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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old September 27 2012, 02:53 AM   #91
Warped9
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

RB_Kandy wrote: View Post
I know the Enterprise 1701 had captains before Kirk, but did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?
The OP's question is open to interpretation. Is he's asking if Kirk had ever held the rank of Captain aboard a prior position or is he asking if Kirk ever held a prior command (mostly likely a ship) before the Enterprise?

I think it unlikely that Kirk was a Captain before being assigned the Enterprise, but the evidence suggests he has had a prior command before the Enterprise. He couholdover held the rank of Commander and still have captained a previous ship.
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Old September 27 2012, 03:05 AM   #92
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

I've always taken that line to mean that Kirk's first command was the Enterprise and thus why Gary was with him.

It's open to interpretation and I don't think there is any on screen evidence to really debate it.

Besides, I just can't see Kirk commanding a ship not called the Enterprise (BOP excluded).
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Old September 27 2012, 03:24 AM   #93
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

The Writer's Guide and WNMHGB suggest the Enterprise is not Kirk's first time at bat and nothing later on contradicts it. It actually makes more sense that way.
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Old September 27 2012, 04:00 AM   #94
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Utopianvista wrote: View Post
I've always taken that line to mean that Kirk's first command was the Enterprise and thus why Gary was with him.

It's open to interpretation and I don't think there is any on screen evidence to really debate it.
That's it in a nutshell. Kirk's first command could either have been the Enterprise, a previous vessel, or even something else. Take your pick.
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Old September 27 2012, 08:05 AM   #95
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Especially if there was some kind of "boom" in Starfleet size in Kirk's early career
Perhaps a very concrete kaboom? In "Whom Gods Destroy", Garth of Izar praises Kirk's soldier qualities, and rather than contradict him outright, Kirk just says he's more of an explorer "now". Perhaps Starfleet was at heated war in Kirk's early days (the Four Years War of early RPG fame), and attrition brought the young officer to prominence?

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Old September 27 2012, 11:40 AM   #96
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Christopher wrote: View Post
KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Taking lines from WNMHGB as irrefutable fact seems a little pointless to me.
Again, where is all this counterfactual rubbish about "conclusive proof" and "irrefutable fact" coming from? Nobody is claiming anything of the sort. We're just discussing possibilities. Any reasonable observer would conclude that it's impossible to prove anything about this. It's a topic within a work of fiction that was never addressed except in one ambiguous line of dialogue. Even attempting to cast the discussion in terms of proof is nonsense. Of course there's nothing to prove because the characters and institutions we're talking about don't actually exist. The best anyone can say about any interpretation is that it sounds more or less plausible than another. It's a completely abstract discussion about what might have been the case in an imaginary story some people made up decades ago, pure speculation about something there's virtually no evidence about and never will be. So can we please just relax and stop taking it so damn seriously?
I wasn't, Mr. Bolding For Emphasis.


It was a pilot episode where Spock wore yellow and had "a human ancestor", where Sulu wore blue, and where Kirk had a BFF that never came up again in canon Trek. It's a great episode, but as with most pilots it's not entirely continuous with the series proper.
I don't see how any of those represent serious continuity problems. Sulu simply changed jobs, and the uniform designs were changed. (Really, as first officer, Spock should have worn command gold; the producers probably just figured he looked better in blue.) And no character important in Kirk's life was brought up outside the episode in which he or she appeared, because that's how '60s television always worked. And Spock may have simply been reticent to admit how much human blood he had. These are no worse than the continuity glitches that showed up within the series itself.
Agreed on the continuity glitches (providing of course you use production order instead of aired order), but Shatner's Kirk lived on until 1994, way beyond the 60's episodic format. Although all I can say about that is how annoyed I was when Kirk's "I lost a brother once" in STV wasn't about Sam. Which doesn't help my case.
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Old September 27 2012, 01:21 PM   #97
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
"According to the novel Enterprise: The First Adventure, Kirk commanded the USS Lydia Sutherland ... prior to commanding the Enteprise. Although I think Kirk was actually the first officer, and it was his heroic actions here once the captain was incapacitated that led to him being promoted to captain and given the USS Enterprise."
HMS or USS? Just to get this straight: the author was unable to come up with a better name for a Star Trek ship other than merging the names of the HMS Lydia and the HMS Sutherland from the film "Captain Horatio Hornblower" and the novel series?
Sorry, sounds like felgercarb to me.

