Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by MarsWeeps, Feb 17, 2013.
Well if there is a Starship class, I hope one of the ships is the the Jefferson.
Beautiful summary in a nutshell.
@ Nerys Myk
There are ten more like her in the fleet. Why not?
I wouldn't mind a Starship Class USS Journey
Remarkably, the status of anything as part of Trek canon has nothing to do with whether you "accept it" or not.
We built this starship,
We built this starship on Starbase Eleven!
Just a small town boy, born and raised in Iowa
Took the moon shuttle going anywhere...
FWIW, in the TMP blueprints from Pocket Books, that Gene Roddenberry signed off on, the specs on the refit Enterprise say
Type: HEAVY CRUISER
Class: STARSHIP II
Rather than settling anything, IMO this really supports all three competing interpretations of "Starship Class", Jein's, and FJ's. Since "MK IX" comes from the Space Seed graphic [http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Case_of_Jonathan_Doe_Starship], these specs give weight to that graphic. Maybe TPTB decided to try to make all the fans happy with the TMP blueprints?
...And even "Class: STARSHIP II" alone would satisfy surprisingly many schools of thought. For those who think that "Starship class" would have been a unique identifier of the design that Kirk flew in TOS, this "II" would denote the refitted version of the same. For those who think that "starship" is a broad collection of designs, this could be the second such design (now refitted), or perhaps the 11th. For those who think that the broad category "starship" must be divided somehow to be of practical use, this could mean the refitted ship falling within the second category of starships, one that perhaps includes things like Constitution class, Belknap class, and Miranda class, whereas the first category has the Federations and other big guys.
The one and only school of thought that will have to go on recess would be the one following Jeffries' original idea about the 17th design... This would be more contradicted than supported by the terminology used here.
And what weight would that be?
The "Trouble With Tribbles" schematic (planned for "Space Seed" but not shown in the episode) obviously doesn't show a starship, but a phaser bank of a starship of the Constitution Class. The text reads:
PRIMARY PHASER L.R.
STARSHIP MK IX/01
Since there were no "Mark" designations for navy vessels in the 1960's, add to this that "Mark" is a designation for weapons in Star Trek (e.g. photon torpedos), the "MK IX/01" obviously refers to the type of primary phaser Scotty is looking at (the schematic is supposed to tell him what type of phaser he's looking at, especially since the other text makes it abundantly clear to which class of starships it belongs ).
Alternately, it's the primary phaser of a Starship USS MK IX/01 - Yes, sounds strange but Greg Jein interpreted the "MK IX/01" to belong to the USS Enterprise because of the "01". And further concluded that the Enterprise has to belong to the Constitution Class.
Essentially, what we have here, is a primary phaser that determined what kind of class the Enterprise belongs to, other than Starship Class.
Franz Joseph simply copied and pasted it into his materials.
He wasn't a Star Trek fan and didn't nearly do the kind of in-depth research work Greg Jein otherwise did in his article.
Apparently, David Kimble assumed the "MK-IX" business to be the product of accurate and credible research (two people saying he same thing, can't be wrong, right?).
Anyway, the TMP Blueprints do not refer to a "Constitution Class" but a "Starship Class II".
And there's more! Please go to sheet 6 of 14 (K'tinga Battlecruiser). Like with the Enterprise before there is text comment / introduction to the new Klingon ship, excerpt:
"NORMALLY, PATROLLING IN "PACKS" OF THREE, THE CRUISERS ARE DEADLY FOR A SINGLE FEDERATION STARSHIP, THE NEW ENTERPRISE CLASS, HOWEVER, PROMISES TO EVEN THOSE ODDS."
Whether this refers to "new" (opposite "old" TOS Enterprise Class) or "new" (as in not available previously) can remain a subject of speculation. But since Matt Jefferies was involved with the conception of the TMP Enterprise, I don't think it to be unlikely that the Enterprise creator showed his hand here (and I don't bite the hand that feeds me).
It's definitely "Starship Class II" and not "Starship Class 11".
The stardate is given in the same font as "7912.7"
And I'm unable to see where it can possibly contradict Jefferies' 17th design nomenclature. Considering the Archon was already a "starship" in "Return of the Archons", add to this that pre-TOS models (i.e. Daedalus Class) show the same TOS hull plating and tubular warp engine style, I'd rather speculate that "Starship II" refers to the new movie design, i.e. aztec hull pattering and slim warp engines.
This idea always worked for me.
The existence of the "Starship Class" plaque pretty much excluded the possibility of the Enterprise being the "1st bird of the 17th design". Then again, it isn't the first time the artist's intent is trumped by other production decisions.
find myself more interested in the histories of the various proposed class names for the Enterprise than another round of which is correct?...what publications they appeared in etc.
Apparently "Starship Class" is just an umbrella term for the most powerful Starfleet vessels and helps to distinct from destroyers and scouts.
However, it wouldn't allow the distinction of inherently differently "Starship Class" designs like the USS Enterprise compared to the USS Reliant, a "starship", too.
Consequently, you have a sub-classification, that's proven canon by the (long range) primary phaser schematic seen in "The Trouble With Tribbles".
