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Count me in as another fan of Captain Jellico.

I think the actor, Ronny Cox, suffered from being a little typecast after his roles as Dick Jones in Robocop and Cohaegan in Total Recall, the latter which came out less than 2 years before "Chain of Command". People saw him as another version of those characters.

Myself, at that time TNG was my second favorite show, only eclipsed by Quantum Leap, but I still thought when Jellico came in he gave the Enterprise crew a swift kick in their complacency that they sorely needed. I equated Jellico as more closely related to the character Cox played in Beverly Hills Cop than in Robocop or Total Recall. The police lieutenant that at the beginning of the movie you think is an authoritarian hard ass and they typical movie thorn in the protagonist's side, but by the end of the movie you see that he's always looking out for the best interests not only of the men under him, but also the people he's supposed to be protecting and serving, he may have strong opinions on what those best interests are, but he'd never ask anyone to do anything he wouldn't be willing to do himself. By the end of the movie you see he's a cool guy and he becomes Axel's friend. 

 

I love SF Debris's idea about Riker and wish TNG had implemented it. I've extrapolated on it some:

In the episode "Second Chances" when we find out Riker has a double because of a transporter accident and has stayed isolated on a planet for some years, Riker was a lieutenant when this happened and the double (which took to being called by his middle name "Thomas" ) doesn't have any of Will's experience since the accident. Another Trek tropes thing, "The holodeck is perfectly safe, except when it isn't." "The transporter is perfectly safe, except when it isn't.", etc.

So, yeah, they had another one of those episodes, and I'm not complaining because even if they at times make Starfleet look a bit incompetent they are mostly really fun. But what if they took the opportunity of this episode to shakes things up even more?

Maybe at the start of the episode Will Riker is once again being offered command of a starship and he finally decides he's ready? Picard wants to promote Data to first officer, Worf to 2nd officer, and Ensign Ro to chief tactical. Starfleet is fine with Data being promoted to commander, but for the other two they are like "Are you nucking futs?!!" to Picard.

First, just a year previously Worf conveniently resigns his commission to fight in the Klingon civil war, which shows Starfleet does not have a monopoly on his loyalties. There can be some throwaway line to Picard like "Then he asks to come back to Starfleet and as a favor to you we allow it, but in no way is he ready for a promotion!"

Next, Picard wants Ro Larren, who had previously been court-martialed and up to a year ago had been in a stockade, to be promoted to tactical officer of the Federation's flagship? Starfleet just won't allow it.

So Picard has a vacancy at the 2nd officer position. Then the rest of the episode of "Second Chances" plays out as it originally did, however at the end it's not Thomas Riker that leaves to take a position on another ship it's Will Riker that leaves to be captain of a starship and Thomas stays behind and becomes Picard's 2nd officer? Starfleet is like "Picard...just, why?" but grudgingly acquiesces. 

So the actor Jonathan Frakes stays on TNG but is playing kind of a different character and is 2nd officer of the Enterprise instead of 1st officer and Data is 1st officer. Maybe the romance with Thomas and Troi is explored some more as well as both Data and Thomas adjusting to their new positions and duties. Worf not getting promoted to lieutenant commander until Star Trek: Generations will also make more sense, even if they still do it with that "traditional" promotion ceremony on the HMS Enterprise that we've never seen before or since. 

It's like that for maybe the rest of the series (a season and some change) maybe Will Riker shows up here and there or you see him talking on screens in subspace messages. Like I said, things are shaken up a little on TNG and season 7 might not have felt like it was coasting on fumes like it did a lot of the time.

What happens later with Thomas joining the Maquis might still happen, or not, but there's more to explore with both Will's and Thomas' character arcs that's potentially really interesting.

Also, "Second Chances" was in season six but aired after "Chain of Command" but what if it aired before those episodes? Then it's Thomas Riker clashing with Captain Jellico. Thomas Riker can be played a little more brash, arrogant, and less mature while Will Riker doesn't come off as petulant as he did, keeping that character's respectability less tarnished.

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

I can see that interpretation, but it clearly cuts against the intent of the writers. Their intent was that Jellico overstepped by attempting to change ship culture on what was a temporary command, ship culture presumably shaped by the regular captain to his taste, then proceeded to mismanage the crew, and  finally distracted them and himself from his actual task (negotiating with the Cardassians).

He was a good captain, no doubt. So was Captain Bligh, by most accounts.

According to the TNG Companion, not so much. Their intention was that Jellico was going to be more direct and officious than Picard, but just as capable, to the point where they gave him his own catchphrase ("Get it done!") and humanised him by having him put up pictures drawn by his kids in his ready room. They also wanted desperately to avoid the cliche of other Starfleet COs being incompetent/corrupt/evil/possessed and show one who was also really good at his job, just not in the same way as Picard (arguably they wouldn't succeed again until Admiral Ross on DS9).

