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Thread: Nit-picking Star Trek

  1. #1
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    Nit-picking Star Trek

    This thread is just me nit-picking on my soapbox about Star Trek:

    1. From the many away teams sent down to planets, it's clear that almost all planets exhibit the same gravitational force as earth (i.e., I only saw one expisode of DS9 in which an individual aboard was from a planet whose G force was substantially lower than on earth.)

    2. Almost all alien life (being very elaborate) is conveniently patterned after the earth human (being rather dull in comparison.) That is, if Commander Riker had to disguise himself as a Klingon it would be rather simple, put on some prosthetics and voila! On the other hand, if a Ferengi wished to disguise himself as a human he would have to undergo major reconstructive surgery (although, I think "deconstrictive surgery" is a better term.)

    3. Why do all ships (good or bad) seem to be playing on the same two-dimentional "playing field" if you will. Example: The Enterprise approaches an alien vessel on the same two-dimensional plane (and head-on, mind you); or when the Enterprise is fleeing from a Borg cube or other [bad-guy] ship, the chase is always two-dimensional. Why doesn't Captain Picard just alter his course to flee "upwards" 10 degrees or so. This would surely throw a curve ball at the bad-guys because suddenly the Enterprise would not be visible. Damn that third dimension! :wink: (However, I believe that the last episode of Next Generation had Riker flying Enterprise E [from the future, I think] and he managed to overcome his two-dimensional mind by attacking the bad guys from "below.")

    4. Humans are the most clear-speaking race in the Universe. When other species speak, their teeth are so big and cumbersome that it sounds coincidentally the same as if they have fake prop teeth in their mouth.

    5. I would think that various Earth ethnicities are unique to earth ONLY (e.g., African, European, Asian, etc.) But clearly I am wrong. For example; we know that Tuvoc, the Black Vulcan on Voyager, is not from earth, but he clearly has all the traits and characteristics of a human of African descent (with the exception of his pointy ears.)

    6. Almost all aliens within a race share the same hair style and that hair style is a universal constant, i.e., it never changes (e.g., Romulans and Vulcans (with the exception of Tuvoc as his hair is is not straight like other Vulcans :wink: ) etc.) The Human race is the only species where individuals have varied hair styles (and their hair-style happens to always coincide with the hairstyles at the time of production :wink: .)

    7. Whenever Data's head was opened up, I always wondered what was with those colored, blinking LEDs. What purpose did they serve? Could he not have been manufactured without blinking LEDs? This is akin to the original series in which computers (aside from being big like the ENIAC and having a lame monotone echoing voice) had big blinking incandescent light bulbs. Did those light bulbs really serve a purpose?

    8. Before Wesley Crusher became an ensign, he was just a regular civilian aboard the ship. One would assume that civilians wore civilian attire. If Wesley did wear civilian clothes, why the hell did he wear the same jumpsuit day in and day out? (You know, that grey jumpsuit with a rainbow stripe across the front.) If he were living today and wore that same jumpsuit everyday, he would get made fun of all the time. Also, why did he always seem to hang out with all of the younger kids (was he the only kid his age on the ship?)

    9. Why are Vulcans from Vulcan?; Romulans from Romulus?; Acamarians from Acamar?; Kaelonians from Kaelon?; Ramatisians from Ramatis? etc., etc. Yet humans are from earth?

    10. Why exactly is there no time dilation in Star Trek

    And finally, there is a telltale way to know if an unknown species is good or bad. All Gene Roddenberry had to do was utilize some of George Lucas' [Star Wars] casting styles. That way, if Captain Janeway encountered an unknown alien species, she would know in an instant if that species was inherently good or bad simply by the accent with which they spoke, i.e., in the Universe of George Lucas, all bad guys speak with a British accent. :wink: Such a simple, yet vital way, to survive in the Universe. I don't know why Roddenberry didn't do this.

    Thanks for reading. This was all in good fun.

  2. #2
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    My six year old son Lukas recently complained about that the ships are always nicely lit from one side even they are supposed to be in deep space with no star nearby.

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    Kucharek, you can tell your son that every (important) starship has (at least) one cameraship along (like the small fish that leads/follows the shark while being pinned to its belly), which has a huge (HUGE) floodlight.
    Now you probably wonder why we never see such a cameraship, but that's of course because they aren't floodlighted (obviously), and as we are in deep space, you cannot see them. QED. I thought everyone knew this? It's like every police car being followed by at least one TV helicopter.

