NCC = Not Constitution Class?

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

  1. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    This dry land thing is too wierd!
    Personally, my explanation for the 1600-series clones and the "12 like her" line is this:
    The 1600-series ships (and the 1017 Constellation) have been refitted to externally indistinguishable specifications. Internally, some have more or fewer weapons, sensors, automation, etc. Pike had a crew of 200, because he was a standard GalEx Heavy Cruiser, with a standard mission profile. So his ship was fitted out with the equipment he'd need, and a crew big enough for that job. A MiliOps Heavy Cruiser of the same type would have a larger crew (say 300?), more individual phasers, fewer labs, etc. When Kirk got Enterprise, she came out of a refit that gave him a ship loaded for bear - 400 crew and all the bells and whistles. You have to save volume somewhere, so he has fewer phasers and photon torpedo banks, but more sophisticated models - like carrying an M-16 while the Pike had the equivalent of 8 bolt-action rifles. The simpler model is larger, takes up more space, and has more redundancy. It's the tradeoff. Kirk's ship is part of Independent Ops, and can go anywhere, perform any mission. So, since only 12 or 13 are fitted out and assigned to Independent Ops, there's your "12 like her". But the NCC-1664 Excalibur can easily be a Baton Rouge subtype that's been refitted and refitted until it matches the Constitution class externally. Or as was suggested above, NX-1700 was a prototype, and still testing out the limits of the design, so 1701 was the first production model. And since a lot of designs get scrapped in design or testing, NX-1600 was a failure, and as more 17-series ships were needed, unused 16-series numbers were used. 18-series couldn't be used, because until (or if) NX-1800 is designed and built, we would be poaching their numbers.
    Overall, though, I just don't see the need to follow the 17-01 logic slavishly. It's a kinda cool thought, at first blush, but once you start really trying to apply it, it falls apart and locks you in too much.
     
  2. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Really? The Virginia Aviation Museum says otherwise http://www.eaa231.org/Museum/WacoYOC/WACO.htm

    And could private pilots back in the Sixties just pick their favorite airplane registry number? "NC 17740" can't be coincidental. ;)

    Bob
     
  3. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I think BJ is correct. Matt Jefferies was interviewed and he is asked about NCC-1701 at the 5:18 mark. He didn't get the plane until after TOS went off the air and claimed it was not the source of the numbering.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax1y8HNCjBw

    However, he does confirm (or re-confirm) that the numbers were picked to be easily recognizable and it was the 17th design and the 1st bird, etc.

    Interestingly, by his thinking, the Constellation being the 10th design would suggest the basic saucer + secondary hull + nacelles had been around for a long time :)
     
  4. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Not necessarily, IMHO. Assuming the yellow production sketch is from the early beginnings (which I think it is), Matt Jefferies suggested the A-ppendix to be applied to ships that had undergone modernization or modification, not (yet) as a commemorative appendix to honor the achievements of a previous ship (like NCC-1701-A in ST IV).

    Therefore the USS Constellation's registry number could simply honor the achievements of a previous cruiser (unknown 10th design) without the necessity to wear an A-ppendix, as this kind of nomenclature hadn't be established yet by the time of TOS. :)

    Bob
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    At the time this putative rule was devised, Starfleet was not yet established as a century-old organization. To the contrary, many things about the Federation and its space navy appeared new - not so new that Kirk would have been field testing warp drives or phasers or transporters, but not so old that there would have been half a dozen generations of Kirks in the service yet. Quite possibly, then, all the cruiser types from 10 to 17 would have been introduced within a decade, perhaps a decade and a half before the TOS era and a decade and a half after the founding of the service, and the same manufacturer would have churned out these identical hulls so that another could equip them with slightly varying but contemporary innards.

    It would only be later that Starfleet would gain in years, making it tempting to spread the 17 types evenly across a whole century (or, say, the first 70 years of it, with the last 30 reserved for the already evident type 18 and possible higher ones). But by that time the concept of the first two digits identifying the ship type would have been kicked out of the airlock, too.

