NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Robert Comsol, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    As I have come to understand it, something cannot be canon if it is incompatible with information stated on screen and/or the intentions of the original producers and production designers.

    While doing an Oberth Class study I revisited the essential TOS book The Making of Star Trek from 1968 (statements from the producers, i.e. Gene Roddenberry and Bob Justman) and the Star Trek Sketchbook from 1997 (with previously unpublished original sketches and statements from the production designer and Enterprise creator Matt Jefferies).

    How Matt Jefferies came up with “NCC” has been quoted several times online, but what he additionally said is curiously sometimes missing:

    “So the one seven stood for the seventeenth basic ship design in the Federation, and the zero one would have been serial number one, the first bird.” (BBC Online)

    “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!” (Star Trek Sketchbook, page 62)

    At first glance the “afterwards” seems like a ‘Retcon Maneuver’ but here it’s a) the father of the Starship Enterprise talking about his intentions and b) actually something he intended early on once we look at the text of a genuine yellow Enterprise production sketch from the early 1960’s:
    17th CRUISER DESIGN
    SERIAL N°1 = 1701
    SERIAL N°2 1702

    http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6015/6012480851_6b6f819fbb_b.jpg (illustration from Star Trek Sketchbook)

    With that late but essential information, several original statements from the producers in The Making of Star Trek no longer just seem to talk about a starship class of Enterprise “types” but indeed about an Enterprise Class as USS Enterprise was the first of it and therefore is also at least about 40 years old by the time of TOS (the age of the ship is another myth):

    Bob Justman: “(D. C. Fontana) suggests that we establish the names of the 12 ships of the Enterprise Starship Class.” (part II, chapter 1, page 165)

    Stephen Whitfield (authorized by Gene Roddenberry): “The Enterprise-class starships have been in existence for about forty years and are now capable of surveying and exploring the uncharted remainder of the galaxy.” (part II, chapter 3, page 203).

    So where does that erroneous idea of a Constitution Class come from :confused:

    Court-Martial” aired in February 1967, and the office of the portmaster of Starbase 11 included a “star ship status” wall chart which featured 10 registry numbers obviously belonging to unknown Federation starships – NCC 1700 at the very bottom - which compelled D.C. Fontana six months later to submit the aforementioned proposal to provide some names for starships.

    It should be noted that “Constitution” wasn’t even among the first three published name lists (Mr. Whitfield just provided a final result which then included names that hadn’t been on the first three lists: Potemkin, Republic, Constitution, Kongo, Farragut, Valiant and Intrepid) and that “NCC 1700” on that status chart was the farthest from being “complete”.

    According to the ‘Jefferies Rule’ “NCC 1700” would have meant 17-00 (serial number zero) and possibly indicated a yet unregistered starship beeing built at the time.

    The only screen evidence of a USS Constitution in TOS was the screen display of Scotty’s technical journal in “The Trouble With Tribbles” displaying a “primary phaser” schematic belonging to a “Star Ship MK IX/01 Constitution Class”: http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/1/16/Constitution_primary_phaser.jpg

    While it is correct that USS Enterprise and her sister ships are vessels of the Starship Class, it had never been established that all starships have to look like USS Enterprise (and “Starship Reliant” is sufficient proof).

    According to the ‘Jefferies Rule’ Scotty would have just looked at the phaser design of an older class of starship (maybe NCC-901 or NCC-1601...).

    Mr. Franz Joseph, being (also) unaware that USS Enterprise was supposed to be “the first bird, the first in the series” (Jefferies), introduced the idea of the Constition Class (NCC-1700) with his Star Trek Blueprints and the Star Trek Technical Manual which nevertheless is as erroneus as the other and similar idea of the 1970’s that Enterprise should belong to the Constellation Class just because that was the lowest starship registry ever visible on screen (NCC-1017). :wtf:

    It looks like for the canon of Star Trek just the lesser of two evils had been chosen which still doesn’t put things right.

    Personally, I have no problem that Kirk's Enterprise became a member of the Constitution Class if that was the first vessel to undergo the refit / redesign / transformation of the 2270’s.

