The Mystery Inside the TOS Primary Hull Support Pylon

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by mickemoose, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Because there's no pressing reason to chuck it out, nor is it a good idea IMHO to decide that parts of Star Trek are more unreal than others...

    Besides, Deck 5 wasn't exactly "settled upon". Top officers instead appeared to inhabit Deck 3 on most occasions, and Spock's Skipper's Cabin was up there in ST2 as well. For all we know, Kirk only got shunted to Deck 5 on the single occasion of the Babel Conference where more than a hundred VIPs had to be accommodated aboard. From "Elaan of Troyius", we know that top officers sometimes have to donate their cabins to high-ranking visitors...

    If Deck 12 and the adjoining "Neck Decks" feature rarely used VIP cabins, both the windows and our inability to ever see them from the inside would be perfectly explained.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    You people have it all wrong... There's a brewery in the neck!
     
  3. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I like the neck being strictly full of conduits, struts and machinery, and the windows are there as an afterthought so maintenance personnel don't feel too claustrophobic. :)
     
  4. nightwind1

    nightwind1 Commodore Commodore

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    No, that's in the secondary hull.
     
  5. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    By my lights, the primary hull is primary (i.e., where the crew is housed). I have hard time imagining the neck being a human-friendly environment.

    There are four main shapes that make up the enterprise. The primary hull, the secondary hull and the warp engines. The whispy connecting structures appear to be just that - connective structure. If the E had no warp drive, you would not have those popsicle-stick supports. If the E were a Miranda style ship (a Bird of Prey type design in TOS terms), there would be NO neck, because there would be nothing for the neck to connect to. These three parts are instrumental - they serve the purpose of connecting our saucers and cylinders.

    The neck connects the primary hull to the secondary hull. This means wires, pipes, and elevators. It's hard for me to imagine that there are not internal supports in there to brace for torsional stress, so that's some room (how much?) gone too.

    It seems to me that this part of the ship is basically access tubes, maintenance closets and other odds and ends. It's almost purely instrumental in linking one part of the ship to another. The main business of the ship being conducted in the main areas.
     
  6. Jose Tyler

    Jose Tyler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree. I think it would be primary structural support and a lot of space to move crew back and forth in an evacuation situation. Maybe in between structural support and power conduits there are small (like two chairs and a coffee table small) rooms for meditation, prayer, or a private game of chess by starlight. I think any use by crew would be more a case of clever humans making use of available space than space purposefully engineered for use by crew members.
     
  7. mickemoose

    mickemoose Ensign Red Shirt

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    Interesting to note that one of the neck windows is orange on the decal sheet for the Polar Lights 1/1000 scale TOS kit. The exact same window on the other side is orange, also.

    If I'm not mistaken, I recall seeing a close-up shot of the neck (can't remember what TOS episode it was) and that same window was lit up orange on the studio model. A marker light perhaps, instead of a window? Only Tom Sasser would know the answer to that since he designed the kit.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Yet it connects two decidedly inhabited parts of the ship, and assuredly features a means of personnel access between the two - plus wantonly displays multiple rows of windows!

    I thus see every reason to argue that this structure is inhabited, being no more awkwardly shaped for that than the saucer. This doesn't mean I wouldn't agree that the habitation functions there are afterthoughts and things shunted to an inoffensive and uncontested location. Most habitation functions in most human vehicles are! Placing all the unskilled and useless VIP passengers in there would be a fairly good solution from the practical point of view, too.

    The TMP refit certainly seems to attempt to make the neck area more utilitarian, turning the windows into the smallest portholes anywhere on the ship, adding the torpedo launcher lump, and drawing in the hull detailing the suggestive vertical shape of, well, it was intended to be the warp core but it's in the wrong place due to the engineering interior set cock-ups. But that may simply indicate that Starfleet sacrificed former passenger spaces to accommodate new gear in old dimensions.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    If so, then it is just as much "James R. Kirk" as it is "James T. Kirk."

    Kirk is, somehow, both "James R." and "James T."

    And yet, the Trek community of authors and readers/viewers have arrived at the consensus view that it is, correctly, "James T. Kirk" and regard the "James R. Kirk" reference to be a mistake (regarding it as more unreal). It is up to you to explain how they were unjustified in doing so.
     
  10. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    That would depend on how one looks at that episode.

    Is that episode part of the same continuity as the rest of the TOS episodes?

    The "James R. Kirk" originates from Gary Mitchell, not Kirk himself from an in-universe POV.

    How trustworthy is Mitchell in this case? Was it a deliberate mocking of Kirk or are they on a slightly different continuity than the rest of the TOS series or was it a mistake? If it was a mistake, that again points back to Mitchell's mistake although it would appear that it was deliberate mocking, IMO.

    As to Deck 12, AFAIK, there are no references or indications in the TOS series as to where it is on the ship.
     
  11. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I think I've heard it explained that the orange light in the neck is nothing more than a bulb that was dim. :)
     
  12. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    I think most of us would say "Yes."

    Personally, I would say that the broad strokes are canonical (i.e., this event happened, more or less, as we saw it on the screen), but that some particulars are better off when you don't think about them too much.

    Most of what we get in Star Trek comes in the form of testimony. Even if Kirk told us directly that his middle initial is "T," it might be the case that his middle initial is R (for Rupert) and he is so embarrassed by that name that he quietly changed it). The point is, we have to trust the Kirk is also honest and competent.

