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

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Old September 11 2013, 06:14 PM   #46
T'Girl
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Shawnster wrote: View Post
Could this be a possible rationalization of starship vs. Starship Class?
Big "S" Starship verses little "s" starship? Might in a fashion explain the plate next to the turbolift in TOS. The Enterprise was a Constitution class starship, but it was also classed as a "STARSHIP"

Something that was a destroyer would still be a staship, but would not be classed as a (capital S) Starship.

So class could have two seperate meanings.

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Old September 11 2013, 09:36 PM   #47
Robert Comsol
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Praetor wrote: View Post
I think this makes perfect sense. Further, based on the notion of "rate" systems, why can't there be Class I, II, III etc. Starships?
Because "Starship II" is the classification of the refit Enterprise according to the Official TMP Blueprints ("Type: Heavy Cruiser")?

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Old September 12 2013, 03:33 AM   #48
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Praetor wrote: View Post
I've been thinking a lot lately about Starfleet as established solely on TOS, and beginning to think that if we consider only what we see on TOS, we'd get an entirely different picture than we get when we take the franchise as a whole.

Using only evidence established in TOS and related materials that pre-dated TNG and her spinoffs, what can we discern about Starfleet, her ships and their technology, and her officers?

A few facts:
  • We know that the authority the Enterprise answers to is a "combined service"
  • We know that there are "12 like the Enterprise" in the fleet
  • We know that Star Central and UESPA are somehow related
  • We know that the Enterprise frequently gets referred to as an Earth ship
  • We know there is at least one ship crewed solely by Vulcans (the Intrepid) - do we actually know she's the same type as the Enterprise?
  • We have seen several other members of the class that the Enterprise belongs to, and seen reference to registry numbers (but no names) of other ships
  • We know that there is a firm distinction between spaceships and Starships
  • We hear several references to "Earth ships" and "Earth bases" but rarely to "Starfleet" or "Federation" ships
  • It appears different ships have different insignia on their uniforms but share the same rank structure
To start, to me most of this suggests that Starfleet is less like the U.S. Navy and more like NATO command... ships from various navies with similar command structures working together on missions for their mother alliance. There's probably some sharing of technology.
I agree with others that think Starfleet is like NATO and Earth's UESPA contributed Earth ships to the fleet.

It was interesting in "The Alternative Factor" that we see
1. Starfleet withdraw all their units and personnel within 100 parsecs of Kirk's ship and
2. that Kirk's high enough on the food chain to request ships to be assigned to him even though he isn't a Commodore.

That suggests to me that Starfleet could've been pretty big and that there were smaller fleet ships that Kirk could command.

Oh, here is an interesting chart of US Submarine evolution. Those early submarines had simple letter names and class names. I can see some of those TOS writers possibly emulating "older classes" with J-Class and DY-100, DY-500, etc while later classes got proper class names.

Evolution of US Subs chart (warning big graphic 1.3mb)
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Old September 12 2013, 05:41 AM   #49
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Darkwing wrote: View Post
It also means Reliant inherited Excalibur's hull number, and that different designs are even more interspersed than previously thought.
You are referring to the two digit contact code "64" only?
No. If we go with 1864 Excalibur, then Reliant reuses the hull number. Part of why I prefer all 16xx numbers as we thought it was back in the day.

General question to all: Does it look on your FullHD (!) displays like "1664" or "1864" on the starship status chart from "Court Martial".
Plain-jane vanilla dvd, no HD of any kind.

The one thing I can't wrap my head around is how Greg Jein was certain it's "1664" and "1697" on the still photo from the original negative he probably had, but mistook "1831" for "1631".
If he saw 1664 and 1697, that'd pre-dispose him to think 1631, 1647, etc.

Maybe I take my Blu-ray disc next time to my friend who has a 4K UltraHD Sony projector. Maybe the upsampling provides an answer.

Bob
Hope it helps you out; I'm just gonna go with what I stated previously.
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Old September 12 2013, 02:29 PM   #50
J.T.B.
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Shawnster wrote: View Post
Could this be a possible rationalization of starship vs. Starship Class? The Royal Navy had all kinds of ships in the 18th and 19th centuries; however, only a select few were "Ships of the Line." Those were special ships had their own distinction and, as Robert describes, different ratings.

So TOS has spaceships and starships; however, Starships as in the Starship Class are a distinct breed. They are the 23rd century equivalent of a Ship of the Line. There are only 12 like Enterprise in the fleet because they are so rare and special. Oh, sure, there are other space ships, but they are inferior when compared to the Starship Class.
Strategically, the ship of the line was the most important. The backbone of the line was the 74-gun third rate. The first and second rate, with three gun decks, were used as flagships or in the line of the largest fleets, and there were less than 20 in service c. 1800, compared to about 60 74s. The third rates were also the most economical of the big ships: Because wooden warships were essentially a similar form scaled up or down, the biggest ships required very large and very rare trees for their construction, so the first and second rates were hugely more expensive than the third.

Some things about the Hornblower-era Royal Navy are good comparisons to Starfleet, others not so much. In TOS, the Enterprise-type seems to be the workhorse of its fleet. We know from "The Ultimate Computer" that they are used in groups for war missions, but whether they shoulder the main strategic effort, or are backup for some unseen big boys (the "dreadnought" of TMP?), we don't know for sure.

