In TOS, the crystals are not necessary for the operation of the ship's engines as long as they have working bypass circuits.
You're talking about the impulse engines? Other than that I do not recall a specific line or event that established that warp power in TOS was possible without the use of dilithium crystals somewhere
in the "chain" of energy creation.
In ENT and TNG they are critical to the operation of the ship's engines as they regulate the matter-antimatter reaction.
For the future of TNG that has been established.
ENT is a retroactive continuity attempt that tries to tell us that that's the way it always had been but essentially a result of poor TOS research which I consider to be the biggest problem in "Treknology" still today.
Just for the fun of it, I'd really like to see a poll which provides your research data (TOS Enterprise
also has two matter-antimatter reactors and antimatter pods in
the nacelles) and then let the fanbase vote.
To paraphrase one of my favorite lines from "Chicago": Do you believe what you heard in TOS or do you believe what you are being told (by ST "experts" et cetera).
Did the shuttle in "The Menagerie" that chased the Enterprise have crystals?
Did "First Contact"'s Zephram Cochrane warp ship have dilithium crystals? Did it even use a matter-antimatter engine or was a fusion reactor it's power source enough to achieve warp speed?
Actually, I'd prefer to take the "First Contact" findings with a grain of salt from a strict TOS or "Metamorphosis" point of view so to speak. According to the 1970's fan explanations dilithium crystals were (or will be
) discovered on one of Saturn's moons in the 2050's. I do, however, like your heading.
What about Lazarus tiny one-man time- and spacecraft from "The Alternative Factor"? It used two standardized 23rd Century dilithium crystal pads (apparently he didn't come from the TNG future) but what was its power source? Nuclear Fusion or matter-antimatter?
Oops...sorry about that error, Nebraska it is. Do I presume correctly it was supposedly Offutt Air Force Base we saw in "Tomorrow Is Yesterday"?
The funny thing is that last night my wife showed me a test with stereotypes: Where I live the superiors usually expect that their employees do their work as efficiently as possible without expecting words of gratitude in exchange. US citizens also feel that we have an obsession while researching issues to go back to prehistoric events (I can't exclude the possibility that this tread may be a graphic visualization of that
). Naturally, I'd be inclined to say I'm from Vulcan, but I'm not aware that Berlin is the capitol of Vulcan.