B5 downbelow question.

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by trekkiedane, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I estimate that CnC was meant to be somewhat equivalent to lunar gravity or 1/6th earth gravity. So if you forgot that and jumped, you would hit your head on the ceiling.
     
  2. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    When in doubt, Ask JMS: :)

    Jan
     
  3. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    Artistic licence aside, I dispute that. In Severed Dreams when the starfury collides with the forward section, a tech is thrown to the floor. She doesn't float down in 1/3 gravity either. She hits the deck HARD.
     
  4. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    There are no references to the 'fact' they're in a third or Earth gravity.
     
  5. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There has to be a reasonable degree of suspension of disbelief here for the simple reason that, yes it is just a TV show and it's simply not feasible to realistically portray people operating in one third Earth gravity. That is unless you can afford the shoot the whole thing in the vomit comet. It's the same reason they couldn't correctly portray Mars gravity (0.38g IIRC.)

    To be fair, they did their best to address it within the budget. For instance, the bridge scenes from 'In the Beginning' did a fair job of showing zero gravity though some basic trickery (though mostly by not having anyone get out of their seats) and I think there was a mention in 'A Call To Arms' that even the Excalibur's "magical" artificial gravity isn't quite right and a person feels a few pounds lighter than they would back on Earth. Even after they did away with the chunky harnesses in the core shuttle, you can still see low gravity warning signs everywhere and (I think) everyone is careful to always be holding onto a rail. Actually, speaking of that scene where Sheridan jumps out, I'm pretty sure that rather than plummeting straight "down" (or outwards, rather) he's moving off to one side which if I remember this right (it's been a long time since physics class) is in line with the coriolis effect.

    As for the term "downbelow", yes, in reality those slum areas are actually closer to the outer skin (we even see a porthole in the floor in 'The Long Dark'.) Of course any direction in space is relative anyway so it's as good a term as any. ;)
     
  6. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, and the stars were never moving, nor were Epsilon 3 and the blue nebula visible through the big window unless it was an effects shot. For that matter, the hallways should've all had slight but visible curves, and except for the central corridors, we never saw that.
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^To be fair, only the corridors running around the circumference should have been curved, the ones oriented along the length of the station should have been level.

    As for the window in C'n'C, yeah, again it's just a matter of practicality. IIRC for the most part the "stars" were just a simple practical effect (think Christmas lights on black cloth.) These days it would be much easier and cheaper, but back then I imagine it would just have been prohibitively expensive to do a composite shot every time there was a scene in C'n'C. Also remember that back then, even when they did a comp shot the camera had to be locked off, so the simple practical effect permitted them the have the camera actually *move* on that set. ;)
     
  8. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    Like they did in the 'other C&C' in Thirdspace.
     
  9. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Still doesn't address the problem of them standing on the wrong surface. You see pan backs from them standing on the bridge, looking out at incoming traffic or whatever, and they're standing on what should be the ceiling in centripetal artifical gravity.
     
  10. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^I don't follow. As far as I know they've always shown the docking bay as being "above" C'n'C and as far as I'm aware, centrifugal force pushes outwards from the fulcrum, making the "inner" surface of the floor. Perhaps you can give an example?
     
  11. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    My mistake, it is just below, where there should be very little gravity at all. Suspension of disbelief time.
     
  12. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't recall them getting this wrong in the show. I remember the floor of CnC being farther from the axis of rotation than the ceiling, which is correct. I estimated the distance from the axis as as about 1/6th of the radius to the 1G zone. They did try hard to make the physics more plausible than in a lot of sci-fi shows. They worked out the correct dynamics for ejecting the Star Furies. Those fighters used control thrusters rather than aerodynamic surfaces for manoeuvring, and the capital ships definitely steered around like they massed many tens of thousands of tons.
     
  13. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    One thing that could be taken into account and doesn't necessarily require dialogue to explain it - they had help from other races.

    The Centauri gave them jump gate technology. They could've also given some gravity plating to help even out the g-forces in various points of the station that needed it.