    Smart kid, by the way...

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    To quote MST3K, "Just repeat to yourself it's just a show; I should really just relax."

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    There was one early TNG episode, in which Riker said, when viewing a breached hull: "They were all sucked into space!" and Data corrects him with "Blown, Sir. Common mistake."
    That was a goodie.

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    1: most earthlike planets have earthlike gravity perhaps? Or, it is easier to make the episode like that.

    2: I think many of the species of humanoids are related in some fashion, though it is rather weird. Of course, it would be more complex to make the series if all aliens were, well, completely alien... And I guess it is much simpler for people watching the show to relate to something more or less humanoid. We really do not have any experience with extra terrestrial life to base characters on...

    3. It is easier, I guess.

    4. Well, the actors are human, it is easier to add features than remove... The alternative is to use animatronics, animation or CGI. These can be good, but likely harder and more expensive to do in a convincing manner.

    5. Se 2.

    6. Fashion slaves? :P :wink:

    7. I guess the lights in Data’s head are supposed to be indicator lights, some devices have LEDs inside to help in diagnosing faults. As for the blinkenlights on the computers, they are there to look cool, electronic computers are rather abstract in a way, you really can not see them doing anything much, just sitting there, so fitting some lamps makes it more impressive.

    8. He probably had many of those suits, and since when is it required of nerds to follow what the mainstream thinks of as fashion anyway? :P
    I think you are correct, Wesley were the oldest kid on the ship, and on a starship far out in space, I guess you have to find friends among the people there. Actually, I don't think we saw all that much of the children at all unless it was required for the episode, like when Data made Lal, or the children were abducted(Wesley seemed to look out for them though).

    9. Perhaps the humans give the home worlds name after the people living there(or the other way around), we wouldn't know, the universal translator translates names too.

    10. Well, they compensate for the effect of acceleration, so I guess that must affect time dilation as well... There is no apparent aberration or Doppler shifting either.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kucharek
    My six year old son Lukas recently complained about that the ships are always nicely lit from one side even they are supposed to be in deep space with no star nearby.
    I remember doing exactly the same thing as a kid (namely when the Enterprise was travelling very fast.)

    On Earth we are used to seeing moving objects (a car) always being illuminated from a constant, unchanging light source (the Sun.)

    A non-critically-thinking person would assume the same thing would happen in space, that is, we see a moving object (the Enterprise travelling faster than the speed of light passing through millions of stars) always being illuminated from a constant, unchanging light source (?? who knows what ??)

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    Re: Nit-picking Star Trek

    This thread is just me nit-picking on my soapbox about Star Trek:

    1. From the many away teams sent down to planets, it's clear that almost all planets exhibit the same gravitational force as earth (i.e., I only saw one episode of DS9 in which an individual aboard was from a planet whose G force was substantially lower than on earth.)
    The explanation I've heard is a copout but it's something. They usually are headed to 'Class M' planets which are shockingly similar to Earth - similar size, climate, atmosphere etc... that explains the similar gravity

    2. Almost all alien life (being very elaborate) is conveniently patterned after the earth human (being rather dull in comparison.) That is, if Commander Riker had to disguise himself as a Klingon it would be rather simple, put on some prosthetics and voila! On the other hand, if a Ferengi wished to disguise himself as a human he would have to undergo major reconstructive surgery (although, I think "deconstrictive surgery" is a better term.)
    2 explanations for this one...
    1. The show explained this in the last season of TNG - a now extinct race seeded the 'primordial soup' of countless worlds throughout the galaxy with their DNA resulting in the similarities between the species
    2. In a weekly show, it gets pretty expensive do anything too creative. CG is cheaper, but still looks a little off and probably puts a serious increase production time. So it's more practical to just slap the bumpy head makeup on someone

