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Shift Coverage on a starship

Broadstorm

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Report this Feb. 28 2012, 3:27 pm

I have noticed that in the vast majority of episodes, the senior staff is on duty at the same time.  How is it that almost all the action in space occurs conveniently when the captain, first officer & second officer are on duty, and only rarely does anything happen on the "night shift" on a starship?  Then, just to acknowledge that these characters are not always on duty, there are just a few references to some "night shift" in which one of the major characters that is usually on duty along with the other main characters is covering it.

Evan.J.Guzman

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Report this Feb. 28 2012, 4:04 pm

LOL. Ya know they only really touch on this with Data in the TNG episodes. One was Data's Day. In other episodes they mention Alpha, Beta and Delta shift, I think. I don't recall ever touching on this with TOS crew. They seem to have been working round the clock.  I paid attention to this when they showed a digital clock above the viewscreen with military time in STVI:The Undiscovered Country. They WERE working round the clock all things considered going on in the movie. Other then that, I guess everything did happen during the day. When I was a kid watching this stuff I didn't care but when I started working fulltime I always wondered how many hours these guys put in here and still have time to go to ten forward and do their hobbies. Interesting topic here, Broadstorm

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Feb. 28 2012, 4:06 pm

Well, it did happen to Harry Kim once when he was commanding the night shift.

Broadstorm

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Report this Feb. 28 2012, 4:13 pm

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ Feb. 28 2012, 4:06 pm

>

>Well, it did happen to Harry Kim once when he was commanding the night shift.

>


Yes, it was shown once & referred to in at least one other episode.

bvbpl

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Report this Feb. 28 2012, 4:13 pm

There's a reference to the different shifts on the TNG episode where Troi takes the bridge commander test.  If I recall correctly, it starts with Troi walking on the bridge during a night shift (or something) and being surprised that Dr. Crusher was on duty.


 


In any case, the answer is simple: the show didn't want to pay for three times as many actors in order to realtistically show different shifts.  Doing so would have also been very cluttered; with three times as many characters the audience would have a more difficult time keeping them straight.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Feb. 28 2012, 4:14 pm

Plus... it would take a lot longer to develop all the characters.

Broadstorm

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Report this Feb. 28 2012, 4:41 pm

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ Feb. 28 2012, 4:14 pm

>

>Plus... it would take a lot longer to develop all the characters.

>


That depends on how they handled it.  There would be some time between a situation coming up & the captain getting to the bridge, which would actually facilitate some character development of the other characters.  It would however provide less interaction among the major characters as they would not always be on duty at the same time.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Feb. 28 2012, 4:48 pm

Plus, in the real world, there aren't too many senior staffers who stay on the same ship for that many years...

OneDamnMinuteAdmiral

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Report this Feb. 28 2012, 4:58 pm

I think that since everything does happen "during the day" as it were, since they never show up at some planret and someone has to be woke up cause they got there at midnight, that most of the main staff would be on day shifts for that upcoming assignment. Maybe all those times between episodes when nothing major is going on the duty shifts get broke up a bit. I also imagine that the late shifts would be used for up and coming officers to get some experience since nothing too drastic happens at that time and due to the fact that, at least in the case of TNG, Data could be "on call" at any hour of the day to handle any situation without needing the first officer or captain. 


Or perhaps I've over thought it a bit.


Are you sure it isn't time for a colorful metaphor?

Broadstorm

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Report this Feb. 29 2012, 3:09 am

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ Feb. 28 2012, 4:48 pm

>

>Plus, in the real world, there aren't too many senior staffers who stay on the same ship for that many years...

>


I thought of that also, but that is easily explained away as one of the ways it is different from the real Navy.

Broadstorm

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Report this Feb. 29 2012, 3:15 am

Quote: OneDamnMinuteAdmiral @ Feb. 28 2012, 4:58 pm

>

>I think that since everything does happen "during the day" as it were, since they never show up at some planret and someone has to be woke up cause they got there at midnight, that most of the main staff would be on day shifts for that upcoming assignment. Maybe all those times between episodes when nothing major is going on the duty shifts get broke up a bit. I also imagine that the late shifts would be used for up and coming officers to get some experience since nothing too drastic happens at that time and due to the fact that, at least in the case of TNG, Data could be "on call" at any hour of the day to handle any situation without needing the first officer or captain. 

>Or perhaps I've over thought it a bit.

>


It happens in outer space so there really shouldn't be a "night shift".  You can number or letter the shifts, but really, what shift gets more daylight than another?  How is it that these various races, even the hostile ones, are all respectful enough to coordinate their activities until the senior staff is all on duty at the same time?  Even with the time in between incidents, it is not known until something happens how long those intervals are going to be.

CloudMinder2

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Report this Feb. 29 2012, 5:31 am

I thnk my view is similar to OneDamnMinute's - at least as far as TOS is concerned, each episode begins either with an emergency that's just arisen, or they've just gone into orbit/beamed down to around their current destination planet - so it's not surprising that all key personnel are at their posts at these times.


It's a bit like a modern jet airliners, where the pilot takes off and lands, then switches to autopilot.


"There are always alternatives" Spock

Evan.J.Guzman

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Report this Feb. 29 2012, 6:40 am

I wonder if this is the case for at least the Enterprise D-E.


I think it was in "Data's Day" when at the beginning of "day shift" Riker comes in at 7am or 07:00hrs military time to relieve Data of command. We know Data works round the clock so.. Then Riker holds the bridge for some time before Picard assumes command. Maybe the shifts are spread out so any one of the key command officers are sitting in the captain's chair at all times when things are well. There are those circumstances like Troi being trained in command and of course the emergencies that happen( that the ceators call episodes)where you are going to get the main cast together. There is an episode that references Picard having his morning breakfast with Crusher. I know Riker is already on the bridge. Does that mean picard would stay later on the bridge say 11am to 11pm then data relieves him? Since I was never in the real navy I have no idea how command shift is assigned. I never saw anything like this in TOS

miklamar

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Report this Feb. 29 2012, 12:14 pm

I think each shift should be for 8 hours, normally, with at least a skeleton crew operating in each sector, for each shift.  I would suggest that the Bridge officers assemble in the observation lounge and have coffee or whatever, then all proceed together to relieve the previoius shift's officers.


After a quick debriefing, I think the offgoing officers should then go to the observation lounge and fill out their reports about activities during their shift, while events are still fresh in their minds.


Each shift has its unique qualities, so it would be good for all officers to serve on each shift, at some time.  Therefore, Starfleet should consider rotating the personnel from an entire shift--used to working together as a team--to various other shifts, to prepare them for being able to function at any time of day or night.


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

Dutchking2282

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Report this Feb. 29 2012, 3:47 pm

This is an interresting topic. I have wondered this for many years. Also, why didn't they ever go to the bathroom? In the 23rd century, did we breed out the need to go?

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