exterior surface markings of Kirk's Enterprise

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Robert Comsol, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    When the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. opened its new building for the US Bicentennial in 1976, it had a special surprise for fans and friends of Star Trek – Kirk’s iconic USS Enterprise had become a part of the collection and it was the first time that the underside of the engineering hull and its multiple markings could be seen by the general public (it’s different now as the original model has been tainted, painted, gridded, weathered and seam welded...:ack:).

    Very fortunately Phil Broad has kept a visual record of the (almost) untampered original condition of the VFX model: http://www.cloudster.com/Sets&Vehicles/STEnterprise/SmithsonianMiniature.htm

    I had the privilege of seeing the Enterprise in 1976 and 1980 and expectedly wondered about the functionality of these markings and/or hatches. What really caught my eye was the (only exterior) small print near the saucer’s underside windows which I believe to be a good starting point trying an attempt to decipher the design philosophy behind these markings.

    Saucer Hull underside: http://www.cloudster.com/Sets&Vehicles/STEnterprise/ent66.jpg

    The text near the upper grey rectangles reads “Inspection Door Vent Systems Connections”. I believe this to be mean inspection door / maintenance hatch for the vent systems connections to which the Enterprise connects at a service station in space (air exchange). Thus grey could indicate “must do” maintenance hatches once at a service station in space.

    On the starboard side just below the grey rectangle there is a yellow rectangle. In our current color warning applications (mixed with black) yellow indicates a hazard (moving part or an obstacle). As an airlock door it would be a moving part and the location for the airlock here seems in accordance with the deck level of the airlock in TMP where for some odd reason it’s on the port side: http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tmp2/tmphd2072.jpg

    The trapezodial panels (almost triangular in appearance) have invited a variety of interpretation proposals. I favor the extendable landing leg / stabilizing pole theory after the saucer has detached from the engineering hull and the neck section and needs to land on a planet, seen here http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/lcar...l/USS-Enterprise-Officers-Manual_Page_038.jpg, but reject the obvious allusion to “Forbidden Planet” (i.e. extending sensor cylinder) and no longer believe the neck will stick like dead weight to the saucer in an emergency separation scenario:

    The inevitable question is of course where the third landing pole would be. In my world it’s at the stern of the saucer but covered by the neck section attached (this would probably require a diagonal ‘throat’ turboshaft. Since I strongly advocate such a shaft – even in a diagonal shaft the turboshaft lights would seem to pass by vertically! - I have no doubt that this is where the third pole is hidden from our view). The landing leg or stabilizing pole theory is also supported by TMP Enterprise where there...are...four...- landing legs at the underside of the saucer (suggesting landing capability of the saucer).

    As for the two red stripes near the stern of the saucer I have no ideas at this time. :confused:

    Saucer Hull upper side: http://www.cloudster.com/Sets&Vehicles/STEnterprise/ent58.JPG

    We see the parallel red lines that run from the back of the ‘teardrop’ all the way to the stern of the ship near the flight deck clamshell space doors. This is most likely the ‘spine’ or central nervous system of the ship with a large number of (indiscernible) external maintenance hatches between these red lines.

    In need to address the protrusion at the stern of the upper side before I proceed. Of all the interpretations I’ve read here at Trek BBS, I like the one of the gentleman who suggested this to be an exterior connect and/or docking hardpoint the best. In fact, it appears to be the only surface feature of Kirk’s Enterprise that would allow a docking or payload connection (e.g. the third warp nacelle if you prefer ;)).

    As a docking connect point it would equally hold the entire ship in place or just the saucer hull after an emergency separation and would roughly look like Andrew Probert’s original docking concept for the Enterprise-D: http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha...prise-D_docking_concept_by_Andrew_Probert.jpg

    The TMP spacedock had a docking tube attached to the port side of the ship, the TOS Enterprise does not have such a feature at the outer rim of the saucer but I believe the yellow rectangle on the ‘teardrop’ is the access for such a docking tube (there is a better and more practical way to have telescopic equipment ship-mounted which I’ll address shortly). In naval terms this could make the deck below the bridge the “quarterdeck” or – in TOS terms – the “Q deck”.

