I like the science fiction. I know the differences between the shows and a little about the fictional science they employ etc. I have yet to cross the barrier between guy who likes the science fiction show and freaky dude who argues about hyper-drives. Still, there are two types of people who try to engage me in conversations about science fiction, people who know way too much and people who know little or nothing at all. Oddly, both camps suffer from the same failing, taking the fiction part less seriously than the science part. I recently had a conversation with someone who wanted to talk about the family origin of a character, and this guy knew everything. The thing is he didn’t seem to realize that the family origin of the character was just made up by some dude, probably sitting in an office being paid to make up a family history. I made the offensive mistake of saying that the origins of a character are only relevant in the narrative and most likely the history has been shaped to make the character slightly more dramatic for that instance. Anything beyond that wasn’t worth talking about.
He started talking about the relevance of family to personality, to which I pointed out that when it comes to fiction the personality comes first, the family is drawn in later as necessary, sometimes members will be created to fill in holes.
I had another conversation with a friend who was talking about ship design. Her point was that the shield and the engine shouldn’t be run off the same power source. There are two flaws here in that if you look at a house or a car you will find that most things have multiple functions running off the same power source, the second, far more important matter is what I have deemed ‘The drama drive’ which is the creation of a technology that will break or be repaired only in the most dramatic of instances.
If you had a good engine and a set of shields that worked fine all the time because of excellent engineering you would have a really dull show as a group of people flew through space not getting into trouble.
Pretty poor television. The drama drive will shut down at a vital moment leaving the ship completely vulnerable to destruction meaning the crew will have to something ingenious to fix it before they are all destroyed/ boarded/ eaten/ enslaved/ what have you. The drama drive will then re-engage at the end of the show, preferably 3 minutes before the end of the episode so the characters can have a little summary or conclusion.
My other points to back this up were the explosions that come out of panels when the ship is hit, the sounds of explosions in space and things going wrong at the beginning of the show and getting fixed at the end. All of these are designed on the drama drive principle. Engineers of the future will not only have heard of a surge protector, but probably have created better ones, so panels won’t explode, and why are panels on the bridge exploding when the ship is being hit in the ass? Because that’s where the camera is.
Why do we often hear the explosions in space despite the fact that the explosion is in a vacuum, because it’s cool. Why do things go wrong at the beginning of the show? I think you get the idea.
Also, two power sources on a ship would mean that there are two power sources to maintain and two power sources that can go wrong and two power sources that can blow up. I think that might be the more sciency reason.