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Old June 8 2012, 03:12 AM   #811
-SS-
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

This is the first time I've seen this thread, and I must say it's bloody awesome.
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Old June 8 2012, 03:27 PM   #812
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Love how this is shaping up. Beautifully done Vektor.
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Old June 8 2012, 06:10 PM   #813
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
I call them grids and/or sails in the script, I think, and I like to think of them as sails - with grids in them. How's that?

Warships and other very large vessels sort of "brute force" the FTL drive using lots of energy channeled through fixed structures. Small vessels like Polaris are somewhat more nimble.

Or, more or less what Vektor and Maurice said.
Or perhaps another way of putting it is ships meant for war, and most likely to take some form of damage, have these strong structures, which as I understand it, like all (or most) other ships in this universe, either projects the field that warps space (like an Alcubierre drive), helps to control it, or both?

They can take a little (or perhaps more than a little) beating, before they will no longer work. But they take more power, and therefore bigger reactors are necessary, and maneuverability at FTL speeds isn't as good as ships that have sails instead. Perhaps the FTL drive might even need prepping before going to FTL, or navigational points need to be inputted (like in Battlestar Galactica or Star Wars), instead of simply being able to go to FTL at the push of a button or few or the push of a lever (like in Star Trek), or it is possible to go to FTL suddenly, but it has to be at a slower speed to avoid colliding with something or ending up in a black hole or star.

Starships with these sails on the other hand are more efficient, requiring less power, are much more agile at FTL speeds (perhaps even being capable of running circles around much larger vessels at FTL speeds, at which they are extremely difficult to hit?), and can go to and drop out of FTL at the pilot's whim, with little need prep the FTL drive or input navigational points. This however comes at the price that these sails are somewhat fragile, and most damage taken will usually require service at a starbase (or whatever terminology is used in that universe referring to a space station), or a repair vessel. Most vessels that use sails either are never expected to see combat any other situation that would cause sufficient damage, or are too small to carry reactors powerful enough to power shields, but have a role where agility is key (such as a fighter).

Am I about right in at least some of my assumptions?
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Old June 8 2012, 06:16 PM   #814
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

That sounds like a good explanation.

Parenthetically regarding starbases, we call the relatively few large traffic hubs by the generic "port" or "starport." Polaris's home base was until a few years ago (in story time) Starport Kyoto.
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Old June 8 2012, 07:09 PM   #815
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

It may be worth noting that Polaris' FTL drive makes effectively instantaneous jumps from point A to point B, regardless of distance, or at least that's how it appears to work in the script. In other words, this isn't warp drive or even hyperdrive, it's much more like NuBSG's jump drive.
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Old June 8 2012, 08:01 PM   #816
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Probably it is. Some early drafts of the story had action aboard ship during periods of time that they were in hyperspace or whatever, but I cut all that back in simplifying the story, so anything we were to develop going forward could probably use either the "instant jump" premise or a different one if we chose.
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Old June 8 2012, 10:14 PM   #817
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

^Leave it nebulous so the fanboys have something to debate about in the coming years.
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Old June 9 2012, 11:26 AM   #818
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

sojourner wrote: View Post
^Leave it nebulous so the fanboys have something to debate about in the coming years.
I agree.

In the unfilmed Exeter episode "The Atlantis Invaders" I deliberately didn't specify impulse or warp engines during a chase sequence because saying either raised questions that weren't important to the narrative (if they're at impulse, why not go to warp...if at warp, can you use phasers or transporters?). Furthermore, it left options open to the effects guys on how to portray it or whether to use any stock shots in the sequence. Sometimes being less specific is the right way to go.
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Old June 11 2012, 10:09 PM   #819
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
Probably it is. Some early drafts of the story had action aboard ship during periods of time that they were in hyperspace or whatever, but I cut all that back in simplifying the story, so anything we were to develop going forward could probably use either the "instant jump" premise or a different one if we chose.
Maurice wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
^Leave it nebulous so the fanboys have something to debate about in the coming years.
I agree.