    Well, no. But "17740" certainly can. And Jeffries would have gotten the NC from generic aviation facts, not from any specific aircraft.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    A revising of my last statement: The saucer, secondary hull and nacelle configuration would appear to have been around as early as the 10th design :)
     
  7. RyanKCR

    RyanKCR Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Both Picard and Sisko refered to the TOS Enterprise as Constitution class.
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Liebes Christkind, it's obvious that a debatable pet theory of Greg Jein (partially adopted by Franz Joseph Schnaubelt) - not compatible with the original creator's intentions - became a popular myth that was eventually established by retroactive continuity in real life ("Constitution Class").

    In-Universe and especially after TOS-R the conjectural Constitution's registry number NCC-1700 continues to conflict with registry numbers of "Constitution Class" ships beginning with "16".

    As I have repeatly suggested, the lesser evil seems to be to assign the Constitution the (creator compatible) NCC-1601, have the Enterprise Class for ships beginning with "17" and assume the Constitution to have been the first ship to undergo the TMP refit.

    In such a scheme we'd have the basic TV design starting with a "Constitution Class" which you will then also have for the motion picture starships - so that 78 years later "Constitution Class" has become a colloquialism that most people will refer to (of course, nitpicky Vulcans might point out there had been an "Enterprise Class" in between :vulcan:).

    Bob
     
  9. ProwlAlpha

    ProwlAlpha Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    After reading the numerous posts in this thread, So only your theory and your bias against Greg Jein counts.
     
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Who determined that starship registries must be in order? Maybe they're not. Maybe there is absolutely no system whatsoever in deciding which ship gets which number.
     
  11. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    Of the known canonical classes, there does appear to be a pattern. The class leader has a lower registry than its sister ships.

    The Constitution probably had a registry lower than 956, and the class was probably in service on and off for over a century, maybe longer. The latest Haynes Manual, on the Rotarran, does suggest a possibility. Like the Klingons, Starfleet constantly updated the internal hardware and software of their ships. The exterior was largely kept the same, save when there was technological advances to be gained from changing the exterior.
     
  12. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, come now. We're all entitled to our own pet theories. You aren't going to convince Robert_Comsol that he's wrong any more than he's going to convince you. I don't agree with everything he says either, but his arguments are sound and well thought out.... even if most of us see the same information and interpret it differently. I've been following a couple of his other threads with great interest and he makes some thought provoking points.

    IDIC and all that...

    --Alex
     
  13. ProwlAlpha

    ProwlAlpha Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The thing is, is that his theories are no more sound than anyone elses. The 17th Cruiser classification went out the window when other ships of different types were shown.

    I personally believe that the term Constitution-class means two things. The first one means the Constitution-class itself with the USS Constitution built first then the Enterprise and so on. Second term means that the Constitution-class is used as a umbrella classification that would describe older vessels being upgraded to the current technology of the Constitution to new builds of different classes (with different internals and mission requirements). Also, I think that during a certain era of Starfleet, the Federation Council didn't see a justification for a new class of ships to be built, and Starfleet Design Bureau just called any new class that is remotely similar to the Constitution-class and just called them additional units of the same class but upgraded. This type of bureaucracy is quite common when a department is depended on funds from a governing council. So the Eagle and the Constellation are Constitution-class starships in the eyes of the Council, but they should be classified in their own class.

    The reason why the Enterprise went through different class names was because the ship survived different classification eras. Every navy does this and I see Starfleet should be no different.
     
  14. Spike730

    Spike730 Captain Captain

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    Would NCC-17101 be the 101st vessel of the 17th cruiser design or the 1st vessel of the 171st cruiser design?
     
  15. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Well, hardcore Trek fans know that it's not really Greg's "pet theory."

    Scene 44 of the Second Revised Final Draft for "Space Seed," dated December 13, 1966 has the following content:

    44 ANGLE ON SICK BAY VIEWER

    It is covered with mathematical symbols and diagrams. CAMERA PULLS BACK to show Khan studying with great concentration. He pushes a button. Another transparency appears: a chapter heading, reading: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS, CONSTITUTION CLASS STAR SHIP.

