Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by CoveTom, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, quite often actually. All Enterprises, for example, even the later models like the B, C, D and E (none of which were Constitution class).
     
  2. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    ^He said "in TOS"...but FWIW, I don't think that in TOS, it had even been established that the Enterprise was a "Constitution-class" vessel...the dedication plaque said "Starship Class".
     
  3. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ There's also the starship status chart in "Court-Martial". It listed a lot of NCC numbers, but gave no names or classes.
     
  4. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    IIRC, there was a discussion a while back here about when "Constitution Class" became a thing in TOS, and it seemed to be a contemporary term with the production of the show, I think even appearing in one of the bibles or draft scripts. I believe it was shown on-screen several times looking at Scotty's technical journals. It may have also been on Khan's screen in SS as well. Despite the "Starship Class" on the plaque, Constitution was still being used at the same time, and interchangeably, and is canonical. Agreed, though, that nobody ever "said" it, in dialog, until later (movies, TNG).
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except we know from Enterprise that Earth Starfleet, which was eventually established as being affiliated with or part of UESPA, didn't use the "USS" designator on its ships. NX-01 wasn't USS Enterprise, it was just Enterprise. So the USS usage only began after the Federation was founded.


    In TOS per se, the 1966-69 live-action television series, I don't think we did. But the animated series showed us ships of other classes with NCC numbers, like the USS Huron NCC-F1913 (called "SS Huron" in dialogue) and the robot frieghter NCC-G1465. In the movies, the Epsilon IX comm chatter in TMP mentioned the scouts Columbia NCC-621 and Revere NCC-595. And of course in later TOS-cast movies we saw the Reliant NCC-1864, Excelsior NCC-2000 (nee NX-2000), Grissom NCC-638, etc.


    The name originally comes from the script for "Space Seed," and a graphic labeled "Constitution Class" was made for that episode, but not seen onscreen until "The Trouble With Tribbles" and not fully legible even then. The name was known from fan sources for decades, but it wasn't until TNG's "The Naked Now" that the TOS Enterprise was explicitly confirmed as Constitution class.
     
  6. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I would note the US abandoned the second designation letter around 1950.

    Yes, but when they actually say it, they say "United Star Ship," which has always sounded odd to me. As if various disparate elements of starship-ness were now combined in one vessel.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^People use shorthand and elisions, because people are lazy. It probably started out (in-universe) as "United Federation Space Ship" but people started glossing it to "United Space Ship" because it was easier to say and because it was a better fit to the initials.
     
  8. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    The last print version I have (1994) makes no mention of "NCC" standing for anything. Just that it its attached to Starfleet vessels. I had a CD Rom version, but it doesn't work on my computer. :(
     
  9. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    True, but one would think that in an official proceeding ("Court Martial") or a first introduction to a stranger on an alien planet ("Squire of Gothos"), one would use the full title and not go the lazy route.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^It's TV. They made stuff up. We can try to rationalize it as best we can, but it's not like it's actually going to form a cohesive reality. Sometimes you just have to squint a little.
     
  11. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    According to TMOST, the designation "U.S.S." stands for United Space Ship. But what is it that's "united," exactly? Is space united or is the ship united?
     
  12. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    ^ Absolutely, but on the other hand... this whole thread. ;)

    Good question, but I'm just going by what was said onscreen.
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    You are quite correct. "Constitution Class" was mentioned in the script for "Space Seed" as one of the starship manuals Khan had been studying (along with the primary phaser schematic of a starship of a "Constitution Class").

    The Enterprise was never referred to as a "Constitution Class" starship in TOS onscreen, and The Making of Star Trek makes no reference to it either, but instead twice to "Enterprise Class" ("The Menagerie" suggested there are alphabetical class designations, which I believe is what the producers intended before Gene L. Coon introduced "Constitution Class" in the script for SS).

    Essentially, "Constitution Class" was fanwank, but it appears Bjo Trimble, Greg Jein and Franz Joseph were so taken with the idea that this class designation stuck.

    I still consider it erroneous (other than for NCC-1701-A), therefore

    NCC = Not Constitution Class :p

    (more in the Trek Tech section in a thread with the same title, the thread addressing the Constellation's registry and others)

    Bob

    P.S. "Connie" = nickname for the Lockheed Constellation plane and the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Constellation. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Other than the starship chart in "Court Martial," there was no other use of NCC for an explicitly non-Enterprise type starship in TOS. As Christopher points out, though, by TAS they were comfortable showing the freighter Huron with it. So, it's possible that the intent changed.

    We know, of course, in the real world Mr. Jefferies rationale for picking NCC; N meant the USA, and CC represented the Soviet union, so NCC together gave it an international flair.
     
  15. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the Memory Alpha article on NCC says this:

     
  16. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I liked how the old Heavy Cruiser Evolution Blueprints explained "U.S.S." -

    United Federation of Planets/Starfleet/Starship.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except we don't know what the intent was during TOS, since they didn't have the budget to depict any Starfleet ships of different classes, and thus it never came up.

    All the ships in the "Court-Martial" repair chart have been subsequently interpreted as Connies (first by Greg Jein, then by the ST Encyclopedia which copied Jein's list), but I doubt that was the original intent. Given that there were only supposed to be a dozen Connies in the fleet, it's vanishingly unlikely that ten of them were under repair at the same starbase at the same time. Plus, we know that Jefferies intended "1701" to mean the first vessel of the 17th ship class, so numbers like "NCC-1831" and "NCC-1672" on the chart would've represented different classes by Jefferies's thinking. So I think the intent probably was that those various NCC numbers applied to ships of various different classes. Thus, there would have been no change in intent in TAS and after.
     
  18. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Say, that's pretty good.

    Quite so.

    Agreed. What I meant was, that it was possible that it changed sometime during TOS, later reflected by the Huron in TAS. Regardless, I think you're right that if Jefferies did make that diagram, and if Jefferies had previously conceived the 17th class, 01st model schema by that time, then indeed it would seem to be the case that those could be nothing but ships of another class.

    I remain uncertain as to precisely when this rationalization was developed, though, or if everyone knew about it. But as you say - the Jein rationalization just doesn't make sense.
     
  19. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd never heard that before, but I like it. :mallory: That'd mean by the original thinking the Connies should have all been 1701-1712. Of course, the USS Constellation was an error (I never understood why they didn't rearrange the registry number to read NCC-1710).
     
  20. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Tell us what you really think, Robert.