Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Newton, Aug 9, 2012.
Trying to hold this episode up to logic is an exercise in futility.
The Bozeman had to have been brought forward in time in some fashion or another and, seemingly, by willingly going through the vortex. It may have only been in the loop for the same number of days as the Enterprise and not the 70-some years but at some point the Bozeman had to have traveled forward to the 24c.
The Bozeman was only in the loop as long as the Enterprise was (17.3 days).
Bozeman is flying around space TNG-time minus 90 years. It gets pulled into the vortex 90 years into its future, hits the E-D, the E-D blows up (possibly causing the vortex, starting the loop over.
When the loop breaks, 17 days have passed, which means it was just a local phenomenon and the rest of the universe wasn't affected at all. Does that mean that another ship coming from the normal stream of time could have suddenly crossed the path of the Enterprise?
I suspect that any other ship in the area would have been effected by the space-time distortion. So when the triggering event occurs (the Enterprise blowing up) everything in the sector resets to how it was the day or so prior.
Yeah, really, under scrutiny Space Phenomenon McGuffin doesn't make much sense.
In the book 'Ship of the Line', they try to explain what happened from the Bozeman POV.
The ship was in a fight with a klingon ship. Going badly, the Bozeman began looking for a place to hide. They found what appeared to be a 'cloud' of energy. Being tailed by the klingons, they went in. It appeared to be some kind of localized distortion. They suddenly lost power and without warning they had passed through the cloud. The klingons were gone. They begin to figure out what had happened to them, getting as far as stating it was a temporal distortion when sensors indicated another ship, a 'moving mountain'. Without power, they could not move. From their POV, the Enterprise D had suddenly veered off, narrowly avoiding a collision. They never experienced a time loop.
Hope this helps. I dug around for a while looking for this book. Glad I still have it. A pretty good story, I think.
That makes some sense. Though "locally" -from the POV of what we saw- they were in a time-loop somehow initiated by the Enterprise's explosion. From their perspective there was no loop, from the Enterprise's (and the rest of the universe's) there was.
If the Bozeman only underwent the events once, then from their POV, there should have been at least two starships E-D there simultaneously: one they collided with, and another they avoided. (Or would have, if not for having collided anyway!)
Clearly, the Bozeman also experienced at least two distinct iterations of the events, one survivable, the other not. They may have been sucked into the future just once, but once there, they sometimes collided, sometimes avoided - for exactly as many times as the E-D did.
And the clock necessarily read the same every time, or the E-D would have noticed something amiss. One really wonders when and how our heroes managed to get out of the "time pocket" where the clock was stuck repeating the same couple of days (or, for the Bozeman, the same couple of seconds).
Or perhaps we can argue that time didn't get stuck - our heroes simply did not enjoy constant access to this fancy "Federation timebase" and its informative beacons. Quite possibly, time was flowing normally everywhere outside the hulls of the E-D and the Bozeman, and the phenomenon just created intact and time-retarded copies of each ship every time after the loss of both. But that would mean that the Typhon Expanse would stop spitting out new Bozemans once the collision was avoided, which is a bit odd: why should the tiny collision dictate the behavior of the vast phenomenon?
The idea that time went looping within a specific volume of space is IMHO the most consistent one. Once the collision was avoided, our heroes could leave that volume of space (within which a looping phenomenon might still exist) and ask the nearest beacon what time it really was. They could have done that simply by not sailing to Typhon while within the loop, of course - but they second-guessed themselves out of that correct solution too many times in a row.
An odd bit of "logic" occurs in this episode. It's suggested that they reverse course to prevent getting caught in the loop, Riker shoots this idea down saying it might be what gets them stuck in the first place.
Ummm.. No, Commander. Since the first time through there was nothing to cause the Enterprise to reverse course it's not what causes it to get stuck in the loop. Reversing course would be the right thing to do.
I don't think the logic in this episode is as tricky as it appears.
Let's assume that each loop for the Enterprise lasts 2 days, just for the sake of argument. From the D's POV, it starts with the poker game, Sickbay calls, Bev goes to sleep and hears voices, and in the morning they have the collision. The collision resets everything back to the beginning.
