Things You Won't See in Star Trek-For Dramatic Reasons (and sometimes costs)

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Samuel, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was reading an article about things that based on what we've seen in the Star Trek universe would make lots of sense but mainly for dramatic reasons and sometimes costs we will never see on a regular basis in any Star Trek series. F

    1) Faster shuttlecraft- Given the technology we've seen in Star Trek there is no reason shuttlecraft couldn't zip to their destination in a fraction of the time often seen in the shows. But we won't see that. Why? Becau se the point of the shuttles is often to isolate a handful of characters for extended dialogue.

    2) A transporter room right next to the bridge. Same reason. The "turbolift ride, long walk down the corridor" to the Transporter Room again serves to provide characters a chance to converse.

    3) Combat Information Center instead of the bridge. Aboard real U.S. naval ships (and those of other nations) most of the "action" regarding command decisions takes place in the CIC with only a couple of low ranking people on the bridge that steer the ship. This won't happen in a Trek series for a couple of reasons. The "combat" in the term CIC and the fact that making it separate from the bridge would move two major character positions away from the action.

    4) Remote probes used as effectively as they should be. Realistically, there should never be a landing party waving around tricorders taking readings much less taking air, water, and soil samples. Automated probes could do it effectively even today. For that matter why even bother with probes? The transporter is perfectly capable of beaming up soil, air, and water samples into shield containers aboard ship.

    5) Ships scanners being used realistically. There is no possible reason a landing party should be surprised while on a planets surface because the ship should be able to detect any aliens or other threats approaching their position with relative ease.

    6) Transporters being used to the full extent of their shown capabilities. There are all sorts of things that the transporters can do which would eliminate things seen onscreen. For example why have a shuttlebay with big doors (a vulnerability)? As ,,mentioned in the third season Q episode, the shuttles can simply be beamed back in to the shuttle bay. And presumably out as well. Likewise there is probably no reason to have something like photon torpedo tubes (another vulnerability). The transporter should be able to transport the torpedoes into space (inside the shield bubble) and let them go from there.

    7) Speaking of photon torpedoes, I doubt you will ever see there tactical capabilities fully explored. But in the modern Trek era they are apparently the most powerful weapon starships have and apparently are both extremely long range (they can reach ships traveling at warp speed) and warp capable. Forget phasers lancing out in ship to ship battles. Each Federation ship should be simply packed with massive loads of torpedoes and fired en masse.

    8) Powered exo skeletons or spacesuits. This is one of those technologies that Starfleet SHOULD have given the other tech levels seen. Think of how many times crewmembers lives might've been saved if they had some kind of powered exo skeleton with built in armor.

    But aside from the dramatic reasons this one is strictly cost. I seem to recall a prop designer a few years ago saying that (paraphrased) "if I could build something like that which would look functional onscreen and it worked, I could probably forget working for Paramount and simply sell them to the Pentagon".
     
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There is a transporter in Ops.

    And so the ship can't fire torpedos or launch a shuttle when the transporters go down? No thanks.
     
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  3. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have to disagree with your phrasing on 5). There are any number of possible reasons this could happen. But I agree it shouldn't happen anywhere near as often as it does.

    6) Emphatically agree. The transporter is so inconsistent with the rest of Trek tech that it should be a game-breaker every time it's used. The only reason it isn't a game-breaker is that apparently none of the characters can be bothered to really use it. The transporter is depicted like a functional pickup truck that's owned by a bunch of cavemen. The cavemen have seen it work and are capable of learning the controls and using it to haul firewood, gather fruit, run down game, etc. — but inexplicably they aren't interested in anything other than using the cigarette lighter to keep their campfire going.

    Beam fifty photon torpedoes at the enemy ship at once. Can't beam through shields? No problem — beam all fifty to the same spot right outside their shield perimeter, set them off simultaneously, and see how well their shields hold up. Then do it again.

    Can't do the above due to "evasive maneuvers"? Fine, then beam fifty torpedoes to different spots in a globe pattern around the enemy and let them all home in on it at once. "Evade this!"

    If you can see an enemy attack approaching, then you have time for the transporter to beam a physical structure between you and him to intercept the shot before it gets anywhere near your shields. It may not be a perfect defense, but it'd cut down on enemy firepower quite a bit.

    The author James Hogan once mentioned that having teleportation technology but still being dependent on torpedoes is like trundling the gunpowder up to the besieged castle walls on foot instead of bothering to invent a cannon. He said something like, "Just send the energy. The ability to materialize the equivalent of a fifty-megaton blast at any location you choose, out of nowhere, with no physical delivery system and no way to tell where it came from, is more worthy of a futuristic technology."

    Although I do have to agree with Tosk that eliminating shuttle doors, torpedo tubes, etc. and being totally dependent on the transporter is too risky. At least keep those things as backup.
     
  4. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How often do we see complete failures of transporters on Star Trek though? They seem to work even when the rest of the ships literally falling apart.
     
  5. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Often enough to be dramatic.

    Would you allow your house to be completely electric? As in, if the power goes out you cannot get in or out.
     
  6. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A new development of the A-plot usually occurs after a nice, tidy, self-contained chunk of exposition that ties into the background (e.g. Captain Janeway explains some aspect of 'the human condition' to Seven, and 1 second after she is done, an enemy vessel appears out of nowhere and she is called to the bridge). Or the Borg, that were kind enough to time their magnetometric guided salvo's exactly after Picard and Guinan had essentially finished their Meaningful Conversation about how "as long as there's a handful of you to keep the spirit alive, you will prevail", not three minutes earlier or later when he's strolling through some random corridor.

    Unless, of course, they really want to make a point of it they were surprised in the middle of doing something else (which is sometimes, but not that often).

