Phaser banks on the Constitution class

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Vanyel, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    I'm trying to remember if dorsal phasers were ever shown firing on a Constitution class starship. In the series they seemed to be emitting from the dome on the ventral side of the saucer. I don't remember even seeing phaser firing from the dorsal side of the saucer in the movies. In the movies, what appear to be dorsal emitters are shown on the saucer but never fired (except maybe in TSFS). In Enterprise's In A Mirror Darkly aft phasers were shown firing, but those couldn't provide the c0verage phasers on the dorsal side of the saucer would.

    So did the TV Constitution ever fire dorsal phasers? If not, is it canon that, before their upgrade in the movies, there were no dorsal phasers?
     
  2. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    In TOS, all phaser fire that was seen came from the ventral saucer, either the forward and sometimes the port/starboard sides (phaser pulses). In the TOS Movies, only the Enterprise's ventral saucer forward and ventral saucer port phasers are fired.

    As to whether they had dorsal phasers or not is purely up to your imagination. I'd like to think that the TMP Enterprise's phaser locations correspond to the TOS Enterprise's phaser locations.

    In dialogue, the TOS Enterprise had Forward, Port, Starboard, Midships and Aft phasers.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In TAS, Kirk's TOS ship was finally seen firing apparent dorsal phasers in "One of Our Planets is Missing":

    http://tas.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/1x03/oneofourplanetsismissing105.jpg

    Make of that what you will; clearly this doesn't correspond to the TMP emitter locations, and some might argue that those bright dots are portholes. Then again, Franz Joseph once argued they were torpedo tubes...

    But TOS "Paradise Syndrome" featured dialogue on four separate forward-firing phasers, fired in sequence. Two of these could be associated with the usual twin ventral firing location explicitly, a third probably; a fourth fired without exterior VFX to tell where it might have been located. Perhaps the dorsal emitter shown in TAS was the fourth bank?

    TOS dialogue or walla also mentioned amidships and aft phasers, never seen firing. OTOH, no dialogue suggested that the ship would have been incapable of firing in some direction.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    The nice thing about the TMP Enterprise physical VFX model was that it had easy to identify phaser banks in the form of small spheres with a sprayhole (and two of those as aft phasers above the clamshell doors).

    The Franz Joseph design was apparently less inspired by actual TOS footage but rather by the producers' intentions published in The Making of Star Trek: "Phasers can also be fired from an area atop the saucer-shaped hull, in an area surrounding the bridge, but primary control facilities and equipment are located on deck 11."

    Of course, since we have seen phasers fired from locations without portholes, one could question why the upper portholes should be phasers (or photon torpedo launchers) and not windows.
    Alternately the reference in the book could also imply that the "aft phasers" are to be found somewhere aft of the bridge or the teardrop (maybe the thingy behind the bridge that's usually assumed to be the exterior extension of the turbo lift could qualify?). :devil:

    Bob

    P.S. If I'm not mistaken the original TOS dialogue only references one "aft phaser"
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I guess there are two ways to treat the TOS (and, essentially, TOS-R) phaser VFX:

    1) Phaser emitters are located inside the ship, and the beams created by them become visible only some distance from the hull. No surface feature need correspond with an emitter, then. (Maximum compatibility with TOS VFX here.)

    2) Phaser emitters pop up for firing, and the beams created by them become visible at the tips of the extended emitters; the emitters themselves are completely obscured by the glare. (Maximum compatibility with ENT "precedent" and TMP "postdecent" here - plus with the relevant VFX of ENT "In a Mirror, Darkly".)

    Pop-up phasers just ahead of the bridge would then produce the result seen in TAS, while pop-down phasers just ahead of the lower sensors would produce the usual TOS result. Pop-up phasers above the hangar would cover the aft angles, and pop-down ones at the secondary hull bottom vertex might be postulated to cover the dialogue about "amidships phasers" while remaining consistent with the TMP phaser placements.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Don't forget the phasers fired in "Arena" from banks higher up and further spaced than usual:
    [​IMG]
    (IIRC, this shot was "fixed" in TOS-R)
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  8. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Technically, in "The Paradise Syndrome" they fired all four phaser banks simultaneously after firing them in sequence through the two forward ventral saucer emitters.

    The "aft phaser to bridge" dialogue is consistent with other phaser rooms calling in. "What Are Little Girls Made Of" and "The Corbomite Maneuver" both have "Forward phaser" talking to bridge.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Although for purposes of further semantic dissecting, the word "bank" was not used in this context. The ship had forward-firing phasers 1 through 4, and the action of "phaser 1 firing" was visually represented by two beams coming from the usual location; so was the action of "simultaneous bombardment".

    We could separate the concept of "bank" as meaning the pair of emitters (assuming there are emitters involved in the TOS phaser technology, and nothing is too radically different from ENT or the movies) from the concept of "phaser 1 to 4" as perhaps being the same as with hand phasers: different grades of phaser beam, for different effects.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    We do also see the Enterprise do the same thing in "For The World is Hollow..." and the dialogue is more explicit:
    KIRK: Prepare phaser banks one and two, Mister Sulu.
    SULU: Aye, sir.
    KIRK: Mister Chekov, get a fix on the missile's point of origin.
    CHEKOV: Aye, Captain.
    SULU: Phasers one and two locked in and ready.
    KIRK: Fire phasers.
    And both phaser banks fired through the two forward ventral emitters. It would appear that two emitters can channel or fire energy from multiple banks simultaneously. :)
     
  11. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    From Memory Alpha
    The Enterprise's three double phaser bursts, which Sulu says constituted a full discharge of phaser banks, fire from an unusual location in this episode – not from near the glowing dome at the bottom of the saucer, but from much higher up, closer to where Matt Jefferies originally located the main phaser banks in his early diagrams of the ship. These schematics appeared as display diagrams in other episodes and also on the sides of the early AMT Star Trek model kits.
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    That's correct. According to the diagram in The Making of Star Trek the "main phaser" alligns with the uppermost "ring" at the bottom of the saucer. It's a fascinating prospect that the TNG design might have originated from a mostly unvisualized idea of Matt Jefferies.

    Bob
     
  13. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    Eh. That's not what I see.

    In my copy of The Making of Star Trek, which dates from 1974, two phaser banks (both visible in the front elevation, and one visible and labeled MAIN PHASER in the port elevation) are clearly visible as two globes, resembling ball turrets, higher up and further apart than you'd think from where the beams are normally shown coming out, but still as two very definitely fixed, localized, and globular emplacements.
     
  14. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    So the Constitution class had never shown dorsal phasers. Assuming TAS is canon, they do. I'm not trying to open up Pandora's Box, but isn't TAS not considered canon?
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    TAS has been referenced in Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, the remastered TOS and a great deal in JJ Abrams' Star Trek. I'd say that makes it as much part of the universe as any of the other series'.
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I think these life support belt EVA suit replacements have been somewhat counter-productive implementing TAS into the bigger picture. On the other hand TAS seems to have inspired the intermix chamber coil of TMP.

    Bob
     
  17. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Okay, where has DS9, Enterprise, and the remastered TOS reference TAS?
     
  18. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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  19. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    TOS never showed the port, starboard, midships and aft phasers, either. Are you asking if the ship has a giant blind spot shooting upwards or are you just trying to pin down where the phaser emplacements are?
     
  20. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    See http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Animated_Series#Questionable_canon for an enumeration.

    ---

    Nice.