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Old September 12 2012, 05:04 PM   #1
Robert Comsol
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NCC = Not Constitution Class?

As I have come to understand it, something cannot be canon if it is incompatible with information stated on screen and/or the intentions of the original producers and production designers.

While doing an Oberth Class study I revisited the essential TOS book The Making of Star Trek from 1968 (statements from the producers, i.e. Gene Roddenberry and Bob Justman) and the Star Trek Sketchbook from 1997 (with previously unpublished original sketches and statements from the production designer and Enterprise creator Matt Jefferies).

How Matt Jefferies came up with “NCC” has been quoted several times online, but what he additionally said is curiously sometimes missing:

“So the one seven stood for the seventeenth basic ship design in the Federation, and the zero one would have been serial number one, the first bird.” (BBC Online)

“So 1701 was as good a choice as any. The reason we gave for the choice afterwards was that the Enterprise was the 17th major design of the federation, and the first in the series. 17-01!” (Star Trek Sketchbook, page 62)

At first glance the “afterwards” seems like a ‘Retcon Maneuver’ but here it’s a) the father of the Starship Enterprise talking about his intentions and b) actually something he intended early on once we look at the text of a genuine yellow Enterprise production sketch from the early 1960’s:
17th CRUISER DESIGN
SERIAL N°1 = 1701
SERIAL N°2 1702

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6015/...6f819fbb_b.jpg (illustration from Star Trek Sketchbook)

With that late but essential information, several original statements from the producers in The Making of Star Trek no longer just seem to talk about a starship class of Enterprise “types” but indeed about an Enterprise Class as USS Enterprise was the first of it and therefore is also at least about 40 years old by the time of TOS (the age of the ship is another myth):

Bob Justman: “(D. C. Fontana) suggests that we establish the names of the 12 ships of the Enterprise Starship Class.” (part II, chapter 1, page 165)

Stephen Whitfield (authorized by Gene Roddenberry): “The Enterprise-class starships have been in existence for about forty years and are now capable of surveying and exploring the uncharted remainder of the galaxy.” (part II, chapter 3, page 203).

So where does that erroneous idea of a Constitution Class come from

Court-Martial” aired in February 1967, and the office of the portmaster of Starbase 11 included a “star ship status” wall chart which featured 10 registry numbers obviously belonging to unknown Federation starships – NCC 1700 at the very bottom - which compelled D.C. Fontana six months later to submit the aforementioned proposal to provide some names for starships.

It should be noted that “Constitution” wasn’t even among the first three published name lists (Mr. Whitfield just provided a final result which then included names that hadn’t been on the first three lists: Potemkin, Republic, Constitution, Kongo, Farragut, Valiant and Intrepid) and that “NCC 1700” on that status chart was the farthest from being “complete”.

According to the ‘Jefferies Rule’ “NCC 1700” would have meant 17-00 (serial number zero) and possibly indicated a yet unregistered starship beeing built at the time.

The only screen evidence of a USS Constitution in TOS was the screen display of Scotty’s technical journal in “The Trouble With Tribbles” displaying a “primary phaser” schematic belonging to a “Star Ship MK IX/01 Constitution Class”: http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/...ary_phaser.jpg

While it is correct that USS Enterprise and her sister ships are vessels of the Starship Class, it had never been established that all starships have to look like USS Enterprise (and “Starship Reliant” is sufficient proof).

According to the ‘Jefferies Rule’ Scotty would have just looked at the phaser design of an older class of starship (maybe NCC-901 or NCC-1601...).

Mr. Franz Joseph, being (also) unaware that USS Enterprise was supposed to be “the first bird, the first in the series” (Jefferies), introduced the idea of the Constition Class (NCC-1700) with his Star Trek Blueprints and the Star Trek Technical Manual which nevertheless is as erroneus as the other and similar idea of the 1970’s that Enterprise should belong to the Constellation Class just because that was the lowest starship registry ever visible on screen (NCC-1017).

It looks like for the canon of Star Trek just the lesser of two evils had been chosen which still doesn’t put things right.

