Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Kenny, May 17, 2012.
Does the shooting script provide any clues?
First of all, do you know for a fact that Jeffries actually built the Constellation? That seems to be the crux of your argument. Because if he didn't and, say, some production flunky did, then there probably would have been no rationale at all for the registry number. And if Jeffries saw the model and had any problem whatsoever with the number, the decal could have been removed and another one added in its place.
I don't see why anyone would have had any problem with the registry just as it was seen on screen.
This is purely my own conjecture, but I would speculate that that actual model would have been built by whoever did the photography (Norway Company if memory serves...) and therefore not by Jefferies himself. He may have never even seen it. But i don't know any of that for a fact.
No, I don't know who built the model. It's commonly asserted that Jefferies built the model but like many things associated with this topic, we don't have hard facts to back up what we say we "know."
Regarding the Constellation's registry, I know for a fact only the five things I've listed above.
I'd like to know more. So that's why I'm asking everyone if they have relevant primary source material.
I don't really have an "argument" I'm trying to make. Except, perhaps, that we fans need to do more primary research. Because I'm realizing that what I thought I knew about the Constellation model and it's registry isn't based on much evidence at all. In other words, most of what I "know" is hearsay and conjecture.
And I'm surprised that we can't nail this one down with more precision, given the amount of time Jefferies was alive after the series ended and the amount of attention during that time period that fans have been obsessing about registry numbers.
We really dropped the ball on this one.
How hard would it have been for someone to write a letter to Jefferies back in, say, 1980 and ask him about the registry? And about the model? That would have been easy. So why didn't anyone do it?
I'll bet someone did. It's just a matter of finding the person.
I don't know why they used 1017 and not 1710. If I had to guess, I'd say that they did it because 1710 looks too much like 1701, at least on the low-resolution TV screens of the time.
I think Shaw was working on a blueprint of the AMT model so as to have it predate Constitution.
BTW here is a nice workaround to make AMT models look better:
Some other nice resources--first up--a great series of Pre-TOS cruisers:
Everhart's effort brought to life:
O/T--a refit era resource
The USS. Constellation is made from a Enterprise model that was sold to fans. That was base on the studio model. But I think they did some changes to the Studio model Enterprise before filming, but didn't inform the toy model making company of the changes.
To me the Enterprise that was seen on the Cage, look different then the Enterprise during the series.
Norway Productions was just the name of Roddenberry's production company. Star Trek used three or four effects houses during the run of the series, so it's just a question of which one did the new effects shots for "The Doomsday Machine". And since the effects houses were across town from Desilu/Paramount, it's entirely possible that Jefferies never even saw the model until it appeared on screen, but that might be pushing it. It's likely that someone else built it, and considering the nature of the project, it could just as easily have been someone's kid and not someone actually on staff.
As for the registry number, the sole concern was so that it could be easily discerned at a distance, i.e., on a small tv screen (certainly small and horribly low resolution by our standards), so yeah, 1710 still looked too much like 1701.
And why the terribly inaccurate AMT model? Compared to mucking up the eleven footer (a very expensive piece of hardware) for the sake of one episode, sending a flunky out with a couple of bucks to get a store bought model and slap it together is not only an incredible bargain by comparison, it's also a major time saver (which is also a big money saver). And for the purposes of the show, it was close enough for government work. If someone got snarky about the differences in the details from the Constellation and the Enterprise, they'd probably come to the same rationalizations we have, using the aircraft carrier analogy, and say you're perfectly welcome to imagine that the Constellation is either a variant of the Constitution class, or it's an older class, whichever works for you.
I prefer the older starship class option. It gives the fleet a bit more of a sense of history, it fills the gap between the Daedalus and Constitution classes, and goes a looooong way towards explaining that freakishly low registry number.
I just figure that the Constellation either got the name/registry of a prior ship that went out heroically or was built as a different class then upgraded to Constitution-class specs during a refit.
In universe that is.
The end credits for "The Doomsday Machine" list a company called Cinema Research as responsible for the photographic effects.
Any idea if this company is still around? If they are, they MAY still have some archival paperwork that may shed some light on this topic.
Here's an interesting site I found about the history of the model (although I don't think it's going to answer your questions):
I cannot believe it was Jefferies' decision to label the Constellation 1017; in an interview Jefferies gave to the BBC, he revealed his logic for chosing NCC and 1701 in the first place.
However, most likely situation is nobody else did care that days about the label. We cannot be sure if Jefferies had a word on the label for the Constellation model. Either he didn't care, was overruled, or someone else did came up with a non-17xx number.
After reading Making of Star Trek, I imagined that a sphere hulled ship came before Enterprise--and a lot of folk thought it was the first ship to even have a saucer. Masao broke us from that--and those art posters showing a lot of other Jefferies designs that led to Enterprise are a hoot--but the idea that there were a lot of Constitution like ships even before Constitution--that's really nice.
Well, here's the funny thing: they went to the trouble to make a decal for U.S.S. CONSTELLATION, so if they did that, why not make new NCC decals, too?
If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that nobody cared that much about it at the time, not even Jeffries.
In TAS, the first warp drive ship, the Bonaventure, had a saucer.
Ah--that's right, I had forgotten that.
So... What decal names came with that original ATM kit? Just the Enterprise?
I believe ATM kit only had the Enterprise decal at first when it went on sale. Sometime later, after the series was no longer being film. They added other Constitution ships decal in the ATM kit as well.
So it would have taken some effort to create the E, L and A. Unless the font at that size was in common decal use in other model kits of the time, perhaps? Thanks for the information!
Separate names with a comma.