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Shift Coverage on a starship

Beershark

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POSTS: 2590

Report this Mar. 01 2012, 6:17 am

Quote: Broadstorm @ 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.

>


This is on of those questions that just begs to be answered like this:


It's a TV SHOW!


Of course we are going to see the main CHARCTERS all the time. That's why they're called MAIN characters.


Don't over think things. You're making us look bad.


CORPORATIONS AREN'T PEOPLE! Soylent Green is people.

Evan.J.Guzman

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Report this Mar. 01 2012, 6:32 am




 

ServalanFan




Report this Mar. 01 2012, 8:49 am



If something serious happens like a Klingon attack you think Picard and Kirk are going to leave it to the third shift to handle. No way. Third shift get their captain on the blower if they so much smell an iceberg.




I thought in the US Navy on active duty I thought the shits were 12 hours long. I assume this is the same for Star Trek but when on low interest missions they just do 8 hours.




In TOS and VOY in particular you never saw anyone else in command except the main bridge crew. in TOS a lot of this could be explained away in that they scheduled themselves to be on duty on planetfall. There were heaps of times though they had unexpected alien encounters where the captain and main bridge crew were on deck.




Realistically things should happen when either 2nd or 3rd shift were on duty. My guess is that they would call up the main bridge crew to replace if there were any serious problems. This would just slow down the production shifting from one group of people we didn't know on the bridge to our main heroes. Its just expeduebt that's all.







 


I pretty much feel this is the answer.


Yes it's a tv show. You can say that all the time but that would take the fun out of pretty much ervery forum here on the site


Nothing wrong with an episode making reference to what would happen if something did occur during third shift to make a realistic twist into the fantasy that we all should know it is.

Blueflare

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Report this Mar. 01 2012, 2:56 pm

Ah, I was about to say because it's a TV show. I doubt there is a truly rational explanation for it... this is one of those times where you've just got to suspend your disbelief. 

Matthias Russell

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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 7:40 am

Why suspend disbelief? As ServalanFan said, the Navies already do this! Around the clock shift coverage isn't hard to do. As for vitlal officers being available at any hours, many doctors and other professions have shifts with 24hr on-call coverage.


This is not a difficult concept and it has been covered many times in the show. We saw shift changes often as well as people hitting up the replicator while on duty. Jellico had Riker change the shift rotation.


When you serve aboard a ship, that ship is your life and you work when there is work to be done. That is part of the reason sailors have long periods of shore leave between missions.


miklamar

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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 8:23 am

As ServalanFan said, if anything major was happening, the Captain and XO, at least, would be called to the bridge.  And, they would want to be there, to make the important decisions, because they would be held accountable for whatever happened.


 


 


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

pbowers15

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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 9:40 am

Anyone remember when the admiral orderd picard, Worf, And Crusher to the Cardassian Neutral zone, and left The Capt. Jellicco in command- He changed Alpha, Brovo, and Charlie shifts to in clude a Delta shift


 


To Boldly go where... where the hell am i?

pbowers15

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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 9:41 am

Quote: Matthias Russell @ Mar. 02 2012, 7:40 am

>

>Why suspend disbelief? As ServalanFan said, the Navies already do this! Around the clock shift coverage isn't hard to do. As for vitlal officers being available at any hours, many doctors and other professions have shifts with 24hr on-call coverage.

>This is not a difficult concept and it has been covered many times in the show. We saw shift changes often as well as people hitting up the replicator while on duty. Jellico had Riker change the shift rotation.

>When you serve aboard a ship, that ship is your life and you work when there is work to be done. That is part of the reason sailors have long periods of shore leave between missions.

>


Are you on second life?


To Boldly go where... where the hell am i?

pbowers15

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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 9:42 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>If something serious happens like a Klingon attack you think Picard and Kirk are going to leave it to the third shift to handle. No way. Third shift get their captain on the blower if they so much smell an iceberg.

>I thought in the US Navy on active duty I thought the shits were 12 hours long. I assume this is the same for Star Trek but when on low interest missions they just do 8 hours.

>In TOS and VOY in particular you never saw anyone else in command except the main bridge crew. in TOS a lot of this could be explained away in that they scheduled themselves to be on duty on planetfall. There were heaps of times though they had unexpected alien encounters where the captain and main bridge crew were on deck.

>Realistically things should happen when either 2nd or 3rd shift were on duty. My guess is that they would call up the main bridge crew to replace if there were any serious problems. This would just slow down the production shifting from one group of people we didn't know on the bridge to our main heroes. Its just expeduebt that's all.

>


No, Alpha (primary) would take over command


To Boldly go where... where the hell am i?

Broadstorm

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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 4:11 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>If something serious happens like a Klingon attack you think Picard and Kirk are going to leave it to the third shift to handle. No way. Third shift get their captain on the blower if they so much smell an iceberg.

>


That is not what I said.  I would expect things to happen during different shifts & the captain to be called to the bridge.  Instead, the way the shows are written, the captain & first officer are usually already on duty when a situation arises.  The "night shift" (and I'll again mention that no one shift gets any more daylight than any other in space) shouldn't be left to an ensign just because it isn't "daytime" in space.  There should be someone of adequate rank & competence to handle a combat situation at least long enough for the captain to arrive on the bridge.  I would expect in times of extended combat situations that CO & XO would rotate.  Voyager had Year of Hell, but Janeway & Chakotay were often seen on duty together even then.  DS9 was used for what was supposedly the base of operations for the allied fleet despite the severely flawed reasoning of placing the command hub right where it was most vulnerable, and the Defiant would go off for days at a time into hostile territory, but whenever something got started, the entire command staff was on duty together.