Personally, I have no problem that Kirk's Enterprise became a member of the Constitution Class if that was the first vessel to undergo the refit / redesign / transformation of the 2270’s.

I know it’s unrealistic to expect this flaw to be corrected (think of the birds and the dinosaurs), but for the future I recommend to avoid the term “Constitution Class” whenever it comes to Kirk’s television “starship class” Enterprise.

Bob
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Old September 12 2012, 05:21 PM   #2
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
As I have come to understand it, something cannot be canon if it is incompatible with information stated on screen and/or the intentions of the original producers and production designers.
Not really. After all, the canon itself was created by many different producers and designers with many differing intentions, and has plenty of internal contradictions. "Canon" doesn't mean "right" or "real" or "inviolable gospel." It's just a set of stories that pretend to represent a uniform reality, even though they can and do vary in the details of interpretation. After all, it's all equally fictional; if you're pretending that any of it happened in the first place, you can just as easily pretend that something happened differently than some earlier story pretended it did. So canon is best addressed in broad strokes, not on the detail level.

Not to mention that creators' original intentions are subject to change. There are plenty of things that were originally intended when shows were first developed but then got abandoned or reinterpreted as the shows evolved -- like the intention of TNG's developers that Data was built by mysterious aliens, an idea that got thrown out as soon as someone came up with a worthwhile story idea that required him to have been created by a human inventor. So no, creator intentions do not define canon. The canon is the final onscreen work itself, which was shaped by many different intentions.



With that late but essential information, several original statements from the producers in The Making of Star Trek no longer just seem to talk about a starship class of Enterprise “types” but indeed about an Enterprise Class as USS Enterprise was the first of it and therefore is also at least about 40 years old by the time of TOS (the age of the ship is another myth):

Bob Justman: “(D. C. Fontana) suggests that we establish the names of the 12 ships of the Enterprise Starship Class.” (part II, chapter 1, page 165)

Stephen Whitfield (authorized by Gene Roddenberry): “The Enterprise-class starships have been in existence for about forty years and are now capable of surveying and exploring the uncharted remainder of the galaxy.” (part II, chapter 3, page 203).

So where does that erroneous idea of a Constitution Class come from
Again, those were just suggestions, trial ideas that didn't end up onscreen. The creative process is full of such trial ideas and revisions. Even just working alone as a novelist, I often rethink or abandon my early ideas as a project comes together and newer, better ideas occur to me. And in a collaborative process like producing a TV series, that's going to happen even more, because lots of people will have their own distinct ideas and they can't all end up onscreen.

So it wasn't "erroneous." As you yourself discuss, it originated in production art from "The Trouble with Tribbles," and was then adopted by Franz Joseph. No, it wasn't canonical until it was stated onscreen in "The Naked Now," but that doesn't mean it was wrong; it just means it was undecided until then. Again, there were lots of different ideas shaping this work of make-believe called Star Trek, and sometimes they conflicted with each other, and it was a while before a later story came along and resolved the issue. It's invalid to call it a mistake or a flaw just because the final idea doesn't match the rough, unofficial ideas from earlier in the process. Rough-draft ideas aren't supposed to supersede later refinements. It's supposed to be the other way around.
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Old September 12 2012, 11:37 PM   #3
Robert Comsol
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

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Old September 12 2012, 11:59 PM   #4
Robert Comsol
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Christopher wrote: View Post
"So canon is best addressed in broad strokes, not on the detail level."
If it does work on the detail level (i.e. for TOS and the subsequent films), I fail to see why it shouldn't be addressed.

Christopher wrote: View Post
"Not to mention that creators' original intentions are subject to change. There are plenty of things that were originally intended when shows were first developed but then got abandoned or reinterpreted as the shows evolved."
I'm well aware of that especially if you look at what happened to the Romulans and Klingons - they swapped personalities for TNG.