    Not meant as criticism, since it usually is best for the pacing of the episode. Just an observation that in-universe events often time out that way :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Reposted from another thread, but...

    Telekenetic superpowers (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren"), instant teleportion almost anywhere (ST'09/ID) via commbadge-sized transporter (NEM), users can control their age (TNG: "Rascals") and are cured of all illness (TNG: "Unnatural Selection") with every transport, who reverse death with Borg nanoprobe technology (VOY: "Mortal Coil"), and who can also duplicate themselves at will (TNG: "Second Chances") and beam between universes (DS9: "Through the Looking Glass") and even through time (DS9: "Past Tense") if they so desire.

    Halfway to a Q. It wouldn't be much like any Star Trek we know, but it would be interesting to say the least.
     
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  8. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TBH, while Trek has repeatedly shown it's possible to beam torpedoes and their warheads, given the they're filled with antimatter that should neither be possible (and even if it was) a really, really bad idea.

    I mean, they sent Data over in a shuttle for a McGuffin that didn't like being shaken. Antimatter? The most volatile substance in the universe? Nah. Makes no sense.
     
  9. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Antimatter is not especially volatile in real life. If you go by the animated series transporters are in fact how you mine antimatter.
     
  10. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Commodore Commodore

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    Voyager beamed torpedoes all the time, except when it would have made sense. It certainly is possible, even plausible, that a refined version of the transporter can be developed for launching torpedoes.
     
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  11. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Didn't the Eminarans in "A Taste of Armageddon" supposedly use something like a transporter based weapons system? I remember Kirk asking the woman while Vendikar was attacking about the weapons being used and she said

    "fusion bombs. materializing over their targets". Now of course they were actually fighting their war via computer but I assume that the "fusion bombs, materializing over their targets" was in fact the weapons they would've been using if they had been fighting a "real" war.
     
  12. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    That you can beam antimatter was established in the TOS episode "Obsession." So no problem there.
     
  13. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It literally destroys everything it comes in contact with. A sphere the size of a golf ball will wipe out a small country. Your only hope is to ionize it and hold it in a magnetic field. Name a substance more volatile in real life.

    And the entire USS Voyager was once beamed while carrying tons of the stuff. Nobody said beaming antimatter wasn't canon. My point is that it doesn't make a lot of sense when there are (also within canon) other materials which are unsafe to transport. If you can beam AM you should be able to beam anything. If there are other things you cannot beam, you should not be able to beam AM.

    And if you can beam AM, you should (as was argued above) be beaming weapons as often as you launch them. The only reason why you wouldn't is if A) interference prevents beaming B) launched weapons have greater range than the transporters, so ships in combat tend to stay outside of transport range while taking shots at each other. Which...might be the case.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  14. Kemaiku

    Kemaiku Admiral Admiral

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    The total amount of antimatter ever produced by humans so far, if collected together, would have the explosive force of a standard grenade.

    It's explosive potential is exaggerated by science fiction. It is dangerous yes, but don't take Star Trek as an accurate demonstration of that.
     
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  15. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    Don't forget these were all theoretical or pretend weapons. They were waging war via computer simulation.

    Beaming a torpedo makes it more like a mine than a torpedo. Not that there is a problem with that. A torpedo will need to accelerate. Beaming a torpedo might be problematic as it would delay the process of having the torpedo lock on target and then accelerate toward the target.

    Photon torpedo strength has been inconsistently depicted across Trek and fandom.

    I've heard the argument about having moments for dialog exposition while walking to or from the transporter room, but how often have we seen that on screen? Usually they are talking in the transporter room. And, as noted, DS9 had the transporter in Ops.

    Battlestar Galactica worked just fine with a CIC room instead of the bridge.

    Orrville seems to be doing fine with fast shuttlecraft.
     
  16. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not necessarily true. Dr. Robert L. Forward said that while the energy released by antimatter annihilation would be huge, much of that energy is in exotic particles that won't necessarily interact with conventional matter. He believe it would be impossible to create an "antimatter bomb" that had more explosive force than a comparably massed fusion bomb.

    Of course if you want to make them really work you would say the photon torpedoes are not "pure matter/antimatter bombs" but fusion explosives that use antimatter to jumpstart the fusion reaction. this would actually make the torpedoes much closer to what we see onscreen.

    In regards to a Transporter being able to transport an entire shuttle or starship, wasn't the entire Enterprise in "That Which Survives" put through a transporter, transmitted more than 800 light years away (in only SECONDS!!) and then reassembled as slightly out of phase?

    Finally anyone remember the novel "Koboyashi Maru"? In Scotty's Koboyashi Maru test he used the transporters to destroy 14 of the 17 Klingon cruisers he wiped out in the simulation. Though technically he cheated with the last fleet of 9 cruisers.
     
  17. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One thing I like about Orville is not adding transporters to their universe. Makes it so they don't need an excuse not to be able to rescue their crew members trapped on the planet with a flick of the wrist. You know that was a deliberate choice probably for that exact reason since they took every other damn thing from Trek.

    I agree with all the cases they add conceits to put all the crew members in the same place, talking to each other, in their carefully aesthetically designed normal uniforms.

    Shuttlecrafts really should be slower than the main vessels, given the way the universe is related to us. But, when a craft is moving in space it should be too fast to track with the naked eye. Can't have that on a TV show, obviously.
     
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  18. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Will we ever get a holodeck story were they malfunction but nothing bad happens? All the person does inside is basically listen to music or chit chat with a friend using his/her comm badge to pass the time until someone fixes the problem and opens the doors.


    Jason
     
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  19. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    The NX-01 had one during the Xindi story.
     
  20. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Do not recall it as I only watched Enterprise intermittently