    Based on his World War II aviation experience the Enterprise’s designer Matt Jefferies felt that the ship’s engines would suffer wear and tear and would need to be replaced in intervals (nice explanation for the warp nacelle differences between the Pike and the Kirk Enterprise). So what’s the story for the impulse engines (especially after “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”)? The large L-shaped panels appear to correspond to the location of the impulse engines and could suggest an hatch access to remove the entire engine block and replace it with a new one.

    The yellow rectangles near these hatches are probably (again) airlocks which would enable engineering personnel to go EVA to supervise and assist engine block exchange or payload connection.

    Warp Nacelles underside: http://www.cloudster.com/Sets&Vehicles/STEnterprise/ent67.jpg

    Probably same story like with the aforementioned impulse engine maintenance hatches. You may need to take the cover panel off to unlock the warp nacelle from the support pylon in order to exchange it for a new one. While there’s no airlock there for engineering personnel, the upper windows in the pylons could indicate the work stations from which to monitor such an engine exchange.

    Engineering Hull underside

    The yellow circle is definitely an enigma but also the perfect ‘excuse’ to wrap a circular ship’s corridor around it (suggested by various scenes in TOS that take place in the engineering hull). Ironically, I had never thought of this until I noticed the circular computer core in the engineering hull on the three-dimensional cutaway poster of the Enterprise-D where the artist was possibly looking for and eventually creating this kind of ‘excuse’.

    Back in the 80’s I did a cutaway blueprint of the TOS Enterprise and assumed that the yellow circle should be the bottom part of a probe (launching) cylinder. After all, there needed to be an egress possibility for the flight recorder in “The Corbomite Maneuver”, the satellites in “Operation Annihilate” and the probes in “The Immunity Syndrome”. A 360° rotating cylinder would provide optimal flexibility to launch flight recorders, satellites and probes in almost any direction you wanted without changing the ship’s trajectory.

    And unless you needed to launch sensory equipment as a probe, that same sensory equipment could be used during normal astrophysical examinations. Just turn the cylinder with the corresponding probe towards the stellar object you want to examine. Done with optical astronomy? Turn the cylinder a few degrees to do infrared, next. After that an examination of radio, ray, and neutrino astronomy by the little rotation of the cylinder in the shortest amount of time. I presume Stellar Cartography (“The Changeling”) aka Auxilary Control Room to be located somewhere above this cylinder (while I naturally enjoyed my theory being supported location-wise by TOS-R I disliked its “bomb bay door” concept. But then again, I’m probably biased :rolleyes:).

    Peter Chung did a schematic to visualize / emphasize the exterior locations of the engineering hull underside markings but accidentally also illustrated how such a probe cylinder could look like when extended: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=119751&page=12

    The T- and the I-shaped grey rectangles are separate from one another but seem to share some kind of internal connection. If the color grey points to a hatch that will be routinely examined at a service station, those two are definitely among it. I presume these to be loading or fueling ports for matter (and/or fusion fuel) and antimatter. If spacedock is like a gas station in space it doesn’t seem too farfetched to have your air and fuel checked...

    The red frame below the flight deck could be a blow-away hatch (should the flight deck doors be inoperative) to allow crew members to use the shuttlecraft on the H deck as a means to abandon ship. The red frame marking style, however, suggests this to be just a maintenance hatch for maintenance work if necessary, i.e. replenishment of air after an emergency decompression of the flight and hangar deck (unless, of course, we assume all red frame markings to be blow-away hatches in emergency situations).

    The white square is most enigmatic. As Peter Chung’s schematic quickly reveals it’s to small for a shuttlecraft to fit through (unless one seriously suggests a shuttle to take a nose-dive inside). So what is it for?

