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Old August 15 2013, 08:34 PM   #49
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

The_Beef wrote: View Post
Just my two cents on one facet of this topic: Since the Valiant was destroyed, and the creators of the Valiant design models were working on a design for a ship very much still in service, isn't that more likely to suggest that they weren't trying to depict the original Valiant's design?
This is a very good point. Namesake, perhaps, but not the same ship I think.

Avro Arrow wrote: View Post
I've always suspected (but of course have no way of proving) that when they wanted to pick a registry for their new scout class ship, they pulled out a copy of FJ's Tech Manual and turned to the page with all the scout class registries. The Cygnus class registries ended at 625, so they picked a number a bit up from that, with the thought that it would represent the next generation of scout ships.
You may very well be onto something there, another great notion.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Re-evaluating my original suggestion I think the pre-production sketches might have rather served first as a design inspiration for the Reliant.
I'll buy that.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
But please turn the Oberth picture (view from below angle, the one in the background just provided by B.J. with some truly interesting details worth discussing) upside down.

Although the components differ in volume, it's obvious that if you were to make a CGI film depicting an evolution, it would be child's play to "morph" the Grissom into Reliant.

I now realize it's rather probable that an upside down Reliant was the basic inspiration for the Oberth Class design from a production point of view.

But where does this leave us "in-universe"? Should the Oberth Class be a new design inspired by / that came after the Miranda Class or would it better qualify as a pre-TOS design which inspired the (later) Miranda Class design (and possibly some others but unseen ones)?!?!
Now, I'm going to have to poke holes in this one. There are only so many ways you can arrange a saucer and nacelles. Add a "mission pod" to the mix, and that limits you even moreso - something must attach the nacelles to the saucer, rather than to the pod, so the pod can be swappable. And what is the "roll bar" on the Miranda if not a type of mission pod, since we see it is sometimes missing?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I think you're right that they all came from the same line of thought, but - this is primarily where I differ - I think it might be overly literal to say that one inspired the other. In-universe, it was probably engineers playing with the arrangement of the familiar elements. In the real world, it's murkier for me.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
(I also think that the Daedalus Class would qualify better as a predecessor of the Enterprise).
Completely agree. The NX class muddies the waters - that design lineage seems to set precedent for the Miranda style (which I like to refer to as a "frigate"...)

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Let's touch briefly on the JRS. Which ships are we presupposing fit to witch number? Going by what we have seen or what was spelled out on screen on TOS or the TOS films:

05 - Revere type (TMP chatter)
06 - Oberth (or whatever its earlier name may've been), includes Scout U.S.S. Columbia (TMP chatter)
13 - Republic type ("United Star Ship"), maybe Baton Rouge Class?
16 - Constitution Class
17 - Constitution aka Starship
17 - Enterprise aka Starship (already discussed in depth in 3 other threads in the past year, no need to do so again here, please!)
18 - Miranda
20 - Excelsior
21 - Entente type (TMP chatter) I still haven't found the corresponding TMP script excerpt

Extrapolated from TNG, somewhat dubious:
19 - Constellation (?) a can of Worms, "NX-1974" looks a little too conjectural, IMHO
19 - Soyuz (better fits the sibling character of 16/17 in an 18/19 context, IMHO)
25 - Excelsior II (?) (the one with bumpers)
28 - Constellation (?)
Pardon me for picking a nit. Here goes.

  1. The Republic type - am unable to confirm, but recall the registry as being given on-screen. It could be almost any class.
  2. Constitution 1600 - because of TOS-R? If that's the only reason why, I say meh. I could ignore it, especially if we're trying to be true to the original TOS spirit. Would you presuppose this class was outwardly similar but actually different? Wouldn't this actually make this class something different and the 1700s the "real" Constitution class?
  3. Enterprise 1700 - do you subscribe to the Shane Johnson school of Enterprise-class refits?
  4. Entente 2100 - I forget the exact line, but it's in the Epsilon IX chatter somewhere, I think in the extended VHS version. (I don't think they ever call it a "dreadnought" as such.)
  5. Constellation 1900 - Agreed that NX-1974 looks dubious, but it was onscreen in TUC on a chart (albeit somewhat hard to see) - can't ignore evidence here but not on TOS-R can ya?
  6. Soyuz 1900 - Does make sense, except the decommissioned so soon bit.
  7. Excelsior 2500 - Repulse didn't have "bumpers."

Maybe it went to hell a little sooner than we thought, ya?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Must be the flying saucer allusions I get from the Oberth's primary hull which could be an homage to either Forbidden Planet or Lost in Space.
Gotcha. I definitely agree this was part of the intent of including the saucer in the real world when designing the Enteprise - I just don't know if Starfleet ever "actually" performed such operations.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
The Horizon (or its primary hull) did land on Sigma Iotia, 100 years ahead of the Enterprise, the USS Valiant did make contact on Eminiar VII 50 years ahead of the Enterprise. So essentially, we are looking at a progression from a Federation starship that could land to one that's incapable of doing that and the Oberth flying saucer primary hull just looks like a credible missing link here.

Add to this the study model's name and that calculates 1+1=2, IMHO
Was it explicitly stated in some dialog I'm not remembering that the Horizon's saucer landed?

