The Constellation's registry number

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by MarsWeeps, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Admiral Grumby sails in from the South Pacific, fires a broadside and demasts the thread. Now, that's seamanship. Looks like I have to surrender my sword.

    Yes, it appears the "J-class starship" is the only TOS onscreen evidence that could suggest how to distinguish starships from one another.

    Just as the don't say "Earth-class" but "M-class" for planet classifications. I definitely prefer X-class over that "Mark IX/01" nonsense that obviously was a reference to the primary phaser and not to the type or model of ship.

    Bob
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Since we only ever saw one class of starship (or indeed any Starfleet vessel) in TOS, and never heard a class name of any sort mentioned, this is a given. TOS-R changed things somewhat by showing us the Antares, a potential Starfleet design, and by offering a resolution at which the discerning home viewer could see "Constitution Class" and "Starship Class" being used on the props.

    It's not really a question of making TOS match the spinoffs through rationalizations or assumptions, as there's nothing in TOS to match.

    And yeah, there's no "J Class" in TOS. There's only a "Class J" of training or transport ships. However, ENT uses the expression "J Class" on both the episodes dealing with these Boomer ships.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Why? Just because that’s our way to handle the issue in the 20th Century they still have do the same in the 23rd Century of TOS?

    To add a ship’s name to a “class” first popped up in the “Space Seed” script and in the visualization of this primary phaser schematic belonging to a starship of a Constitution Class. The schematic was featured in “The Trouble With Tribbles” but the text was not readable and even remains so in HD today (and Ultra HD tomorrow). The Making of Star Trek refers twice to “Enterprise Class” but as Timo suggested might have just been a “like the Enterprise” approach (possible since “Starship Class” was the official designation). The “Constitution Class” designation was featured in a couple of fan publications (i.e. people that had not been involved with the actual TOS production).

    The 14 Official Blueprints (TMP), “approved” by Gene Roddenberry and “authenticated” by Andrew Probert steer clear of any “Constitution Class” references and instead attempt to reconstitute “Starship Class” (i.e. Starship Class II), yet the text comment makes one reference to “new Enterprise Class”.

    In ST II “Enterprise Class” appears as a small text label on the bridge simulator and in ST VI Scotty is (finally…) not looking at the primary phaser of a Constitution Class starship but at a schematic of the actual vessel (i.e. NCC-1701-A). Next…well, you get the idea.

    To insist that adding the name to a class should have been a procedure in TOS is obviously retroactive continuity considering the actual readible ("Starship Class") and audible ("Class J starship") information.

    If you feel that should be the case on behalf of a Great Unified Theory, here it inevitably comes at the expense of TOS’ official “Starship Class” (readable) and “Class J starship” (audible) and TOS fans are therefore entitled to object (this is still a TOS thread, right?). ;)

    To enable those interested to return to the actual topic of this thread, I've started a new thread that may (or may not) rationalise why "Starship Class" is the correct and better choice: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=205531

    Bob
     
  4. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    How is that a retcon? The plaque says, "Starship Class". Not "Class Starship". Not "Class J Starship". And not "DY-100 Class" or "DY-500 Class" and certainly, not "NCC-1700 Class".

    The simple view strictly looking at the plaque then it is a "Starship Class" which does suggest a USS Starship somewhere in the fleet. I would imagine a "DY-500 Class" would likely have a DY-500 somewhere in the fleet as well.

    Whether the Enterprise is a "Class J" or "Class 4" starship, or whatever classification that is being used by Starfleet, well, that's anyone's guess :)

    Now, if you want to bring in information that is outside the universe, such as the artist's intent, or the producer's intent (via notes or scripts), or "approved" merchandising, go ahead but all you're doing is making something simple much more complicated, IMHO :)
     
  5. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is the retcon - that the "Starship Class" suggests there be a USS Starship. Why? What on-screen reference or dialogue from any TOS episode proves that the class name is the same as the first ship in that particular class? As already noted, there is historical evidence that naval vessel classes are not always named after the first ship in that class.

    So, again, why does "Starship Class" suggest there to have been a USS Starship? Without any direct evidence to corroborate your point of view, all we are left with is opinion.

    A rigid interpretation that the name of the class HAS TO, MUST, or ALWAYS be the same as the first ship in the class must have some basis for support.
     
  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    A retcon would be saying "Starship Class" meant something other than what it's original idea was.

    Since you've pointed out there is no evidence to prove either way what it meant, again, how is it a retcon? :)

    And if you didn't notice before, it is my suggestion that there is a USS Starship which is just my opinion.
     
  7. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You're right. Poor choice of words to say retcon.

    On the other hand, REtroactive CONtinuity would imply taking something from a subsequent series and applying it to TOS, wouldn't it?

    Never mind me. I'm old and easily confused.
     