    One of the puzzling issues in Star Trek is the size of standardized cargo containers. I couldn’t help but feel that some walls on Space Station K-7 looked like these had the capacity to store small cargo containers TOS Trek style: http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/2x15hd/thetroublewithtribbleshd0712.jpg
    These look much better and bigger in TMP http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tmp2/tmphd0385.jpg but are still to small to accomodate the interiors of the cargo containers the TOS Enterprise left to Khan and company on Ceti Alpha V http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/twokhd/twokhd0201.jpg

    Anyway, we have never seen a TOS cargo transporter or a TOS cargo Bee. I think the white spuare could be a cargo container chute of some kind where a ceiling tractor beam functions like a rope to lower a cargo container onto a planetary surface like Ceti Alpha V. Since the “orbital cargo elevator” function wasn’t ready until Tuesday while the shuttlecraft replacement delivery wasn’t scheduled prior to Wednesday, it was of no use to Sulu and his landing party on Sunday in “The Enemy Within”. :D

    (The German dubbing of this episode made Sulu ask Captain Kirk to attach a couple of coffee cups to a rope and lower them down to the planet. While undoubtedly a rope would add a nice maritime touch to the ship, that’s a different concept and story - for now).

    Summary:
    Grey hull markings – must-do maintenance at service station (fuel and air)
    Red hull markings – maintenance at service station only if necessary
    Yellow hull markings – structure can move or extend any time (stay clear!)
    White hull markings – un/loading process may be about to begin (stay clear!)

    Bob
     
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  2. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is all -- sincerely -- very interesting! Thank you for sharing it.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A few alternate interpretations:

    The yellow warning color might be associated with antimatter ejection. We know from "Errand of Mercy" that there are antimatter bottles in or near Decks 10-11, and these could well be assumed to serve the photon torpedo system located in that area. The yellow hatch could be for ejection of this antimatter. The second use of the color, at the bottom of the engineering hull, would then naturally mark the ejection port for the antimatter used by the main power generation system. Circular doors are of course particularly difficult to open (where do you put the hinges?), lending support to the idea that this is a blowaway panel. The yellow dorsal rectangle aft of the bridge might warn about the antimatter stores of a putative aft torpedo launcher, or then of the dorsal forward torpedo launchers so eagerly suggested by Franz Joseph.

    The trapezoids reappear on the Enterprise-E primary hull underside, after having been absent for decades, in-universe and out-universe. We could see them as non-vital gear, rather than as vital gear that changes shape (and location?) for the intervening decades. The TNG and DS9 art departments make use of trapezoids mainly in various antennas. Perhaps these, too, are antennas for a specific system for sensing or emitting? By not associating the grey-with-grey-trimming shapes with hatches or openables of any sort, we would make life easier overall, as again the similarly colored T-shaped feature on the engineering hull would be awkward to hinge open.

    Then again, the trapezoids appear to feature visible "hinges" at the stems, or at least have double lines there as opposed to single lines to the sides. And hinges would only be an issue with panels that need to open regularly to let large objects through; service access panels could be of any shape and open in more involved ways. But that tempts me to suggest that the almost invisibly grey-marked shapes would all be service hatches, very seldom accessed. Regular access would call for high-visibility markings.

    Yet clear problems also exist with interpreting the red lines as denoting hatch edges. The putative hatches outlined in the nacelles can't open unless the nacelles are separated from the pylons; the lines in the saucer don't encircle any sort of a hatch. Perhaps red, another alert color, just indicates that a person or vehicle approaching is to stay clear of the marked area or direction? That is, the radiation flux from the nacelles might be particularly intense around the upper stems of the pylons, and the sensors of the saucer might have particularly strong radiation lobes towards the aft sectors marked by the red arches. Or the arches may denote the hazard posed by the nacelle ramscoop thingamabobs in line with the red markers - thingamabobs colored red themselves, in idle mode!

    The main antimatter stores would get double warning colors: yellow area for "Evil may burst out at any moment - be prepared to dodge!" and red outline for "Even when you don't see it, Evil is pouring out from here - don't linger!".

    Why would the ST:TMP hardware not qualify? It's only a decade removed from TOS at most. And it doesn't look or sound like the sort of hardware that would change much from decade to decade. Indeed, the very same Bees are still in use a century later.

    As for "cargo transporter", we did see a unique transporter room being used for the sole purpose of transporting cargo in "Dagger of the Mind" - a room with a special exposed circuit panel at the back wall, perhaps reflecting the utilitarian-over-pleasant approach to transporting non-complaining loads. This transporter appeared to deliver its load to Deck 14 or below (as this is where we next see the stowaway who got aboard with the load), well matching the idea of cargo being stored on the lower decks.

