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Old September 26 2012, 03:50 PM   #7
Re: Episode of the Week: The Battle

Also, would a tractor beam really prevent the Stargazer from firing it's main weapons?
I rather think the tractor beam just shook Picard out of the illusion, so he never gave the command to fire. After all, there was no tractor beam in the original Battle of Maxia. And Picard only got as far as saying "Ready phasers", perhaps stumbling backwards on the memory lane in confusion when the tractor beam shook the ship...

It may well be that our heroes were not particularly concerned about Picard firing at them: an old ship might have feeble weapons, which the E-D could shrug off at least for a while. Riker was principally concerned about Picard's safety, and about the possibility of having to wage a conventional battle to stop his delusional rampage - a battle necessarily ending in Picard's death.

Like how the distance between ships that can already see each other without a visual delay really wouldn't have made a difference.
The thing is, the E-D could see far in real time with FTL sensors. Picard's original opponent must have had his FTL sensors damaged somehow, or else the maneuver would not have worked. For Riker, the maneuver only resulted in pretty double exposure pictures. For the original Ferengi opponent, it would have created deadly confusion, as he could not have seen in real time the departure of the Stargazer from the far end of the maneuver, and the brief rainbow streaks of her coming at him, only her arrival at the near end. (Indeed, without FTL sensors, a ship flying towards you at FTL and then stopping would look like the ship popping out of nowhere, and then its image receding from you as it belatedly "arrived" to your eyes from various distances...)

What irks me about the battle part of "The Battle" is the inability of our heroes to stop Picard from stealing the starship. When he beams aboard, a lengthy dialogue with Bok ensues. Riker could lock a tractor beam onto the ship at any point of this dialogue - an action that would come naturally for him, as he was shown being dubious about Picard's order to release the beam in the first place.

After this, Bok beams out through shields (but we can grant him that much - in a later episode, we learn that he has a super-duper subspace transporter!), and Picard flies off to reenact the battle. After fruitless communications, he slams his shields to full power, at which point communications are severed (something that never happens elsewhere in Trek AFAIK). The Maneuver is then performed, Picard is grabbed - and suddenly Riker can talk to Picard again. Did the tractor beam weaken the shields?

Picard then awakens and destroys Bok's device. As soon as he comes to, he tells Riker to beam him back, which successfully takes place. At no point did he order the computer to drop shields! So he, too, has a subspace transporter now..?

Timo Saloniemi
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