The TWOK Enterprise's torpedo bay revisited

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Robert Comsol, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. starburst

    starburst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Which would make sense as during VI they fire one from each tube in sequence.

    That is a good way of looking at it, I hadnt really thought of it that way as every assumption I had ever read was that the ship was now a training vessel. It makes more sense that they would be training a new crew of due to graduate Cadets and Trainees to crew a ship. That is echoed in ST2009 where the ships of Sol Fleet end up largely being staffed by Cadets.

    Which depending on how you consider the novel and cut lines from the original script would be as Captain of Excelsior.
     
  2. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm trying to only go by what is on the screen. Even excluding the cut line about commanding Excelsior, Kirk does say he is glad to have him at the helm for three weeks. This suggests he is no longer part of the Enterprises regular crew and is only there on temporary basis. Which makes it very likely he has a pending assignment elsewhere. We don't know the nature of the assignment -- it need not be commanding the Excelsior, but something was happening after those three weeks. Of course, he could have also gave his resignation and that's when his service was ending. Either way, it's the same difference. Sulu was out of the picture for the new command crew.

    What is more interesting is that if we accept that they were training a new crew for the Enterprise, how did Kirk get to the position he is at now? Prevailing theory seems to be that he had become an instructor / administrator at the Academy as he felt "too old" and it was time to pass on his experience to younger upcomming officers. This makes the goal seem more focused -- train and prepare a new crew for the Enterprise. Why would Kirk do this? He doesn't seem like he was poised to command again (until the Khan incident). Perhaps in the beginning the thinking was he would resume command, but as he went through the process he began changing his mind, feeling too old and removed from the younger generation.

    McCoy's lecture to Kirk seems to be very late timing, unless we assume that this change of attitude was a subtle one, gradually developing over time and only now was coming to a crisis point. Unlike TMP, there appears to be no one groomed for succession like Decker was (pre V'Ger), unless we consider Spock.

    Spock is a little harder to explain. On paper, he is clearly the captain. Starfleet promoted him from Commander (or from Lt. Commander depending on which source you go by) to Captain. This is a sign that he has value to Starfleet. If Enterprise is a ship being prepped for active duty, what is his role? Will he be her commander? Or is he more of a temporary captain like Styles, just running her crew through trials? If we believe Spock, he was just there for the teaching. But Vulcans do lie. And he was responding to a friend in need (no...put away the slash fiction).

    Letting the reactions of Spock and McCoy inform us, it seems like Kirk began quietly orchestrating this succession of command to Spock without conversing with him. Something inside him told him he was done and that he was holding back Spock. So without soliciting the thoughts or wishes of his friend, he began positioning Spock to succeed him.

    Of course, this is now VERY subjective and based on a lot of assumptions. In drama, characters voice issues at a point in the story the Audience needs the information, which is often not when they would naturally occur in real life.

    Sorry to derail the thread, this went on longer than I had expected it to.
     
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Well, if Andrew said that, then that's what it is (IMO).

    Nevertheless that doesn't exclude the possibility that this room could also serve as an aft phaser control room.

    @ Workbee

    Don't worry about derailing the thread, if somebody is too blame it's the thread starter himself. :lol:

    While I usually like deleted dialogue scenes (Kirk and Sulu also discussed the latest "Galaxy Class" in the novelization :eek:), I'd say that ST III pretty much changed the original premise of Sulu becoming captain of Excelsior when he said "She's supposed to have transwarp drive"

    As the future captain of this starship, I'd think he should know whether that is true or not.

    Nevertheless it looks like director Nick Meyer wanted to put Sulu in the captain's chair. It was hinted in ST II and became a reality with ST VI. ;)
    IIRC, George Takei was really keen on being cast as captain of the Excelsior.

    Bob
     
  4. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    Having just given this thread a quick skim, I'd like to offer a couple of thoughts:

    The staging area we see in TMP2, where the cadets pull up the grating to expose the capsule conveyor tracks, could be a multi-purpose chamber that could be manned or unmanned, depending on the situation the ship is facing and/or the ship's overall mission profile. If the starship is facing combat, it could be fully automated for quick launching of torpedoes.

    I am very fond of thinking that the Enterprise, as seen in TMP2, being that it is designated a full-time cadet vessel, has its torpedo weapons bays at least partially decommissioned. Hence, the removable grates are in place for the "dunsel" bays.

    Since "aft phasers" and "aft weapons" were referred to in TOS chatter (and on-screen characters in "Balance of Terror"), it is logical to assume that both the TOS-era Enterprise and the TMP-era Enterprise both had aft torpedo launchers. Something else to consider: since TOS-era ships and the Enterprise-E both had saucer-based launch tubes, why wouldn't we assume the TMP-era ships had saucer-based tubes as well.

    It is extremely logical to assume that various kinds of scientific probes, intel probes (drones?), and photon torpedoes would share many common components. (guidance systems, power systems, propulsion systems, and even built-in tracking systems... why not?)

    Two questions to consider:

    If we assume that the vertical power tube seen in TMP extends upward toward the saucer (should we be assuming that?), why do we not see it in the "torpedo bay" scenes?

