Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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# 1 Star Trek weapons
02-18-2010, 11:17 PM
1. In the original Star Trek television series, was it ever once mentioned, discussed, or shown that photon torpedoes were physical projectiles?

2. In any Star Trek movie or television series episode, from any generation or era, was it ever once mentioned, discusses, or shown that phasers are good for taking down shields but weak against physical armor, while photon torpedoes are good against physical armor but weak against shields?

Regarding #1, my recollection is that photon torpedoes were only ever depicted as points of light leaving the ship at a slower speed than a phaser beam. You could not tell from the point of light that it was a physical object, there were never any views of weapons bays, and the nature of the photon torpedo was never mentioned, discussed, or described by the crew. I do not believe that it was until Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn that it became definitively evident that they were physical projectiles.

Regarding #2, I cannot recall the specific advantages and disadvantages, or intended uses, of either type of weapon in comparison to the other ever being discussed. My recollection of combat was it was usually "fire whatever we got that's ready until one of us is dead or they surrender", more or less. The exception is that I do not recall photon torpedoes ever being fired at ground targets, only space targets.

In the most recent Star Trek movie, it is implied that photon torpedoes are very effective against unshielded targets, when Kirk destroys or disables the Klingon ships with one torpedo each in his rigged Kobayashi Maru simulation. But that is the most recent addition to canon, and I'm wondering if the way these weapons work was already established, officially, prior to this game and the newest movie.
Lt. Commander
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# 2
02-18-2010, 11:31 PM
I don't think torpedoes were even mentioned on-screen in TOS until TMP. I could be wrong, though.

Either way, the irony is that photon torpedoes have nothing to do with light at all; they're more or less guided antimatter projectiles.
Lt. Commander
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# 3
02-19-2010, 12:19 AM
OP, Photon torpeados have always been physical objects stored in the ship, and yes they have been depicted as such on several occasions. Heck, a lot of the standared probes on starships, mostly use phototorp casings, but the gut the explodey bits for sensors and such.
And I dunno about it being specifically stated concerning their effectiveness, but they have actually shown that torpeadoes are far more destructive against hulls directly than phasers are. I mean, look at Generations. When they managed to disable Lursa's BoP's cloak and shielding, what did they fire that popped it in one shot? Torpeadoes. Even though the phasers would have fired faster, they probably wouldn't have finished it quite as quickly (also I do believe they simply couldn't afford the power neccessary to fire phaser beams strong enough to destroy the BoP quite as quickly as rthe torps did).
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# 4
02-19-2010, 12:45 PM
I know that they have always been physical objects and I know they have been depicted as such on several occasions. I even mentioned one such depiction in my original post. What I want to know is whether or not the original television series ever made it definitely clear that they were physical objects. Of course, if what Talvisota said is correct, then it's a moot point. Can anyone else recall whether or not photon torpedoes were ever used or mentioned in TOS?
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# 5
02-19-2010, 12:56 PM
A Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon_...oton_torpedoes) mentions that photon torpedoes first appeared in the original series episode "Arena", which was the first-season episode with the Gorn. The Wikipedia article on the episode itself makes no mention of photon torpedoes.

So, we have now established that photon torpedoes were, in fact, part of the original television series. I'm still hoping to learn whether or not it was ever made definitely clear in TOS that they were physical objects.
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# 6
02-19-2010, 12:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJR512 View Post
A Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon_...oton_torpedoes) mentions that photon torpedoes first appeared in the original series episode "Arena", which was the first-season episode with the Gorn. The Wikipedia article on the episode itself makes no mention of photon torpedoes.

So, we have now established that photon torpedoes were, in fact, part of the original television series. I'm still hoping to learn whether or not it was ever made definitely clear in TOS that they were physical objects.
Without watching every single TOS ep again....

I recall Kirk saying "Fire Photon Torpedoes" and they came out of the dome on the bottom of the saucer....just like the phasers....

now granted....SFX of the time were not really that great, and probably they just stuck something in there....

However Torpedoes would seem to denote a physical object...and the Photon is probably just a reference to the trail it leaves, as that's all you see after firing it.
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# 7
02-19-2010, 01:08 PM
Doesn't the word torpedo imply a physical object?

Torpedo
-noun
1.a self-propelled, cigar-shaped missile containing explosives and often equipped with a homing device, launched from a submarineor other warship, for destroying surface vessels or other submarines.
2.any of various submarine explosive devices for destroying hostile ships, as a mine.
3.a cartridge of gunpowder, dynamite, or the like, exploded in an oil well to facilitate the extraction of oil from the well.
4.a detonating device fastened to the top of a rail so as to be exploded by the pressure of a locomotive or car, thus givingan audible signal to members of a train crew.
5.any of various other explosive devices, as a firework that consists of an explosive wrapped up with gravel in a piece of tissuepaper and that detonates when thrown forcibly on the ground or against a hard surface.
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# 8
02-19-2010, 02:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJR512 View Post
A Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon_...oton_torpedoes) mentions that photon torpedoes first appeared in the original series episode "Arena", which was the first-season episode with the Gorn. The Wikipedia article on the episode itself makes no mention of photon torpedoes.

So, we have now established that photon torpedoes were, in fact, part of the original television series. I'm still hoping to learn whether or not it was ever made definitely clear in TOS that they were physical objects.
No. TOS never specifically indicated there was a physical component. Even the location they fire from during the course of the series. They usually came from the dome on the bottom of the sensor, but I think I saw them come from the deflector dish once. And Wrath of Khan established the forward torpedo bay above the deflector dish on the secondary hull.

Next Generation mentioned at least once (I happend to see the episode last night) that the Enterprise D carried 250 Photon Torpedoes, clearly indicating there is some physical component that is in finite supply aboard ship, and that they aren't just energy weapons like phasers.

Wrath of Khan showed a Torpedo Casing used to "bury" Spock. In Undiscovered Country, the fact that Enterprise still had her full load of torpedoes was an important plot element. That further establishes the physical element.

So there is SOME physical consumable related to torpedoes. Whether it is an actual physical projectile, or just a casing holding components that are consumed to generate the glowing energy object they look like, I don't know.
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# 9
02-20-2010, 07:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvisota
I don't think torpedoes were even mentioned on-screen in TOS until TMP. I could be wrong, though.

Either way, the irony is that photon torpedoes have nothing to do with light at all; they're more or less guided antimatter projectiles.
Actually there is no irony there my friend.
Photons are actually created from the annihilation process when matter and antimatter interact.
So you could say the term "photon torpedo" is spot on.
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# 10
02-23-2010, 03:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexraptor View Post
Actually there is no irony there my friend.
Photons are actually created from the annihilation process when matter and antimatter interact.
So you could say the term "photon torpedo" is spot on.
As I already pointed out, in my most recent post.
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