Any mixed feelings about the transporter?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Grant, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Grant

    Grant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Does anybody else wish they had used the transporter a lot less on TOS.

    I get why it was invented--because they didn't want to waste time and money showing the ship 'land'.

    But by the time of the middle of the 1st season they had the shuttle and they could have used stock footage of it leaving the Ent, traveling in space and then just cut to it on the surface.

    It seems that the transporter would be more convienent but of course countless times they are cut off from the ship and have no food, water, weapons, supplies or a base to operate from.

    I love that aspect of "Galileo Seven' and "Metamorphosis'.

    Every single week it seems they had to do a new optical of the beam-ins and outs and that cost money too.

    When they beam down in Spock's Brain they are beaming into a wilderness of 'acrtic characteristics' with only their apparently heated longjohns--then they heat some rocks.

    I just think the convienence became waaay too conveinent and repetative.

    Any opinions?
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Every time they used the shuttlecraft, we saw the fx footage from "The Galileo Seven" over and over and over again. So how would using more stock footage of the same thing in more episodes be an improvement? Plus, they would have had to move the life-size prop onto each indoor/outdoor alien planet set.
     
  3. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    Plus the transporter's iconic to Star Trek. I don't think they invented them but they brought it to mainstream.
     
  4. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agreed

    Its one of the things most associated with Star Trek.

    Of course it had its problems, like when they wanted the landing party be in danger they had to make some lame reason why they couldn't beam up.

    I think they made a mistake later in making the transporter too powerful, being able to beam anywhere. I always wondered why the 'evil' Romulans just didn't beam bombs or deadly viruses aboard Federation ship
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Without the transporter and the make-disappear-death-ray sidearms, Star Trek would barely have qualified as science fiction, let alone a scifi show with any sort of recognizability or longevity. Would we still be talking about the show if all we saw was the USN, only with sillier uniforms, and in spaaaaace? McHale's Navy did it better!

    If anything, I'd have liked to see more of these truly futuristic technologies. Replicators, definitely. Holograms and synthetic personalities, too. And life support belts instead of spacesuits!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    I feel the same way. Always had a soft spot for the shuttle and the few instances when they used it this way are among my favorite Trek moments. As is Spock´s use of the specially equipped shuttle in "Immunity Snydrome". It always feels special and more use of the shuttle would have opened possibilties for other story ideas. That does not mean the tranporter would have been abandoned! But just use it, when it makes sense and not as a default means of transportation - that´s one thing I like about ENT.

    And using the shuttle also makes sense in-universe. When you want to leave a survey or science team on a planet, but the "mother ship" has to be elsewhere, as a captain I´d want my planet-team based in a shuttle, rather then just beaming them down. A shuttle would serve them as shelter and a base of operations and they could also use it to visit and explore different places on the planet or even leave it when necessary.

    Mario
     
  7. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    I loved the shuttle episodes as well. Also, the novels that used the shuttle and it would wind up as a base of operations for the landing party.

    Drawing a blank on names right now, but I've read a few novels and more short stories that used this concept.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Of course, the average landing party could have an even more substantial base established via transporter. Rather than haul down unnecessary tons of warp or impulse propulsion along with a fancy hut, the team could land with just the hut. Or with a fortress, or a drilling rig, as needed. And with hiking gear, hovercycles or a tank division, if mobility were needed and the mothership had to depart. Although probably one could also beam down a transporter, eliminating the need for vehicles.

    Using spacecraft to haul that stuff down and back up again would be a bottleneck in both in-universe and on-stage terms...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    The flaw isn't in the concept but in the execution, or more specifically in the writing. And the post-production limitations.

    In "The Cage" we saw the landing party beam down with field jackets and equipment in backpacks. For an extended survey task that makes sense and should have been seen throughout TOS. The introduction of the tricorder in TOS could rationalize why more and bulkier equipment (as seen in "The Cage") was largely no longer needed. The field jackets or some updated version of them would have been nice to see again. The idea was brought back in TMP, TWOK and TFF. We could assume there were TOS style field jackets but we just never had occasion to see them. The planet in "Spock's Brain" would have been the ideal place to see them again, but they just didn't have the budget to supply them. You could apply similar reasoning to the female uniform which was fine for aboard ship, but really had no business on a landing party assignment. Here the woman should have had an alternate uniform (pants) for landing party duty.

