8 comments on “Captain Riker, Ambassador Picard

  1. I haven’t rewatched past “Best of Both Worlds” on this run yet, so I don’t remember season four well enough to comment intelligently.

    I will say that you seem to be drawing a distinction between the duties of a StarFleet Captain and the duties of a StarFleet Ambassador that I’m not sure exists. In TOS, at least, captains seemed to be the only expression of StarFleet authority in many areas, with all the powers and responsibilities a formal ambassador would have. Starfleet ambassadors, I think, are reserved for issues which require specialized knowledge and extended stays – if Picard had become an ambassador, I think we’d have seen more episodes written around him possessing specialized knowledge among hazards which require the Enterprise as escort.

    A “The Drumhead” centered on Deana would follow nicely from my Skin/Conspiracy/Child trilogy.

    PS: You say reimagining these stories is a waste, but there’s been quite a few successful series built on doing exactly that: TNG, Farscape, Futurama, and others I’m sure.

    • To clarify, for whatever other readers there may be: I do like the concept, and agree that few of the season four episodes would require significant changes. My only disagreement (if it is indeed a disagreement) is that some of these episodes might get bumped to season five, and be replaced in season four with new episodes centered on diplomatic missions. (I don’t remember the later seasons well enough to guess how an earlier emphasis on diplomatic missions would affect them.)

    • To some extent, Picard’s actions as captain make that role inclusive of ambassador duties. In that he’s the captain we see for TNG, he defines the role. I guess Sisko has some ambassadorial functions. That said, there’s every reason for The Federation to have a civilian guy riding shotgun on these things, especially as the series lazily becomes softcore military sci-fi.

      There’s plenty of room to take a series to the next step or to change it for a modern audience. Rewriting/reimagining episodes is regressive; the best thing to do is to make a new series based on the ideas of the old one plus some new ones. That’s what Farscape, etc. do and that’s why they’re good.

      • “Reimagining” as narrow revision vs. sifting for grains to build on. I getcha now.

        With the ambassadorship, you’re basically talking about having a diplomatic department assigned to the ship, on par with their science, security et al departments? That makes complete sense. For some reason I was picturing a nuBSG-style division of powers.

        • I was totally pitching division of powers. A Federation-backed, civilian department under the Federation Council which assigns ambassadors to Qo’noS, Romulus, etc.

          When I did the roleplaying game, I did make a diplomatic division. They were purple and handled–among other things–first contact, ship requisitions, and cultural liaising. Derek’s character was a Ferengi in that division who aspired to coast his way through his service contract.

          I believe I remember him summarizing a shore leave debrief which included words like “rebel activity and travel in pairs” into “Don’t get arrested. Get out of here.” Good times.

          • DIvesting the captain of his existing diplomatic duties, sure, but not tacking on new ones (like the legislative and economic responsibilities the civilian arm has in nuBSG). When you said the Federation should have civilians riding shotgun, I started trying to imagine what powers they couldn’t delegate to a Starfleet captain (like the legislative and economic responsibilities of nuBSG’s civilian arm), and forgot the point was to formalize a shift the show was making anyways.

            Heh, laissez faire Ferengi… Maybe I should pitch a Star Trek campaign to my group when our current game wraps up.

    • I just hope whoever writes these keeps writing more!

Comments are closed.