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

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Old September 29 2012, 01:54 AM   #136
Robert Comsol
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Christopher wrote: View Post
"^You shouldn't take any of it too literally because it's fiction. Everything about it is subject to revision or reinterpretation."
Well, this forum and its participants speaks volumes that this isn't just about a "TV show". From a writer's point of view "everything about it is subject to revision or reinterpretation" could be a convenient excuse for not doing accurate research which, IMHO, is the cause of many contradictions in the fictional universe of Star Trek and to a much lesser degree because of changed premises of the original producers / creators.

The only excuse for me would be a darn good story. One of the best Star Trek stories I ever read was Peter David's Q-Squared. It wasn't great because of his accurate research but that helped a lot to really make it credible and enjoyable.

Bob
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Old September 29 2012, 02:22 AM   #137
Christopher
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
From a writer's point of view "everything about it is subject to revision or reinterpretation" could be a convenient excuse for not doing accurate research which, IMHO, is the cause of many contradictions in the fictional universe of Star Trek and to a much lesser degree because of changed premises of the original producers / creators.
"Accurate research?" You're talking about it as though this were real history. Like I said, even if you know the "facts" of a work of fiction, you're still allowed to change them if it serves your purposes, because they're not real in the first place.

I'm a damn good researcher, for your information. If you'd read my Trek novels, you'd see how many incredibly obscure bits of Trek trivia I'm able to unearth, incorporate, and reconcile in my novels. But I'm also rational enough to know the difference between fact and fiction. The latter allows poetic license. It's ignorant and insulting to assume that every continuity variation is the result of sloppiness or carelessness. Sometimes you know all the details but recognize that some of them just didn't work very well, and since it is a work of fiction you can make a conscious choice to reinterpret or disregard them.

After all, you learn from experience. Hopefully your later works will be better than your earlier ones, and you'll have a better sense of what works and what doesn't. So being too slavishly faithful to the details of your early work can be self-defeating.

Of course I'm not saying you should be careless. Continuity is worthwhile. But it's not an end in itself, just a means to the end of telling a good story. So if telling a better story means ignoring or retconning something you did earlier, then you'd be a damn fool not to do it.
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Old September 29 2012, 02:32 AM   #138
The Wormhole
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
"Although I agree there is no reason to believe the original Enterprise 1701 was Starfleet's flagship, the term flagship does not just apply to ships carrying flag officers, even if that's where it originated."
There is no reason to believe the original USS Enterprise was Starfleet's flagship considering hints that suggest this position had already been taken by the USS Lexington:
a) it's commanded by Commodore Robert Wesley (and not just a captain like Kirk or Tracey)
b) the bridge command chair is noticably higher than on Enterprise, Exeter or Defiant
c) the Lexington's "flower" insignia is worn by most Starfleet personnel that does not serve on a specific starship.

Bob
Interesting theory.
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Old September 29 2012, 07:49 PM   #139
J.T.B.
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

I'm surprised anyone would think that Enterprise was probably Kirk's first command, or that anyone would prefer to think that.
It's not that big of a stretch, given all the other more outlandish things that happens in Trek.
That implies that, absent any solid evidence, something "outlandish" is equally as likely as any other possibility. I disagree, and would say that authorial intent (TMoST), internal reference (WNMHGB), historical precedents, the prestige and status of Enterprise's class ("Court Martial," "Tomorrow Is Yesterday," "Bread and Circuses"), and the obvious desire of Starfleet to have its best officers commanding its smaller vessels as well as large all combine to make a stronger case for Kirk having commanded a ship before Enterprise than not.

For all we know, a senior admiral of his acquaintance may have recommended him or even wrote the orders for him to take command.
Yes, Starfleet may have reverted to personnel practices that were already discredited in the 1700s, but it doesn't seem likely.

