"Ahead, Space Normal Speed"

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by NuFan, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. PCz911

    PCz911 Commander Red Shirt

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    Interesting. I just thought that Crawford was really good at playing a-holes. Does anyone know if the reports of friction was true or not?
     
  2. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If it was, so much the better--if his look of contempt was actual
     
  3. ClayinCA

    ClayinCA Commodore Commodore

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    Interesting tidbit about John Crawford: he later guest-starred in the Incredible Hulk episode "The Hulk Breaks Las Vegas," alongside Don Marshall, who played Boma in "The Galileo 7."
     
  4. JamesGarfield

    JamesGarfield Ensign Red Shirt

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    Yes, "Space Normal Speed" is accepted to mean 'Ahead 1/4 Impulse'. By this point in warp drive development, the term had become almost archaic in that most everyone just assumed that's the default sub-light speed (explaination below). In fact most Federation crews hadn't heard the term since their days at Starfleet Academy, hence Sulu's turning around in surprise when Kirk used that phrase. But you see, Kirk knew that the Commissioner (who was a politician and not a trained navigator) was still listening, and probably wouldn't know the meaning of 'Space Normal Speed'. It was Kirk's way of dragging his feet and pulling away from the planet reeeeaaallly slowwwwly, without getting yelled at more by the Commissioner.

    One of the perks of service on a Starship is that a crewman gains about one year of extra life over the course of his career, as a result of the time dilation effect which occurs at high sub-light speeds (even the Big E Enterprise has to obey the bigger E Einstein :)). To avoid accumulating excessive time dilation effects, most Starships keep their sub-light velocities to about one-quarter light speed, or 'Space Normal Speed' by default. If they want to go faster or farther for any length of time, they'll usually just go ahead and enter Warp, during which time the warp envelope shields the vessel from further time dilation effects. Upon exiting warp, one of the first things that the Starship's main computer does, is seek out the nearest Starbase's signal, and reset the ship's chronometer to compensate for any accrued time dilation effects.

    This is one of many techno-details that had to be sacrificed by the writers, because it would either over-complicate the plot, or it wouldn't fit into the 45-minute timeframe allowed by the TV network. But thanks to resources such as this site, we can fill in the empty spaces.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  5. johnnybear

    johnnybear Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes I remember it well because the Trek repeats were currently on BBC1 at the time!
    JB
     
  6. johnnybear

    johnnybear Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think Crawford was getting over the loss of a child at the time and that Shatner behaved badly toward him which made it all the worse!
    JB
     
  7. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    For the same reason total assholes become U.S. Presidents: they are surrounded by other (powerful) breathing rear ends who support their one-sided, agenda-obsessed beliefs, encourage and promote. Few gain power as a result of an organic response from/by the people they (allegedly) represent. Why should Ferris be any different? He probably moved through the system by actively going along with his "party's" BS, learning and hammering it until he was tapped to be Commissioner Pompous Ass.
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Accepted by whom?
     
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  9. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Is a confirmation response found anywhere in the dialogue?
     
  10. JamesGarfield

    JamesGarfield Ensign Red Shirt

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    There isn't a specific confirmation response found anywhere in the dialog in this episode. The 'Space Normal Speed' being accepted to mean 'Ahead 1/4 Impulse', is generally implied from several of the paperback Startrek novels.

    We see authors such as DC Fontana getting their stories produced all the way into TV episodes. A lot of other authors had story ideas which didn't make it to the screen, but did make it into paperback form. Most of these aspiring authors tried to hold to cannon in their stories, for example creating interesting background histories for some of the characters, or sometimes even mild alternate timeline themes.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In other words, not confirmed.




    :)
     
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  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Then not "accepted to mean".
     
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  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It's even far from confirmed that "1/4 impulse" would be a speed to start with. Most of the plots and their inconsistencies would be much better served by assuming that "X impulse" is a throttle setting, and a measure of acceleration, the actual speed then depending on how long this acceleration is maintained.

    "Space normal speed" in turn contains the telltale word heavily suggesting that this is in fact a speed rather than an acceleration. Relative to what, we don't know - in "The Galileo Seven", there were four star systems to compare against, plus the general Murasaki phenomenon, and we can speculate there's an "ether" in Star Trek, too, some sort of a fixed subspace medium, but there's no certainty about such things. We can still assume that "speed" means something to our heroes, and further speculate that it means much the same thing as in today's physics. And we can speculate that "normal" in "space normal speed" is a synonym for "standard", that is, an arbitrary yardstick the value of which remains unknown to us, although that's far from the only possible interpretation.

    What we do know is that it's slower than warp one, which is already telling, and probably sufficient, too. :techman:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. JamesGarfield

    JamesGarfield Ensign Red Shirt

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    I would have thought so too, but since I don't have 6 different internet links to prove it, apparently it's for naught.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    impression I got was that Kirk wanted to move away from the planet at a speed only slightly faster than standing still.

    Modern day, "normal speed" is the ordered speed of a naval formation of ships. Based in part on the speed the slowest ship can reach while still having some extra speed capacity in reserve.

    :)
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    This usage might be relevant if Kirk wants to depart at a speed the missing shuttlecraft could theoretically match... Although the shuttle catching up would again be a matter of acceleration rather than speed.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    More the idea was to give the shuttle crew every last chance to make themselves apparent, or for "something" unexpected to occure.

    I believe Kirk's intention was to move slowly away from the planet until sensors could no longer reasonable detect anything might involve the shuttle, then go to warp and deliver the ship's cargo.

    If no other assignment was to follow that, perhaps Kirk would have returned to the planet to continue the search.

    :)
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The drama is somewhat artificial, because obviously Kirk could depart, return and then spend all the time he wants saving his missing crew. This possibility exists because the time allotted for delivering the medicine is very short - short enough that doubling it for tither-and-forth would still leave a good survivability margin for the castaways, even without assuming Kirk putting the pedal to the metal.

    Allotting a longer time, say, a few weeks, would run contrary to most TOS data on travel times and would also call to question the "urgency" aspect of the mission, if only from the audience's point of view. Also, if the Enterprise could dedicate weeks to this leg of the mission, why bother with the rendezvous? Why not have the heroes deliver the medicine to the destination? But this would negate the dramatic advantage of the rendezvous setup - the fact that hurrying will not be helpful, and a delay that can be compensated for is okay (whereas if Kirk delivered straight to the end customer, then he clearly should be doing as much "compensating" as he can, and no "delaying" at all, or else be court-martialed).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Despite what seems to be the case on the show, the Enterprise isn't Kirk's personal vehicle that he can take anywhere he pleases. Kirk would have been able to return to the planet only if Starfleet had nothing scheduled for the Enterprise past the rendezvous, or if nothing unexpected arose.


    :)
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But Kirk had been allotted the time needed for the rendezvous - he wasn't expected to deliver the medicine to Makus III in advance and leave it waiting for the next vessel in the delivery chain. So he could probably do exactly that, just like he was permitted to stop and inspect Murasaki, as long as he didn't exceed the overall mission parameters.

    Interestingly, while "space normal" means Kirk is dragging his feet, "full normal" is his terminology for best possible speed to rescue the shuttle crew from a fiery death. Seems very much as if "normal" means "sublight" here - unless it's on-the-spot terminology for "the highest safe speed within the influence of the Murasaki phenomenon", say.

    Timo Saloniemi