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
"According to DC Comics' old continuity, Kirk commanded the Baton Rouge-class USS Saladin for 3 or five years prior to the Enterprise."
Unfortunately I don't have all the comics (wasn't it Marvel?) but think those to nicely fill in gaps unless contradicted by screen evidence.

According to Kirk in "Court-Martial" and the subsequent wishes of the producers USS Republic (NCC-1371) was a member of the "starship class". According to the comics USS Republic was a Baton Rouge Class vessel (of the starship class).

Since USS Saladin was a starship, too, it looks like we have to conclude that Kirk's first command was another ship ("destroyer class") prior to USS Saladin.

Bob
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Old September 27 2012, 01:28 PM   #98
C.E. Evans
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

^^^
Actually, we don't have to conclude that at all. But individually, everyone can go with whatever idea they like the best.
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Old September 27 2012, 01:29 PM   #99
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Only if destroyers aren't starships. Hard to tell, when we never really got a good look at a non-starship in Starfleet service.

Sorry, sounds like felgercarb to me.
That's a cute expression, but the book was actually sort of fun. Didn't take Star Trek too seriously...

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Old September 27 2012, 02:09 PM   #100
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
According to Kirk in "Court-Martial" and the subsequent wishes of the producers USS Republic (NCC-1371) was a member of the "starship class". According to the comics USS Republic was a Baton Rouge Class vessel (of the starship class).

Since USS Saladin was a starship, too, it looks like we have to conclude that Kirk's first command was another ship ("destroyer class") prior to USS Saladin.
Okay, now you are taking creator intentions too literally. Again, there's no such thing as absolute fact in something like this. Creator intentions can be useful information in forming opinions, and when there's no other information to counter them, there's no harm in taking them into consideration. Since there's not a shred of evidence that Kirk didn't command an earlier ship, there's no reason to doubt TMoST's assertion that he did. But where later evidence does clash with creator intentions, it's unreasonable to treat them as binding -- since, after all, creators change their minds all the time, and it actually goes against the creators' intentions to ignore their later, more refined ideas in favor of the early, rough ideas that they deliberately abandoned.

In this case, the early, awkward use of "Starship Class" has long since been superseded by a more plausible usage wherein "starship" is a generic term for any interstellar spacecraft and ships are given class names that are generally taken from the first vessel in the class. There are decades' worth of evidence to support that usage and it makes no sense to ignore all that.
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Old September 27 2012, 02:43 PM   #101
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

In this case, the early, awkward use of "Starship Class" has long since been superseded by a more plausible usage wherein "starship" is a generic term for any interstellar spacecraft and ships are given class names that are generally taken from the first vessel in the class.
...However, it would not really go against real world precedent to treat the terminology as mutable. Say, HMS Dreadnought mutated into dreadnought the ship type.

More relevantly to this specific issue, "cutter" mutated from being a type of boat in Coast Guard use (literally, a "boat") into a generic name for all types of boat and ship in Coast Guard use. The exact same thing might have happened to "starship", it starting out as a word similar to "battleship" and indicating a specific type of heavy unit (of which NX-01 was one, and by the standards of that time, so was any vessel she encountered, so we don't even have to worry about retcons!), but then becoming generic either just after TOS, during it, or even some time before it (but old habits die hard, and old brass plates don't get replaced any time soon).

Just saying. The idea that "starship=/=spaceship" or even that "starship>spaceship" is pretty strongly in evidence in TOS and the TOS movies, all the way up to ST4. It warrants at least some sort of support - even if one subscribes (like me) to the sensible Ferengi rule that ultimately, writer intent plus an empty sack is worth the sack.

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Old September 27 2012, 05:52 PM   #102
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Timo wrote: View Post
In this case, the early, awkward use of "Starship Class" has long since been superseded by a more plausible usage wherein "starship" is a generic term for any interstellar spacecraft and ships are given class names that are generally taken from the first vessel in the class.
...However, it would not really go against real world precedent to treat the terminology as mutable. Say, HMS Dreadnought mutated into dreadnought the ship type.

