Abandoned and damaged starships

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by James Wright, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. James Wright

    James Wright Commodore Commodore

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    What happened to the Federation starships Excalibur after the
    M-5 incident and the Exeter after The Omega Glory?
    Excalibur was severely damaged with the loss of the entire crew, and the Exeter was abandoned in place.

    James
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given the disease aboard the Exeter, destroying it would have been the prudent thing to do.

    The Excalibur could have been repair where it was to the point it could have gotten to a repair facility under it's own power. Otherwise it would have had to have been towed. Depends on what was actually wrong with it.

    :)
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Immunizing the crew would also be possible, although logistically demanding until somebody figured out how to replicate the health-protecting qualities of the Omega IV environment in laboratory conditions. Imagine the possibilities: a starship the enemy can never board and conquer, because they turn to dust in minutes! Indeed, Starfleet might do well to contaminate all its ships this way, and then install immunizing facilities at the shuttlebay and the transporter rooms, so that only authorized guests will survive...

    The original episode shows no visible damage; the TOS-R version shows some charring on the saucer. Yet supposedly, such charring resulted in both of Kirk's Enterprises being immediately condemned to scrapping, in ST3 and ST6, respectively...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Age of the ships could have been a factor in TSFS and TUC.
     
  5. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    In the case of Exeter couldn't you bombard it with sufficient radiation until it was "clean"?
     
  6. TOSalltheway

    TOSalltheway Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Agree with the lastwriter. Depressurize, radiate, steralize and put back in service. (Not that many people would feel comfortable on a ship where all were killed)
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    One wonders whether a disease supposedly stemming from (and having survived) an Armageddon war would be easy to scrub out of the starship. Perhaps one criterion for a bioweapon of that sort would be resilience to radiation?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sure there is. The shots we see in the original episode were all clips of The Constellation from The Doomsday Machine. There's plenty of on screen damage. It's just hard to make out because we never get the close up shots (understandibly since the model had the Constellation decals on it), but it's there.
     
  9. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    Here's my reasoning: in "The Doomsday Machine", Kirk originally assured Decker "we'll take her in tow" after hearing Washburn's damage report and having already digested Spock's external evaluation of the Constellation. Clearly, prior to the Planet Killer's return to the scene, Kirk had reason to expect to be able to at least prepare the Constellation to be towed out of the asteroid field, possibly out of the L-374 system. I suspect that, even though Scott told Kirk that the Constellation's warp drive was "a hopeless pile o' junk", (Scotty also said he couldn't do anything with the ship without a spacedock... or what sounded like "spacedock".) Kirk apparently expected to somehow either get help or conduct the Constellation to a rearward base for salvage/repair/restoration.

    This kind of a recovery operation should be expected of the Federation and Starfleet, based on the logic of refitting ships vs. simply building entirely news ones, and also engaging in recovery operations for disabled or abandoned ships for forensic reasons. (Think about it: if a starship is found damaged or "dead", would it not be Starfleet's prime mission to return the ship to HQ for examination to see how alien weapons or other unknown conditions had affected the ship's systems and structure in order to prepare with any future encounters?)

    Much has been made of Sulu's pronouncement that "the Excalibur looks dead" and M-5's readout that the ship contained "no life", but Commodore Wesley never said any starship had been destoryed or that any entire ship's crew had been lost. While it was clear that all four of Wesley's ships sustained major damage and significant casualties, Wesley never said (1: that any ship had been actually destroyed or rendered completely worthless, or (2: that "the crew of starship X has been lost." It could be that Wesley evacuated the survivors from the damaged Excalibur, or that survivors were trapped inside the disabled ship. After all, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, there were still survivors noted in sunken vessels on Battleship Row. If, once Kirk regained control of the Enterprise, then he and Wesley's other ships could have immediately went to the aid of the Excalibur, any remaining trapped survivors could be rescued and used to supplement the Enterprise's skeleton crew until the ships arrived back at the space station.

    The still-in-limbo STARSHIP EXETER fan film was based on the premise that the Federation found a way to somehow disinfect the ghost ship Exeter. I agree. Even if the Omega IV body-consuming contagion were stubborn, surely an organization as advanced as the Federation could find a way to exhaust all atmosphere and use some kind of treatment to restore the Exeter to practical use. Surely Starfleet would have procedures in place to deal with any plague situation. TNG's "Unnatural Selection" seemed so illogical; why destroy a perfectly good ship just because the crew perished from a contagion? "Starship Mine" seemed to conclusively prove that Federation technology could completely kill all life aboard a ship anyway.

    So, for me, unless a starship is completely un-salvageable, any disabled or abandoned vessel can (and should) be recovered.
     
  10. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If that was the case, then Picard could have done the same thing to the Lantree a century later. But he didn't. He destroyed the ship.

    Granted, Starfleet probably had way more ships in the late 24th century than in the late 23rd, so losing an already-old ship probably wasn't a big deal, while the Exeter was most likely a relatively new ship in a smaller Starfleet, so a "clean-up" may have been more prudent.
     
  11. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    McCoy could have done it in a single follow up episode, I'm sure. :techman:
     
  12. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I really think we're meant to take away that M5 killed everyone on the Excalibur, even though Wesley only mentioned the captain and first officer. While he never said the whole crew was lost, neither did anyone mention the survivors were rescued. M5 would have been aware of a rescue effort (damned thing knew everything else going on).

