Aug 052019
 
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We may want to decide how long it takes people to move between locations in a ship, but this only matters if our story benefits from it. It’s a moot point in small vessels. In an episodic show like Star Trek, where one ship will be repeatedly used, consistency is crucial. In many episodes, characters from the bridge are ordered to another part of the ship to deal with an emergency and arrive seconds later in TV time. We could conclude that the show just skipped ahead a few minutes, but often, whatever emergency was occurring, like two characters fighting, hasn’t progressed more than a couple seconds. The presumed reason shows do this is so that main characters, i.e. actors, are featured all the time, but it’s not realistic. We accept it, however.

If you’d like to be more realistic, approximate how long it takes to walk or run between all locations on a ship and whether something like an elevator is required. How long does it take to climb or crawl through maintenance corridors like the Jefferies Tubes of Star Trek? Are there stairs or only ladders? We seldom see a stairway except in places like engineering (and even then it’s usually ladders). Why is that? Surely if they can invent warp drive they can still see the value of stairs over ladders if the turbo lifts (i.e. elevators) stop working. Are there no stairs (or underwear) in space?

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