NCC = Not Constitution Class?

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

  1. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Would certainly hope so; hate to think that SF would be stagnant for a hundred years! :)
    my point was that if 16xx and 18xx are different classes, there are still a large number of Connies on that list, too many perhaps for there to be only twelve of them in all.
    Was never a fan of his list or the twisted logic that produced it
    Established how? Only NCC 163 is legible; sure, we've been told behind-the-scenes that was the Intrepid but it certainly not visible on screen. As far as we know, she could be another ship in for a couple of days of R and R! :)
    Maybe you need officers with seniority to Kirk. Or these COs were the ones whose ships were undergoing months-long overhauls and could afford the time to be bogged down in a trial. Or it was their turn that duty cycle.
    No offense but I said Jefferies' paradigm, not yours...
    My ranges were for illustrative purposes only; others could be chosen. And no, the fleet would be smaller than a Jefferies' "17th cruiser design" approach or straight serial numbers.

    In the Jefferies model, the implication is "16th cruiser design" and "18th cruiser design." By that method, there are/have been 98 16xx class, 19 17xx class, and 32 18xx class vessels indicated by that chart. (Not to mention the 18 10xx vessels. :lol: )
    Serial numbers make it even a larger fleet, with 813 ships between NCC-1017 and NCC-1831, although not all of those are necessarily starships.
    That is correct, what I called above the Jefferies' paradigm
    Well anyone that thinks that the Court-martial chart is referencing new ship construction is just plain silly. It's a job-completion chart, nothing more. With maybe a place on the end for repair sign-off/certification
    Not sure that last bit is correct; the 17th cruiser design sketch also shows him working out design details on the secondary hull, like the clam-shell doors and the sensor dish. Also, his signature there is more consistent with the ones on the earlier ball-and-stick Enterprise sketches than the later Phase II stuff.
     
  2. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    Well, honestly, I'm indifferent to when that first drawing was done. It may well be that this note was there from pretty early on and only MJ cared about it. But there's nothing on the drawing that indisputably proves it wasn't part of the Phase II materials.

    He was attempting to redesign (or "modernize") the ship during the Phase II work, so it seems more likely to me that any such "modernization" notes would be associated with that project... or else Matt was just really foresighted. could be that he included a sketch of how the old ship was arranged, just to have it on his drawing board for inspirational purposes. Maybe in his designing a new version of the ship, he had hoped the clamshell doors would actually be able to slide open on the model... there's no way to know (unless you're privy to more information than I have in these books... if so, please do share) no way to know exactly what the purpose of the sketch this note is included on was for. But, the drawings of a dimensioned model of a 60" long very TMP-esque Enterprise which also bear the "1701A" nomenclature are clearly dated "6/77" as are a few other random sketches.

    As for his signature, I just thumbed through several of his sketches in the books on my shelf and the style of handwriting goes back and forth a bit, it's hard to nail down an evolution in that regard. The "6/77" drawing bears a signature very much like that on a few of his ringship drawings and we know how early those were in the pre-production sequence. I just don't think the shape of his signature is that telling in this case.

    One thing we can be fairly sure of is that, if indeed the "1st MODERNIZATION" notes were on a 1964-5 era sketch, that Jefferies probably thought it was actually a pretty good idea and held on to it pretty firmly if he brought it back up 12-ish years later. (Or, he might have come across his old sketch and thought "oh yeah, that is a good idea" and wrote it on his new drawing.)

    But, it seems more likely to me that all those drawings are contemporary. But, I couldn't say for sure. I guess I'm 60/40 on the matter.

    --Alex
     
  3. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^Well it is something that he famously repeated many years later in interviews.

    My speculation on the matter is that MJ was drawing on what he knew about aircraft designations and marrying that to a serial number format. The Flying Fortress could be viewed as the 17th bomber design (B-17) and its variants were appended with letters (B-17G, for example). While I am aware that format is similar but not the same, it is not a stretch by any means to see its influence in what he derived.
     
  4. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    It could be argued that, during this particular time in Starfleet's history, they used an "NCC-??00" serial number in registries to designate an experimental or prototype model of the class, with incomplete systems or a test-bed platform, whereas anything with an "01" would be the first production ship of the line, fully functional with all the bells and whistles.

