NCC = Not Constitution Class?

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

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I rationalize both of those bits like this:

    - The Enterprise-class designation refers to the simulator itself, not the ship. Either the simulator was made to resemble the Enterprise, or it was intended for cadets who would one day be posted TO the Enterprise.

    - "Starship class" clearly doesn't make sense (if taken literally, it would require the existence of a "USS Starship"). Clearly the sign should have said Starship TYPE, not Starship CLASS.
     
  2. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I feel that this discussion is a good example of treading water. I would like to know if we have learned anything new.
     
  3. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    My question earlier was simply if the remaining "exploded wing diagram" had "Consitution class" written on it and do we have a close-up of it to see (even if it is a "behind the scenes" shot)?

    If no, then the Enterprise at that time could've been any class since we have only one on-screen indicator from that time frame, the "Starship Class" bridge sign.

    If yes, then it is a clear case of the TOS Enterprise being a "Constitution-class" as that goes along with the dialogue of the story.

    In either case, I think Matt Jefferies would've been at least in on the whole "Constitution-class" idea since he was the one who created those diagrams according to Tilotta's article. Since the "Starship Class" sign showed up on screen first, it would appear that "Constitution Class" was thought up as the first season progressed but no one got around to changing the bridge sign for the next two seasons...

    Just to be clear, I'm not debating where Jein got his idea from.
     
  4. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Ah. Where Greg Jein got his idea from was pretty much the sole intent of my post and is somewhat interesting stuff. But whether the Enterprise was "actually" a Starship class or a Star Ship class or an Enterprise class or a Constitution class or any other class is mostly fan wankery to me and isn't really objectively provable.
     
  5. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^
    A quick reread of this thread and I think that the "pet theory" that Robert Comsol is laying at Greg Jein's feet is USS Constitution = NCC-1700, not Enterprise is Constitution-class. I could be wrong though.

    So does anyone know if this is the final shooting script? Was this an idea - like Ellison's drug dealer on the Enterprise - introduced by a writer and nixed at the end by Roddenberry, et al? It would be interesting to known when the decision was made to not show those graphics (script rewrite, review of dailies, editing room)
     
  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    According to this reasoning Greg Jein didn't "know" either, as he never made a reference to this explicit line "Basic Specifications, Constitution Class Starship" in his original article which I recommend reading: http://www.trekplace.com/article10.html

    I have strong doubts whether this line is even authentic (this is a script for an episode and not the writer's guide. I believe in real life it would have read "basic specifications of the Enterprise" as most people involved with the production, like Bob Justman, would have otherwise wondered "What the heck is a Constitution Class Starship?").

    But regardless, the only graphic (illustrated above) indicating the existence of a Constitution Class was shown in the "Trouble With Tribbles" as a part of a technical journal Scotty was reading, showing a schematic of a Primary Phaser L.R (neither basic specifications of the Enterprise nor its propulsion system!) that obviously belongs to a Star Ship of a Constitution Class.

    As any "hardcore" fan knows (sorry, I couldn't resist the urge to return the "favor" :)) the name "Constitution" wasn't even among the first name proposal lists for "the 12 ships of the Enterprise Starship Class" (Bob Justman) seven months later in August 1967.

    Admittedly, it's tempting to make a connection between the final (!) "Constitution" name proposal and the "Constitution Class" small print on that graphic (indiscernable for the audience to read), but there's Bob Justman's slip of the tongue and Walter Matt Jefferies' clear statements and production sketch that state that the Enterprise was "the first bird", "the first in the series" and the name giver to the Enterprise Class (originally a believer of the "Constitution Class Theory" myself, I couldn't disregard the original producers' / creators' intentions any longer and felt it inevitable to take the red pill).

    These are the facts and thus it's not a "pet theory" of mine, and I reject the notion I'm biased against Greg Jein because the contrary is the case.