    One certainly does. Why would a shuttle enter any facility crawling sideways or top or bottom first? A shuttle nose-dives into the aft facility, at any rate!

    The off-white isn't exactly a high-visibility marking in this context, so it might ill serve as an approach aid for auxiliary craft. There aren't any associated guidance lights, either, unlike with the stern shuttlebay. This might significantly complicate something as "regular" as cargo loading.

    The shape is quite acceptable for a hatch, though, and is located close to known or suspected auxiliary craft facilities. But perhaps it's just a case of the last starbase maintenance session involving the removal of this hatch, and its painting / replacement by another, of/by slightly different color grey?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  4. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    As always I appreciate your input. Yes, the circle might be associated with antimatter ejection, but I feel Kimble's official and accurate cutaway drawing of the TMP Enterprise suggests an assembly of the antimatter pods that would better fit inside the T-hatch on the TOS Enterprise in TOS retro style. And from where do you think does the TOS Enterprise launch satellites and probes? The Enterprise is foremost a ship of space exploration, not space combat.

    Yes, but the disruptor hits of the Klingon scout do visibly impact on the underside of the saucer hull, not the engineering hull. Which reminds me, that I did not address the other grey panel below the forward inspection door which probably does serve the purpose to take antimatter balls (like this: http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/2x13hd/obsessionhd1196.jpg ?) onboard for the photon torpedo system (it could also serve as an egress hatch for burials "at space" given the many windows surrounding it. ;))

    Please forgive, but I consider anything that comes from Franz Joseph Schnaubelt - who said about himself "I've never been a fan of the show" and "I've never bothered with science fiction, and I've never bothered with Star Trek." http://www.trekplace.com/fj-fjwilliamsint01.html
    and whose knowledge about the world of Star Trek was about 10% of what an average fan knows - unremarkable.

    You got a point that the Enterprise should have sensing and scanning capabilities loacated at the underside of the saucer when orbiting over a planet (not just photo- or astrographic imaging capability suggested by the 3 underside windows port and starboard) and those "hinges" could just be for that. Any hinge mechanisms would most likely be inside and most hatches could just be sliding space doors that separate in the middle.

    To me it appears to be a cover panel that has been cut to fit near the support pylons. And because of that it suggests that it may have something to do with locking or unlocking the nacelle from the pylon.

    My understanding of radiation emission is that it would emanate in a circular, not rectangular fashion.

    Or the red curved lines indicate an area that requires a decontamination sweep at the service station? After all, these are close or below the impulse deck and tritium as a nuclear fusion reactant is highly radioactive.

    I thought the transporter room with the ladder in "The Cage" to be even more unique but also feel it's somewhere near the cargo deck. My concern is that the TMP cargo containers (converted into roof covers by Khan and company on Ceti Alpha V) are too tall to fit on the transporter platform (the transporter room door is no issue if the background wall of the transporter platform is just a partition).

    Then it may just be for cargo unloading. One thing is that the Enterprise (like in TMP) takes cargo containers onboard. This is the maiden flight of the new Enterprise but in normal service how does the ship get rid of all the empty cargo containers?

    Here is a picture of the TOS 4-footer model: http://www.cloudster.com/Sets&Vehicles/STEnterprise/ent54.jpg

    What I really do like about this shot is that it shows us the actual location of the ion pod attached to the bottom of the Enterprise in a similar style like the F-117 Remora in "Executive Decision" :D

    But notice that the long I-shaped hatch here is not grey but white (just like the bottom markings of the transwarp Enterprise-A). This could indicate we are looking at the freight loading hatch.

    Anyway, considering Matt Jefferies felt the Enterprise to be "the first bird" of the 17th design series, the white square - dropping cargo containers or else - indeed could have characteristics of a rectum (and I'm not going into the significance of the white color in such a context). ;)

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Outside the TOS-R references, I'd think all ejection functions would be clustered near the shuttle facilities, save for things that can be fired from torpedo tubes. The TOS-R approach to the ion pod thus appeals to me a lot.

