And how could we tell?
There would be no reason for their uniforms to change, as the Ent-C crew were the cause
of the future timeline change, not the result
Personally, I'm all against Probert's design being the one for the E-C, but I have nothing against it being the definite Ambassador of which the Horatio would be the only known onscreen (if posthumous) representative...
...Except that it's a bit too complicated even to my tastes!
And I have nothing against Probert's ship being another vessel class, if
we saw the actual ship on screen. But not for the Ambassador class.
Robert Comsol wrote:
IIRC the production of ST III was kept a secret. I wonder (now that's a question for ILM) how much ILM knew about the premise of the film when they started designing starship proposals. Spock had died at the end of ST II, so inevitably "The Search for Spock" must have sounded as if Paramount Pictures wanted to shoot a prequel!
Not only would this explain the distinctive archaic pre-TOS look (IMHO) of the Excelsior prototypes, but also the rather drastic design change that resulted in the USS Excelsior as seen on screen. I have no problems imagining Leonard Nimoy saying "Sorry guys for keeping you in the dark, but we are shooting a sequel, not a prequel".
Apparently one design study wasn't altered - that of the USS Grissom...
Wow. No offense Robert, but this is quite the height of supposition on your part, even more than normal. I've never heard that the production for STIII was a secret, other than the usual secrecy for any new production of anything. And I've certainly never heard the idea that anyone thought STIII would be a prequel, simply based on the name of the film. And as far as those study models are concerned, I don't see a single one that looks less
advanced than the TOS Enterprise.
The original intention of creating the Excelsior in the first place was that it was going to eventually be Kirk's new ship, post-TMP Enterprise. So it's highly unlikely that ILM thought they were making ship designs for a pre-TOS period.