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

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

  1. BenRoethig

    BenRoethig Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I personally believe a combination of the two personally. The Enterprise-A was the Yorktown and it was used as a trials ship for technology destined for the Excelsior class ships.
     
  2. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Prototypes don't have to have a name, I always believed it had none, that way you can still have a refitted ship of the right age and configuration, also none with a previous name which can offend a previous crew or whatever and last but not least a reason to mothball her so quickly, prototypes usually have non standard (expensive) parts, also might explain all the quirks in Trek V ;)
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Excelsior (various sources describe it at 6' long) was maybe a foot or two shorter than the refit model (described as 7-8'). It WAS lighter, though. The Enterprise was a lot heavier though, because it was built with an arc-welded aluminum frame, and its pearlescent paintjob wasn't intended for shooting on bluescreen, which is why ILM dulled it down so much.
     
  4. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The refit Enterprise miniature was truly a work of art and a thing of beauty. The fact that ILM either couldn't figure out how it was intended to be shot, or didn't want to adapt to shooting it as intended, says something to me about the reputed "best in the business" effects house.
     
  5. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I've always felt the same way, even knowing that having to deal with that gloss would have wrecked ILM's ability to turn shots around in a timely manner. Part of ILM's appeal at the time was that they could guarantee prices, and I imagine they would not be able to do that if they had to shoot frontlight/backlight and fuss longer over every model pass.

    Most people seem to like the way ILM shot the ship, but with relatively few exceptions, it always felt like the ship was filtered to me (probably because they were mostly shooting the model in yellow light and then timing it to go back toward white, and usually winding up with some blue tinge.)

    The security issues on SFS were very real, and may have contributed to Mike Minor and Joe Jennings not being asked back despite their superb work. I find the live-action art direction on SFS, budgetary aspect aside, to be about on par for a BUCK ROGERS episode. EXCELSIOR's bridge could have been shot in somebody's two-car garage.
     
  6. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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    Agree on all your thought here.:vulcan:
     
  7. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In addition, it feels to me like the quality of ILM's model work with the refit Enterprise went down over time. Their best work was with TWOK. Then it went down somewhat with TSFS. Then, of course, TVH had virtually no Enterprise shots and TFF wasn't done by ILM. And then comes TUC, which ILM did, and the Enterprise looks absolutely horrid.
     
  8. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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    Agree.:vulcan:
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not quite following your logic here. Can you clarify?
     
  10. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Kay Anderson's coverage of SFS in CFQ (and in a slightly different form in THE MAKING OF THE TREK FILMS) more than implies that Paramount cleared the decks after TWOK because of the rampant theft of property and all the leaks to outsiders. As far as I know, the situation did not improve substantially, since costumes seem to have gotten stolen all the time during that whole era of TOSflicks, plus on SFS you had inferior work with the new folks. SFS is when they started doing stuff like coding the scripts so they could be traced back to the party who got that particular one, so it sounds like they were really serious about cracking down.

    Minor seemed a little bitter about not being asked back ... y'know, come up with the terraforming idea and to use the nebula as a tactic, then find yourself gone. Robert Fletcher carried on through the first 4, but outside of Doug Wise (who may have been a mandatory hire, though even he missed SFS, the only TOS film he didn't do), there wasn't a lot of continuity of personnel that I know of past TWOK.
     
  11. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    Treknically speaking, according to Ships of the Star Fleet (Volume I), the Federation Reference Series, U.S.S. Enterprise Heavy Cruiser Evolution Blueprints, and other "serious" Treknical works of the 1980s...1701-A was a new-build starship originally to be named the U.S.S. Levant, basically an improved Enterprise class heavy cruiser with state-of-the-art new technology systems... Following ST IV, she was renamed Enterprise and thus, being the class ship, was named Enterprise (II) class--with provisions made for upgrading several existing Enterprise class heavy cruisers to these new specs...and there were new-builds, too, such as the U.S.S. America with cool rear-firing torpedo tubes mirroring the forward launchers in the interconnecting dorsal region...

    The system breakdowns which we saw at the beginning of ST V were due to faulty peripheral interface adaptors to the main (brand-new) computer (Duotronic IV, never before tested on a heavy cruiser class ship--the ST-TMP Enterprise incidentally had Duotronic II). This ship did not have transwarp but a much more refined warp drive system permitting much faster velocities than the earlier incarnation (she also gained a linear shortcut to the galactic core via Cochrane's Factor/space density, explained in Star Trek Maps/Introduction to Navigation Manual--an old fan concept based upon E.T.A. specs mention in TOS episodes such as "That Which Survives")... Much of this is verified in the Starfleet Prototype manual, as well as the 1701-A Deck Plans blueprints from circa 1991... The early retirement of 1701-A sits with Sybok straining the ship's superstructure to the limit by taking her to the galactic center and back again at High warp speeds...and then Chang chucking a Klingon cannonball through her in ST VI...

    At least Mr. Scott's Guide acknowledges the fact that Star Fleet can still build new starships. Non-Treknical fans have no sense of the Scope of the UFPs size and number of ships in service...exemplified in 2009's movie...

    The junk about the U.S.S. Yorktown makes no sense for fans who actually saw ST IV: as we Saw the Yorktown in service. We're supposed to believe she was renamed and renumbered for demoted Kirk's sake? While it's true that Roddenberry liked the name Yorktown, the rest is pure conjecture, exaggeration, and is attributed to none other than Michael Okuda who also invented a wide range of NCC registries and ship classes for his encyclopedia, the year 2245 for the Enterprise's commissioning, and many other "facts" unsupported by a supposedly "canon" work that sticks to On Screen information.

