The Constellation's registry number

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

  1. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    From what I can tell of my DVD copy of "The Tholian Web" and the TrekCore HD archives, the Defiant plaque is in darkness and too far away even on HD to where you can read it.

    The USS Defiant in ENT can be a "Constitution-class" as there is no evidence that it cannot be.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Damn Greg, you just completely destroyed Robert Comsol. :lol:
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Alright, excellent. My point was that if you could somehow make out or otherwise glean what the Defiant plaque says in TTW, it's going to have "USS Enterprise" staring you in the face, anyway.

    And, thanks, GSchnitzer, for the history lesson. I was aware of everything, except the contents of the Space Seed script. :techman:
     
  4. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    It would be interesting to base a "worldview" of the STAR TREK Universe strictly on the content of TOS exclusively, when we still had not seen any other "class" of "starship" other than the one of which the Enterprise was apparently a member. This would imply that there is only one kind of starship and that's it for the fleet. (It would be interesting to reconcile the names of all the starships mentioned in TOS against Kirk's brag to Captain Christopher, USAF, in "Tomorrow is Yesterday", about how "there are only twelve like it in the fleet".)

    Let's see what kind of list we would come up with...

    U.S.S. Enterprise

    U.S.S. Valiant ("A Taste of Armageddon")

    Antares? ("Charlie X")

    Astral Queen? ("The Conscience of the King")


    The list of ship names (apparently all Federation starships) from Commodore Stone's wall chart seen "Court Martial":
    (The Memory Alpha article on Greg Jein's "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship" also contains other references.) It is worth mentioning that Kirk also mentioned the U.S.S. Republic, registry 1371, in his deposition.

    Archon? ("The Return of the Archons"; Kirk does refer to the Starship Archon as missing)

    "Constitution class" is shown on Khan's computer display in "Space Speed"; the "technical manual" schematic says:

    While we could give ourselves a Mulligan either way on this, either dismissing it as not clearly seen or accepting it as the first canon mention of the Constitution class starship, it does bear mentioning at the very least.


    Unit XY-75847? (mentioned in "Errand of Mercy")


    U.S.S. Carolina ("Friday's Child")

    U.S.S. Constellation ("The Doomsday Machine")

    U.S.S. Farragut, U.S.S. Yorktown ("Obsession")

    U.S.S. Intrepid (remastered image in "Court Martial" and mentioned in "The Immunity Syndrome")

    Horizon? ("A Piece of the Action")



    "The Ultimate Computer": Wesley's task force...
    U.S.S. Lexington
    U.S.S. Hood
    U.S.S. Excalibur
    U.S.S. Potemkin


    U.S.S. Exeter ("The Omega Glory")


    U.S.S. Defiant ("The Tholian Web")



    If we ignore Commodore Stone's wall chart, I still count at least 19 ships. (Of course, that's a total count of the entire TOS roster, including those encountered a year or two after Kirk's "Tomorrow is Yesterday" brag to Capt. Christopher.)

    Discounting XY-75847, Archon, Astral Queen, Antares, and Horizon, as not clearly being identified as Federation starships (I strongly feel that the way Archon and Horizon were mentioned confirms they were, but that's just me) would bring the total starship roster to 14.

    Then, of course, there's the matter of Stone's wall chart and the mention of a Constitution class phaser used in "Space Seed" and "The Trouble with Tribbles" to quibble over. If there is a Constitution-class ship, then there is likely to be a U.S.S. Constitution. Greg Jein's work seems to support this. That would bring the total number of Federation starships to 15.

    If there were only a maximum of 14 to 19 "Star Ship Class" vessels in the entire Federation at the time of "The Tholian Web", this would certainly explain why being a captain of one would be regarded as extraordinary. :techman:

    It also would not square with TAS, TWOK, TVH, etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  5. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One question: Would we even know any of the "Constitution class" back story if it weren't for Star Trek/Lincoln Enterprises? Probably not.

    Because, while "Constitution class" does appear in the Space Seed script and on a graphic created for that script (later used elsewhere,)* it was also appears to have been a production decision not to use that scene nor mention Constitution class anywhere else in the subsequent 55 episodes. Or include that bit of info in the writer's guide or The Making of Star Trek.

    To me, Starship class is consistent with the planned vagueness of the show: no actual dates, no specific century, no real speed measures, patches/colors for the uniforms, etc.

    Just me 2 coppers; YMMV.

    *(The Trouble with Tribbles in my mind places that graphic in a peer-reviewed journal: "...another technical journal?" "...time to catch up on my technical journals!")
     
  6. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    Added note:

    Greg Jein's article would seem to add Eagle, Endeavour, Essex and Kongo to this roster.

    A Federation with less than two-dozen "Star Ship Class" vessels in total is interesting, but far from plausible when you consider that all ships have Earth-derived names and this doesn't fit Kirk's "twelve like it in the fleet" brag very easily anyway.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    One more time.

    TNG established the Enterprise as Constitution-class while the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself was executive producer.

    Case closed.
     
  8. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I understood your point, but on that same note, if we could get close to the four starships facing down the Enterprise in "The Ultimate Computer", they'd all say USS Enterprise as well ;) The production people were probably aware of this and filmed it in such a way that the plaque visible in "The Tholian Web" was present but unreadable. That would allow for say a mythical Season 4 TOS episode to revisit the Defiant and extra budget to make a Defiant plaque to say whatever they wanted on it.