    3. Why do all ships (good or bad) seem to be playing on the same two-dimensional "playing field" if you will. Example: The Enterprise approaches an alien vessel on the same two-dimensional plane (and head-on, mind you); or when the Enterprise is fleeing from a Borg cube or other [bad-guy] ship, the chase is always two-dimensional. Why doesn't Captain Picard just alter his course to flee "upwards" 10 degrees or so. This would surely throw a curve ball at the bad-guys because suddenly the Enterprise would not be visible. Damn that third dimension! :wink: (However, I believe that the last episode of Next Generation had Riker flying Enterprise E [from the future, I think] and he managed to overcome his two-dimensional mind by attacking the bad guys from "below.")
    They sort of cover this in Wrath of Khan (if you haven't seen it by now you probably aren't gonna but - there are spoilers ahead)
    In climax where a seriously damaged Enterprise is engaged with Khan's ship, Spock tells Kirk that Khan's tactics indicate 'two-dimensional' thinking. Kirk moves the ship a few hundred meters 'below' Khan's and manages to land the needed shots to force Khan activate his ship's self-destruct in a desperate move to kill Kirk

    4. Humans are the most clear-speaking race in the Universe. When other species speak, their teeth are so big and cumbersome that it sounds coincidentally the same as if they have fake prop teeth in their mouth.
    I've never really noticed over sized teeth before so I can't comment on this one...

    5. I would think that various Earth ethnicities are unique to earth ONLY (e.g., African, European, Asian, etc.) But clearly I am wrong. For example; we know that Tuvoc, the Black Vulcan on Voyager, is not from earth, but he clearly has all the traits and characteristics of a human of African descent (with the exception of his pointy ears.)
    This kinda, sorta, fits with my answer for your second point. Some of the same DNA is floating around both species so maybe that explains it(?)

    6. Almost all aliens within a race share the same hair style and that hair style is a universal constant, i.e., it never changes (e.g., Romulans and Vulcans (with the exception of Tuvoc as his hair is is not straight like other Vulcans :wink: ) etc.) The Human race is the only species where individuals have varied hair styles (and their hair-style happens to always coincide with the hairstyles at the time of production :wink: .)
    I'm not sure about this one. We only see a few species consistently. The Vulcans who have adopted a simple, easy to maintain hair style (logic, not vanity based) The Klingons we see are in the military and if you were to look at a the many men and women in the military to day you would see pretty similar hair cuts - the sexes have different cuts, but among the men they are all pretty close, same with the women

    7. Whenever Data's head was opened up, I always wondered what was with those colored, blinking LEDs. What purpose did they serve? Could he not have been manufactured without blinking LEDs? This is akin to the original series in which computers (aside from being big like the ENIAC and having a lame monotone echoing voice) had big blinking incandescent light bulbs. Did those light bulbs really serve a purpose?
    Just my speculation, but maybe they were a quick indicator of how Data was functioning? Maybe someone notices Data is a bit flakey, they open him up and can tell by the LEDs if everything is ok? Or maybe Soong just liked pretty lights - don't all tech-geeks like cool looking LEDs? ;-)

    8. Before Wesley Crusher became an ensign, he was just a regular civilian aboard the ship. One would assume that civilians wore civilian attire. If Wesley did wear civilian clothes, why the hell did he wear the same jumpsuit day in and day out? (You know, that grey jumpsuit with a rainbow stripe across the front.) If he were living today and wore that same jumpsuit everyday, he would get made fun of all the time. Also, why did he always seem to hang out with all of the younger kids (was he the only kid his age on the ship?)
    I thought the same thing... maybe Wes was just a spaz and all the older 'cool' kids did, indeed make fun of him. Forcing Wesley to hang with the younger kids. It might also have helped Wes maintain is illusion of superiority... He could tell himself he is smarter than all his friends since he was the only one old enough to go to school

    9. Why are Vulcans from Vulcan?; Romulans from Romulus?; Acamarians from Acamar?; Kaelonians from Kaelon?; Ramatisians from Ramatis? etc., etc. Yet humans are from earth?
    Ya got me there... no idea. Maybe just to keep things simple? Although Klingons are from Quo-nos (sp?)


    10. Why exactly is there no time dilation in Star Trek
    I'm sure there is a technobable explanation but I think this is has something to do with the way Warp engines work.