    I know it’s unrealistic to expect this flaw to be corrected (think of the birds and the dinosaurs), but for the future I recommend to avoid the term “Constitution Class” whenever it comes to Kirk’s television “starship class” Enterprise.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not really. After all, the canon itself was created by many different producers and designers with many differing intentions, and has plenty of internal contradictions. "Canon" doesn't mean "right" or "real" or "inviolable gospel." It's just a set of stories that pretend to represent a uniform reality, even though they can and do vary in the details of interpretation. After all, it's all equally fictional; if you're pretending that any of it happened in the first place, you can just as easily pretend that something happened differently than some earlier story pretended it did. So canon is best addressed in broad strokes, not on the detail level.

    Not to mention that creators' original intentions are subject to change. There are plenty of things that were originally intended when shows were first developed but then got abandoned or reinterpreted as the shows evolved -- like the intention of TNG's developers that Data was built by mysterious aliens, an idea that got thrown out as soon as someone came up with a worthwhile story idea that required him to have been created by a human inventor. So no, creator intentions do not define canon. The canon is the final onscreen work itself, which was shaped by many different intentions.



    Again, those were just suggestions, trial ideas that didn't end up onscreen. The creative process is full of such trial ideas and revisions. Even just working alone as a novelist, I often rethink or abandon my early ideas as a project comes together and newer, better ideas occur to me. And in a collaborative process like producing a TV series, that's going to happen even more, because lots of people will have their own distinct ideas and they can't all end up onscreen.

    So it wasn't "erroneous." As you yourself discuss, it originated in production art from "The Trouble with Tribbles," and was then adopted by Franz Joseph. No, it wasn't canonical until it was stated onscreen in "The Naked Now," but that doesn't mean it was wrong; it just means it was undecided until then. Again, there were lots of different ideas shaping this work of make-believe called Star Trek, and sometimes they conflicted with each other, and it was a while before a later story came along and resolved the issue. It's invalid to call it a mistake or a flaw just because the final idea doesn't match the rough, unofficial ideas from earlier in the process. Rough-draft ideas aren't supposed to supersede later refinements. It's supposed to be the other way around.
     
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  4. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    If it does work on the detail level (i.e. for TOS and the subsequent films), I fail to see why it shouldn't be addressed.

    I'm well aware of that especially if you look at what happened to the Romulans and Klingons - they swapped personalities for TNG.

    But that's not the issue here. The original intentions for Kirk's television ship of the producers ("Enterprise Starship Class") and the production designer ("17th design, 1st in the series") did not change throughout the series and even stayed intact for the films.
    While Franz Joseph may not have been aware of the 'Jefferies Rule' he must have been aware of "Enterprise Starship Class" because The Making of Star Trek was the book his blueprints and especially his technical manual did rely upon. His work was not exactly a role model of accurate research and unbiased reproduction, so given the choice to believe him or the series' actual creators, I choose the latter.

    What was there to conclude that Enterprise would be a Constitution Class starship? Scotty is reading a technical journal, not the technical manual of the Enterprise. It merely established that a starship class named "Constitution" does or did exist, too, and since we don't know if he's looking at an historic text or an update report it remains inconclusive.
    If the MK IX would indicate an old Constitution Class of the 9th design, we'd finally have a nesting place for the USS Eagle (NCC-956). Admittedly a nesting place on thin ice but better than no ice at all. ;)
    Should it indicate a present Constitution Class, then we might be looking at NCC-1601 - maybe that would help - considering we (now after TOS-R) obviously have starships with a prefix of NCC-16XX that are hard to tell apart from the Enterprise starships of the 17th design. As a colloquialism the term "Constitution Class" might be okay, but that USS Enterprise belongs to this class is a myth, I for one don't buy any longer.

    I never said and never will say (until the recent Blu-ray 'fix', that is) that what we saw in "The Naked Now" was wrong.
    It was an accurate display of Kirk's Enterprise that began as an Enterprise Class starship and ended as a Constitution Class starship (movie version).

