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Old August 27 2013, 05:50 AM   #106
Nob Akimoto
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

He could always have also been seconded to whatever Starfleet's equivalent of the merchant marine is, as well.
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Old August 27 2013, 12:13 PM   #107
Robert Comsol
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
I really do profoundly dislike the whole TOS "starship" vs "spaceship" nonsense. It seems like a lazy and puerile oversimplification of ship designations by the writers at the time, almost like they really didn't care about such things back then.
Appearances can be deceiving. As a matter of fact Gene Roddenberry wanted to do a TV series in the 1970's called Starship. Back then there was a clear distinction between a spaceship (i.e. a vehicle going into space) and a starship (i.e. a vehicle that actually crossed vast distances to reach stars).

In terms of TOS a "starship" was the ship-of-the-line, as correctly evidenced in "Bread and Circuses". What happened next, possibly because of Star Wars (e.g. Princess Leia's "starship") was the deterioration / inflation of the original TOS meaning for which we can't possibly hold the TOS producers accountable, IMO.

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
... and it wasn't until the show was well underway that "Constitution" was starting to get used.
I'm not aware of one line of dialogue in TOS which states that the Enterprise or any of her sister ships belong to the "Constitution Class". Neither is there any evidence that the producers intended the TOS Enterprise to belong to such class, rather the contrary.
  • According to a Matt Jefferies' schematic of the TOS Enterprise the ship was a "Space Cruiser" of the "Starship Class"
  • According to The Making of Star Trek the ship was originally envisioned to be a member of the "Cruiser Class", Bob Justman and Whitfield/Roddenberry refer exclusively to "Enterprise Class starship"
  • According to the official TMP Blueprints the refit Enterprise is a or the "new Enterprise Class"
  • According to the flight simulator door label in ST II this was the flight simulator of an "Enterprise Class" starship.
Obviously, according to Scotty's blueprint in ST VI the new substitute Enterprise NCC-1701-A was a refitted Constitution Class starship of the previous 16th starship design series.

Bob
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Old August 27 2013, 01:36 PM   #108
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

The word "Starship" as generic for spacecraft dates back to the 1930s at least. I very much doubt Star Wars had anything to do with the change in terminology. It's altogether easier for writers and audiences to handle than a cavalcade of interchangeable terms that mean the same thing to casual viewers.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Could be that "starship" once referred to a specific type of ship that required a certain set of properties to be met, just like how "ship" once referred to three-masted square-rigged ships but then became a more generic description of large ocean-going craft.
If you're looking for an in-universe explanation, this is as good as it gets. But, personally I'm inclined to ignore it to spare myself the headache, and just call any large FTL-capable craft a starship.
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Old August 27 2013, 01:45 PM   #109
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

"All I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by..."

Maybe that's where the TOS inspiration for "starship" came from?

@ Herkimer Jitty

Was "starship" already a term general TV audiences were familiar with or did it have a fresh ring for these when TOS first aired (and what was the Robinson Family flying saucer from Lost In Space called - spaceship or starship?)

Bob
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Old August 27 2013, 02:52 PM   #110
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

Upon rewatching the end of ST IV I couldn't help but wonder about Sulu's line "I'm counting on Excelsior".

To seriously voice such a wish, IMHO, would have implied that Sulu somehow knew that the Excelsior did not have a captain (anymore) by the end of the film.

So what had happened to Captain Styles? Technically speaking, it was his responsibility that security aboard the ship was tight enough to prevent the type of sabotage Scotty performed in ST III. I don't know if this qualifies as some kind of poetic justice:

Styles threatened Kirk he'd never sit in the captain's chair ever again but as it turned out that possibly became the fate of Captain Styles, instead.

Anyway, Excelsior apparently had no captain at the end of ST IV.

I can't help the feeling that it would have qualified as a promotion for the captain of a previous Constitution Class starship to now become the captain of the USS Excelsior.

Then who became the captain of that captain's previous Constitution Class starship? Kirk and company...

Bob
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Old August 27 2013, 02:57 PM   #111
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

To seriously voice such a wish, IMHO, would have implied that Sulu somehow knew that the Excelsior did not have a captain (anymore) by the end of the film.
Why? It's not a real-world requirement that a position be empty in order for a new guy to move into it. Except perhaps in certain very rare cases where the person in the position cannot move further up, cannot move laterally, and isn't going to retire quite yet. But in Starfleet, that would be the top flag ranks (and even there we see "lateral" reshuffling for Cartwright), not mere starship commands.

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Old August 27 2013, 09:54 PM   #112
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Could be that "starship" once referred to a specific type of ship that required a certain set of properties to be met, just like how "ship" once referred to three-masted square-rigged ships but then became a more generic description of large ocean-going craft.
If you're looking for an in-universe explanation, this is as good as it gets. But, personally I'm inclined to ignore it to spare myself the headache, and just call any large FTL-capable craft a starship.
This one works for me too. When the term went generic, they dropped the capital S, and somehow, the idea of "class" changed a bit.
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Old August 27 2013, 10:04 PM   #113
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

Praetor wrote: View Post
When the term went generic, they dropped the capital S, and somehow, the idea of "class" changed a bit.
"A bit"? You've got a talent for understatement.

