Kirk's Enterprise vs. Picard's Enterprise

(Cronan Thompson)

I was watching Balance of Terror and noticed how mich *weaker* both the Federation and Romulan ships have gotten.

In Balance of Terror the Romluan plasma weapon chased the Enterprise for 5 minutes at *high* warp and still impacted with moderate damage to the hull and shields. The Enterprise turned moved back a for a minute or two at roughly the same warp factor and then fired yet by the Deep Space Nine-era Jem'Hadar (in A Call to Arms), Cardassian (The Emissary) and Klingon warships (Way of the Warrior) must come within 10 km of the station to hit something 3 km across.

In Balance of Terror the Enterprise fires phaser pulses, which bare and uncanny resemblence to those fired by the Defiant, and blankets and area of space that must be equal to a small star system yet the Jem'Hadar and Cardassian *fleets* cannot blanket space and find the Defiant which they *saw* cloak on a known heading in A Call to Arms.

Those pulses have an apparent range of several hundred million km yet through all of TNG, DS9 and Voy every ship pulls up NEXT TO the other ship and THEN opens fire. No panels explode on either ship through the whole battle yet the Voyager, a ship of some repute in the Delta Quad, has panels explode even in battles they *win*.

At sublight the Romulan commander enters the tail of a comet. Well the E manages to swing around what is apparently a huge comet in a matter of seconds at sublight implying that it can indeed instaneously accelerate to great speeds and this is comensated for. This also seems to make it as manueverable as the Defiant.

All this and:

Not a single line of technobabble is uttered through the entire episode

Repairs are made quickly and without explanations. No one takes the time, as Geordi did in Yesterday's Enterprise, walk towards the camera, stick their mug in it, and yell the condition to no one in particular VERY loudly.

When the the sensors detected something 'strange' the computer raised shields automatically

I think this can be blamed on two things:

A thorough lack of understanding of what a space battle might involve coupled with complete ignorance of today's military by modern Trek writers. Having watched Top Gun and The Hunt for Red October too many times and decided that these were super cool they have made every ST ship into a strange hybrid of the two(nukesubs and airplanes) which is as satisfying as neither. Even extrapolating using one or the other should have given them a wholly different picture than the one they seem to have.

2) The decrease in the cost of 'good' visual effects has facilitated the showing of many ships at the same time. The result is the occasional pretty battle (like those found in Caretaker, The Wounded, Redemption, ST: Generations, Basics, Way of the Warrior, First Contact, A Call to Arms, Sacrifice of Angels, etc) which make zero sense(common or logisitical).

I propose that any TOS ship at operational readiness could destroy its TNG+ counterpart without breaking a sweat.

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