    And finally, there is a telltale way to know if an unknown species is good or bad. All Gene Roddenberry had to do was utilize some of George Lucas' [Star Wars] casting styles. That way, if Captain Janeway encountered an unknown alien species, she would know in an instant if that species was inherently good or bad simply by the accent with which they spoke, i.e., in the Universe of George Lucas, all bad guys speak with a British accent. :wink: Such a simple, yet vital way, to survive in the Universe. I don't know why Roddenberry didn't do this. Thanks for reading. This was all in good fun.

    I has a similar feeling when I saw Fellowship of the Ring.

    The second I saw Christopher Lee (Sauron) coming out to meet Gandolph I knew something was hinkey. How did it never occur to Gandolph that his mentor/buddy looked just like Dracula?! ;-)

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    -Why is it that they have to have a transporter pad to beam down to a planet, but no such need of the technology to beam up from something.
    -Why is it that every other aline race, other than humans, also have a single character trait. Romulans are always spy like. Klingons, war like. Yet humans are a mix of everything.
    -Why is it that when a panel goes all kablooey does the person who was at it fly across the room? Why cant they just die in their chair?
    -

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    In climax where a seriously damaged Enterprise is engaged with Khan's ship, Spock tells Kirk that Khan's tactics indicate 'two-dimensional' thinking. Kirk moves the ship a few hundred meters 'below' Khan's and manages to land the needed shots to force Khan activate his ship's self-destruct in a desperate move to kill Kirk
    Nitpick, TimH. . . Kahn doesn't activate the ship's self-destruct mechanism. He activates the Genesis device.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey
    -Why is it that they have to have a transporter pad to beam down to a planet, but no such need of the technology to beam up from something.
    As far as can be determined transporters disintegrate a person at one end and reform them at the other. That implies that somewhere, there has to be a part of the system that sucks all the matter from the last person going out and stores it until its necessary to reconstitute the next person coming in (hmm there's a good story there). Transporters are evil and one of the primary reasons why the Federation should be destroyed.

    Why is it that every other alien race, other than humans, also have a single character trait. Romulans are always spy like. Klingons, war like. Yet humans are a mix of everything.
    Its called a brain-bug. (a term coined by the inestimable Michael Wong - to whom we raise our hats). The show can't absorb more than one idea per species so a single factor gets to absorb everything else. Thus, the Ferengi (actually the only "good guys" in the Star Trek universe) are depicted the way they are. The "brain bug" absorbed the idea of a capitalist society and then (translating it into the prevailing Marxist ethos of Star Trek on the way) to become the sole and only characteristic of that race.

    Why is it that when a panel goes all kablooey does the person who was at it fly across the room? Why cant they just die in their chair?
    -
    A better question might be, if they are close enough to the explosion to be blown across the room, why aren't they blown into a random collection of steaks, chops, rump roasts and spare ribs that get sprayed across the compartment?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart
    A better question might be, if they are close enough to the explosion to be blown across the room, why aren't they blown into a random collection of steaks, chops, rump roasts and spare ribs that get sprayed across the compartment?
    I think I can answer this with just one word:

    Eeeeyoooooo!!!

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    -The room lights, computers and the warp drive draw from the same power source. They always work or quit in unisono.
    -Despite the ships are that big, when the environmental control systems (ECS) fail, they are doomed to die within a few minutes
    -Either the ECS is a real energy sucker or the shields, weapons or propulsion systems don't need very much energy. When these systems are in danger to go down, they often redirect energy from the ECS to these. Switch off a few lights and voilá, there is enough energy for a good fight.
    -Computer consoles are run with at least 5000V so they give nice sparks when hit.
    -I guess, it's not necessary to mention that no seatbelts exist in the Trek universe.

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    - New encounters and unusual phenomena always happen during the main shift when all of the important characters are awake.

    - The transporter can lock on and transport people from thousands of kilometers away - so why does everyone walk to the transport room to beam down?

    - Why doesn't the ship have more then 2 main weapons? You'd think they'd diversify their arsenal from just phasers and photon torpedos after (yet another) encounter where neither of the weapons were effective.

    - Why do some hand-held phasers have that handle that makes them look like small machine guns? It's not like anyone ever rapid-fires a phaser.

