So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by SicOne, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. CharlieZardoz

    CharlieZardoz Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I think a lot of the "real life" reason for the Miranda's in bulk on DS9 and TNG in general was the nature of the battle the writers wanted to portray. The Dominion had really big ships, middle sized ships and little fighter type ships. So you start to see a tiered dogfight kinda effect, the big slow ships lurking and the little quick ships darting in between. I think they wanted a Federation equivalent to the Klingon Bird of Prey or Jam Hadar fighter and since the Defiant was supposed to be a "new class" the only available small ship saved in CGI format was the Miranda class. I know people are critical of their presence in such an intense battle but to be fair I thought they fit in nicely and I'd rather be in one of those than an Excelsior class. Yeah the Miranda bought it easy but only if they were caught while the midsized midpaced excelsior and akira classes were looking like swiss cheese through most of the battle scenes. ;)

    As to why the Constitution class was not used in TNG it just sounds to me that someone (maybe Rick Berman) made a decision that the ship design would not be utilized due to its familiarity with the original crew (sounds fishy to me) and the in universe explanation was that it was an outdated design. While I don't find any real rationale to support this I did hear once that the model of the refit connie was a big heavy pain to film and possibly was in a different studio?

    Regarding "in universe" it does seem that the only ships by the 2370's to be active were ships with 5 number registries. And with the exception of a few lumbering stalwarts (The Repulse, Victory, Trial, and The Republic) the vast majority of 4 digit registry ships were retired or mothballed (like the Constellation class) sometime prior to the start of TNG. I do know that someone (maybe Okuda) wanted all TNG era ships to have 5 numbers and I think the general idea was that those first ncc-500-10,000 ships were built in the 23rd and very early 24th century making them all pretty old by the Dominion wars. Since it seems that the Constitution class run ended somewhere in the 2000's and the Miranda's up to 30,000 they were old but not quite as archaic as the connie. That said it does bring up the odd question how so many more ships were built in only 70-80 years time. I mean 10,000-80,000 in just under 70 years?? That's like 7 times the ships of the prior century and means about 3 ships built every day lol :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  2. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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    And in the Dominion war battles we didn't see any Sovereign class starships either.
     
  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But it wasn't a "final battle." It was Starfleet's primary engagement of the Borg. The only reason why you would take a ship out of mothballs is as a last resort because all your other ships have been destroyed. That's not what happened here. Starfleet sent only 40 ships to stop the Borg, it was only one battle, and all ships were destroyed at roughly the same time. In retrospect, it seems that Starfleet didn't consider them to be that much of a threat if that's all they sent, since the fleet consists of possibly thousands of ships, any one of which could have been used before they resorted to taking an old ship out of a museum. For the Dominion War, maybe, but certainly not for the Wolf 359 engagement.

    As for the Connie at Wolf 359, it's never been canonically shown that it was a Connie; we only see part of a wrecked saucer in one scene and part of a secondary hull in another. The two parts may not have belonged to the same ship or even belonged to the Constitution class at all.

    And if you're referring to the Tripoli from "Unification," I was always under the impression that the Romulans or whoever was piloting that raider ship simply tractor beamed or just destroyed the ship before taking it's place, not that they reactivated it and flew it away.
     
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I tend to think the Miranda-class was just simply a very versatile design that could be used for just about any kind of mission when necessary. A reason for its longevity could be that its onboard systems can be easily upgraded to keep up with the fleet (it may still use phaser banks rather than arrays, but their output could be comparable with other 24th-Century designs; its computer system may now use current isolinear technology rather than 23rd-Century duotronics or multitronics).
     
  5. Roboturner913

    Roboturner913 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Also, there is no onscreen evidence to suggest that the Mirandas existed in the time before TMP. In fact, if the Enterprise refit was a testbed for a bunch of new technology and ideas (as seems to be the case), then it's very likely the Mirandas were entirely new ships grown out of that leap.

    That would put their origin around 2280 rather than around 2245 or so.

