Connie - TOS canon nomenclature

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

  1. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The problem with using 'Starship' as the class is that it should imply that there is a USS Starship someplace out there. Though that also should mean there is a space ship NX out there too.
     
  2. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    The only "canon" that has tried to establish that is post-TOS, post-TMP and post-TWOK ("Enterprise Class") retroactive continuity.

    And in post # 16 on the previous page of this thread I've commented why I think these retcon attempts were of a rather bumbling nature.

    I have no difficulties whatsoever accepting "Constitution Class" as a widespread colloquialism (especially popular in the 24th Century) to which the 16th design series gave raise to, but regarding the Enterprise I cannot see where and why it could possibly be the accurate description, considering the information the original creators left behind.

    @ Noname Given

    "Naval Contact Code" is a valid alternative. ;)

    @ BillJ

    I'm afraid you got it wrong. The "honors" of disrespect or oversight go to Greg Jein and Franz Joseph Schnaubelt.

    Their research wasn't double-checked and thus "Constitution Class" ended up in he ST Concordance and eventually in the ST Encyclopedia. We, the fans, have accepted this in good faith, assuming that this classification had been based on accurate and unbiased research.
    This includes myself - and before I saw Matt Jefferies other TOS pre-production sketch and reading his comments about it ("first in the series", "first bird").

    Thus, he essentially re-emphasized that the classification in The Making of Star Trek - "Enterprise [Starship] Class" was still the correct one as late as of 2002 (BBC interviews).

    This is now less a matter of respect or disrespect, but a more philosophical question on whether and how we acknowledge inaccurate and/or biased research.

    @ Ithekro

    The Making of Star Trek mentions that Kirk's first assignment was a "Destroyer Class" vessel and in ST III:TSFS Chekov introduced us to the "Scout Class".

    It looks like a possibility that the original creators just wanted to show what category of vessel the TOS Enterprise belonged to.

    And then we have the "J-Class starship" classification provided by Commodore Mendez in "The Menagerie I". I wouldn't exclude the possibility that the creators didn't have name classes in mind, but nowadays it looks like that nomenclature has as much chances as a snowball in hell. :lol:

    Bob
     
  3. Last Redshirt

    Last Redshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    And? That doesn't mean anything. The bridge during the Kobayashi Maru is a facsimile of a Starfleet starship bridge. Putting Enterprise-class is, if we're looking at it through an in-universe perspective, an attempt to make it an 'any-ship.' It's obvious that it's supposed to be a Constitution, though.
     
  4. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe you're being too literal. "Starship Class" may be analogous to broad type, such as calling something a "Destroyer Class" vessel or an "Aircraft Carrier Class" ship.
     
  5. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Bob, I get what you are saying.

    I just don't think of it that way. I think the word Starship is used as an overall type rather than a specific model. As in Constitution Class Starship, J-Class Starship, Enterprise Class Starship, and so on.

    I think Starship is the 23rd 24th century equivalent of Ship of the Line in the age of sail, no one would claim that Ship of the Line refers to a certain particular type of ship but rather it's capablities.

    I think the usage fits all of these situations. Merick commanded a spaceship, Kirk commands a Starship. Merick's ship obviously had some kind of warp capablity, maybe it was a survey ship that comes with the survey party that goes to planets the Starships have discovered and think are useful to get a full planetary study. (Or maybe he was hauling space garbage like Quark.)

    So I think no matter what was the original intent of the first creators, they didn't stress it enough to establish it difinetively, and in that ambiguousness, other people defined it for them. And here we are. :)
     
  6. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    The only "obvious" thing is that simulator bears a striking resemblance to the Enterprise Bridge, which might or might not be similar to other bridge units in the fleet. I don't think the term "constitution" gets a mention though. But wouldn't it have been an ideal opportunity to cement the deal once and for all? As it stands, "Enterprise Class" is all we got.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...and "The Naked Now".

    So you're saying Roddenberry didn't know the class of the Enterprise?

    I've accepted nothing in "good faith". I accept it because "Constitution-class" sounds better than "Starship-class". "Enterprise-class" has no play here as it never appeared on-screen in any meaningful way.

    Somewhere along the way, Roddenberry likely realized the "Starship-class" didn't make alot of sense because they were also using "Starship" as a generic identifier for space vehicles as well.
     
  8. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Even the creators didn't "respect" what the creators had done. They were always changing things that didn't work. Especially early on when nothing was "set in stone".
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I still can't get over Roddenberry pissing on Sam Peeples' work by changing Kirk's middle initial from 'R' to 'T'. :weep:
     
  10. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    Absolutely. Star Trek is a massive franchise that literally thousands of people have helped create, shape, and develop. Can you imagine if all those people had to defer to the actions and ideas of a small handful of "creators"?
    This is not some religion, it's science fiction, and be slavishly devoted to the writings of the "creators" is impractical.
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    These are the voyages of the UESPA ship Enterprise ( Starship Class) commanded by James R. Kirk, with the half Vulcanian science officer Spock from the conquered world of Vulcanis.
     
