Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Jun 28, 2013.
Actually, old Soviet shipbuilding placed quite an emphasis on crew comfort, or at least officer comfort. Soviet naval vessels were often full of luxury items such as pianos, fireplaces and comfortable leather furniture. On the other hand, they were designed for shorter mission lengths than their western "counterparts", mainly because the Soviet navy had very limited bluewater ambitions and concentrated on protecting its home waters; there was less overall need for accommodation space onboard for that reason.
An interesting question is whether the Romulans significantly modified the interiors of their battle cruisers after receiving them from the Klingons, one way or another (war loot, treaty transfers, industrial espionage). Klingons appear to be long-reaching adventurists, but Romulans could fit the picture of Soviet-style homebodies; quite possibly they would rework the ships to meet very different mission demands.
Also, much as happens in the real world when ships are transferred from a northern navy to a tropical one, there might be a pressing need to sacrifice otherwise vital systems for the installation of even more vital life support elements, comparable to air conditioning or heating ITRW. Klingons and Romulans probably loathe each other's accommodation standards for a good reason.
The final question is whether the ship design would allow for these as such logical or necessary modifications. Could corridors be widened at will? Easily, if the original walls are just simple partitions inside a load-bearing hull...
Good analogy, makes sense to me within the TOS portrayals. But wouldn't you expect the Romulans to be more "Spartan"?
From "Day of the Dove":
SULU: Trouble aboard the Klingon ship. Evidence of explosions, massive destruction.
KANG: You attacked my ship! Four hundred of my crew dead. Kirk, my ship is disabled. I claim yours.
SCOTT: Captain, we've not been able to get through to Starfleet Command. All subspace frequencies have been blocked, and there's too much radiation coming from that Klingon ship. It's a hazard to the vicinity.
Apparently, the massive destruction must have occurred internally and most likely in the engineering hull where 400 "of the crew" were killed.
The 40 survivors probably all came from the bow "bulb".
Now, Kang didn't say explicitly 400 Klingons were killed (that would merit the execution of 4,000 Federation citizens from a Klingon perspective if I'm not mistaken), thus we might be looking at 400 aliens (i.e. not Klingons) that did serve as "slaves" to run the ship in the engineering hull.
An analogy to a Klingon Battlecruiser might be the Roman Trireme (Roman galley) where most of the operators required for "propulsion" were slaves. Admittedly, that's a crew complement you'd rather expect to see with the Rom(ul)ans, but maybe an explanation how they got their name during the Earth-Romulan War...from a strictly TOS point of view, of course.
I'm sure that edict allowed some room for flexibility. It's not practical that the 10 for 1 ratio could always work, such as in this particular case.
Even before you mentioned triremes (monotremes?), I was thinking of rowers in the engineering hull. Talk about back-breaking work getting a mass that large up to the speed of light!
Then there's the A4/V2 of World War II, which killed more people from its manufacture than from its deployment.
Good point Kevman7987. I seriously doubt that the D-7 stored its shuttlecraft in the "bulb" section too, to avoid radiation contamination. So I don't buy the idea that the drive section of the D-7 is a radiation hazard.
Navigator NCC-2120 USS Entente
That's not exactly what I tried to imply but for a second I was having such an image in my mind, too: "Warp Speed - Row faster you miserable dogs!"
And just as your example shows, I think it's a realistic assumption that a totalitarian state, regardless whether you think of Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia or another totalitarian state (Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, the Cardassians etc.) will abuse all the people it imprisoned and condamn these to slave labor (for whatever ethnical and/or political reasons).
DS9's mirror universe provided an illustration (although I find mining work aboard DS9 to be rather hard to believe) but given the biohazards you'll most likely encounter in any TOS engineering hull, even the Klingons would probably put personnel there (aliens, convicts etc.) they consider to be expendable.
I'm not saying a D-7's engineering hull is a radioactive contamination hell, but probably a place where longer / permanent exposure to the radiation there will probably shorten your life expectancy considerably.
On a more basic level, it's a nasty, boring job. Much more fun to be on the bridge firing torpedoes at things, and letting the slaves clean the impulse manifolds. It doesn't have to be actively hazardous to be undesirable, especially for war-like Klingons.
Why have an Empire unless you can use conquered peoples to do your dirty work?
That was my thinking as well. And in addition, there may just be a higher risk of other kinds of accidents due to technology that is not quite state-of-the-art.
Although this is not really the topic of this thread, I nonetheless would like to correct this very common misconception: There is no proof whatsoever that Rome or other ancient powers utilized slaves as rowers on their galleys.
