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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old August 30 2012, 02:18 AM   #1
Garak007
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"Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

Love the Reginald Barclay episodes but this one has been brothering me.

I always thought when a member of crew gets transported through the transporter they get deconstructed and reformed at the other end molecule by molecule, atoms, etc. While in the episode their body is still whole and Barclay was still able to react to what was with him in the "matter stream". Seems like they changed the rules to suit the plot in this one. Still I liked the episode mind you.
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Old August 30 2012, 09:54 AM   #2
SonicRanger
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

Yeah, it just doesn't make any sense, especially the huggable transporter slugs.
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Old August 30 2012, 11:17 AM   #3
Start Wreck
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

He isn't literally whole, it's just his perception. Just like the people in there weren't literally slugs. The whole experience is just dramatised for television, to show things from Barclay's point of view.

Remaining conscious and active during transport had already been seen as possible in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but it could arguably be an optional feature of transporting.
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Old August 30 2012, 11:58 AM   #4
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

Well, we could see it in all the TOS episodes as well. That is, every instance of transporting involved the people changing position between departure and arrival, due to the limitations of the real-world trickery by which the illusion was achieved. Sometimes these were extreme (holstered phaser gets drawn, person standing on flat floor suddenly stands on uneven ground), sometimes minimal (different expression), but by the very definition of the trick, there always was movement during beaming.

In any case, the idea of tearing somebody apart into individual molecules and then moving him sounds pretty silly. If it's possible to move individual atoms in the form of an invisible, wall-penetrating beam, why not clusters of atoms? Or entire people? The step of separating the atoms sounds entirely superfluous.

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Old August 30 2012, 04:04 PM   #5
zombar
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

Start Wreck wrote: View Post
He isn't literally whole, it's just his perception. Just like the people in there weren't literally slugs. The whole experience is just dramatised for television, to show things from Barclay's point of view.

Remaining conscious and active during transport had already been seen as possible in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but it could arguably be an optional feature of transporting.
Agree with the Barclay's perception point. But where were Barclay and the slug crew PHYSICALLY located in the instance of grabbing? Was in transporder's memory or still on the platform?
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Old August 30 2012, 04:24 PM   #6
Timo
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

If we believe the TNG Tech Manual, they were a swirling mass of phased particles in a big tank beneath the transporter chamber floor.

That is, dialogue specifies Barclay and the others as being in "the matter stream", "suspended in mid-transport", and that's what the Tech Manual says involves the underfloor phased matter tank, formally known as the "pattern buffer". Barclay isn't torn to pieces, he's transformed into a more malleable, "phased" form of matter that is invisible and can be sent through walls and across space.

Matter doesn't stay in that form for long; outside the chamber, it supposedly soon coalesces back into Barclay if everything goes well in a routine beam-out. But our other heroes use tricks to keep Barclay in the pattern buffer for abnormally long, in order to exorcise the lifeforms intermingled in his pattern. And the crew of the Yosemite attempted the same, only they succeeded way too well, as the plasma energies in their surroundings kept their buffer going and going and going... Until O'Brien hooked it up with the corresponding unit aboard the E-D in order to increase the range or penetration of the combined system (necessary for reaching the ship stranded deep inside the gas giant planet), and everybody ended up in that buffer tank. Until Barclay in his phased form managed to grab a phased Yosemite crew member, and O'Brien then ran the un-phasing routine on them both.

It's all there, in the breathtakingly complex technobabble of the episode. But you have to listen to it with the Tech Manual on one hand and a pencil on the other...

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Old August 30 2012, 04:49 PM   #7
zombar
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

Thanks for explaining Barclay's transporter adventures in simple terms. However, all too often how technology works is changed for plot convenience, that's why I don't really keep attention on the techno talk. But that's a talk for another topic.
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Old August 30 2012, 07:58 PM   #8
Doug Otte
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

Start Wreck wrote: View Post
He isn't literally whole, it's just his perception. Just like the people in there weren't literally slugs. The whole experience is just dramatised for television, to show things from Barclay's point of view.

Remaining conscious and active during transport had already been seen as possible in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but it could arguably be an optional feature of transporting.
If his atoms are being deconstructed, what organ is he using to "perceive" things?
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Old August 31 2012, 05:51 PM   #9
R. Star
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

Doug Otte wrote: View Post
Start Wreck wrote: View Post
He isn't literally whole, it's just his perception. Just like the people in there weren't literally slugs. The whole experience is just dramatised for television, to show things from Barclay's point of view.

Remaining conscious and active during transport had already been seen as possible in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but it could arguably be an optional feature of transporting.
If his atoms are being deconstructed, what organ is he using to "perceive" things?
His plot organ! It can make anything happen!
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Old September 3 2012, 01:11 AM   #10
T'Girl
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

zombar wrote: View Post
However, all too often how technology works is changed for plot convenience, that's why I don't really keep attention on the techno talk.
It not actually a "change." Nothing in the various series ever said that you don't remain a consciousness being during the process of being transported. Kirk and Saavik were very obviously having a conversation while being rematerialized. The machine turns the material you, into the energy you, send you to a destination, and then the energy you turns into a material you, a physical you.

Your body in transformed into a different material, but you remain a whole person the entire time.

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Old September 3 2012, 02:26 AM   #11
Sexy Human
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

The episode contains a certain "How your perceptions can effect reality" sort of a twist.

But I definitely agree, when perception starts violating the laws of physics clearly we got a problem here.
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Old September 3 2012, 11:22 AM   #12
Trekker4747
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

Doug Otte wrote: View Post
Start Wreck wrote: View Post
He isn't literally whole, it's just his perception. Just like the people in there weren't literally slugs. The whole experience is just dramatised for television, to show things from Barclay's point of view.

Remaining conscious and active during transport had already been seen as possible in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but it could arguably be an optional feature of transporting.
If his atoms are being deconstructed, what organ is he using to "perceive" things?
There's enough technobabble in how the transporter works that it's possible that the matter of a person's body isn't completely turned into energy just into an easier to handle form between matter and energy. His eyes still work because while they're not completely matter any more they're not completely energy either they can still "function." The important part of this detail is that it ensures a continuity between the person who steps onto the transporter pad and the person who walks away from the receiving area.

That's to say that if a person's matter is completely turned into energy, sent to another location and then turned back into matter then you could argue that second person isn't "really" the first person but a copy. Since there's no substance to matter the the first person is destroyed. The fact that the second person is created using energy from the original matter is meaningless as energy has no substance so there's nothing there to "be alive" during transit.
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Old September 3 2012, 11:58 AM   #13
R. Star
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

Really when you stop and think about it, half of Trek tech doesn't make sense at all. The transporter is definitely one of them. It's just something you roll with in scifi.
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Old September 3 2012, 09:09 PM   #14
T'Preea
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

I never believed that people were broken down and put back together on the other side. I mean, it sounds almost like Wonka-vision. On the other hand, it makes sense that a solid person couldn't really be sent from A to B completely in tact. So for the visually stylized version of what Barclay percieved, they couldn't get away with breaking him down. I'm probs not making any sense and I apologize.
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Old September 5 2012, 09:44 AM   #15
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Re: "Realm of Fear" Ep Reginald Barclay

Pretty awesome the idea of just creating women on the holodeck and then doing whatever you want to them.
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