More relevantly to this specific issue, "cutter" mutated from being a type of boat in Coast Guard use (literally, a "boat") into a generic name for all types of boat and ship in Coast Guard use. The exact same thing might have happened to "starship", it starting out as a word similar to "battleship" and indicating a specific type of heavy unit (of which NX-01 was one, and by the standards of that time, so was any vessel she encountered, so we don't even have to worry about retcons!), but then becoming generic either just after TOS, during it, or even some time before it (but old habits die hard, and old brass plates don't get replaced any time soon).

Just saying. The idea that "starship=/=spaceship" or even that "starship>spaceship" is pretty strongly in evidence in TOS and the TOS movies, all the way up to ST4. It warrants at least some sort of support - even if one subscribes (like me) to the sensible Ferengi rule that ultimately, writer intent plus an empty sack is worth the sack.

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I agree. The only problem, though, is that the idea that the original Enterprise was "Starship Class" is rather directly contradicted by several later series. The one that springs to mind immediately is "Relics," wherein Picard refers to the original ship's bridge as "Constitution class" and Scotty agrees. Now, you could extend that and say it is a "Constitution class starship," but to say it is a "Constitution class Starship class ship" seems unlikely.

While it is fact that there was a plaque on the Enterprise bridge that did, indeed, say "Starship Class" and not "Constitution class," the plaque is barely visible -- I'm not certain we can ever make out the wording in TOS -- and the lines of dialogue in later series are pretty definitive. Therefore, much like writer intentions that are later contradicted, I feel safe in ignoring the plaque in the same way we ignore "James R. Kirk."
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Old September 27 2012, 06:21 PM   #103
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

CoveTom wrote: View Post
I agree. The only problem, though, is that the idea that the original Enterprise was "Starship Class" is rather directly contradicted by several later series. The one that springs to mind immediately is "Relics," wherein Picard refers to the original ship's bridge as "Constitution class" and Scotty agrees. Now, you could extend that and say it is a "Constitution class starship," but to say it is a "Constitution class Starship class ship" seems unlikely.

While it is fact that there was a plaque on the Enterprise bridge that did, indeed, say "Starship Class" and not "Constitution class," the plaque is barely visible -- I'm not certain we can ever make out the wording in TOS -- and the lines of dialogue in later series are pretty definitive. Therefore, much like writer intentions that are later contradicted, I feel safe in ignoring the plaque in the same way we ignore "James R. Kirk."
I don't see why the Enterprise couldn't be a Starship-Class, Constitiution-Class, and Heavy Cruiser-Class vessel. Much in the same way that the USS Grissom from TSFS is an Starship-Class, Oberth-Class and a "Scout-Class" vessel.
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Old September 27 2012, 06:21 PM   #104
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

CoveTom wrote: View Post
While it is fact that there was a plaque on the Enterprise bridge that did, indeed, say "Starship Class" and not "Constitution class," the plaque is barely visible -- I'm not certain we can ever make out the wording in TOS -- and the lines of dialogue in later series are pretty definitive. Therefore, much like writer intentions that are later contradicted, I feel safe in ignoring the plaque in the same way we ignore "James R. Kirk."
Right. Even canon is subject to change, since of course they're making it up as they go. Later intentions should override initial intentions. "Starship Class" is one of those awkward early ideas that were abandoned when something better came along, like lasers instead of phasers, Vulcanians instead of Vulcans, and UESPA instead of Starfleet.

As for why Enterprise couldn't also be a "Starship Class" vessel, the answer is that that term is simply too generic. Maybe at the start, TOS's creators were treating "starship" as the equivalent of "capital ship," a term only used for the larger vessels, but the term has been used far too widely since then for far too many types of ship. Basically it's come to mean any interstellar vessel larger than a shuttle or runabout. Calling a Starfleet vessel "Starship Class" would work about as well as calling a US Navy vessel "Ship Class."
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Old September 27 2012, 06:33 PM   #105
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Dukhat wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
Sorry, but your opinion is irrelevant. It's what the evidence supports that matters.
Don't tell me my opinion is irrelevant. Your "evidence" is in a book, not in the show, regardless of what that book was meant to represent.

Of course, you are welcome to your own opinion on the matter just as much as I am.
My evidence is the damned original Writer's Guide which is supported by a spoken reference onscreen. That's worth a helluva lot more than your opinion. And the Writer's Guide is Gene Roddenberry's intent which also carries more weight than your opinion. And I reiterate that these two bits of evidence were never contradicted at any time later.
Well, Roddenberry's original intent was for Spock to be a red Martian and for Troi to have three breasts...
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