"That Which Survives" Ship Peril Makes No Sense

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

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    If it were just the ship itself at stake, sure. But they've been flung a great distance away and need to rescue their captain and crew. If they jettison the core, then they're stuck at impulse and have no way back to the outpost.

    Besides, as I said, the dialogue indicates that Scotty had to rig the explosive bolts specially, so core ejection probably wasn't standard at the time (at least as envisioned in the episode).


    "Mudd's Women" established that "lithium" crystals were a key component of the power circuits, and "Elaan of Troyius" seemed to indicate that they were key to channeling the power from the matter/antimatter reactor. "The Alternative Factor" (which coined the name dilithium, the only thing from that misbegotten episode that's ever been referenced again) seemed to treat dilithium crystals as the ship's actual power source, but Charlene Masters's station was called the dilithium charging station in the script, suggesting that the slablike crystals there were some sort of storage batteries. TAS seemed to treat them similarly, as power sources that could be "depleted" and leave the ship powerless.

    TNG established that dilithium contains and regulates the actual matter-antimatter reaction -- that the dilithium atomic lattice in a powerful magnetic field serves as a series of magnetic microbottles that channel the matter and antimatter particles to collide and then contain and focus the energetic plasma that results (aka "warp plasma"). Without it, the reaction would probably be weaker because fewer collisions would occur, and it would also be less stable and controlled.
     
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  2. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    The episode made no sense as was seen in the episode.
    If they explained in the episode that they would be stuck there 100 light years from anywhere if Scotty failed then maybe it would make sense.
    But even if it did none of us would scanction Spock's sacrifice of Scotty to save the ship from being stranded even if Kirk and the landing party may have been in danger.

    Also Losira's plan doesn't make much sense anyway. Why not blow up the ship immediately once she considered it to be dangerous?.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Department of Redundancy Department?
     
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  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, it wasn't Losira, it was the millennia-old Kalandan computer using a holodeck-type replica of Losira as an automatic defense system. Presumably it had a limited range of programmed responses and defense options. Any ship-destroying weapons either didn't exist or had long since failed, so all it had were the long-range transporter and the Losira holodrones which could kill through cellular disruption. So presumably the most it could do was beam the ship away and put a drone on it, with the drone using its disruptive touch to fuse the bypass control.
     
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  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We might well presume that episodes like in "Paradise Syndrome" represent the norm for TOS: the timespan within which help won't arrive is measured in months.

    TOS shuttles really struggle to go interstellar, and indeed the only one that even attempts to do so is piloted by a man whose lifespan is measured in tens of thousands of years. Of course, Galileo 7 does this accidentally with the Galileo Seven aboard - but boosted by the anomaly of the week. The warp drives of TOS shuttles did not really amount to much.

    It's only in DSC that shuttles from that era zip from star to star quickly enough to suddenly make characters disappear or appear during a deep space mission. There, and in TAS. Perhaps the minimum shuttle size for that is twice the TOS prop size?

    Perhaps our heroes could get random help from local or passing aliens, during an average mission and also during "That Which Survives", but Starfleet would be too far away to be relevant to the predicament. Was Starfleet back then less comfortable with contacting aliens than in TNG? Or were aliens far more wary of Starfleet?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    On the explosive jettison of the M/AMRC (I'm a convert to the term), we learn:
    SCOTT [OC]: Will not hold more than two seconds if I rupture the field.
    It would definitely leave the ship crippled without warp drive, and I doubt they have another M/AMRC in spare parts in the hold. It also sound very dangerous to the ship, as in, maybe there's only a small chance that the jettison will work due to loose antimatter fuel/plasma around the ship due to severed conduits/lines. :ouch:

    Saucer separation seems like a better choice, but I guess separation at high warp was not part of its design (as it was in TNG). It also might take longer than 15 minutes to activate the separation sequence. :shrug:
     
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  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's not as if separation at high warp would have been something designed or built in for TNG, either - else it would also have been tested, and "Encounter at Farpoint" makes it clear nobody had done this before.

    Would even separation at medium warp be an intended feature there? Data says "inadvisable at any warp speed"...

    Emergencies are hairy situations, and pushing of buttons need not help much there. Ejection of warp core saved the ship in only one occasion, ST:INS. In other situations, it may be a major contributor to ship loss, and mainly an option at all because it may save other ships in close proximity from going down when the one doing the ejection explodes of the ejection (only now without the antimatter of the core and the tank pods contributing to this explosion).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, obviously. That, as I already said, is why they saved it as a last-ditch measure after all else failed, instead of doing it before.

    Saucer separation in TOS was a last-ditch, irreversible emergency measure. And it has the exact same problem as core jettison: Leaving the ship without warp drive to rescue Kirk, Sulu, etc. If they didn't have crew stranded on the planetoid, they would've probably jettisoned the core or saucer-separated far earlier, yes, of course. But having personnel that they needed to rescue changed the equation. They couldn't think only of the safety of the people aboard. They needed, if at all possible, to retain warp capability in order to rescue their captain and officers. So any measure that required losing the warp drive had to be deferred until all other options had been exhausted.
     
