Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Warped9, Jan 6, 2020.
Apparently not cloaking tech, since they had such technology in use during the DISCO era.
*Sigh* I don't want to get into this debate again, but thats retconning I don't buy into. DSC is an alternate continuity,
Is a cloak the same as an invisibility screen?
The latter might just mask your visual presence, while the former renders you almost fully undetectable
The way TOS seem to imply is that a cloak and an invisibility screen are the same thing. They are rendering you invisible to instruments and possibly also to the naked eye. As Spock said, "The bending of light rays..." would render you invisible because the light of objects behind you is bending around you and making it appear that there is nothing to be seen. But the Enterprise's motion sensors still detected something of a cloaked ship in "Balance Of Terror." Yet by the time of "The Enterprise Incident" that problem appears to have been solved and the Enterprise detected nothing until the Romulans appeared right on top of them.
Today they have the means to render your aircraft or vehicle largely invisible to radar, but not to the naked eye. Thus you can still visually see something even if the radar registers nothing there.
By the time of later TNG the implication is no longer the Romulan/Klingon ships are invisible to instruments and visual sight, but the ships are actually no longer in normal space. TNG cloaking show the ships can actually pass through solid objects. Such a capability makes the ship practically indestructible because incoming energy beams and torpedoes would just pass right through you. In BoT and TUC an invisible ship could still be hit even if cloaked.
Cloaking as used in TOS is something you can get your head around because it's really an extension of something being invisible to radar. Cloaking in TNG is somewhat muddier because if you are no longer in normal space so that objects can pass right through you then how do you still manage to interact or discern what is still happening in normal space around you? In a sense you would be just as blind as your opponent and you decloak at your own peril.
On television or film combating starships are often shown practically on top of each other (for the sake of dramatic spectacle), but in reality would more likely be hundreds to thousands to millions of miles apart particularly moving at FTL speeds. Under those conditions a system rendering you invisible to detection instruments could likely be sufficient enough and making it difficult for visual instruments to see you would be a bonus. This seems to be what was happening in TOS.
Remember though, the BoP WASN'T invisible to the 1701's or the Outposts motion sensors in TOS S1 - "Balance Of Terror".
And in TOS S3 - "The Enterprise Incident" - while for the first time it was shown the Romulans had made that breakthrough - and also somehow got the designs for and built a fleet of Klingon type D-7 ships; even at the end of the episode teh Romulan Commander says:
My point being 'sensor evasion' technology rightfully was something all sides were working on in the TOS era. I've always thought it was rather simplistic in the Trek Universe to believe that Romulans (and after STII:TSFS) Klingons ALWAYS had a 'Cloaking' advantage the Federation (and other Star Nations) just couldn't 'crack'.
^^ I did mention the Romulans were detectable by motion sensors in BoT.
Depends on what is the tech basis of the "motion sensor". I assume that the cloaking field was invisible to all (most?) forms of electromagnet radiation wavelengths. At FTL speeds, the deflectors need to sense obstacles to either avoid or deflect them, so, I assume the "motion sensors" works in the subspace realm such as subspace radio. Hence the reason on several occasions that the deflectors indicate something is there while normal sensors say there is nothing there. The Romulans, without a great understanding of subspace technologies early in TOS, failed to account for this oversight in Balance of Terror, but later in The Enterprise Incident, they corrected this oversight.
Back to the actual topic, This is arguably my favorite shot from the entire series.
Until I saw the "derelict" from "Alien" and the distinctively original "biomechanical" motifs of the late H.R. Giger, this panning interior shot was the most alien concept I had ever seen in media sci-fi, live action or animated.
The only way TOS could have shown us something like that would have been to use a matte painting. And thats assuming they managed to find the time and money. Ditto with the scenes with the crew on the alien ship's hull.
While your statement is valid, that's not really how detection was depicted on TOS. Sensors, radar (never mentioned by name), etc... Obviously these starships detect other starships by emissions other than just visual.
In BoT it's not the cloaking device that shocks the crew of the Enterprise. Oh, sure, they discuss the possibilities of cloaking technology, but the technology that shocked everyone more was the plasma torpedo.
Once they realized the torpedo had limited range it wasn’t much of a threat anymore, at least to a moving target. The Romulans soon realize this when they see the Enterprise learns to stay out of the BoP’s weapon’s range.
Well yes agreed but this is the first time we get any credence to that theory before Stat Trek III isn't it!
Nether Klingon encounters in the third season show any hints of a cloaking device either! So maybe it was too new to them at that time or they were still adapting it to their new deep space vessels!
Well, every time the Klingons catch our heroes with their pants down, we can plead "they were invisible!"...
"Errand of Mercy" is especially credible as such a case: our heroes are on war footing, exceptionally alert, and still the Klingons get into weapons range unnoticed. Indeed, only the automation of the hero ship first notices something amiss, and then Sulu calls it a "body", seconds before the torps start raining on 'em.
This is (naturally completely by accident and without writer intent) a good fit with all the later established Klingon tactics*:
- decloaking at point blank range and only then opening fire
- firing relatively pitiful torps if from a Bird of Prey, perhaps in order to capture rather than destroy
- being visible to motion scanners or whatnot, at least in the DSC era if no longer in the TOS movie era
- attacking a mighty starship in a weak vessel that blows up the instant the heroes fire back
Conversely, if the Klingons didn't use a cloak in the "Errand" teaser, the heroes really should get shot for unprofessional conduct tantamount to endangering lives and UFP security.
* All we are missing is the "cloaked multi-ship ambush" thing they did in DS9. But "Time Trap" is a good candidate there: first a seemingly single ship confronts the heroes, tying them down in a battle, and then two more suddenly show up... Presumably again emerging from under a cloak because the heroes don't see them coming!
Ohhhh Myyyy.... for once I find Timo's point of view to be logically sound and fitting within the greater Star Trek universe.
Maybe I'm ill.
Logical, extremely logical but none of the other Klingon episodes hint at them having cloaking technology and it was the Romulans who fitst had that power and it was new to the Federation then so if the invading Klingon fleet had cloaks then why wasn't it mentioned?
"Balance of Terror" is the outlier there, in claiming that invisibility is unprecedented. But that's a lie, because an adversary ship materialized without advance warning right next to the heroes in "Charlie X" already: such behavior is not new even to them personally, and it's unlikely to be news to Starfleet or the Federation in any sense.
In every other TOS episode, invisibility is considered unsurprising. It only makes sense for it to be unsurprising in all DSC and ENT episodes, too - save logically for the very first ENT example, in "Unexpected", since Earthlings really are new to deep space at that timepoint.
It's more the pity, then, that DSC also drops the ball. Klingons having cloaks before the Romulans did is perfectly okay; perhaps they actually sold those to the Star Empire along with some battle cruisers? But when "The Vulcan Hello" introduces the Klingon kloaking kapability for the very first time, our DSC heroes go all
which suggests said heroes never studied Archer's Amazing Adventures at the Academy. Almost as bad as Spock's stupid
that corrupted all invisibility discussion to begin with!
Real world limits might have come into play here, but... many times the alien ship of the week was invisible or, at least, never depicted. Off the top of my head Bele's ship in LTBYLB was invisible.
Bele's ship is a good example of a vessel that was hidden from the visual spectrum but still very much detectable by the Enterprise's other sensors
Can you even see ships in deep space away from a star ?
Isn't every ship in deep space invisible to the human eye because it is dark?
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