    The thing that always intrigues me is we then see a bunch of Miranda class ships with NCC numbers in the 20K-32K range - build numbers from right around the same time as the Ambassador class and its variants come into play. This combined with the very few numbers of Ambassador-class ships suggests, at least to me, that the Ambassador and Ambassador variants were all fairly unsuccessful so Starfleet looked to some older, more proven hull types like the Miranda to lean on as support ships. That could also be the case for the Oberths, which we see pretty far into TNG's run and even a bit into DS9.
     
  6. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I remember reading someing ages ago about the early development of TNG, which did include a female Vulcan in the cast as a descendant of Spock--as a direct link between TOS abnd TNG. It didn't get much further through the development, though I'm sure there was a possible actress they had in mind for the role.

    We have no evidence there are more than two Sovereign's built (the Sovereign itself and the E-E). Both of which could have been assigned the duties of several other ships needed on the frontlines (such as how in Insurrection the E-E was really more of a status symbol, carrying out lots of other missions away from the fighting).
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Whether destroyed or distant, the supposed other starships would have been equally unavailable. We did see some antiquities in the Wolf 359 collection of ships; speculating that they were activated to compensate for the lack of active-service ships near Earth helps accommodate the oddball designs.

    In addition to or instead of museum pieces, these designs could also have been one-off prototypes or test rigs, found in abundance at the busy shipyards of Sol - this would match the real-world identity of many of the models.

    But that interpretation seems unsupportable, as the fleet of forty was mentioned in the same breath with pleas for Klingon and even Romulan assistance. Forty'ish is all they could manage, and that was apparently with scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    Very true. There's room for the Belknap class in canon yet, if we want to. ;)

    Sounds like a much "noisier" alternative, one less likely to go under the admittedly low-grade radar of the Zakdorn gatekeeper.

    ...Other than perhaps the existence of a 1800-range registry in "Court Martial" already.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    I always assumed that this was the case. Miranda was a mass production model, Connie-refit was basically an expensive prototype built on older hull.
     
  9. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    I always felt that there was a disconnect between TNG and DS9 portrayal of Starfleet. In TNG forty ships was a lot and losing them was a major setback. In DS9 they had fleets of nearly thousand ships.
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I say this depends on what you consider onscreen evidence. ;)

    In one of his Enterprise pre-production sketches Matt Jefferies stated that the "17" in "1701" referred to the Enterprise being a member of the 17th Federation starship ("cruiser" in the TOS pre-production stage) design series.

    By that logic (from a TOS and TOS movies' point of view) that would make the Reliant (NCC-1864) a starship of the 18th design series.

    Interestingly and "thanks" to HD resolution, the starship status chart in "Court Martial" clearly identifies the erroneous NCC-1631 to be actually NCC-1831. :eek:

    Thus, IMHO, there is TOS evidence that the 18th starship design series (i.e. Miranda Class) already existed during the era of TOS but, of course, remained unseen.

    It is my belief (I wrote an extensive treatise on the subject) that the Oberth Class is actually much older than usually assumed and the missing design link between the Miranda Class and the Starship Class the Enterprise and her sister ships belong to.

    Bob
     
  11. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Evidence for this?

    Huh? What antiquities? The oldest on-screen canonical ship type we see in the battle is the Saratoga, and even she's not all that old. Every other ship was either from the Galaxy family, an Ambassador, an Excelsior, an Oberth or a ship consisting of what might be parts from a Connie. With the possible exception of the last ship, all these classes are still in regular use in TNG.

    Ok, let's play devil's advocate and say that 40 ships was all Starfleet could spare at the time. If Starfleet considered the Borg to be such a huge threat, than this would imply that Starfleet didn't have all that many ships to begin with. But as we see in DS9, that isn't the case at all. Even if the majority of the DS9 fleets were made up of older ships that were reactivated, then why didn't Starfleet reactivate them for the Wolf 359 battle?

    I would think that if the Zakdorn are so stupid as to not even realize the Tripoli had been replaced by an alien ship that constantly moved in and out of the depot simply by looking at a visual record, then tractoring the ship out of there wouldn't have been any different than piloting it out of there.
     
