Why the Gold?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Praetor Baldric, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Something about shirt colors that has always bothered me. I get that Blue is for Sciences and Red for Operations, but why is there need for Gold to be worn by anyone but the Captain and what distinguishes those who wear the Gold shirt but who are not the Captain from those who do not wear Gold.

    I have always thought that Gold was for Command Crew. Ok, so then why aren't Spock, McCoy or Scotty (all holding command positions) not in Gold?

    If by Command Crew, we mean Bridge personnel only, then why isn't Uhura also wearing Gold?

    Sulu is OPs, so he could have been in Red. Chekov is Spock's protege and is portrayed as being something of a prodigy, so why couldn't he be in Blue?

    Do you start off as a Red or Blue shirt and then get promoted to a Gold shirt (but then that doesn't work for Spock nor Scotty)?

    It seems to me that if you are in the crew, you are either involved in Science or OPs, or a combination of both, so why have Gold Shirts at all for anyone but the Captain?

    I realize that the practical answer is that GR and Company probably wanted diverse colors on the set for aesthetic reasons, but I am looking for a more in-universe type of explanation please.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Confederation of Earth
    The color is actually green. It only looks gold in certain lighting conditions.
    (You'll notice that the full dress command uniform looks more obviously green.)

    In-universe? No reason. Out of universe? Primary colors (red, blue and green), to sell color TVs.
     
  3. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    I thought the primary colors were red. blue, yellow. I don't think green is a primary color.
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Real Gone
    For additive color (light) it's RGB. For subtractive color (pigment) it's RYB. See?
     
  5. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    City of the Fallen Angels
    Actually, the primary ink colors used in process color printing are CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). But that's a whole 'nother topic.

    Early in production, uniform colors were flexible. By mid-first season, colors were mostly standardized as follows: Green (often appearing gold or greenish-gold) for command, blue for sciences, red for engineering and ship's services.

    Uhura did, in fact, wear a gold (actually green) uniform in the first two or three production episodes.

    There was no "Ops" or Operations division per se in Trek TOS. As for Chekov, his character was originally meant to be a "Kirk-in-training" on the command track, so he wore command gold -- uh, green -- whatever.
     
  6. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    The colors do make sense.

    Blue is for science and medicine.

    Green-gold is for people who steer and navigate the ship, which is known as keeping a ship under command.

    Red is for ship's services: people who maintain the machinery (engineering), operate systems that don't command the ship itself (like communications), and who manage behavioral risks (security).
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Real Gone
    I'm quite aware of that, but the assertion was that green wasn't a primary color, and I was merely explaining why it is, in fact, where additive color is concerned.
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, Missouri, USA
    We have a winnah!
    :beer:
     
  9. The Emissary

    The Emissary Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Location:
    The Celestial Temple
    They do make sense, but I wish they weren't so limited with it.
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    Which could indicate that she had previously served in the capacity to steer or navigate the ship. IIRC she takes over for Styles in "Balance of Terror". :)

    Bob
     
  11. Myko

    Myko Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Myko
    She takes over for Sulu in "The Naked Time". (And is later relieved by Ryan/Rand/Leslie.)
     
  12. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    That's true, though IIRC the gold/yellow divsion in TMP was "operations."

    That's about it, though the "gold" division also seems to encompass weapons functions. The more pertinent question might be "Why 'command?'" If it had been called something like the "control" division (flight control, fire control) we might not be having these discussions.

    One thing that the "gold" color pretty clearly does not indicate is who is in line to take command of a ship, or ones eventual career path.
     
  13. Cmdr.Druss

    Cmdr.Druss Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    In retrospect it does make sense for Sulu and Chekov to be wearing gold. They both went onto command level positons later in their careers (Captain and Executive Officer respectively). And I think one or the other was oftn left in charge of the bridge.
     
  14. Hambone

    Hambone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    Location:
    Land of cheese, sausage and beer
    I have yet to see a piece of film or photo in which the command uniforms look green (with the exception of Kirk's dress uniform and "wrap-around"). Maybe my rods and cones are all screwed up, but they always look yellow to me.
     
  15. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, Missouri, USA
    Here's a publicity photo (correction: now a still) of Nimoy & Kirk which shows how their uniforms (as well as Nimoy's makeup) were supposed to look like.
    http://www.costumecostumecostume.com/KirkSpockShirts.jpg

    But according to William Ware Theiss, the command shirts looked more gold, yellow, or even slightly orange in the final TV mix depending on the film stock (the same was true for the Enterprise itself, which sometimes varied in color from gray, to light blue, to bluish-green).
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  16. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Location:
    Backwaters of Australia
    I have a poster of all the original crew on the bridge including Chapel (so it must be a publicity photo) and my children asked why Kirk's shirt was green. Its hard to explain. In the poster the command shirts look green but on my TV they look gold.

    That link doesn't work for me :(
     
  17. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, Missouri, USA
    Try this one.
    http://www.costumecostumecostume.com/KirkSpockShirts.jpg
     
  18. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Well, the movie uniforms tried to break everything down by position (going as far as to separate medical and science), but they ended up abandoning that and going back to a three color scheme.
     
  19. Hambone

    Hambone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    Location:
    Land of cheese, sausage and beer
    It looks gold to me.
     
  20. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, Missouri, USA
    Looks lime green to me.