The "Dying" Science Station

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Admiral_Sisko, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Admiral_Sisko

    Admiral_Sisko Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but it has intrigued me for years. What I'm referring to is the computer display seen at the science aboard Constitution-class refit vessels, specifically the Enterprise science station.

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    Here is the science station as seen in The Motion Picture, as Spock voices his suspicions about an object at the center of V'Ger. The display just over his left shoulder has a "honeycomb" appearance.

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    Here is the science station in The Wrath of Khan. The "honeycomb" is again visible just behind Spock, as he scans for signs of a chamber's coil malfunction.

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    Here is the station at the outset of The Search for Spock. As Spock is absent due to his death in The Wrath of Khan, Chekov has taken over his duties. The display now has more a red appearance, though the "honeycomb" pattern is still visible.

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    Here is the station later in the film, seen moments before the Enterprise's confrontation with the Klingons above Genesis. The display now has a dark blue appearance.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    I also note that they abandoned the variable blinking lights in favor of a more solid light, no doubt because it was simpler and cheaper.
     
  3. Admiral_Sisko

    Admiral_Sisko Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    You're right, as the display has a different look to it besides the color changes. By the way, do we know the actual reason for the relocation of the science station back to the starboard side before The Wrath of Khan? I've read your novel Ex Machina, where you suggested that Kirk himself requested the change, but it's otherwise unclear why several bridge stations were moved between films.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    I figure they just wanted to restore the key bridge stations to something closer to their TOS layout; both science and engineering were moved in TWOK to approximately the same locations they'd had in TOS (although the environmental engineering station, which started out in roughly its TOS-equivalent location in TMP, got bumped to the opposite side of the bridge to make room for engineering).

    Also, I imagine that having Spock's station directly behind Kirk may have been limiting in terms of direction and framing; it would be awkward to have Kirk constantly having to turn around to talk to Spock, or to set up a two-shot of them talking to each other with both their faces at least somewhat visible. Moving Spock off to the side probably made that easier.

    To be precise, four stations were moved between TMP and TWOK: science displaced engineering, which displaced environmental engineering, which displaced internal security, which took the place of science.
     
  5. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    That is exactly the reason why Meyer had the set changed.
     
  6. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In TWOK the ship was operating under basically normal situation. In TSFS, where the honeycombs changed color, the ship was operating under different situations. First, the ship was following a lot of battle damage, and getting ready for a couple of weeks of repair. Then it was operating under the automated systems. Neither of these were normal functioning. I just figured the different colors in some way represented the different operating situations. The colors were a visual for the crew to recognize a different "power" situation on the ship or something.
    It may not make sense, but it works for me.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The problem is, the "honeycombs" were meant to represent library computer activity. According to the "Enterprise" Flight Manual created by the Phase II/TMP art department as a guide for the actors, "each lighted honeycomb cell represents a circuit to a special memory core." So each cell was only supposed to be lit when that particular computer circuit was active.
     

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