Spoilers ahead for the newest ST:Discovery episode!

In DIS: What's Past is Prologue we see that

Michael Burnham (prime universe)

gets teleported from

ISS Charon to USS Discovery

together with

Philippa Georgiou (mirror universe).

Originally, the ship had begun transporting only the first person mentioned, however, after the process begun, the first person grabbed the second one and both of them were transported off the ship. When these two people rematerialized onboard the target ship, they appeared on separate transporter pads.

This would be perfectly normal and expected behaviour of the transporter if the ship simply initiated the transport of two people. However, in this case the transporter only intended to teleport one person.

Question: Is this behaviour for the transporter inconsistent throughout the Star Trek and were there any situations where two-or-more-people transport resulted in rematerializing on the same pad?

  • 6
    Have you seen any other of the Star Trek series? The transporter always behaves as the plot demands it. It is maybe one of the most inconsistent elements of the series. Anyhow, why is it so far fetched that there is some sort of protocol, maybe specifically for the Discovery, that if it detects more than one person, it is able to understand it and give the guest another pad? That's just good design. I wouldn't spend more than a second worrying about that stuff if I were you
    – Raditz_35
    Jan 30, 2018 at 9:02
  • 1
    @Raditz_35, I've seen it all, except for ST:TAS. We all look here for logic where there is none, and where the plot rules. I do not think that this question differs much from any average Star Trek technical question on this site. Jan 30, 2018 at 9:10
  • 3
    @PaulD.Waite The original poster is indicating the two transportees in Discovery arrived on separate pads. If I recall correctly, Kirk arrived with Taylor still wrapped around him.
    – T.J.L.
    Jan 30, 2018 at 18:21
  • 3
    Well, obviously they can be separated because they resonate with a different quantum signature since they're from different universes. (Not sure if I'm being sarcastic or not.) Jan 30, 2018 at 18:52
  • 2
    its probably down to the the transporter operator, i mean presumably they are not just there to press buttons right? and if someone is being beamed over alongside a potential hostile separating them just kind makes sense, whereas in a lot of other cases of "side along tranportation" we have seen there was no need to do this.
    – Ummdustry
    Jan 30, 2018 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


Evidence suggests that the Transporter will automatically include an "attached" guest in the transport.

BUT: my evidence is all Pre-DS9, so it's possible Starfleet eventually finds a way to fix it.

I've got 2 definitive examples from movies:

  • In the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Dr. Gillian Taylor is able to board the HMS Bounty (a stolen Klingon Bird of Prey) by jumping on Admiral Kirk's back as he's being transported.

  • In the new Kelvin Series movie Star Trek Beyond, Kirk is able to save Jaylah by leaping off of his motorcycle and just barely catching her hand in mid-air.

I also have a TNG example that's a bit of a stretch:

  • In TNG S06E02 Realm of Fear, Lt. Reginald Barclay recovers people that are "stuck" in the transporter. He does so by "grabbing" them. (This isn't quite the same as a physical connection, but it's obviously similar)

If anyone has other examples, add a comment and I'll try to include it in this post.

  • There are two instances of this in the third Kelvin-timeline film, Star Trek Beyond. The first, at the start when Kirk is transported while being attacked by small aliens and brings a couple with him by accident, may not count as it's implied that Scotty was compensating for the differing signals. The second time though, was after Kirk rescued his crew. This time the transport sequence begins, then he grabs Jaylah and they're both transported.
    – Cooper
    Mar 2, 2018 at 23:02
  • VOY: "Tuvix" provides a rather interesting example.
    – Kevin
    Mar 2, 2018 at 23:19

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