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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    The interesting thing is that the Writer's Guide, 3rd edition, dated April 17, 1967, only has this to say about the class:

    Now, I presume that WGIII is a reference to this document (Writer's Guide, 3rd edition) since the majority of the description is lifted verbatim but the word Constitution does not appear at all in this edition of the guide. Don't know the reason for the substitution but the influence by the Concordance over early fandom's perceptions of the show cannot be denied.
     
  2. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    An American cruiser in the 1960's measured between 600 feet (Cleveland-class cruiser) and 721 feet (Long Beach-class cruiser). Not knowing which cruiser class the writer had in mind, the Enterprise could be slightly larger than either class, and this would be the smallest length I have seen mentioned for this class.
     
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    If I'm not mistaken this is a reproduction from the original writer's guide: http://www.cloudster.com/Sets&Vehicles/STEnterprise/eplan01.JPG

    Compare it to the quoted / illustrated text from the original Star Trek Concordance and you'll notice that the "Constitution Class" part has deliberately been added to make it appear official (I consider this to be fraudulent behaviour).

    One of the issues Gene Roddenberry felt very strong about was that "U.S.S." was an acronym for "United Space Ship" (or "United Star Ship") to make the show and the future palatable to international audiences. Of course, a "Constitution Class" carries strong allusions to American history and tradition (because of the US frigate of the same name and the United States Constitution), but I was always under the impression that Gene Roddenberry tried to keep such allusions to a minimum and "Starship Class" is an obvious proof for that, IMHO. ;)

    Bob
     
  4. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    And was "Constitution class" inserted into the "Space Seed" script back in 1966 in order to make it appear official?
     
  5. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    My understanding is that most countries have a constitution.

    OTOH, "Charlie X" tells us, "On Earth today, it's Thanksgiving" (a uniquely American observance) and Roddenberry's story for "The Omega Glory" make me think that American patriotism wasn't really being downplayed for international appeal. Indeed, there are numerous examples of Americanism throughout the series.

    And, the Concordance while it was a fan production, was produced by Bjo Trimble, who evidently had quite a lot of backstage access. And given the near-religious fervor a lot of fans have for this show, I suspect that her use of the word "Constitution" in this context was not without foundation.

    --Alex
     
  6. alchemist

    alchemist Commander Red Shirt

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    Actually, what that webpage shows is a scan from a page of the Enterprise's "Biography" that Lincoln Enterprises sold. The biography was based on the original writer's guide, publicity material produced by the studio, and artwork provided by Matt Jefferies. It was written/assembled in late 1967/early 1968.

    FYI, and apologies if you've heard this before, Greg Jein was a contributor to the original Concordance.

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  7. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^^ "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." --The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance :rofl:
     
  8. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    I think Bjo was pretty good about citing her source for every data point in the Concordance. (She had WGIII for "Writer's Guide, 3rd Edition," TY for "Tomorrow Is Yesterday," BT for "Balance of Terror," and so on.) I think Bjo's failing in this case was that she forgot to cite SS ("Space Seed") as the source for the "Constitution Class" comment. It's understandable: it's not found in dialogue like the vast majority of her Concordance entries. It would have been really easy for her to have lost track of the original source of this data point--as so many people have done. It's sort of like one of "Mudd's Women"--Ruth Bonaventure. Bonaventure? Says who? Ah, says the "Mudd's Women" script--but in script direction that wasn't dialogue. I don't think Carey Wilbur, Gene L. Coon, Bjo Trimble, Matt Jefferies. Greg Jein. and Franz Joseph Schnaubelt all conspired to fraudulently or decptively thwart Gene Roddenberry's "Starship Class" master plan.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  9. alchemist

    alchemist Commander Red Shirt

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    Indeed. However, this omiSSion was corrected in subsequent revisions of the Concordance.
     
  10. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    omiSSion :)
     
  11. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    I thought I'd take a peek at the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture written by Gene Roddenberry himself. Folks may remember that as the movie opens, the V'Ger cloud attacks a bunch of Klingon ships. In the novelization, Kirk is actually able to "see" this happening. (An emergency signal was transmitted directly to an implant in Kirk's brain--a sort of emergency communication device.)