    How's that for Channeling?
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    What "canon" does the 2245 launch date not mesh with? Once TNG pinned down the year it was operating (2364) in The Neutral Zone, everything and everyone had to fall into line with it. Including the launch date of the Enterprise.

    Plus, The Neutral Zone was overseen by Roddenberry.
     
  13. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    How people love to oversimplify these things...
    One could say the same about Data's "Class of 78" in "Encounter At Farpoint" just to pick one at random... That was also overseen by Roddenberry...
    2245 was never stated on-screen therefore has no validity in an "encyclopedia" claiming to stick to on-screen facts... The same source gets worse and worse when you look at the various ship registries which were obviously invented for that book...
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    2245 represents a logical extrapolation that allows for both the events of The Cage and having time for a Robert April command that was alluded to in The Counter-Clock Incident working backwards from the 2364 date. It was Roddenberry who said that TNG took place 78 years after the current Trek movie at the time (The Voyage Home). Lets be honest, it's easier to come up with a fudge for 'Class of 78' than it is for 2364. Just like it's easier to fudge 'two hundred years ago' than it is to fudge the 1996 date Spock gives for the Eugenics Wars.

    Are the chronologies/encyclopedia's perfect? No. But in the broad strokes they work well enough.

    About starship registries, I got to tell you that I honestly don't care about them. They're in the encyclopedia, I glanced at them once about twenty years ago and haven't since because they simply aren't important to the stories being told on-screen.
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    In HD, we can now see that the bridge displays at the end of STIV do indeed say "transwarp" as per the reproductions in Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise.

    Someone obviously changed their minds between movies, since STV's just say "warp"
    The Enterprise launch date of 2245 appears in the USS Defiant's database in "In a Mirror, Darkly" - although IIRC that screen display used the old conjectural date for Cochrane's first warp flight, and not the one established in the movie First Contact.
     
  16. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    Yeah, and Buckaroo Banzai is "canon" in Trek too if you want to rip into all the inside jokes and Okuda screens in TNG... But, hey, if you want to go That far then we can "canonize" Franz Joseph's Technical Manual and Enterprise Blueprints for their inclusion in the first few feature films! Wow!

    Let me tell you about 2245. It's a date pretty much plucked out of thin air and given some sort of holy significance by claiming GR said it, which he never did... But it appears in one modern publication and that's all it takes for Pocket Books to lock onto and keep repeating it over and over again...

    In Treknical fandom, the 1701 is much older than the 20 odd years given there in relation to the 5-year mission... She's closer to 50 years in fact. Where does this come from? A little book which preceded all these other books called The Making of Star Trek. Gene said he wanted the Enterprise to "have some history" and it states that Constitution class starships are around 50 years old... This is where the speculation started that the USS Valiant in "A Taste of Armageddon" was the first fatality of the Constitution class... This is why the Chuck Graham chronology which was The first chronology, places the Constitution class around 2210-2220 AD... But wait, there's more, much more... In TAS "The Counter Clock Incident" the first captain of the Enterprise, Robert April, has reached mandatory retirement age 75... If he took command of the Enterprise in his 30s, we're talking a 40-year age for the Enterprise and, lo and behold, the Novelization of this episode by Alan Dean Foster (Star Trek Log 7) states that it was 40 years since he first took command of the Enterprise... Captain April, the proto-Captain Kirk is noted in the old writers guides as being in his mid-30s.... Star Trek Maps also states that the Constitution class is slightly more than 50 years old (this is set circa ST-TMP)... The USS Enterprise Officers Manual has a reproduction of the dedication plaque of the Enterprise (with a tiny footnote Constitution Class Circa 2217). 2217 is a rather popular date for the birth of the USS Constitution and is again taken up in the USS Enterprise Heavy Cruiser Evolution Blueprints, Ships of the Star Fleet Volume One, the Federation Reference Series... I can go on and on... It stuck until techie works "split" in the early 80s when we had Spaceflight Chronology come out, placing TOS in the Early 23rd Century, launching Kirk's 5-year mission around 2207 AD, and limiting the age of the Constitution Class to a launch in 2188, if memory serves... Then the shit hit the fan with FASA building their RPG around it all (Paramount licensed, of course) and Shane Johnson in turn used that and its dates for Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enteprise, to further infuriate first generation Treknical Trekkers... It didn't get turned around until Admiral Kirk told Whale Babe in ST IV that he's from the Late 23rd Century, with fans arguing over the 2283 Romulan Ale date in ST II (Terran date or Romulan date?)...

    This channeling is getting intense... No wonder it can lead to total mental collapse...
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Isn't it possible Gene Roddenberry just changed his mind about the Enterprise's age? He was somewhat of a revisionist.
     
  18. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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  19. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    But The Counter-Clock Incident only says that April has been an ambassador for 20 years, it is just an assumption that his ambassadorship started immediately following his tour on the Enterprise. As you say, it is a logical extrapolation, but it isn't the only one. The only mention of the Enterprises age is in TSFS ("The Enterprise is 20 years old") and it is hard to reconcile with other data points.

    April could have commanded the 1701 from 2230-35 and then been transferred to another command. The ship was captained by two or three other captains, then he--like Kirk--returned to command the ship again in 2245, this time as a commodore. After that second tour he became an Ambassador at large and transferred command to Chris Pike.

    This I would agree with. I don't agree with all the assumptions and conclusions Mike Okuda made, but I have no ill will toward him because of it.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Here, I'll admit to having to fudge, but I always though Morrow was talking about the age of the Enterprise since her refit (which would be fifteen or sixteen years) and rounded up for emphasis.

    And I'm no more against a 2230-2235 launch date than I am a 2245 date. :techman: