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

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Old May 28 2011, 08:08 AM   #1
Tiberius
Commodore
 
What Class Was 1701?

From a discussion in the obscure Trek factoids thread...

So the deication plaque for the 1701 reads:

USS Enterprise
Starship Class
San Francisco
Calif

And yet the class has been spoken of as a Constitution class vessel.

So which is it? And is there any way to reconcile the two?

Don't get me wrong. I think it's firmly eatablished that the Enterprise was a Connie. But I think this could be a fun discussion.
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Old May 28 2011, 08:26 AM   #2
Captain Robert April
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

The first mention in print of the Enterprise being a Constitution class starship is in the first fanzine version of the Concordance in 1968, presumably at the behest of Gene Roddenberry. As has been offered in another thread over in the Trek Tech forum, it's possible "Starship Class" is more of an umbrella category that includes several named classes of starships.
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Old May 28 2011, 04:47 PM   #3
jayrath
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

It's Starship Class, so far as I'm concerned -- at least throughout TOS.
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Old May 28 2011, 06:16 PM   #4
Warped9
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

The Enterprise is FIRST CLASS!
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Old May 28 2011, 06:33 PM   #5
Expo67
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

Constitution-Class is what it is.

After the refit in ST-TMP, it became a Constellation-class starship.
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Old May 28 2011, 06:36 PM   #6
MacLeod
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

Expo67 wrote: View Post
Constitution-Class is what it is.

After the refit in ST-TMP, it became a Constellation-class starship.
Constellation Class has 4 nacelles i.e the USS Stargazer and Hathaway
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Old May 28 2011, 06:42 PM   #7
Green Shirt
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
The Enterprise is FIRST CLASS!

There's no argument there!!


But first onscreen evidence says it's Starship Class, the plaque was there since The Cage. Harry Mudd complained "How was I to know this was a Starship". Captain Merrick called the "E" a starship, a special ship and crew.

People could say "Starship" was just a figurative name for a type of real cool ship. Or one could argue that some things around at the start of the series fell by the wayside, like UESPA, and Vulcanians.

But I still vote for Starship Class.
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Old May 28 2011, 07:07 PM   #8
Vance
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

"Class", like "Captain" can mean more than one thing.

"Starship Class" actually means something different than "Constitution Class". The Constitution class refers to the exact type of ship to which the Enterprise belongs. "Starship Class" refers to any ship type capable of deep space exploration and patrol. In other words, Starship encompasses your Constitution class vessels, Miranda class vessels, etc, but wouldn't include things like the SS Aurora, USS Antares, and so forth.
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Old May 28 2011, 07:15 PM   #9
T'Girl
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

Green Shirt wrote: View Post
some things around at the start of the series fell by the wayside, like UESPA, and Vulcanians.
Don't forget Julie Newmar's "Klingens"
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Old May 28 2011, 08:42 PM   #10
C.E. Evans
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

A scene comes to mind in the TNG episode "Relics" between Picard and Scotty on a holodeck recreation of the original Enterprise bridge:

PICARD: Constitution class.
SCOTT: Aye. You're familiar with them?
PICARD: There's one in the Fleet museum, but then of course, this is your Enterprise?
SCOTT: I actually served on two. This was the first. She was also the first ship I ever served on as Chief Engineer. You know, I served aboard eleven ships. Freighters, cruisers, starships...

To me, it just seems that Starfleet classified their ships differently during the TOS era, with a greater emphasis on general type rather than specific design. Under that scenario, the Constitution-class was a subclass of the larger Starship-class at the time, IMO.

Back in those days, a starship could have been a special type of vessel, with other ships designated Freighter-class, Cruiser-class, Scout-class and so on...
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Old May 28 2011, 10:01 PM   #11
Green Shirt
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

An interesting discussion, full of well thought out ideas and info - but the plaque reads "Starship Class", not "Starship Kind of Vessel".

But the designation was changed over time to the point where visual and dialog evidence contradicts the original intention.

Sooooo, can we go back to arguing about the true color of the command tunics?
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Old May 28 2011, 11:04 PM   #12
Rojixus
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

I say the true color of the command tunics is yellow and anyone who disagrees with me can rot in Rura Penthe! Seriously though, I personally think that before the late 23rd century, Starfleet didn't have ship classes as we know them. Instead I think "starship-class" refers to its designation (i.e. cruiser, destroyer, battleship, etc.).
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Old May 28 2011, 11:38 PM   #13
The Badger
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

It is plausible that there was a degree of re-organisation within Star Fleet that lead to a change in how ships were described. Historical example: when the Sten gun was first invented it was designated a 'machine carbine', as that was the British Army's term for what others called a sub machine gun. Later the Army adopted the same designation as other nations, and the term machine carbine was dropped.

So, Star Fleet has Starship class vessels, presumably to differentiate them from shorter ranged, limited duration ships (Spaceship class?). Maybe within the Starship class there are further subdivisions, types perhaps. So the Enterprise could be Starship class, Constitution type. Later the Fleet bureaucracy is reorganised, and the catch all term Starship is dropped.
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Old May 29 2011, 12:03 AM   #14
USS Excelsior
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

Then of course there's "Enterprise Class".
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Old May 29 2011, 12:12 AM   #15
Vance
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Re: What Class Was 1701?

USS Excelsior wrote: View Post
Then of course there's "Enterprise Class".
That's an easy 'fan-wave' retcon, though. That's just the simulator.
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