    If we assume the transporter of the Pike/Kirk era is largely safe and effective then it is a faster and more convenient method of getting personnel off and on ship. The shuttlecraft is a more involved and time consuming mode of transport suitable to only certain conditions: the ship has to be somewhere else, use of the transporter is inadvisable or the shuttlecraft can go where the starship can't. Those conditions hinge on how events in a story are set up. In "The Galileo Seven" wouldn't have been safer to send the Enterprise into the Murasaki effect as opposed to a shuttlecraft? The ship had to go in there anyway afterward to search for the shuttlecraft and it's systems didn't go haywire. Or maybe they just didn't anticipate the shuttlecraft having any difficulty.
     
  10. Nine of Four

    Nine of Four Commander Red Shirt

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    Agreed. I always thought it was cool in ENT and DS9 when they used shuttles/runabouts frequently.
     
  11. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

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    The transporter is one of my favorite tech inventions of Star Trek. I do like that theyused both but I certainly do not think it was overused.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But if the mothership doesn't depart during this survey, then this is an excellent opportunity to have a bit of extra futurism. That is, the futuristic landing party doesn't need to stockpile any supplies, because it can request that those materialize out of thin air exactly when and where needed! Clothing and sidearms and tricorders and nothing else is fine for TOS; even coffee can be beamed down as needed. And for TNG, sidearms and tricorders should've been done away with as well, these only appearing in the hands of the heroes at those times they will see action...

    Of course, Trek didn't take that route, in which case I agree the other route should have been taken more decisively. Backpacks, body armor, powered body armor when state of VFX art allows, the works. As long as it doesn't look conventional; silly sand buggies are right out, for example. (But I did like the rollable, bulletproof, transparent riot shields of ST5 a lot.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    Theoretically, you´re right of course. But the transporter isn´t 100% reliable, there are numerous examples where it doesn´t work or can´t be used for other reasons. So when you´re down on a planet with adverse conditions (like in "Enemy Within" or "Spock´s Brain") I wouldn´t want to trust my life to a means of transportation and supply, that may fail at the most inopportune moment. I´d rather take a shuttle so I could be sure it provides shelter, supplies and transportation.

    And I didn´t mean to say "don´t use the transporter at all", but "use it where it makes sense". So when you´re going down to a tropical paradise, transporters are okay ;)

    Mario
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Nothing is 100% reliable. But if something is generally faster and more convenient people will usually persist in using it. That's just the way we are with everything.
     
  15. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The transporter was a great idea, and helped to move the stories along. Imagine if the Enterprise had to land on a planet every week, how unworkable that would have been.

    In the case of the shuttle, it served as a backup method of getting on and off the ship, which is just being smart. It would have made "The Enemy Within" about a two-minute long episode, though.
     
  16. Nine of Four

    Nine of Four Commander Red Shirt

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    Hahahahaha Tru dat!!!
     
  17. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Admittedly, for an enhanced "Hornblower Effect" regular shuttle departures and arrivals would have added a maritime touch to the show, and had they constructed the scripts to have the shuttle's travel time match a commercial break / slot events would have occurred in real time.

    But from a practical point of view you would have just seen people entering or exiting a prop (shuttlecraft) with no funky special effects involved. I'm afraid that would have rather gotten stale over extended periods of time.

    The transporter room was a unique trademark of Star Trek and I think audiences quickly got the feel that once our protagonists embarked the transport chamber they were going somewhere (in real time).
    On the bright side the shuttlebay scenes became a special and rare event to be appreciated. :)

    Bob
     
  18. darth_ender

    darth_ender Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I agree it was too convenient, except when they had to come up with some silly reason why it wasn't so they could make the plot work. What probably bugged me most was the transporter room. Why even have it? You don't have to either start or end there? Why not just beam from wherever you are to wherever you are going?
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    In TOS, you absolutely had to be there for at least one end of the trip. We see this in "Cloud Minders": Kirk's crew kidnaps Plasus from his dwellings and moves him to the Troglyte mines, but the hapless High Advisor had to be briefly materialized on the transporter platform in between.

    Probably in TNG, the ability to beam "site-to-site" still stretches the resources of the transporter somewhat, and 90% of beamings benefit from the use of the platforms.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    True.

    This is the most likely explanation. I always thought it was cool when they used the site to site transport.
     

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