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Old December 21 2013, 11:52 AM   #31
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

Albertese wrote: View Post
B.J. wrote: View Post
King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I know you guys get picky about what counts and what doesn't in these discussions, but I should point out that according to Star Trek: Enterprise, that TMP Klingon battlecruiser is far from new.
Personally, I prefer to squint and pretend that they actually used the D4 design that was developed but not used for that episode.
I'm okay with the early date for the D-7. I'm a fan of Strategic Designs Starfleet Dynamics which has it that the Klingon starship designs go back to the Earth year of c. 1800. The idea is that Klingons don't usually totally replace a design, but prefer to endlessly upgrade it. SD tells us that some observed Klingon ships have components dating back over 300 years (from the 2290s... meaning those ships existed in some form as far back as the 1990s!)

I always thought that was a cool idea. Makes the Klingon ships different in a fun way. Not technically canon, but doesn't conflict with canon, especially given what we've seen in Enterprise.

--Alex
I like the explanation put forth in the old novel Ishmael, where ancient tribal Klingons were enslaved by the Karsid Empire, which vanished mysteriously 600 years ago leaving the Klingons with ships and technology which they've been using ever since. It neatly explains why Klingons use the same ships in ENT as they do in DS9, why those ships are all complete rustbuckets (even the "new" flagship Neg'Var - perhaps it was newly found at a long lost Karsid outpost/shipyard?) as well as how the dysfunctional Klingons ever made it into space in the first place.

Robert Comsol wrote:
Actually, I had been wondering how long it would take a member of the retcon faction to weigh in.

Since I believe in "first come, first served" my starting point is the TOS Klingon Battlecruiser.
Trek makes retcons all the time. You mention yourself the changes to photon torpedo systems between TOS/TMP and WoK. According to The Making of Star Trek, they weren't meant to be physical missiles at all.

You also mention the WoK novelization. If you've read TMP's novel, you'll know that Admiral Kirk's preface pretty much dismisses TOS as an inaccurate dramatizaton of Kirk's five-year mission (one wonders what Gene Roddenberry was thinking). And we also know from various old interviews that Gene asked fans to believe that Klingons always looked as they did in TMP and beyond - probably Trek's biggest retcon ever, and one which surely extends to the look of their ships (which IMHO simply had a ton of detail added for the big screen) and the rest of the universe?

Where do you draw the line?
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Old December 21 2013, 06:44 PM   #32
Albertese
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I like the explanation put forth in the old novel Ishmael, where ancient tribal Klingons were enslaved by the Karsid Empire, which vanished mysteriously 600 years ago leaving the Klingons with ships and technology which they've been using ever since. It neatly explains why Klingons use the same ships in ENT as they do in DS9, why those ships are all complete rustbuckets (even the "new" flagship Neg'Var - perhaps it was newly found at a long lost Karsid outpost/shipyard?) as well as how the dysfunctional Klingons ever made it into space in the first place.
This is not unlike the background described in "Sword of Kahless" [DS9] when we learn that the Klingons were enslaved by the Hur'Q around the 1300s. I always envisioned the advanced Klingon tech having been figured out from looking at the Hur'Q stuff...


--Alex
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Old December 21 2013, 11:04 PM   #33
Robert Comsol
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Trek makes retcons all the time. You mention yourself the changes to photon torpedo systems between TOS/TMP and WoK. According to The Making of Star Trek, they weren't meant to be physical missiles at all.
I'm very confident that the description of the Enterprise in TMoST is one for the pilot version that was a little upgraded during the writing of "The Ultimate Computer". Already in "The Changeling" they were referring to certain numbered torpedoes, which suggests solid objects, IMHO:

KIRK: Ready photon torpedo number two, Mister Sulu.

So the solid photon torpedo is a concept already introduced in TOS (there was another TOS episode where Kirk specifically ordered which numbered torpedoes he wanted to see fired).

