it may depend on how the shields are designed
it may be like a bullet proof vest, the bullet doesnt get through but you still end up with a bruise because of the actual impact rather than the thing that impacted you
If the sparks really affected you (I'm assuming that you are truely over your spark-phobia now as you said the posts here-within have cleared it up for you), then what do you think of cars "blowing up" in balls of fire on other shows? Thank God that any accident I've ever been in didn't end in my burning carcus having a fire extenguisher sprayed on it.
As for scientific explanations, I can't agree with the light bulbs bursting because we haven't seen the storage area with all the millions of extra light bulbs needed every time (almost as elusive as the bathroom scenes). I however don't find fault in the theories concerning the shield's and other wiring within the walls drawing too much power for their frayed state. Though I can't foresee how said sparks would be flying from within the walls into the corridors.
Just a rant to get me off the other topics
I understand the need for sparks, but shouldn't alien technology react differently to an overload? I like Mozzza's idea with the bursts of green flames. That would seem like alien tech overload to me.
Good point about the car explosions. We have seen some toilet doors though , and in the extended Pilot Rush does look for the toilets xD.
To respond to the early part of the thread, IS I think the reason the sparks keep flying is because destiny is like 65 million years old.
Save Mallozzi's Mailbag!
This is how i explain it to myself
The shield is a physically connected with the ship,
[imagine a spartan holding a shield and getting hit by massive hammer, his boddy will be undamaged though he will feel the strike through the shield]
Now you will ask - but there is no gravity in space therefor each time the ship is struck should be pushed but the crew shouldn't feel a think... well not entirely because ship have
artificial gravity and the ship itself is just one big piece of steal, its made of many parts.
So the shield is connected to the shield generator which is connected the ship which is effected by artificial gravity - the shield gets hit ---> chain reaction, is it possible that weaker technological components get damaged somehow due to the chain think
I don't think sparks are entirely bad, but I do think Stargate has overused them since ships came into play. Destiny's age makes it a little more plausible, but I think the sparks come up a little too much. Yes, a few sparks are probably a whole lot cheaper than any SFX shot of a ship's shields taking hits, but why is it that the minute most ships on Stargate take a hit, sparks start flying? That implies damage someone's going to have to fix. It makes sense when the shields get a bit lower and the ship may be in real trouble, but not from the get-go.
Can't we start out with some sounds of weapon impacts rumbling through the ship and groaning metal, the lights flickering, and some shaking?
sparks?....yeah well, that bothers me about a whole lot of TV-shows that are science fiction (star trek for example has that, too) - the only show that does not have that (and that does not really have energy shields is babylon 5)
but yeah, that is highly unrealistic (even that the drain on the shields causes the light to flicker is not to my liking because light does not take that much power that it would make a difference in shield-strength if you take it to power the shields)
but again, there is more: how can shields, which are made up of energy that is constantly replenished by generators be taken down by hits that are of less powerfull then the shield itself (if you do not get shot at constantly (without even a second between hits) which would overload the generators))?....i mean, every shot would take a little of the shields power, but that should be replenished almost instantly (thus making shielded ships only vulnerable to constant fire - like a beam weapon that just keeps on pumping energy into the shield without pause...)
but hey: it is science fiction and if my fun requires me to overlook a little logic trouble, then, hey, i will just do that
Last edited by Laxian of Earth; January 30th, 2011 at 08:59 AM.
It seems sparks only fly when shields are being pushed to the brink of failure in stargate. If you look closely in alot episodes where this is happening, you can see that portions of energy from weapons fire actually penetrates the shield and damages the ship. This is why the ships in stargate become damaged while having an active sheild. Once this damage starts accumulating around the ship, major power conduits start to become severed and also short circuited. This means the power has to be rerouted through other paths in order to keep the shield active, "re-route the power through non essential systems". When the shield needs to compensate for weapons fire it draws a lot of current. since most of the power conduits are out of order, all that current is forced through smaller paths and overloads the conduits causing them to burst open in sparks, also short circuits around the ship wouldn't help. We can see in other episodes that sparks don't necessarily fly. if the shield is holding, no energy weapons fire is able to penetrate the shields meaning no damage is caused to the ship.
