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Old August 25 2013, 02:19 AM   #136
Praetor
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

I dig that, Reverend. The Vulcan Science Academy would no doubt approve.

I'll agree that the reason I bought into the Oberth being older was primarily the fact of the registry number, and really wanted registries to have some semblance of sequence... however, you are probably right. They were probably inspired directly by FJ's depiction of registries.

And, maybe there was some element of making it sleek when it came to designing her - but I feel like it might be more likely that she was meant to be a simpler, Federation non-Starship. She came about in a unique era - from TOS, we only had the Enterprise-type ships. It was really the movies that expanded the fleet. TWOK gave us "frigates" in the Reliant, and TSFS gave us a science ship and the ship of the next generation. As popular as FJ was, surely he was a strong influence? I mean, they did go to all the effort to use his schematics on screen.

And it's worth noting, in early TWOK storyboards, the Reliant was the same type ship as the Enterprise.
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Old August 25 2013, 08:07 PM   #137
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I think the Excelsior prototypes have a noticable retro-look which is rather the total opposite of what the final design looked like on film. And an NCC registry beginning with "14"?
Said ship also had the name Alka-selsior. That shows just how seriously we should take whatever was printed on them.

ILM was a third-party-contractor, so if you want to keep the story a secret, you got to make sure that it's not leaking at the end where you don't have control.
Whether or not they knew what the film was about is irrelevant. The producers would have told them specifically what they wanted built, which in this case was a ship newer than the TMP Enterprise, a Romulan Bird of Prey, and a science vessel. Just the fact that they knew the Excelsior would be new precludes that the other two ships would be new as well. I see no indication with either the study models or the finish products that ILM was trying to design ships from pre-TOS. You can call them retro-looking all you want, but that doesn't make it so.

Praetor wrote: View Post
I'll agree that the reason I bought into the Oberth being older was primarily the fact of the registry number, and really wanted registries to have some semblance of sequence... however, you are probably right. They were probably inspired directly by FJ's depiction of registries.
As I stated before, I don't even think it was that complicated. I truly believe the Grissom's 3-digit registry was given simply because it was a small ship.
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Old August 25 2013, 08:13 PM   #138
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Reverend wrote: View Post
I really don't think anyone needs to find more of a reason to speculate. It's just for fun after all, nobody's going to change canon with this idea.
I wasn't aware that "canon" had established the origins of the Oberth Class beyond doubt.

Bob
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Old August 26 2013, 10:09 AM   #139
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Praetor wrote: View Post
I'll agree that the reason I bought into the Oberth being older was primarily the fact of the registry number, and really wanted registries to have some semblance of sequence... however, you are probably right. They were probably inspired directly by FJ's depiction of registries.
Really? It’s obvious that the FJ blueprints made it onto the screen displays of TMP and ST III, with the latter one being the worst offender because it clearly showed the TOS Enterprise with her distinctive warp nacelles. Of course, they could have used Kimble’s TMP Blueprints instead, but apparently the outlines were too thin to be simply transformed into an accurate display (Andrew Probert in his trekplace.com interview: “sheer laziness”). I doubt that the art department at Paramount and ILM were really concerting their contributions.

Had the ILM model makers truly relied on FJ’s Technical Manual, then giving the Grissom a registry of “638” was somewhat unethical as it pushed FJ’s concept of one-nacelled scout ships over the cliff (they should have rather gone with a prefix beginning with “4” or “7”), IMHO.

I’m not sure that’s truly the case. I think it’s rather probable that they knew the Epsilon Nine subspace chatter:
“Scout Columbia NCC-621 to rendezvous with Scout Revere NCC-595 on Stardate 7411.4”

So here we did have a “Scout Class” vessel (Ken Ralston) and the ILM model makers probably and simply added an iconic “17” (!) to arrive at their registry number “638” for the Grissom.

Bob

@ Dukhat

Yes, the “Alka-selsior” is a funny inside joke, but frankly I found it to small too read on the study model in contrast to the “14” (good thing they didn’t put an “R2” or “D2” there). Now, do we apply the same line of reasoning for all okudagrams containing little jokes or do we just ignore the indiscernible small print?
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Old August 26 2013, 12:35 PM   #140
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
I really don't think anyone needs to find more of a reason to speculate. It's just for fun after all, nobody's going to change canon with this idea.
I wasn't aware that "canon" had established the origins of the Oberth Class beyond doubt.

Bob
You're right it hasn't and nothing we discuss here will alter that state of affairs, which was exactly my point.

As for the FJ stuff, I'd say it took anything BUT effort to include those diagrams. On the contrary it was certainly much easier and quicker to use those existent materials than produce something new. After all, it's just back-chatter and set dressing, it's not like people will be scrutinizing such trivial details for the next 30 years...right?