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
You also mention the WoK novelization. If you've read TMP's novel, you'll know that Admiral Kirk's preface pretty much dismisses TOS as an inaccurate dramatizaton of Kirk's five-year mission (one wonders what Gene Roddenberry was thinking).
I don't know that. Kirk only feels that they were "painted somewhat larger than life", especially himself, and expresses discomfort of being idealized into an applauded hero which he thinks isn't appropriate.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
And we also know from various old interviews that Gene asked fans to believe that Klingons always looked as they did in TMP and beyond - probably Trek's biggest retcon ever, and one which surely extends to the look of their ships (which IMHO simply had a ton of detail added for the big screen) and the rest of the universe?

Where do you draw the line?
I think it's fair to say that the different look of the Klingons was quite a strange surprise back in those days but IIRC many of us were interpreting this as a different Klingon species (in simpler language their Neanderthals survived and co-existed). I don't know such interviews you mentioned but Gene Roddenberry was Star Trek's creator and if he decided to change a thing, this qualifies as a changed premise, IMHO, where changes induced by others are somewhat inevitably retroactive continuity.

My suggestion remains to take each Star Trek incarnation as its own, remain faithful to the context it was presented in and don't look too hard for a Grand Unified Theory.

Back to the original issue of this thread, I enjoy seeing an evolution from a forward photon torpedo launcher to one that also features an aft launcher (Klingon TMP Battlecruisers) and is eventually adopted by Starfleet, too.

Bob
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Old December 21 2013, 11:07 PM   #34
Maurice
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

Photon torpedo number two could mean tube.
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Old December 21 2013, 11:08 PM   #35
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

Maurice wrote: View Post
Photon torpedo number two could mean tube.
Tube #2, absolutely.
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Old December 21 2013, 11:24 PM   #36
Robert Comsol
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

From "Journey to Babel":

CHEKOV: Fire control locked into the computers, Captain.
KIRK: On my order, fire photon torpedoes two, four and six. Widest possible scatter.
CHEKOV: Aye, sir.
KIRK: Fire.
CHEKOV: Full spread missed, sir. They're moving too fast for us.

Six photon torpedo tubes for that little area looks like quite a lot and too much, doesn't it?

Bob
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Old December 21 2013, 11:54 PM   #37
Maurice
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

True that, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're physical weapons. I think you see intent where there simply wasn't anyone second guessing the writer's language choice.
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Old December 22 2013, 03:17 AM   #38
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
From "Journey to Babel":

CHEKOV: Fire control locked into the computers, Captain.
KIRK: On my order, fire photon torpedoes two, four and six. Widest possible scatter.
CHEKOV: Aye, sir.
KIRK: Fire.
CHEKOV: Full spread missed, sir. They're moving too fast for us.

Six photon torpedo tubes for that little area looks like quite a lot and too much, doesn't it?

Bob

This sounds like the writer was envisioning tubes when writing the line. The even numbers sound like carryover from naval convention of numbering tubes with even numbers on one side and odd on the other. Otherwise, he would have called for torpedos 1, 2 and 3 or something more sequential. Plus, it seems like it would make more sense to specify which tube or turret was fired than naming the particular round to be used.
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Old December 22 2013, 04:03 AM   #39
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

It's likely tubes. In "Elaan of Troyius", they brought "all tubes to bear" which fired 6 torpedoes.
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Old December 22 2013, 10:45 PM   #40
Robert Comsol
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

From "Elaan of Troyius":

KIRK: Chekov, arm photon torpedoes.
CHEKOV: Photon torpedoes ready. ...
KIRK: ... As he passes, I want to cut in warp drive. We'll pivot at warp two and bring all tubes to bear. ...
KIRK: Mister Chekov, give him a full spread of photon torpedoes.

It doesn't say whether a "full spread" consists of 4, 6 or 8 torpedoes, but "all tubes" suggests indeed at least two torpedo launch tubes and - given the context - discards the possibility of an aft launch tube as this would be included in "all tubes".