    Again, fans have worked out many contradictions in testimony on the grounds that they are only apparent contradictions (e.g., Mitchell was wrong or mocking in that moment). And this is fine, but the upshot denies Timo's position that there is no reason to reject Mitchell's "James R. Kirk" on the grounds that it is more unreal (in this case he is allegedly merely confused or mocking) than claims of "James T. Kirk" in the series.
     
  13. MyClone

    MyClone Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Dude, seriously, do you need to discuss this philosophical point in more than one thread? Why this need for consistency across explanations of apparent contradiction in Star Trek ... or in Trek Tech threads discussing them? We're having fun here. If you're not, I feel badly for you, but you might want to think about why that is.

    Best, MyClone
     
  14. MyClone

    MyClone Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This is an excellent point. The neck should have access tubes or (depending on which way the gravity "points") stairs of sufficient width to move groups of people rapidly from one hull to the other. That's gonna take up space.

    Best, MyClone
     
  15. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    1. The point happens to be relevant to the discussion.
    2. Everything, in a broad sense "is philosophy" (whenever we discuss right reasoning questions of epistemology and ontology, etc., are unavoidable).

    I don't know why you think I am not having fun. I assure you I am. Is this question, however, even relevant? Your post seems more like a personal attack than a topical contribution to thread.

    If you don't like what I have to say, I am sorry, but you don't have to read what I say.

    Cheers, Dude
     
  16. MyClone

    MyClone Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    My mistake; I apologize.

    Best, MyClone
     
  17. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    I'm glad the pylon issue has been raised - it's certainly a weird point in the construction of a Starship!

    Regarding the in-universe naming of these decks, it only really occurs in three episodes:

    Mudd’s Women: Kirk’s cabin is on this deck (apparently) and has a decent stretch of corridor adjoining it. As has been repeatedly pointed out, there is no way to squeeze this all into the pylon (horizontally anyway - thanks Timo for your usual skill in bursting the envelope!)

    Enemy Within: Rand’s quarters are blatantly on this deck (G. T. Fisher calls for aid from an intercom) and even more corridor is visible prior to this on Evilkirk’s drunken ramble to her door. Regarding this ramble, why is Evilkirk even here? The presence of Rand’s cabin seems to take him almost by surprise, just a fortunate opportunity to be taken advantage of. I would postulate that he is going back to his cabin and just happens to pass her own along the way. In fact, at this point in the series, “Deck 12” is almost being treated as the main deck of the ship, hardly suitable if that deck were situated in the pylon neck.

    Dagger Of The Mind: Here, Van Gelder is spotted on Deck 14, having (apparently) exited the Transporter Room and started roaming the corridors. There is not indication that he ever used a turbolift – if he had, wouldn’t he have gone somewhere more secluded? Or if his ultimate destination was in fact the bridge – why not there? To detour via the pylon neck is an odd choice, even for him!

    I agree that odd script references (such as the oft-quoted James R. Kirk) can and indeed should be ignored or (better) explained away in favour of more numerous references. However, three independent scenarios are a little harder to ignore. My suggestion – do not treat the pylon neck’s decks in the same way as the rest of the ship. There is such minimal habitable space there (IMO) that no more than two or three decks max. should be squandered on what amounts to mostly support beams, energy conduits and access gangways. I think the novelisation of TMP had the right approach in describing these small, personal pockets of space for one or two persons to enjoy each others’ company. Certainly far too intimate for a first date with Lenore Karidian! :)

    So, if the lower saucer rim deck is deck 7 (personally I think deck 5 is more accurate but that’s another debate) then the pylon takes on decks 8, 9 and 10, leaving the Engineering hull to begin fresh at deck 11. Deck 12 is then situated slightly down into the secondary hull, plenty of space for everything seen on screen!

    P.S.
    If the pylon neck decks end at deck 10, this is similar to the lowest of the saucer decks. Maybe the emergency separation actually occurs at the bottom of the pylon instead of the top? This would have the added bonus of keeping all the numbered decks together…

    P.P.S.
    I just realised, this last bit has been thought of before, in the Star Trek Officer's Manual:

    [​IMG]
    (click for link to full size - thanks to http://www.cygnus-x1.net for this resource)
     
  18. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I think if someone other than a hostile called Kirk by "James R. Kirk" it would be more credible as a contradiction to "James T. Kirk". But to me it has no more weight than Kirk being a "Denebian Slime Devil" as intimated by a Klingon from "Trouble With Tribbles".

    Deck 12, on the other hand, has no particular contradiction since TOS has shown officers' quarters being moved around the ship for various reasons and also nothing specific pointing to Deck 12 being in the neck.

    I am digging the idea that the neck is just a connection where there are no actual decks but a series of crawlways and conduits and supports. Lateral planetary sensors on the "window ports" would also tie into the ship preferring to orbit a planet with one side facing it rather than having the planet directly above or below the ship, IMO :)
     
  19. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maintenance personnel should be accustomed to working in tight, cramped, windowless spaces. That’s part of their job.

    I prefer to think the windows on the neck are there to provide a spectacular view for visiting babes.

    According to the dialogue, it is the observation gallery overlooking the shuttlecraft flight deck. Maybe Kirk wanted to impress Lenore with the size of his shuttlebay.

    “All this power, surging and throbbing, yet under control. Are you like that, Captain?” Nudge-nudge, wink-wink.
     
  20. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    If Rand's quarters were on deck 12, why does her door say 3C 46? Hmmm?