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Author Topic: Captains and Their Chair Usage
Mark Nguyen
I'm a daddy now!
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It's been noted recently that Bakula's Captain Archer will spend a lot of time not in his chair, walking to and fro between stations as needed. This got me thinking: just how much have the various Captains used their chairs when they're on the bridge commanding their ships? Let's see:

-Kirk is generally in his chair. Usually when he gets out of it, it's to leave, or to go to the railing in front of Spock's station to talk to him. He's rarely seen standing at the forward consoles.

-Picard was practically stitched to his chair. During action scenes, he's always there. Rarely is he seen at the tactical console, and never anywhere else. This has left Riker the opportunity to make a leg on Data's Ops console.

-Sisko didn't have a chair in DS9's Ops, so he generally stood at the head of the Ops table, and basically never at anyone else's stations. On the Defiant, he started out as nailed to his chair as Picard, but after he got promoted he's very frequently gets out of it to stand at the conn next to whoever was flying it.

-Janeway hated her chair. That, or she hated sitting next to Chakotay. I think she spent more time out of it than in it, standing at other peoples' stations, often working the consoles, or standing anywhere she could grab a railing. Given the ergonomic nature of the Voyager bridge, it was pretty easy.

Question for all: does this say anything about our Captains' personalities, or is this based on the chairs themselves? Could the efficiency of a ship's IDF figure into this?

While we're at it, let's see some other Captains for whom we've seen much less screen time:

-Watters (USS Valiant) never got out of his chair. As a cadet being thrust into the position he most desperately sought, that's no surprise. He even had the chair's little headrest out all the time.

-Esteban (USS Grissom) was barely ever in his chair - in fact, did he ever sit down again after standing up in his first scene? He was always standing next to the comm station, science, tactical... But his chair was pink, so that's a likely excuse.

-Martok (IKS Rotarran et.al.) was constantlly in his chair. Never did he stand up to go somewhere else on the bridge - except for "Way of the Warrior". But that probably wasn't him anyway, so...

Any more for thought? Does this mean anything, or are they just keen observations?

Mark

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"This is my timey-wimey detector. Goes ding when there's stuff." - Doctor Who
The 404s - Improv Comedy | Mark's Starship Bridge Designs | Anime Alberta


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Aban Rune
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It's possible that the character's motions in the later series were scripted based on their personalities, but it's likely that it is plot and camera angle driven. If the director wants this line of dialouge shot from in front of the ops console...then Picard has to get up and walk to that mark.

My uneducated guess would also be that leaning on railings...punching buttons...putting your feet on furniture...is as much improvisation by the actors based on their interpretations of the characters as anything else. I can't imagine every scene containing stage directions like -Janeway leans on railing- Some probably do when it figures into the scene.

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Malnurtured Snay
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The most stage direction you would have would be something like:

DATA PICARD WORF ENTER BRIDGE, GO TO STATIONS.

Anything like Picard approaching Ops or Tactical would be the director's call.

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PsyLiam
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"This has left Riker the opportunity to make a leg on Data's Ops console."

Best sentence I've seen all month.

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Yes, you're despicable, and... and picable... and... and you're definitely, definitely despicable. How a person can get so despicable in one lifetime is beyond me. It isn't as though I haven't met a lot of people. Goodness knows it isn't that. It isn't just that... it isn't... it's... it's despicable.


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Veers
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Well, Esteban appeared in one film for 15 minutes or so...then got blown sky high by the Klingons. We can't be sure about him yet.

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Meh

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PsyLiam
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Yet?

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Yes, you're despicable, and... and picable... and... and you're definitely, definitely despicable. How a person can get so despicable in one lifetime is beyond me. It isn't as though I haven't met a lot of people. Goodness knows it isn't that. It isn't just that... it isn't... it's... it's despicable.

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Veers
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Um...
We can't say much about him. Period. That's what I meant. I doubt someone's going to do a book about him (I was thinking that when I posted).
Anyway, I think it's the captain's personality that affects his or her chair-sitting. Maybe some captains like to move around and not feel confined, whereas some may feel they are doing their duty by sitting in it.