    If we assume that a ship the size of the Enterprise has redundant fore and aft weapons, wouldn't be logical to expect both the primary and secondary hulls to be so equipped?
     
  5. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    "Aft phaser/s" were mentioned in the TOS chatter in "Arena" and "A Private Little War", if I'm not mistaken. However, I'm not aware that "aft weapons" were mentioned in TOS chatter or on-screen.

    To me the whole concept of an aft torpedo launcher looked pretty new and seemed limited to the Klingon Battlecruisers in TMP. While it's definitely an interesting (but still conjectural) thought that the circular thing between the impulse exhausts on the TOS Enterprise could be a torpedo launcher I see no corresponding structure at the saucer's stern of the TMP Enterprise.

    Again, the red TWOK torpedo bay scene with the adjacent Docking Port 2 suggests an aft launcher in the stern of the dorsal, IMO. The dark "photon exhaust" area could conceal the launch tube of an "aft launcher", but since it is not mentioned as such in the Kimble blueprints I'd like to think that the aft launcher was a post-TMP addition to keep up with the Klingon design. ;)

    I concur. The fact that a casket (!) looks like a photon torpedo or fits into the casing suggests a mass-produced (= cheap) "photon tube" for various applications. Since it's fair to assume that probes and drones require similar guidance and scanning components like a photon torpedo (which a casket doesn't) I have no doubt that this is what we are looking at (in the red TWOK torpedo bay scene ;)).

    I think we should be assuming that, because that's what Andrew Probert had in mind (a vertical extension of the engine core feeding the impulse deflection crystal) and because there is the same engine core panelling on the dorsal and equally on the warp nacelle pylons (with the power tubes below the panels).

    On a 305 m long TMP Enterprise the length of the TWOK torpedo bay's Section 2 would probably leave no room for the vertical core but on a 355 m long ship that might be an option I'm currently trying to visualize.

    Bob

    P.S. I think the "flight control room" at the stern would also be useful as control room for the tractor beam, when they want to bring larger objects aboard. Like I said, exclusively designed as a flight control room, I still think it looks a bit redundant, however if this room could also serve for other tasks it would make full sense, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I know you guys get picky about what counts and what doesn't in these discussions, but I should point out that according to Star Trek: Enterprise, that TMP Klingon battlecruiser is far from new. They also used it's aft torpedo tube in "Unexpected". We also saw the USS Defiant NCC-1764 fire aft phasers and photon torpedoes in "In a Mirror, Darkly" ("Does this thing have aft torpedoes?" "You'd better believe it... they're armed!")
     
  7. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Personally, I prefer to squint and pretend that they actually used the D4 design that was developed but not used for that episode.
     
  8. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I'm okay with the early date for the D-7. I'm a fan of Strategic Designs Starfleet Dynamics which has it that the Klingon starship designs go back to the Earth year of c. 1800. The idea is that Klingons don't usually totally replace a design, but prefer to endlessly upgrade it. SD tells us that some observed Klingon ships have components dating back over 300 years (from the 2290s... meaning those ships existed in some form as far back as the 1990s!)

    I always thought that was a cool idea. Makes the Klingon ships different in a fun way. Not technically canon, but doesn't conflict with canon, especially given what we've seen in Enterprise.

    --Alex
     
  9. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, I had been wondering how long it would take a member of the retcon faction to weigh in. ;)

    Since I believe in "first come, first served" my starting point is the TOS Klingon Battlecruiser.

    The ship fired its disruptor bolts from the warp engines (maybe that's what inspired Starfleet engineers to draw phaser power from the engines / engine core for the TMP Enterprise?) while the function of the "mouth" or hole in the main section was never explained.
    However, since we did see warp capable vessels with parabolic sensor dishes like the SS Aurora in "The Way to Eden" (at the front of the warp nacelles) I'm rather confident that the hole was intended to house a main sensor-deflector dish inside.

    The TOS Enterprise had no visible torpedo launchers but on the Klingon Battlecruiser these were that big? :rolleyes:
    (just for the fun of it, I'd like to see a size comparison of the Battlecruiser's launchers compared to those of the TMP Enterprise compared to a Klingon Bird-of-Prey :evil:)

    Then came TAS and added a strange barrel ahead of the hole which was now used to fire torpedoes.
    However, there was obviously no aft torpedo launcher.

    Next, TMP adopted the TAS interpretation (a changed premise, IMHO) and added an aft torpedo launcher (another topic for the "TAS-is-not-canon" debate. Looks like somebody wanted to have cake, and eat it, too :rolleyes:).

    Nevertheless, there's one thing to consider when comparing a Klingon Battlecruiser aft launcher with the "new" aft launcher of the TWOK Enterprise: With the Klingon design an aft torpedo could go astray but it couldn't accidentally hit any vital components of the ship because it is launched from the stern (which, ironically, also applies for the TNG Enterprise).

    There is no "official" hint for a TMP Enterprise aft launcher. IMO, it's merely an inevitable conclusion from the red torpedo bay Section 4 scene in TWOK. And even there it's inconclusive whether that launcher could or should actually fire photon torpedoes or whether it might be restricted to probes and other non-hazardous projectiles. A photon torpedo accidentally hitting the warp nacelle pylons would have quite an undesired effect.