    The visuals of "Operation: Annihilate!" do show the somewhat unlikely hinges at work with the yellow circle. So, quite possibly a cargo bay access hatch, marked because it has a high risk of opening at your face when you least expect - and because the stevedores need to be able to easily locate this door. But the alternate explanation might be that the cavernous cargo hold seen in ST:TMP is already a fixture of the TOS ship, and is the easiest way to move bulky items close to the warp power systems in both vessels. The TMP version just omits the dedicated ventral loading port, while the TOS vessel has physical partitions between the hold and the shuttle flight deck and dedicates a ventral hatch to bulky cargo transfer. Items taken from the ship's stores would then be deployed into space via different routes in the two ships, and only in the TOS ship would this coincide with the antimatter loading and ejection route.

    Remember that when Probert was forced to include the cavernous cargo hold in the TMP design, he postulated a second cargo floor that would slide in place above the one witnessed (the set floor) to provide mode area for securing further containers. Quite possibly, the floor we saw (the set floor) could have been a sliding one as well, then, giving access to deeper levels that would eventually lead to the ventral hold door in the TOS ship. In the refit, the lowermost of those spaces would have been appropriated for other uses, including the supposed arboretum beneath the hold.

    What is problematic about that? That's where Decks 10 and 11 could well be found, and where antimatter pods have every excuse of residing.

    Agreed, in fact. But FJ influenced subsequent Trek thinking a lot, and torpedo launchers located beneath the bridge of a TOS era starship are a common fixture in leading fan works. Since Kirk's ship is credited with at least six forward torpedo tubes, it might not be a bad idea to allow a few of these in the dorsal parts of the saucer, lest the ventral parts become too congested.

    To be fair, the ship almost invariably orbits with one flank (port, unless in the mirror universe) pointed to the planet, not the underside.

    ...Which might mean that sensors located in the ventral concavity of the saucer might need to be mechanically deployed to get a good view to the side. Another excuse for hinged panels there?

    True enough - but in that case, why does the red line not go all the way around the panel along the cut, but terminates at the pylon? The red line then fails to comprehensively mark "hatch opens here", that is, it only highlights part of the opening seam.

    If it came from a point source, then probably so. But red lines indicating areas of dangerous radiation today aren't "isorads" carefully following the contours of radiation intensity. They are simplified lines indicating "if you stay at least this far, you are assuredly safe; inside the red line, it gets more complex".

    Radiation from a source inside the ship would probably best be described as conical; a red line marking the "exit area" would help keep spacewalkers safe, whereas spacecraft at greater distances would have to fend for themselves.

    Indeed, one would see a need for bulk transporters of various designs, ranging from the early TNG style "bus stop" units to simple and unobstructed floor-integrated units akin to the one from "Code of Honor" and coming in all sizes. The unit from "Dagger of the Mind" would just happen to fit the criteria of cargo transporter in many ways, and could handle all the smaller container props frequently seen in the TNG era shows and on some movies.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Just a thought - if it were the bigger cargo containers as hinted at from TWOK, then I'd imagine that they were just flown out the shuttle bay. It is the largest hatch on the ship and we really don't know what is forward of the flight deck. It could just as well have a similar cargo structure as the TMP ship.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Quite possibly. And it's not as if the containers would be standardized for stackability or anything. In all of Trek, from TOS to sequels and prequels, cargo has been chiefly carried in the general goods fashion, in separate man-handleable barrels or boxes or cylinders, and the methods of moving that around probably have to be very flexible.

    The TMP/ST2 containers could be more like the Trek equivalent of the cargo boxes of commercial aircraft than of the standardized seagoing, railgoing and roadgoing steel containers. That is, something to wrap around a bunch of goods for the duration of a short transfer, and something that is available in many sizes and shapes to fit all possible applications.

    McCoy speaks of materials for quickly creating surface accommodations in "Devil in the Dark". Perhaps Khan was supposed to build his own new Khanton out of those, but the sandstorms ate it all away, forcing a move into the set of "baggage wrappings" discarded at the edge of the failed community.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I'm surprised you don't find fault with the TOS-R approach to the ion pod.
    It's not an ion pod, it's a running light of the TOS Enterprise! (just another thing they screwed up because they didn't watch or really knew the old series).

    Just rewatch the first seconds of the original version of "The Galileo Seven". Nice starboard view of the Enterprise with this running light going on-off-on-off where TOS-R wants to make us believe the ion pod is (not to be confused with the opening shots of the Pike Enterprise where during the fly-bys someone switches off the lights in the observation corridor above the shuttle flight deck).