If the "Journey to Babel" writer wanted to suggest launch tubes 2, 4 and 6 why didn't he write so?
Fire "torpedo tubes 2, 4 and 6" would not have been ambigous and everybody in the audience would have understood.

Instead, the dialogue only refers to numbered photon torpedoes and IMHO suggests that torpedoes 2, 4 and 6 had a yield that's different from torpedoes 1, 3 and 5 which is the reason why Kirk specifically wanted to have those fired.

Bob
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Old December 22 2013, 11:16 PM   #41
CorporalCaptain
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
From "Elaan of Troyius":

KIRK: Chekov, arm photon torpedoes.
CHEKOV: Photon torpedoes ready. ...
KIRK: ... As he passes, I want to cut in warp drive. We'll pivot at warp two and bring all tubes to bear. ...
KIRK: Mister Chekov, give him a full spread of photon torpedoes.

It doesn't say whether a "full spread" consists of 4, 6 or 8 torpedoes, but "all tubes" suggests indeed at least two torpedo launch tubes and - given the context - discards the possibility of an aft launch tube as this would be included in "all tubes".

If the "Journey to Babel" writer wanted to suggest launch tubes 2, 4 and 6 why didn't he write so?
Fire "torpedo tubes 2, 4 and 6" would not have been ambigous and everybody in the audience would have understood.

Instead, the dialogue only refers to numbered photon torpedoes and IMHO suggests that torpedoes 2, 4 and 6 had a yield that's different from torpedoes 1, 3 and 5 which is the reason why Kirk specifically wanted to have those fired.

Bob
I think the tube interpretation makes the most sense.

Actually, "all" tubes most likely means three or more; if there were only two tubes, then "both tubes" would have sufficed. You wouldn't say that you're going to shoot someone with "all barrels" of your double-barreled shotgun. No, the phrase that you'd use is "both barrels."

You can watch the Enterprise fire a full spread of six torpedoes at about 1:55 of this compilation of the remastered FX:



Also, the writer of "Journey to Babel" is a she.
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Old December 23 2013, 10:20 AM   #42
Robert Comsol
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Also, the writer of "Journey to Babel" is a she.
Thanks for the correction. Interestingly, since that was Dorothy C. Fontana I would think that she knew what she was doing when numbering photon torpedoes and not tubes.

John M. Lucas started the numbering in "The Changeling", it would be interesting to see if we could learn what's the true story behind all this based on original production memos.

Bob
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Old December 23 2013, 01:58 PM   #43
CorporalCaptain
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Also, the writer of "Journey to Babel" is a she.
Thanks for the correction. Interestingly, since that was Dorothy C. Fontana I would think that she knew what she was doing when numbering photon torpedoes and not tubes.

John M. Lucas started the numbering in "The Changeling", it would be interesting to see if we could learn what's the true story behind all this based on original production memos.

Bob
She probably didn't think that people would misunderstand that they were referring to tubes. As Workbee pointed out, using even numbers is the dead giveaway.
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Old December 23 2013, 05:42 PM   #44
blssdwlf
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post

Instead, the dialogue only refers to numbered photon torpedoes and IMHO suggests that torpedoes 2, 4 and 6 had a yield that's different from torpedoes 1, 3 and 5 which is the reason why Kirk specifically wanted to have those fired.
Sure, Kirk was specific which torpedoes he wanted but there isn't anything to preclude it from being shorthand for torpedo 2 in tube 2, torpedo 4 in tube 4 and torpedo 6 in tube 6.

What is the ambiguity anyway? The numbering of torpedoes do not exceed the number of tubes used in "Elaan".

It would have been more interesting if Kirk said, ready torpedo 21, 45 and 67.
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Old December 23 2013, 06:02 PM   #45
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

It's another thing where TOS' VFX have to be taken with a pinch of salt. If they could have shown 6 torpedo tubes firing, they would have. Unfortunately, they were limited to the same old stock footage, and the TOS-R crew were afraid to rock the boat by deviating from the one forward torpedo launcher fans had become accustomed to seeing.
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