    Star Trek has established that ship identification also relies on visual contact. Imagine a helmsman seeing the a television Enterprise-type port and a movie Enterprise-type starboard. If he were reporting to his captain "Two Constitution Class starships, one port, one starboard" his report would lack information as the two ships are substantially different.
    "one Enterprise Class starship port, one Constitution Class starship port" would contain all the basic essential information his captain would need.

    Bob
     
  5. Robert D. Robot

    Robert D. Robot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The dedication plaque on the original 1701 bridge states that the ship is a "Starship Class" ('no bloody "Enterprise" or "Constitution" class'). Maybe we should just assume that "Starship Class" and "Enterprise Class" went the way of James R. Kirk....
     
  6. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    Enterprise class surfaces in the movie Star Trek II.
     
  7. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    @ Robert D. Robot

    Indeed, a concise "Starship Class" serves all interests (no bloody A, B, C or D and no Constitution or Enterprise Class).

    @ throwback

    Yes, "Enterprise Class" was a label on the bridge simulator door.

    Andrew Probert felt that because of Commander Decker's "This is a totally new Enterprise" the registry number should have started with 18 and the ship would be Enterprise Class. When it came to Star Trek VI DP Nicholas Meyer may have gotten second thoughts ("Constitution" whiteprint).


    Come to think of it, I wondered how it's rationalized now that TOS-R had established NCC registries starting with 16 for Intrepid, Excalibur and Exeter (Potemkin got her 1657 in Star Trek VI), three ships had already been visualized as relatives of the Enterprise in TOS.
    These obviously don't belong to a Constitution Class where the Constitution supposedly is NCC-1700 :rolleyes:

    The correct registry for the USS Constitution would then be NCC-1601 (according to Jefferies Rule) and we'd have 8 known starships of the 16th Federation Design (Constitution Class).
    In comparison we'd have 7 known starships of the 17th Federation Design (Enterprise Class).
    (Where to put USS Constellation NCC-1017(-A) I leave this open to imagination).

    The beauty of this positive Retcon Maneuver:

    1) Jefferies Rule has been reconstituted
    2) Numbers make perfect sense
    3) "Constitution Class" is a colloquialism in the broader sense: If you start with this class, have the next design to be indiscernible from the outside (Enterprise Class), then have a refit transformation beginning with USS Constitution that will also include previous Enterprise Class Starships which then will equally end up as (new) Constitution Class Starships, I wouldn't find fault that the majority of fans refer to these vessels just as "Constitution Class Starships".

    Of course, the erroneous "NCC-1700" for the USS Constitution would have to receive a proper military burial...:)

    Bob
     
  8. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    IIRC, Gene Roddenberry insisted that the movie-era refit Enterprise still be called Constitution class and keep the classic number, because the ship was a character itself and he seemed to think that if the crew had a different ship, the audience would somehow eventually forget the Enterprise's importance. (To which I say :p :D) The Enterprise class still cropped up in a number of other sources, and I prefer to use it myself.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Quite so, and it's thus a good thing nothing requires us to think they would be Constitution class. There have been quite a few instances in military history where ships (or aircraft or vehicles) of seemingly identical design have been divided into several classes either because of design origin (some are refits into modern standards, other are modern newbuilds), significant internal differences (one is powered by diesels, the other by gas turbines) or mission differences (where the hardware differences are relatively minor but nevertheless reflect the mission).

    I have no objection as such to those ships sporting registries lower than 1700. What I do find objectionable is that those ships use registries from the "Court Martial" wall chart. If we are supposed to believe that the ships on that chart are all "heavy cruisers" or "star ships" or whatever of the various canon identities we assign to the sort of ship Kirk flies, the Trek universe is so much diminished. Not to mention Starfleet is screwed when all its leading ships are undergoing repairs at SB11 simultaneously!

    That would be a massive downside, as it would mean the vast majority of the registries seen elsewhere in Star Trek would have to be changed as well, to correspond to this doubly fictional rule. None of them ever intentionally did, so all existing compliance would be by sheer chance.