It's a phaser of a "starship" (= Starship Class) which obviously belongs to the "Constitution Class".
All the ships of the 16th design (Constitution Class), 17th design (Enterprise Class) and of the 18th design (Miranda Class) are "starships".
"Constellation Class" - various novel adaptations (I think James Blish & company)
"Constitution Class" - Bjo Trimble, Greg Jein and Franz Joseph publications
"Enterprise Class" - Making of Star Trek, Matt Jefferies, official TMP Blueprints
It could be an umbrella term, but it is harder to defend as that term because of the use of "Class", IMO. After thinking about it, I would think "Starship Type" makes more sense as an umbrella term. Or some number or letter designation after the word "Class" like "Starship Class I".
With other ship's plaques stating their class name in the plaque it also seems unusual for "Starship Class" to not also be a class name.
A "Starship Class" could still be a distinct set of ships if referred to specifically by it's class name while "starship Enterprise" and "starship Reliant" would fall under the generic "starship" term. It's alot like using "Dreadnought Class" vs the generic term "dreadnought" Texas.
As to why someone would name a starship, USS Starship, that's something the production crew should've worked out before making the plaque
Let's say the TOS Enterprise belonged to the Constitution Class. That again negates the "1st bird of the 17th design" idea. The USS Constitution would've been the 1st ship.
What we do have in TOS is the bridge plaque with "Starship Class" and the tech diagram with "Constitution Class" but nothing about Nth design. The Enterprise doesn't get to be the "1st bird" or lead ship until her big moment in TMP and confirmed in TWOK that she's her own class (or subclass of the Constitution Class). That puts suspect to the whole "Nth design" idea, IMHO.
Another interesting tidbit: look closely at the font of the decal of the Constellation's name... it's not quite the same as the font shown on the 3 or 11 footers of the Enterprise. A bit more Arial vice the Amarillo of the latter.
It's pretty self-evident that any manned vehicle capable of voyaging between star systems is in fact a "starship" even if said vehicle is a relativistic vessel going slower than light. Of course that doesn't mean everyone automatically interprets it that way.
By the early to mid 23rd century the term "starship" could come to mean something more specific in context of TOS. It might have something to do with the ship's intended primary role: extended deep space exploration. By the time of Pike and Kirk the Enterprise and her sister ships are recognized as something special, something meant to operate more autonomously for extended periods to probe deep into unfamiliar and unexplored territory. They are the Federation's vanguard.
And so the TOS Enterprise can easily fit into three classifications at the same time.
- Star Ship class (primary mission profile)
- Heavy Cruiser class (type of vessel)
- Constitution-class (ship's configuration)
When the ship is refitted in TMP we can assume its configuration has changed now to Enterprise-class because she is the first of her kind even though the other two classifications can still apply.
Sometime after TMP the "Star Ship class" designation falls into disuse for whatever cultural/political/organizational reason. Maybe the Federation pulls back on extensive deep space exploration or some other reason. In TOS' time there might have been a pioneering/exploratory push fuelled by cultural and political reasons as well as great technological advances which fed into the idea of a "starship" being something really special by what it's meant to do and what it represents: the Federations noblest ideals.
Kirk's line of "only twelve like it in the fleet" doesn't mean there are only twelve starships or only twelve star faring ships in existence. It can't credibly mean that. It's more likely his reference means twelve ships specifically designed, fitted and manned to do what no other vessel could do (at that time).
Merick: "He commands not just a spaceship, but a starship. A very special vessel and crew."
Stone: "Not one man in a million can do what you and I have done: command a starship."
What makes Kirk and the Enterprise and her crew special (as well as the other eleven ships) is because they're meant to be the best of the best assigned to do something seen as grander and more hazardous than anything comparable.
Just my two cents.
Merick's comment does make it seem like there is a difference between a "Spaceship" and a "Starship." While it may be a matter of quality over quantity, it still lends support to the idea that 23rd century nomenclature makes a distinct difference between the two.
Which tends to support what I'm saying. For a time during the 23rd century a starship was seen as something special.
It's kind of like saying, "Now that's a real car rather than just a convenience on wheels."
I'm a bit surprised, what happened to your "Thermian" approach?
A) I understood that you base your research entirely on what can actually be seen and heard in TOS. Even in HD the Thermians wouldn't have been capable of reading Scotty's viewscreen schematic in "The Trouble With Tribbles".
This in essentially a behind-the-scenes information (I understood you usually tend to ignore) just as Matt Jefferies' "17th design statement" and The Making of Star Trek referring twice to (TOS) "Enterprise Class".
B) Let's assume the Thermians would have been capable of reading Scotty's viewscreen schematic, how would they have concluded that viewing the schematic of a primary phaser of a starship of a Constitution Class is evidence that the TOS Enterprise has to belong to this "Constitution Class"?
Again, Scotty is not reading the technical manual of the Enterprise but merely a technical "journal", that could show a historic phaser bank same as when Khan was / would have been viewing these materials in "Space Seed". Of course, for him, it wasn't historic but still futuristic stuff he was trying to catch up with.
Separate names with a comma.