    Bob
     
  9. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    In WOK Chekov says "these look like cargo containers" and I remember from behind-the-scenes-shots (without obscuring sandstorm) that they used the TMP "standard" cargo containers. Someone rationalized they converted the exterior shell of the containers as roof covers for an underground habitat. Makes practical sense to me and you don't have to worry about the interior size of the habitat anymore. :techman:

    If the square white hatch were not for unloading and lowering cargo containers to a planet's surface, we'd probably have to cram a specialized "Space Seed" cargo transporter into a section of the ship where there is already limited space because of the TOS corridors.

    Bob
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If it's a running light, then the original makers of the ship didn't know shit about what they were doing.

    Obviously, a white running light has to be located at an extremity of the ship, as any old seahound knows, not in an obscure corner. You don't place white lights in a location that's asymmetric and only visible to starboard, just as you don't place red lights in a location that is visible to both sides.

    Since we can completely disregard the idea of this being a running light, it makes good sense that it would be either a sensor or observation dome (similar to the three other lighted domes that supposedly are sensor mounts, two on the saucer and one atop the flight deck doors) - or then an auxiliary craft of sorts, operated from the ship's auxiliary craft facility. To save on hangar pressurization expenses, this baby sails out from a chute on the side of the facility... Usually uncrewed, but sometimes a hapless crew member may be unable to depart before his jumpy CO prematurely ejects the pod to its journey through an ion storm.

    Or with those bow-on shots where the center circle at the extreme bow flashes like a beacon. Apparently, there are reasons to such behavior... Even if they are as prosaic as a lighting system failure.

    Or then, as suggested, all cargo traffic takes place through the shuttlebay.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. QuinnTV

    QuinnTV Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I can understand disagreeing with their decision on this, but I wouldn't say the Okudas, who were heavily involved with TOS-R, were unfamiliar with Trek in any of its incarnations.
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    "If it's a running light, then the original makers of the ship didn't know shit about what they were doing."

    @ Timo

    Like putting the command center on top of a vessel (the Constellation's had been destroyed according to dialogue in "Doomsday Machine" but that's another thing the TOS-Revisionists overlooked)? :rolleyes:

    Here is a picture of the location of the running light which became an ion pod emplacement: http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x20hd/courtmartialhd003.jpg (also note how the black "1837" letters - another exterior hull enigma - have been retconned to grey compared to the original markings: http://www.cloudster.com/Sets&Vehicles/STEnterprise/ent60.jpg)

    Sorry, Timo. The running lights on the saucer hull indicate the width of the saucer and therefore it makes perfect sense to also have two running lights (port and starboard) on the engineering hull. Viewed from below the two "ion pod" running lights near the stern plus the ones in the saucer give a distant viewer in dark space a good idea that there is an obstacle to avoid. Looks to me that Matt Jefferies knew exactly why he was doing that.

    "I can understand disagreeing with their decision on this, but I wouldn't say the Okudas, who were heavily involved with TOS-R, were unfamiliar with Trek in any of its incarnations."

    @ QuinnTV

    All I'm saying is that TOS has never been a strong suit of the Okudas. In their first Encyclopedia they didn't acknowledge the insignia of the Antares, nor the Federation outpost insignia ("Balance of Terror", "Arena"), nor the Romulan crest from "Enterprise Incident".

    And while probably 85% of the average fans understood from WOK that the time difference between "Space Seed" and the second film is 15 Earth years, the Okudas didn't acknowledge this obvious fact when they created their timetable for the Star Trek universe.

    Bob
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which is an extremity worth indicating. The secondary hull width is not a relevant dimension and would never need marking - indeed, marking it that way would lead to deadly misconceptions as the nacelles represent the true extremity widthwise.

    Not that the navigation light system would make any sense in a 3D environment anyway. But if the ion pod is a navigation light, the TOS "system" doesn't even have the merit of emulating the traditional seagoing system.

    Or just one, considering the overall lack of symmetry on the ship...

