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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old July 16 2010, 12:40 PM   #31
Anwar
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Re: Balance of Terror

And the even simpler explanation: The writers of Trek hadn't hammered down yet that Impulse was sublight speed for a Starship, and when this episode was written it meant something else.
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Old July 16 2010, 01:27 PM   #32
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Re: Balance of Terror

Quite so - but unlike the previous two explanations, this one doesn't work in the greater context of the Star Trek universe.

We might well postulate some period in the history of that universe where impulse drives were FTL, either because the technology was different, or because the terminology was. But that period shouldn't contain "Balance of Terror" or the rest of TOS, because impulse drive there was established as STL in the general sense.

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Old July 16 2010, 02:50 PM   #33
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Re: Balance of Terror

Timo wrote: View Post
Quite so - but unlike the previous two explanations, this one doesn't work in the greater context of the Star Trek universe.

We might well postulate some period in the history of that universe where impulse drives were FTL, either because the technology was different, or because the terminology was. But that period shouldn't contain "Balance of Terror" or the rest of TOS, because impulse drive there was established as STL in the general sense.

Timo Saloniemi
Balance of Terror still holds up extremely well, despite some rather (to us Trekkers) glaring continuity issues. The script may not have been perfect, but it's still a great story that more than overcomes the flaws.
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Old July 16 2010, 04:32 PM   #34
Anwar
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Re: Balance of Terror

They really aren't continuity errors per se, it's just that they became errors later on.

It is a good story, still.
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Old July 16 2010, 05:43 PM   #35
A beaker full of death
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Re: Balance of Terror

MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
Balance of Terror still holds up extremely well, despite some rather (to us Trekkers) glaring continuity issues. The script may not have been perfect, but it's still a great story that more than overcomes the flaws.
What flaws, and what continuity issues? The series was only a few episodes old, there wasn't a hell of a lot of continuity to follow.
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Old July 16 2010, 06:53 PM   #36
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Re: Balance of Terror

A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
Balance of Terror still holds up extremely well, despite some rather (to us Trekkers) glaring continuity issues. The script may not have been perfect, but it's still a great story that more than overcomes the flaws.
What flaws, and what continuity issues? The series was only a few episodes old, there wasn't a hell of a lot of continuity to follow.
Totally agree. That was kind of the point I was driving at, but didn't make it very well.
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Old July 16 2010, 07:16 PM   #37
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Re: Balance of Terror

I don't tend to sweat the continuity issues in the early episodes, but... We might get a little wiggle room for Scotty if we focus on the power being impulse, rather than the propulsion. That is to say, the Romulans are generating power for their warp drive with systems (fusion?) similar to Enterprise's impulse engines, rather than the anti-matter annihilation of Enterprise's warp engines. This could mean a lower top speed overall, or an endurance problem that Enterprise could overcome in a long chase.

The real reason for the line, of course, is to preserve the tradition of the speed advantage of the destroyer over the U-boat.

--Justin
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Old July 16 2010, 10:58 PM   #38
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Re: Balance of Terror

Gary7 Wrote

Suddenly everybody on the bridge has to be "quiet", for the fear of giving away their position. Ummmmm... that's only if you broadcast a radio signal. There's no fluid in space (air or water) to provide any means of conveying sound. Rather silly... I would have liked it to be some kind of electrical activity sensing (not sound) that would give an opportunity to be sensed.
Ha ha, they pinched this from the old submarine war movies.
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Old July 17 2010, 06:57 AM   #39
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Re: Balance of Terror

Balance of Terror was awesome; a terrific episode that set the bar for later episodes. Being that it was set so early in the series, it's not surprising that it is a little rough around the edges. All the series went through growing pains as they struggled to define themselves. It's a shame that BOT wasn't filmed later after they had gotten the kinks out but it is what it is.

The "phasers" were definitely inconsistent with what we saw later and the requirement to fire them from a remote location from the bridge was even worse. Oh, well.

Scotty's comment about their power being simple impulse is unfortunate but easily dismissed as their power source being from fusion rather than matter/antimatter reactors. It's poor terminology but no worse than our current use of terms like, "blood relatives" instead of "gene relatives" more than half a century after the discovery of DNA.
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Old July 19 2010, 07:16 AM   #40
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Re: Balance of Terror

...Hell, for all we know, "simple impulse" is a popular if mild insult in the 23rd century, rather than a technical term. Sort of like a task or an expense being "peanuts".

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 19 2010, 11:52 AM   #41
Anwar
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Re: Balance of Terror

Didn't Scotty say "merely impulse", though?
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Old July 19 2010, 02:24 PM   #42
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Re: Balance of Terror

He said "...simple impulse."
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Old July 20 2010, 12:10 AM   #43
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Re: Balance of Terror

Anwar wrote: View Post
And the even simpler explanation: The writers of Trek hadn't hammered down yet that Impulse was sublight speed for a Starship, and when this episode was written it meant something else.
Given that when the Enterprise D would sometime need additional speed Riker would order full impulse, it's reasonable to suppose that that the power of impulse engines can be fed into a warp drive. Looking at how far the outposts were apart, based on how fast the Enterprise's "blip" was moving on the map, it's difficult to see how the Romulan ship could attack the multiple outposts at slower than light speeds.

Impulse engines ... Yes
Warp engines ... Yes
M/AM reactors ... No

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Old July 20 2010, 04:05 AM   #44
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Re: Balance of Terror

The impulse thing is a common mistake in Star Trek and science fiction. My impression is many people think that sublight speeds of thousands of miles per second are slow but still fast enough to move from one star system to another in a reasonable amount of time. The writers grossly understate the vastness of space.
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Old July 20 2010, 04:12 AM   #45
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Re: Balance of Terror

^ It's a commonly quoted fact that the nearest star to our own sun, Proxima Centauri, is more than 4 light-years away. You'd think writers would have that drilled into their brains by now.
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