    In his article Greg Jein did an excellent research and came up with various impeccable and logical conclusions (e.g.: although Excalibur and Essex aren't identified as "starships" in the original "Amok Time" script, the final episode's script refers to "starships" the Enterprise is supposed to rendezvous with at Altair). It appears he was under the impression, then, that "starship" could only refer to sister ships of the Enterprise and not just the top-of-the-line vessels of Starfleet.

    When he read "his" name list backwards and matched it with the starship status chart in "Court-Martial" he seemingly got the correct names with the corresponding numbers (his "pet theory").

    Strangely, he didn't feel it necessary to explain why starships beginning with a "16" prefix should also belong to a Constitution Class whose very first ship supposedly began with "NCC-1700".

    Further down, he even suggested himself that "the first part of the graph" in the status chart indicated "heavy mechanical labor/construction" which was exactly the case for "NCC 1700" which was the farthest from being complete (rather odd for the very first ship of the class, IMHO).

    Unfortunately, he didn't elaborate on these obvious discrepancies and/or flaws of his theory, but encouraged the reader to feel free "to regard this with approval, disapproval, or indifference."

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a great start into the new year! (We made it through 2012 and will hopefully survive the catastrophies of 2013 as well ;)) Keep on Techno-Trekking! :techman:

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  7. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Not necessarily:

     
  8. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    Ships in ST VI
    Michael Okuda is on record stating that the class for ships can be deduced from the charts. This is proven when Okuda listed both the Eagle and the Endeavour as Constitution-class starships. Another starship on the chart, the Potemkin, was identified as a Connie in TOS. The Ahwahnee, the Emden, and the Korolev had Connie silhouettes. If three are Connie, why not the other three?

    Ships on Greg Jein's article
    Okuda copied the registries for the Constitution, the Essex, the Excalibur, the Farragut, the Hood, the Intrepid, the Lexington, and the Yorktown. He altered for unknown reasons several other registries. New registries for the Eagle, the Endeavour, and the Potemkin were created. The registry for the Kongo was changed to 1710, and the John Muir was assigned 1732 instead. The registry of the Valiant was changed from 1623 to 1223.

    U.S.S. Carolina
    A ship missing from The Making of Star Trek and Greg Jein's article was the U.S.S. Carolina. This ship was mentioned briefly in "Friday's Child". The "U.S.S.", in accordance with TOS standards, would indicate that this ship was a Constitution-class ship as well. Using Jein's logic, this ship could just as well be NCC-1700.

    Starship Class
    This designation was used in the alternate reality 2250s. From several sources, I have learned that Starfleet had a Destroyer Class Vessel (TMoST), a Scout Class Vessel (ST III), and a Runabout Class Vessel ("Emissary"). Using what is available, I think that Constitution-class and Enterprise-class starships belonged to the Starship Class family of vessels. I don't think that there was ever a Starship, a Destroyer, a Scout, or a Ruanbout.
     
  9. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I would also like to add that according to Whitfield's The Making of Star Trek Kirk's first command (before the Enterprise) was "the equivalent of a destroyer-class spaceship".

    As a type the Enterprise is several times mentioned in this book as "cruiser", "heavy cruiser" or "space cruiser".

    Bob
     
  10. alchemist

    alchemist Commander Red Shirt

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    Hi Bob,

    I'm not sure to what you're referring in your query ("whether this line is authentic"), but if it's to the "BASIC SPECIFICATIONS..." description in the script, I can assure you that it's transcribed correctly.

    Kind Regards,

    Dave
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for the extra effort, but now I'd like to hear the whole story.
    So what are we looking at?

    A) A screenplay writer that wanted to leave a footprint in the Star Trek Universe by being the first to put the Enterprise in a "Constitution Class" (He wouldn't be the the first as the early novel writers tried to pigeonhole the Enterprise in a "Constellation Class" which makes the overused "Connie" rather debatable since that was the nickname for Lockheed's Constellation airplane: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Constellation )?