  9. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Two pages and I still don't think we've addressed the disconnect between Scotty saying this thing is going to blow up and there's nothing in the universe that can stop it on the one hand, and them immediately finding that all they had to do was blow out the section Scott was in to save themselves.
     
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  10. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    First thoughts (before a commercial break?) versus a careful study of the equipment after the initial shock of the situation passes. After some thought, two solutions present themselves: 1. Shut off the antimatter supply flow to the integrator using a magnetic probe; and 2. Set explosive charges to blow the M/AMRC into space. Scotty sets up plan 2 as a back up plan in case plan 1 fails. The fact they only come up with only two ideas shows how :censored:'ed they were in the moment.
     
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  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Mister Scott, have you always [exaggerated the magnitude of the danger to the ship]?"
    "Certainly, sir. How else can I keep my reputation as a miracle worker?" ;)
     
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  12. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm thinking that @uniderth may be right about Scotty being ejected into space to die. There is dialogue to back this up: "Don't be a sentimental fool! Push the button! I'm going to die, anyway!" Not 'we're' going to die...but 'I'm'.That"s pretty Scotty-centric phrasing for a situation in which everyone is doomed.
     
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  13. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Drama.
     
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  14. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Finally. That's what I've always thought but for some reason this thread didn't seem to be getting there. Thanks.
     
  15. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can think of at least two episodes off-hand that establish shuttlecraft as FTL, achieving such with relative ease: The Cage and Metamorphosis. In the first, it's established that while the shuttle can go to warp, it has a limited range, and in the second it becomes clear that a standard issue shuttle at warp is exceptionally vulnerable to outside forces, and can have their flight interrupted easily.

    Lokai's shuttle was probably near the end of its usability, in fuel content if nothing else, when it was destroyed. These conditions match the previously established warp capability from the earlier episodes.
     
  16. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    For me it's kind of like the set up to all the drama in TOS S1 - "Court Martial". I mean yes, the 1701 is encountering an "Ion Storm" - but WHY does an actual human crewman have to go into a "Pod" to "take readings" -- as isn't that what the ship's sensor do? And further WHY does the Pod need to be jettisoned (killing the Human occupant inside if he fails to escape prior), if the Ion Storm's intensity moves beyond a certain level - where a Captain would have to call a Red Alert?:wtf:

    It seems it's all there just to create a sense of 'High Drama' (in both episodes); and to try and make sense of it is an exercise in futility.
     
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  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Most of the ship would be shielded against the storm's energies, so it might make sense that you'd need a sensor apparatus outside the shields to take readings, though it's unclear why it would have to be crewed. Presumably it would accumulate an electric charge from the storm, and if the charge grew too great, it could endanger the ship.
     
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  18. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed. Perhaps part of the measurements involve observing the physiological response of the operator. Maybe Finney was hooked up to monitoring equipment to observe his heart rate, etc. And maybe he was supposed to be reporting how he was feeling during the experience. Canary in the coalmine anyone?
     
  19. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    At the same time, the instruments taking the readings may need a crewperson present to make sure they're operating effectively, and they only bail when the charge becomes dangerous.

    Uniderth posted while I was composing my response. That too is a possibility. They may need to learn just how much exposure to an ion storm the regular crew can stand with limited shielding. It is stated in the episode that they're required to study ion storms wherever they find them.
     
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  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This, like Pike's aphasia, is something that originally made no sense and demonstrated that the writer didn't care or comprehend - but in today's context is perfectly understandable and even intuitively simple.

    Storm hunting was a thing already practiced but little known in the 1960s; the writer would still have been thinking in terms of crow's nests and the like. Today, diving into tornadoes is a national sport, and it takes manpower and a testosterone rush to install an as such automated device in the heart of the danger.

    That Finney would have been working on the pod in order to deploy (aka jettison) it at a suitable moment is highly consistent with the fact that Kirk's finger was hovering over the deploy (jettison) button. The mission clearly was to culminate in said jettison, after which the ship could warp to safety again. And jettisoning Finney never was the intent - so the pod would be a perfect match for today's automated devices that need to be prepared and installed at the last second in order to be effective.

    In comparison, the idea of ejecting something from a ship in order to save the ship is pretty alien even to today's audiences, except through exposure to scifi very much including Star Trek. It is unlikely to have been part of the thinking of "Court Martial" (the pod would't make the ship go kaboom - failing to deploy the pod and get the hell out of Dodge in time would), as it has no real-world point of comparison (a ship about to blow up would be flooded to put out the fires, not "jettisoned" piece by dangerous piece, and an aircraft or ground vehicle in distress would be evacuated). Even today, there's nothing to draw on: no powerplant in any vehicle has been designed to be jettisoned in an emergency, and even the dumping of fuel is a procedure either not involving an abrupt jettison (civilian aircraft preparing for forced landing) or then not relating to malfunction-borne emergencies at all (military ditching of external fuel tanks from aircraft or tanks in preparation for combat).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
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