The separating-saucer design

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Jeri, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I just don't get this weird fascination with having to justify production boo-boos as if they were intentional, and then just as blithely dismiss others as "artistic decisions".

    Seriously, are we going to say the D has phaser emitters midway up the pylons because we saw beams emerge from there in ONE episode? And are we going to say that kilometers are 200,000 times smaller than in real life because Worf says a ship is 100,000km away, but when we see the exterior visual it's parked one shiplength away? How about in TWOK where the travel pod docks to the side of the hull where in TMP there was a cargo deck and now the heroes step into a torpedo deck, and later in the same film a torpedo deck is blown up when a phaser hits a door many decks above? Are impulse engines FTL because a few episodes screw up the time/distance?

    I could cite a zillion examples. They're MISTAKES. That's all. Just like when Law and Order misrepresents how a court works or a western has a guy fire 10 rounds from his six shooter: are we then to say there must be ten-shooter revolvers to justify it?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  2. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sick of that word. With threads like this one, I can only imagine that you are as well.

    Greg of Trekplace.com
     
  3. roguephoenix

    roguephoenix Captain Captain

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    but... but... but... :sad:

    lol


    anyway, all the tech specs for the enterprise d say that saucer doesn't have a warp drive. any warp you've seen is due to extended warp field by the drive section. if you don't want to accept that and insist that what you imagine is in there, that's fine. lol. i'm still miffed about the borg. :scream:

    cheers. :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Really, and no more disrespect than due, I can't understand this bias towards a specific peg in the machinery that creates Trek.

    There are people who design plastic toys. There are people who build plastic toys. There are people who film plastic toys. There are people who superimpose pretty colors on films of plastic toys. And there are people who write what the plastic toys should be filmed doing. Star Trek visual effects are the result of this group effort, and necessarily some people get their fingers trampled on before the result is there for us to ogle.

    If the D'eridex spits death from what the designer of the plastic toy wanted to be a deflector, why side with the designer and against the pretty colors people? Because his or her credentials are bigger?

    The group effort is rife with things that didn't go quite as planned. Some of these are wrinkles in the fabric of the fictional universe, such as the torpedo tube phaser. Some others are only wrinkles outside that universe, such as the saucer that moves faster than light on its own. It can always be acknowledged that wrinkle happened, and blame can be assigned - but should the grudges of the group really be part of the audience's experience?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Probert

    Probert Starfleet Design Red Shirt

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    Hmmm,... no big jucy kiss for you.

    Plastic Toy Designer: Andrew-
     
  6. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If a VFX artist were to composite fireworks spewing out of the tip of a car's radio antenna, then who is the better authority on the actual purpose of the antenna?

    If Brent Spiner's Data make-up were to rub off on the tricorder hand prop, then is the tricorder's true color gray, or some hodge-podge of gray and whatever color Data's skin is supposed to be?

    I agree that the Enterprise is fictitious, and that moviemaking is largely a collaborative effort, but there is something to be said for maintaining design integrity wherever feasible. For my money, a very small number of TNG people were the design gurus of the Enterprise-D, and none of them were employees of Image G, no matter how much I might admire their work.
     
  7. Probert

    Probert Starfleet Design Red Shirt

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    The 'collaborative' side of movie-making is the problem. Once a design leaves the desk of the designer, anything can happen to it and with it. Part of the beauty of working under FX Art Director: Richard Taylor (ST:TMP) was that I was able to follow the models through construction and even apply a little 'hands-on' attention during the final detailing. When Trumbull took over as FX director, that uncommon privilege disappeared, leaving the Long-Range Shuttle a different color and the entire bottom of the Space Office Complex removed. There might have been practical reasons for one of those examples, but many times these forms of 'collaboration' divert the intended visual and/or operational story points and continuity.

    Storyboarding (when used) spells out exactly what hardware does what, and how that happens,... but storybords were not used in the fast-paced world of Trek TV Production, so communication is lost.

    When I design hardware, I try to include as many items as I can for future story points. that's why the Ferengi Marauder has a bow-ram & boarding ramp in the nose and a Drop-Ship Raider nestled in the underbelly. It has a shuttle bay and two different types of weapons... all included and beautifully modeled but no documentation was allowed so no one knew about these potential opportunities.

    There is rarely enough time to document the details. When filming, no one thinks to ask how something might work,... or if they do ask, it's of someone who's expected to know but sometimes doesn't. It all comes down to a need for better communication. With the increased use of CGI, and the immediacy of sequences, hopefully that will be made easier.

