Avro Arrow wrote:
None of the ships in the task force had visible registries in the original version of the episode. As far as the original intent of the episode goes, Enterprise and M-5 were going up against four other ships that were each the same as Enterprise.
Agreed. But IMO, we can't have cake and eat it, too, i.e. accept Greg Jein's conjectural "Constitution Class" but disregard his conjectural registries.
Let's not kid ourselves. Greg Jein's treatise is obviously the
reason why "Constitution Class" made it into the Star Trek Concordance
along with the registries in the first place which was adopted by the Okuda's Encyclopedia
and therefore constitutes the "dogma" Dukhat
found so funny (good, I'd rather be the reason for fun than agony).
"Millions" of fans accepted the content of these publications as canon and in good faith
assuming that the "experts" had performed accurate research and would be able to provide evidence if ever asked for.
I can't possibly find fault with Jein's interpretation of the text in The Making of Star Trek
that let him conclude there were only 12 starships in Starfleet and therefore the registries in the starship status chart from "Court Martial" belonged to these 12. Though I equally don't think that's what the producers had really wanted, my personal preference here is irrelevant.
The similar look of the 16th and 17th starship design would conveniently serve to explain the "Enterprise Class" (NCC-1701) vs. "Constitution Class" (NCC-1701-A) and be a historic precedent enabling the rationalization of the similar look of the 18th design (Miranda) vs. the 19th (Soyuz).
However, once we closely look for canon references on behalf of "Constitution Class" (and regardless
of our interpretation of "canon"!), we will have to acknowledge that the only reliable one
that suggests the TOS Enterprise
to have been a Constitution Class starship is Sisko's remark in the DS9 episode "Trials and Tribble-ations".
P.S. Belay my "Trials and Trible-ations" assumption. I just realized we might be looking at a delicious inside joke only hardcore trekkers can understand and appreciate. More later, stay tuned!