    Bob
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The TAS ship's protruding tube:

     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I like the explanation put forth in the old novel Ishmael, where ancient tribal Klingons were enslaved by the Karsid Empire, which vanished mysteriously 600 years ago leaving the Klingons with ships and technology which they've been using ever since. It neatly explains why Klingons use the same ships in ENT as they do in DS9, why those ships are all complete rustbuckets (even the "new" flagship Neg'Var - perhaps it was newly found at a long lost Karsid outpost/shipyard?) as well as how the dysfunctional Klingons ever made it into space in the first place.

    Trek makes retcons all the time. You mention yourself the changes to photon torpedo systems between TOS/TMP and WoK. According to The Making of Star Trek, they weren't meant to be physical missiles at all.

    You also mention the WoK novelization. If you've read TMP's novel, you'll know that Admiral Kirk's preface pretty much dismisses TOS as an inaccurate dramatizaton of Kirk's five-year mission (one wonders what Gene Roddenberry was thinking). And we also know from various old interviews that Gene asked fans to believe that Klingons always looked as they did in TMP and beyond - probably Trek's biggest retcon ever, and one which surely extends to the look of their ships (which IMHO simply had a ton of detail added for the big screen) and the rest of the universe?

    Where do you draw the line?
     
  12. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    This is not unlike the background described in "Sword of Kahless" [DS9] when we learn that the Klingons were enslaved by the Hur'Q around the 1300s. I always envisioned the advanced Klingon tech having been figured out from looking at the Hur'Q stuff...


    --Alex
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I'm very confident that the description of the Enterprise in TMoST is one for the pilot version that was a little upgraded during the writing of "The Ultimate Computer". Already in "The Changeling" they were referring to certain numbered torpedoes, which suggests solid objects, IMHO:

    KIRK: Ready photon torpedo number two, Mister Sulu.

    So the solid photon torpedo is a concept already introduced in TOS (there was another TOS episode where Kirk specifically ordered which numbered torpedoes he wanted to see fired).

    I don't know that. Kirk only feels that they were "painted somewhat larger than life", especially himself, and expresses discomfort of being idealized into an applauded hero which he thinks isn't appropriate.

    I think it's fair to say that the different look of the Klingons was quite a strange surprise back in those days but IIRC many of us were interpreting this as a different Klingon species (in simpler language their Neanderthals survived and co-existed). I don't know such interviews you mentioned but Gene Roddenberry was Star Trek's creator and if he decided to change a thing, this qualifies as a changed premise, IMHO, where changes induced by others are somewhat inevitably retroactive continuity.

    My suggestion remains to take each Star Trek incarnation as its own, remain faithful to the context it was presented in and don't look too hard for a Grand Unified Theory.

    Back to the original issue of this thread, I enjoy seeing an evolution from a forward photon torpedo launcher to one that also features an aft launcher (Klingon TMP Battlecruisers) and is eventually adopted by Starfleet, too.

    Bob
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Photon torpedo number two could mean tube.
     
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Tube #2, absolutely.
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    From "Journey to Babel":

    CHEKOV: Fire control locked into the computers, Captain.
    KIRK: On my order, fire photon torpedoes two, four and six. Widest possible scatter.
    CHEKOV: Aye, sir.
    KIRK: Fire.
    CHEKOV: Full spread missed, sir. They're moving too fast for us.

    Six photon torpedo tubes for that little area looks like quite a lot and too much, doesn't it? ;)

    Bob
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True that, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're physical weapons. I think you see intent where there simply wasn't anyone second guessing the writer's language choice.
     
  18. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    This sounds like the writer was envisioning tubes when writing the line. The even numbers sound like carryover from naval convention of numbering tubes with even numbers on one side and odd on the other. Otherwise, he would have called for torpedos 1, 2 and 3 or something more sequential. Plus, it seems like it would make more sense to specify which tube or turret was fired than naming the particular round to be used.
     
  19. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    It's likely tubes. In "Elaan of Troyius", they brought "all tubes to bear" which fired 6 torpedoes.
     
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    From "Elaan of Troyius":

    KIRK: Chekov, arm photon torpedoes.
    CHEKOV: Photon torpedoes ready. ...
    KIRK: ... As he passes, I want to cut in warp drive. We'll pivot at warp two and bring all tubes to bear. ...
    KIRK: Mister Chekov, give him a full spread of photon torpedoes.

    It doesn't say whether a "full spread" consists of 4, 6 or 8 torpedoes, but "all tubes" suggests indeed at least two torpedo launch tubes and - given the context - discards the possibility of an aft launch tube as this would be included in "all tubes".

    If the "Journey to Babel" writer wanted to suggest launch tubes 2, 4 and 6 why didn't he write so?
    Fire "torpedo tubes 2, 4 and 6" would not have been ambigous and everybody in the audience would have understood.

    Instead, the dialogue only refers to numbered photon torpedoes and IMHO suggests that torpedoes 2, 4 and 6 had a yield that's different from torpedoes 1, 3 and 5 which is the reason why Kirk specifically wanted to have those fired.

    Bob