"That Which Survives" Ship Peril Makes No Sense

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by uniderth, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    So I'm reviewing some episodes to try and figure out the Enterprise's warp drive system and "That Which Survives" appears to be quite the PITA. So *spoiler alert* Losira fuses the Emergency (Overload) Bypass Control. Somehow this sends the ships engines into runaway mode and the ship will explode in fifteen minutes (14 minutes 52.2 seconds). The only solution they come up with is to cut off the anti-matter fuel supply thus killing the runaway m/am reaction. That all makes a good amount of sense.

    But when Scotty is inside the magnetic field crawl way he says that if he accidentally ruptures that magnetic field containing the antimatter they should jettison him, and presumably the ruptured section of the field and the antimatter that would explode.

    :wtf:

    But what's the point? Who cares if that second of the ship explodes? They going to all die in minutes anyway. If they could jettison that section and save the ship from the explosion, why wasn't that one of their initial options? If jettisoning Scotty doesn't save the ship from the explosion then why even bring that up? The only answer I can think of is that jettisoning Scotty actually saves Scotty and the rest of the ship still dies. Then Scotty floats around in space in the service crawl way until someone manages to find his dead body centuries later. So all the jettison talk was actually Scotty just trying to save his own skin.

    Jesting aside, does anyone have any rationalization for this one?
     
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  2. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    Hey, Spock can do a lot in two minutes if Scotty fails. :)
     
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  3. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "That's what she said."
     
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  4. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always assume, in instances like this, that we just don't understand everything about how everything works.
     
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  5. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    I think it is the other way around, ejecting the pod saves the ship, killing Scott in the process. The downside being that the Enterprise would be dead in the water, years from help.
     
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  6. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    That's exactly right. Scotty is trying to stop up the fuel line in a way that he can then repair.

    If he can't do that, Plan B is to jettison the whole compartment with him in it. This will also put a gap in the fuel line, preventing the ship from exploding. But that gap in the warp drive system cannot be repaired, which leaves the Enterprise (let's say) 20,000 years from nearest Starbase at impulse speed. As second choices go, it's a distant second but better than killing everybody. That's why Scotty goes into the compartment and risks his life-- to save the warp drive as well as the ship.
     
  7. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Imagine if the Enterprise was marooned out in space for years! How long would discipline be maintained before the crew decided they wanted extra rations or that Kirk's orders were somehow to be disputed and then blame him for their predicament? :wah:
    JB
     
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  8. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, the shuttlecraft apparently have limited warp drive. If it can rendezvous with the Enterprise with commissioner Hedford, saving the Enterprise significant time to actually use it, then it can get somewhere a lot sooner to bring back help.

    And there’s always sub space communications to call for help.

    They’d be stranded for a bit, but they’ve established too much tech to keep them lost forever.
     
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  9. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, but why does Scotty even have to be in there? Just jettison it without Scotty in danger? The entire premise of going into the crawl way was that there was no other way to stop the explosion than stopping the flow of antimatter with the magnetic probe. There is no discussion about jettisoning a section to stop the fuel flow. It has to be the probe. Meaning that if the probe fails, the ship explodes. So even if they jettison Scotty the ship will still explode.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Note the earlier dialogue between Spock and Scott:
    At that point. Meaning that Scotty was actually in the M/ARC, what we now call the warp core. So it was the actual warp core, the place where the M/AM reaction was going on, that would've been jettisoned (with Scotty still inside) before it underwent what we now call a warp core breach. Scotty said he'd positioned explosive separator charges to achieve that, suggesting that a core ejection system was not standard yet, which is why they couldn't have done that before. Also, they needed a functioning warp core to get back to the captain et al., so jettisoning would've been a last resort in any case.
     
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  11. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Isn't the "antimatter pod" essentially the Warp core?
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Sounds more like it would be where the antimatter fuel is stored before being injected into the core to react with the matter fuel.
     
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  13. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    Not necessarily, rather it is just another name for a fuel storage pod or container.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    I wonder if that ties into the warp drive somehow? In "Where No Man...", there's no mention of calling for help after they burned out the warp drive.*

    *Of course there was likely no sub-space communications created yet, they weren't that deep into creating the universe. But it fits, in universe.

    As far as the shuttles go, maybe they were being maintenanced at a Starbase, and weren't scheduled to be picked up until Tuesday. ;)
     
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  15. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always thought the Voyager crew were a trifle too forgiving on Janeway
    Kinda the same thing
     
  16. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They basically went on a 7 year deep space assignment. Easy peasy for a 24th century explorer.
     
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  17. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    Great topic. Noble cause. The big discussions in the past have been where and how many M/AM reactors are in the ship, and how does dilithium crystals work. It also depends on which season and which writer, but you have selected Season 3 That Which Survives. Note that the terms "warp core", "warp plasma', "warp coil" didn't exist in TOS.