    Obvious in which sense? Their "Space Seed" and TWoK are set between seventeen and eighteen years apart, which is a good compromise between the conflicting requirements of this episode of TOS being 15 years in the past but TOS in its entirety being 20 years in the past. The movies continued the proud TOS tradition of inconsistency, so compromising was the only possible approach to unifying.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I think we've seen the "mirrored image" of the Enterprise's secondary hull (since we know it would've been filmed as a mirror due to the model's lack of details on that side) that the "running light" would be there also.

    But, what if it is some guidance beacon for shuttle approach?

    In anycase, it was stupid for the ion pod to be placed there in TOS-R. How does something the size of the running light jeapordize the ship when the other running lights of the same size and protrusion do not?

    "Space Seed" happens in Season 1.
    15 years go by and we have "The Wrath of Khan".
    Why is there a need to make this 17 or 18 years instead?

    Is it because of the Romulan Ale's "2283"?

    2283 is only a problem if you attempt to use TNG/VOY timeline for TOS (2270 being the Voyager established end of Kirk's 5-year mission.) Then again, Voyager's timeline according to "Flashback" also had Tuvok on the Excelsior in ST6 and Valtane dying in Voyager's timeline but not evident in ST6.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was always dubious that any part of the ship could be a built-in hazard in any way. But if we disregard that odd idea, and instead interpret that it was the procedure that jeopardized the ship, things make sense again.

    That is, an ion storm is a deadly threat to a ship. But Starfleet insists that ion storms be studied, so ships fly deep into them, and among the study procedures is the launching of an ion pod. If the pod is not launched/jettisoned in time, the ship spends excess time in the storm and may be lost - hence, the pod may place the entire ship in jeopardy while being no more dangerous than yer average recorder marker or garbage bag. Too bad that the preparation for the jettison is such a time-consuming process requiring the skills of an expert officer, and that it cannot be performed long in advance because of the unpredictable nature of the storm...

    The lighted bulb next to the shuttlebay is ideal in many respects. It's certainly small enough to involve only one person, but large enough to accommodate him (if we assume a horizontal mushroom-shaped pod in a deployment chute, with that big camera-facing bulb thing its sensor head). It looks like other known or suspected sensor emplacements on the ship. It's ideally placed in a part of the ship we know to be almost deserted in most circumstances, and close to the part of the ship where Finney would eventually hide. If it's a launchable craft, this is where it belongs anyway (perhaps with other chute-launched special craft waiting alongside, or on the other side).

    But quite possibly on Kirk's third mission year, judging by the stardate.

    Chiefly because the next movie, taking place immediately thereafter, calls for the refitted ship to be twenty years old. Both "15" and "20" can be taken for approximations for us base ten -using folks, and an average of sorts is quite helpful here.

    The idea of different timelines for different fragments of Trek is pretty silly. It's all falling apart at the seams in TOS already; no reason to make it any worse.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    However, launching that ion pod is NOT part of any study procedures but an emergency procedure to protect the ship according to the episode. Finney was in there to take readings, not to prep it for launching. I'd argue that the pod was already attached and held away from the ship not the equivalent of an attached light enclosure which could bear no danger to the ship. If it put the ship at such risk as you suggest, Kirk would've simply turned the ship out of the storm and kept the running light-pod attached.
    SPOCK: Attention, Commander Finney, report to pod for reading on ion plates.
    ...
    FINNEY [OC]: Finney here, Captain. Ion readings in progress.
    KIRK: Make it fast, Ben. I may have to go to Red Alert.
    ...
    SHAW: Freeze that! If the court will notice, the log plainly shows the defendant's finger pressing the jettison button. The condition signal reads Yellow Alert. Not red alert, but simply Yellow Alert. When the pod containing Lieutenant Commander Finney was jettisoned, the emergency did not as yet exist.
    Then stories like "Parallels" must be silly right? TOS timelines don't fit well withing TNG and onwards, but neither does TNG's own dates either. If you want to argue about falling apart at the seams, why not address why Voyager's version of ST6 is different? Or TNG's Shroedinger Kirk problem. TNG's "Parallels" (and TOS' "Alternate Factor", "Mirror,Mirror") offer up the a simple way to reconcile the time issues and major differences between TOS and TNG onwards as simple parallel universes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  17. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    There...are...two...(running) lights!

    http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/1x27/The_Alternative_Factor_375.JPG (port side light ON)
    http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/1x27/The_Alternative_Factor_376.JPG (port side light OFF)

    and just one ion pod.

