In the TNG episode Relics, the Enterprise is caught inside a Dyson sphere. Scotty and Geordi wedge their small ship, the Jenolan, between the doors with the force shield activated so that the ship is not crushed by the closing doors. The Enterprise successfully beams the two engineers up, fires at the Jenolan and escapes the sphere.

The question is - is transportation through a vessel's shields even possible? In previous episodes the Enterprise's transporter could not get through the shields.

  • It kinda depends. For some reason you can never beam through a security-field and you cannot beam through enemy shields onto a ship (beaming out works sometimes though). Anything else seems to depend on the form on the day of the transporter chief / screenplay-writer.
    – Einer
    May 26, 2014 at 12:36
  • I incline to this explanation too. I can't think of any in-universe explanation of how they were transported given that shields at Jenolan were obviously at their maximum.
    – madfriend
    May 26, 2014 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


I think this is a case of the Screenwriter having one idea and the Director having another

If you read the original script, the USS Jenolan's shields were already failing when they moved into the Dyson Sphere's doorway. Scott was able to squeeze a "few extra gigawatts" out of them but at the point that the Enterprise moved into transporter range there is an explosion and the shields seem to have failed (and hence weren't able to block the transporter beam). A milisecond later, the torpedoes explode the ship.

INT. JENOLEN : As before. The ship is falling apart... SHAKING badly... consoles starting to SPARK and EXPLODE... the lighting is FLICKERING... and the engine noise is a SHRIEK of overworked metal.

SCOTT : (a shout) It's coming apart, Lad. I can't do anything else.

INT. MAIN BRIDGE : As before.

DATA : We are within transporter range.

PICARD : (quickly) Bridge to Transporter Room. Energize. (a quick beat, then to Worf) Fire torpedoes.

In the show, the shields are shown as having collapsed after the impact of the torpedoes and after Scotty and LaForge have been transported. No convincing explanation for the difference has been offered by the show staff other than a shrug.

  • OK, remember in "Generations" when the Klingon sisters used their hack into Geordi's optical implant to note the shield frequency that the Enterprise D was using? Then they launched torpedoes that went through it like it wasn't even there. The same kind of thing happens with the Jenolan. Laforge or Scott simply informed the "D" what shield frequency they were using. Or the shields were optimized to repel physical objects (the sphere doors). Or only the forward and aft were deployed and the "D" beamed them out through the "top" of the ship. Three answers, no extra charge. Aug 23, 2017 at 2:10

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