Star Trek: security of the Enterprise's bridge

One thing has bothered me about the arrangement of the bridge on the various Star Trek series. The entrance to the bridge is positioned in such a way that it is behind most of the seats and workstations.

I admit that it is fairly unlikely for intruders to be able to reach the bridge without warning, and of the ones who could, many have the ability to beam or transport directly there. Nevertheless, it is theoretically possible for a hostile boarding party to surprise the bridge crew.

From a security standpoint, it would be preferable for the entrance to be as close to the viewscreen as possible. Doing so would give the bridge crew a little bit more of a fighting chance.

Very good point, though it would not be very good for TV considering that the camera usually faces the crew.

I suppose, but most hostile boarding parties just transport directly to the bridge. And if they don’t, the ops manager is able to detect that boarding parties are getting beamed aboard, and they can shut down the turbolifts well in advance.

The biggest security risk to the bridge is that for no reason it’s at the very top of the ship, stuck there like a particularly vulnerable hood ornament.

IIRC, in the animated series there was an automated defense/security system built into the dome overhead. Any intruder would be zapped from above.

In the original series, there would always be redshirts posted at the turbolift doors whenever the ship was on alert. Of course, they were never effective against intruders like Van Gelder and Norman. :frowning:

Bridges have always been exposed and vulnerable. That’s why modern vessels have Combat Information Centers below decks. This was even alluded to once in TNG, when a temporal disturbance put the Enterprise-D into a war with the Klingons.

It would also distract them from what was happening on the screen.

But not all of them. On the original seriesat least, the entrance is flanked by the Communications and Engineering workstations, and those officers would immediately see any intruders.

The only reason that the people on the bridge would be surprised is if the plot demanded it.:wink:

Of course, they weren’t posted facing those doors, because that’s just crazy talk.

Weirdly, there was something like that, but they used it in the series a grand total of about one time. TNG references the “battle bridge”, which was supposed to be used when the ship separated the saucer section, so as to let the families and civilians get away from the fighting. That special effect proved too expensive and they quietly forgot about it.

We saw the battle bridge at least thrice: in the pilot, in the 1st season episode where Geordie commanded from it, and in the Borg two-parter.

Not the only dumb thing in TNG. Not only is it unrealistic in real life (if I were a Romulan, I’d say screw the rest of the ship and blow the sublight saucer to smithereens instead!), it advanced the story with the speed of a glacier melting.

Even with turbolifts working. No enemy force should be able to breach the bridge that way…yet it was a Voyager ep I believe that saw that happen. Ridiculous.

unless youre Borg of course

If they get to the bridge, the crew is toast, because Worf can’t aim worth shit


Realism is overrated. “Realistically”, we should have seen dozens more officers and crew in away missions than we did; " realistically ", Geordi and Beverly should never have gone on an away team. But the stories were about the nine (ultimately seven) regulars, and it wasn’t practical to expand that list to dozens.

You could beam from any point to any other point just by tapping a badge and talking to the computer. I’m not sure why they had doors at all.

Come to think of it, since they had the means to make the whole ship out of force fields and holograms–and use holodeck people as crew–how little matter was actually in a starship?

[Trekkie nerd]

In TOS they (Spock) actually said once in an episode, Day of the Dove, that intra-ship beaming was dangerous do to the ‘precision’ necessary. Obviously the transporter had to be pretty freakin’ precise all the time*!* It was just a kludge. Actually, it was a kludge of a kludge. Roddenberry originally invented the transporter to same money on special effects and not have the ship ever need to land. In that episode they simply needed to explain away exactly your point, why they didn’t routinely use it to get around on the ship. Same goes for TNG, saved effects money and increased drama. Although in TNG during emergencies Picard would often have someone beamed directly to the bridge (though, again, not from someplace inside the ship)…

Even NOMAD was able to ride the turbolift to the bridge, and no one other than Scotty raised much of an eyebrow when it floated in (at least until it zapped Uhura, that is).

Why bother storming the bridge when all you have to do is take Engineering to completely control the ship? All Riley had to do was tell everyone the Captain wanted to see them and he had the whole place to himself!

IIRC, Khan and Kang both accomplished the same thing, albeit somewhat more forcefully.

The transporter in TOS may have lacked the precision for intraship beaming, but closed circuit beaming was certainly possible. We saw that in “Trouble with Tribbles”: Kirk and Spock didn’t just beam into Lurry’s office, they were received by his own unit. All you need is a booth on the other end and Hey, presto! you can easily get from one point in the ship to another!


It’s been a while since I watched TNG, but I’m pretty sure he did. Intraship beaming was one of the few points of technology that had clearly been improved since Kirk’s day.