    Scenes 47 and 48 have similar content:

    From 47:

    ...At the door, she [McGivers] turns and looks back at him. He gives her a strong, masculine, confident smile. She is about to say something, but turns and exits. Khan turns back to his studying. He pushes a button, stares back up at his screen.

    48 INSERT SCREEN

    A chapter heading: Basic Propulsion Systems, Constitution Class Star Ship.

    Most folks know that a graphic was made expressly for this scene:

    [​IMG]

    I guess it's debatable about how official it is if it's in the script or is screen visible but only to a select few or only to the Average Joe 40 years later in a DVD and HD era. But I don't think Greg was going out on some "pet theory" limb; he just had access to better official production information than most people did, and he was more knowlegedable on the subject than most people were.

    More about this graphic is in Dave Tilotta's article at:

    http://www.startrekhistory.com/article4.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  16. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    That's pretty cool with the history.

    So was there ever a close up of the exploded wing graphic that we can actually see "Constitution class" on it? That would definitely tie "Constitution class" to the TOS Enterprise in "Space Seed". Too bad the phaser diagram was only shown in "Trouble with Tribbles" though as it isn't as direct a tie-in.

    It would appear that the only direct linkage of the TOS Enterprise to "Constitution class" comes from TNG's "Relics" and the new-FX TNG "Naked Now".
     
  17. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Well, the Star Trek History article explains it all better than I could. (At least) three different graphics were made and filmed for the "Space Seed" scene. Something that looks to be an airplane wing is the one that ultimately made the cut and got used. But the "Primary Phaser Constitution Class" cutting room floor graphic was later dusted off, had color added to it, and was used a season later in "Tribbles." So although its first episode appearance was in "Tribbles" it was actually made for and had close-ups taken for "Space Seed." I don't know what all this does for in-universe continuity (Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz), but "Constitution Class" was actually scripted long before Greg Jein wrote his famous "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship" article back in April of 1975. There's no reference to 1700 specifically for the Constitution, of course, but if the Enterprise was indeed a Constitution Class Star Ship at the time of "Space Seed," then attributing to the Constitution the nice, even number 1700 as seen in "Court Martial" doesn't seem implausible.

    It looks like it's a battle for greater production legitimacy--between an undated MJ drawing and an actual, dated, Roddenberry-approved script.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  18. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why would you say that? :confused:

    If you're referring to the Eagle from ST VI: If I interpret that scene correctly (the Operation Retrieve poster), the use of a Constitution-class-looking icon to depict that ship on the poster...is probably meaningless. As in: There's no significance in using an icon that looks like a Connie. I think it was just intended as a generic picture of a ship. The various vessels intended to be used in Operation Retrieve could have been of any class, yet for making that one poster, just one icon was used for all of them. Just a generic picture meaning "ship".
     
  19. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Personally, I don't see any difference in legitimacy since neither of the two made it on screen as intended. No dialogue explains the Enterprise as the 1st ship of the 17th design and the Space Seed scenes were cut.

    It would've been definitive as far as TOS-continuity goes if the cut scenes made it into "Space Seed" though. Still, there is enough continuity bits to show that post-ST2, future in-universe historians would label both variations "Constitution-class" regardless of the "Enterprise class" label of TWOK and "Starship class" of the bridge sign. I don't have an issue with that and gives it a real-world flavor.
     
  20. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Well, like I said: I don't know (or much care, really) what the in-universe import is of the "BASIC SPECIFICATIONS, CONSTITUTION CLASS STAR SHIP" comment in the "Space Seed" script. I only point out that Greg Jein didn't simply fabricate the Constitution-class notion out of whole cloth by himself. I think there's value to knowing that it was actually scripted. way back in 1966.

    If the creator of Star Trek approved a script that indicated that the Enterprise was a Constitution-class star ship, folks might well consider him to be the ultimate authority on the subject--rather than the simple Art Director. I can understand Greg Jein and (later) Franz Joseph Schnaubelt taking The Great Bird of the Galaxy at his word.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012