Seriously though, while I do think the Grissom's reg was inspired by FJ's system, it was probably only because it was the only published reference source around at the time and IIRC at that point GR hadn't disavowed it yet. That's the nature of retcons though. Things are done a certain way because they made sense at the time but then something else is done later that (mostly unwittingly) contradicts it so a new explanation is needed. That is to say "needed" by those who care about trivialities.
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Old August 26 2013, 12:59 PM   #141
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Yes, the “Alka-selsior” is a funny inside joke, but frankly I found it to small too read on the study model in contrast to the “14” (good thing they didn’t put an “R2” or “D2” there). Now, do we apply the same line of reasoning for all okudagrams containing little jokes or do we just ignore the indiscernible small print?
My line of reasoning is that we shouldn't take stuff like what was printed on study models seriously. You apparently think the exact opposite; that ILM had some kind of ulterior motive with all this when it's pretty clear (to me, anyway) that they didn't. But as I said before, you're welcome to believe whatever you want.
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Old August 26 2013, 01:54 PM   #142
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Reverend wrote: View Post
After all, it's just back-chatter and set dressing, it's not like people will be scrutinizing such trivial details for the next 30 years...right?
Considering that we are discussing and scrutinizing such trivial details still after the past 30 years, I wouldn't be too surprised if we were to continue this for the next 30 years.

@ Dukhat

I don't see the need for "belief" (has such a dogmatic connotation ). Unless we get first hand accounts from the actual people involved there is plenty of room for speculation with the possibility that things may be different from what many of us assume these to be. Can we agree on that?

Bob
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Old August 26 2013, 02:17 PM   #143
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

There's a not-so-fine line being crossed here, between "Can we pretend that item X is part of a great continuum of facts, in which case we can further pretend that Starfleet did Y with Z? We can? Great!" and "See item X here? It indicates the author intent to have Starfleet do Y with Z!"...

Sure, the Oberth can be an old Vulcan design from 2178 or so. But there's no actual evidence for such an intent - there's just material we can pretend to be evidence for such an outcome.

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Old August 26 2013, 03:05 PM   #144
Robert Comsol
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Timo wrote: View Post
Sure, the Oberth can be an old Vulcan design from 2178 or so. But there's no actual evidence for such an intent - there's just material we can pretend to be evidence for such an outcome.
Actual intent is currently unknown and a subject of individual interpretation and preference.

If we go by the registry and assume FJ's System is applicable. i.e. the higher the number the stronger the ship, then it's "17" for the Enterprise and her sister ships, "18" for the Miranda Class and "20" for the Excelsior Class (conclusion: Reliant is stronger than Enterprise).

if we go by the registry and assume Matt Jefferies' System is still applicable than the first two digits indicate a chronology in ship building / design series.
"17" in TOS and the first film, "18" (one in the starship status chart and) in the second movie, "20" in the third movie for the latest starship design (Excelsior Class).

Bob
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Old August 26 2013, 03:43 PM   #145
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Timo wrote: View Post
There's a not-so-fine line being crossed here, between "Can we pretend that item X is part of a great continuum of facts, in which case we can further pretend that Starfleet did Y with Z? We can? Great!" and "See item X here? It indicates the author intent to have Starfleet do Y with Z!"...

Sure, the Oberth can be an old Vulcan design from 2178 or so. But there's no actual evidence for such an intent - there's just material we can pretend to be evidence for such an outcome.

Timo Saloniemi
Pretty much. It's just a theory that happens to fit the facts.
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Old August 26 2013, 06:45 PM   #146
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I don't see the need for "belief" (has such a dogmatic connotation ). Unless we get first hand accounts from the actual people involved there is plenty of room for speculation with the possibility that things may be different from what many of us assume these to be. Can we agree on that?
Well, no, because we do have firsthand accounts from people who worked at ILM such as Bill George and Nilo Rodis, who pretty much state the opposite of what you believe. They were asked to design a ship that was newer, larger and sleeker than the TMP Enterprise, with the intention that it would become Kirk's new command. Therefore they knew they weren't designing ships for a pre-TOS prequel film. It's as simple as that. I'm sorry that that doesn't jibe with your theory about the Oberth, but it is what it is.

Now with that said, sure, the Oberth could still be an older design. But as Timo stated above me, that doesn't seem to be the designers' intent, low registry number notwithstanding.
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Old August 26 2013, 10:18 PM   #147
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Dukhat wrote: View Post
Well, no, because we do have firsthand accounts from people who worked at ILM such as Bill George and Nilo Rodis, who pretty much state the opposite of what you believe.
All we learn from these interviews is part of the production process (at which point in time?).

But we can definitely see quite a paradigm shift from the early Excelsior prototypes with their clone trooper / Flash Gordon / Rocketeer style warp nacelles and the TOS Romulan Bird of Prey reminiscent superstructures to the final design that's definitely more late 23rd Century than those early study models, IMHO.

Bob
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Old August 26 2013, 10:18 PM   #148
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

I guess it all comes down to intent vs. fitting it into the overall universe. Intent must of course be taken with a grain of salt, but can provide useful clues overall for fitting things into place.

