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Hunters starship disabling DS9

The Hunters reversing the polarity of DS9's shields

Data reversing polarity

Data reversing polarity by using his axial servo

Polarity was something that could be reversed, then called polarity reversal.

Malcolm Reed presented Captain Archer a magnetic device which was able to reverse the polarity of any mag-lock within one hundred meters. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

In an ultimately omitted line of dialogue from the revised final draft script of "Broken Bow", Reed advised a female crewman, who was attempting to fine tune a set of power conduits using a small tool, that she could quicken the process if she "rebalance[d] the polarities." [1]

When half of the plasma relays reversed polarity, Tucker tried to shut down the reactor of Enterprise NX-01 but was unable. (ENT: "Anomaly")

When T'Pol visited Tucker in engineering he asked her to lend him a hand and press an electronic device on the phase regulator while he checked the polarity. (ENT: "Proving Ground")

When the magnetic containment of the ship was fluctuating, Reed was ordering Hayes to turn the t-valve all the way to the left while he reversed polarity on the plasma coils. (ENT: "Harbinger")

In 2267, Spock ordered Hikaru Sulu to compute the polarity reversal of the shield around the ship. (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")

Sulu later tried to reverse the polarity when his standard magnetic sweep got a result from zero to off scale but received no new readings. (TOS: "That Which Survives")

In 2270, the USS Enterprise reversed the polarity of the gravity aboard the ship on its own. Scotty had no explanation. (TAS: "The Practical Joker")

When Data touched the panel of a type 7 shuttlecraft which brought a Picard doppelgänger aboard, sparks flew out of the console. He mentioned that the polarity may not be compatible and asked for a variable phase inverter. (TNG: "Time Squared")

Geordi La Forge mentioned to the Romulan Centurion Bochra that he experienced some sort of polarity shift as his VISOR diagnostics found no result for the malfunctions. (TNG: "The Enemy")

When a broken cargo container of invidium caused the ship's systems to malfunction, the computer voice called for red alert and a structural failure. La Forge was unable to see anything on his polarity channel as he mentioned to Reginald Barclay. (TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")

The quantum resonance of a filament caused a polarity shift in the antimatter containment field of the USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "Disaster")

In 2368, Data, possessed by an Ux-Mal criminal, reversed the polarity of the force field around Ten Forward to lock the room. (TNG: "Power Play")

When Data and the Ferengi scientist Reyga made a flight test with a shuttlecraft equipped with the metaphasic shielding, Reyga asked Data if the field emitter coil maintained polarity. (TNG: "Suspicions")

The battle cruiser of the Hunter's reversed the polarity of Deep Space 9's shields. (DS9: "Captive Pursuit")

Miles O'Brien later reversed the polarity of energy fields on Deep Space 9 in an effort to trap Odo on the promenade. (DS9: "The Alternate")

Data reported to Captain Picard and Admiral Erik Pressman that he scanned the area for the USS Pegasus for several hours. The strength and polarity of its signature gave him the information that the ship's warp core was still intact. (TNG: "The Pegasus")

Data reversed the polarity of a locked door aboard the Amargosa observatory by using his axial servo. (Star Trek Generations)

Chakotay ordered to reverse the hull polarity while engaging a fight with the Vidiians but the ship lost its hull polarity. (VOY: "Fury")

While searching for the Sword of Kahless on a planet in the Gamma Quadrant, Dax had to reverse the polarity to deactivate a forcefield in a cave passage. (DS9: "The Sword of Kahless")

When a possessed Keiko O'Brien forced her husband to steal, Miles told her he had to tap into the optronic integrator on level five to keep the polarity shift invisible to security checks. (DS9: "The Assignment")

The USS Voyager had several times problems with their shield polarity. (VOY: "The Cloud", "The Swarm", "Gravity")

In 2374, B'Elanna Torres suggested to reverse the quantum field polarities to dampen the quantum field's strength. (VOY: "Hope and Fear") A short time later, she realigned the warp field and reversed the hull polarity. (VOY: "Bride of Chaotica!")

To avoid contact with a graviton ellipse, Seven of Nine ordered to cut power and reverse shield polarity, as the ellipse was attracted to objects that emit electromagnetic energy. (VOY: "One Small Step")

Taking part in the Antarian Trans-stellar Rally, B'Elanna Torres reversed the deflector polarity of the Delta Flyer to gain an advantage. (VOY: "Drive")

Tom Paris and Harry Kim tried to find the person who attacked Ensign Tabor on the holodeck and Paris had the idea to dampen the photonic ambience and enhance the polarity but was interrupted by Tuvok. (VOY: "Repression")

According to Harry Kim, two hundred six point four percent was too low for the field polarity aboard the Kraylor warship. (VOY: "Nightingale")

To return to his correct spacetime continuum, Chakotay had to initiate the warp pulse and reset the deflector polarity. (VOY: "Shattered")

Harry Kim informed Captain Janeway that he rerouted all available power to the thrusters but wasn't able to free the ship from the Void. Janeway then suggested to reverse the shield polarity. (VOY: "The Void")

"Reversing the polarity" of something is a classic cliché of science fiction "technobabble". It was used long before it was employed in Star Trek. One early antecedent of whom the Berman-era writing staff were clearly aware was Doctor Who, where "reversing the polarity" has been a catch phrase since the early 1970s.

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