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Old February 10 2014, 04:51 PM   #23
Robert Comsol
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Location: USS Berlin
Re: What did the Enterprise-C look like in the real TNG universe?

Hello everyone and thanks for the feedback. I would have liked to come back earlier, but it’s good to see new points and evidence have come up (and focus on the significance of the TNG sculpture walls for this moment) during my absence (Yes, I’m aware that apparently some would like to see my absence to be more of a permanent kind ).

The one thing which counterproductively influences this kind of debate, IMHO, is that “Enterprise-C” and “Ambassador Class” are often discussed in a synonymous context (Enterprise-C = Ambassador Class). As far as I know Andrew Probert coined “Ambassador Class” for his design and that it was somewhat “hijacked” for the distinct Sternbach design (could they not have used another name, then?). Let’s just say it’s a revision and Sternbach’s design is the Ambassador Class of which we did see several representatives. What we see on the wall of the conference lounge is an Enterprise-C belonging to a different class, then, or maybe it’s the primary hull which foremost indicates the class a ship belongs to.

The TNG conference lounge sculpture wall
was approved and authenticated by the original TOS & TNG producers/creators Gene Roddenberry and Bob Justman, so I think that accounts for quite a lot (especially given its onscreen exposure during the first four seasons - and beyond “Yesterday’s Enterprise”) and takes precedence over the sculpture walls of the Enterprise-E (just in case we intend to talk about intentions, I think “first comes, first served” is appropriate).

The theme of the “D” sculpture wall is obviously clear (“large ships named Enterprise”) because of the presence of the aircraft carrier CVN-65 USS Enterprise.

With the sculpture walls of the “E” it is not. CVN-65 is missing. Then the theme is “spaceships named Enterprise”? Apparently not, because the ringship XCV-330 is missing. Is it “warp drive spaceships named Enterprise”? Fans of ENT will notice that the Enterprise NX-01 is missing, so apparently that’s not the theme neither. So what is the theme?

The one thing that is noticeable is the representation of a design lineage from the Constitution/Enterprise Starship Class to the latest Sovereign Starship Class, i.e. a vessel with a primary hull connected to a secondary hull to which the warp nacelles attach.

The Probert design for the Enterprise-C is absent; instead we find a sculpture of an Ambassador Class Starship for which Dukhat provided an image. In post # 10 King Daniel provided a screencap from “The Nagus” which apparently shows a representation of the aforementioned design lineage. Probert’s “C” is not there, but neither is the “B” from ST VII.

Apparently it’s a design variation (with “bumpers”) of which not that many were actually built (I don’t remember seeing many of these in TNG and DS9) and the same possibly applies for the Probert “C” (the aircraft carrier CVN-65 was the first and last carrier of its class, IIRC).

On the other hand it’s entirely possible that Picard had simply become fed up listening to alien visitors (especially someone like Gul Macet or Dukhat) waiting in the conference lounge of the “D” wondering “Ain’t that the proud Enterprise that was defeated by the Romulans?!” – that could also be an in-universe explanation why the sculpture wall was removed at the beginning of Season Five and a new theme chosen for the “E”.

That the “B” on the sculpture wall of NCC-1701-D does not look like the (retcon) “B” in ST VII is no proof whatsoever that the sculpture wall is not an accurate presentation because we do not know which point (and look of the ship) during her service time it’s supposed to represent.

But I think it it’s unlikely that the sculpture wall shows the starships in their launch configuration because we did see the “B” in ST VII - which then was obviously retro-fitted at a later time and then looked a lot like your regular Excelsior (I never understood what these bumpers were supposed to be good for in the first place).

The sculptures are admittedly raw and rough representations of the real thing but not “impressionistic”.

Their individual features are sufficiently discernible to see it’s the aircraft carrier CVN-65 (cubical conning tower) and to distinct NCC-1701 from NCC-1701-A and so on.
And it’s sufficiently discernible to realize that the Enterprise-C on display is most definitely not the Sternbach design we saw in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” but the (most) accurate reproduction of the side view guidance Andrew Probert provided the sculptor with which itself reflects his concept for the USS Fearless and that particular starship class.

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
The truth behind the discrepancy: The version shown in "Yesterday's Enterprise" was the real McCoy; the version on the observation lounge wall was sculpted by a 24th-century descendant of Robert Comsol...one who was obsessed with an early, unused concept drawing of the Ambassador class.
That’s a good one! I’ll make sure to pass that on to my grand-children!

While my infatuation for Andrew Probert’s Enterprise-C is no secret, the core issue of this thread (and that’s what I wrote Bernd Schneider this weekend) is that I object the flippancy and apparent ease how Andrew Probert’s Enterprise-C on the conference lounge wall of the “D” (onscreen > canon) has been pushed over the cliff into the abyss of fanwank while the “evidence” (that his cannot be the “real” Enterprise-C) actually depends on how to interpret the enigmatic space anomaly and its effects and the events seen in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and what conclusions we can actually draw from it.

Put simply: Before I discredit a starship design of a renowned member of Star Trek production (unless there is some jealousy I’m not aware of according to which no man should be allowed to design more than two Enterprise starships in his lifetime ) as non-canon, I better make sure I have solid evidence beyond a shred of doubt to make such kind of judgement…and in Part II we shall see and - if you like - discuss how “solid” the evidence actually is.

Bob
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