But that's not the issue here. The original intentions for Kirk's television ship of the producers ("Enterprise Starship Class") and the production designer ("17th design, 1st in the series") did not change throughout the series and even stayed intact for the films.
While Franz Joseph may not have been aware of the 'Jefferies Rule' he must have been aware of "Enterprise Starship Class" because The Making of Star Trek was the book his blueprints and especially his technical manual did rely upon. His work was not exactly a role model of accurate research and unbiased reproduction, so given the choice to believe him or the series' actual creators, I choose the latter.

Christopher wrote: View Post
"So it wasn't "erroneous." As you yourself discuss, it originated in production art from "The Trouble with Tribbles," and was then adopted by Franz Joseph."
What was there to conclude that Enterprise would be a Constitution Class starship? Scotty is reading a technical journal, not the technical manual of the Enterprise. It merely established that a starship class named "Constitution" does or did exist, too, and since we don't know if he's looking at an historic text or an update report it remains inconclusive.
If the MK IX would indicate an old Constitution Class of the 9th design, we'd finally have a nesting place for the USS Eagle (NCC-956). Admittedly a nesting place on thin ice but better than no ice at all.
Should it indicate a present Constitution Class, then we might be looking at NCC-1601 - maybe that would help - considering we (now after TOS-R) obviously have starships with a prefix of NCC-16XX that are hard to tell apart from the Enterprise starships of the 17th design. As a colloquialism the term "Constitution Class" might be okay, but that USS Enterprise belongs to this class is a myth, I for one don't buy any longer.

Christopher wrote: View Post
"No, it wasn't canonical (Constitution Class) until it was stated onscreen in "The Naked Now," but that doesn't mean it was wrong; it just means it was undecided until then."
I never said and never will say (until the recent Blu-ray 'fix', that is) that what we saw in "The Naked Now" was wrong.
It was an accurate display of Kirk's Enterprise that began as an Enterprise Class starship and ended as a Constitution Class starship (movie version).

Star Trek has established that ship identification also relies on visual contact. Imagine a helmsman seeing the a television Enterprise-type port and a movie Enterprise-type starboard. If he were reporting to his captain "Two Constitution Class starships, one port, one starboard" his report would lack information as the two ships are substantially different.
"one Enterprise Class starship port, one Constitution Class starship port" would contain all the basic essential information his captain would need.

Bob
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Old September 13 2012, 02:37 AM   #5
Robert D. Robot
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

The dedication plaque on the original 1701 bridge states that the ship is a "Starship Class" ('no bloody "Enterprise" or "Constitution" class'). Maybe we should just assume that "Starship Class" and "Enterprise Class" went the way of James R. Kirk....
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Old September 13 2012, 04:43 AM   #6
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Enterprise class surfaces in the movie Star Trek II.
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Old September 13 2012, 11:31 PM   #7
Robert Comsol
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

@ Robert D. Robot

Indeed, a concise "Starship Class" serves all interests (no bloody A, B, C or D and no Constitution or Enterprise Class).

@ throwback

Yes, "Enterprise Class" was a label on the bridge simulator door.

Andrew Probert felt that because of Commander Decker's "This is a totally new Enterprise" the registry number should have started with 18 and the ship would be Enterprise Class. When it came to Star Trek VI DP Nicholas Meyer may have gotten second thoughts ("Constitution" whiteprint).


Come to think of it, I wondered how it's rationalized now that TOS-R had established NCC registries starting with 16 for Intrepid, Excalibur and Exeter (Potemkin got her 1657 in Star Trek VI), three ships had already been visualized as relatives of the Enterprise in TOS.
These obviously don't belong to a Constitution Class where the Constitution supposedly is NCC-1700

The correct registry for the USS Constitution would then be NCC-1601 (according to Jefferies Rule) and we'd have 8 known starships of the 16th Federation Design (Constitution Class).
In comparison we'd have 7 known starships of the 17th Federation Design (Enterprise Class).
(Where to put USS Constellation NCC-1017(-A) I leave this open to imagination).

