I must admit it can drive us crazy looking at the viewer all the time, but it keeps us up to date with what is going on around the Enterprise.
"What's going on with the Viewer?" says Riker suddenly.
We all look up and see it is completely black.
"Have we entered a spacial anomoly, Mr Data?" I ask. It's one of the standard questions I fire at times like this.
"No, sir." he replies, "Sensors show that everything is normal outside the ship. A diagnostic tells me that there is a fault somewhere with the viewer."
"Can't you tell me what it is?" I ask, "It's only a simple viewer!"
"Negative." Data tells me, "It seems the problem is more advanced than it appears. We shall have to try and get to the nearest Starbase."
I groan. It looks like we will be limping there, unable to see where we are going, guided only by sensors.
Who said technology was improving?
Several hours later, we are escorted into Starbase 162, and an engineer beams on to repair the problem.
Why does he always seem the one who fixes our problems or installs new equipment? With his workmanlike appearance and 20th century outlook one everything, he is hardly suitable.
"Morning, mate." he tells be as he steps off the transporter pad with his bag of tools. He is asked by Worf to put his cigarette out, So Sid throws it on the floor and treads on it.
We head to the Bridge where the Viewer. Sid looks at it.
"We've been having problems with these all the time, mate." he tells me, "When did you have it fitted?"
I tell him, and Sid nods sadly.
"That's no surprise." he continues, "All the models were defective then. I'm surprised it's lasted this long. You've been lucky, mate. It could easily have blown up. I'll take a look at it."
Sid puts his bag on the floor, takes out a hammer and screwdriver and goes round the back of the Viewer. Soon, we hear a loud banging and a few circuits drop on the floor. Geordi is looking distressed as he doesn't like Enterprise technology being examined by others. As no one knew the answers we had no choice.
Sid returns from behind the Viewer, his cap slightly askew. He is carrying two separate circuits with him.
"These are your main problems, guv'nor" he tells me, "This thingy controls the rate of transmission to your screen, and this watchamacallit controls the picture. When one blew out, the other went at the same time. Only natural, innit?"
"What about the circuits on the floor?" protests Geordi.
Sid looks down on them.
"They might need replacing as well, mate" he tells Geordi, who is looking very neurotic, "But if you ask me, it's impossible to get the parts nowadays. This model is past it. I can get you a new top of the range Viewer, though. State of the art, latest on the market, at a good discount."
Reluctantly I agree.
Sid brings it in, fits it, and the picture looks perfect.
"Well done, Sid." I tell him, "I'll write and commend you to your superiors for analysing the problem and providing the Enterprise with a new Viewer.
Sid looks alarmed.
"Err...do me a favour, guv'nor. Don't mention the new Viewer. I kind of got it er...off the back of a lorry, so to speak...."
After translation by Mr Data telling me that he obtained the Viewer by illegal means, I reluctantly have to accept the work he has done.
Sid leaves by transporter.
That's great! Now the Enterprise has to travel the universe with a hot Viewer!