    That sounds really nice. Of course, it can be extended back and forth in pseudohistory, too: the designation "Constitution class" could have been slapped somewhat arbitrarily on a certain number of designs associated with the refit history of USS Constitution, while a large number of similarly shaped ships would be associated with the designation "Irreverence class" because their refit history was more closely related to that older vessel (say, NCC-1622), and others would be known as the "New Caledonia class" because they and only they, despite originally having been Constitutions or Irreverences or Enterprises, would be refitted into an even more futuristic standard spearheaded by the conversion or construction of USS New Caledonia.

    We don't see futuristic counterparts to Kirk's ship, with mysteriously high registries, on screen. But we do see older counterparts, with mysteriously low ones. So the above sort of fuzziness is probably indeed going on in Starfleet.

    We may also treat Starfleet as a realistic organization rather than as a dramatically simplified one. It would be rather natural for such an organization to use several different standards for naming the ships, depending on who is talking and to whom. Going sufficiently far down that path, we could even explain away "STARSHIP CLASS" ultimately... Without having to change a bit of what we saw with our own eyes on screen.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Of course the starship status display does not show all the starships of Starfleet, who is claiming such nonsense!?

    The very same episode itself states that USS Republic (NCC-1371) is a "Star Ship" (same as the creators in their official name list) and it is equally missing from the display as is USS Constellation (NCC-1017).

    Neither does it show all the starships currently harbored at Starbase 11. For Kirk's court martial Starfleet "officers" have to be brought to Starbase 11: The Starfleet representative and at least one more starship captain. The only Starship captains at Starbase 11 are obviously Captain Kirk and the captain of the Intrepid.

    According to the "Drunken Scotsman" nomenclature in TNG's "Relics" ("I served on a freighter, a cruiser and a starship") to classify as a starship such a ship has to be at least a "heavy cruiser".

    I think the only explanation for the starship status display is a list that shows all of Starfleet's starships of the 16th, 17th and 18th design that still require hardware upgrades which are not yet "complete" (bar graph). Alternate interpretations are welcome.

    No, none of the 23rd registries would have to be changed, except for NX-2000 that actually should be NX-2001 (but isn't USS Discovery...). :rolleyes:

    The only registry number that has to go is NCC-1700 because it's actually 17th design serial n° 00 and therefore a ship beeing built during the the time of "Court-Martial".

    I strongly recommend reading Greg Jein's original "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship" treatise: http://www.trekplace.com/article10.html

    He concluded from the Mark IX/01 designation of a ship's primary phaser of a starship of the Constitution Class that the "Mark IX/01" was refering to USS Enterprise!

    But in the subsequent discussion (at the bottom) he suggested himself that a short bar of the starship status display indicated a starship being constructed - which exactly is the case with "NCC 17 00" in this starship status display!!!

    Matt Jefferies production sketch (Enterprise is 17th cruiser design and "first bird, first in the series") would have helped Greg Jein to conclude that USS Constitution would be NCC-1601 (especially given his intention to make prefixes beginning with 16 relatives of the Enterprise).

    The problem with Franz Joseph is, that he simply copied Greg Jein's findings (Mark IX class) but discarded what he didn't like and the NCC-1700 for the Constitution erroneously stuck.

    Since the producers intention had been that there are 12 starships "like" the Enterprise I believe these were all meant to have prefixes starting with 17.

    But since already the starship status display revealed an "NCC-1718" the inevitable conclusion could be that the first ship or ships of the latest cruiser design are also cycle leaders which include a bulk of other ships including cargo drones, freighters, personnel carriers etc.

    If USS Soyuz were NCC-1901 (cruiser / cycle leader) there's no problem with the USS Constellation NCC-1947 as it's not a cruiser design but just another class of ships being built during this cycle.

    Bob
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Greg Jein, sort of. Not that I'd agree with him in any way, but he does take the dozen registries on that list and "use them up" with the known dozen "starships like Kirk's" as indicated in "Tomorrow is Yesterday".

