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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15741
Posted: 16 March 2020 at 7:57am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The inherent problem is that the transporter was invented to keep the show’s storytelling efficient, rather than as a science-fiction concept to be explored to the fullest. There are any number of episodes and technologies in TREK that, if deep-dived in a logical fashion, would have completely changed the nature of that fictional universe, and mutated it into something other than what it was trying to be. Using the transporter to cure death and disease (...the latter of which WAS cured a few select times) would make good, dramatic stories much harder to write.

The ramifications of teleportation alone could take an entire series to fully explore, in terms of the potential for cloning, medicine, theological and philosophical implications, etc. It’s a tricky balance between depicting believable, futuristic technology, telling a broad range of dramatic stories, and not encumbering the writers with a perpetual Get Out of Jail Free card.

Time travel is another one. You’d think that the crew accidentally achieving it under emergency conditions at the end of “The Naked Time” would have been the biggest event in human history, and that it would open massive floodgates for both the Federation and the galaxy at large. But, no, the only other times the Enterprise went back in time under her own power were in “Tomorrow is Yesterday” (accidentally) and “Assignment: Earth” (for a one-off historical research mission).

Fact of the matter is that STAR TREK is essentially structured as an anthology, but one which happens to have a regular set of characters, and so fully exploring the consequences of certain story points and technologies would derail the show’s primary storytelling ambitions. Ignoring certain logical extrapolations of technology and whatnot is a necessary evil in order for the show to do what it does.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 16 March 2020 at 8:05am
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Mike Benson
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 04 January 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 482
Posted: 17 March 2020 at 8:28pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Weren’t things like broken bones and damaged organs pretty easily fixed without a transporter?  Bones waves some glowing thingie over it a couple times and you’re all better.  

Always thought the transporters were a little too casually used.  Would have helped all the overthinking if they’d treated them more like a parachute.  We can use them to get down there when we have to, but they come with some unpredictability and risk.  
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