The beauty of this positive Retcon Maneuver:

1) Jefferies Rule has been reconstituted
2) Numbers make perfect sense
3) "Constitution Class" is a colloquialism in the broader sense: If you start with this class, have the next design to be indiscernible from the outside (Enterprise Class), then have a refit transformation beginning with USS Constitution that will also include previous Enterprise Class Starships which then will equally end up as (new) Constitution Class Starships, I wouldn't find fault that the majority of fans refer to these vessels just as "Constitution Class Starships".

Of course, the erroneous "NCC-1700" for the USS Constitution would have to receive a proper military burial...

Bob
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Old September 13 2012, 11:47 PM   #8
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

IIRC, Gene Roddenberry insisted that the movie-era refit Enterprise still be called Constitution class and keep the classic number, because the ship was a character itself and he seemed to think that if the crew had a different ship, the audience would somehow eventually forget the Enterprise's importance. (To which I say ) The Enterprise class still cropped up in a number of other sources, and I prefer to use it myself.
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Old September 14 2012, 10:05 AM   #9
Timo
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

These obviously don't belong to a Constitution Class where the Constitution supposedly is NCC-1700
Quite so, and it's thus a good thing nothing requires us to think they would be Constitution class. There have been quite a few instances in military history where ships (or aircraft or vehicles) of seemingly identical design have been divided into several classes either because of design origin (some are refits into modern standards, other are modern newbuilds), significant internal differences (one is powered by diesels, the other by gas turbines) or mission differences (where the hardware differences are relatively minor but nevertheless reflect the mission).

I have no objection as such to those ships sporting registries lower than 1700. What I do find objectionable is that those ships use registries from the "Court Martial" wall chart. If we are supposed to believe that the ships on that chart are all "heavy cruisers" or "star ships" or whatever of the various canon identities we assign to the sort of ship Kirk flies, the Trek universe is so much diminished. Not to mention Starfleet is screwed when all its leading ships are undergoing repairs at SB11 simultaneously!

The beauty of this positive Retcon Maneuver:
1) Jefferies Rule has been reconstituted
That would be a massive downside, as it would mean the vast majority of the registries seen elsewhere in Star Trek would have to be changed as well, to correspond to this doubly fictional rule. None of them ever intentionally did, so all existing compliance would be by sheer chance.

3) "Constitution Class" is a colloquialism in the broader sense: If you start with this class, have the next design to be indiscernible from the outside (Enterprise Class), then have a refit transformation beginning with USS Constitution that will also include previous Enterprise Class Starships which then will equally end up as (new) Constitution Class Starships, I wouldn't find fault that the majority of fans refer to these vessels just as "Constitution Class Starships".
That sounds really nice. Of course, it can be extended back and forth in pseudohistory, too: the designation "Constitution class" could have been slapped somewhat arbitrarily on a certain number of designs associated with the refit history of USS Constitution, while a large number of similarly shaped ships would be associated with the designation "Irreverence class" because their refit history was more closely related to that older vessel (say, NCC-1622), and others would be known as the "New Caledonia class" because they and only they, despite originally having been Constitutions or Irreverences or Enterprises, would be refitted into an even more futuristic standard spearheaded by the conversion or construction of USS New Caledonia.

We don't see futuristic counterparts to Kirk's ship, with mysteriously high registries, on screen. But we do see older counterparts, with mysteriously low ones. So the above sort of fuzziness is probably indeed going on in Starfleet.

We may also treat Starfleet as a realistic organization rather than as a dramatically simplified one. It would be rather natural for such an organization to use several different standards for naming the ships, depending on who is talking and to whom. Going sufficiently far down that path, we could even explain away "STARSHIP CLASS" ultimately... Without having to change a bit of what we saw with our own eyes on screen.

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Old September 18 2012, 03:00 PM   #10
Robert Comsol
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Timo wrote: View Post
"What I do find objectionable is that those ships use registries from the "Court Martial" wall chart. If we are supposed to believe that the ships on that chart are all "heavy cruisers" or "star ships" or whatever of the various canon identities we assign to the sort of ship Kirk flies, the Trek universe is so much diminished. Not to mention Starfleet is screwed when all its leading ships are undergoing repairs at SB11 simultaneously!"
Of course the starship status display does not show all the starships of Starfleet, who is claiming such nonsense!?