  12. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    And undesirable.
     
  13. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That either Starfleet is using a odd form of naming their ship classes, or they changed their naming convention at some point while Kirk was in command of USS Enterprise (which could be anywhere between 2264 and 2293).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_class

    There is a way for Constitution-class, Starship class, and Enterprise-class to be correct give the above. Different nations within the Federation use slightly different naming conventional, which were not universal until the 24th century. Thus you have one party calling the ship by either type (Starship) - which would normally be an incorrect usage of the word "class" in context of ship, or possibly what all the ships are name after (famous starships...USS Enterprise being named after the famous NX-01 Enterprise). Another party calls it by the first ship ordered for the class (USS Constitution), while another party calls it by the first ship commissioned of the class (USS Enterprise).

    The Story "Final Frontier" about the emergency mission of the then unnamed USS Enterprise under Captain April would make for the Constitution-class Starship Enterprise being the first commissioned, rather than her sister ship USS Constitution.

    However, Starship class", "Destroyer class", and "Scout class" is more or less an incorrect use of the word "class" in relation to "ship class". It fits based on size or description based on the "vehicle class" standard. But that defines type for ships, not the ship's class, which is more specific than that. Unless they are using civilian merchant practice, which seems wrong for how the ships are defined, as the ship class is defined by what it does, rather than how it is different form other ship that also do what it does. Because by default, USS Enterprise (all versions), USS Excelsior, USS Voyager, and USS Reliant, would all be "Starship class" vessels, and that is not helpful at all if that is the system in place.
     
  14. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    A lot of this assumes that "class" means exactly the same as it presently means in the US Navy, but there have been other ways of using the term in the past and there's no reason that the same might not be true in the future.

    In the Horatio Hornblower days class was like a sub-division of a ship's rate and referred to the caliber and arrangement of her gun batteries. In WW2 the Royal Navy had County-class cruisers and Tribal-class destroyers without having an HMS County or HMS Tribal, and at the same time had classes named after specific ships, and everybody understands what's going on. The pre-WW2 USN had the V-class submarines, named V-1 through V-9. Later they were renamed with "fish" names, but were still referred to as V-class. But to top it all off, the nine V-boats weren't even the same in the first place, but five completely different designs.

    Couldn't the Federation Starfleet have "Starship-class" ships that were further divided into "Constitution" and other classes? The context would make it plain to anyone what was meant.
     
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Sure they could have, but I can't recall a single episode in which the phrase "starship-class" was used in dialog. Anybody? It's just on the dedication plaque, right (or one or more of them)?

    I feel like we've read a story on the front page of a newspaper prop in a Sherlock Holmes episode, and we're assuming author intent about what's going on around London the day before, even though we had to use frame-grab to get it, and it isn't mentioned in dialog. Some elements in the scenery aren't intended to be looked at under a microscope.
     
  16. Last Redshirt

    Last Redshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Don't forget that they've broken the time barrier.
     
  17. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Ithekro - good reasoning for different groups to have different labels for Enterprise's class name.

    As for what the 24th century crew refer to old ships as, I'm not sure that has so much weight as it was 100 years later and any number of reclassifications could have happened in the interim. Roddenberry intended TNG as a sort of "soft reboot" after all. The thread title refers to "TOS canon" so shouldn't that be the main focus?
     
  18. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, Mytran, this is still a TOS thread. Right? RIGHT? :lol:

    But the "Enterprise [Starship] Class" remarks in The Making of Star Trek were compiled or written during the making of "The Ultimte Computer", and by that time things were pretty much set in stone.

    They correctly reflect Matt Jefferies' original pre-production sketch suggesting "Enterprise Class" (first bird), the Official TMP Blueprints refer to the TMP Enterprise as "the new Enterprise Class" and the bridge simulator sticker in TWOK says "Enterprise Class".

    During the entire run of TOS there is not one shred of evidence on behalf of "Constitution Class", except for the small print on a viewscreen schematic which belongs to one of different starship manuals.

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

    Again, better "slavish deference" to the original creators and their intentions than rewarding inaccurate or biased research at the expense of aforementioned original creators by elevating it to some kind "canon" status.

    But here is a simple question for everyone involved: If the USS Constitution is NCC-1700 (no canon proof whatsoever), then to what class do the starships with the prefix "16" belong to? :rolleyes:

    Bob
     
  19. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    The point is the "creators" can and have changed their minds. The can change it in any season or episode and after pre production or compilation in a book. The new supersedes the old.
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On the original show I always assumed "starship" meant a ship that is expected to spend most of its time on extended interstellar assignments, not just that it can travel from star to star. One designed to operate for years "out there" without frequent port calls, etc.