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Old September 18 2012, 03:24 PM   #11
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Of course the starship status display does not show all the starships of Starfleet, who is claiming such nonsense!?
Greg Jein, sort of. Not that I'd agree with him in any way, but he does take the dozen registries on that list and "use them up" with the known dozen "starships like Kirk's" as indicated in "Tomorrow is Yesterday".

That a single starbase would be processing all the "ships like Kirk's" would be fairly odd, unless we assume the base had unique special techniques available for maintaining that specific type of vessel. We would more or less have to argue that the chart would not be describing ships currently physically idled at SB11, but rather ships everywhere in the Starfleet area of operations, with varying "status percentages" (whatever those are). Whether the "status percentage" would be in any way related to the ship being present at or absent from SB11 would be another question. And all that could be avoided if we just plain ignored Greg Jein.

The very same episode itself states that USS Republic (NCC-1371) is a "Star Ship" (same as the creators in their official name list) and it is equally missing from the display as is USS Constellation (NCC-1017).
Quite so. One wonders if the makers of TOS ever considered either of these ships to be in the "like the Enterprise" category...

Neither does it show all the starships currently harbored at Starbase 11. For Kirk's court martial Starfleet "officers" have to be brought to Starbase 11: The Starfleet representative and at least one more starship captain. The only Starship captains at Starbase 11 are obviously Captain Kirk and the captain of the Intrepid.
There's no reason to think that the jury would have any specific configuration. We can draw no conclusions from the configuration we see - especially as it so markedly differs from the configuration of Spock's hearing in "The Menagerie". Certainly there is no evidence against there being a dozen other Captains or starship COs at SB11 at the time.

According to the "Drunken Scotsman" nomenclature in TNG's "Relics" ("I served on a freighter, a cruiser and a starship") to classify as a starship such a ship has to be at least a "heavy cruiser".
I'd rather choose to interpret the "cruiser" in Scotty's rant as a pleasure cruiser, in which case "starship" would cover all the Starfleet vessels. Drawing the line between "cruiser" and "heavy cruiser" in the military sense seems awfully artificial.

I think the only explanation for the starship status display is a list that shows all of Starfleet's starships of the 16th, 17th and 18th design that still require hardware upgrades which are not yet "complete" (bar graph). Alternate interpretations are welcome.
I'd certainly much favor all those interpretations that have the list as representing ships currently residing at SB11. But I have no great fondness for the "Nth design" model, which just plain isn't upheld by the episodes and movies of Star Trek. And in that model, there'd still be an alarming number of ships of the 17th design stranded at less than 100% status one way or another, out of the dozen quoted ones.

The idea of reserving the first two digits to a specific design doesn't fly if a design includes just a dozen completed hulls; Starfleet would be ridiculously short on ships in that case. The idea of "cycle leaders" is an intriguing one, but simple running numbers such as those used by the USN to list its destroyers would also work relatively fine. Leading vessels of all-new designs would just get the next running number for the most part.

That is the system FJ ruined by giving a NCC prefix to all types of ship, meaning either that the registries suggest ship type by a subtler means, or then that the registries tell nothing of ship type. The majority of evidence nowadays is for the latter: only an expert can tell from a glance what sort of a ship a certain registry describes. Which isn't objectionable as such.

Timo Saloniemi
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