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    Re: Nit-picking Star Trek

    Quote Originally Posted by mathyou9
    1. From the many away teams sent down to planets, it's clear that almost all planets exhibit the same gravitational force as earth (i.e., I only saw one expisode of DS9 in which an individual aboard was from a planet whose G force was substantially lower than on earth.)
    Production limitations. There's really no way to simulate significantly lower or higher gravity without it looking really cheesy and/or costing a fortune. And even if you suceeded, you'd just end up confusing the less bright viewers.
    Quote Originally Posted by mathyou9
    2. Almost all alien life (being very elaborate) is conveniently patterned after the earth human (being rather dull in comparison.) That is, if Commander Riker had to disguise himself as a Klingon it would be rather simple, put on some prosthetics and voila! On the other hand, if a Ferengi wished to disguise himself as a human he would have to undergo major reconstructive surgery (although, I think "deconstrictive surgery" is a better term.)
    Because that's a cheap and easy way to make an 'alien' - slap some prostetics on a human. And it gives the advantage of letting the actors still portray facial expressions and give good acting performances. Of course, the fact that all aliens seem to have human-recognizable facial expressions is also pretty stupid.

    It's hard to make truly alien characters who can hold their own as compelling characters without looking cheesy. Farscape managed it, sort of, by using some fancy puppets and animatronics. They still looked like puppets. CGI is just starting to work well enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathyou9
    4. Humans are the most clear-speaking race in the Universe. When other species speak, their teeth are so big and cumbersome that it sounds coincidentally the same as if they have fake prop teeth in their mouth.
    Well, of course. The show is broadcast in English. I bet that when humans speak Klingon, the native Klingons think our pronunciation is awful.
    Quote Originally Posted by mathyou9
    7. Whenever Data's head was opened up, I always wondered what was with those colored, blinking LEDs. What purpose did they serve? Could he not have been manufactured without blinking LEDs? This is akin to the original series in which computers (aside from being big like the ENIAC and having a lame monotone echoing voice) had big blinking incandescent light bulbs. Did those light bulbs really serve a purpose?
    Probably. I design electronics for a living, and on my boards I like to stick small LEDs in here and there tied to various status and clock likes for diagnostic purposes. They help with troubleshooting, and look pretty.
    Quote Originally Posted by mathyou9
    8. Before Wesley Crusher became an ensign, he was just a regular civilian aboard the ship. One would assume that civilians wore civilian attire. If Wesley did wear civilian clothes, why the hell did he wear the same jumpsuit day in and day out? (You know, that grey jumpsuit with a rainbow stripe across the front.)
    In the enlightened socialist utopia of the Federation, everyone wears the clothing that the Federation scientists have determined is the most efficient design. Wanting to have more than one outfit is outmoded, barbaric 20th-century thinking. Doubleplus ungood.
    Quote Originally Posted by mathyou9
    10. Why exactly is there no time dilation in Star Trek
    They never get close to the speed of light. It may look like they do from the outside, but the ship is travelling at low speed relative to its own spacetime. The warp drive moves the bubble of spacetime surrounding the ship relative to the outside universe. Ok, so it doesn't actually make sense, but that's the explanation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey
    -Why is it that they have to have a transporter pad to beam down to a planet, but no such need of the technology to beam up from something.
    hmmm... Apparently, transporting can go between two transporters(between ships for example), from a transporter to a location("beaming down"), from location to transporter("beaming up"), or from a location via a transporter to another location(Beam up directly to the bridge)... If you can put something together at the location, you can likely take it apart too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey
    -Why is it that every other aline race, other than humans, also have a single character trait. Romulans are always spy like. Klingons, war like. Yet humans are a mix of everything.
    Their societies are based on certain rules, the followers of Romulus came from a relatively small group that probably had to work in secret and with stealth before leaving the Vulcans, so it likely affected their ideology, the Klingon society is probably based on the fact that they are a very warlike people by nature. We are with the humans most of the time, so we do not get to see many nuances in the societies. It is easy to jump to conclusions about a group, humans do this all the time, for example by seeing an enemy as inherently vicious and warlike.

