The God Thing said:
To be fair, water droplets are clearly visible on the Ilia-Probe's shoulders, and if one has the iTunes version of ST:TMP (my copy is of the 1979 cinema edit but I believe Apple has since changed it to the DE) on their computer pressing the fast-forward on the QuickTime Player during that segment reveals - at least to me - steam being blown down on Khambatta which is otherwise almost completely obscured by the "mood light" animation effect.
Cary L. Brown said:The problem with the "Trek" incarnation of these things is that they're inconsistent with the REAL science it's based upon. Trek "sonic showers," supposedly, use no water. This is illogical and irrational, but not too surprising... the folks writing about it most often had no idea of the science behind it.
No argument there. TMP was, however, much more well-thought-out, TECHNICALLY at least, than the TNG-and-later series (or any of the later movies). While TMP's ENTERTAINMENT value is subject to debate, it's technical value is not. It is, by far, the most technically reasonable of the various shows (sets not fitting within the hull structure notwithstanding). Something I attribute, heavily, to the involvement of Dr. Von Puttkamer (sp?) as technical advisor.
I'm fairly certain that the use of sonic showers is something he contributed to the mix (just like wormholes and other semi-factual science presented in the film).
Unfortunately, later Trek writers missed this point entirely, and simply reused the term as "technobabble" without really bothering to try to understand what they were talking about.