    Yes, GSchnitzer's references to the scripts are always insightful. Still, since it is just the Work In Progress and not the final Finished Work it is hard to square away with the readable "Starship Class" plaque on the Enterprise bridge that persisted for three seasons. You'd think by Season 3 someone could've just replaced it with a cheap "Constitution Class" plaque. :)

    Oh - and let's not forget "The Wrath of Khan" establishing the movie Enterprise as Enterprise Class. :)

    Overall... the evidence leaves plenty of room to consider the TOS Enterprise starting off as Starship Class (think HMS Dreadnought), becoming the Enterprise Class in the early movies and then being folded into the Constitution Class umbrella by "The Undiscovered Country" that is recorded in the future 24th century history books.

    @Wingsley - Not all ships are "starships" according to TOS. Even having antimatter nacelles doesn't qualify since Merik's ship from "Breads and Circuses" had them and wasn't a starship command.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  9. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Yes, but in the context of the show, it will say USS Defiant.

    Just like Spock's viewer, we all know that if we were to actually look inside it on the bridge set, we would probably just see some light bulbs, but in the context of the show, we would see some type of sensor data.
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Of course. But that doesn't somehow render any of the other purposefully illegible text somehow immune from being something else in the context of the show, either.
     
  11. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    How so?
     
  12. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Another pesky plaque. When Spock greets Kirk after the opening simulator test.

    "Mark IV Simulator, Enterprise Class"
     
  13. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    You must mean the one below? I can easily explain. The simulator itself is an Enterprise Class simulator. Since Enterprise was probably the first ship to be refit into TMP design, they needed something to simulate the refit bridge, so they called the simulator "Enterprise class."

    They couldn't call it a Constitution class simulator because that particular simulator was designed like the TOS bridge.

    How's that for reaching? :lol:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I seem to recall at least some non-canon sources referring to the Enterprise-class refit.
     
  15. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    LOL.

    "Which ship class are we simulating on today?"
    "Constitution Class."
    "Uhm, which one sir?"
    "Enterprise Class."
    "Cool, I never could get use to all the colors and sounds on the Starship Class version."

    :D
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Really? He just rehashed an old argument to which I had already replied last Christmas in the "N.C.C." thread. :rolleyes:

    Fact: Apparently there do exist starships of a "Constitution Class" but there is no evidence that Enterprise belongs to these.
    On the contrary, Matt Jefferies' statement that the Enterprise was "the first bird, the first in the series" strongly suggests she is the class leader of the "Enterprise Class" and "Enterprise Class" is mentioned twice in the original Making of Star Trek (no mentioning of a "Constitution Class" but mentioning that USS Constitution was one of the last names considered as a name for a starship!).

    Since there are starships whose prefix begins with "16" and according to Jefferies these would be the 16th design series, add to this Greg Jein (and TOS-R) identified these to look identical to the Enterprise (possibly after some kind of refit) there's no good reason not to assume these belong to the actual "Constitution Class".

    Where things get muddled are the movies. For ST II Nicholas Meyer considered the refit Enterprise to belong to the "Enterprise Class" (simulator sign) while the Enterprise in ST VI belonged to the "Constitution Class" (Scotty's "blueprint").

    If "Constitution Class" became a colloquialism for starships of similar designs in later times, I have no problems with corresponding remarks from Captain Picard in "Relics".

    However, I do have problems when the TOS Enterprise is referred to as "Constitution Class" as if it were an established fact - which it isn't, especially in light of the original creator's (Matt Jefferies) and producers' (e.g. Bob Justman and Gene Roddenberry - since the MoST bears his name on the cover, too, the content is authorized by G.R.) intentions and from a strictly TOS point of view.

    If you feel a fan fiction author like Franz Joseph understood these things better than the actual people who made Star Trek (strange, nobody complains that TOS-R didn't use Joseph's "17XX exclusive" starship numbering), so be it.

    Bob
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yet none of what you have listed deals with the fact that the Constitution-class nomenclature goes back as early as the first draft of the episode "Space Seed".

    And, once again, Roddenberry was executive producer of The Naked Now which clearly identifies the ship as Constitution-class.

     
  18. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    In-universe, Picard's info for "Constitution Class" at the time in the 24th century is correct. Also, in-universe, the "Starship Class" plaque on the TOS Enterprise in the 23rd century is also correct.

    For a real life example, take USS Boston (CA-69). Today, most sources will say she's a Baltimore Class ship and that is true because she was commissioned as one in 1943. But in the 1950s, she became the lead ship in her own class as she was re-classified as a Guided Missile Cruiser and even got her own designation (CAG-1). There would have been "only two like her (USS Canberra)". In the late 60's, she was re-classified back to a Heavy Attack Cruiser and also got back her original ship registry, CA-69.

    If you were to ask about the USS Boston in the late 50s, you would've been told, "Boston Class." Today, "Baltimore Class" would suffice. :)

    Edit: And regarding Picard's info: "Captain James T. Kirk" leaves out "Admiral James T. Kirk". Again, this suggests that the info on the Enterprise and Kirk omitted information or only showed the final disposition of ship and crew...

     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  19. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    "Starship class" is set dressing. It's never been said in such a way as to mean class and not type. "Constitution-class" is canonical, not necessarily the original intent of Matt Jefferies, but so what? It's not like they stole his work. He got paid and frankly, I don't think he much would have cared if they kept his scribbled-in-margins notes about "17th cruiser type" etc.

    I'm not sure how this has become the big deal it has.
     
  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    That's silly. Both appeared on the shows and both are canonical. If it isn't a "big deal", why weigh in?

    Edit: Why it's silly: You are picking which class you consider is "canonical" and so is Bob and other posters. Pot and kettle and all that stuff. :)