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Old December 15 2012, 09:00 PM   #1
JirinPanthosa
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Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

What are the biggest moments of plot dissonance in Trek? Moments where they establish something somewhere then ignore it later.

My top few.

1) Why don't they always set the phaser on wide beam?

2) If somebody is about to die but need to get proper medical equipment, why don't they just start them going at .9999999c without a warp field, effectively freezing time for them, then collect them when they are able to get the medical supplies? Relativistic stasis!

3) If in the Star Trek universe, DNA works by instantly changing somebody's body to the body they'd have if they were born with that DNA, why doesn't anybody use this fact for vanity purposes? Why aren't there plastic surgeons who operate just by changing someone's DNA then transporting them out and back in? Instant sex change or race change.
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Old December 15 2012, 09:33 PM   #2
MacLeod
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

In the case of number two they can always put them into actual stasis.
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Old December 15 2012, 09:45 PM   #3
BillJ
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

Why don't they go to the bathroom?
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Old December 15 2012, 09:49 PM   #4
mupps
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

BillJ wrote: View Post
Why don't they go to the bathroom?
Did we ever actually see a toilet?....we've seen the bathrooms a couple of times but no pooper.


Anal retentive indeed......
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Old December 15 2012, 10:00 PM   #5
C.E. Evans
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
What are the biggest moments of plot dissonance in Trek? Moments where they establish something somewhere then ignore it later.

My top few.

1) Why don't they always set the phaser on wide beam?
It's done every once in a while. But I think that the wider the beam, the weaker it is and the more likely you'll hit something (or someone) you don't want to.
2) If somebody is about to die but need to get proper medical equipment, why don't they just start them going at .9999999c without a warp field, effectively freezing time for them, then collect them when they are able to get the medical supplies? Relativistic stasis!
Stasis tubes appear to be fairly large things. Kind of hard to carry around.
3) If in the Star Trek universe, DNA works by instantly changing somebody's body to the body they'd have if they were born with that DNA, why doesn't anybody use this fact for vanity purposes?
Genetic augmentation is considered illegal in the Federation, IIRC, but cosmetic alteration seems to be perfectly acceptable. Changing DNA might be outlawed because it makes a person hard to identify if they did that. You can change the outside, but the inside has to stay the same perhaps for security purposes.
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Old December 15 2012, 10:00 PM   #6
JarodRussell
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

Why don't they hover in space and instead hide the ship under water?
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Old December 15 2012, 10:22 PM   #7
Deimos Anomaly
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
What are the biggest moments of plot dissonance in Trek? Moments where they establish something somewhere then ignore it later.

My top few.

1) Why don't they always set the phaser on wide beam?
Not exactly the same thing, but closely related: In one episode Ben Sisko demonstrates that Jem Hadar rifles are capable of going full auto.

This capability is never demonstrated by any ST energy weapon (Jem Hadar or otherwise) in any episode or film thereafter. It's a little annoying.

Sometimes the weapons and tactics they use seem less advanced (in effect, if not technology) that what has already been reached in real life.

Imagine, for example, how the Siege of AR-558 might have been different if they had a single Ma Deuce in that chokepoint, with lots of belts to feed it. Or, for shits and giggles, an MG42.

2) If somebody is about to die but need to get proper medical equipment, why don't they just start them going at .9999999c without a warp field, effectively freezing time for them, then collect them when they are able to get the medical supplies? Relativistic stasis!
You know, I never thought of that. I guess the writers didn't either. Suspending disbelief though, in a future society, on a ship crewed by highly trained spacefarers, you'd think someone would come up with that.

3) If in the Star Trek universe, DNA works by instantly changing somebody's body to the body they'd have if they were born with that DNA, why doesn't anybody use this fact for vanity purposes? Why aren't there plastic surgeons who operate just by changing someone's DNA then transporting them out and back in? Instant sex change or race change.
Oh man, don't get me started. The way ST handles DNA is just awful.

One of the dumber examples that sticks in my head is that ep where an alien of the week kidnaps Torres and splits her DNA, and creates two copies of her, one built only from the human DNA, the other only from the klingon DNA. Of course each of these clones has memories and all that. Which they shouldn't have. But they do anyway. I don't know if they strictly are clones, I dunno what they really are. It's also wierd the way the klingon one is given bad teeth right off the bat. You wonder what kinda machine they used to reconstitute the two B'elannas and how did it decide on the details of teeth, hair length and all that shit. Of course the memories aren't exactly alike either... they both should have the same abilities since they should have the same exact memory, but apparently not... human torres is still a good engineer and can hotwire locks and such like. Klingon torres can't. I guess it's just voyager... by that point, VOY had pretty much already got to the "it doesn't have to make sense, just accept it" level of awful which became its hallmark. I can't remember if this was before or after the Lizards Episode.

I'm not gonna bother with Tuvix or Tom Riker, since that was transporter wierdness and didn't exactly involve DNA. Well, Tom Riker was slightly interesting and semi-plausiblesque sci-fi. I always thought there should have been more of Tom, especially after he went to the dark side in DS9. Riker was such a powerful, presence-ful, charismatic character, kinda the Kirk of TNG... always a bit more gung ho that Picard to be sure... reinvented as Thomas Riker, who was everything that Will was, but even darker and edgier... wow. They really could have taken him further in DS9. One of their big mistakes IMHO.

Tuvix on the other hand, was just stupid. Moving on...