    "Kirk found himself seeing three Klingon cruisers which appeared to be moving at warp velocity and in battle formation. The images became more detailed, increasingly real--he could begin thinking about them consciously. The Klingon vessels were big, dangerous looking--undoubtedly their new K't'inga-class heavy cruisers which some Admiralty tacticians feared might prove faster and more powerful than Starfleet's First Line Constitution-Class starships."

    Whatever Gene Roddenberry's original intent might have been, it looks like that by 1979, he intended the top-of-the-line starships to be Constitution-class.
     
  12. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    NCC = No Canon Connotation.

    :)
     
  13. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My Latin is rusty, but NCC= Non Compus Compreheno ;)
     
  14. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    I know the reason the USS Constellation was branded NCC 1017 was because it was a 'quick and easy' way to apply a different registry to the vessel by simply rearranging the numbers. It's always bugged me though, why they couldn't have just branded it "NCC-1710", which would at least have been consistent with the established numbering scheme. Maybe they thought simply switching the two last numbers made it a bit too obvious? :)
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    The quote is correct but I seriously doubt that it had actually been Gene Roddenberry who wrote the TMP novelization (possibly Alan Dean Foster acting as the ghost writer just like he did for the novelization of Star Wars).

    I also doubt this is an expression for Gene Roddenberry's "intention".
    I think at this point he simply didn't mind any more as conjectural fan speculation - published in form of Bjo Trimble's Star Trek Concordance and the Franz Joseph publications (despite their different numbering for the sister ships of the Enterprise, the "Constitution Class" is apparently one issue they both agreed upon) - had made "Constitution Class" abundantly popular. ;)

    Bob
     
  16. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    Unless I'm mistaken ISTR the phrase "Enterprise Class" floating around in a few reference books as late as 1986. Though this seemed to be being used as a kind of descriptive term to distinguish the refit ship from the TOS original, rather than being something unique in itself.
     
  17. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    IIRC, the concept of having the crew be given a completely new ship (with an 1800 series number) was one of the things under consideration when TMP was being worked on, and Gene eventually nixed the idea and insisted it was still a Constitution class ship because he thought fans might get attached to a new design and "forget" the original vessel. I'm tempted to say Andrew Probert might have had a hand in coming up with the Enterprise class moniker for distinguishing purposes, but I could be wrong on that.
     
  18. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Well, I think you would agree that "BASIC SPECIFICATIONS, CONSTITUTION CLASS STAR SHIP" and "BASIC PROPULSION SYSTEMS, CONSTITUTION CLASS STAR SHIP" in the "Space Seed" script probably transcend "conjectural fan speculation."
     
  19. nightwind1

    nightwind1 Commodore Commodore

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    Doubt all you want, but it's been pretty much positively established that GR actually WAS the author of the TMP novelization.
     
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Looks like we are stuck in an orbit like Enterprise and Reliant in ST II. :rolleyes:

    Picture yourself to be back in 1966 and on the set. The writers guide has established the Enterprise to be a member of the Starship Class, and if anybody has forgotten a quick glance at the dedication plaque of the bridge set will read "STARSHIP CLASS".

    Then comes a script talking about a "Constitution Class Star Ship". Now, the actors and producers may remember that it had been established in "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" that the Enterprise has twelve sister ships but everybody will ask "What the heck is a Constitution Class Star Ship?"

    If Khan is supposed to be looking at basic schematics of the Enterprise why doesn't the screenplay just say so? Anything else - from a production's point of view - is redundant or confusing or trivial technobabble.

    To cut this long story short - again - the Making of Star Trek from 1968 makes no reference whatsoever to a "Constitution Class" but instead explicitly to the well known "Starship Class" and an "Enterprise Class". To me that's the ultimate account of what the producers / creators obviously intended.

    Apparently, the cosmic consciousness is not without a sense of humor:
    If I understand correctly, the first space shuttle built was supposed to be named Constitution but partially because of Trek intervention the name was changed to Enterprise.
    "In-universe", however, we seem to have a mirrored situation where many prefer the first ship not to be the Enterprise but rather the Constitution. ;)

    Bob
     

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