    That a single starbase would be processing all the "ships like Kirk's" would be fairly odd, unless we assume the base had unique special techniques available for maintaining that specific type of vessel. We would more or less have to argue that the chart would not be describing ships currently physically idled at SB11, but rather ships everywhere in the Starfleet area of operations, with varying "status percentages" (whatever those are). Whether the "status percentage" would be in any way related to the ship being present at or absent from SB11 would be another question. And all that could be avoided if we just plain ignored Greg Jein.

    Quite so. One wonders if the makers of TOS ever considered either of these ships to be in the "like the Enterprise" category...

    There's no reason to think that the jury would have any specific configuration. We can draw no conclusions from the configuration we see - especially as it so markedly differs from the configuration of Spock's hearing in "The Menagerie". Certainly there is no evidence against there being a dozen other Captains or starship COs at SB11 at the time.

    I'd rather choose to interpret the "cruiser" in Scotty's rant as a pleasure cruiser, in which case "starship" would cover all the Starfleet vessels. Drawing the line between "cruiser" and "heavy cruiser" in the military sense seems awfully artificial.

    I'd certainly much favor all those interpretations that have the list as representing ships currently residing at SB11. But I have no great fondness for the "Nth design" model, which just plain isn't upheld by the episodes and movies of Star Trek. And in that model, there'd still be an alarming number of ships of the 17th design stranded at less than 100% status one way or another, out of the dozen quoted ones.

    The idea of reserving the first two digits to a specific design doesn't fly if a design includes just a dozen completed hulls; Starfleet would be ridiculously short on ships in that case. The idea of "cycle leaders" is an intriguing one, but simple running numbers such as those used by the USN to list its destroyers would also work relatively fine. Leading vessels of all-new designs would just get the next running number for the most part.

    That is the system FJ ruined by giving a NCC prefix to all types of ship, meaning either that the registries suggest ship type by a subtler means, or then that the registries tell nothing of ship type. The majority of evidence nowadays is for the latter: only an expert can tell from a glance what sort of a ship a certain registry describes. Which isn't objectionable as such.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I disagree. Spock's hearing is at "sea", Kirk hearing is at "port". Of course there is evidence against a dozen other starship captains at Starbase 11 at the time: Why bring in starship captains with active duty (and thus immobilize their starships!) if there are other idle starship captains available at port, waiting for the end of repairs on their ships?!
    The Starfleet representative who has to attend the court martial is just one officer, but Kirk makes his log entry stating "officers" which has to refer to at least another starship captain.

    I agree, Mr. Scott isn't really working on all his thrusters during these scenes ("no bloody...C" - I doubt he has ever looked at Andrew Probert's original Ambassador Class design...;)), but there seems to be a difference between a cruiser and a starship (whatever that may be).

    It is upheld by the TOS episodes and movies. And I rather have one "physical law" working fine than to worry about the "Grand Unified Theory" (including TNG etc.) which is next to impossible, add to this that it works once you consider the Enterprise's creator original intentions.

    You said yourself we do not know what the "complete" in the graphic bar means, thus we cannot conclude that it indicates "stranded" ships or a less than average performance.
    As USS Intrepid (NCC-1631) is not on this repair list (only Enterprise happens to be there by coincidence) the list does not indicate starships "stranded" for repair work.
    On the contrary, other than repairs Intrepid is at 100% performance (and therefore not on the list), Enterprise is not "complete", thus Commodore Stone orders repair on the Intrepid to be stopped on behalf of Enterprise.

    I don't pretend to know how many starships UFP actually needs in the 23rd Century, therefore I have to rely on the producers intentions (analogy to the US Navy aircraft carriers of the 1960's) that 12 starships "like" the Enterprise was all they had.

    I take it from your comments that you disagree with this approach. But 12 starships would make sense in so far, that Enterprise is often the only "starship" available to intercept (in the films).

    I concur. But bringing back Matt Jefferies' original idea adds more sense to the system than previous explanation attempts with only minimal "tweaks" ("corrections" would be the proper term), in my humble opinion.