    Andrew-
     
  8. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Andrew,

    Do you think labor unions in Hollywood TV and film production have something to do with this? I'm not "dissing" unions per se, but it seems that they often impose an overly rigid division of responsibilities that may at times be a detriment to production.
     
  9. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    As much as I like the idea of accredited reinforcement coming in on the side our dwindlingly-few angels in that thread ... do you really want to bring that back to life so soon? Y'gotta know Bailey and some of the others who practically live in that forum are going to continue to raise holy hell, even if Mr Probert does deign to weigh in.

    BTW, TGT, are you familiar with a Heinrich Engel book called STRUCTURE SYSTEMS? Grabbed one early edition from the 80s at work yesterday, it has all sorts of very interesting and surprisingly artistic structural supports presented in model form.
     
  10. roguephoenix

    roguephoenix Captain Captain

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    just go read the tech specs lol. don't inject your wants into something that has been stated to be contrary. just go read them! there should be no more questions and discussion of what's in there and what's not. sure changes have been made through the years but since the D is now gone, i'm pretty sure that no more changes to it's spec will be made.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But those tech specs are the "wants" here. What the ship did on screen is "reality". The tech specs were not on screen, and indeed some of them were found to be undesirable and were abandoned in the production process.

    The people who created the specs may be disappointed at that choice, but what's abandoned is abandoned - and as said, the E-D is now gone, leaving little chance for reintroducing the once-ditched intentions.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Please don't say "E-D" and "Ditched" in the same sentence. :(




    ;)
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Hey, let's remember that when she got ditched, she flew right through a mountaintop with nary a scratch! That's a class act as far as crashes go.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    The Jupiter 2 crash trumps that easily. You've got the extended crash, followed by the Indiana Jones dropoff, followed by even more crash.

    The fact that nobody flies out the front windows in either of these crashes is what disappoints me (esp on Ver III.)
     
  15. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command

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    It's for the same reason that I would rather hear what a screenwriter had to say about the creative intention behind the work than the director of photography or someone like that--someone hired at a later date to work on some facet of bringing the first individual's ideas to life. That particular work could have existed without one person, but not without the other, and those of us in the creative sphere love to imagine a world in which our intentions are respected whenever possible. Putting the disruptor beam in a particular spot feels as if it lies within the boundaries of the possible.
     
  16. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's a good analogy.
     
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    I can sympathize.
    For example, at work they asked me to put together a historical overview of the company, by decade, as an animated powerpoint presentation, culling images from the company archives. When I did the 80s section, I specifically did it in pink and turquoise, and used the Miami Vice lettering style. I then handed it off to someone else who was put music to it. I thought the Miami Vice theme was a no-brainer, but she never saw the damn show, so she threw in some random 80s top ten number. When I mentioned it later she shrugged and said so what.

    Sigh.
     
  18. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When the driver says they're launching fireworks, and the fireworks come from the radio antenna, I think the audience is justified in thinking the antenna produced the fireworks.

    And I side (unsurprisingly) with Timo: granted the design intent was that the saucer didn't have warp engines. But at least two stories fail to make sense if the saucer can't go faster than light (#include superluminal-impulse.txt) and that counts more.

    It was the original intent that Data was created by aliens; should we then discard the evidence on-screen that he was created by a human?
     
  19. Search4

    Search4 Captain Captain

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    Despite the design intent, I happen to think its silly that this massive saucer does not have some form of warp capability, given that for example shuttles clearly do, photon torpedoes can move at warp in some fashion...

    Sidebar: Did we ever see a time when a detached saucer fired a torpedo at a warp target?

    On the other hand, we have seen numerous times when the main "warp drive" is down and no one says "hey! lets fire up the warp in the saucer!". If you think they have one in the saucer, perhaps low speed, you'd surely think as a design goal it could create a warp field big enough to encompass the rest of the ship.

    So net-net: yes, we have a few times when the saucer moved at warp, somehow, but we have many more times when the saucer-warp would have been used but was not. I come down on the side that there is no saucer-warp (despite the fact that i'd put one in there myself), and the times it moved at warp, were, mistakes.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Somehow I'm still opposed to the idea that our hero ship saucer can go "Oops! Went to warp again... Whatta mistake-a to make-a!" any time it pleases. ;) (Or perhaps it can only do that when it's funny?)

    Doctrinally, it would be a bit silly to join two fully warp-capable ships at the hip, when they could just as well be permanently separate and independent. But if one can do better warp than the other, then the tryst might be of practical worth.

    Timo Saloniemi