Dale Sams wrote:
Here I thought this was going to be a thread about why the most important part of the ship is exposed like a hood ornament.
How often has a bridge actually taken direct damage (not
exploding consoles - something that breached the hull)?
"Year of Hell" and the Abrams movie are the only examples that I can think of off the top of my head. 99% of the time, the shields and hull (and plot armor) do a good enough job of protecting the bridge from damage. Burying it deeper in the hull would be pointless from a design perspective, and detrimental from a dramatic one.
(And if you're a believer in replaceable bridge modules, burying it would complicate or prevent those.)
The bridge of the USS Constellation was damaged and unihabitable in TOS episode "The Doomsday Machine".
Excerpt of "The Doomsday Machine" below
Link --> http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/35.htm
KIRK: Lieutenant Palmer.
PALMER: I can't raise the Constellation, sir. I'm still getting the distress beacon, but there's heavy subspace interference. It's almost blocking the signal.
KIRK: Keep trying. Mister Spock, full evaluation of the damage to the Constellation.
SPOCK: All power plants dead, reserve energy banks operative at a very low power level.
KIRK: Life support systems?
SPOCK: Also operative at a low power level. The entire Bridge is damaged and uninhabitable. The rest of the ship seems able to sustain life.
Navigator NCC-2120 USS Entente
Stokely: In an insane society, the sane man must appear insane.
Harvey Holroyd: Where'd you get that?
Stokely: Star Trek. [leaves the room]
Harvey Holroyd: [to himself] God, I miss that show. (Source: "Serial", 1980.