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Old August 27 2013, 10:19 PM   #114
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?



I think there was a reshuffle of the terms "type" and "class" and exactly what they meant; possibly there was a redundant overall class type that sort of conflicted with class as used to identify the specific design.
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Old August 27 2013, 10:21 PM   #115
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

Timo wrote: View Post
To seriously voice such a wish, IMHO, would have implied that Sulu somehow knew that the Excelsior did not have a captain (anymore) by the end of the film.
Why? It's not a real-world requirement that a position be empty in order for a new guy to move into it. Except perhaps in certain very rare cases where the person in the position cannot move further up, cannot move laterally, and isn't going to retire quite yet. But in Starfleet, that would be the top flag ranks (and even there we see "lateral" reshuffling for Cartwright), not mere starship commands.

Timo Saloniemi
In interpreted this as, not necessarily that Styles was now gone, but that it was known that he was only occupying the Captain's Chair on a very limited and short term basis. Maybe instead he was stationed at Spacedock and was only in charge of the initial trials (which may have been completed in the 3+ months that passed since TSFS). Making Styles a sort of glorified valet / test driver. Yes, he did posess the RANK of captain, but as has before in TOS, not everyone with the rank is suited for command.

Never thought about this until now, but we never see Styles refer to one of his crew by name. Its always a general positional reference, "Bridge" or "Helm". Since the ship was soon to undertake its trials, the fact that Styles doesn't seem to have developed more of a relationship with his crew, or selected a crew that he would do so, suggest he is not expecting to stay. By this, I am not expecting a warm lets play cards with my crew like in all good things, but something at least something less than the borderline contempt we saw "How can you have a yellow alert in spacedock?"

In fact, he had more familiarity with (or contempt for) Admiral Kirk, who had not been in active command of a starship, but working at Starfleet Command for some time.

Additionally, when Excelsior's drive breaks down, Styles expression seems to convey more annoyance at how the situation affects him, than how it has affected the ship. Granted, starship captains can have egos too. But some concern about the status of his ship I would expect to weigh in. Maybe a quick frantic call to Engineering. Then again, Scotty's loyalty to Kirk, he may have quickly surmised that Scotty sabotaged the ship and made of with the Enterprise.

A problem here is trying to evaluate motivations of characters based on behaviors that the filmmakers admitted were deliberately skewed and exaggerated in order to make the Enterprise crew look more professional in comparison. So in light of this, I try to account and compensate for this "narcissistic lens" that casts over the rest of starfleet. My conclusion, Styles is not an idiot, nor is he a complete pompous ass. He's likely a competent career officer serving a function as temporarily in command of Excelsior during the transwarp trials. He knows it, his crew know it, and likely so does most of people familiar with the Excelsior. Ships in the US Navy often have multiple commanders, there is no reason the same couldn't be true for Starfleet. For all we know, Styles may in fact have his own ship.

If we go by the assumption that Sulu was originally meant to be her captain (from cut dialogue in TWOK which admittedly isn't cannon), it is likely that the political mess that was left in the wake of the Khan incident put that on hold. Starfleet then would have to scramble to find someone to conduct Excelsiors trials. Making this another sort of Jelico situation: another Captain with his own ship and crew temporarily assuming command. As debated in the Chain of Command thread, the behavior we see likely is very different from how he handles his own crew.

Further support -- With all of Scotty's resentment and complaining about Excelsior, we do not see any of that directed toward Styles. Certainly Scotty seemed cordially indifferent to Style's remark about breaking Enterprise's Speed Records. But his beef seemed more about the SHIP and the people who designed her, and Styles is just one of the many players in the political situation.

The whole first act of TSFS has so many disconnects in tone from TWOK (not necessarily continuity errors), that there seems to be a lot of political subtext going on. Granted, much of this disconnect comes the reality of production; from introducing elements that would seem like they would have been seen in TWOK but didn't because they hadn't yet been conceived by the filmmakers.



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Old August 28 2013, 04:36 AM   #116
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

Timo wrote: View Post
B
Amusingly, Star Trek is almost as strict about the difference between "freighter" and "transport" as the real-world navies are.
It seems like the US Navy for a time operated "freighters" aka cargo ships. I think nowadays they're called cargo ships. Aren't transports more for moving soldiers/people?
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Old August 28 2013, 10:12 AM   #117
Robert Comsol
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

Praetor wrote: View Post
I think there was a reshuffle of the terms "type" and "class" and exactly what they meant; possibly there was a redundant overall class type that sort of conflicted with class as used to identify the specific design.
Correct, "Starship Class" was an umbrella term and allowed no distinctions between a starship of the 16th, 17th and 18th design (starship status chart).