    Bob
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But how many "starships" unlike the Enterprise do they also have, in addition to those like the Enterprise?

    :)
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The members of the jury were specifically shipped in (our heroes waited for them to "arrive"), so we have no reason to assume they would have been picked randomly from a locally available pool under any circumstances. Hence, we can tell nothing of the locally available pool. For all we know, it was absolutely necessary to get a Space Command Representative there, as well as two skippers of a very specific personal background (say, unrelated to Kirk's career, familiar with Kirk, whatever).

    Intriguingly, in TNG "Peak Performance", the (civilian?) tactical advisor Kolrami feels the need to specify that the opposing ship in the war games is a "star cruiser". Quite possibly, people of both the central Trek eras use the term "cruiser" ambiguously, for both civilian and military vessels (as Kirk felt the tiny Aurora in "Way to Eden" was one!), and when there is any chance of confusion, the prefix "star" establishes a Starfleet identity for a vessel.

    So here we have a "star ship status" chart. The space between the first two words might be crucial: a starship is a specific type, a star ship is a ship belonging to Starfleet - say, a starship, a star cruiser, a star destroyer, a star frigate, or perhaps a star transport.

    A ship with the number NCC-1*31 does appear on the chart - and it would be the height of illogic not to have the Intrepid there, as Stone apparently makes these reshuffling decisions by looking at that very chart. "Coincidence" is the last resort if explanations more befitting the drama of the situation are also easily available.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    That's the big question, is it not? With "United Star Ship Republic number 1371" - a "starship" according to the producers - probably a lot unless they kept this one just as a training vessel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks that you mentioned that. According to the screen information in "The Enterprise Incident" Enterprise is listed as a "space cruiser".

    Then we have the "United Star Ship Republic" although Pike already called the Enterprise a "United Space Ship" in "The Cage". My 0.02 $ theory therefore is that in the beginning when the Federation was just a few united stars and planets the front-line ships were "United Star Ships" and by the time the Federation had grown covering larger areas of space a ship is designated as "United Space Ship".

    "Star Cruiser" could then be a general colloquialism for older ships while "Space Cruiser" designates a newer one. Measure?

    Yes, I believe this is what the scene originally suggested. We know now that the number on the flat screen display is NCC-1831 but Greg Jein originally misread it as NCC-1631 (even in HD it's difficult to be sure that the other registries begin with 16 and not 18) for the Intrepid. For TOS-R the Okudas decided to go with Jein's 1631, thus it's no longer listed on the display and Commodore Stone is 'now' looking at the fine print of the bars telling him the exact nature of the upgrades or whatever.
    The beauty is of course that already in the era of TOS we have a ship of the 18th design (cycle) which I presume to indicate a Miranda Class starship.

    If this list now is just a status display only indicating Starfleet starships still requiring upgrades and Enterprise is (obviously) one of these, then this list will pop up at every Starbase the Enterprise visits and is anything but a coincidence.

    And that's still better than assuming that this list shows all the starships in Starfleet, isn't it? ;)

    Bob
     
  17. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Some quick comments:
    -stepping through the scene where Stone is viewing the extract frame-by-frame yesterday, the 8 in 1831 always looks like an 8 except once, so, at least on a 55" LED TV, it is 1831. The second digits below it that are 6s always looked like 6s.
    -even if you say that only 17xx is "like her in the fleet", i.e, Constitution-class, there are still five of the twelve* listed here, apparently laid up for repairs/maintenance.
    -1697? Under the Jefferies' paradigm, the 97th "bird?" Of course, the one hundred numbers could have been assigned to the various shipyard in blocks, ie, SF gets 1600-1615, Utopia gets 1616-1630, etc. So a build order might be 1600, 1631, 1616, each yard finishing the first of its number block. That would allow for a smallish fleet (that TOS often suggested) but such large serial numbers.
    -the Jefferies system does not have to continue into the 24th century. A switch to straight serial numbering could have occurred as the Jefferries system became too cumbersome to use. Such changes happen all the time IRL.