  12. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    Star Trek ship registries don't make sense. They're not consecutive. Constellation had registry of NCC-1017 and it's an obvious Connie. You cannot conclude things from registries.
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I fail to see why they shouldn't make sense just because they are not consecutive?
    First two digits indicate design series (18 for Miranda Class, 19 for Soyuz Class, 20 for Excelsior Class), last two digits indicate contact code.

    Contact codes are inherited by newer starships once the previous one has been destroyed or is considered permanently lost (NCC-1664 Excalibur > NCC-1764 Defiant > NCC-1864 Reliant).

    Of course it's a Connie, because Connie is the 20th Century nickname for Constellation. :p

    Regarding the registry I belong to the "school" that believes that Matt Decker's starship was named and numbered to commemorate the achievements of a previous starship with that name and number. YMMV.

    Yes I can, at least in the 23rd Century. For whatever reasons the system was altered and/or modified in the late 23rd Century is a different story. ;)

    Bob
     
  14. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Not remotely true? So I read something from an alternate timeline?
    It's been years, so I'm not sure where it was, but I know I remember seeing something in print - not online - where Roddenberry said No Vulcans in the main cast, and no Connie, just to keep TNG separate. Whether that was followed or not, doesn't mean he never said or intended it.
     
  15. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    As I understand it, according to details mentioned in Star Trek: Where No One Has Gone Before, Gene originally didn't want any ties to TOS when TNG was being conceived. It was to be a completely new series, which meant no Vulcans, Klingons etc. The other staff at the time eventually talked him out of that preference. I don't recall any specific ban on using the Constitution/Refit model or references, but I do recall Roddenberry didn't like the idea of Kirk and company receiving an entirely new ship with an 1800 series registry for the Phase II/TMP era because he acknowledged the Enterprise as a character in its own right, and felt the ship would be "forgotten" by the audience if the crew got a new one.

    As for W359, the dialogue in BOBW does imply that the 40-ship fleet was thrown together as an emergency measure, but Hansen also says it was "just for starters" and the Klingons were sending ships that might not arrive soon enough. Perhaps it's not quite accurate to say these measures amounted to scraping the bottom, but were just hastily organized.
     
  16. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've speculated elsewhere that as part of the Khittomer Accords in TUC Star Fleet agreed to a strategic reduction in the numbers of heavy cruisers. As each new Excelsior comes into service, an older Constitution is withdrawn to keep numbers within treaty levels. As the Fleet has no replacements for the Miranda planned at this time, they remain in service.

    As I say, pure speculation on my part. But it's an explanation.
     
  17. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    It is a good explanation, actually.
     
  18. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wouldn't say they don't make any sense at all; I'd rather say that Starfleet has a registry scheme the logic of which we simply aren't aware of. There are times when it seems registries are consecutive (mostly registries after 7XXXX), and then there are times when it seems they aren't (2XXXX for the Ambassador and 4XXXX for the Excelsior when the former class is clearly newer).

    My apologies; I should have been clearer. What I meant to say was that while it's entirely possible that Gene didn't want to see Connies in TNG, what he wanted and what the people setting the budget wanted were two entirely different things. We were super-close to getting a Connie for Picard's Stargazer simply because the budget didn't allow for a new ship model, and Gene would have had zero say about it.
     
  19. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not a big fan on the idea of the then-vulnerable Klingons dictating how many and what kind of ships the more secure Federation has.

    I'm more inclined to think the Khitomer Accords was just an agreement to end hostilities and aggression between nations, but otherwise left their forces intact, with the Constitution-class nearing the end of its design life anyway at the time (I don't think the design entirely went away after Star Trek VI, but no new Constitution-class vessels were built).
     
  20. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A big problem with that theory is that it was established in dialogue that the Miranda class (i.e. the Reliant) is faster and more heavily armed than the Constitution class (i.e. the Enterprise). Logic would dictate that based on your theory, the Klingons would want the Miranda class to be reduced, not the Constitution class.