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Old August 11 2013, 12:05 PM   #9
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Oberth Class the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

While the Oberth Class might have been a Starship Class of the early 23rd Century it apparently no longer qualifies as such next to the new starships and has therefore been downgraded to belong to the Scout Class, where it mostly serves as a survey vessel beginning with ST III and in obvious accordance with the requirements of TPTB.
That suggests that Starfleet doesn't build scout-class ships, it merely waits for older ships to "succumb" to that role. Not my idea of entertainment at all. Plus, it flies completely in the face of the TOS idea that starships would be a rare asset for Starfleet: if they never build anything but starships, surely every Ensign will automatically become a starship captain eventually, and Kirk has no special status.

In the aforementioned issue of Cinefex ST III visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston referred to the ship as the “scout-class vehicle the Grissom” designed by Nilo Rodis and/or Dave Carson.
They seem to have misunderstood the dialogue of ST3, then.

Of the thousands of names that could have been picked for the study model, the one they picked is the one of those spaceships that predate TOS and had never been featured onscreen. Remarkable!
Not at all, considering how TOS starship names were chosen in the first place: the most cliched of historical (or pseudohistorical, as with the Defiant) naval names were picked. Valiant is a trivially obvious choice there.

The low registry NCC-638 (first time onscreen) suggests a conscious decision to show a vessel that was built much earlier than the Enterprise
Or, more probably, a desire to show a vessel in all aspects "lesser" than the Enterprise.

The Oberth Class has a unique design element that evolution-wise would place it perfectly between the starships Archon and Horizon and the TOS Enterprise.
Except that there is no starship Archon design. Apart from obscure fan ones, of which the Goldsteins/Sternbach one would certainly take precedence over the Mastercom one.

Doesn’t the Grissom design look unorthodox and out of line (and time)?
Well, it should, considering it is not a starship, and never was intended to be! Were it to look anything like the Enterprise or the Excelsior, it would be a failure.

Obviously the matter-antimatter storage and reaction core have to be somewhere and the pod seems to be perfect place where to store this hazardous stuff with a safety distance to the crew quarters in the primary hull (which will simply detach in case of an imminent core breach and leave the entire warp sled behind, similar to the events featured in Star Trek VII).
OTOH, the Oberth seems to ignore safety considerations, as the powerfully radiating warp engines are right next to the saucer...

Timo Saloniemi
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