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Author Topic: Introduction of phasers?
Masao
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Can any one fill me in on the TNG mention of the introduction of phasers? Did it refer to hand-held units, ship-board units, or what? Also other than in Enterprise, has there been any other pre-TOS mention of phasers of beam weapons?

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Sean
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I do remember Worf mentioning that phasers were introduced something like a hundred years previous. I think I read that in the Enterprise inconsistancies article at Ex Astris Scientia.

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Reverend
Based on a true story...
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He said there were no phasers in the 22nd century and according to memory alpha the earliest know use of them was in 2257 (the dikironium cloud creature incident.)

Aside from that there's the fact that in WNMHGB they had a phaser rifle but still only laser pistols tell me that the technology took a while to scale down, starting off as an exclusively ship mounted or ground based weapon before being scaled down to a rifle (probably with an intermediate step on the scale of an industrial drill) before finally getting to the hand held unit.

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Daniel Butler
I'm a Singapore where is my boat
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The intermediate step was probably similar to the laser cannon from The Cage. Also, Masao, I know Enterprise's weapons are pretty much phasers visually, dramatically, for plot purposes, etc., but they don't actually call them phasers on the show; they call them "phase pistols" which is juuuuust different enough that we can at least take Worf as being correct and say 23rd century at the earliest.
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Mars Needs Women
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Or you could say that the phase cannons were a failed intermediary step between lasers and phasers despite their constant use on Enterprise so that Starfleet decided to keep using lasers into the 23rd century until someone could design a more efficient phase-energy weapon.
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Sean
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I'd think that Starfleet initially mounted their ships with lasers, as they were a readily available tech in the early days of human space exploration, then developed plasma cannons, around the turn of the 22nd century, followed by phase cannons, which for some reason were found inefficient after the Romulan war, and by the founding of the Federation, more powerfull lasers had been created so they switched back to laser technology, leading to the phaser in Kirk's time.

However, phase cannons could be strictly Earth based technology, and perhaps when the Federation was founded the other members did not want their ships to be armed with them. Another race could have had a more advanced weapon technology, based on the laser, that was chosen to arm new federation Starfleet ships.

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"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity".
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Reverend
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I wouldn't worry about factoring in anything from Enterprise in this thread. Masao ignores it, at least as far as the SF museum is concerned.

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Masao
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I checked the Memory Alpha article and the Encylopedia because starting this thread, but neither are clear about whehter Worf was referring to shipboard weapons or hand weapons. So, Rev, you believe he was referring to all phasers?

Can anyone put his line in context?

Enterprise and Enterprise? What is Enterprise.

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Shik
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
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All he said was "No phasers."

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Masao
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In what context was that statement? We he discussing ship's weapons with someone?

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Shik
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Rasmussen is in Ten-Forward, having accosted Worf, Riker, & Crusher at a tabel. From the script:

RIKER
(after a long beat)
How come there's no record of
other future historians traveling
back to witness "important
events?"

RASMUSSEN
We're obviously very careful.
Matter of fact, a colleague and
I recently paid a call on a
twenty-second century vessel.

BEVERLY
(fascinated)
They hadn't even perfected
quarantine fields by then. You
must have seen surgical masks and
gloves.

RASMUSSEN
Isn't it fascinating how everyone
has different interests when it
comes to history... different
perspectives on progress.

Rasmussen opens a small finger ring, looks inside,
smiles, and closes it.

RIKER
Mind if I ask what that is?

STAR TREK: "A Matter of Time" - 9/20/91 - ACT TWO 18.

17 CONTINUED: (3)

RASMUSSEN
Just checking the time... No
problem.

RIKER
(getting a bit
frustrated)
Is something supposed to be
happening here?

Rasmussen waves his hand, dismissing the question.

RASMUSSEN
No, no, nothing.
(changing the subject)
What about you, Commander? What
do you see as the most important
example of progress over the
last two hundred years?

RIKER
(pauses)
I suppose the warp coil. Before
we had warp drive, Humans were
confined to a single sector of
the galaxy.

RASMUSSEN
Spoken like the consummate
explorer.

Rasmussen looks around the room, as if he were waiting
for something to happen.

RIKER
What's going on? You waiting for
someone?

WORF
(abruptly)
Phasers!

Riker and Rasmussen turn to Worf.

RIKER
Where?!

RASMUSSEN
Beg your pardon?

WORF
There were no phasers in the 22nd
century.

Riker sighs and sits back.

STAR TREK: "A Matter of Time" - REV. 9/26/91 - ACT TWO 19.

17 CONTINUED: (4)

RASMUSSEN
Ah, you see Doctor? Our Klingon
friend is a perfect example of
what I was trying to tell you.
He views history through the eyes
of a hunter, a warrior. His
passion lies in the perfection
of the tools of violence. How
delightfully primitive.

Off Worf's reaction we:

CUT TO:

18 INT. ENGINEERING (OPTICAL)

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Lee
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I don't spend a lot of time worrying about it, really. In the two pilots they were demonstrably making things up as they went along. You end up trying to tie together three facts that were created with no relevance to each other: the idea of "laser pistols" and a "phaser rifle" in 1965, the notion of "no phasers in the century preceding that the pilots are set in" in 1992, and the invention of a "phase pistol" in the aforementioned century in 2001.

The laser pistols are "set" using a rotating barrel with three sub-barrels, which is a pretty bizarre way of doing anything, whether it's a laser-beam or a phaser-beam (let's table the name they have for now, the name by which they were called needn't have been an exact description of their operation). Perhaps the "laser pistol" is in fact generating a phase beam which is being further "tuned" by crystals (or something) in each sub-barrel, which made people think of light and hence they were called lasers.

And another thing: Worf as expert historian? I know a lot about history (though obviously not as much as DT, odious unmissed little toerag that he is!) and I'd be hard-pressed to name the century firearms were first introduced. That whole scene reads as though Worf is trying to make a contribution to the discussion, and fluffs it.

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Never mind the Phlox - Here's the Phase Pistols

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Daniel Butler
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Depends what you mean by "firearm." The Chinese had them long before anybody invited them in the West. And are you talking about cannons or hand held weapons? Hey, we're repeating the phaser discussion... [Razz]
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Lee
I'm a spy now. Spies are cool.
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Exactly!

(incidentally, I note that Robin Williams just appeared in, of all things, a Law'n'Order SVU episode. Why is this significant? Because he was their original choice to play Berlingoff Rassmussen, is a Trekkie, wanted to do it, but ultimately was "too busy." Of course, in those days the real reason was that no self-respecting film-star would ever do TV, not even if they'd got their original big break from it. Things are different now, TV is where it's at for the big roles, but all the same it makes me chuckle to see how far ol' Mork has fallen!)

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Never mind the Phlox - Here's the Phase Pistols

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Sean
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Or Worf could be reffering to the first part of the 22nd century, where thay had no phase pistols, or phasers.

--------------------
"Kosh, I'd like to introduce you to our Resident schmuck and his side kick Kick Me."-Ritten

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity".
-George Carlin

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