Whoa, Captain! What a rug!

November 8, 2008

Have you ever seen this book on the physics of Star Trek? Come on! How can you write a book that explains the physical laws of uncreative writing? Listen, I can live with explosions in space, dogfights in space, and spaceships “screaming” through space, the classic mainstays of Space Opera, but they are backdrop not plot devices. I just can’t hear anymore trekno-babble! If you ever get the opportunity to write for Star Trek, forget about wasting your money on that book. Here’s a crash course in Star Trek physics: Make up a cool sounding name for your new “particle”. Connect it with “subspace”. Finally, throw in something about “warp”. For instance, at a particular point in the story where you want to hammer in a plot device, have a character yell, “Our scanners have lost them! Their engines are leaking virtron particles, which have caused subspace fractures that are distorting their warp signature!” It’ll work, trust me.

There was this one episode of the Next Generation where (according to the official web site) a molecular mishap brings Picard and others back as 12-year-old children! The problem: (again according to the official site) they were affected by a molecular reversion field. The Solution: Use the transporter to reverse the effects. How hokey is this? I’ll bet that book doesn’t explain this one, and if it does, I’d hope it could explain a few other mysteries to me as well. For instance, if this field is a molecular reversion field how come their uniforms shrink to fit them? In the future, does cotton shrink in both hot water AND molecular reversion fields? Or maybe someone will authoritatively tell me that in the 24th century clothes are made from biological agents and therefore can be affected by molecular hokeyness? If that were true, then I’d expect the uniforms to revert to a younger version as well, not shrink. I’d expect Picard to materialize wearing an oversized uniform, but in the beautiful mustard-yellow of Captain Kirk’s gray poupon shirt instead. Maybe even with a rip down the chest and a bloody slash for good measure. Ah, it doesn’t matter how hokey it is, because we can just use the transporter to make them old again. For some reason, though, they can’t use the transporter to filter out disease, mend broken bones, remove cataracts, or take the hair off Picard’s back and put it on his head!

Energize! Whoa, Captain! What a rug!

Historical note: yes, I did edit and recycle this post from an old blog I once kept, but it’s dead now and I find my rant too clever not to use again 🙂