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25 July 2007 @ 05:10 pm
How They Should Have Done It: Enterprise (Part 1.5)  
hafoc reminded me of a point I didn't mention in Part 1: Subspace Radio.

In Kirk's era, subspace messages would take days or weeks to get to Starfleet Command, and were often text or voice only (we were never sure which, because Uhura handled everything). They were occasionally out of touch, and "subspace relay stations" were plot points once or twice.

I never really noticed that feeling of being Out Of Touch in Enterprise. Maybe they were just closer in than Kirk's ship, and the basically-similar technology didn't have a significant lag time. On the other claw, it might be simply that I haven't seen that much of the show (which is something of a danger in this whole exercise).

Remember in Forbidden Planet, where they had to dismantle their hyperdrive to send a message back to Earth? If the subspace radio in Enterprise were only a little more convenient than that, it would have been a terrific dramatic hook. Apply the Wave Motion Gun effect to the communications system: if you divert all the warp drive's power for several minutes, you can just barely create enough of a warp to squirt a brief text message back to Starfleet Command United Earth Space Probe Agency HQ.
I feel: geekygeeky
Pyatpyat on July 26th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
I like this idea. These ideas. :)
Araquan Skytraceraraquan on July 26th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
Partial comment repeat from Part 1 here:

Yeah, that's the other thing- depending on which pseudocanon sources you go by, in the immediate pre-TOS era (say, 50 or 60 years before) it was supposedly not uncommon to have ships that were basically warp reactors and huge communications arrays and not much else- mobile subspace relay stations that pretty much had to direct their ENTIRE REACTOR OUTPUT into the comms system to send a message. When they could do it at all.
Iridium Wolfiridium_wolf on July 26th, 2007 12:58 am (UTC)
I believe there was an episode of Enterprise that touched on communications issues. The Enterprise was basically dropping commsats every so many *distance units*, and the plot of the episode was that an alien ship was following along behind them and blowing them up.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on July 26th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
That's kinda cool.
(Deleted comment)
Reverend Raffertynormanrafferty on July 26th, 2007 01:05 am (UTC)
With The Next Generation, Star Trek cemented itself that the future was not just different than the modern day, it was markedly better. Replicators made all things, and the holodeck simulated what there wasn't.

Enterprise suffered in that everything on their ship worked really well. So well, they had to resort to such cliched plots like "man gets pregnant after chaste encounter with alien".
Terraluna the Fruit Batterraluna_bat on July 27th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
You're a total GEEK!