In the unfilmed Exeter episode "The Atlantis Invaders" I deliberately didn't specify impulse or warp engines during a chase sequence because saying either raised questions that weren't important to the narrative (if they're at impulse, why not go to warp...if at warp, can you use phasers or transporters?). Furthermore, it left options open to the effects guys on how to portray it or whether to use any stock shots in the sequence. Sometimes being less specific is the right way to go.
^I think this is the best way to go, at least for the moment, unless you are absolutely certain that you want to make their FTL drives instant, and I don't mean for the purpose of just simplifying things. You might want to keep this detail open, just in case the opportunity does come up to later do scenes while the ship is in FTL. If it is decided with certainty that ships in this universe travel instantly at FTL, then no one can say otherwise without creating an inconsistency.

And on a personal note, I think that realistically speaking, it is more likely that ships would warp space gradually, section by section, than first bringing the destination to the ship, and then pushing the departure point behind, all at once, unless the destination was very close by. I think that this would take a lot more energy, and then there is the concern of making sure space is restored to it's exact original form, and the more that you stretch out space, the more difficult, more energy, or more computing power or calculations that it might be to restore.

And I'm no scientist, let alone in the field of quantum mechanics or whatever subspace mechanics might belong in, but I'm quite certain that when you bend space, you must contract space to the exact same form it was in the first place, otherwise, there will be some sort of consequence, of which I don't know.
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Old June 11 2012, 10:41 PM   #820
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Look at the pilot episode of Star Trek and you see this double-exposure sort of technique while they're in warp, with the moving stars showing through the actors while they mime routine business - it's not instant, and yet there's no practical way they could have played scenes while using the FTL drive. Kind of the worst of both worlds, consuming running time while not moving the story forward.

As I think about it, time probably passes for our crew while traveling FTL - the jump effect at either end is like the hyperspace jump in the original Star Wars.
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Old June 11 2012, 11:56 PM   #821
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Well, there is a possible script-based rationale for the jump being instantaneous when it isn't supposed to be.

I would also say that either the jump is instantaneous or the ship is essentially blind while flying FTL.
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Old June 12 2012, 01:19 AM   #822
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Well, there is one major thing to consider, and that is how much you want the show or film's basis on actual science, even if it can only by hypothetical or theoretical.

The current primary hypothetical method of FTL travel would be the warp drive as theorized by Alcubierre, which most of us have probably already heard of, though I suspect that an intensive enough search might bring up a few cases where extra-terrestrial beings give clues as to the method of propulsion of their alien ships, as claimed by witnesses, abuctdees, and contactees.

I would image that while warping space, it would probably be possible to see directly ahead and behind, but all other directions would be distorted from the warping of space, so unless sensors could be calibrated to compensate for the distortions, it would probably be difficult to determine what is outside of the warp field, aside from what has already been chartered and mapped.
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Old June 12 2012, 02:38 AM   #823
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

I don't think anybody wants to get that technical with this production. It's been noted before, but Voyager-esque technobabble is being avoided at all costs, and rightly so.

I personally am in favor of establishing some consistency with the way the FTL drive behaves, but I'm not the least bit concerned with the intricate details of how it works.
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Old June 12 2012, 03:19 AM   #824
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Vektor wrote: View Post
Well, there is a possible script-based rationale for the jump being instantaneous when it isn't supposed to be.
Well, there's a point in the story where the crew's definitely flying blind and really not in control, yeah. A lot of posts are unmanned, so there's a high degree of automation involved (in an earlier draft of the script, Polaris itself was talked about as an entity with its own intelligence, though never addressed as an individual by the crew. I dropped that idea, but I think one line remains where one officer reports to another, in answer to a question about ship's status, "Sir, the ship doesn't know"). There's a later point in the story where we see that some time passes in the normal universe between the ship leaving a place and appearing elsewhere, which at least suggests that time might pass for them as well.

I don't want dialogue or technical explanations that are more specific than those in Forbidden Planet or the original Star Trek (or for that matter and much more recently, Moore's Battlestar Galactica).
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Old June 12 2012, 06:00 AM   #825
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

I think you should go with the time warp effect from ST4. Big floaty CGI heads mumbling things in slow motion.
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