The very same episode itself states that USS Republic (NCC-1371) is a "Star Ship" (same as the creators in their official name list) and it is equally missing from the display as is USS Constellation (NCC-1017).

Neither does it show all the starships currently harbored at Starbase 11. For Kirk's court martial Starfleet "officers" have to be brought to Starbase 11: The Starfleet representative and at least one more starship captain. The only Starship captains at Starbase 11 are obviously Captain Kirk and the captain of the Intrepid.

According to the "Drunken Scotsman" nomenclature in TNG's "Relics" ("I served on a freighter, a cruiser and a starship") to classify as a starship such a ship has to be at least a "heavy cruiser".

I think the only explanation for the starship status display is a list that shows all of Starfleet's starships of the 16th, 17th and 18th design that still require hardware upgrades which are not yet "complete" (bar graph). Alternate interpretations are welcome.

The beauty of this positive Retcon Maneuver:
1) Jefferies Rule has been reconstituted
Timo wrote: View Post
"That would be a massive downside, as it would mean the vast majority of the registries seen elsewhere in Star Trek would have to be changed as well, to correspond to this doubly fictional rule. None of them ever intentionally did, so all existing compliance would be by sheer chance.
No, none of the 23rd registries would have to be changed, except for NX-2000 that actually should be NX-2001 (but isn't USS Discovery...).

The only registry number that has to go is NCC-1700 because it's actually 17th design serial n° 00 and therefore a ship beeing built during the the time of "Court-Martial".

I strongly recommend reading Greg Jein's original "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship" treatise: http://www.trekplace.com/article10.html

He concluded from the Mark IX/01 designation of a ship's primary phaser of a starship of the Constitution Class that the "Mark IX/01" was refering to USS Enterprise!

But in the subsequent discussion (at the bottom) he suggested himself that a short bar of the starship status display indicated a starship being constructed - which exactly is the case with "NCC 17 00" in this starship status display!!!

Matt Jefferies production sketch (Enterprise is 17th cruiser design and "first bird, first in the series") would have helped Greg Jein to conclude that USS Constitution would be NCC-1601 (especially given his intention to make prefixes beginning with 16 relatives of the Enterprise).

The problem with Franz Joseph is, that he simply copied Greg Jein's findings (Mark IX class) but discarded what he didn't like and the NCC-1700 for the Constitution erroneously stuck.

Since the producers intention had been that there are 12 starships "like" the Enterprise I believe these were all meant to have prefixes starting with 17.

But since already the starship status display revealed an "NCC-1718" the inevitable conclusion could be that the first ship or ships of the latest cruiser design are also cycle leaders which include a bulk of other ships including cargo drones, freighters, personnel carriers etc.

If USS Soyuz were NCC-1901 (cruiser / cycle leader) there's no problem with the USS Constellation NCC-1947 as it's not a cruiser design but just another class of ships being built during this cycle.

Bob
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Old September 18 2012, 03:24 PM   #11
Timo
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Of course the starship status display does not show all the starships of Starfleet, who is claiming such nonsense!?
Greg Jein, sort of. Not that I'd agree with him in any way, but he does take the dozen registries on that list and "use them up" with the known dozen "starships like Kirk's" as indicated in "Tomorrow is Yesterday".

That a single starbase would be processing all the "ships like Kirk's" would be fairly odd, unless we assume the base had unique special techniques available for maintaining that specific type of vessel. We would more or less have to argue that the chart would not be describing ships currently physically idled at SB11, but rather ships everywhere in the Starfleet area of operations, with varying "status percentages" (whatever those are). Whether the "status percentage" would be in any way related to the ship being present at or absent from SB11 would be another question. And all that could be avoided if we just plain ignored Greg Jein.