There was... uh, an episode where they make a short lived clone of Trip Tucker, and he gets his memories back. Then they come up with some absolutely-not-believable but sadly-predictable-by-this-point garbage about memory being encoded directly into the DNA, rather than just stored in the brain. An idea that ought to have no business in even semi-serious sci-fi. This may actually give The Two Torres's (swidt?) a run for the title of worst handling of DNA in a ST episode.
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Old December 15 2012, 11:30 PM   #8
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

Deimos Anomaly wrote: View Post
In one episode Ben Sisko demonstrates that Jem Hadar rifles are capable of going full auto.
And in TOS, the crew occasional uses their phasers on "full auto" with the various settings..

The weapons are obviously firing individual pulses of energy at high speed, again on occasion.

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Old December 16 2012, 01:24 AM   #9
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

1) Why don't they always set the phaser on wide beam?
Real answer, bad writers who don't think about the implications of the technology they bring onto the show. I would always have wide beam as a easy to access setting, it's just too useful.

2) If somebody is about to die but need to get proper medical equipment, why don't they just start them going at .9999999c without a warp field, effectively freezing time for them, then collect them when they are able to get the medical supplies? Relativistic stasis!
There are multiple types of stasis at their disposal, the fact that they don't use it is bad writing. Going near the speed of light without using a warp field probably adds alot of needless stress onto the ship. There are many other forms of stasis, they just choose not to use it. Heck if they knew squat about programming / computers, the doctor would be able to in multiple places at the same time performing different tasks. He is a computer program at the end of the day. He should be able to be everywhere there is a holo emitter (make sure to install one everywhere) so he can patch people up.

3) If in the Star Trek universe, DNA works by instantly changing somebody's body to the body they'd have if they were born with that DNA, why doesn't anybody use this fact for vanity purposes? Why aren't there plastic surgeons who operate just by changing someone's DNA then transporting them out and back in? Instant sex change or race change.
Berman & Braga know squat about biology. Anything they do biology wise is Hollywood level garbage. I wouldn't consider anything they do remotely accurate or would even use it in the future. Those two should be banned from hollywood / writing from now on for all the damage they did to the Star Trek franchise.
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Old December 16 2012, 01:44 AM   #10
Arpy
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

I love 1 and 3 esp.

Another for me is how they rarely do phaser and torpedo strength right. A hand phaser should release a lot more destruction with each shot. One of the few things that made go Yes! in ENT was in the very first scene when the Klingon blew up a grain silo with a single shot of his disruptor to get the Suliban he trapped inside.

Same with ships phasers and torpedoes. The blasts they make are always so weak when each of these should be akin to nuclear explosions. They don't have to look like nuclear explosions given there's no air in space, but the wimpy pew pew effects they've been going with esp in recent years just makes me not be able to take it seriously.
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Old December 16 2012, 02:30 AM   #11
Deimos Anomaly
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

Arpy wrote: View Post
One of the few things that made go Yes! in ENT was in the very first scene when the Klingon blew up a grain silo with a single shot of his disruptor to get the Suliban he trapped inside.
Actually, that's not necessarily an indicator of high yield energy weaponry - grain silos can and do build up a highly explosive dust / air mix inside. Grain silo explosions are a surprisingly regular occurrence. It's entirely feasible that the silo was teetering on exploding anyway, it just needed a spark. That could be someone flicking a lighter inside - or it could be a disruptor blast punching through the wall.
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Old December 16 2012, 04:40 AM   #12
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

Arpy wrote: View Post
I love 1 and 3 esp.

Another for me is how they rarely do phaser and torpedo strength right. A hand phaser should release a lot more destruction with each shot. One of the few things that made go Yes! in ENT was in the very first scene when the Klingon blew up a grain silo with a single shot of his disruptor to get the Suliban he trapped inside.

Same with ships phasers and torpedoes. The blasts they make are always so weak when each of these should be akin to nuclear explosions. They don't have to look like nuclear explosions given there's no air in space, but the wimpy pew pew effects they've been going with esp in recent years just makes me not be able to take it seriously.
There is something called stun setting. Starfleet isn't out there to kill / maim people unless it's war time. Even then, you have to make a judgement call as to how much power to use on each shot. Going on max power mode to kill 1 soldier where each shot can vaporize giant boulders isn't a efficient use of energy for phasers.

Same with Torpedo's, unless you're in the fight to obliterate civilian cities, which Starfleet / UFP wouldn't do, there is no need for Super Nuke level weapons. It's overkill and unnecessary.
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Old December 16 2012, 05:01 AM   #13
Merry Christmas
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
1) Why don't they always set the phaser on wide beam?
A bit off topic, but during SW vs ST debates, I love countering lightsabers with phasers on wide beam.


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Old December 16 2012, 05:46 AM   #14
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

Don't forget Genesis for the DNA stuff, or Scientific Method.

Changing your DNA may be illegal in the Federation but not everyone is Federation. For that matter how come no genetic kids never said 'Blacklist me from Starfleet? Hey Romulans, can I have a job?'

And maybe a better example of not using relativity, why don't criminals use it to escape into the future?
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Old December 16 2012, 02:42 PM   #15
Gary7
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Re: Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

Stasis. That's my big beef. You have this incredibly fantastic technology and you don't use it every chance you get? Everybody would be equipped with a stasis device on their belts/uniforms. When you get fatally damaged, the stasis device having detected your demise instantly kicks in and coats you with a stasis covering (like we saw with the genetically altered youth that Dr. Pulaski was managing in "Unnatural Selection"), preserving your body for possible resuscitation by a medic or doctor later on.

Even still, you see people die in sickbay of injuries because they didn't have time or resources to get them to a Starbase medical facility... and Dr. Crusher doesn't put them in stasis. Really gets me, knowing they've demonstrated this capability and then conveniently "forgot" it afterward.
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