Robert Comsol wrote:
Unfortunately (I can imagine Bobby Justman throwing fits about this inaccuracy
), they changed that concept by the time of "The Ultimate Computer" where suddenly 430 people were required to operate the ship.
Unfortunately this onscreen and canonical information abolished Roddenberry's (good) intention and leaves us stuck to come up with an "in-universe" rationalization why the personnel strength had to increase in a time period of 13 years from 203 to 430.
Actually, all he said was "it takes 430 people to man a starship". And it was Daystrom talking. He may have designed the starship's computers,but he wasn't a commander. He was a scientist. The shortcomings of a scientist was one of the subtexts of the episode script: that "command" is a thing best left to human beings, and that a scientist really couldn't "get" or understand what was needed for command that easily. But his line is essentially a throwaway anyway -- what the hell does "man" a starship actually mean?
Answer: it could still easily
fall under the umbrella of the original concept -- that many, maybe even most, of the people onboard are either redundant (shift changes) or scientific specialists who maybe couldn't "run" the ship in an emergency if their lives depended on it (except maybe for some sort of short-term "auto-pilot" setting).
As for Kirk, he only says that he "can't run
a starship with twenty crew". Point is, we never find out how many it takes to really "run" that kind of starship. Never in the series, I think. Don't be too slavish to some random onscreen dialogue, spoken by a character who was losing his mind!
The original concept still works. The weakest part of the episode isn't this aspect anyway. The weakest part is that those other Class One starships were all pulled off patrol / exploration / active duty to participate in a war game. But even this could be rationalized by the fact that M-5 was such a monumental step forward in computer power and such a potential sea-change that it was a rare occurence that might justify the situation.
Plus, they had to keep blowing smoke up Doctor Daystrom's hiney cuz he was so important.