The very same episode itself states that USS Republic (NCC-1371) is a "Star Ship" (same as the creators in their official name list) and it is equally missing from the display as is USS Constellation (NCC-1017).
Quite so. One wonders if the makers of TOS ever considered either of these ships to be in the "like the Enterprise" category...

Neither does it show all the starships currently harbored at Starbase 11. For Kirk's court martial Starfleet "officers" have to be brought to Starbase 11: The Starfleet representative and at least one more starship captain. The only Starship captains at Starbase 11 are obviously Captain Kirk and the captain of the Intrepid.
There's no reason to think that the jury would have any specific configuration. We can draw no conclusions from the configuration we see - especially as it so markedly differs from the configuration of Spock's hearing in "The Menagerie". Certainly there is no evidence against there being a dozen other Captains or starship COs at SB11 at the time.

According to the "Drunken Scotsman" nomenclature in TNG's "Relics" ("I served on a freighter, a cruiser and a starship") to classify as a starship such a ship has to be at least a "heavy cruiser".
I'd rather choose to interpret the "cruiser" in Scotty's rant as a pleasure cruiser, in which case "starship" would cover all the Starfleet vessels. Drawing the line between "cruiser" and "heavy cruiser" in the military sense seems awfully artificial.

I think the only explanation for the starship status display is a list that shows all of Starfleet's starships of the 16th, 17th and 18th design that still require hardware upgrades which are not yet "complete" (bar graph). Alternate interpretations are welcome.
I'd certainly much favor all those interpretations that have the list as representing ships currently residing at SB11. But I have no great fondness for the "Nth design" model, which just plain isn't upheld by the episodes and movies of Star Trek. And in that model, there'd still be an alarming number of ships of the 17th design stranded at less than 100% status one way or another, out of the dozen quoted ones.

The idea of reserving the first two digits to a specific design doesn't fly if a design includes just a dozen completed hulls; Starfleet would be ridiculously short on ships in that case. The idea of "cycle leaders" is an intriguing one, but simple running numbers such as those used by the USN to list its destroyers would also work relatively fine. Leading vessels of all-new designs would just get the next running number for the most part.

That is the system FJ ruined by giving a NCC prefix to all types of ship, meaning either that the registries suggest ship type by a subtler means, or then that the registries tell nothing of ship type. The majority of evidence nowadays is for the latter: only an expert can tell from a glance what sort of a ship a certain registry describes. Which isn't objectionable as such.

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Old September 18 2012, 04:44 PM   #12
Robert Comsol
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Timo wrote: View Post
"There's no reason to think that the jury would have any specific configuration. We can draw no conclusions from the configuration we see - especially as it so markedly differs from the configuration of Spock's hearing in "The Menagerie". Certainly there is no evidence against there being a dozen other Captains or starship COs at SB11 at the time."
I disagree. Spock's hearing is at "sea", Kirk hearing is at "port". Of course there is evidence against a dozen other starship captains at Starbase 11 at the time: Why bring in starship captains with active duty (and thus immobilize their starships!) if there are other idle starship captains available at port, waiting for the end of repairs on their ships?!
The Starfleet representative who has to attend the court martial is just one officer, but Kirk makes his log entry stating "officers" which has to refer to at least another starship captain.

Timo wrote: View Post
"I'd rather choose to interpret the "cruiser" in Scotty's rant as a pleasure cruiser, in which case "starship" would cover all the Starfleet vessels. Drawing the line between "cruiser" and "heavy cruiser" in the military sense seems awfully artificial."
I agree, Mr. Scott isn't really working on all his thrusters during these scenes ("no bloody...C" - I doubt he has ever looked at Andrew Probert's original Ambassador Class design...), but there seems to be a difference between a cruiser and a starship (whatever that may be).

Timo wrote: View Post
"I'd certainly much favor all those interpretations that have the list as representing ships currently residing at SB11. But I have no great fondness for the "Nth design" model, which just plain isn't upheld by the episodes and movies of Star Trek."
It is upheld by the TOS episodes and movies. And I rather have one "physical law" working fine than to worry about the "Grand Unified Theory" (including TNG etc.) which is next to impossible, add to this that it works once you consider the Enterprise's creator original intentions.