Also, I really think the name thing is shakier ground than you think it is. I think calling the study model Valiant was simple name recollection and reuse, with no ulterior meaning.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I shamefully admit that I missed class concerning the Excelsior.
I've been thinking of starting a new thread. More or less, unless the Excelsior's deck arrangement is really weird, exterior window placement makes no sense, and actually points towards a larger ship than 467 meters.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
But on what exactly is the suggestion based that the "windows" on a 395' Grissom do not have correct size?
The four rows of windows on the top of the saucer seem to indicate decks - two rows on the "bridge dome" and two rows on the saucer itself. The bridge dome windows are mostly problematic - they point to two decks within that dome, which is pretty much impossible. At best, the saucer probably has two and a half decks overall, and the horizontal pylon/platform below the saucer (connecting the nacelles) is probably a deck thick. Of course this shot from "Generations" just makes matters worse.

Fun internet find: this probably has the saucer arrangement more like what I would expect it to be if the secondary hull was mission-swappable. The pod arrangement itself makes me cringe, though...

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I guess, eventually it depends what function we assume the saucer rim embayments to have. Landing rocket thrusters?!?
The old assumption has always been shuttle/cargo bays.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Looking at Jefferies Enterprise production sketch with the JRS annotation, I insist it is obvious that it's genuine TOS pre-production work:
  • Enterprise is featured with baby bottle cap over main sensor (clearly a pre-production feature)
  • Hangar doors are explicitly mentioned to have segments (rather redundant after these had been added onto the VFX model)
  • "J" in Jefferies' signature is pre-TOS style "J" and not the one seen in his sketches from the 1970's
Good evidence. I'll buy it. That would still leave the question as to whether this remained mostly in his head or others knew about it. Which would tie into...

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I assume Matt Jefferies didn't participate in the starship status chart (suggesting 97 starships of the 16th design). Maybe he pointed out it's wrong, but they didn't have the time or desire to fix it. Thus the meaning of the last two digits in JRS got a different meaning (changed premise) but there is no reason to assume that the meaning of the first two digits became automatically obsolete, too.
You raise an interesting question - Matt was the art director. Set decorations like that were probably made by the art department. Sooo wouldn't Matt or his brother have made it?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Therefore the first ship of a new class doesn't necessarily have to be "XX01". It can be "602", "2000" and for all we know NCC-1831 might have been the Miranda (class ship).
Okay now you've lost me. Why would they start at anything but 00?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
I initially really don't like the idea of the Reliant pod containing the antimatter. That should mean that the antimatter has to go down into the ship, into the reactor, be processed, and go into the nacelles? It feels entirely too... complicated.
Does it really? Frankly, the one thing I never liked was the redress of Enterprise's vertical intermix chamber coil as the one of Reliant. The entire Reliant design says "flat" or horizontal, in contrast to Enterprise which invites vertical allusions.
Agreed, but there's a little room for a vertical stack in there, even so. A horizontal chamber running long pylon to pylon does makes sense, though.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
The interior explosion scene follows the phaser shots of the Enterprise exclusively targeting the port nacelle and pylon!

This immediately affects adjacent internal components and the vertical intermix chamber seen on screen is obviously in this vicinity, and thus compliant with the concept that antimatter might be channeled down from the pod to a port (and starboard)side intermix chamber!
Eh, but the pylons contain power transfer conduits going down to the nacelles, and those "mega" phasers have always in fandom been assumed to draw power straight from them (a spinoff from Decker's line in TMP, no doubt.) So why wouldn't an energy surge along the PTC from the explosion cause damage upspout?

Again, I could potentially seeing antimatter in the pod working - but then what do you with it when you have no pod? We have rollbar-less versions around, too.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I'd like to use your example for a reply I still owe Timo.

If you sign up for the dangerous trip into space and you perish there, it's your own risk and responsibility as it apparently happened with the Horizon and the Essex.

Riding on a volatile antimatter pod (bomb) was the choice of the astronauts voluntarily doing so and accepting the risk.

But to have such a thing accidentally detonate in the atmosphere of an alien civilization you visit (uninvited) to engage First Contact and open relations, would have rather constituted an act of war.

Hence, the separation of the ship's landing module and the parking of the secondary hull containing the antimatter in a stable orbit, was objectively a mandatory option to achieve your First Contact goal in these pre-TOS days of the Horizon and - possibly - the Valiant.
I'm sure Timo will have thoughts too - but my initial reaction is: why? If you can just land a shuttle or even beam down, why make your ship more complicated with extra seals and joints and other mechana that can fail and leak and cause extra "BOOM" worries? Why also land the main section of your ship at all? What if the natives decide to drop an H-Bomb on you?

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
That is the "official" explanation and may be part of the story. But I still believe the main inspiration to use the "1701" comes from "Forbidden Planet", where at the beginning of the movie deceleration takes place at "17:01". That´d be just too much of a coincidence, especially when considering how much that movie influenced Roddenberry.

Brilliant, sir - I had not thought of that. I could see Jefferies sitting there thinking of a registry number that looked distinct, Roddenberry suggesting 1701 (or maybe Jefferies himself, having possibly watched the film?) and then coming up with the JRS to explain it.
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