The Constellation's registry number

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

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    What those who designed Trek imagined in 1964 may not be what those in charge imagined years later. Fiction is mutable like that - otherwise we'd have never gotten over all those incorrect James T. Kirk references since WNMHGB. There is no one right answer - only what Matt Jefferies thought, what Gene Rodenberry thought, what Franz Joseph thought, what the ENT producers thought when they did their cute little retro episode etc.
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Not that I agree that this is where the bulk would be either, but you mean at the same longitude as San Francisco, but over the equator, right?
     
  3. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    If you want to get nit-picky about it, the term "Constitution class" is used in TOS, on a table-top monitor graphic in "The Trouble with Tribbles". It's not legible, but then the "Starship Class" plaque linked upthread from "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" isn't really that legible either.

    The back-and-forth here in this part of the thread about what "Star Ship Class" means is amusing, because any interstellar vessel, even a warp-capable shuttlecraft, would be, in essence, a "star ship". For all we know, the use of that term in the context of a dedication plaque installed on a ship's bridge would logically be a ceremonial certification that the ship is now a commissioned interstellar vessel, having been fully outfitted for flight for the very first time.

    The idea of a "Starship Class" being different from a "Destroyer Class" is certainly interesting, but wouldn't that imply that the U.S.S. Saladin would not, officially, be called a starship?

    I don't see how this makes any sense.
     
  4. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Because that's what 'class' means: it's named after the first ship of that class to be built.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, it would - and there's nothing in the aired material to suggest that things should be otherwise. The Columbia and the Revere are never suggested to be starships, merely scouts; had there ever been a reference to the Saladin, I'm sure it would have emphasized the destroyer identity and thus neglected to comment on the starship one.

    This for the 23rd century where such things still matter. The distinction would go away by the 24th, apparently, and TNG references to older vessels might also eschew with it.

    As for all spaceships being starships, well, not all warships are battleships. To the layman, it would seem stupid not to consider a corvette a battleship because obviously it's built for battle, but there you have it.

    Plenty of alternatives to that in the real world. We indeed speak of "destroyer class vessels" without implying the existence of any USS Destroyer. We also speak of AEGIS class ships, which in the 1980s was a specific reference to the Ticonderoga class but nowadays is a vague gesture towards about a dozen distinct ship classes equipped with AEGIS technology. Finally, the Royal Navy frequently uses thematic class names, there having been several Town, County, River, Duke and Tribal classes, but never an HMS Town, HMS County, HMS River or... You get the picture. Perhaps the Constitutions were the first ships in Starfleet to be systematically named after famous starships?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    If there are inconsistencies within the context of TOS, I agree. However, I can't see why "Starship Class" for the original series should constitute (pun) such an inconsistency.

    The inconsistencies came when people with the "It's just a TV show" (seriously speaking it is IRL) attitude started to create these inconsistencies, because they wouldn't or couldn't do proper research and/or felt they knew better than the original creators (I call this arrogance)

    I dislike any kind of revisionism (maybe reading George Orwell's 1984 didn't do me any good) and disrespect at the expense of the great people that gave us Star Trek.

    :rofl: Are you paying attention to the various "flame" posts in reply to my post? Rather than to explain or rationalize the official "Starship Class" every attempt is made to ridicule it and push it over the cliff on behalf of this "Constitution Class" popularized by Franz Joseph, who took it from Greg Jein (but didn't like Jein's NCC numbering), and who wasn't even involved in the production of the original show and who wasn't even a Star Trek fan by his own admission!

    IMHO, "Starship Class" is canon for the TOS Enterprise and her sister ships where "Constitution Class" for these is a retcon activity whose canon value could be put in question from a strictly TOS point of view.

    I don't know why you feel the urge to resort to fecal allusions or try to state I have problems.

    I can happily live with the original "Starship Class" mentioned in the The Making of Star Trek and seen every week on the Enterprise's bridge (The plague is there in plain sight and we know what's written on it).

    So apparently, others do have a problem with that, not me.