    *(or thirteen ;))
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  18. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    That's the way I've generally looked at it. I do think Starfleet underwent a few changes between TOS and TNG, including what classifies as a starship.
     
  19. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    When Greg Jein did his "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship" he most likely just had a print from a film cell and was not able to discern whether it's 1631 or 1831.

    Again, USS Constitution NCC-1601, USS Enterprise NCC-1701.
    For anyone interested in the subject, I strongly recommend reading Jein's original (and most influential) article at www.trekplace.com. Witness how he concludes that NCC-1700 should be Constitution and how at the end of the article he makes a (correct) 180° turn and figures that a short bar indicates a starship just being under construction (NCC-1700)!!!

    With NCC-1631 having been established to be Intrepid by TOS-R the display no longer lists starships in orbit of Starbase 11. I think that's a good thing (again, why withdraw starship captains from active duty to transport them to a starbase where you have 9 of them waiting for repairs with nothing else to do?), Timo does not the way I read his comments.

    Not the 97th "bird" (in the sense of starship). If the new cruiser design (1601) starts the series I believe it also starts a new construction cycle and all vessels built during this construction cycle - from a cargo drone to a starship - will get a prefix of 16.
    Of course the 31st, the 64th, the 72nd, the 85th and 97th Starfleet vessel built during this cycle are Constitution Class starships, too.

    I find your proposal with the shipyard blocks fascinating! But with the last shipyard (1685-1699) we'd already be having 12 starships just from this particular one plus the others. Wouldn't this make the fleet rather bigger?

    I agree, the 24th century may require a different system for various reasons.
    One is definitely that federation space has become so big that it's necessary to assign certain sectors to certain ships which stay there. Warping from one end of federation space to the other seems to be a waste of time. I assume the NCC registries now to be codes that tell every able Starfleet officer just by hearing an NCC number which sector a certain ship is usually operating in.
    IRL our banks give us account numbers that contain the routing code to identify which bank a certain account number belongs to.

    Bob
     
  20. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I'm sorry, Bob, I hate to seem mean, but this is idiotic. The point of having a handy name for a class of ship is to identify the specific type of vessel to know it's rough mission capabilities and maintenance requirements. If that name is applied to all types of ship built during a given period, then it becomes a reference to a mere historical coincidence of when the ship was built and carries no useful information of what that ship is and what it can do.

    This is totally opposed to the "Jefferies Rule" you're preaching so heavily. I personally like this rule as he described it and I am in the camp that tries to massage the TOS contradictions to make it kinda fit better. (I assume starting in about 2295, they ditched it and went for more or less strictly chronological numbers, like licence plates on cars.) But the whole point of the "Jefferies Rule" is that the first number in the registry was related to the class of ship, Enterprise being of the 17th cruiser design. The last two digits being the production number of that particular hull in that particular design. Enterprise being "01" meant that it was the first production model of the ship authorized to be built. The "00" number is for the prototype of that design. The U.S.S. Constitution is number 1700 because it is the prototype, or number "0" of the 17th cruiser design. That it was still under construction as of "Court Martial" is weak sauce to my nose.

    On one of his drawings where he implied this "Rule" of his, MJ specified "17th CRUISER DESIGN" and also described an addition where the "1st MODERNIZE OR MODIFICATION" would get a letter suffix, which would make the TMP refit 1701A (he never used a dash). This would make more sense if there were other prefixes besides "NCC." If we were to assume "NCC" meant that the ship was a cruiser and "NCD" meant it was, say, a destroyer, then having the numbers being meaningful as per ship class would follow easier. But, all we see is "NCC."

    These were associated with drawings he did for Roddenberry at the very beginning of the Star Trek: Phase 2 project, which MJ wasn't long associated with. But his sketches did provide the first nudgings toward what ultimately ended up being Probert's TMP refit design. And MJ's drawing of it is labeled as 1701A, interestingly enough. Only one of the "1701A" drawings is dated and it's "6/77" which means that it's entirely possible that the "Jefferies Rule" hadn't even been thought up during the run of the show, which could be why it's not so beholden to...

    --Alex
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012