Yes, sparks flying anytime something wrong happens with a ship, be it fictional or presumably real (in non Sci-Fi movies) seems to be rather a placeholder for some message saying "This is a dangerous situation, and our characters are behaving heroic against dire adversity". But I too would have expected that SGU, being a series that strives to imply a healthy dose of realism into a genre that's taken too many liberties with science, would be careful to not overuse this trope.
Today's technology allows (and even enforce!) the practice of separating high-power conduits from the low-power, human interacting controlling devices. Relays are known from a long time, and using cabling to connect low-power control circuits to insulated, safe high power switching devices is a very easy thing to do.
Sometimes airplanes have troubles that are quite obvious from the outside or from a vantage point inside the plane and yet the pilots have little more than some small lights blinking or turning on and some kind of audio warning to announce them that something is wrong. And that is with technology of today, by all Sci-Fi movies standards, antiquated and/or primitive.
We have power plants that might have switches that commutes very high power circuits and yet nobody in their right minds have thought that passing the whole high power circuits right below the fingers that press the buttons would be a good idea.
So yes, I'm bothered by the sparks.
I have some other ideas I would like to mention. For instance, how the shields might work...
Let's suppose we have a shield of energy. That energy is constantly provided from generators, right? Well, two scenarios can happen: the shield is attacked by high kinetic energy particles or by beams of high energy in some form (probably electromagnetic waves, as anything else might be similar to particles effect). In the first scenario, the particles must be decelerated very fast, and that means that the shield must be able to store a lot of energy in a very confined space so that the particle should first be, well, made to feel the effect of the shield (for instance, the shield should polarize the particle, or charge it tremendously fast) and, second, the "prepared" particle to be repelled by the shield's concentrated energy. In the second scenario, the energy beam should be absorbed by the shield, and the shield generators should be capable to sustain the overload either by draining the surge back to the power source, replenishing it (unlikely) or by simply enforcing the stability of the shield (higher power requirements after the hit was received and dissipated).
In only one case the power surge could mean that some circuits would be overloaded: when absorbing energy and feeding it back to the power source. Sparks will fly, surely, but probably not on a place where a human might be endangered by this. Simply by having provided a ship with shields capable of defending the ship means that the builders have thought of the possibility that at some moment in the future, the ship will be attacked and since the humans are difficult to quickly replace or repair, the crew should have been protected. It's bad designing from a race that supposedly built FTL engines, AIs that can cope with a huge amount of unknown situations, ships that retain their functioning state one million years after they have been built and so on...
Another thing that bothers me is the fact that in the real world, if there are sparks, chances are that that particular insulator or wire that caused the spark is already beyond the state in which it can function properly. Yet, sparks are flying from walls where supposedly there are high power conduits and seconds later, the same conduits can still transport the energies needed for the shields to still function, or to the engines, or whatever part of the ship they were powering/controlling. Usually sparking wires takes down with them any other device currently connected so a console connected to a sparking conduit would be out from the first spark. There's a joke popular between electronics DIYs: all electronic devices work using smoke; as soon as the smoke has exited them, they're useless.
Oh, I really let myself go on this one... sorry, first post, not native English speaker and therefore I tend to use too many words to express too few ideas.
Ok, First I know this is an old thread.
My thoughts on the matter. My major work experience is in metal fabrication, so with that here it is. First as Dr. Franklin told Rush when Rush sent them in the shuttle to the planet where they crashed, " You did not account for the inherent flaws that would develope in let's say a million years plus."
All metals structure changes over time, being they don't use "wires as we know them, but rather super conductors, imagine the micro cracks that develope over the life of Destiny. Over time and stresses imposed over that much time those cracks are going to grow larger. Now with a super conductor the heat generated by current flow is going to be exactly the same through the entire length of that conductors run, however where the flaws are the heat will be bottled necked like pinching a hose off, so as this spot heats up and power is jumping across the cracks what little impurities, like dust that has gathered over the years in these cracks is going to ignite.
I know this happens on old power lines as I watched one in front of my house catch on fire and burn through during a storm. The linemen told me it was the dust on the lines that was burning since over head power lines have no insulation on them to burn. So armed with that knowledge the insulation on the super conductors cracks, dust, dirt, and other debris gathers and proves a combustible medium. Now you have a plausible explanation for sparks during a battle.