Richard Merk said, on Saturday, 23, January, 2010:

> I had no problem with there not being a warp core in engineering because the TOS Enterprise didn’t have one either.

Wait. She didn't? Are you sure? Now, I think it's safe to say that the name "Warp Core" did not appear in TOS. However - I think this topic bears some discussion

So I'll Discuss. Please Feel Free to add your input below.

Right. What's a Warp Core?Edit

Warp Core Dealie

Warp Core Metaphor

I like to use Steam Engines as the Metaphor for Star Trek Warp Drives.

In this metaphor, the Warp Core is the Boiler.

  • A - Anti-Matter comes in here
  • B - Matter comes in here
  • C - They Meet Inside with a Tremendous FWACKOOM!
  • D - The FWACKOOM! Meets the Dilithium Crystal and some weird techno-magic happens
  • E - Energized Plasma comes out and is channeled to do work.

This is also a map for how the Warp Core looks.

The First Unambiguous Warp CoreEdit

The First Unambiguous Warp Core is in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Although Part C - the FWACKOOM! Chamber is subtle - the glowing lights and plasma conduits make it plain, especially in light of subsequent development of the franchise.

TMP Warp Core

Decker and Scotty discuss the spacing of the spark plugs.

The Mature Warp CoreEdit

TNG Warp Core2

Montgomery Scott, Geordie LaForge, FWACKOOM name unknown

By 1987, 9 years later, the fictional metaphor is pretty well set.

This is the TNG Warp Core. Note the FWACKOOM Chamber right behind Scotty and Geordie.


Dilithium magics up the FWACKOOM reaction, turning it into useful energy.

Here we see Scotty fussing with the Dilithium on the Enterprise-D

The Dilithium must be tended carefully. A mistake there can let the FWACKOOM escape. This is very bad. Unless you like buying new starships. And new crews to man them.

The Elaan of TroyiusEdit

In The Elaan of Troyius, we see Kryton, the leader of the Dohlman's body guard sabotage the Enterprise's Engines.

Although I have to say I am not sure I'd blame him. He is, in fact, dressed like a tacky lamp.

He puts a bomb in the Dilithium crystal dealie.

The Big QuestionEdit

So here's my question - Are these two things the same part, roughly?

TOS Warp Core Equivalence

Are these similar thingees?

Because in ST-OM I have assumed that the Answer is "Yes". Both are frame that holds the Dilithium in the right place to perform it's function of processing the FWACKOOM into useful energy.

That would meanEdit

That would mean that this object maps out roughly to the Warp Core.

TOS Warp Core 2a

But, y'know, without Kryton, the party lamp

Or at least it maps out to the facing surface of the Enterprise-D Warp core. If the TNG Warp Core were laid flat on it's back, sunk below deck level and built by Newport News Shipyards.

You have to allow some windage here. The metaphor was simply not as clear or as well developed in TOS.

That Which SurvivesEdit

In "That Which Survives", A Holographic Lee Merriweather transports the Enterprise over 1000 light years away.

In ST-OM this would have sucked pretty badly for Kirk, McCoy, Sulu and Ensign Ricky. Getting back to pick them up would have taken a season and a half in ST-OM.

But the Enterprise has a worse problem than that. Scotty says - "The emergency bypass control of the matter/antimatter integrator is fused."

Parsing it out, the Throttle is jammed open. The Warp Drives are being handed all the fuel they can handle and then some. The Enterprise screams through space - but boiler pressure is building. In minutes the boiler will over pressure and explode.

This maps out to the Steam Boiler analogy pretty well.

But there are other episodes where things don't map that well.

TOS Warp Core - that which survives

The emergency bypass control of the matter-antimatter integrator is positioned for easy access and maintenance.

Evil Kirk, Ben Finney and Khan Noonian SinghEdit

The Object I pointed out there does not consistently occur in TOS. Blatant examples of it NOT being there are in the TOS Episodes "Enemy Within", "Court Martial" and Space Seed. In these, Engineering turns into the Squared Circle. Finney, Kirk and Khan Settling things with their fists.

Spock just slides up behind Evil Kirk and neck pinches him. Logical. No need to lose your cool about it.

During all of these, this proposed Proto-Warp-Core Object is notable for not being there.

I was flummoxed for a while.

Not much of a warp core if it doesn't show up for work half the time, is it?

The object I am pointing at appears in the Constellation's Main Engineering Compartment during The Doomsday Machine. They didn't just hack it together for The Elaan of Troyius.

Oh. That's why!Edit

Two of 'em

It's a Big Ship

The TOS Enterprise Has two engineering rooms.

That explains everything. One is for one set of thingees, the other one is for the other set of thingees.

One sits at the rear of the Primary Hull with the Impulse Drives (Where we always thought it was). The other one sits nestled in the Secondary Hull, where the Movies place it.

It's a neat answer. I like it.

A Last Note For SafetyEdit

Do not let the FWACKOOM escape your warp core. It never ends well.

TNG Warp Core Fwackoom

Ensign Ricky clearly is not taking this seriously.

Jayphailey 06:41, January 24, 2010 (UTC)

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.