Timo wrote: View Post
"And in that model, there'd still be an alarming number of ships of the 17th design stranded at less than 100% status one way or another, out of the dozen quoted ones."
You said yourself we do not know what the "complete" in the graphic bar means, thus we cannot conclude that it indicates "stranded" ships or a less than average performance.
As USS Intrepid (NCC-1631) is not on this repair list (only Enterprise happens to be there by coincidence) the list does not indicate starships "stranded" for repair work.
On the contrary, other than repairs Intrepid is at 100% performance (and therefore not on the list), Enterprise is not "complete", thus Commodore Stone orders repair on the Intrepid to be stopped on behalf of Enterprise.

Timo wrote: View Post
"The idea of reserving the first two digits to a specific design doesn't fly if a design includes just a dozen completed hulls; Starfleet would be ridiculously short on ships in that case."
I don't pretend to know how many starships UFP actually needs in the 23rd Century, therefore I have to rely on the producers intentions (analogy to the US Navy aircraft carriers of the 1960's) that 12 starships "like" the Enterprise was all they had.

I take it from your comments that you disagree with this approach. But 12 starships would make sense in so far, that Enterprise is often the only "starship" available to intercept (in the films).

Timo wrote: View Post
"That is the system FJ ruined by giving a NCC prefix to all types of ship, meaning either that the registries suggest ship type by a subtler means, or then that the registries tell nothing of ship type."
I concur. But bringing back Matt Jefferies' original idea adds more sense to the system than previous explanation attempts with only minimal "tweaks" ("corrections" would be the proper term), in my humble opinion.

Bob
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Old September 19 2012, 01:47 AM   #13
T'Girl
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
... that 12 starships "like" the Enterprise was all they had.
But how many "starships" unlike the Enterprise do they also have, in addition to those like the Enterprise?

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Old September 19 2012, 06:30 AM   #14
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Of course there is evidence against a dozen other starship captains at Starbase 11 at the time: Why bring in starship captains with active duty (and thus immobilize their starships!) if there are other idle starship captains available at port, waiting for the end of repairs on their ships?!
The members of the jury were specifically shipped in (our heroes waited for them to "arrive"), so we have no reason to assume they would have been picked randomly from a locally available pool under any circumstances. Hence, we can tell nothing of the locally available pool. For all we know, it was absolutely necessary to get a Space Command Representative there, as well as two skippers of a very specific personal background (say, unrelated to Kirk's career, familiar with Kirk, whatever).

there seems to be a difference between a cruiser and a starship (whatever that may be)
Intriguingly, in TNG "Peak Performance", the (civilian?) tactical advisor Kolrami feels the need to specify that the opposing ship in the war games is a "star cruiser". Quite possibly, people of both the central Trek eras use the term "cruiser" ambiguously, for both civilian and military vessels (as Kirk felt the tiny Aurora in "Way to Eden" was one!), and when there is any chance of confusion, the prefix "star" establishes a Starfleet identity for a vessel.

So here we have a "star ship status" chart. The space between the first two words might be crucial: a starship is a specific type, a star ship is a ship belonging to Starfleet - say, a starship, a star cruiser, a star destroyer, a star frigate, or perhaps a star transport.

As USS Intrepid (NCC-1631) is not on this repair list (only Enterprise happens to be there by coincidence) the list does not indicate starships "stranded" for repair work.
A ship with the number NCC-1*31 does appear on the chart - and it would be the height of illogic not to have the Intrepid there, as Stone apparently makes these reshuffling decisions by looking at that very chart. "Coincidence" is the last resort if explanations more befitting the drama of the situation are also easily available.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old September 19 2012, 11:04 PM   #15
Robert Comsol
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
"But how many "starships" unlike the Enterprise do they also have, in addition to those like the Enterprise? "
That's the big question, is it not? With "United Star Ship Republic number 1371" - a "starship" according to the producers - probably a lot unless they kept this one just as a training vessel.
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