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Old 05-06-2020, 05:00 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
Knate airrant
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So I'm on an Ex Astris Scientia binge at the moment, and I stumble upon the page discussing the multiple chief engineers in TNG Season One...


PNQ: Opinions?


I'm still sort of surprised that a Chief Engineer wasn't part of the main cast from the beginning. Scotty proved that such a position was required for any Trek series.



Ex Astris Scientia posits that there could be multiple Chief Engineers for the first year because of the newness of the tech. I dispute this, since as I've discussed elsewhere the bugs would've been worked out in the U.S.S. Galaxy, and this second-model warp engine would've needed less supervision.



An option that occurs to me is that a Chief Engineer is something that a starship would need on-staff 24/7. While the "night crew" up on the Bridge could be less experienced, you need experienced engineers watching the warp core 24/7. Perhaps some of these characters weren't really THE Chief Engineer, but instead just the "Chief Engineer on Duty", in charge for the current shift.



Of the four S1 Chief Engineers, MacDougal, Argyle, and Lynch were Lieutenant Commanders and Logan was a Lieutenant. I'd put MacDougal as the "main" Chief Engineer with the others as shift assistants. Logan was lower on the totem pole, but perhaps he had more command experience than the other three, putting him into conflict with Geordi in "The Arsenal of Freedom."



In "Where No One Has Gone Before" Argyle is specifically called "one of our Chief Engineers."



Mention must also be made of Shimoda and Singh, the "Assistant Chief Engineers." What's interesting is that Shimoda wasn't wearing a Starfleet uniform, his outfit looked more like a a noncommissioned crewman. Of course in a situation like this it's time for Nate to bring up his all-purpose plot hole fixer: UESPA! What if Shimoda wasn't Starfleet, but UESPA? Given the "new age" of exploration that the E-D had just started, it stands to reason that UESPA would want to send along one of their own officers for the mission. Maybe he's still heading up the night shift or something for all we know.
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