One big difference between the Starfleet and real navies is that Starfleet can encounter dangerous threats that come completely without warning. They know where the Klingons and the Romulans are, but they don't know where the next Doomsday Machine or planet-killing space amoeba is going to come from. In that sense, it makes sense that the exploration and frontier-patrol vessels would be the most powerful in the fleet, or close to it, instead of some of the smallest.

One big factor about naval warfare around 1800 was the importance of raiding enemy commerce and protecting ones own; in numbers, almost a quarter of the Royal Navy was smaller vessels for that role. That doesn't seem to be a big deal for Starfleet, perhaps merchant shipping is sufficiently "internal" to the Federation that it's not a concern.
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Old September 13 2013, 12:21 AM   #51
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Praetor wrote: View Post
The thought I've had for a while is that someone tried to secede in violent fashion, and somehow it jeopardized the overall stability of the Federation.
This is a very interesting point and could possibly tie into a couple of oft-ignored lines.

From "The Conscience of the King"
Spock: My father's race was spared the dubious effects of alcohol.
McCoy: Oh, now I know why they were conquered.
From "This Side of Paradise"
Kirk: Your father was a computer, like his son. An ambassador from a planet of traitors. The Vulcan never lived who had an ounce of integrity...
Spock: Captain, please don't...
Kirk: You're a traitor from a race of traitors. Disloyal to the core. Rotten! Like the rest of your subhuman race.
The first example gives the impression that Earth and Vulcan had fought against each other in a conflict at some point in the past, which Vulcan lost. In the second, Kirk is exaggerating to get under Spock's skin, but there'd have to be some basis in Kirk's accusations for it to be effective.

Could Vulcan have attempted to secede from the Federation, or perhaps been on the side of another planet or coalition of planets who did?
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Old September 13 2013, 12:58 AM   #52
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Brilliant...!

That does indeed seem completely likely. It could also explain why Stiles was so easily biased towards Spock in "Balance of Terror," and why everyone, including Kirk, kind of gave him a look after the big reveal scene.

Maybe Vulcan secessionists/terrorists were put down at Axanar?
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Old September 13 2013, 05:07 AM   #53
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

That line is on of the reasons I draw parallels between Vulcan and Japan. After WWII Japan went from enemy to staunch ally and was occupied by US forces for several years after the war.
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Old September 13 2013, 05:17 AM   #54
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
That line is on of the reasons I draw parallels between Vulcan and Japan. After WWII Japan went from enemy to staunch ally and was occupied by US forces for several years after the war.
That would make for a far more interesting back story than what we ended up with in Enterprise.
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Old September 13 2013, 05:48 AM   #55
Nerys Myk
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

BillJ wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
That line is on of the reasons I draw parallels between Vulcan and Japan. After WWII Japan went from enemy to staunch ally and was occupied by US forces for several years after the war.
That would make for a far more interesting back story than what we ended up with in Enterprise.
Well they pretty much ignored that line in future TOS episodes as well. Turning the Vulcans into pacifists and philosophers. I think part of that was the time in which TOS was made and Spock becoming a darling of the counter-culture (or a segment of the counter-culture)
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Old September 13 2013, 08:56 AM   #56
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

I'm enjoying this thread immensely, but what I just read either reveals that McCoy's knowledge of history is flawed (because he is drunk?) or a continuity problem. Here is the dialogue from "The Immunity Syndrome":

Spock: True. It is also true they never knew what was killing them. Their logic would not have permitted them to believe they were being killed.
Kirk: Explain.
Spock: Vulcan has not been conquered within its collective memory. The memory goes back so far that no Vulcan can conceive of a conqueror. I knew the ship was lost because I sensed it.

Bob
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Old September 13 2013, 03:58 PM   #57
Nerys Myk
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

It's a continuity error. One of many in TOS. This Side Of Paradise was produced before Immunity Syndrome. I doubt the idea that McCoy was drunk and couldn't recall history ever crossed the minds of the writers. Especially since at that time they (the writers) were creating the "history".
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Old September 13 2013, 04:20 PM   #58
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
It's a continuity error. One of many in TOS. This Side Of Paradise was produced before Immunity Syndrome. I doubt the idea that McCoy was drunk and couldn't recall history ever crossed the minds of the writers. Especially since at that time they (the writers) were creating the "history".
That and home video with people watching the episodes dozens and dozens of times never crossed their minds.

Maybe that's why Star Trek is still remembered so fondly? They told the best stories they could and didn't care about what happened last year or even last week. They did whatever was best for each individual story.
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Old September 13 2013, 05:22 PM   #59
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

/\ I can't agree. Continuity matters to decent storytelling. Blowing off previous stories to make the current one work is the sign of a hack writer and low quality ideas.
Mistakes happen, things get forgotten, but trampling your previous work just to make it easier to write the current story is laziness.
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Old September 13 2013, 05:39 PM   #60
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Darkwing wrote: View Post
/\ I can't agree. Continuity matters to decent storytelling. Blowing off previous stories to make the current one work is the sign of a hack writer and low quality ideas.
Mistakes happen, things get forgotten, but trampling your previous work just to make it easier to write the current story is laziness.
Star Trek had continuity but it wasn't the ridged "every thing counts" continuity that some fans would like. They were more than willing to toss out ideas that didn't work or look for ideas that worked better. The first half of Season One is littered with abandoned ideas. That doesn't make them hacks, it shows they were professionals.

"A foolish continuity is the hobgoblin of little minds".
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