Reliant Redshirt

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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 6:00 pm

that is a side effect of Klingon Red Bull 


 


Redshirts are allowed to sleep if they manage to return to the ship!


I think that was timed on the show so because it would have been harder to get a plot when you need to know three guys at helm and three different engineers. like a poetic licence.


 


 


 

Matthias Russell

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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 9:06 pm

Quote: pbowers15 @ Mar. 02 2012, 9:41 am

Quote: Matthias Russell @ Mar. 02 2012, 7:40 am

>

>Why suspend disbelief? As ServalanFan said, the Navies already do this! Around the clock shift coverage isn't hard to do. As for vitlal officers being available at any hours, many doctors and other professions have shifts with 24hr on-call coverage.

>This is not a difficult concept and it has been covered many times in the show. We saw shift changes often as well as people hitting up the replicator while on duty. Jellico had Riker change the shift rotation.

>When you serve aboard a ship, that ship is your life and you work when there is work to be done. That is part of the reason sailors have long periods of shore leave between missions.

>

Are you on second life?



As said in another thread, "Troll much?"

VORTEX8472

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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 10:23 pm


If I’m not mistaken, the bridge has been shown to be under the command of a Senior Officer at any given time, unless due to special circumstances like an urgent meeting in the Briefing Room or a critical emergency (MIA officers or battle).  


Looking at TNG as an example; Picard, Riker, Data, or Worf appeared to be on duty on separate shifts usually overlapping and the senior staff would all take their stations upon arrival at a scheduled destination or when faced with an imminent danger or mission objective.


Remember each Captain (except Kirk) had a Ready Room adjacent their respective bridges, we saw Picard/Janeway/Sisko/Archer spent considerable time in their offices, for all intents and purposes, it served as the Captains second station.  So the Captains were likely “On Duty” most of the day, not necessarily in the Big Chair.


As for the other Senior staff, they had their respective departments to fall back on, with a hierarchy already established. 



Broadstorm

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Report this Mar. 03 2012, 3:47 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>

>

>If something serious happens like a Klingon attack you think Picard and Kirk are going to leave it to the third shift to handle. No way. Third shift get their captain on the blower if they so much smell an iceberg.

>

That is not what I said.  I would expect things to happen during different shifts & the captain to be called to the bridge.  Instead, the way the shows are written, the captain & first officer are usually already on duty when a situation arises.  The "night shift" (and I'll again mention that no one shift gets any more daylight than any other in space) shouldn't be left to an ensign just because it isn't "daytime" in space.  There should be someone of adequate rank & competence to handle a combat situation at least long enough for the captain to arrive on the bridge.  I would expect in times of extended combat situations that CO & XO would rotate.  Voyager had Year of Hell, but Janeway & Chakotay were often seen on duty together even then.  DS9 was used for what was supposedly the base of operations for the allied fleet despite the severely flawed reasoning of placing the command hub right where it was most vulnerable, and the Defiant would go off for days at a time into hostile territory, but whenever something got started, the entire command staff was on duty together.

"Year of Hell" was an unusual case. Voyager was stuck in the Delta quadrant with no outside support, no backup ships. In the case were they were under barage around the clock, they would i imagine adjust the crew rotations but this would be the exception rather than the norm. Even if they were on the alert 24 hours per day there would be occasion where Janeway and Chakotay were on alternate shits but they would have to also have time together to discuss tactics, injuries, supplies etc. The top team would also have to be together when the ship was under major attack.

However the alpha bridge crew always did seem to be on duty whenever anything significant happened in both TOS and VOY. Once I would have liked to have seen Janeway or Kirk rush to the bridge in their PJs and dressing gown. Although it looked like the boys in TOS slept in their uniforms.


Yes, Year of Hell was a special case which is why I mentioned it.  There would have been some overlap, but with no support, and atacks that could occur at any time, it is simply not very likely that all of those attacks would occur during those overlaps.  I realize that therre were significant jumps for the episode to cover a year so we would not see all of the attacks, but it was in regard to the topic of this thread, handled much like the vast majority of other episodes.


As you mentioned about a captain showing up out of uniform would have been an amusing sight, but it also would have been more realistic without necessarily being any more difficult to write than the typical scenes with all the major characters at their usual stations. at the start of the scene.  They wouldn't always have to be sleeping when something comes up, but it just comes across as lazy writing when they routinely have the entire senior staff on the bridge at the same time as if they are waiting for something to happen "right about... now" like their publicity photos.  The realism is in the details, and that little bit more effort can go a long way.

tribblenator999

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Report this Mar. 04 2012, 7:53 am

the thing is they could've easily fixed this error was by making everyone but the first officer  non-senior staff crew members.

miklamar

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Report this Mar. 09 2012, 12:57 pm

What about when different officers and crew members are eligible for shore leave, vacation, or even to go to conferences?  Or, what about if someone is ill or gets injured?  Does the senior member of another shift fill in for the absent crew member?  Or, do they temporarily promote a junior officer to fill in, until the regular officer returns?  That might not be a bad idea, to give younger officers a chance to gain experience, with a veteran team.


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

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