Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Geordi is not appointed as the chief engineer of the Enterprise-D until season two. There seemed to be a major change in the crew at this time (including the temporary exit of Dr Crusher and apparent installment of Chief O'Brien), but is there a canonical reason for Geordi's appointment?

There is a similar but distinct question about the chief engineer before Geordi here.

share|improve this question
4  
I read a book on the history of Trek once - If I recall it correctly the success of the first season cause Paramount to infuse more money into TNG and become more involved in its production. Season two also saw new writers, new characters, expanded character development and departures behind the camera (not just Gates Mcfadden/Dr. Crusher). This might help: TNG Wiki –  Hikaru Ichijyo Mar 18 at 2:56
    
I have also wondered this. His role in season 1 isn't very technical, and he's rarely doing anything that suggests latent engineering abilities. –  Dacio Mar 18 at 16:11

1 Answer 1

up vote 29 down vote accepted

Does the Star Trek: The Next Generation Writer's Guide count for you?

The Starfleet reasoning (or "in-universe" reasoning) is that officers need a year of bridge duty before being promoted. I don't remember if that's all officers, or only ones in certain fields.

(And, at this point, Gene Roddenberry was still running the show, just as he was in season one.)

The behind the scenes reasoning was that they didn't think they'd need a Chief Engineer and had gone through three of them in one season and by the second season, they realized they needed one and it was better to use an existing character than a new one.

I suspect part of the reasoning, the second time around, was that they were trying to keep the stories more character-focused and deal less with the technology, but soon found they still needed a chief engineer. (LeVar Burton stated he loved the change, since that meant that when he had a scene, it was moving the plot forward and was more integral, rather than just responding to orders and pushing buttons.)

share|improve this answer
    
In addition to answer 18, Geordi was chosen for the chief engineer role as having a blind helmsman was seen as a little "off" in hindsight –  Judgedredd Mar 18 at 15:13
    
I find it very interesting that they didn't feel a Chief Engineer was needed. Scotty is one of the most memorable characters from TOS (at least to me), and after rewatching season 1 of TNG, the interchangeable engineering staff seems very odd. –  Dacio Mar 18 at 16:15
    
@Dacio They almost didn't even build the engineering set; a scene was written specifically for the pilot to ensure they built one. (Source: memory of the Next Generation Technical Manual, looking for something more reliable now.) –  Blazemonger Mar 18 at 16:19
    
@Dacio: Remember, in TOS, Scotty wasn't cast for a while. They didn't think they'd need a Chief Engineer as much the first time around either. –  Tango Mar 18 at 16:36
3  
To add to this, I remember reading that part of Roddenberry's vision for TNG in general was "technology unchained": the idea that by TNG's era, technology had become seamlessly interwoven with everyone's lives. As such, he didn't want the technology to be the focus of the drama or story and therefore, a character whose sole job was the support the technology was deemed unnecessary. Apologies for not being able to cite a source on this, as I can't remember now exactly where I read that. –  Matt Peterson Mar 18 at 17:36

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.