    All we know is Sulu said the ship looked dead and M5 said there was no life aboard. Kirk then said because M5 murdered them. Without any statement to the contrary, I have to go with "M5 killed everyone on board."
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    M5 could of course have lied for tactical purposes. Perhaps Starfleet regulations called for it to rescue the crew of even an obviously extremely hostile enemy vessel such as the Excalibur. But, being a typically cunning starship captain, M5 found a way to bend the rules, avoid placing its own ship in a tactically disadvantageous situation on humanoidtarian grounds, and still come off smelling of roses in its post-action report. It could just have noted that an evacuation was in process and lifepods were escaping into the "shadow cone" of the cripplied ship to avoid the wrath of the Enterprise, and formulated that as "no life aboard", then de-tuned the sensors so that Sulu could not argue.

    But even I have to make a trip to the kitchen for sodium chloride after such a convoluted rationalization. M5 didn't generally appear to be ashamed of its actions, or secretive, or concerned that the evidence blatantly ran contrary to M5 following Starfleet rules and guidelines.

    (That is, contrary even if we assume all the ships attacked by M5 were considered legitimate enemies. I doubt Kirk would so callously destroy Klingon transports even in a declared commerce war, without more carefully making sure these really had no life aboard.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

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    To my way of thinking the Exeter was completely intact and fully able to be redeployed. The ship could be held in stasis until such time it had been "scrubbed", thereafter it could be updated accordingly.

    As for the Excalibur, is there not logically a modular aspect to the connie? At best it could be repaired and patched-up, at worst scavenged for useable components, sections, etc, for re-use.

    I'd imagine a connie takes years to assemble, even in the TOS era, so it makes sense, if not due to budget, than for economy of time and manpower, to recycle, re-use and redeploy where possible.
     
  15. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    IIRC the Lantree was simply an old transport (modified Miranda).

    Naturally salvaging it would not be a priority. Anymore than during WW2, the U.S. went to great lengths to salvage damaged battleships from Pearl Harbor and far less trouble to salvage damaged Liberty ships (cheap, easy to build bulk cargo ships).
     
  16. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    I've said it before and I'll mention it again.

    There is no evidence that the entire crew of the Excalibur was killed by M-5.

    From the time Excalibur takes its final phaser hit (and what looks like a huge radiation flash occurrs) and the time M-5 says that there is "no life" (aboard Excalibur) aboard, there are several minutes. More than enough for surviving crew members to have abandoned ship.
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    On the contrary. There is decisive evidence that the entire crew of the Excalibur was killed by the M5. From http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/53.htm:

    The super-genius M5 does not contest Kirk's assertion that it was responsible for killing all life aboard the Excalibur. Given the performance of the M5, in its use of sensors and tracking starships, I find it absurd to assume that Kirk could dupe or fool it with a false assertion that it could so easily contradict with sensors, which for example would have recorded the evacuation of the ship, if that had occurred. The M5 accepts Kirk's assertion that it killed all life aboard the Excalibur, because it knows that it did in fact kill all life aboard the Excalibur.
     
  18. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    Ignoring the fact that the "super genius M-5" was programmed to be an AI copy of a dangerously unstable mans mind.........M-5 definitely murdered dozens (and probably hundreds) of the Excaliburs crew.

    The fact that M-5 acknowledges murdering the crew (generic reference) does not necessarily mean that M-5 murdered the ENTIRE crew.
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    The M5 admitted that it killed all life aboard the Excalibur. That's at least some evidence that it did in fact do so. Even if the reliability of the machine to make that sort of determination is in doubt, that's still not "no evidence" as you claim.
     
  20. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    Starship sensors and scanners, even in the TNG era, often cannot pick up life signs inside a severely damaged space vessel ("Heart of Glory", "The Doomsday Machine" "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky") or on a planet if there is interference ("The Galileo Seven", "City on the Edge of Forever", "The Paradise Syndrome", "The Enemy"). Clearly starship life-form remote detection technology can fail, especially when applied from a distance.

    The M-5 simply accepted Kirk's argument because, like the human mind of Dr. Daystrom, its attention was on prosecuting its war on Wesley's task force, not on meticulously verifying facts. M-5 "thinks like men", not like a stolid robot with an endless thirst for facts.

    To call the dialogue between Kirk and the M-5 tie-in "decisive evidence that the entire crew of the Excalibur was killed by the M5" is a bit of a leap. Clearly, M-5 committed murder and wrecked the Starship Excalibur. And Kirk took a chance that the entire Excalibur crew could possibly have perished (something the wreckless M-5/Daystrom personality was not prepared to refute), but that does not conclusively prove that everyone aboard the Excalibur was killed.

    Lest we forget Commodore Wesley's radio report to Commodore Enwright:

    Note that Wesley does not say that the Excalibur's entire crew has been killed. Instead, he notes the deaths of Excalibur's captain and XO, with a very general reference to many other casualties (presumably throughout the entire task force). At this point, if the entire crew of the Excalibur had indeed been verified as K.I.A., Wesley would have to expressly report it to Enwright. Wesley does not do so.

    While it is entirely possible that Excalibur's crew could have been killed, and this would fit in with the basic premise of "The Ultimate Computer", the plot does not rest on all 400 Excalibur crewmembers dying. Instead, Kirk grabs Daystom far earlier when the casualties are just beginning and there is the threat of more:

    Excalibur is hit again immediately after the above exchange, undoubtedly resulting in more casualties. But is it ever conclusively established that all 400 Excalibur crew were lost? No.

    In fact, Kirk's visible relief and humor at the end of this episode would make much more sense if the Enterprise had been involved in an unseen rescue of Excalibur survivors between the time of Wesley's final order to cease fire and the Sickbay scene with Daystrom shown sedated. (It would also make sense if some of the Excalibur survivors had been transferred to Enterprise to restore Enterprise's systems so the ship could get underway; this would go a long way to explain how Kirk could so confidently plop down in his command chair on the Bridge and give his crew the order to get underway.)