    I would think some people in the star trek universe think of humans as obnoxiously curious people that always stick their nose in where it does not belong

    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey
    -Why is it that when a panel goes all kablooey does the person who was at it fly across the room? Why cant they just die in their chair?
    -
    I guess it is done to get the feeling of danger across to the viewer, perhaps it was seen as to boring with just some people standing there reading up information. I don't really know what currents can be made by being hit by phaser fire or torpedoes. Of course they could have over voltage and current protection, but perhaps it is like with lightning, the power in a direct(or near direct) hit to a cable or device can be powerful enough to take out other things on the circuit and connected to a device on that circuit, protections or none. The whole throwing around bit is probably done for dramatic effect…

    Several of these things are not unikely Star Trek problems either, many movies and series seem to do such things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriangleMan
    - Why do some hand-held phasers have that handle that makes them look like small machine guns? It's not like anyone ever rapid-fires a phaser.
    Another, better, question might be why are all Star Trek weapons designed so that its impossible to aim them? I was recently at the "Star Trek Experience" show in the Las Vegas Hilton and they had a display case of all the Star Trek personal weapons. There's not one there that can be properly sighted.

    I must admit, I'm fiddling around with a story set in a different timeline where a 25th century descendent of Strategic Air Command unleashes its bombers on the Federation. The idea of showing Starfleet's techno-hippies what real weapons operated by real military personnel can do is enticing.

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    I'd love to read that Stuart.


    ---------------------


    I just still have a problem believeing that there is echnology required to scan, dissasemble, and sort moleculesd in a person from a trasnporter pad, but to re-integrate them all they need is a open area. No technology required.

    Then to remove them from that area they need none of the process from the beam down. It cannot be that they simply destroy the beamed down clone and make a new clone from memory storage since the experiences gained during the mission travel with the clone.

    Well unless the clone on the planet is scanned for all gained knoledge and physical changes. Then they are destroyed. The transporter then takes this information, integrates it into a new clone and materializes that. Thats possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey
    I'd love to read that Stuart.
    It isn't up yet and won't be for some time (its one or two down the list of stories to be posted). However, the story that establishes the timeline is called The Big One and can be found Here

    Its followed by "The Great Game" and there's another story in the work area called "Crusade" that's going into the library shortly. In addition there are a number of short stories in the same timeline that flesh out the world and introduce a variety of characters and concepts.

    The latest story "The High Frontier" has just started; it deals with the establishment of the first space stations

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    Re: Nit-picking Star Trek

    2. Almost all alien life (being very elaborate) is conveniently patterned after the earth human (being rather dull in comparison.) That is, if Commander Riker had to disguise himself as a Klingon it would be rather simple, put on some prosthetics and voila! On the other hand, if a Ferengi wished to disguise himself as a human he would have to undergo major reconstructive surgery (although, I think "deconstrictive surgery" is a better term.)
    The thing I thought was the most funny, particularly with ST:NG and after, was that the evolution seemed to mostly impact noses and ears.


    Quote Originally Posted by kucharek
    I guess, it's not necessary to mention that no seatbelts exist in the Trek universe.
    Seatbelts! Heck, they didn't usually bother to bolt the chairs to the floor!
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart
    Quote Originally Posted by TriangleMan
    - Why do some hand-held phasers have that handle that makes them look like small machine guns? It's not like anyone ever rapid-fires a phaser.
    Another, better, question might be why are all Star Trek weapons designed so that its impossible to aim them? I was recently at the "Star Trek Experience" show in the Las Vegas Hilton and they had a display case of all the Star Trek personal weapons. There's not one there that can be properly sighted.

    I must admit, I'm fiddling around with a story set in a different timeline where a 25th century descendent of Strategic Air Command unleashes its bombers on the Federation. The idea of showing Starfleet's techno-hippies what real weapons operated by real military personnel can do is enticing.
    The problem is that realistically all hand weapons in star trek would have a high certainty of hitting the designated target(I say designated, as they obviously have some sort of auto targeting), but who would watch a bunch of people and aliens being vaporized by phasers/disruptors in the first scene, our heroes being fried by blaster fire before even getting close to the Millennium Falcon, Rambo being spawn killed by some sniper, or what ever?

