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

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Old May 5 2013, 07:38 PM   #46
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Saucer Separation

DonIago wrote: View Post
No need to roll your eyes, especially since I don't see how the part I left out changes anything. Just because we see Locutus apparently watching the battle doesn't mean anything. It could be they separated him out because he was the spokesperson and the Borg figured it made more sense for him to address Our Heroes standing independently rather than plugged in. Heck, they could have even gotten the idea from Picard.

I'm not really sure where this "command deck" notion is coming from either. Yes there's a big viewscreen thing in the middle(?) of the cube, but any other Borg could see it as easily as Locutus, and otherwise the section of the cube Locutus was in, IMO, looked essentially identical to any other area overlooking that space. Hell, the viewscreen itself seems to be more dramatic license than anything else. Why do the Borg need a viewscreen?
My point was that there is clearly something unusual and distinguished about Locutus, compared to the other Borg drones, in the attempt to assimilate Earth. To deny that is to miss the obvious. There are signs of it all over the place, including the one stated by Third Nacelle.

But all this is far afield of the thread topic, anyway.

Whether it was Picard, Locutus, or the collective that was confused by Riker's tactics, the collective still evidently based their tactical response primarily on Picard's judgment. As already mentioned, we can infer that that's so by Riker's utterance, "Just as you should, Captain," which, among other things, provides the viewer with some explanation of what is occurring.
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Old May 5 2013, 11:58 PM   #47
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Re: Saucer Separation

No argument with any of that here. But then, the Borg made it clear from the beginning of BoBW that they didn't intend to make Picard a typical Borg.

Later on it seems that even Locutus didn't reach the potential the Borg were hoping for, because Picard didn't willingly give himself to them.
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Old May 6 2013, 12:25 AM   #48
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Re: Saucer Separation

I thought the intention of the saucer separation was, when entering a dangerous situation, to devote the stardrive section to combat and to allow the families, diplomats, etc to escape to safety on the saucer section.

That's why it was caused the 'Battle bridge', because it was intended to be used when the stardrive section enters combat.
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Old May 6 2013, 12:38 AM   #49
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Re: Saucer Separation

In general that was the point. In BoBW that point was subverted.
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Old May 6 2013, 01:46 PM   #50
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Re: Saucer Separation

The way the separation maneuver was used in other episodes highlights a key difference between the oft-quoted "saucer allows innocents to be left behind when danger is anticipated" and the actual "saucer allows innocents to leave when danger is sighted".

In both "Encounter at Farpoint" and "Arsenal of Freedom", the saucer successfully escaped from an ongoing combat situation, apparently at rather high warp speed, when even a minimal breather for the actual vulnerable separation operation became available (mere seconds in the former, a few minutes in the latter). This would mean that Picard was correct in his "Heart of Glory" assessment that it would be premature to separate the saucer when going to examine an apparent battle site - the saucer could always be separated later.

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Old May 6 2013, 09:12 PM   #51
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Re: Saucer Separation

I think it was supposed to be a way to resolve the fact that there were civilians onboard. If anything really dangerous was going on, they'd seperate and leave them behind so only the Starfleet officers were in harms way. It just didn't work out that way.
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Old May 6 2013, 09:47 PM   #52
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Re: Saucer Separation

The problem with the saucer as a lifeboat is of course that episodes contradict each other. In "Brothers" saucer separation is considered an option not just because separating will let Our Heroes regain control of the ship (well, a good chunk of it), but because the saucer -will- drop out of warp afterward.

Yet as Timo notes, based on EaF the saucer can travel much faster than impulse when separated.

It doesn't resolve the "Brothers" situation at all, but perhaps the best compromise is that the saucer has a "warp sustainer" engine similar to how photon torpedoes work. Fire at warp and they stay at warp, but they can't get to warp by themselves.
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Old May 7 2013, 05:06 AM   #53
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Re: Saucer Separation

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post

I like this account, except that therefore Locutus was completely and utterly misdirected.
Why is that bad? Locutus was misdirected and I think that's cool. If it had been Picard, he probably would have figured it out via intuition/gut feeling. Locutus doesn't have that. Therefore he fails.
I never said it was bad. My point was that being misdirected is really something like being confused.
Ah, I see. When you said "I like this account, except that therefore Locutus was completely and utterly misdirected"... it reads that you liked everything about the account except for the fact that Locutus would be misdirected. Sounded like you were against that idea.


