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Why no chief engineer in season one?

USSYorktown

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POSTS: 45

Report this Jul. 30 2009, 4:19 am

Does anyone know why the Enterprise didn't have a set chief engineer in its first season?  Given how popular and important Scotty was in TOS, it puzzles me that they wouldn't have the chief engineer be one of the main characters instead of switching between different minor characters every few episodes.

spacemonster

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POSTS: 2423

Report this Jul. 30 2009, 6:06 am

Initially, they were trying to avoid a who's who equivalent in TOS to TNG.  Hence, we had ops , security chief, and a boy genius. They tried to steer away from an heir of Scotty to avoid the comparisons.

ssmukhi

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Report this Jul. 30 2009, 7:58 am

Quote (spacemonster @ July 30 2009, 6:06 pm)
Initially, they were trying to avoid a who's who equivalent in TOS to TNG. ¿Hence, we had ops , security chief, and a boy genius. They tried to steer away from an heir of Scotty to avoid the comparisons.

Data was always compared to Spock.

BrotherofShran01

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Report this Jul. 30 2009, 8:07 am

When I first saw the TNG crew, I thought that Spock was split up to create Data and Troi. I had mixed feelings about Worf at first.

DarthJester

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Report this Jul. 30 2009, 9:15 am

Quote (USSYorktown @ July 30 2009, 6:19 am)
Given how popular and important Scotty was in TOS, it puzzles me that they wouldn't have the chief engineer be one of the main characters instead of switching between different minor characters every few episodes.

Maybe that was it, Scotty was so loved who coud've "repalced" him. There's no science officer title like Spock in TNG either.

rocketscientist

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POSTS: 10054

Report this Jul. 30 2009, 12:28 pm

Quote (spacemonster @ July 30 2009, 6:06 am)
Initially, they were trying to avoid a who's who equivalent in TOS to TNG. ¿Hence, we had ops , security chief, and a boy genius. They tried to steer away from an heir of Scotty to avoid the comparisons.

Maybe that was indeed it.  

That said, whatever the reason, I think they learned their lesson.  You had to have someone be the chief engineer, obviously.  Someone had to be the voice of the ship and it should be a main character.   Plus, with TNG's orders of magnitude increase in technobabble (which I don't think was necessarily a good thing, but it became standard to the show), the chief engineer had a lot more to do and was more important to the plots.  

So it really made a lot of sense to have the chief engineer as one of the main characters.  Moving Geordi to that role was a good idea for addressing this mistake and for giving his character a lot more to do.  

That said, I never liked the whole OPS position.  I mean, is he the chief engineer or is he the chief science officer?  I thought that was a bad idea.  Why mix two distinct functions together?  Why not just make Data the Science Officer?  I heard the whole position of OPS was done just so they could have Spiner wear gold instead of blue because it looked better for his makeup.  Lame.

lostshaker

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POSTS: 2293

Report this Jul. 30 2009, 5:02 pm

I enjoyed the technobabble. Also, OPS makes sense aboard a Galaxy Class Vessel. Since it's larger there has to be a greater amount of coordination. And it fits in with being right under the Executive Officer.

This does raise a question about Harry Kim manning OPS, but smaller ship, the easier OPS becomes.

And Chief Engineer of the week was ridiculous.

RedShirtGuyNumber1001

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POSTS: 2016

Report this Jul. 30 2009, 5:03 pm

They couldn't find an actor that was worth anything, so they kept changing Chief Engineers.  Finally Geordi got in there and it worked.

spacemonster

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POSTS: 2423

Report this Aug. 01 2009, 5:16 am

Quote (ssmukhi @ July 29 2009, 8:58 am)
Quote (spacemonster @ July 30 2009, 6:06 pm)
Initially, they were trying to avoid a who's who equivalent in TOS to TNG. ?Hence, we had ops , security chief, and a boy genius. They tried to steer away from an heir of Scotty to avoid the comparisons.

Data was always compared to Spock.

But he wasn't the science officer, nor second in command, but the "ops" position. That created a completely different position so 1:1 position equivalents were not formed. That was what was trying to be avoided if possible. Therefore, the comparison here is no different than saying the ambitious womanizer Riker was actually Kirk. Perhaps so, but the position held was different.

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