The operational status of NCC 1701-A...?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Lance, May 14, 2012.

  1. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Would you look at that"

    The line may be supposed to convey that she's never seen it before, but the contempt which Nichols delivers the line seems to convey a sense of "You kids get off my lawn".
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    This.

    One theory is no more right than any other. Just fun to bat the ball around and try to make sense of a few contradictory lines of dialogue.

    It'll never be dealt with on screen.
     
  3. NightJim

    NightJim Captain Captain

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    Let's looks at this from the perspective of another example. Admittedly future example, but maybe Kirk and Enterprise's Nil and A set a precedent.

    The most obvious angle is the D and E. Somewhere (both Memory's Alpha and Beta back this up) state that the E was being built to be another ship. Then the D is destroyed and it's renamed the Enterprise and the D's Command Crew is moved across, echoing the Nil-A transition. Clearly Starfleet like keeping Officers together if they've proven themselves.
    Very early on in this thread someone pointed out that the Sovereign is a smaller class, isn't also a better war vessel though? The Federation is in the middle/at the beginning of the Dominion War, the Borg threat has been looming, it makes more sense that the flagship suit that more. Getting the civilians off of a ship that is clearly going into battle is probably a good idea.

    Back to the 2280s. We know that Starfleet was experimenting with Transwarp and a new class with the Excelsior, a ship that when Sulu was granted his commission he was given command of, after the Transwarp drive was deemed a failure. Seems to me that Starfleet were seriously considering a new type of ship that would outstrip the Constitution class in every way. But they had to keep their fleet up and running until they knew where they are going with this new class. They wouldn't build new Constitutions, they're expecting to build an entire new fleet when the Excelsior proves a success. So they keep the existing ones running through refits. Of course given the timescale, The A is a ship that has already gone through refit and probably about to be launched when Kirk and crew save the Earth from the Whale probe.

    Kirk and crew have broken a whole lot of rules to save Spock. If that's all they had done I'd imagine the entire command crew would be up against a court martial. Given the service records it would probably be lenient. But they just saved the Earth so we'll go super easy on them, either PR, thanks or both can be claimed.

    Sulu's comment about “Maybe we'll get the Excelsior” shows that rumours are that it's about to go into the field. But they can't give a crew (no matter how decorated) that stole a starship to save one man, the pride of the fleet. So they give them another Constitution with the name Enterprise. Not only will this be a huge PR spin for the public, the crew get what they want. Kirk also wouldn't see a non-Constitution class with the name Enterprise as HIS ship, he'd recognise it more as a gesture.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hard to tell. The Galaxy class scored victories in the Dominion War, and (rather curiously) was the only starship to ever actually destroy a Dominion vessel larger than the tiny battlebugs on screen. The Sovereign class was nowhere to be seen.

    This is rather difficult to believe, considering that after these movies, Starfleet is suddenly seen using a warp drive that looks very different: big flashes at warp entry, streaking stars when the ships move, a new definition of Warp 10. Surely something new was a great success - and transwarp is a natural candidate.

    The success or failure of transwarp shouldn't affect Sulu's getting command of NCC-2000 much either way...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    It really shows nothing of the kind. Sulu may not be up to speed on its status plus its still sitting in Spacedock at the end of The Voyage Home.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    But the same warp effect was used in Enterprise which was two centuries before TNG and a century before 'transwarp' drive... :eek:
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...And also never exceeded warp 10, and ran on a dilithium focus antimatter powerplant described in exactly the same terms as the machine LaForge tended to. Apparently, Starfleet tried an alternate technology or two for a while, and then returned to Henry Archer's system. Which may have been copy-pasted from Vulcan databanks anyway, and may represent the accumulated galactic wisdom of the past few centuries; humans just had that damned pride of theirs that made them try silly things in between ENT and TNG. :devil:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Dick_Valentine

    Dick_Valentine Commander Red Shirt

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    The Enterprise one is a blending of the two, actually (stupid decision IMO, they should've kept the TNG effect or made a new one, not the cartoony movie streaks which are lame as anything, but I digress)

    So the stretchy (and hella, cool looking!) "Rubber band effect" could be the result of the newer engines, whereas the colour trails are the result of the previous generation of engines.

    The blue warp shine and the subspace entry flash are just a result of the antimatter process and since we never saw a TOS ship enter warp in that series I guess we'll just have to imagine them doing the same thing ;)

    Also, taking a leaf out of my other passion, Formula 1 and Motorsports in general, surely it is obvious that for todays racing cars the engine development and the chasis development are two separate animals.
    The engine guys work on making the best engine they can and leave the stuff like aerodynamics and such to the chasis department, in the case of racing teams looking for a new deal, only coming together at the last moment to form a whole.

    Applying this to starfleet I can see the whole "Transwarp project" being completely seperate to starship design, it didn't appear to be a new great power source that was going to do anything for the ship bar make it go faster.
    It's more than reasonable to assume the transwarp people worked on their hypothetical new engine to the point of thinking they were ready to put it in a ship.
    After a couple of test sleds showed promise, Starfleet probably elected to slot it into their newest ship off the assembly yards to further enhance its "next generation of starship design" potential.
    I don't see the Excelsior being a complete, groud-up Transwarp ship, so once that proved a failure It wasn't probably too much of a stretch to slot out the Transwarp engine, unbolt the seat restraints, re-bolt Scotty's 4 screws and send it out with the latest warp engines instead.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...For all we know, the mighty Excelsior was chosen as the final testbed because ships smaller than that could not have accommodated the bulky, primitive gear needed for the transwarp experiment. Starfleet took a look at their current inventory and decided they could spare their latest big battleship for a few months or years of experimentation, now that she had proven herself in conventional ways already.

