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In TNG : The Chase (S06E20) Picard ordered Worf to disable the Ydirian destroyer attacking Galen's shuttle but the whole ship exploded.

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Worf wouldn't disobey the captain like that, so what went wrong?

  • Seems like an awful puny explosion - when a ship goes up shouldn't the blast be far more violent as the matter and antimatter mix? – RobertF Oct 4 '14 at 15:04
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    @RobertF - There's no indication that the ship is powered by matter/antimatter. Data speaks of the ship's "power generators" and other races are known to use different sources such as quantum singularities to generate the energy required. – Valorum Oct 4 '14 at 15:59
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    Oh, it was still disabled. It was just a permanent disablement. – BBlake Oct 5 '14 at 1:18
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    "WORF : Captain, I have disabled the enemy vessel", "PICARD : I didn't tell you to blow it up!"", "WORF : Oops. My bad". – Valorum Oct 5 '14 at 23:00
  • I felt that my answer was pretty comprehensive. Is there anything more that you'd like to see before deciding whether to accept it? – Valorum Feb 22 '15 at 19:21
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This is covered in the script.

RIKER : Worf?

WORF : I don't understand, Commander. The phaser blast was not powerful enough to destroy the ship.

DATA : The Yridian vessel was overloading its power generators. That, combined with the phaser blast, caused it to explode.

It seems that the Yridians had been running their "power generators" at above their rated capacity, presumably in an attempt to catch up with the shuttle's top speed. Data only determines this after their shields come down, in the moment before the ship explodes.

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    Worth noting, that according to Memory Alpha article, this (Data's) explanation was only in the script, not in the final, filmed episode: "The final episode contains no explanation for the destruction of the Yridian ship (...) following a single phaser blast (...) Teleplay contains a line by Data immediately following the ship's destruction that explains this (...) Yet, even the original teleplay does not explain exactly why the ship was overloading its power generators." (parts removed by me). – trejder Jan 25 '15 at 10:13
  • @trejder - Yes. In the context of the episode, it's reasonable to assume that the Yridians were hiding outside of sensor range, then ran in as fast as they could, as soon as the Enterprise went away. On top of that, Galen presumably was running away at the shuttle's top speed when the Yridians arrived. That combined with the Yridians firing their primary weapon and raising shields to defend themselves against the enterprise was sufficient to overload their generators. – Valorum Jan 25 '15 at 10:27
  • It's reasonable to assume, by an experienced and curious watcher, like you. For me, wathich this episode partially focused, even appearane of Yridians ship was kind of surprise. Note also, that I only passed information from MA. I don't have enough knowledge or ST-experience to support this claim, vote against it or to battle your arguments. I simply added this as a side note. – trejder Jan 25 '15 at 10:30

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