    To help with the decisions, here's a list of power system concepts:
    1. One. Only one M/AM reactor in the secondary hull which generates power using dilithium crystals and provides warp power (in plasma form via the pipe structure?) for each nacelle warp engine.
    2. Two. M/AM reactor in each nacelle each powering a warp engine. AM fuel is also stored in each nacelle/pod. Warp power (plasma?) is diverted into the secondary hull (through the pipe structure?) for ship power generation using dilithium crystals.
    3. Three. M/AM reactor in each nacelle each powering a warp engine, and one in the secondary hull which generates ship power using dilithium crystals.
    4. AM fuel is stored in the aft end of each nacelle/pod.
    5. An AM fuel pod is in the secondary hull.
    6. AM is injected into the warp power (plasma?) supply in each nacelle warp engine to further energize/boost it for warp use.
    7. The dilithium crystals discharge their stored energy to produce useful ship power. Dilithium crystals are recharged in a separate facility using another power supply.
    8. The dilithium crystals simultaneously absorb energy from the M/AM reaction and discharge their stored energy to produce useful ship power.
    9. The dilithium crystals "in situ generate" antimatter fuel.
    10. Separate AM fuel production equipment is in the secondary hull.
    11. Warp engines need only high power from the dilithium crystal system to operate (energized plasma routed through the pipe structure?). No dilithium crystal power system, no warp drive.
    12. The dilithium crystal system needs the M/AM fuel reaction to operate. No antimatter fuel, no power.
    13. Warp engines need both the M/AM fuel reaction and high power from the dilithium crystal system to operate (through the pipe structure?). No dilithium crystal power system, no warp drive. No antimatter fuel, no warp drive.
    14. Something else even more technobabbly.
    15. Name your own concepts...
    Season Three That Which Survives seems to incorporate concepts 1, 5, 8, 11, and 12. Others may apply, but they were not discussed in the episode. The only thing we heard about the sabotage was that the emergency bypass control of the matter-antimatter integrator was fused. Shutting down the antimatter fuel into the chamber by pinching off the magnetic confinement field would stop the runaway situation, but how does Scotty fix the ship to continue the voyage with the fused systems? He might continue to use the magnetic field throttling of the antimatter fuel into the reaction chamber to control the ship's speed, but that sounds hairy.

    I like the most flexibility and complexity: a combination of 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12 and 13. YMMV. :)

    I would love to see a diagram of your concept. :techman:
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    True, of course. But it's interesting that Spock actually used the phrase "matter/antimatter reaction chamber," which was the formal name used in the TNG Technical Manual for the warp core (abbreviated as M/ARC). So I guess Sternbach & Okuda were drawing on this episode for their terminology.

    From their dialogue, "integrator" seems to be an alternate term for the M/ARC, which makes a certain amount of sense because it's where the two reactants are mixed together (integrated).


    My guess is that the bypass control can be fairly easily swapped out, but only after the reactor is shut down.
     
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  19. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Actually I'd think that "ejecting the core" would be the first resort. The reactor is about to explode taking the ship with it. The first resort should be to get rid of it, thereby saving the ship. Only later, upon noting the flow of the ships fuel, would you come up with a plan to save the ship AND the reactor.

    Scotty tell us that nothing can stop that reactor from exploding and taking the ship with it. While that was not strictly true, as it was possible to cut the anti-matter fuel off, if there was another obvious way to prevent the explosion it would have been mentioned at the start. Scotty should have said something like: "I can position some explosive separator charges so we can jettison the reactor and prevent the destruction of the ship." But instead he repeatedly tell us that this reactor overload will cause the destruction of the ship. Meaning that either the reactor can't be separated from the ship and so the ship will explode. Or even if the reactor is separated from the ship, the ship will still explode.


    Antimatter pods are essential synonymous with the nacelles.

    Doomsday Machine: "antimatter in the warp drive pods"
    Bread and Circuses: "antimatter nacelles"
    Elaan of Troyus: "anti-matter pods"
    By Any Other Name: "matter-anti-matter nacelles"
    I, Mudd: "matter-antimatter pods"

    I would theorize that the anti-matter pods(storage tanks) are technically an element of the warp drive pods/nacelles. However, when speaking the terms "warp drive pods", "matter-antimatter pods/nacelles", and "antimatter pods/nacelles" refers to the warp engines.

    My own theory is more of 3, 8, and 15.

    Based on this episode we know that there is one reactor that controls all of the warp drive. But we also know from "By Any Other Name" the "The Enterprise is propelled by matter-anti-matter reactors." Do there are definitely more than one reactors. That's why I think we should interpret the line for "Catspaw" about three reactors as a reference to the m/am reactors. My thought is that reactor number 3 is the smaller of the three and is in the engineering hull. It functions as a sort of a primer reactor for the two huge reactors in the nacelles(the domes). So when reactor three went into overload this drove the other two reactors into overload. I imagine this functioning almost like transistors.

    I haven't yet analyzed the function of dilithium in the operation of the warp drive, but I vaguely recall that it plays an important part too. So I have to factor that in somehow.
    That's an excellent point I hadn't thought about yet.
     
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  20. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    the scene skips but it is sort of the same conversation. Scott says the ships gonna blow up in 15 minutes, and there are still 12 minutes left when they discuss the solution