How established are Transporters in TOS?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ThrorII, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. ThrorII

    ThrorII Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Does the Original Series ever give any clues about how long transporters have been around? Not other series, not novels, not tech manuals (but the docu-book 'Making of Star Trek' would count), not Memory Beta, but the actual series.

    I know in 'A Piece of the Action', Kirk doesn't try to explain beaming down to the Iotians, and they seem surprised by it. This would imply that the USS Horizon did not have that technology 100 years prior. 'Balance of Terror' seems to imply this (with the Romulan war being 100 years prior also). Both 'The Menagerie' and 'The Cage' show that the Enterprise had transporters 13 years before the series starts. Doctor McCoy never seems thrilled with the prospect of beaming anywhere, implying either he has a general phobia, or they are not THAT new.

    Are there any other episodes or dialogue that would help nail down a time frame for transporters?
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    On the other hand, Krako's henchman Kalo seems to know a thing or two about transporters, without having witnessed Kirk's beamdown: "Don't worry, Boss. Them can't do nuttin' till them' through sparklin'."

    I'm convinced the Iotians are actually technologically extremely advanced, which is how they can replicate 1930s Chicago globally simply by reading a single book. They just love playacting, which is why the Horizon mistook them for folks in the early stages of industrialization, and why Kalo puts his technical-tactical analysis in those particular words.

    Indeed, the stated causal relation of "primitive ships" -> "no chance of giving quarter / taking prisoners" would work best if the capturing of prisoners via transporter were not yet an option.

    Or then they are brand new, which is why the good doctor remains sceptical against the evidence of so many successful beamings within the show itself.

    Well, in "Assignment: Earth", Gary Seven arrives via alien transporter beam, and we get this exchange:

    Why say "no such" if transporters didn't exist as a thing in the 20th century? Were they there already, only not "incredibly powerful" by any stretch?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. ThrorII

    ThrorII Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    So, the Iotians are a bunch of cosplayers? Tuesday is Ren Day, which is when the Horizon stopped off, and Sunday is Gangsta Day, when the Enterprise showed up.

    Good thing they didn't show up on Thursday for Star Wars day...
     
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  4. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    That damn transporter sure seems to malfunction a lot...

     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd argue LARPing on a grander scale, with at least decades dedicated to each game. Although that'd be more like DARPing, considering how just about the first thing the heroes witness is an Iotian getting shredded by a Tommy-gun... Although admittedly bloodlessly!

    Timo Saloniemu
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No.

    Or the Horizon crew simply chose not to use it.
     
  7. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    At least since the Pike era. :)
     
  8. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Worf in the 23rd Century Premium Member

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    It comes across as a well established piece of technology and treated as a matter of fact by cultures who use it.
    It's pretty clear he means on Earth.
     
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  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I agree about "A Piece of the Action." But I don't see anything in "Balance of Terror" itself that implies anything about when transporters were established; the Romulan war being at least roughly contemporary to a time in which the Horizon apparently didn't have transporters is all on "A Piece of the Action." Otherwise, I agree with others who say that there aren't any clues. I certainly can't think of anything else.
     
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  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Then again, if we extend "the original series" to also encompass TAS, we do get a pretty definite cue.

    In "Terratin Incident", the settlers who departed Earth some "two centuries" prior and were "an early lost colony" apparently "retained knowledge of starship methods" including transporters. So that's Earthling transporters invented (at the latest) about the same time as warp, two centuries prior to TOS.

    Continuity-wise, if we want to think of Emory Erickson as the inventor, we must assume geriatrics advanced in strides right after WWIII... Or then Spock's perception of the colony as two centuries old must be challenged. And he bases that on the colonists using "intersat code" which is out of date by that amount of time - but perhaps the only type of comms gear the colonists could get working while shrunk was an antique hardwired for intersat? "Early lost colony" could be from the immediate pre-ENT era just as well.

    And, heck, that would count as "two centuries" in most folks' parlance! It's just odd that when Uhura says so, on a subject from her very field of expertise, Spock doesn't immediately correct and humiliate her. Confirmation of slash in the prime universe right there?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's true.
     
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  12. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Darmok…full of ventilation holes…
     
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  13. scotpens

    scotpens scotpens Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Yes! Star Blech in MAD Magazine. :biggrin:
     
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  15. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    I have that issue! I am looking forward to breaking it out in a few months.. :)
     
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  16. matthunter

    matthunter Admiral Admiral

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    The Horizon crew might simply have been more sensible about not beaming down in sight of the locals than they were about not accidentally leaving tech behind.

    As for McCoy, we see from TNG that folk like Barclay and Pulaski are phobic about transporting even in the 24th Century. I don't think his protestations (and did he ever really complain that much prior to TMP? Justifiably so in that case given the death of Sonak and the other officer...) can be taken as evidence of the relatively "newness" of the tech.
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's absolutely true.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why be "sensible" that way when you are trying to initiate contact between these "early industrialized" folks and starmen?

    That is, what was the Horizon crew trying to accomplish? Why would it have involved trying to hide the fact that they were starmen? And, conversely, if there was such a hiding attempt, what would motivate anybody to take The Book down to the planet?

    If anything, Kirk immediately deciding that the Horizon folks have been meddling with this planet, presumably simply becuase they could, suggests this sort of thing would have been expected from those folks of old. In contrast, Kirk never assumes the locals would be ignorant of the Horizon. The conversation with Okmyx in the teaser sorta makes me think the radio message from the ship revealed details of the old contact event that make Kirk confident that there's no need for secrecy.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
  19. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    I don't remember, in The Cage the false survivors were surprised about transporters?
     
  20. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'll never get that. The editing in TMP is so far off-kilter, it makes it seem that they would've still been scraping off Sonak and friend as McCoy stepped up to the transporter pad. They really need to flip-flop those scenes and not have any more beam-ups after the accident.
     
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