    I can't help but it appears too many people were clearly influenced by the US frigates USS Constellation (launched September 7, 1797) and USS Constitution (launched October 21, 1797). Of course the first frigate was the (USS) United States which adds credibility to the "Starship Class" (e.g. "United Star Ship Republic")

    or

    B) A producer (Bob Justman) with amnesia (because "Constitution" isn't on his name proposal list from 9-8-1967) and delusion ("Enterprise Starship Class")?

    Bob
     
  12. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    The Enterprise is identified as a star cruiser, like the Valiant, in the episode "A Taste of Armageddon".

    What writers identified the Enterprise as a Constellation-class starship?
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    You'll find them mentioned here: www.trekplace.com/article02.html

    Bob

    P.S. That was the USS Valiant in "A Taste of Armageddon" but probably a different ship class than the Enterprise.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  14. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I think it's possibly that USS Valiant might belong to another class. But, when I consider that Miranda and Excelsior-classes were in operation a century after their introduction and were constantly being refitted to match current standards, it's possible that the Valiant could be also a Constitution-class starship.
     
  15. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Well, the memo from Bob Justman of August 9, 1967 only indicated the names he liked from D.C. Fontana's proposed list. I don't think it was meant to be the exhaustive list. For example, it doesn't have the Defiant which was still a year from being created, but his list also didn't include the Exeter--which was among D.C. Fontana's suggestions. In the end, it looks like the list of Starships was settled upon by Roddenberry regardless of what Bob Justman's preferences might have been.


    Of course, the "Constitution class" script comment first appeared in the "Space Seed" script by Carey Wilbur and Gene L. Coon. It's there not only in the Second Revised Final Draft script dated December 13, 1966, but also in the Final Draft script dated a week before that, if not in earlier drafts.
     
  16. FatherRob

    FatherRob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Well, in WWIi the Brits had Town class and County class cruisers. Not one of them was named HMS Town or HMS County. All ships in the class were named for towns and counties.

    Just adding fodder :)
     
  17. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Since the original 1701 dedication in 2245 was the bridge module swapped out or just upgraded? If not was they uncertain what class of vessel it was to be called so starship class was just a placeholder?
     
  18. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    That is probably the case and I have little doubt that it had probably been the script for "Space Seed" that was the inspiration to add a starship Constitution to the final list, but nothing more and nothing less.

    But regardless what Carey Wilbur and Gene L. Coon may have tried to accomplish with that odd "Constitution Class" script line (the producers hadn't even settled for the names of the other 12 starships like the Enterprise) it does not reflect one bit in The Making of Star Trek (although that should have been of interest to the author Stephen E. Whitfield considering his job was to generate PR on behalf of AMT and future sales of the Enterprise model kit...).

    But in this book from 1968 we have the Bob Justman memo refering to the "Enterprise Starship Class" and an even clearer description: "The Enterprise-class starships..." ("Mission and Men", chapter 3, page 203).

    Whether Walter Matt Jefferies shouted "veto" when he heard about this idea of a "Constitution Class" is unknown, but it's obvious that by 1968 the creators / producers hadn't settled for a "Constitution Class", otherwise the book wouldn't refer (twice!) to an "Enterprise Class".

    I think the one thing we can all agree upon is that the Enterprise is a member of the Starship Class - and even if it were simply for the fact that this is another quote straight from this book. ;)

    Happy Holidays

    Bob
     
  19. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Well, my hunch is that it's not so much that the creators/producers hadn't settled for a "Constitution Class." I think it's more likely that they had simply forgotten that they had actually already done so back with the terse comment in "Space Seed." I guess all we really know was, at the point that TMOST was written, Whitfield was unaware. Certainly, Bjo Trimble knew by the time her first version of the Star Trek Concordance was published in 1968 that the Enterprise was a Constitution Class.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd think that as the show's producer, Gene Coon would have a pretty big say in what was what. Perhaps more so than Jefferies. After all, this is the guy who gave us the Klingons, the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet Command.