You are utilizing Jein's numbers for the these ships to advance the theory that series 16 ships were a more vital target to M-5's strategy. And yet, are also saying that series 17 can not be Constitution-class? Seems to be cherry-picking to me.
Fact is that he was the first (as far as I know) to attribute the NCC registries from the starship status chart to the ship's names and this has become popular and mostly accepted.
It didn't contradict TOS canon and he performed commendable conclusions in the first part of his treatise before
he got intoxicated with his weird theory and then
began to arrange the facts to conform to his theory.
The moment he said that starships beginning with "16" also belonged to the Constitution Class (beginning with "17" according to his theory) he could have noticed something had gotten wrong.
Usually you amputate the infected parts to save the patient, I don't think this is cherry-picking.
In fact, the whole argument hinges on the lining up of that bottom registry and NCC-1701 for Enterprise. I think we can say for a fact that Trimble's use of Constitution-class predates that of Jein's. In fact, the Concordance doesn't even bother with registry numbers at all. However, I concede that Jein's numbers were the basis of Okuda's work, as he comes out and says so in the Star Trek Encyclopedia.
In my old Concordance
from the 1970's (the one with the saucer hull cover) Jein's registry numbers were attributed to all the starships (and I wondered where these had come from). I assumed Bjo Trimble had adapted both "Constitution Class" along with the registries. Looks like I stand corrected, thanks.
If NCC-1700 was not the Constitution, then what was it?
In the P.S. section of his treatise the function of the "complete" bars were discussed and Jein, apparently his old "self" again, suggested a low bar (NCC-1700 !!!) could indicate a ship being built. In this case the "00" may have simply indicated a placeholder for a yet to come two-digit contact code or shipyard release number.
I still wouldn't be so quick to discount Picard's line in "Relics" or the reference in "The Naked Now."
Not quick but thorough, here it comes:
The missing evidence that the TOS Enterprise is a “Constitution Class” starship
As I’ve tried to illustrate there is no evidence whatsoever that either the TOS or TMP Enterprise
were ever anything else than a “Starship Class” and/or “Enterprise Class” ship.
During the next-gen of Star Trek “Constitution Class” references popped up, apparently referring to the TOS Enterprise
, which therefore merit a closer examination:
“The Naked Now”
(TNG without R as in Retroactive continuity)
Data is scanning data files and schematics show up on his station screen, one of those is showing a TMP-style Enterprise
. Picard looks at it and says “The Constitution class Enterprise, Captain James T. Kirk commanding.”
Since they are looking up what happened on Kirk’s TOS Enterprise in “The Naked Time”, the TMP-style Enterprise
on the screen seems out of place, but the one thing
we do know about the “Constitution Class” from ST VI is that NCC-1701-A under the command of Captain James T. Kirk belonged to that class and matched the schematic on the screen.
For all we know this could just be a file cover for the history of the Enterprises
under Captain Kirk and what we see is just the last one he did command. Considering Paramount Studios had used many TOS Enterprise
screen graphics to inaccurately portray the TMP Enterprise
it’s strange these didn’t come into use, now, where these might have been appropriate.
This is (correct) evidence that NCC-1701-A is a Constitution Class Starship and that’s what we clearly saw in ST VI
. (but what’s up with these red marks Scotty put on the blueprint?)
Here we have the pivotal scene where Scotty wants the Enterprise-D’s
computer to recreate the command bridge of Kirk’s TOS Enterprise
. Picard, like Scotty before him, enters through the viewscreen, chats with Scotty, has a quick look around and says “Constitution Class”.
There are several noticeable differences
that tell me that this is not
the bridge of the old USS Enterprise
but in addition to this one
could of course be the bridge of a starship of the 16th design series or Constitution Class. A layman couldn’t tell the difference so Picard merely mistakes the bridge of a Constitution Class starship with the one of a [Enterprise] Starship Class.
Where it gets interesting is Scotty’s reaction “Aye. You're familiar with them?”
Obviously he is happy that somebody from the 24th Century is familiar with some details of Scotty’s time. It’s inconclusive whether his “Aye” confirms that this is, indeed, the bridge of a Constitution Class starship (but not of “his” Enterprise
, gotta be grateful for little things) or whether Scotty remembers that Kirk’s TOS Enterprise
was a Constitution Class starship - which seems to be the general assumption.
