Saucer Separation

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by xvicente, May 2, 2013.

  1. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    There were no more than ten Galaxy-class ships seen at any given time during the Dominion War. It's not implausible that the Galaxy-class was already in mass production by the time the Enterprise-D was commissioned. Even if there were a total of twelve or fifteen Galaxy-class ships in service, that would still make them rare in comparison to the rest of the Starfleet, IMO.
     
  2. xvicente

    xvicente Captain Captain

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    That. If there must be another reason not to do the separation I think it was because 1) it was useless (except for the pilot "look new sfx that we couldnt do in the 60s" scenes) and 2) the battle section alone is ugly.

    Ugly because the designer (Probert? Sternbach?) never had the chance to do a proper separable design.

    In another example, the ship from that VOY episode separated in 3 parts and all of them looked alright. They even thought to make a tiny pop-up warp nacelle for the section that didn't have them keep able to warp.
     
  3. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I think the saucer separation WAS used in a decisive manner in tBoBW, where they try to trick the Borg into thinking the saucer is just a diversion, leading to the Borg concentrating their attack on the stardrive while the saucer is actually used to launch Data and Worf's shuttle.

    And I can think of an episode where saucer sep would have been great but wasn't used - The Schizoid man. Separate the ship. The saucer, with its extensive sickbay, stays around Grave's World, while the Stardrive rushes off to help the Constantinople.
     
  4. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Captain Captain

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    That's a good point, they could have used it that way more often
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The big problem there is the capacity imbalance. The battle section can get to places fast, but it has virtually no resources to deal with anything except battle - it could not have handled the Constantinople crisis alone because all the big medical facilities were on the saucer. Conversely, the saucer alone apparently could not have sailed to the hurt transport fast enough and rescued her from whatever calamity had befallen her, while the big engines and tractor beams and whatnot of the battle section would have been wasted orbiting Gravesworld.

    Worse still, "Best of Both Worlds" suggests that the battle section suffers a reduction of its combat abilities when separated; for some reason, power from the saucer's impulse engines is useful or even essential in combat...

    Sure, there are situations where the great habitation, storage, medical aid and research capacity of the saucer is best left floating at a destination and there is no need for either big engines or powerful shields or weapons. But few episodes feature such situations, even though those could have been rather easily written in and the vast majority of TNG episodes could have been launched with a Captain's Log stating "Stardate Today, we have left the saucer section at Alpha Omega and are now conducting a mission of great importance at Beta Epsilon". What simpler way to set up the A/B plot structure so endemic for the show?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    Never? Au contraire.

    In The Best of Both Worlds, Part II, saucer separation was one of the tactics employed to distract the Borg, in Riker's battle to rescue Picard, which was a win for Riker.
     
  7. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It occurs to me that "The Defector" is a prime example of a scenario where saucer separation would have made a lot of sense. Drop off the families, etc., before going into a situation that may very well be a trap.
     
  8. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It really just struck me as a fanwank, we're doing this because it's cool novelty, than a plot necessity in BoBW2. Just like that anti-matter spread thing, which wasn't ever seen or heard from before or after.
     
  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Basically that antimatter spread was very powerful (but still otherwise harmless) chaff--used by surprise at very close-range, it can temporarily blind or confuse an enemy ship so they don't notice a tiny shuttlecraft slipping up alongside it.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed - clearly not a weapon, and not of any value in a more conventional fight. Otherwise, Locutus would not have been confused by it!

    One wonders how it was implemented, though. The fireworks seem to come from the dorsal phaser strip, but no technobabble associates antimatter (or the ability to produce antimatter) with phaser strips...

    Still, I guess strange stuff coming out of a phaser is better than phaser beams coming out of strange locations. And some episodes describe phasers as transporter-like devices, capable of carrying substances or even devices in the beam (see "Macrocosm"). Perhaps the dorsal phaser strip can transport antimatter and other surprising substances into space to strange, harmless but sometimes tactically advantageous effect.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Not quite.

    Locutus wasn't confused.

    Picard had been briefed on Shelby's plan to use the saucer as a distraction. So when they did separate, the Borg used Picard's knowledge and said, "Oh, the saucer is just a distraction, and we can safely ignore it, because the stardrive is a bigger threat." Riker was counting on this, which is why Data and Worf's shuttle was launched from the saucer - the Borg were ignoring it, "just as you should, captain." In this sense, it was actually the stardrive that was the distraction, making the Borg think that the Enterprise was trying to damage them or destroy them when the real goal was to kidnap Picard so the Enterprise crew could try to get Picard's knowledge of the Borg in an effort to find a weakness they could exploit.
     
  12. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    I like this account, except that therefore Locutus was completely and utterly misdirected.
     
  13. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why is that bad? Locutus was misdirected and I think that's cool. If it had been Picard, he probably would have figured it out via intuition/gut feeling. Locutus doesn't have that. Therefore he fails.
     
  14. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    I never said it was bad. My point was that being misdirected is really something like being confused.
     
  15. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Not the same as confused.

    This isn't quite true. Picard was still alive inside Locutus, experiencing everything that happened, and the Borg were aware of everything that Picard was thinking. If Picard was able to figure it out, then the Borg would have known instantly.
     
  16. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't say it was.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Whatever Picard or Locutus knew, the fact of the matter is that he appears confused by the antimatter fireworks.

    Probably no such thing was included in the original plan that Picard was aware of. Quite possibly Picard had never even considered the possibility that his ship would be capable of deploying these fireworks - it may be a Shelby-devised procedure. Whatever the specifics, the deployment of the antimatter spread makes Locutus look confused, whereas the saucer separation as such evoked no such body language.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    The Collective, not Picard. Picard wasn't in control of his body at that point, so nothing that he was feeling could have produced an expression of emotion.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Various Drones do seem to have their own types of body language in VOY - say, Seven of Nine before her separation from the Collective. We don't know of any "loss of body control" in terms of dialogue references - only of a more generic "loss of will".

    But okay, the Collective was confused by the antimatter fireworks.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    ^ Well, TNG and Voyager seemed to have different ideas about the nature of the collective. In TNG the collective was one unified consciousness. In Voyager, it was "billions of voices."

    In either case, Locutus reffered to himself as "I," which suggests to me his relationship with the collective is different from your average drone.