    (Ignoring JMS's comments of course)
     
  14. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^That's simply could not be the case. It's stated pretty flat out in 'Rising Star' that until that point, both the Minbari and Centauri made a point of keeping certain technologies-including artificial gravity-to themselves. Aside from that, from what little we know of how it actually works it's not "grav plating" like on Star Trek so much as a by product of the kind of "gravitic engines" their ships use.

    As I said, it's simply a necessary dramatic conceit made in the interest of sheer practicality. They couldn't show people walking around in low gravity all the time any more than they could have too many aliens that don't just happen to look like humans wearing latex masks. At least they took the time to figure out how things *should* work even if it wasn't possible to portray it as such.
     
  15. Triple-F

    Triple-F Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Although he’s talking a little bit of bollards with regard to never giving any thought to how things worked (remembering he was essentially animating stuff, not designing it or working stuff out – look at the Steve Burg interview on the same site for example) your man Mojo kind of hints at some of the thinking around the gravity thing. The bottom line is a lot of this stuff was being made up as they went along.

    http://www.themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/B5Scrolls.htm#Screen1_09_4

    Whatever rule book was being followed though, was most certainly thrown out the window by the time you get to Crusade (though FI had long gone by that point) – remember Gidean looking out the (chest high) window on the rotating section of the deep space explorer he was originally captaining. Going for the non-magic gravity option in the B5 verse was a gutsy move but couldn’t possibly be depicted 100% accurately with the tech and budgets.
     
  16. Brolan

    Brolan Commodore Commodore

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    They also missed this the two times the station was attacked by boarding pods. The invaders should have been shown coming up from the floor, as the "gravity" should be pushing everyone down to the outside wall. Instead they board through a hole in the wall. Makes it easy to set up and film, but makes no sense otherwise.
     
  17. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    I don't remember what the other time was but this was the explanation JMS gave when asked about the scene in Severed Dreams:

    Jan
     
  18. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, that's easy enough to explain by saying we didn't see the boarders at the initial breach. We definitely didn't in "A View from the Gallery."
     
  19. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that shot in Warzone is probably the only really blatant mistake, but given the kind of crap that was flying at the time I think we can forgive such an oversight. ;)

    As the rest; from what I gather, if there was any serious thought about the working of things it probably went little further than Copeland. More to the point though gravity on alien ships was clearly being thought about as on the two (?) occasions we saw the bridge of Narn cruisers, everyone was strapped in just like on the Earth Hyperions and likewise on the two or three occasions we saw on board a Drazi ship (though we did also see wheel shaped Drazi space stations.)

    The only real grey area is, as you say, the Centauri ships. It may have been that it wasn't until after that episode that it was decided that they had gravity too and in the later seasons it was more or less implicit that they did.

    As for the other League ships, to be fair Vree ships *did* have rotating sections...of course that doesn't mean they'd have to be for gravity but it's as good an explanation as any. As for the others, while it's true there are no other ships with obvious rotating hulls, there's always the possibility of smaller internal smaller scale centrifuges like the Discovery's from 2001. Indeed, even the Hyperion might be big enough to have one.

    Another thing to consider is that as Delenn points out in 'Rising Star', a warship with a rotating section is going to be slower and less manoeuvrable, which is a pretty good justification for only a handful of ship types using them; *big* passenger liners, large deep range destroyers and those *huge* explorers. Smaller ships with a shorter range/mission durations could probably get away with zero-G so long as the crews are rotated to prevent bone loss and muscle atrophy or as previous mentioned, a smaller centrifuge allows them to exercise in something approaching normal gravity.

    Actually, now that I think about it I think there was a specific mention of Sakai's Skydancer being equipped with special zero-g exercise equipment so she can keep in shape during her months long survey missions.
     
  20. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Maybe the fact that Earth was willing to go to the trouble to build ships and stations that rotated contributed to their rapid expansion compared to the League worlds, some of which had a thousand-year head start. Everyone else had to keep rotating crews back home so their bones wouldn't dissolve like Vikings refusing to sail out of sight of land, but Earth's slow, giant whirly-doodle ships meant they could travel out much father without turning back.