaller crew. Perhaps something analogous to the Oberth-class science vessels of the movie era.

    Several works of tie-in fiction have referenced Kirk having prior commands before the Enterprise. DC Comics's first annual showed him being transferred to the Enterprise from the Saladin, which was named for a destroyer-class vessel in Franz Joseph Schnaubelt's Star Fleet Technical Manual, though it was drawn to look like a Baton Rouge-class ship from the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology. Not long thereafter, the novel Enterprise: The First Adventure by Vonda N. McIntyre -- which clearly drew on TMoST for some of its specifics -- showed Kirk in command of the Lydia Sutherland, described as a "little cruiser" with about half the Enterprise's crew complement. And the "Star-Crossed" storyline by Howard Weinstein in DC's second TOS series showed Kirk's first command as the Miranda-class USS Oxford. I don't think there's ever been a tie-in claiming that the Enterprise was Kirk's first command -- probably because all the authors read TMoST. This has always been the default assumption.


    And I don't see any reason to default to the assumption that he didn't, because that's the less likely interpretation by far. As a rule, nobody would be given a ship of that class until they'd gained some command experience. It would take extraordinary circumstances, like those in the 2009 movie, for an exception to be made. And even that exception strains credibility to the limit.
     
  4. Wally

    Wally Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I could be wrong, but I don't think Kirk's original Enterprise was the Federation flagship. It was just another starship until he and his crew made it famous. In fact, except for in the Abrahmsverse it always seemed to be an older design that really was fairly comparable to most of starfleet.

    Picard's Enterprise seemed like it was already special even before the crew got to know each other. It was new and top of the line was even referred to as a flagship. Though, a point could be made that the Enterprise-E has not been referred to in that way yet.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^No, it was never called the flagship in TOS. But it was a top-of-the-line vessel, one of only a dozen of its class. It was meant to be a member of the biggest, most advanced, most powerful class in Starfleet at the time. Keep in mind that in the US Navy at the time, the current and previous ships named Enterprise had both been aircraft carriers.
     
  6. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A totally new character, preferably an alien female, such as: Captain Tahrasuri zh'Sherr (an Andorian portrayed by Alex Kingston), Captain Zinaed Kyn (a Joined Trill portrayed by Indira Varma) or Captain T'Auran (a Vulcan portrayed by Ming-Na Wen).

    They would symbolise a more diverse and inclusive crew roster for the E-E.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's time a white male was given a chance to captain the Enterprise.
     
  8. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd have said Riker up 'til recently, but it wouldn't follow now.

    I'd certainly like to see Picard either promoted or becoming an ambassador.

    Data has probably got a way to go (I'm reading The Fall at the moment) before Starfleet, let alone command is likely.

    Geordie could work.

    Worf ? I really don't know if it would make sense to Starfleet to give him Enterprise.

    Sisko - no, leave him in DS9.

    Ro could be interesting - and she's already got rank.

    Saavik - hmm, interesting !

    Bateson could be good.

    Apart from that, a good original character could work, but might be a sales problem. I've had an idea about Parminder Nagra in a Starfleet uniform for a while...
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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  10. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, but that was a hundred years ago...

    :)

    Great grandmother maybe ?
     
  11. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    Not necessarily. Humans have been established as having a much longer lifespan in ST. Most of the TOS cast is still alive by the 24th century, and with the technological wonders we've seen through the various series there may not be an upper limit anymore.

    _______
    I agree with the assessment that TNG and Picard go together. We wouldn't want to run into a second "Let's kill of Janeway" drama.

    However, there're still options to put another captain in the center seat - for a special or miniseries. We've seen Captains Worf, Data and W. Crusher already in Q&A. There's no reason their Enterprises couldn't reappear. Sisko could take temporary leave of his mundanely named Galaxy-class to command the Enterprise, just like B. Crusher is heading Station General on DS9 for a while. Let's have the cake and eat it.
     
  12. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree, but he can't stay a captain forever - he'd been that rank for years before TNG. Riker refused promotions for years, and even he outranks Picard now...
     
  13. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Personally, I'd prefer Picard off of the ship soon, to take up a diplomatic post or an admiral's position at home, or even to retire. Realistically, I know and understand that there's no way Picard is leaving that centre seat, and that we don't really have TNG any more if he's gone or not onboard a ship. It's just that after teasing out the idea of his stepping down over a number of books and in-universe years now, something needs to happen soon or it becomes a little laughable. He had a reprieve with the start of his new mission at the conclusion to The Fall - which I can buy, he's done this sort of thing before (see The Buried Age for another exploration-gives-him-a-shot-in-the-arm incident) - but there's only so many times you can do that.

    I hope he doesn't die, though. I hope we see him eventually surrender the chair and enjoy his well-earned rest.
     
  14. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Sonya Gomez...
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Does anyone remember DC Comics' TNG issue featuring time travel and Captain Wesley of the Enterprise, complete with moustache?
     
  16. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    I do. That 'stache was a beauty ;). Not sure which issue. It's been so long!
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I guess that would be issue 18, "Forbidden Fruit," a fill-in written by David Stern and Mike O'Brien with art by Mike Manley and Robert Campanella.
     
  18. Wally

    Wally Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Hmmm..You have a point there. I guess my bias is I never watched TOS that much, but started with watching all of the movies. By that time (and especially by STIII) it was very clear that the Enterprise herself was nothing special or top of the line anymore, it was the CREW that made it special. Except for the name and legacy, really anyone could captain that ship.

    Rather than seeing the beginning of TNG when the Enterprise-D was portrayed as so awe inspiring that you really believed that only someone established and special would be allowed in the center seat there.
     
  19. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree with Deranged Nasat's comment above that the novels have flirted with the idea of Picard leaving the Enterprise so much that they need to either have him leave or stop bringing it up. Perhaps having the Enterprise go out on a new exploration mission is a way to try to put aside and forget the idea.

    On the other hand, if they do decide to have Picard leave, it seems like the obvious choice should be Worf. He has a long history of Starfleet experience, has some diplomatic expertise, and has served as Picard's first officer for several years now.

    On the other other hand, it could be interesting to have Worf remain first officer and replace Picard with an outsider, a la Jellico in Chain of Command. It would provide opportunities to explore new aspects of the crew's relationships as they adjust to a different style of command from someone they aren't familiar with. I doubt it would go over well with all of the readers, however.
     
  20. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not sure if this was intended seriously or as a joke, but it's honestly my favourite suggestion in this thread. But I'm guessing the writers' intent probably isn't to get her back into Starfleet.

    I'm not really sure I want to see Worf in command of the big E. But TBH he wasn't really my favourite choice for first officer, either.

    I also liked the suggestion of Benjamin Sisko. Assuming we want to go with characters that have already been established (not necessarily in novels), a couple of interesting choices could be Edam Astrun or Regina Farkas. Although I grant that neither of them would probably have the same "draw" that Kira or Sisko might.