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Talk:Protoplaser

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Identified?Edit

The anabolic protoplaser was not identified as such in either of the referenced citations. To my knowledge the term only exists in the Star Fleet Technical Manual, an invalid source. Does anyone know of a valid resource for this device? If not, I'll toss it up for deletion. Aholland 01:21, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

The term "anabolic protoplaser" was spoken in dialog by Dr. Crusher in TNG: "Frame of Mind", albeit in one of Riker's delusions. This reference was in the original article, but apparently the context wasn't very clear. -- SmokeDetector47( TALK ) 06:47, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Protoplaser seen on screen? Edit

The word "protoplaser" was never uttered on screen, the only canon evidence we have for the device is the personnel file from "Eye of the Beholder". It seems the word "anabolic protoplaser" was coined by Franz Joseph for his Star Fleet Technical Manual. The word does not appear in any work predating this book, first published in 1975. It's mentioned in the novel Spock, Messiah from 1976, for example, or the comic "What Fools These Mortals Be" from 1978. The term does not appear in the Star Trek Concordance, which makes it even more likely that it was an invention by Joseph. While the term was made canon in the aforementioned TNG episode, it has never been linked to the medical devices depicted in the Technical Manual. Here, two versions of the device are seen: the smaller, minor injury version and the larger, major injury version of the anabolic protoplaser. The drawings of the two devices are based on "real" medical tools seen in various episodes of TOS, though, as mentioned before, they never were identified as protoplasers.

Medical device small, Space seed

Small device, Space seed

Medical device small, Star Trek I

Small device, The Motion Picture


Medical device large, The enemy within

Large device, The Enemy Within

Medical device large, Charlie X

Large device, Charlie X

  • The larger variety is seen lying on a table in sickbay in "Charlie X" and is later used by the Doctor to heal Uhura's wound on the bridge. It seems the device was modified for this episode, because it is seen earlier, slightly modified, in "The Enemy Within" when McCoy uses the device, now with a new black tube-like tip to clean Fisher's wound. It is also seen, exactly like this, in "The Man Trap" and "The Naked Time".


A photograph of both healers is seen in The Making of Star Trek, first published in the year 1968. The devices are also not called "anabolic protoplasers" here, but are labeled as "heals wounds w/o using stitches, bandages etc" (the smaller version) and "larger version" (the larger version). This again seems to point towards the fact that the name was coined by Joseph, as other gadgets, like the hypospray are identified by name on the pictures in the book. Nonetheless, the name has stuck (just try a google search) and Playmates Toys released a playset of replicas of Dr McCoys's medical kit including the "anabolic protoplaser", also labeled as such.

On a related note, a device with a similar name is mentioned in TNG's "Transfigurations", namely the protodynoplaser. It also seems the writers of (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) wanted to include a reference to the device known from TOS, only in the script the gadget McCoy uses when trying to save Gorkon's life is called a photoplaser.

I was just wondering: will we also make the (admittedly non-canon) link between the name and the devices seen in TOS? If not, the images should be moved to "Unnamed medical devices" or something similar. --Jörg 23:15, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello 2006 Jörg. I only have one question to ask; can naming these devices fall under the use "background information to name things" exception in the canon policy? If yes, then let's go with that, if not, you seem the best person to add these to the Unnamed medical tools article. - Archduk3 03:32, September 6, 2011 (UTC)

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