If so I find it much preferable to "polarizing" the hull that Enterprise tried pulling, another B & B move.
Oh, no, that actually bears some similarity to a real-world principle. I can't remember the details, but I've heard about something that's really used in tanks today, or at least is in prototype, that uses some kind of magnetic or electric field to strengthen the atomic bonds in armor and make it more durable. I've also read recently about a different technology that uses a magnetic field to soften the impact of an exploding shell so it does less damage. So "polarizing the hull plating" is something I can actually buy into as credible. (And it has a Trek precedent too, since it's a similar principle to the structural integrity fields used in the 24th century.)[/QUOTE]
I was reminded of the Night's Dawn Trilogy where the durabilty of Starships and the armor of ground troops can be enhanced by 'valency-bonding generators' presumably applying a field which enhances molecular binding forces between atoms.
This always struck me as a bit closer to reality than shields, although admittedley not as useful for a Deus Ex Machina for any tech problems in a script.