    Simply put a character is immortal unless the story the writer wants to tell needs the character to die. This can deflect anything, you could make a story about someone flying into a black hole and escaping, and the character would do this, the writer is omnipotent in the reality of his/her creation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrAI
    The problem is that realistically all hand weapons in star trek would have a high certainty of hitting the designated target(I say designated, as they obviously have some sort of auto targeting),
    Obviously??? I would say its very far from obvious - in fact there is no evidence whatsoever of any sort of system of that ilk. Not in the shows, not by inspecting any of the props used. In fact, its possible to say with utmost confidence there is NO auto-targeting.. What there is is concrete, canon evidence that Starfleet personnel are not only tactically inept but they couldn't hit a barn standing inside it. If that's the best they can do with auto-targeting I shudder to think what they are like without it. Far from having a high probabliity of hitting they have no probability of hitting.

    but who would watch a bunch of people and aliens being vaporized by phasers/disruptors in the first scene, our heroes being fried by blaster fire before even getting close to the Millennium Falcon, Rambo being spawn killed by some sniper, or what ever?
    It is perfectly possible to have high accuracy rates and tell a good story. What it means is the people doing the fighting have to behave realistically - ie use cover, fire and manoeuver etc. This would of course preclude the use of standard Starfleet tactics - the commander gives a long, boring, pretentions and pompous speech then the troops wander around in disorganized groups without any sort of operational plan or tactical coordination. I'd pitch a USMC platoon up against a Starfleet ground force any day. The idea of Worf going down riddled with M-16 fire is also enticing. And shooting Commander Sisko would be a service to humanity (the charge could be multiple counts of felony bad acting).

    On a less homicidal note, accurately depicting weaponry means the series producers would actually have to do some work and think out how to do things. That's the real constraint - it isn't "dramatic tension" its sheer laziness on the part of the production staff.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally
    In climax where a seriously damaged Enterprise is engaged with Khan's ship, Spock tells Kirk that Khan's tactics indicate 'two-dimensional' thinking. Kirk moves the ship a few hundred meters 'below' Khan's and manages to land the needed shots to force Khan activate his ship's self-destruct in a desperate move to kill Kirk
    Nitpick, TimH. . . Kahn doesn't activate the ship's self-destruct mechanism. He activates the Genesis device.
    D'OH! *hangs head in shame*

    I'm feeling like I need to turn in my Spock ears. How could I forget that?!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart
    Obviously??? I would say its very far from obvious - in fact there is no evidence whatsoever of any sort of system of that ilk. Not in the shows, not by inspecting any of the props used. In fact, its possible to say with utmost confidence there is NO auto-targeting.. What there is is concrete, canon evidence that Starfleet personnel are not only tactically inept but they couldn't hit a barn standing inside it. If that's the best they can do with auto-targeting I shudder to think what they are like without it. Far from having a high probabliity of hitting they have no probability of hitting.
    That they hit anything at all without really pointing the weapon at the target is why I thought it obvious that the weapon has auto targeting capabilities(If you fire a normal gun, the bullet will go the same way(approximately) each time you fire, the phaser beam does not, it is emitted towards the target). When they miss it is just as much a plot device as when someone some positronic field inversion generators to stop some enemy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart
    It is perfectly possible to have high accuracy rates and tell a good story. What it means is the people doing the fighting have to behave realistically - ie use cover, fire and manoeuver etc. This would of course preclude the use of standard Starfleet tactics - the commander gives a long, boring, pretentions and pompous speech then the troops wander around in disorganized groups without any sort of operational plan or tactical coordination. I'd pitch a USMC platoon up against a Starfleet ground force any day. The idea of Worf going down riddled with M-16 fire is also enticing. And shooting Commander Sisko would be a service to humanity (the charge could be multiple counts of felony bad acting).

    On a less homicidal note, accurately depicting weaponry means the series producers would actually have to do some work and think out how to do things. That's the real constraint - it isn't "dramatic tension" its sheer laziness on the part of the production staff.
    It is perfectly possible to make a realistic story that is good, I am not trying to deny that. It is also possible to make a story that is good but based on completely different rules than in our reality.

    I guess that what I am trying to say is that an organization like Starfleet is likely to have well trained personnel, even if not elite soldiers, they would probably have to go through some weapons training, if they can not hit a barn, that is the rules anyone you write about have to follow, even with extra training it is just so much you can improve before you hit some limiting factor. Of course, consistency is optional in many sci-fi universes it seems, that is one of the problems. perhaps I am just feeling that realism as we think of it is not something that fits with the reality of the star trek universe...

