Robert Comsol wrote:
In the Section 4 scene the camera zooms in onto the torpedo just about being loaded, in the next shot
the camera zooms out. For one second in both of these scenes we can actually see the left half of the docking port number - it is a "2".
It actually looks more like a "3" to me - is is this just a typo, as you described the medical students crossing through "section 2" to "section 3" later in your post?
No, I'm pretty sure it's a "2". Prior to the Blu-Ray Disc I wasn't able to spot it: My pan & scan laserdiscs cropped off that area, and the resolution of my letterbox CLV LaserDisc wasn't that great either (no freeze frame button), and I forgot to check it out on my anamorphic DVD. All we now need is an optimal freeze frame screencap of that very, very short scene.
Regardless, since the docking port on the port side is DP 4 (or 5) and that docking port in the photorp loading scene is neither of these two, it has to lead to the docking port on the starboard side...
The medical students are "in" Section 2 (forward launcher loading) but either go to the travel pod or go to Section 3 (outer port side according to the aforementioned loading scene in Section 4)
Having "bays" be more like "sections" solves quite a few issues, although it is a lot of sections for such a small area! I wondered myself if Bay 4 might be the aft launcher, and since the "photon exhaust port" is never explicitly called out as such on screen, it makes a perfectly fine launcher IMO.
Yes, it is a lot of sections but all can be individually sealed off from one another and I reckon it's a much better rationalization than all the other and weird ones we'd been dealing with previously. I'm working on an illustration to visualize the issue. Unfortunately both Lee Cole (Klingon Bridge deck plan) and Shane Johnson (Torpedo Bay deck plan) feature a couple of oddities in their plans that require a couple of corrections.
I'm just not sure if the aft torpedo launcher would have been a feature already available on the TMP Enterprise
. I would rather think it was an addition in later years (while I know there had been aft phasers on the TOS Enterprise,
the retroactive addition of a photorp launcher, too, in "In A Mirror, Darkly" on the Defiant
was a little too much for me).