For the Bozeman's point of view, it would start before they travel through time. A bunch of stuff would happen, culminating with the Bozeman being drawn through the wibbly wobbly time wimey thing and colliding with the Enterprise. This resets the loop, sending the Bozeman back to the beginning - 80 years ago (or however long ago it was). But it would take the same length of time for the Bozeman to go through one entire loop as it did for the Enterprise. The only difference is that since the events that happened to the Bozeman included a trip forward through time, the Bozeman's loop spans a longer period of time that the Enterprise's loop.
But the two loops (the E's and the B's) both take the same length of time, and since we saw the Bozeman in each of the E's loop, then the Bozeman would have been through the loop the same number of times as the E.
Why? There's no inherent need for this as such, as the loop is taking place in the 24th century. The number of loops needs to be the same, but the length need not, as the Bozeman isn't within the "zone of influence" of the loop for most of the time the E-D is. It would be a bit different if the Bozeman were a regular starship from the 24th century...
As for Riker's decision not to turn back, it's certainly illogical. It's also somewhat consistent for his character to suggest such weird things - and for Picard to accept Riker's recommendation over that of others in situations where there is no objective order of preference. Which makes it a bit odd that Picard initially favors Data's recommendation in dealing with the collision itself!
What actually caused the time loop? Was it the cloudy thing which brought Bozeman to the future? Was it the force of Enterprise exploding as Geordi suggested (THERE's a handy reload button if the force of a starship exploding can do that!)? or the explosion inside the cloudy thing?
Maybe the Guardian got hiccups?
The neatest package would be a combination of the force of the explosion with a local phenomenon. In "Yesterday's Enterprise" it also appeared that mere fierce firefight could open a temporal rift - but perhaps only under specific rare circumstances that cannot be easily reproduced or even identified?
One'd think there would be studies afterward. But one'd think there would have been studies back when the Bozeman disappeared already (just three weeks away from civilization, so basically in an area that would have to be secured against future accidents of the sort). And they seem to have come up with nothing, as our E-D heroes had no archived speculation to build on.
Ok, let's get this one out of the way:
The Enterprise is, well, fucking huge! It's almost half a mile long, and as tall at 40+ story building having a mass of 4.5 million metric tons.
It is, in fact, a "moving mountain."
Without pulling out my blueprints, doing some measuring and math I can't say for sure; but I'm guessing that the amount of air inside the main shuttlebay wouldn't be nearly enough to move the ship in the significant way we see in the episode. Especially since the air would also have to overcome the ship's own inertia and momentum it already had. And given the ship was without power and had no engines, it's unlikely any "mass reduction" systems were operating to allow for the explosive decompression to have a chance of doing something.
Is there really more than 5 million tons of air inside the shuttlebay? A single 10x10 foot room has about 75 pounds of air in it early morning thinking/math tells me that...
The shuttlebay would have to be damn big for the explosive force of it to have a chance at even nudging the Enterprise out of the way let alone making it quickly maneuver out of the way.
...Then again, when you factor in how supernaturally strong the blow-out of a small compartment's atmosphere is in "Disaster", perhaps there's something to Data's suggestion after all?
I guess that we could speculate on the lines of there being enough power to open the rolling door by rolling it (as opposed to, say, detonating explosive bolts) - from which it would follow that there would be enough power and control to do tricks with artificial gravity, which is a notoriously low-power-consumption application (not to mention still working). Perhaps the air was not merely let to leak out, but was shoved out at significant nozzle velocity?
Doesn't something very similar happen in Time Squared, where they decide to stay on course instead of divert? It certainly rings a bell.
They were probably already used to doing and saying the same thing every single day anyway, so it didn't make any difference....? Your guess is as good as mine.
Still there needs to be enough force to move the ship. And it would take a very large volume of air to shift a 5 million ton mass. In "Disaster", sure, we see it's a large volume of air with a lot of force. But, not so strong that Beverly and Geordi couldn't stay in the room by clinging to a railing.
Merely a very large mass of air, actually, to give the desired momentum. Or a moderate mass of air at high velocity, with the same end result. Perhaps AG technology gave the existing volume a bit of extra mass or speed or both?
The odd thing is, why did Picard not follow both suggestions? There was no explicit reason to only do one and not both...
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