    This would be akin to using an "NX" in the registry later on. Granted, Enterprise's NX-01 and Columbia's NX-02 somewhat muddies that argument, but it could be counter-argued that that's what they did for a while in the 22nd century, and went to an NCC-??00 style in the early 23rd century for a limited period of time. Maybe some bureaucratically-inclined Real Admiral wanted some kind of token legacy and changed Starfleet policy to NCC-XX00 during the Connie's time. After he/she retired by the late 23rd, they went back to the more traditional NX designation, just in time for Excelsior's construction and they stuck with it ever since. Stupid bureaucratic nonsense like that happens all the time in the real world in the government & military. I don't think that humans evolved so much by the 23rd century not to engage in a tad-bit of occasional self-promotion from time to time. :)

    This argument could fit nicely in the established continuity, as well as resolve the apparent conflict between MJ's statement and FJ's designs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  5. umichigan

    umichigan Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I hope everyone posting here realizes that discussions like this one are precisely why non-Trekkies assume that we all live in our parent's basements.

    Ah screw em..... my first love will always be the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701 and the refit. (no bloody pilot version either, and I've always liked the ping pong balls at the end of the nacelles).

    :p
     
  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Yes. Though I can't say for the others, I have a house of my own and my entire basement is a home theater but I don't live there.

    Anyway, better living in your parent's basement, communicate with other people, exchange and debate ideas than living in your parents' living room being brainwashed by average TV. ;)
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I believe the majority of non-Trekkies couldn't care less about our discussions. They generally don't go to Star Trek websites like this one...
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Considering that Federation vessels are contacted by their registry number and with the possibility that your favorite foes are listening to the subspace chatter, I think it wouldn't really be a smart thing to provide these with "useful information what that ship is and what it can do".

    I rather think it would be a good idea to have a variety of ships carrying the prefix of a cruiser design series as this would create confusion among your adversaries (since deception isn't compatible with UFP standards).

    My "idiotic" proposal was inspired by Gene Roddenberry: „In addition to the 12 Starships there are lesser classes of vessels, capable of operating over much more limited distances. They are involved in commercial ventures, survey work, archaeological expeditions, medical research and so on. The Starships are the heavy cruisers, the ones that can best defend themselves as they probe farther and farther out, opening new areas…and then the others follow.” The Making of Star Trek

    You are free to find fault with my proposal and I'm open to listen to alternate proposals.

    The producers settled for 12 starships just prior to Season Two and after "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" and after "Court-Martial" which revealed an "NCC-1718"
    So what happened to all the other starships of the 17th series (and the rest of the 97 "starships" of the 16th series)?

    According to your strict interpretation, we are talking about 97 starships of the 16th design, at least 19 starships of the 17th design and 31 starships of the 18th design (total: 147 starships).

    Did they all perish in the Battle of Donatu V? Was the bulk of the fleet "mothballed"?

    At the time of TOS the Enterprise was 40 years old. If Starfleet already felt 40 years earlier the strength of the fleet has to be 12 starships at least, we'd be looking at a loss of almost 4 starships every year, i.e. one third of the fleet is being lost every year!

    So out of 3 starships being put out to space, one will not return. Admittedly that's a better ratio than the German U-Boot sailors had (out of 4 that put out to sea only one returned), but it makes me wonder why people in the 23rd Century are so keen serving on starships. ;)

    Bob
     
  9. Unwrapped

    Unwrapped Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    Battletech uses a similar system for mechs, with most mechs having a production code that's normally based on their class name (with very rare exceptions), so that the Mercury class battlemech (which became the basis of the Clans' advanced omnimech designs) has a designator of MCY-XXX. Clan mechs notably lack such designators, but sometimes have alternate names given to them by the House troops during the early Clan invasion. Interestingly, most other vehicles lack them as well even though they're prominent with battlemechs. Only class names are used.
     
  10. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Based on that interview, then could it be that for example NCC-77832 is either the 778th design, 32nd bird or 77th design, 832nd bird? I figure at some point, they could have built more than 99 Enterprise-type ships and the 100th bird would be NCC-17000 ?

    It's an interesting thought from MJ though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...It would be even more clever to use a completely nonsensical registry system, and to change the pennants more often than the crew does laundry. Which is as good an explanation as any for the weird registries and registry changes we witness, come to think of it.

    The logical extension of that is the realization that whatever the number of starships like Kirk's at the time of "Tomorrow is Yesterday" (or at least its unseen 23rd century "framing story"), "only twelve" is not it! And of course United Earth Space Probe Agency has got nothing to do with Kirk.

    (Quite possibly, Starfleet doesn't exist, either, and all our heroes are Klingons in disguise, whereas all Klingons are Earthlings in disguise. But that's not absolutely certain yet.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Manticore

    Manticore Manticore, A moment ago Premium Member

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    Different Starfleet. ;) The 22nd century Enterprise was an NX class starship, and the first one in the fleet, hence NX-01. The Columbia was the second, and thus NX-02.
     
