2005-07-03

A Long-Shot Thought

I was watching "Q Who?"[TNG2] earlier for an article on warp ramming and had a thought. But first, a preface:

In "Way of the Warrior"[DSN4], the Defiant is being pursued at close range by a Klingon attack cruiser which is pummelling the crap out of them. Nonetheless, the ship needs to drop her shields in order to beam aboard the Cardassian Detapa Council.

Worf, on his first mission aboard the Defiant, says he has a suggestion. We see a tractor beam lock on to the forward section of the cruiser and deflect its beam weapons. Dax reports that the "modulated tractor beam" is deflecting some of the Klingon cruiser's fire.

Now, let's zip back to "Q Who". In it, the Enterprise-D is locked in place by a Borg tractor beam. After discovering that despite the shields the Borg tractor beam is holding the ship in place and preventing escape, Picard orders Worf to locate the exact source of the tractor beam, lock phasers, and fire.

We then cut to an external view. The phaser beam quite clearly does not come even remotely close to hitting the tractor beam emitter. While it's possible that the emitter and some important tractor beam system component would be a little ways apart on the Borg ship, it seems rather unlikely that the exact source of the tractor beam would be hundreds of meters away from the emission point.

One wonders if Borg tractor beams are modulated in the same way as the Defiant's beam was in WotW. In other words, might there have been some (presumably un-)intentional continuity, showing Worf making use of a trick he picked up from the Borg?

(EDIT: Alas, the answer is probably no. The Borg ship's tractor emitter was clearly positioned above the plane of the Enterprise saucer section, meaning that dorsal phasers would've been the most likely choice for firing on it. However, the phaser array which was used was on the saucer's ventral. While it's possible that the ventral phasers were going to be fired in such a way as to skim the saucer rim, I find that unlikely. And, indeed, when they finally do hit the tractor beam emitter, they do so with the dorsal phasers after firing ventral phasers for two other shots.

So, so much for that idea. Damn shame, too . . . I was rather proud of that connection.)

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