    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x20hd/courtmartialhd361.jpg

    (Captain Kirk: Is today Tuesday or Wednesday? On Tuesdays I launch the port ion pod, on Wednesdays I launch the starboard ion pod. Or was it the other way 'round?) :p

    Bob
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Only according to one interpretation. The other one makes better overall sense.

    Only according to one interpretation. The other one makes better overall sense.

    Finney needs to go to the pod and get the ion readings going, but he also needs to get out of it before it is jettisoned. Makes perfect sense if the intent all along is to prepare the pod for jettisoning.

    Kirk needs to fly the ship in tricky conditions, splitting his attention between dozens of things - so he cannot verbally communicate with all the people involved, but needs to have his hand hovering over mission-critical controls, chief among them the pod deployment button. Instead of warning Finney of launch verbally, he gives a collective warning by signaling alert, as plenty of other things apparently will take place simultaneously in this hectic operation. But launching of the pod is at the very heart of the operation, as evidenced by the fact that a button in Kirk's own console is dedicated to this function. It's not an emergency-related procedure, it's something literally built in to this mission profile.

    That wouldn't be an option unless the edge of the storm were nearby. And the point of such a "tornado hunting" study would no doubt be to get as deep as one dares.

    Are you positive? I mean, what about negative ions? :p

    Really, a big part of why I like the idea of this thing being the ion pod is because it would be logical for the ship to have small auxiliary craft of this sort, launched from chutes (a classic design from the 1950s, both in comics and in the serious engineering studies that the comics were modeled after). Among the things launched from the chute would be repair pods, recorder markers, possibly garbage bags and body bags as well - plus this one ion pod, for the rare once when the ship crosses paths with an interesting ion storm.

    I would frankly have been even more thrilled had the round feature next to the pod in TOS-R been another chute, rather than an explicit porthole. But I can live with two chutes and their associated observation ports.

    Oh, that's trivial - the entire point of the VOY episode was that it was a false dream. It was important that there be excessive, unreal death and suffering in the dream, as this was the established symptom of the disease Tuvok was suffering from.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    If you want to interpret that way then you need to be able to prove that launching the pod was part of the mission.

    The episode made launching the pod contingent on an emergency condition when Red Alert is called.

    In other words, when they flew into the ion storm they may or may not have an emergency. The ion pod's mission would not have been included being ejected as a normal operation. But since having the pod was considered dangerous enough to jeopardize the ship, it was normal to have an extra button just to eject it in an emergency.
    KIRK: Make it fast, Ben. I may have to go to Red Alert.
    ...
    SHAW: Freeze that! If the court will notice, the log plainly shows the defendant's finger pressing the jettison button. The condition signal reads Yellow Alert. Not red alert, but simply Yellow Alert. When the pod containing Lieutenant Commander Finney was jettisoned, the emergency did not as yet exist.
    The episode presented Tuvok's flashback as a legitimate part of Voyager history. It'd be trivial to just put TOS on a different continuity to account for the death on the Excelsior. It'll be like watching "Parallels" all over again ;)
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Not really. I only need to claim it. Everything else follows from the claim.

    But the proof is obvious: a dedicated button was installed* in Kirk's very command chair for launching the pod. The jettison was not just part of the mission, it was the mission.

    To the contrary, the pod could be launched unrelated to any emergency; there even was a totally separate button for it.

    It just happens that there would be various ways to get Finney safely out of the pod before the launch, including ordering him out and then waiting to hear from him; sounding red alert which would mean it's Finney's own damn fault if he lingers; or sending a crewman to drag him out. Kirk did not do the first or the third thing, but would not have been negligent had he done the second, equally good thing. Which he did in reality, but not according to the evidence the prosecution presented.

    Timo Saloniemi

    * By "install", I of course mean Kirk or his technician keyed in a command that altered the function of one of the regular buttons, causing the new function to be presented in text next to the button. Kirk often seems to fiddle with those settings, so that the Intercom and Yellow Alert buttons keep switching places...