But I'm very confident that to enable such a distinction the TOS producers provided the alphabetic distinctions, e.g. J-class starship ("The Menagerie"), J-class cargo vessel ("Mudd's Women"), F-class shuttlecraft ("The Menagerie") etc.

There was never any reference to a name class in TOS. Neither did Matt Jefferies mention any name class in his early 2000's interviews.
He merely stated that the Enterprise was the first bird, the first ship of the 17th starship design series. Either he was just being courteous ("that's what the ship was intended to be") or he didn't state "Enterprise Class" for the simple reason that they had never intended name classes in the very first place.

Bob
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Old August 28 2013, 02:26 PM   #118
blssdwlf
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

While visiting a WW2 sub museum I ran across a poster listing out all the classes of submarines from 1900 and onwards. There was an interesting period where the submarine class names were single letter-based.

Class A thru Class S were actual class names for US subs WW1 and prior. Wikipedia has an incomplete list and if you search by "F Class" or "Class F" you won't find them. (I'll post up the poster pic when I can.)

Could some of the writers have considered "J Class" as an actual class of ships instead of a classification?
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Old August 28 2013, 03:17 PM   #119
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Correct, "Starship Class" was an umbrella term and allowed no distinctions between a starship of the 16th, 17th and 18th design (starship status chart).
Or, to split the hair further, the term applied to ships with registries in the NCC-16xx, NCC-17xx, and NCC-18xx range... which fits nicely with Starship Reliant.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
But I'm very confident that to enable such a distinction the TOS producers provided the alphabetic distinctions, e.g. J-class starship ("The Menagerie"), J-class cargo vessel ("Mudd's Women"), F-class shuttlecraft ("The Menagerie") etc.

There was never any reference to a name class in TOS. Neither did Matt Jefferies mention any name class in his early 2000's interviews.
Not as aired. But from the draft of "Space Seed" comes the famous diagram later used in "The Trouble with Tribbles" from which the term originates:

44 ANGLE ON SICK BAY VIEWER
It is covered with mathematical symbols and diagrams. CAMERA PULLS BACK to show Khan studying with great concentration. He pushes a button. Another transparency appears: a chapter heading, reading: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS, CONSTITUTION CLASS STAR SHIP.
Since Gene Coon had a hand in it, there must have been some degree of thought behind it. Then again, it was cut. But then again again, the graphic found its way into "Tribbles."

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
He merely stated that the Enterprise was the first bird, the first ship of the 17th starship design series. Either he was just being courteous ("that's what the ship was intended to be") or he didn't state "Enterprise Class" for the simple reason that they had never intended name classes in the very first place.
Well, as stated in various places:

Matt Jefferies wrote:
According to Jefferies, the Enterprise was given a designation without a profound reason for it's sequence, seeing as a serial number had not been decided on:

"Since the 1920's, N has indicated the United States in Navy terms, and C means "commercial" vessel. I added on the extra C just for fun. Interestingly, Russia's designation is CCC. So the N and the C together made it kind of international.

After that, I had to pick some numbers. They had to be easily identifiable from a distance, so that eliminated 3, 8, 6, 9, and 4 - none of which is that clear from a distance. That didn't leave much! So 1701 was as good a choice as any. The reason we gave for the choice afterwards was that the Enterprise was the 17th major design of the federation, and the first in the series. 17-01!
I don't see the Enterprise being "first in the series" being a problem. It could easily be first in the production series after the prototype as far as I'm concerned.

And, it does appear that the heavily refit Enterprise was considered Enterprise class according to TWOK's signage...
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Old August 28 2013, 03:56 PM   #120
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Re: Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

Praetor wrote: View Post
I don't see the Enterprise being "first in the series" being a problem. It could easily be first in the production series after the prototype as far as I'm concerned.
That's what I thought, too, but Matt Jefferies also stated "first bird" and that would include any prototype, IMO

Praetor wrote: View Post
And, it does appear that the heavily refit Enterprise was considered Enterprise class according to TWOK's signage...
Apparently someone had looked up the Probert-authenticated TMP Blueprints which clearly read "new Enterprise Class".

I still think it's rather simple to resolve the riddle.

NCC-1601 Constitution (Class) > refit Constitution Class (e.g. NCC-1701-A)

NCC-1701 Enterprise (Class) > refit Enterprise Class (e.g. NCC-1701)

But obviously the conjectural NCC-1700 for the USS Constitution has become such a holy cow, that rather than to sacrifice it on behalf of a credible and easy-to-understand explanation, most fans won't let go and rather pretend the system doesn't make sense.

Of course, the system didn't make sense since day one when Greg Jein proposed starships like the Enterprise whose registries began with a "16" to belong to a class that started with a "17".

Bob
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