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Meh

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Lee
I'm a spy now. Spies are cool.
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Voyager's captain's chair never looked, well, captainy enough. And the lack of a headrest, very non-ergonomic. Looked like, if the ship lurched, you'd forever be hitting your head on the railing behind.

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cptmkb
I WAS IN THE FUTURE, IT WAS TOO LATE TO RSVP
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And her chair wasnt even in the middle of the bridge where it belonged. Paramount didnt want to offend viewers who might infer that a centered captain's chair might indicate a flake like her, and a woman too was in charge.. just like Pike's first officer Number One all over again....

On Esteban: Actually, in the novelization for "The Search for Spock," there were some good passages about Esteban talking to Kirk without realizing David was his son. Apparently they were old friends (And maybe it was because J.T. Esteban stood for James Tiberius Esteban? maybe NOT!). But Admiral Kirk was disapproving of Estebans command style.
Wonder why...
You mean Pocket Books isn't going to do the eight part Grissom crossover next year? The one the runs through Enterprise (the Grissom NX-02), The Original Series, Next Generation, Deep Space nine, Voyager, Challenger, New Frontier and the Early Voyages?

"Captain Esteban, you look uncomfortable.."
"I believe i might have to use the restroom"
"It would be logical"
"Communications, get Starfleet and the Federation council on the line. Send this: permission to use facilities, USS Grissom, JT Esteban commanding"
"There appears to be jamming on the line"
"Damn..."

[ September 06, 2001: Message edited by: CaptainMike ]



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"C'mon, tightly hold your hand / Take a deep breath, give them the finger / Are you worried that your thoughts are not quite.. clear?" - Our Lady Peace, One Man Army

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Styrofoaman
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STARFLEET GENERAL ORDER 147
"Any officers caught "making whoopee" in the Captain's chair will be court-marshaled and discharged from Starfleet."



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Like A Bat Out Of Hell...


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Mark Nguyen
I'm a daddy now!
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Oh, totally agreed. Esteban wouldn't take so much as a deep breath without talking to Starfleet first.

Mark

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"This is my timey-wimey detector. Goes ding when there's stuff." - Doctor Who
The 404s - Improv Comedy | Mark's Starship Bridge Designs | Anime Alberta


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TheF0rce
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I seem to remember the captain of the oddyssey[spelling] standing heroically for the last minutes of her ships life.[and everyone aboard her]

Even though i would have prefered to sit if i had been him...
His bridge was getting rocked by dominion fire and sparks were raining down overhead...i would eigther sit or scramble in the direction of an escape pod by then


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cptmkb
I WAS IN THE FUTURE, IT WAS TOO LATE TO RSVP
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Captain Keough of the Odyssey had no choice but to stand. The budget for "The Jem'Hadar" did not allow for the building of a Galaxy-class bridge set, therefore only a partial set piece was built to place behind the captain and th first officer to make it appear they were on a bridge. Did he even have a chair?
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Veers
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Notice how the bridge of the USS Prometheus ("Second Sight") and the Sutherland ("Redemption") are different. Both Nebulas,
Both different bridges to accommodate the episode budget.

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Meh

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cptmkb
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The would have used the Enterprise-D bridge set, but 'the Jem'Hadar' was filmed a few days after the set was torn down. And then they rebuilt it for Generations (with no lights... grr..).

The bridge for the Prometheus was a single wall too.. apparently that ship was in need of some finishing up, with only one station and a chair. That's why they only had a lieutenant in charge... I wonder why Starfleet thought an empty Nebula-class ship was necessary for carrying one shuttlepod to the Gamma Quadrant. Say stock footage?

At least the Sutherland had three walls and some panels for the guys to stand at to look busy.

Another great journey into cheap bridge sets was Admiral Hanson on his flagship in The Best of Both Worlds: one chair, one railing, one monitor and a close in camera shot.

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"C'mon, tightly hold your hand / Take a deep breath, give them the finger / Are you worried that your thoughts are not quite.. clear?" - Our Lady Peace, One Man Army


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