    Bob
     
  7. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    If I were building the history of Star Fleet in reverse, I'd like the explaination that the Constitution, NCC-1700, was an upgrade on the prior class of "starship," maybe Eagle (NCC-956) and all the others on through the NCC-1600's... maybe the earlier ships have similar primary hulls to the Constitutions, with the latter having much more capable secondary hulls and warp drive systems... So maybe Star Fleet decided that instead of building a whole bunch of Constitutions, it would build some (Constitution, Enterprise, Hood, Lexingtion, Kongo, Yorktown and Defiant) and simply upgrade the others (Eagle, Constellation, Republic, Farragut, Intrepid, Potemkin, Excallibur, Exeter... did I miss any?) to Constitution class/status... What d'ya think?
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Maybe not during TOS, because obviously they had bigger fish to fry than the minutiae of ship classes. But we do have the technical manual from the mid-70's, which elements of made it into TMP and that publication listed the Enterprise as being a Constitution-class starship. And the publication, at least at one point, had Roddenberry's blessing.

    Plus, the second episode of TNG uses Constitution-class when describing the Enterprise. Roddenberry was also in charge of the production.
     
  9. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Defiant uses "Constitution class" on its plaque. That's canon, not a retcon. So, since it and the Enterprise are obviously of the same class, I don't see the problem here. :shrug:
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I guess the question is what's the difference between the two ships? One is a 'Starship' class while the other is a 'Constitution'. But even then, the Defiant having a dedication plaque in the same spot as Enterprise is a retcon as it didn't have a plaque in The Tholian Web.
     
  11. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The only reason that last bit is true is because of budget. They didn't have the time or money to do that in TOS, but it can be assumed to be true nonetheless.

    And Timo's "Aegis/Ticonderoga" reference does technically make sense, in that a ship can have two classes: one is the actual class name (here, Constitution) whereas the other is actually the ship's TYPE (Starship). So I'm prepared to call it even, really.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    But lots of things are still canon even if the decision to do it was because of time or money. :shrug:

    As far as the type/class explanation, its as good as any. :techman:
     
  13. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Are you sure? Here's is a screenshot of the Defiant's bridge from The Tholian Web. I got it from the TrekCore archives. You can see the plaque in the same place as the one on the Enterprise bridge, although you can't make out what it says.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    When you see a tighter shot, you'll notice they actually covered it up. :techman:
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    It's possible I might be wrong. :lol:

    It must've been the Exeter from The Omega Glory that had the covered dedication plaque.

    Yep, this is the scene I'm thinking of...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    So, let me get this straight.

    Someone's miffed because, canonically in TOS: The Tholian Web, the dedication plaque on the Defiant bridge said "USS Enterprise", but that was retconned for ENT: In a Mirror, Darkly!?!

    :lol:
     
  17. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Yes, I was just getting ready to post that same shot. Funny, I never even noticed that until you mentioned it.
     
  18. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Not quite. Someone is miffed because the Enterprise dedication plaque says "Starship Class" while the Defiant dedication plaque says "Constitution Class."

    The Defiant plaque is illegible in The Tholian Web (as far as I can tell) but is seen in Enterprise: In a Mirror, Darkly.
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, yeah, right. As pointed out upthread, that ship sailed with TNG, season one, The Naked Now, while Gene Roddenberry was executive producer. Sorta hard to argue intent, given that.
     
  20. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Popularzed by Franz Jospeh Schnaubelt in December of 1973? I suppose so. He took it from Greg Jein's April, 1973 article? Yes, I suppose so--but go back further. It's found in Bjo Trimble's Star Trek Concordance from 1969--but go back further. It's found on a screen display from "The Trouble with Tribbles" shot in August of 1967--which some people for some unfathomable reason think shows Scotty reading about something other than the Enterprise). But go back further. It's found in footage from "Space Seed" for which the "Trouble with Tribbles"-used diagram was actually initially created--shot in late December of 1966. But go back further. It's found in the actual shooting script for "Space Seed" from early December of 1966--and who knows how many earlier versions of the script before that:

    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.

    So, Constitution-class is not so much a pet theory of Franz Jospeh Schnaubelt or Greg Jein so much as it is a production decision made by the actual Star Trek producers--the actual creators--back in 1966. Asserting that it wasn't based on actual production material and somehow was fabricated out of whole cloth by people who actually weren't with the production is a little disingenuous. I think a lot of people couldn't or wouldn't do the proper research to find that Constitution-class was an actual contemporaneous Star Trek production decision, not some after-the-fact fan wankery speculation.

    People don't think it's Constitution-Class and not just "Starship Class" because they are less knowledgeable about Star Trek starship nomenclature production materials than you; it looks like the people who first promulgated the Constitution-class information were actually more knowledgeable about starship nomenclature production materials than you.