Tiberius wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
I like this account, except that therefore Locutus was completely and utterly misdirected.
Not the same as confused.

Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
Why is that bad? Locutus was misdirected and I think that's cool. If it had been Picard, he probably would have figured it out via intuition/gut feeling. Locutus doesn't have that. Therefore he fails.
This isn't quite true. Picard was still alive inside Locutus, experiencing everything that happened, and the Borg were aware of everything that Picard was thinking. If Picard was able to figure it out, then the Borg would have known instantly.
What picard is and isn't experiencing while he is locutus is left pretty ambiguous. Picard might have realized something in his regular form that Locutus wouldn't. The small part of Picard left in Locutus might not have picked up on it, therefore locutus would have no idea.
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Old May 7 2013, 05:24 AM   #54
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Re: Saucer Separation

Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
What picard is and isn't experiencing while he is locutus is left pretty ambiguous. Picard might have realized something in his regular form that Locutus wouldn't. The small part of Picard left in Locutus might not have picked up on it, therefore locutus would have no idea.
I think this is unlikely.

The Borg were able to get enough of Picard's knowledge that they were able to defeat the Starfleet armada and Wolf 359, and they were also able to use his knowledge of the deflector weapon to create a defense for it. So we can conclude that if Picard knew it when he was assimilated, the Borg knew it as well.

Likewise, at the end of the episode, Picard says he remembers "everything, including some brilliantly unorthodox strategy from a former first officer of mine." So Picard was aware of everything he expereinced while he was assimilated.

Therefore, I think that since Picard had been briefed about a plan to use the saucer as a way of distracting the Borg from the more dangerous stardrive, the Borg would have seen Riker's plan as an execution of the plan Picard was briefed on. It would only be once Data and Worf were detected on the Cube that the Collective would be aware of what was really going on. Luckily, Data and Worf were able to locate Picard quickly, and were able to get back to the shuttle before the Borg could adapt to Riker's actual plan.
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Old May 7 2013, 12:41 PM   #55
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Re: Saucer Separation

I often wondered why Riker didn't separate the ship in "Final Mission". He acted as if the ship couldn't be in two places at once.

Let's see: Picard's shuttle is missing and there's a highly radioactive barge threatening a world. What does Riker do? Split the ship? No, unthinkable. He proceeds to focus on the barge, towing it through a solar system and asteroid belt, coming within mere seconds of exposing over 1000 people to lethal levels of radiation instead of separating, sending all non-essential personnel and civilians into the saucer to scan for Picard while the stardrive tows the barge (as it had everything they needed for that mission).

That kind of boneheaded stupidity seems like court-martial material. If his timing was off by a few seconds, the entire ship would've been dead or dying from radiation exposure with Data as the lone survivor to testify to Riker's epic moment of stupidity.
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Old May 7 2013, 12:41 PM   #56
Timo
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Re: Saucer Separation

It doesn't resolve the "Brothers" situation at all, but perhaps the best compromise is that the saucer has a "warp sustainer" engine similar to how photon torpedoes work. Fire at warp and they stay at warp, but they can't get to warp by themselves.
Alas, that contradicts "Arsenal of Freedom" where the saucer was launched at impulse for an interstellar journey. LaForge had no excuse not to give an initial warp boost to the saucer if such a boost were the only way for the saucer to enjoy a "Farpoint" type spell of warp speed. If the saucer could accelerate to warp all on its own, though, the maneuver makes sense.

(FWIW, the separation in "Farpoint" also takes place with a sublight starfield in the background - perhaps suggesting that warp separation is flat out impossible and the heroes in fact achieved dead-stop-plus-separation at the end of a high warp run...)

In "Brothers", the heroes specifically struggled to force Data out of warp. Probably they could engineer a situation where this would happen to the saucer despite it having the ability to independently maintain or reach warp. Say, Data would be hard pressed to manually activate any systems (he couldn't leave the bridge, he could merely press buttons and tell the computer to do things within its powers), and the saucer warp drive might be inactive in combined flight mode and require the cooperation of dozens of pairs of hands to get online.

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Old May 7 2013, 12:56 PM   #57
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Re: Saucer Separation

I often wondered why Riker didn't separate the ship in "Final Mission". He acted as if the ship couldn't be in two places at once.
I doubt the saucer would have done any good at the crash site system, really. For all we know, the battle section would have reached that system faster than the saucer even if delayed by several days...