An article on galleys can be found here, pay attention to the last topic "rowers":
During a battle galleys solely relied on their rowers for speed and maneuverability and thus ultimately for their survival. So the rowers had to be healthy, well nourished, motivated and able to work as a team - that many oars had to be operated in unison and as needed. Ben-Hur perfectly illustrates what happens when (ill-treated) slaves are being used instead.
I read up on the subject and, indeed, "Ben Hur" has created the myth of a concentration camp aboard a Roman ship. Sometimes slaves were used but in such cases they were promised freedom for good service. Of course, we have to consider the possibility that the creators of Star Trek or their historical knowledge had been influenced by "Ben Hur" starring Charlton Heston.
But the "galley penalty" became a form of punishment at the end of the 15th Century and the fictional nightmare we saw in "Ben Hur" became a reality for convicts during that time up until the 19th and 20th Century!
Spain adopted it early in the 16th Century, galley convicts were bought and sold like slaves. After I actually read the Hornblower novels my perception of the Klingons changed drastically. If Captain Kirk was Hornblower, then the Klingons were the Spaniards!!!
But whatever the case, the idea of a concentration camp aboard a ship is a concept the Klingons wouldn't mind to adopt, IMHO.
I'm not sure why you're citing Ben-Hur as evidence. Romans didn't (generally) mistreat their slaves, as they were investments. What's the point in keeping people so weak that they couldn't do the job they were bought to carry out?
I was citing Ben-Hur, because that´s the movie that established the myth of galley slaves, AFAIK (if you don´t count the silent movie, the stage production and the initial novel that it´s based on).
My point exactly
I always liked the d7 cruiser design as well. One of the best cinematic shots of both Star Trek and sci fi in general for space ships is the opening scene of TMP with the three D7s flying in formation.
...Luckily, Trek never got to abuse it the way the "camera pans down to reveal a planet, then a ship or two" opening shot was abused in SW.
FWIW, the long neck conforms to the idea of reducing your silhouette in directions that count. A sphere has the lowest silhouette for a given volume when all directions are equal, but something spindly like the Klingon or Vulcan designs really is best for the Trek sort of combat where ships fly forward, then turn to change direction. And it's rather thrilling to realize that the Vulcan ringships are the more effective and deadlier application of this...
But as soon as the enemy gets a side, dorsal, or ventral shot in at you, you're screwed.
But ships almost never attack from above or below in Star Trek, for some reason. Therefore I suppose it makes sense to have shallow, wide shapes like saucers in ship construction.
Not really. The spindly Vulcan shapes minimize side profile as well, if not in total area then in terms of the maximum dimensions of the area - they're harder to hit than identical-volume spheres no matter how you look at it. A spindle is a good shape no matter whether you fly it point first or sideways, but the former a) looks good and b) helps you more in fights you initiate!
The Klingon ships remain spindles in side view, even though their wing structure presents a big target to dorsal and ventral threats. Many Starfleet vessels have the same dorsal-ventral weakness, due to their saucers and sometimes their engine pylons. Why is that? One could argue that ships at warp tend to conform to local subspace fields or something, and hence maintain like orientation. But most fighting takes place at sublight, and there any orientation ought to be possible. Why have the vulnerable saucers or wings rather than smaller-target-area cylinders or spheres or spindles?
Well, the Feds might trade combat prowess for other things such as comfort - big broad decks might be much more useful than lots of smaller ones, or decks curved like onion shells inside a sphere. Klingons in turn might want to have actual wings for atmospheric lift, as they take such a holistic view to warfare...
Not that the Vulcan warp rings should make for poor aerodynamic surfaces, though. Ring wings have many advantages and have been used in guided bombs for a century now. Perhaps the Vulcan warp mechanism does double as a lifting surface on occasion?
The Klingons have a aristocratic social hierarchy, the officers (with some exceptions) come from the ruling houses. The enlisted crew come from "the commoners." Having a physical separation between the living/sleeping arrangments would reinforce this social order.
Plus there might not be all that much room in the bulb, what with forward disruptors, torpedo system, sensors, control facilities, life support and what not. The officers by themselves might be pretty tightly packed
This could only be taken so far and still have the Klingon Empire be a viable threat the the Federation.
The crude way their ships appear could be a culturally driven look, deliberately cramped, misty and with low light levels. When Kirk ordered his ship out of Romulan space at warp 9, the D-7 chasing him was able to match his speed.
In an era of computer targeting systems and sensors, does a smaller profile really offer a more difficult target?
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