    At least, one can not compare a real reality with a dramatized reality without conversion. Think about it, The Star Trek series is probably to how the Star Trek reality would have been as some similar series with a more current theme was to real reality. Going by series like A-Team you would think most military people of the time could not do much better than Starfleet personnel… You know, the whole apples and oranges stuff

    But, You do seem to have good understanding of all this military stuff and such, so I would think you could write a good story, and some of the Star Trek people could do with some adversity. Just watch out for sly tricks from those Star fleet people like rebuilding people from the last transporter matrix and stuff. :wink:

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrAI
    As for the blinkenlights on the computers, they are there to look cool, electronic computers are rather abstract in a way, you really can not see them doing anything much, just sitting there, so fitting some lamps makes it more impressive.
    Shopping for a new computer case, power supply, etc. a short time ago, I found that they all have lights, some quite elaborate. My "tasteful" one has blue LEDs on the front illuminating the concave surfaces (which also serve no purpose), and the power supply fan is transparent with different colored LEDs set around the rim. The partial reflections change as the blades spin, causing phycodelic additive color effects.

    Open it up and it's worse: cables glow, etc. So, here we are in the 21st century and our computers really do have light shows that are more interesting than anything in any old "B" movie. And they are all just decoration.

    More seriously, open up a PC and there may be a few lights that are only visible from the inside. Status indicator for the motherboard, network, etc. So why not Data's head?

    Or maybe that's all they had at the local Fry's when they were building it.

    --John

  26. #26
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    You talk about case-modding. Maybe in the Trek-universe, android-modding is just en vogue...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by kucharek
    You talk about case-modding. Maybe in the Trek-universe, android-modding is just en vogue...
    Hehe. Seems people like modding stuff, so why not. Though case-mods are done to be visible, so I would think that Data would have a transparent dome if it was done by a case-modder. :wink:

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart
    but who would watch a bunch of people and aliens being vaporized by phasers/disruptors in the first scene, our heroes being fried by blaster fire before even getting close to the Millennium Falcon, Rambo being spawn killed by some sniper, or what ever?
    It is perfectly possible to have high accuracy rates and tell a good story. What it means is the people doing the fighting have to behave realistically - ie use cover, fire and manoeuver etc. This would of course preclude the use of standard Starfleet tactics - the commander gives a long, boring, pretentions and pompous speech then the troops wander around in disorganized groups without any sort of operational plan or tactical coordination. I'd pitch a USMC platoon up against a Starfleet ground force any day. The idea of Worf going down riddled with M-16 fire is also enticing. And shooting Commander Sisko would be a service to humanity (the charge could be multiple counts of felony bad acting).

    On a less homicidal note, accurately depicting weaponry means the series producers would actually have to do some work and think out how to do things. That's the real constraint - it isn't "dramatic tension" its sheer laziness on the part of the production staff.
    I don't get into much Star Trek nit-picking, because it is so easy - where do you start? (And don't get me wrong, there was a lot to like in the first 3 1/2 series, I only hate the last 2.) But the weapon issue is interesting for a couple of reasons. When the original series ran, hand held "ray guns" made sense. But given the technology we see today for weapon automation, in the context of the Star Trek universe, far beyond our existing automation technology, it doesn't make sense at all. Reevalutating the technology based on today's ideas would require a serious rethinking of the whole process - but that would not have "fit" into the original Star Trek picture.

    The other issue is that they clearly have never had any advisers that understood military doctrine on the various series. I'm certainly no expert, but I've seen plenty of holes. I don't think they are lazy so much as they just don't get the concept. I think there has been a strong "we don't do regular military" attitude there.

  29. #29
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    Well, these days there are economy computer cases and flashy expensive ones.

    I suppose that Starfleet decided on giving Data their equivalent of an expensive, flashy case. This is backed up by Data's infamous words to Tasha Yar in one of the earlier episodes...

  30. #30
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    Some of you may recall the first episode of Next Generation where Wesley and the crew are romping around in the Holodeck. We must keep in mind that anything fabricated in the Holodeck cannot leave the Holodeck. Wesley fell in the stream and got [Holodeck] water all over himself. Yet later when Wesley exited the Holodeck the holographic water managed to slip out of the Holodeck while on Wesley's person, i.e., Wesley was still sopping wet when he exited the Holodeck.

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