"Although I agree there is no reason to believe the original Enterprise 1701 was Starfleet's flagship, the term flagship does not just apply to ships carrying flag officers, even if that's where it originated."
There is no reason to believe the original USS Enterprise was Starfleet's flagship considering hints that suggest this position had already been taken by the USS Lexington:
a) it's commanded by Commodore Robert Wesley (and not just a captain like Kirk or Tracey)
b) the bridge command chair is noticably higher than on Enterprise, Exeter or Defiant
c) the Lexington's "flower" insignia is worn by most Starfleet personnel that does not serve on a specific starship.
Certainly the flagship of that task force or cruiser group or whatever you prefer. But I don't see how that extends to a flagship for the whole of Starfleet. Shirley that would involve a higher-ranking officer than a commodore, and the best evidence indicates that Starfleet's top officer is based in San Francisco, not aboard a starship somewhere.

Justin
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Old September 29 2012, 08:29 PM   #140
C.E. Evans
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
I'm surprised anyone would think that Enterprise was probably Kirk's first command, or that anyone would prefer to think that.
It's not that big of a stretch, given all the other more outlandish things that happens in Trek.
That implies that, absent any solid evidence, something "outlandish" is equally as likely as any other possibility.
Nope. It just implies that there are far more incredible things that happens in Trek that nobody even blinks at.
I disagree, and would say that authorial intent (TMoST), internal reference (WNMHGB), historical precedents, the prestige and status of Enterprise's class ("Court Martial," "Tomorrow Is Yesterday," "Bread and Circuses"), and the obvious desire of Starfleet to have its best officers commanding its smaller vessels as well as large all combine to make a stronger case for Kirk having commanded a ship before Enterprise than not.
I don't think any of that rules out the possibility, though. Sure, it's open to interpretation, but more than one way of looking at it is really my point.
For all we know, a senior admiral of his acquaintance may have recommended him or even wrote the orders for him to take command.
Yes, Starfleet may have reverted to personnel practices that were already discredited in the 1700s, but it doesn't seem likely.
I'm not talking about something done solely out of a personal friendship, but rather a situation where an admiral who is familiar and/or impressed with the service record of a specific officer and assigns him or her command of a vessel (I think that's what happened when Admiral Satie assigned Picard command of the Enterprise-D).
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Old September 29 2012, 09:37 PM   #141
Christopher
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
Certainly the flagship of that task force or cruiser group or whatever you prefer. But I don't see how that extends to a flagship for the whole of Starfleet. Shirley that would involve a higher-ranking officer than a commodore, and the best evidence indicates that Starfleet's top officer is based in San Francisco, not aboard a starship somewhere.
Indeed, I don't think the idea of a "flagship for the whole of Starfleet" is even meaningful. A flagship is the command ship for a jointly operating group of ships, and most Starfleet vessels operate alone. Too many fans -- and unfortunately too many Trek writers -- confuse the vernacular usage of "flagship" to mean the most prestigious or important member of a group (like the way Voyager was UPN's flagship program) with its formal naval usages.

And don't call me Surely.
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Old September 29 2012, 10:26 PM   #142
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Christopher wrote: View Post
J.T.B. wrote: View Post
But I don't see how that extends to a flagship for the whole of Starfleet.
Indeed, I don't think the idea of a "flagship for the whole of Starfleet" is even meaningful. A flagship is the command ship ...
I don't think the Enterprise Dee was a flagship because it was a command ship, or carried a Admiral, rather it was the "Flagship of the Federation" because it was a showpiece, a emblem of the Federation's prestige and a demonstration of it's abilities.

Businesses have flagship stores, much bigger than their standard outlets, possessing greater stocks of inventory, and often found in prestigious shopping districts.

Auto manufacturers have flagship cars. Like the Chevy Corvette, an expensive signature vehicle with looks and power. when Chevy displays a company commercial, the Corvette is prominently featured.

The Enterprise Dee as the "Flagship of the Federation" is like those flagship stores and vehicles, large, powerful, and expensive. Starfleet, with the same materials and assets, could have built two or three medium sized starships that could have individually carried out most of the Enterprise Dee's missions, instead they built a "flying starbase."

And don't call me Surely.
Somebody had to do it.

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Old September 29 2012, 10:38 PM   #143
Christopher
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

^But that's just it -- I don't buy that Starfleet actually would use "flagship" in that vernacular, civilian sense when there's already a more proper naval usage for the term.