And the barge-towing features much more puzzling elements than the failure to separate the saucer. Why tow the barge in the first place? The only location where it did any harm to anybody was on low planetary orbit, and Riker got it out of there early on in the game. Letting it float right there, or crash into the asteroids, would have seemed far preferable to towing it all the way into the sun. Why the sun? The barge won't stop being radioactive merely because it gets vaporized. If the radioactive vapors are harmless at the distance of the sun, why not let the barge coast to an equal distance in some other direction, free of asteroids? It would even take less energy; it's notoriously difficult to slow down orbiting objects enough to get them to fall into a star, in comparison with just giving them a kick away from said star.

Riker appeared to be looking for a quick fix, perhaps because of the Picard diversion. The local sun is a good garbage dump site in one sense, and one sense only: it serves as its own quarantine marker! And the towing did take place very swiftly and before any real radiation damage was suffered; stopping to separate the saucer might have caused a delay for no real benefit.

Of course, the mystery of the countdown on radiation damage remains unresolved as well. Why would any particular timepoint be so significant? Why would damage suffered before that timepoint be irrelevant? Or conversely, why would damage suffered after the timepoint be irreversible?

Crusher speaks of a balance point after which hyronalyn won't reverse the effects, apparently meaning not at the rate they are being inflicted. If the ship went beyond that balance point, perhaps effects would finally start accumulating in the patients - but couldn't they be reversed afterwards with further hyronalyn, once the radiation exposure had ended?

The computer gives a countdown to "lethal exposure", but it may be talking out of its cybernetic ass, and our heroes understand/ignore its weird shorthand because they know Crusher is responsible for determining the balance point and the computer just does what Crusher has asked of it.

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Old May 7 2013, 02:00 PM   #58
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Re: Saucer Separation

Not only makes for an ugly tv ship, it's an absurd concept:

The fact that that the rear section is called "stardrive" implies the front section is not the stardrive so the saucer can't go at warp speeds (which was already evident because it has no nacelles, what, according to treknology up to -- or since-- Cochrane's Phoenix, are what makes the ship go to warp).

And if the battle section goes into battle (duh) and is destroyed or disabled, the remainig womens an chidren remain stranded in deep space in their slower-than-light lifeboat forever.
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Old May 7 2013, 03:39 PM   #59
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Re: Saucer Separation

To be fair, the saucer has enough long-range communications ability that it's unlikely they'd be stranded forever. Just until another ship could get to them. Even if the saucer didn't have the capability for such communication on its own (unlikely), at that point I think it would be standard procedure to send a communique to Starfleet when the decision was made to separate the saucer.
Non-canonically speaking, taking a hint from "Destiny", in an absolute worst-case scenario, as long as the saucer had impulse drive it -could- get up to relativistic speeds to rescue its passengers, though obviously there could be some significant consequences. But they'd be alive at the end of it.

While the saucer having the ability to cruise at warp would resolve some dangling episode inconsistencies, I don't believe it was the writers' intention that the saucer have warp drive, nor was it ever mentioned in any episode, nor would it be consistent with the saucer's appearance (have we -ever- seen a warp-capable Starfleet vessel lacking nacelles of some sort?), so I'm forced to conclude that instances of the saucer appearing to have warp capability are holes in the story more than anything else.
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Old May 7 2013, 03:56 PM   #60
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Re: Saucer Separation

xvicente wrote: View Post
Not only makes for an ugly tv ship, it's an absurd concept:

The fact that that the rear section is called "stardrive" implies the front section is not the stardrive so the saucer can't go at warp speeds (which was already evident because it has no nacelles, what, according to treknology up to -- or since-- Cochrane's Phoenix, are what makes the ship go to warp).

And if the battle section goes into battle (duh) and is destroyed or disabled, the remainig womens an chidren remain stranded in deep space in their slower-than-light lifeboat forever.
The same thing applies to lifeboats in general. They're not really intended to be starships in their own right, but emergency craft for survivors/evacuees until a rescue ship arrives. What happened at the end of Generations--with the deployment of various ships to Veridian III--was really a text book example of a rescue operation (it could occur either on a planetary surface or in deep space), IMO.
DonIago wrote: View Post
To be fair, the saucer has enough long-range communications ability that it's unlikely they'd be stranded forever. Just until another ship could get to them. Even if the saucer didn't have the capability for such communication on its own (unlikely), at that point I think it would be standard procedure to send a communique to Starfleet when the decision was made to separate the saucer.
Agreed.
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