Connie - TOS canon nomenclature

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Wingsley, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    In "A Taste of Armageddon", Anan 7 referred to the orbiting Starship Enterprise as a "star cruiser".

    In the novelization of TMP written by Gene Roddenberry, the author specifically referred to the Enterprise's official in-universe nomenclature as "heavy cruiser", meant to demilitarize her true nature as a "battleship".

    In STAR TREK III - THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, the Klingon Bird of Prey crew recognized the Enterprise as a "Federation battlecruiser".

    And of course, sprinkled throughout TOS and the first few movies were repeated references to the Enterprise and her sisterships as "starship".

    Are there any other canon references in TOS the tell what the Starship Enterprise and her sisterships would be, nomenclature-wise?
     
  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In "The Cage/The Menagerie," Pike refers to his ship as the "space vehicle" Enterprise.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    KIRK: No, it's a beautiful lady, and we love her.
     
  4. Last Redshirt

    Last Redshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Starship seems the most consistent.
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Also "CLASS 1 HEAVY CRUISER/CONSTITUTION-CLASS STARSHIP" from various bridge graphics, taken from FJ's original Star Fleet Technical Manual.
     
  6. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It began as Starship Class (assuming the dedication plaque counts as canon), but that fell by the wayside over time.
     
  7. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Wingsley, please don't feel offended. There is little I can do about the common use here about the "Connie" colloquialism but seeing it in a thread title compells me to speak my mind.

    Where I live people use colloquialisms like "beamer" when they talk about video front projectors and "handy" when they refer to cell phones / mobiles. Funny and strange, isn't it?

    I'm afraid with "Connie" it's even worse. The colloquialism describes the TOS Enterprise, a starship designed by Walter Matt Jefferies (an aviator) and approved by Gene Roddenberry (a trained Pan American pilot). If they’d hear what fans use as a nickname for the TOS Enterprise, I’m confident this is how both would react: :rofl: :guffaw:

    Because, for Star Trek creators and aviators from the mid-20th Century, this is the real “Connie”:

    [​IMG]

    It's the nickname for the Lockheed Constellation, a real plane Gene Roddenberry had been flying as a Pan Am pilot.

    Worse, it’s a nickname abbreviation for “Constellation”, thus it might exclusively apply to Matt Decker’s ship, NCC-1017. :rolleyes:


    For the TOS canon nomenclature I respect and stick with the known intentions of the original creators (Roddenberry, Justman and Jefferies), suggested by Jefferies’ NCC-1701 production sketch (Enterprise is the "first ship", "the first bird" of the 17th design series) and both statements in The Making of Star Trek according to which the Enterprise and her sister ships belong to the “Enterprise Starship Class”.

    As a matter of fact, that’s what it says on the dedication plaque of the TOS bridge: “(U.S.S.) Enterprise Starship Class”. Apparently, the “USS” is the confusing element, but how much weirder would it have sounded like this: “USS Enterprise Enterprise Starship Class”. As the first ship of her class, her dedication plaque was somewhat different.

    Of course we might wonder what the bridge dedication plaque of the Lexington would have read. I think it would have read “USS Lexington Enterprise Class”.

    Bob
     
  8. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    ^And there has never been a prettier airliner.
     
  9. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    The "class" of the Enterprise and how its nomenclature evolved/matured is pretty well codified on Memory Alpha here:

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Constitution_class

    (Footnote 1 is particularly helpful.)

    The "type" of ship the Enterprise is (starship, star cruiser, space vessel, space ship, space cruiser, heavy cruiser, battleship) is less well codified. (Good luck with that.) ;)

    As I often say: "Canonicity is the beginning of Star Trek wisdom, not the end."


     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    It’s a footnote referring to an illegible small print (another footnote :rolleyes:) on a viewscreen schematic apparently belonging to another starship manual Khan read.

    KHAN: I've been reading up on starships, but they have one luxury not mentioned in the manuals.
    MARLA: I don't understand.
    KHAN: A beautiful woman. My name is Khan.

    In my philosophy wisdom contains a thing called “respect”. The Making of Star Trek explicitly mentioned “Enterprise Starship Class” and “Enterprise Class” for the TOS Enterprise and her sister ships.
    Greg Jein quoted from the “Enterprise Class” passage in this book, Franz Joseph based his works almost entirely on this book, but both deliberately disrespected the “Enterprise Class” quotes and substituted these with “Constitution Class”.