Also, I don't like the idea of the Enterprise being some super-special ship that's treated as superior to everything else in Starfleet. It's too fannish, insisting that people within the universe perceive it the same way we viewers do. Realistically, the Enterprise would just be one ship out of many, and no doubt there are other ships and crews who are out there doing equally heroic and extraordinary things; we just don't get to see them. And if Starfleet touted just one of its ships and crews as being the best around, wouldn't that be rather insulting to everyone else in the Fleet? Not to mention, wouldn't it make more sense for Starfleet to spread the best and the brightest throughout the whole fleet rather than concentrating them all on a single crew? The Enterprise shouldn't be the greatest ship around bar none. It should be one of many great ships and crews, at most first among equals.

Also, the E-D was just one of multiple Galaxy-Class ships, so it doesn't make sense to say it was built exceptionally large for the prestige or something. If that had been the case, wouldn't the class have been called the Enterprise Class instead?
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Old September 29 2012, 11:07 PM   #144
BillJ
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

In universe, the Enterprise became special the moment they started tacking letters onto the registry. Everyone wanted to serve on it.
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Old September 30 2012, 12:24 AM   #145
T'Girl
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Christopher wrote: View Post
And if Starfleet touted just one of its ships and crews as being the best around ...
But isn't that exactly what we see happening? And the Enteprise isn't being referred to as the Flagship of Starfleet, uh uh. It's the Flagship of the Federation.

It's the flagship of the civilian organization, not the military one.

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Old September 30 2012, 01:01 AM   #146
Christopher
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
It's the flagship of the civilian organization, not the military one.
But what does that even mean? It's a bizarre and sloppy usage of the word.
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Old September 30 2012, 08:09 PM   #147
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Christopher wrote: View Post
But what does that even mean
That it not a flagship in the naval usage of the term, but rather in another way of using of the term, the civilian "version."

The Federation selected one of their most advanced and sizable ships, gave it a historically proud name, installed a scholarly commander with above average diplomatic skills and sent it forth to
be the emblem of the Federation.

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Old September 30 2012, 08:31 PM   #148
Christopher
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
But what does that even mean
That it not a flagship in the naval usage of the term, but rather in another way of using of the term, the civilian "version."
But since it actually is a naval vessel, that's rather confusing. And I still say it's too fannish to force the in-universe characters to revere a particular ship above all others just because it's the ship that we fans get to follow on TV.
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Old September 30 2012, 09:12 PM   #149
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Christopher wrote: View Post
But since it actually is a naval vessel, that's rather confusing. And I still say it's too fannish to force the in-universe characters to revere a particular ship above all others just because it's the ship that we fans get to follow on TV.
First off, the Enterprise is not a naval vessel. It is a Starfleet vessel. Regardless of some of the similarities, Starfleet is not the modern military. They could certainly use terms differently in the 24th century.

Second, the on-screen evidence (there's that word again!) suggests that it is not being used in the traditional naval sense but, in fact, is being used in the "civilian" sense. And the on-screen evidence also points to the Enterprise being considered a legendary and super-prestigious ship.

Now, that wasn't the case throughout TOS, I'll grant you. But I believe we are to look to TOS as being the reason the Enterprise became legendary. Throughout TNG, the ship is several times referred to as "the flagship of the Federation," even though it is clearly not in the naval sense. There are no flag officers on board. The ship is usually off on missions by itself. It is not leading groups of ships. No, clearly the meaning used is that is the most prestigious ship, a ship of special distinction, which stands as a symbol of the Federation.

I can't find any canon evidence that would suggest that when Picard calls the Enterprise the flagship, that he is using it in the naval sense.

ADDENDUM: Also, the Enterprise is not the only hero ship we follow. We follow the Defiant and Voyager too. And the Defiant, in fact, gets to be the lead ship of entire battle fleets. Yet never once do we hear either of this ships referred to as "flagships."
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Old September 30 2012, 09:13 PM   #150
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

The naval term would be "the pride of the fleet" or "the pride of the navy". The ship that wins all the awards for excellence and has for many years. I believe HMS Hood was considered the pride of the Royal Navy throughout the 20s and 30s.

The closest we got to this in TOS was in "The Immunity Syndrome" when Spock called the Enterprise the finest starship in the fleet.
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