Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by xvicente, Jun 3, 2013.
The Enterprise is supposed to have a complement of Workbees.
Maybe I misinterpreted Timo's comment, then ?
I was pointing out that the ship has them. So if there was a need to transport cargo pods from one ship to another you don't have to go to the local Starbase.
The thing is, the load of the workbee isn't outsize for transporters. That is, it could easily be beamed aboard container by container, by using one of those standard six-pad things.
Beaming eight containers aboard would probably also be quicker than towing that eight-container "train" all the way from the nearby space station. Not to mention that the transporter could take those containers to and from a planetary surface, while the workbee doesn't look at all like it could handle planetary takeoff and landing, atmospheric flight etc.
Then again, Khan's hut in ST2 appears to consist of exactly this sort of a container train - the mounting beam is still in place, and even has the clamps for a workbee at one end (although the bee itself is missing). Moving this cluster down would not have been possible with a six-pad transporter. But moving it down by a workbee doesn't seem plausible, either...
There are cargo transporters near the cargo bay. But moving from a StarBase to the ship would probably be more energy efficient by Workbee. While moving from ship to planet or vice versa would, the cargo transporter is probably more efficient.
It's not canon, but Mister Scott's Guide to the Enterprise shows cargo transporters with much bigger pads.
...It's too bad that TOS showed cargo being handled with a six-pad unit in "Dagger of the Mind". I mean, it was a unique set (the back wall with the circuit board was never seen in transporter rooms that handled personnel) and could have been the ship's dedicated cargo transporter, but it didn't look the part. The pad was still small, it was still two steps up from the floor level, and there were no doors wider than the standard size to allow the cargo to be moved beyond the room.
This all sort of undermines the idea that the TOS ship would already have had dedicated large cargo transporters, although it doesn't make their existence impossible. And I really hope such things existed both in TOS and TMP despite remaining unseen.
Would our heroes be concerned with energy efficiency, though? It's not as if Starfleet would ever consider the energy costs of anything when pondering alternate courses of action - except in those rare situations where energy was too low to do anything much, due to some emergency.
The workbee looks cool and all, but it really dumbs down Star Trek technology. In the 2260s, we see a fantastic flying saucer with cigars bolted on dashing between stars and teleporting people at will - and suddenly in the 2270s (or perhaps 2280s), we are back to docking ports, airlocks and flimsy little pods maneuvering on puffs of rocket thrust. It's as if space technology went back two centuries!
To be fair they did have their share of transporter troubles in TOS.
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