Star Trek question about the ships logs.

The ships log played a pivotal role in Court Marital.

Kirk was on trial for a serious error as Captain. The entire trial hinged on the ships log. Kirks career could get flushed by pressing a button 2 seconds early. (he literally had a jettison button on his chairs armrest.)

I recall in all the various Trek series everybody had a personal log and usually a duty log. But those were recorded as the crewman spoke.

I guess every ship had a bridge log automatically recording everything that happened. (like todays Black box for aircraft) But, was it a big factor in any of the other episodes of the various Trek franchises?

I think the story-external explanation is that the captain’s log was just a dramatic device to explain Kirk (and occasionally Spock, Scott, & McCoy) narrating the episodes. But as for the visual log, I don’t think it recorded constantly, nor for every section of the ship. Rather, going to yellow or red alert automatically started the cameras rolling for certain key area. Probably just the bridge, the backup bridge if anyone’s there, engineering, the various weapons control areas, and any key power junctions. Maybe the transporter rooms too. But not the average corridor, and certainly not anyone’s quarters.

I figure one could program the switches to do different things, like function keys on a PC keyboard.

I just remembered a TNG episode, Identity Crisis, where Geordi uses the away missions log to recreate it and study in the holodeck. After a lot of analysis he discovers some shadows aren’t right. (there’s an extra shadow that doesn’t match with the people there).

I don’t recall seeing away missions recorded. The redshirt with the camera doesn’t last long. :wink:

That episode bugs me, because Geordi does so using visual information from what is basically a camcorder a crewman wears like a pair of eyeglasses. It makes perfect sense that they’d have such tech, and no sense at all that they wouldn’t use it all the damn time – and yet it’s never seen before that ep or after.

I know, I know. Every third episode has tech like that.

For the Courtmartial episode, it could be that a visual recorder was running on the bridge because of the important nature of the scientific experiment they were conducting.

Other times, like when Sulu is nodding off during some random mid-watch while in space dock, there is no recording device on. (No need for lots of useless routine data taking up space in the memory banks.)