    If transwarp showed promise on small scale but needed a really bulky testbed for final verification, then it would not be completely unreasonable that it might have flopped. Promise until a certain point, then revelation of unexpected troubles at high power levels unattainable by lesser testbeds, then realization that the basic theory was all wrong and could never be used to build working machinery.

    But it's equally possible that transwarp was proven in practice before being installed aboard NX-2000; the big-ship-for-clumsy-equipment aspect could still drive Starfleet's decision on which existing starship type to first equip with the wonderful new drive - but a more conventional rationale on the lines of "the best for the best" would also apply, and Starfleet's pride would get the drive first, while lesser vessels would have to wait.

    In any case, NCC-2000 in her operational guise has this fancy big cavity in the aft ventral secondary hull. We never see this part of NX-2000 on screen... Perhaps transwarp machinery was originally fitted in there, and its removal left a hole that Starfleet to its delight found very useful for other things (blue-glowing forcefields suggesting a shuttlebay on NCC-2000, various greeblies in there on later ships).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is quite a thread. I'm probably breaking netiquette by skipping to the last page to throw in my 2c, but at the time Trek V came out, I swore I read something to the effect that Kirk had, around that time, already gone on another five year mission in the -A. That would be why in V it has a very TOS-like "another day at the office" feel to it. It took four movies for Kirk to settle back into the Captain's chair the way he really wanted, and it's the unseen 2nd 5-year mission that really allows him to kind of finish off his career happily.

    Of course, canon says something different now, but I'd like to think of it that way.

    It was a shame there never was a 2nd TV series with the TOS actors. At their ages they were really kind of wasted by doing only one movie every couple of years. Surely the stories they had to ell were more "arc-driven" but there could have been many self-contained stories had they just followed through and done another series. I think it would have been very successful, probably more than TNG because of the built-in recognition of the cast.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair, ST5 was very explicit about the adventure only taking place a few weeks after the end credits of ST4. in ST4, Kirk said "Let's see what she's got", and in ST5 Scotty comments outright that it turned out to be the starship equivalent of measles...

    But it's very true that after the three-movie arc of big things happening to our heroes, we now get treated to another standalone TOS adventure of the very classic sort. Which was a welcome change of pace, but then again, ST4 had been a change of pace as well... It really was time for a "scary" sixth installment to the series, but the actors could probably have gone on with yet more variations on the theme, had the pace of filming been a bit higher.

    A second series might have been nice. But a series of movies offered bigger budgets, and forced the writers to do more per "episode", to be bolder overall. With just a bit more money, they could even have started tinkering a bit more with the hero hardware, perhaps giving Kirk a truly new ship, perhaps just showing us much more of her inner workings.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Although the movie hints at being set very shortly after IV, DC comics told many stories post-STIV (as they previously did between II and III, and III and IV), and I believe the old Star Trek Chronology book actually leaves a year between IV and V.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Which doesn't make a lot of sense based on the dialogue of the movie. Kirk said he gave Scott three weeks to get the Enterprise in shape...

     
  14. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The Enterprise may have been assigned to a five-month initial deployment at the end of Star Trek IV only to come back in worse shape than she left for Star Trek V (the warranty expired), requiring Scotty to oversee an overhaul.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    That's not really what the movie was implying though.
     
  16. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The movie really seemed to imply that the ship went out for a bit, discovered some problems, and then came back home to fix them. How much time passed is a matter of debate, but it could be anywhere from days to months, IMO (although the stardates between Star Trek IV and Star Trek V do tend to suggest several months elapsed between them).
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If the ship suffered damage during the shakedown mission, that would be plausible. But it seems the ship just sprouted a hundred design flaws unrelated to any shaking down. If turbolift doors don't work or the Captain's Log dictating machine breaks down, that's not combat damage the ship is recovering from, nor is it something Kirk would have tolerated for five or ten months before telling Scotty to get it fixed.

    Fair enough. But we never learn any stardates for the latter part of ST4, after the actual action has wound down. That was probably several months after the known stardates of ST4, and only a week or two before ST5.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Or, Kirk got the Enterprise-A a week or two after saving Earth and Star Trek V took place a few months later, with the ship spending some of that time in dock under repairs.
     
  19. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it's also worth noting that the bridge of the Enterprise-A at the beginning of TFF looks nothing like it did at the end of TVH. We never saw more than the bridge in TVH, so the rest of the ship could have looked as it did in TFF from the time it was built. But the bridge was clearly shown. It was either remodeled at some point, or a new bridge module installed. So it's not like there was 24 hours between TVH and TFF. There needed to be at least a little time.

    I tend to favor the idea that they went on a brief shakedown cruise for a week or two, encountered problems, and came back to Earth for repairs, which were underway when we join them in TFF.
     
  20. Marcus Porcius Cato

    Marcus Porcius Cato Commander Red Shirt

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    This being a very long tread if someone could enlighten me I would be grateful. For those who think NCC-1701-A was a new ship, how can we explain her decommissioning only after eight years? This is one critical fact that makes me doubt she was a new ship...