    Just because two fans (correction, Franz Joseph didn’t consider himself a fan) thought they somehow knew better than the original creators, doesn’t make their “conclusions” canon or binding. It remains a popular myth that somehow gained a lot of undeserved popularity at the expense of the original creators and – worse – makes the “[Enterprise] Starship Class” dedication plaque look as if the original producers didn’t know what they were doing (“Is there a USS Starship”? :crazy:).

    Pike’s accident occurred on a “J-Class starship” according to “The Menagerie I”, so it looks like the the nomenclature the producers had in mind, was similar to the alphabetic nomenclature of planets.

    Bob
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just because something grows and changes as more creators become involved doesn't mean the original creators are somehow being disrespected.

    Gene Roddenberry was still fully in charge of TNG, at this point and obviously had no issue with the "Constitution-class" nomenclature.
     
  12. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On the other hand, didn't Kellam DeForrest say that any ship that travels faster than light is, by definition, a starship? Of course, this was ignored and the term "starship" meant to signify something much grander.

    MERIK: "He commands not just a space ship, Proconsul, but a starship. A very special vessel and crew..."
     
  13. Richard Baker

    Richard Baker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    IIRC the only spoken on screen reference to the TOS Enterprise being a Constitution class was by Picard to Scotty in 'Relics'
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Picard mentions it in "The Naked Now", which I quoted above.

    It is also referenced as "Constitution class" by Sisko in "Trials and Tribble-ations":

     
  15. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    There are different and better definitions of "respect" than "slavish deference."
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, all these retcon maneuvers trying to finally turn the assumptions and the myth into canon (you forgot the dedication plaque of the Defiant from "In A Mirror, Darkly").

    The Naked Now

    File cover of James T. Kirk’s career shows the last Enterprise he served on, the NCC-1701-A, known from Scotty’s blueprint ST VI:TUC to have been a “Constitution Class” Starship. Picard reacts to the graphic he sees on the screen and correctly identifies it!

    [​IMG]

    Relics

    I simply refer to the parallel discussion here. Obviously the recreation of a Constitution Class bridge, but it doesn’t match the actual TOS bridge in many details, most notably the rail configuration behind the command chair.

    Trials and Tribble-ations

    This one is just gorgeous. Even Sisko assumes the TOS Enterprise to be a Constitution Class vessel (chronological deck numbering from the top to the keel according to FJ’s erroneous assumption) which creates a hilarious moment for Dr. Bashir and O’Brien, momentarily being trapped in a turbo lift because the deck they try to reach doesn’t exist on the TOS Enterprise. :lol:

    Statements of our 24th Century protagonists regarding characters and vehicles about the 23rd Century can and should be taken with a grain of salt.
    Heck, even O'Brien doesn't know what Captain Kirk looked like.

    Wait a minute, isn't that the same discussion we had a couple of months ago?

    That's an interesting topic for a philosophical debate. I prefer slavish deference to original (and unchanged) intentions of the creators over slavish deference to assumptions based on popular belief.

    I don't mind being a slave to the original creators because they knew better than me (and those that came after them), but I mind being a slave to those that thought they'd knew better than the original creators.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm 100% sure the writer had no clue what graphic was going to be used when they wrote that line. So the intent is clearly that Kirk's ship, "USS Enterprise", when battling the PSI2000 virus was a Constitution class starship.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. starburst

    starburst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I wouldn't take what the Klingons said literally, the Enterprise and similar match their Battlecruisers in size and capability so they think of them as one and the same.

    NCC-1701 is a Heavy Cruiser of the Constitution Class, those are the terms most commonly seen or heard on screen post TOS where the writers constantly changed their terminology from episode to episode such as UESPA/Starfleet and Vulcan/Vulcanian.
     
  19. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    According to the small print of the viewscreen schematic in "The Enterprise Incident" (reproduced in The Making of Star Trek) NCC-1701 is a "Space Cruiser".

    Bob

    P.S.
    Post-TOS we saw an "Enterprise Class" label on the bridge simulator at the beginning of ST II:TWOK
     
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    And I'm 100% sure that by the time of "The Naked Now" there were plenty of TOS Enterprise schematics around they could have easily used for the screen graphic.

    Bob