I remember (having refreshed the old TNG rewatch thread) that the only problem I had with Jellico was the fact he didn't seem to respect Riker at all, despite Riker having saved the entire Federation (including Jellico and his family) in The Best of Both Worlds, which felt a little bizarre. That said, Jellico is also the Starfleet officer who negotiated the Cardassian ceasefire in the previous war, so he also has some pretty good chops and experience that Riker is completely ignoring as well.

 

Quote

 

This again runs into the issue that you're applying 20th century military standards to an organization that is not exactly military in the same way. It has many of the trappings, but it's fairly clear Rodenberry and co saw it as somewhat "squishier", to use an inelegant word. Jellico, a martinet, is out of step with the more open and collaborative Federation where fraternization among the ranks is not just accepted but encouraged, a psychiatric counselor has a regular role in decision making, etc.

His approach was at odds with what what the entire crew (excepting maybe Data) seemed to think was normal or understandable. Either the crew of Starfleet's flagship are to be read as a bunch of lazy, pampered fools... Or perhaps it's Jellico in the wrong, doing things that are antiquated.

 

I know we made that point about Starfleet not being a military organisation earlier on, but it's also clear that Starfleet does act like a military in a time of war. In fact, when war is openly declared you can even see Starfleet suddenly become more formal, such as in Best of Both Worlds when Troi flat-out tells Riker is inappropriate for him as acting Captain to lead a rescue mission to the Borg cube, and during the Dominion War (The Siege of AR-558 and Valiant are to some extent about what happens when the idealistic Starfleet has to switch to a full war footing and how they handle that).

The Celtris III situation isn't quite a full war situation, but the Federation believes it can escalate into one at any second, so it's clearly a time for discipline and following orders, and not arsing around. If Jellico had turned out to be insane or corrupt and had been ordering the crew to do flat-out crazy shit that would be one thing, but he didn't. He did his job and did it pretty well. The episode even asks the viewer if they agree, when at the end Jellico even says to Picard, "Here's your ship Picard, just the way you left her...maybe even a little better."

It's actually an interesting question that I think I've only seen raised elsewhere on BSG with Cain, and the "well, she gets stuff done despite being a bit of a martinet" angle is undercut less than half an hour later by the "she's a fucking sociopath who approves of rape as a means of interrogation" revelation, which kind of removes the moral ambiguity in that situation.

A nice little bit of trivia: Jellico is just about the only guest character on any episode of Star Trek to make a Captain's log entry on the Enterprise. There's a few other episodes where we see log entries from other ships played back (like the captain of the Yamato in Contagion), but none where a non-regular or at least recurring character creates a log entry.

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Also, "Second Chances" was in season six but aired after "Chain of Command" but what if it aired before those episodes? Then it's Thomas Riker clashing with Captain Jellico. Thomas Riker can be played a little more brash, arrogant, and less mature while Will Riker doesn't come off as petulant as he did, keeping that character's respectability less tarnished.

 

You know this was the original plan for the episode, from Ron Moore and Jonathan Frakes? Actually, it was way worse than that, they were actually going to kill Will Riker off in Second Chances, promote Data and were going to have Tom replace him at Ops, but Rick Berman shot that down in flames and said no chance. His main concern was that TNG was going to move to movies and casual viewers of the show who didn't watch every episode were going to get confused if Riker showed up in a film acting out of character and they didn't want to have to explain everything.

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Wow.     Then Tom got arrested helping the Mahkee /  Maki.   Someone should bust him out.  Will?

The relaxed military reflects how we've grown up as a species.  We don't need military-tight discipline anymore because we're a more mature species who can keep ourselves motivated.  Self actualized.  Whatnot.   

The way they powered Q down was when he was in detention, but there's more fascinating ways he could be used.  He could mature to where he stakes himself to a purpose, like keeping the universe from fracturing, but he's only a deity level creature in THIS universe, so his abilities begin to fail him when he tries to hold another universe at bay so it doesn't flood ours.  He's sinking his power into that quicksand, and his godhood is bleeding off, and he's thus brought back to the pack of other characters, suddenly more relatable because his manifestation is more like a lowly Loki now, with most of his true self being slowly crucified elsewhere by chaotic physics.  He could appreciate a drink with O'Brian at that point, and might even get toasted.   (There's more Q continuum stuff they could do.)

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I hope someone remembered to free Tom Riker after freeing Cardassia from the Dominion.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

I hope someone remembered to free Tom Riker after freeing Cardassia from the Dominion.

Nah. I know that because I did save his son in Star Trek Online who told me that he died. XD

 

Edited by Toth

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5 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

I hope someone remembered to free Tom Riker after freeing Cardassia from the Dominion.

He's some sort of mercenary/secret agent in the Novels.  Did a little job for Admiral Riker...

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In lieu of a general-purpose Trek thread, it's worth mentioning here the sad news that Aron Eisenberg passed away today at the age of 50. He played Nog in 44 episodes of Deep Space Nine and also a Kazon on an episode of Voyager.