But Scotty’s memory is an issue and although during “pattern buffer hibernation” for 75 years his pattern degradation only amounted to 0.003% it obviously affected his memory:
“The Enterprise? I should have known. I bet Jim Kirk himself hauled the old girl out of mothballs to come looking for me. Captain Montgomery Scott. Tell me, how long have I been missing?”
Scotty was the eye-witness of Jim Kirk’s apparent death in ST VII (Chekov “My God... Was anyone in there?” Scotty “Aye”), so he wouldn’t have forgotten the death of his former captain and longtime friend.
Because of the memory loss inflicted by the transporter hibernation, add to this the intoxicating effects of real alcohol, Scotty is anything but a reliable contemporary witness and therefore most assuredly not the one to be quoted as “canon” for purposes to make the TOS Enterprise
a member of the Constitution Class.
“Trials and Tribble-ations” (DS9)
After the unsuccessful attempts in TNG to retro-convert the TOS Enterprise
into a Constitution Class starship the “honors” were passed on to DS9 and Ben Sisko turned out to be the “lucky” guy: “This was the first Enterprise. Constitution class.”
(so no one before, interesting!
I really don’t understand this obsession in the 24th Century with the Constitution Class and why the post-TOS captains and Trills constantly mistake the TOS Enterprise
for a starship of this class. Let’s “rewind” and see what Dax told Bashir and O’Brien:
“Chief, here are the coordinates. The Captain and I will start on Deck 4 and work our way aft. You and Julian should start on Deck 21.
What do we know about the USS Constitution
? According to the blueprints Franz Joseph made of her
there is no distinction between main and engineering decks, therefore she has 23 decks from top to bottom.
But with the TOS Enterprise
there is a clear distinction between 11 main decks and 16 engineering decks, I illustrated the issue at the end of this post
on page 12 of this thread.
Since the TOS Enterprise has by designation no more than 16 (engineering) decks, it is a logical conclusion that Dax and/or Sisko mistook the TOS Enterprise
to be a Constitution Class starship – with some hilarious consequences:
O'BRIEN: Deck 21. Deck 21. I said, Deck 21.
BASHIR: Maybe if you said please.
O'BRIEN: What's wrong with this thing?
BASHIR: Don't look at me. I don't know anything about this time period.
O'BRIEN: Maybe it's jammed. Help me get this wall panel off.
(A crewwoman enters and turns one of the wall handles)
WATLEY: Deck 15.
BASHIR: I won't tell anyone if you don't.
Of course, for the average viewer and layman the joke was that they didn’t know how to use the turbo lift handles.
But hardcore trekkers know from various examples in TOS that it is possible to just say where you want to go without
the necessity to hold onto the handles…so the ship’s computer simply didn’t understand where Bashir and O’Brien wanted to go because there is no “Deck 21” aboard the TOS Enterprise!
Of course both Sisko and Dax could have taken a history lesson by just looking at the TOS Enterprise’s
bridge dedication plaque to understand she was a ship of the “Starship Class” and not of the “Constitution Class”, but they were busy locating the bombshell tribble.
“In a Mirror, Darkly” (ENT)
Frankly, I don’t know what the producers were thinking. That fans were blind or didn’t know that it said “Starship Class” on the Enterprise’s bridge dedication plaque
As a sub-classification a name class would have been okay, IMHO, but if it shows up on the dedication plaque, as it did aboard the USS Defiant
(NCC-1764), the logical conclusion could only be that Defiant
was supposedly a member of the Constitution Class, but the Enterprise
was not – because it was a member of the Starship Class, instead.
The post-TOS producers successfully established the “Constitution Class” of starships in the canon of Star Trek. Once a footnote of a schematic on a small screen it become something much bigger.
But the attempts to retro-convert the TOS Enterprise
into a member of the Constitution Class and establish it for canon based on solid facts rather than conjecture failed – not too surprising given the lackluster approaches and inadequate research efforts to successfully accomplish that mission goal.
Was the Enterprise-A actually the USS Yorktown?
I’d dare to say no. Both Jein and Joseph assumed her registry to begin with “17” which would be an “Enterprise Starship Class” vessel more or less according to Matt Jefferies.
Since she is obviously a Constitution Starship Class vessel, it should have been a registry that once began with “16”, IMHO.
(I guess that was the longest introduction before getting to the point of an original topic…)