  13. FatherRob

    FatherRob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    My logic has some similarities, but is also different. If we accept that the ship is Constitution class, then USS Constitution was built up as NX-1700 and served as the testbed and proof of concept article for the Star Fleet. The Enterprise was the first operationally commissioned ship of the series, thus 1701. After the operational ships came out, the Constitution was retrofitted with improvements based on its testing (improvements initially installed in production hulls) and, when put back into service, the ship was fully operational, and was given the NCC registry.

    Now, all that being said, it does not explain away the Constellation which is pretty clearly intended to be of the same class as the Enterprise but has a lower number. My solution to that one is as follows (and works, as long as you ignore ST:IV onwards!):

    A previous Constellation (Hull number 1017) was destroyed. To honor its service, Star Fleet carried forward the hull number to a new-build 17th class ship. In this case, instead of thinking of the NCC number as the hull number, it makes more sense as a transponder number (i.e., navigational contact code).

    Either way, I have to make some choices about my own fleet make-up theory soon, as I intend to start building my idea of a fleet in scale with my TOS Enterprise model... and I have to decide how to handle the numbering issues.

    Rob+
     
  14. Spike730

    Spike730 Captain Captain

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    They should've changed 1017 to 1702 for TOS-R. Or kept the registry and made it another class.
     
  15. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Two points that I feel the need to reiterate.

    One, is that it shouldn't be omitted that the reason why Jefferies picked 1701 wasn't for meaning, it was rather because '1' '7' and '0' are easily identifiable from a distance. As others have indicated, the 17th class, model 01 thing was after-the-fact.

    Two, is that the obvious reason that the Constellation was 1017 was that it just reorganized the AMT kit stickers. Why they didn't just go with 1710 is beyond me. I assume whoever put the model together just didn't care, or realize. Jefferies probably hadn't dreamed up his rationalization yet. Alternatively, they may have felt that 1017 was more different from 1701 than 1710, and wanted to make clear that the wrecked ship was not the Enterprise.

    I am grateful there are so many ways to rationalize away weird Constitution registries. I am personally fond of the visually undiscernable subclass suggestion.
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not aware there is any proof for the "after-the-fact" theory. On the contrary, the genuine production sketch from the production period is a clear hint that the Enterprise was indeed the "first bird", the "first in the series":

    [​IMG]

    Again, the entire "NCC-1700" (= USS Constitution) business was an invention of Greg Jein made to fit a pet theory of his which then was adopted by Franz Joseph Schnaubelt.

    Where Greg Jein's own theory fell apart was the moment he assigned registry numbers beginning with "16" to the Constitution Class (not considering that the starship status flat screen in "Court-Martial" might simply be displaying "starships" that are still awaiting essential upgrades, including those of the 16th design).

    IMHO, the logical conclusion would have been to assign the registry number "NCC-1600" to the USS Constitution (or "NCC-1601", had he been aware of Matt Jefferies' production sketch, then). ;)

    Bob
     
  17. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I'm still convinced that that particular drawing is from the 1977 Phase II materials rather than the 1964 Star Trek pre-production.

    But we've been around this bend before...

    --Alex
     
  18. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I believe the quote in the Star Trek Sketchbook by Jefferies specifically states this story, along with (paraphrasing) "...later I decided the Enterprise design was the 17th cruiser design, 1st production model." I can dig the book up and check it later.

    To be clear, I'm not saying that the '17th, 1st' rationalization coming later invalidates it. I'm merely saying that if we're going to acknowledge the real-world author's intent for something, we should acknowledge the full story.
     
  19. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    @ Praetor

    No need to dig the book up because the exact quote is in my introduction to this thread. :)

    First, Matt Jefferies gave a real life explanation for the choice of numbering (probably also inspired by the registry number of his Waco airplane).

    "Afterwards", he provided the in-universe explanation. I read this "afterwards" as "right after" and not "decades later".

    @ Albertese

    I don't see any design characteristics that would rather indicate this to be a design sketch for the Phase II project. On the contrary, the "J" of the Jefferies signature is the "J" from the 1964 production sketches while the "J" of he Phase II sketch from "6-77" on the opposite page in the Sketchbook is a simpler, newer version.

    But regardless: If the creator / designer of the Enterprise felt this starship to be the first of its kind, I consider him to be the ultimate authority on the subject - and not Greg Jein or Franz Joseph Schnaubelt. ;)

    Bob
     
  20. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not likely, especially since he didn't get the plane until a year after TOS ended.