Eisenberg was a hugely underrated part of the DS9 ensemble, and his good humour and charisma made two of the show's finest hours for me. In the Cards, probably the show's funniest hour (barring Trials and Tribbleations), and It's Only a Paper Moon, DS9's in-depth exploration of PTSD. He also had a fun podcast with Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko). He will be missed.

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I can't believe he was only in 44 episodes. He seemed like such a big part of the show. 

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Even Garak appeared in only 37 episodes. I saw Aron Eisenberg in 2014 when he came to St John's. 

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17 minutes ago, Aemon Stark said:

Even Garak appeared in only 37 episodes. I saw Aron Eisenberg in 2014 when he came to St John's. 

Wow that's shockingly low considering these were 20+ episode seasons. 

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He must have been quite young when he was in the show to only be 50. 

13 hours ago, Aemon Stark said:

Even Garak appeared in only 37 episodes. I saw Aron Eisenberg in 2014 when he came to St John's. 

I imagine we conflate quark with nog in terms of appearances so i think the episode number is about right. He appeared more towards the end when he joined Starfleet if i recall correctly?

I'm doing a next gen (re) watch. I missed seasons 1-4 first time around. I'm just doing the "key" episodes from a guide online which boils it down to about 40 hours. Hopefully get in done as a nice primer for the picard show

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7 hours ago, red snow said:

He must have been quite young when he was in the show to only be 50. 

I imagine we conflate quark with nog in terms of appearances so i think the episode number is about right. He appeared more towards the end when he joined Starfleet if i recall correctly?

I'm doing a next gen (re) watch. I missed seasons 1-4 first time around. I'm just doing the "key" episodes from a guide online which boils it down to about 40 hours. Hopefully get in done as a nice primer for the picard show

To be honest I'd watch all of TNG. You don't fully appreciate what we have now until you've watched Code of Honour (the "blatantly racist to black people" episode), Justice (the "jogging Aryans" episode), Angel One (the "arguably more sexist than any episode of the original series" episode) and Up the Long Ladder (the "let's be racist against Irish people and really piss off Colm Meaney" episode). It's a trip.

DS9 started 26 years ago and finished 20 years ago, so Eisenberg would have gone from 24 to 30 whilst being on it. He's nine years older than Cirroc Lofton (who played Jake), who's only 41 now, so would have been 15 to 21 when he was on it. I'm more surprised that James Darren (Vic Fonataine) is still going so strong as I thought he was much older when he was on the show. He's 83 now, so he was 62-63 when he was on DS9 and was still in his thirties when he made The Time Tunnel in the late 1960s.

Oddball fact for you: considering how many castmembers we've lost from Babylon 5, which started seven years after TNG, we still haven't lost a single regular castmember from TNGDS9Voyager or Enterprise, despite that era of the show starting 32 years ago. Eisenberg was a recurring character, as were a few other actors we've lost, but none of the regulars so far.

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I like your reasoning of watching some bad episodes in order to appreciate what we have now. The opening 2 parter certainly has some awkward moments along with anime style drawn out scenes of saucers engaging/disengaging and shots of stars whizzing by.

It might be worth watching some of the awful ones - i do recall the Irish one.

It does almost seem like there was a curse on the B5 cast as they certainly haven't fared well.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Oddball fact for you: considering how many castmembers we've lost from Babylon 5, which started seven years after TNG, we still haven't lost a single regular castmember from TNGDS9Voyager or Enterprise, despite that era of the show starting 32 years ago. Eisenberg was a recurring character, as were a few other actors we've lost, but none of the regulars so far.

Heck... we've even lost the new Chekov already from the movie reboot.

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1 hour ago, Rhom said:

Heck... we've even lost the new Chekov already from the movie reboot.

Before he even got a chance to play Bester in a B5 reboot...

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On 7/28/2019 at 6:35 PM, The Mother of The Others said:

Wow.     Then Tom got arrested helping the Mahkee /  Maki.   Someone should bust him out.  Will?

Maquis.  It is a French term from WW2.

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On 7/29/2019 at 3:56 AM, Derfel Cadarn said:

I hope someone remembered to free Tom Riker after freeing Cardassia from the Dominion.

I had always assumed Tom was killed with the rest of the Maquis... are the books cannon?

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1 hour ago, Martini Sigil said:

I had always assumed Tom was killed with the rest of the Maquis... are the books cannon?

They are not. Though in the books, Tom is kind of a free agent mercenary fixer type...who goes on to help his brother Admiral Willmsolve the assassination of the Federation President...

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Can anyone give a run down of Discovery's more salient points? because Picard appears developed more on that continuity than on anything else.  

 

Like, how pathetic does Klingon technology make the Federation look?

 

I think I just figured out the plot.  The Klingons come to earth and destroy the Federation.  Picard makes his way on the last ship to find a lost human colony.  Shades of Galactica and Starblazers.

Edited by Daniel Newhouse

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