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, that's exactly what it means and what TPTB and a lot of fans have been doing ever since there were spinoffs of TOS. It was tolerable until the films where it started to get ever more twisted.

    Some retcons can work when it can explain something vague in TOS yet without violating or being inconsistent with the overall subtext. But when it is in direct contradiction of what was explicitly said, shown or inferred in subtext then it's blatant and (in my opinion) wrong headed.

    Example. In "Space Seed" Spock says WW3 and the Eugenics Wars of the early 1990s were one and the same thing. Yet in TNG it's rewritten as separate conflicts. From then on practically everybody goes with the explanation that Spock got it wrong and misremembered his history. Oh, and Kirk and McCoy happened to misremember theirs as well?---because they sure as hell didn't correct Spock. I don't think so. And this is but one of many outright and more subtle contradictions that piled up over the course of several films and spinoff series.

    It's understandable on some level because a lot of fans want all the films and series to be of one consistent continuity. However, another way to look at it (to each his/her own) is that each subsequent spinoff was an alternate continuity that shared many similar elements yet differed (sometimes greatly) in others. And this can include TAS and the films as well each according to your own perception.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    IIRC, originally it meant revealing past events that were previously unrecorded. Roy Thomas was the master/originator of this with comics like the Invaders and the All-Star Squadron.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    This particular example serves to show how retconning actually adds to the value of a scene. Obviously, Spock would get things wrong here, and obviously, the other heroes would not correct him, but at most snicker. After all, that's what had been going on for the past couple of minutes already! Kirk, Spock and McCoy all in turn "got it wrong" regarding the Botany Bay, its history and occupants, and took friendly delight in the errors of the others.

    Generally, I don't see why any particular story should be considered immune to later reinterpretation. It's all on the plus side: the original story survives, but new meaning is added to it.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    And here we agree to disagree. Spock didn't get it wrong. The TNG writers simply didn't do their homework or chose to deliberately ignore the original source reference.

    Just as ENT is a bastardized take on pre TOS times TNG (as well as DS9 and VOY) is a skewed take post TOS. And I happen like a fair chunk of TNG albeit mostly the earlier parts.
     
  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It was also said or implied somewhen in TOS that Earth avoided nuclear war althogether. One of the old Best of Trek books offered a rather clever solution - that the "third world war" mentioned wasn't actually the kind of apocalyptic WWIII we all imagine, but a war between Earth's third world countries.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ those continuity error episodes are fun. :lol:
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The reference is from "Omega Glory", an episode written before there was Star Trek as we know it.

    The most direct interpretation would be that the United States and the Soviet Union never slugged it out on Earth, but did it on Omega IV. This would be consistent with modern Trek where the participants of WWIII are never specified. Yeah, the US seemed to be involved, but only the novels suggest that it was a bipolar conflict or that the opponent would have been anything comparable to Communist Russia or China. Sure, "East" is mentioned once, but in a context where Lily Sloane speaks of "factions".

    Doesn't mean Earth didn't have wars. Even armageddon-level ones, including nuclear winters as per "A Matter of Time".

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    In "Return To Tomorrow" Kirk says they avoided destroying themselves wherein Sargon adds that his people also survived their primitive atomic age. None of that precludes a large scale conflict where nuclear weapons are used even minimally.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But that also doesn't preclude that several conflicts were fought either. The Eugenics Wars were part of World War III, but World War III ended up being referred to as such even though it was made up of many different conflicts in the same general era. :techman:
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It's an awfully broad period of time, though. WWI and WWII seem to be associated with their "traditional" duration, the one coinciding with the geographically narrowest interpretation. WWII is discussed in terms of 1941-1945 on several occasions, rather than in terms of 1931-56 or whatever. And there's never any attempt at blending WWI and WWII together after the fact. The most "violence" being done to the definitions is that the Great War gets its name retroactively changed to WWI, which is quite a bit different from taking a dozen small or medium wars and combining them into WWIII decades after the first ones are over.

    A "general era" that spans 1993 through 2053 at the very least is very general indeed!

    Curiously, one would think that "Eugenics Wars" would be the alien name for the nationalist-racist conflict we call WWII, but it's Spock who speaks of World Wars and McCoy who brings up the other name. Although perhaps both sides are ridiculing the silly terminology of the other here?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair, Kirk's line was:

    "We faced a similar crisis in our early nuclear age. We found the wisdom not to destroy ourselves."

    ^^^
    That doesn't mean there was never any nuclear war on earth, just that whatever incidents may have happened - mankind managed not to destry itself, or the biosphere of the planet.
     
  19. captain crow

    captain crow Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Trek ship registry numbers are nothing more than license plate numbers.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Does that mean all starships also have a VIN number lasered into the corner of their main view screens? :)