"The biggest explosion since..." Since..?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by LMFAOschwarz, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 1, 2013
    ...or, "Your ship flares up like an exploding sun within minutes!" :wtf:

    I always felt a bit let down by not getting to see what that really meant (as implied more than once). As a kid watching Star Trek, those kind of lines implied such awesome spectacle in their simplicity!

    I find looking back that I think maybe we got cheated a little. It sounded for all the world to me like one of those Sarpeidon supernova or Nomad energy burst-type events. It seemed to really sell to kid me the awesome power of the Enterprise.

    Or was I reading too much into it, with the matter/antimatter-fueled imagination of youth?

    Any thoughts?
    Qonundrum likes this.
  2. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 18, 2019
    Scotty said it would take all of V'Ger with it, so it must be impressively violent, but the auto destruct scenes we saw were pretty standard explosions
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Our heroes generally don't believe in suicide, so it makes sense for them to select autodestruct modes that only achieve that which is tactically necessary, without any superfluous carnage to it.

    Blowing up V'Ger, even from the inside, may call for a bigger bang than blowing up Kruge's boarding party. But one definitely doesn't want to blow up any adjoining planets in either case, those being rather vital for survival of self (and, in the former case, of billions of other folks who presumably deserve to live).

    What we're missing out is accidents where the clever and capable autodestruct automaton fails to do its careful regulating, and we get everything the onboard antimatter is capable of giving. The E-D blows up by accident often enough, never taking any planets with her. Assorted adversary vessels also explode supposedly uncontrollably, and those don't play supernova, either. Is this thus nevertheless a case of the machinery doing its job? That is, a starship in her death throes always manages to operate the most vital failsafes, those protecting the antimatter containment, so that only the minuscule amount of the stuff in the actual reactor goes kaboom and merely yields a few gigatons of blast at worst, but generally actually much less?

    Timo Saloniemi
  4. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 18, 2019
    I remember reading about different procedures - the antimatter pods can be jettisoned before to minimize the blast, and the code "000 destruct 0" is one of several auto destruct modes
  5. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Dec 27, 2018
    Back On The Shelf
    I think the best example of a matter/antimatter explosion for ship self-destruct was the Orion Raider ship in Journey to Babel. Shown during its self-destruct in the original broadcast, we see the following sequence:
    1. Bright flash of light.
    2. The start of an expanding ball of superheated gas and plasma (the remains of the physical matter of the ship) moving at hypersonic speeds (in the vacuum of space, there is no atmosphere or dirt to push out of the way, so, no mushroom cloud.) The lighter gases will move faster than the heavier elements.
    3. The ball of superheated gas continues to expand and diffuse.
    4. The ball expands to a large cloud of heated gases.
    5. The cloud of gas cools (no glow) and continues to expand and diffuse into invisible gases and small, re-solidified droplets of matter.
    6. Aside for a general composition analysis of the debris (gases and droplets), no physical hardware or equipment survives the self-destruct event making identification of the origin of the ship a mystery.
    Phaser Two likes this.
  6. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 18, 2017
    The clinic located by the Q Continuum
    It'd make for one heck of a series finale, wouldn't it? Amazed they didn't think of that for season 3. Shh, don't get a space/time machine from the local dealership...

    But the ol' theory of matter/antimatter prevailing being integral to the ship's power, it does sell rather nicely how much power is necessary to create and maintain warp drive, life support, gravity plating, the rec room's 200' wide TV screen for everybody to watch Oprah and Phil on with their jaws dropped and drool oozing out, etc, etc...
    Henoch and Phaser Two like this.
  7. Push The Button

    Push The Button Commodore Commodore

    Feb 21, 2013
    Putnam, Connecticut USA
    We’re talking about a multi-hydrogen bomb sized boom. The Constellation’s impulse engines on overload were equivalent to a 97.835 MT explosion, so a warp core going bad would be much much worse.
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    One ferry ride from Starfleet HQ
    No, Scotty didn't say "all" of V'ger, he just said they'd take the Intruder with them when they went. If the blast were big enough to completely vaporize V'ger a big part of that blast is going to hit the Earth. If not, big chunks o' V'ger mighta gone crashing down on the Earth. A Pyrrhic victory anyway, since I doubt Earthlings woulda survived either event.

    Not that I believe Scotty was right. I mean, V'ger could wink out photon torpedoes at dozens of A.U.s distance, and I bet it would sense such an explosive reaction instantly and contain it. "Knowledge that spans this universe" and all that.
  9. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 7, 2013
    New York State
    The impossibly enormous Big Bad is always invincible, until it's not. :)
  10. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 7, 2014
    It's bad until it faces Big Jim and the boys!!! :techman:
  11. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 22, 2005
    As V'Ger had, IIRC, already deployed devices around Earth, either the detonation would also destroy Earth, or Scotty presumed destroying V'Ger would shut down the devices.