The TSFS script says she's a mid-size Federation science ship. She was performing scientific research, so that seems like a no-brainer. Plus, mid-size to what? The Enterprise? The Excelsior? Or something bigger we never saw? I expect the intent was "smaller than the Enterprise."

The registry number, I admit, is less than conclusive. The overall pattern in Trek seems to be sequential registries. If NCC-1701 is launched in 2245 (assuming Capt. April existed), and NCC-2593 (Hathaway) by 2285, then surely NCC-638 would have been launched at least sometime before 2245... more than 10 years anyway. The problem with having there be some great reset in the early 23rd century means that registry numbers seem to get scarily high scarily fast. Plus, conjecturally (unless it was stated in dialog and I"m forgetting) we have the NCC-173 in service at least by 2167 to be lost the same year. And, not to throw the Kelvin into the mix, but the Kelvin is NCC-514 and in service by 2233 pre-temporal mumbo jumbo.

So you have at least:

0176 - 2176
0514 - 2233*
1701 - 2245*
2593 - 2285

You have, more or less, the registries jumping by 2400 in about 100 years, again assuming sequentiality. That would place NCC-1300 around 2235, and, NCC-600 circa 2200 in my admittedly rough estimation.

Problem with the Kelvin, of course, is that we don't actually know when she was launched. Nor do we know whether the Oberth had been refit or not by the time we see the Grissom.

At any rate, a 70-year-old Grissom isn't too far out of line with the mothballed 80-year-old Hathaway, especially if the Oberth's design is newer and/or simpler and easier to maintain.
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Old August 27 2013, 01:10 AM   #149
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Dukhat wrote: View Post
Well, no, because we do have firsthand accounts from people who worked at ILM such as Bill George and Nilo Rodis, who pretty much state the opposite of what you believe.
All we learn from these interviews is part of the production process (at which point in time?).
I already answered that question. Any design process or study model building would have been done after the production told ILM what they wanted.
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Old August 27 2013, 03:25 AM   #150
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Re: Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Had the ILM model makers truly relied on FJ’s Technical Manual, then giving the Grissom a registry of “638” was somewhat unethical as it pushed FJ’s concept of one-nacelled scout ships over the cliff (they should have rather gone with a prefix beginning with “4” or “7”), IMHO.
Um, how so? The last of FJ's scout's had a registry of 625, so using 638 doesn't contradict anything in the Tech Manual.

I’m not sure that’s truly the case. I think it’s rather probable that they knew the Epsilon Nine subspace chatter:
“Scout Columbia NCC-621 to rendezvous with Scout Revere NCC-595 on Stardate 7411.4”

So here we did have a “Scout Class” vessel (Ken Ralston) and the ILM model makers probably and simply added an iconic “17” (!) to arrive at their registry number “638” for the Grissom.
I think it's much more likely that they pulled a copy of a book off a shelf than it is they happened to remember some inconsequential background chatter from a movie five years prior. YMMV.

Praetor wrote: View Post
The registry number, I admit, is less than conclusive. The overall pattern in Trek seems to be sequential registries. If NCC-1701 is launched in 2245 (assuming Capt. April existed), and NCC-2593 (Hathaway) by 2285, then surely NCC-638 would have been launched at least sometime before 2245... more than 10 years anyway. The problem with having there be some great reset in the early 23rd century means that registry numbers seem to get scarily high scarily fast. Plus, conjecturally (unless it was stated in dialog and I"m forgetting) we have the NCC-173 in service at least by 2167 to be lost the same year. And, not to throw the Kelvin into the mix, but the Kelvin is NCC-514 and in service by 2233 pre-temporal mumbo jumbo.

So you have at least:

0176 - 2176
0514 - 2233*
1701 - 2245*
2593 - 2285

You have, more or less, the registries jumping by 2400 in about 100 years, again assuming sequentiality. That would place NCC-1300 around 2235, and, NCC-600 circa 2200 in my admittedly rough estimation.
That's why FJ's system is nice for the TOS-era... it doesn't have to be sequential. The Ptolemies, which were Constitution contemporaries, were already in the 3800 range. Now, we didn't get any of those registries on screen, but we do know from the background chatter mentioned above that 2120 was active by TMP. Which I guess doesn't prove anything, since that slides really well into your chart above!

But agreed, all the latter-day shows seem to imply registries are sequential. But even if you assume sequential, we do have a bit of an "out" for why SF seemed to go through so few in its first 100 years, but through so many in its second. If we take TAS into account, then it would appear that freighters and transports get registries with a letter in them. So Huron's registry at F1913 would be a separate registry from whatever ship got 1913. So there would be an unknown number of registries with a preceding letter up until at least TOS, and then at some point prior to TNG, SF decided to drop the letter, and freighters, transports, etc. (even runabouts!) all get "regular" NCC numbers. This could at least somewhat account for the number "explosion".
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