Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Brannigan, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hardly. In the US Navy, the decline of the battleship age means that every battleship that was named after a major city has now been replaced by an attack submarine and every ship that was named after a state was replaced by a ballistic missile boat or yet another attack sub. In the most extreme examples: USS Virginia was a battleship in 1906, a nuclear powered guided missile cruiser in 1976, and an attack submarine in 2004. Likewise, USS California went through the same progression: Battleship, then cruiser, then sub.

    USS Tarawa is an interesting one: started as an Essex class fleet carrier during World War II but was later replaced by an assault carrier with very little air wing.

    In the Trek universe, we have the Constitution class Defiant in the 23rd century and then the tiny but gun-heavy escort a century later. Clearly there isn't a huge problem with handing ship names down to lesser vessels, especially if a different naming convention has been given to the front-line vessels of its day (for example: your country decides to name its aircraft carriers after Presidents instead of historical battles).

    Not necessarily. It could be they initially rechristened a Miranda class (USS Enterprise NCC-21701) and used it as an academy training vessel through the 2350s. The training ship just happened to be retired in the early 60s and Starfleet re-appropriated the name for a galaxy class starship in honor of the crew of the Enterprise-C.
     
  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was specifically referring to the Hood (NCC-2541) and the Repulse (NCC-2544), which based on their registry numbers were built around the same time as the Ent-B. Barring its destruction, if they were still around, why not the Ent-B?

    From what I understand, Roddenberry wanted to distance TNG from the films (which he hated), so he came up with the "100 years after TOS" thing, even though TNG shares far more aesthetic elements from TOS anyway. It's almost as if he was trying to show that the films didn't actually exist.

    However, the larger problem with this approach was that the producers of the show were cheap and decided to save money by reusing both stock footage and spaceship models from the films, which caused two issues: Starfleet starships/space stations and Klingon ships from 80 years before were still being used (and in some cases wildly inaccurate in scale in relation to the Enterprise-D because of the reuse), and these elements were taken from the same films that Roddenberry wanted to distance TNG from.

    In an ideal world, TNG should have taken place right after TVH. The new ship should have been the Enterprise-A, not the D (and it should have been the Excelsior model, since the whole point of building it was to transition from the TMP Enterprise model to something easier to film). There was no real reason (other than Roddenberry) why the new show had to have taken place in the late 24th century. Hell, even 20 years after TVH would have been fine, but 75?

    Unfortunately that theory doesn't work, as the dedication plaque for the Ent-D states "Fifth Starship to Bear the Name," regardless of what the registry number was.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  3. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    I think 10 or 20 years wouldn't have been long enough to distance TNG from the classic era. Kirk and pals would still be conceivably alive and tooling around the galaxy and the audience would naturally expect guest appearances from them etc. It seems Gene wanted TNG to have it's own identity, separate from what came before. 80 years should have been enough to ensure that the original series characters would all be dead (except McCoy who isn't even named in the episode he appears in).
     
  4. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Technically this could work if the vessel was either not in Starfleet (but was a Federation vessel), or was not considered a starship due to her assigned/designed task not being in line with what a "starship" is used for.

    A training hull that isn't really given a standard hull number. Something like say the USS Sable in World War II. A coal powered, side wheeler aircraft carrier that was built from a Great Lakes excursion steamer to be a training carrier on the Great Lakes along with the USS Wolverine. These are not proper carriers in any light. They are more or less just moving flattops for training pilots how to land and take off from a carrier at sea. These used the "unclassified" designation in the Navy books. Sable was IX-81 and Wolverine was IX-64.

    Sailing ships USS Constitution and USS Constellation also used this numbering system as IX-20 (Constellation) and IX-21 (Constitution).

    So take an older Miranda-class ship, an Excelsior, or even a really old Constitution hull. Rename it Enterprise and give it some odd registration number, and there is an Enterprise in existance between the loss of Enterprise-C and the commissioning of Enterprise-D.

    This ship can have its name changed to something else later on to free up the name Enterprise for a new Galaxy-class ships. This has also happened before. During the early 1920s, the USS Constitution had her name changed to "Old Constitution" to free up the name Constitution for a new battlecruiser. The Washington Treaty cancelled that battlecruiser (her sisterships Lexington and Saratoga would be converted into aircraft carriers and begin the naming convention of carriers after old battles instead of famous aviatiors and aviation sites as was the plan following USS Langley). Following the cancellation of the battlecruiser, "Old Constitution" got her name back, and was refurbished for a tour around the coastlines in the early 1930s. USS Constellation was removed from the Navy registry and placed as a museum ship to free up the name for the carrier USS Constellation (CV-64) in the 1950s. Also in the US Navy, sometimes ships get downgraded and renamed to free up names for larger or more important ships. Around 1900 there were a number of Armored Cruisers that were named after states just like the battleships. USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4) was a famouse one for being the first ship to be landed on by an airplane. This same ship was remained Pittsburg a year later to free up the name for a new battleship (BB-38). All of those class of ships were renamed in favor of new battleships. Even the first battleship USS Texas was renamed so that a new battleship Texas could be named.

    So there is the possibility of a USS Enterprise between ships. Just not one that is actively doing regular Starfleet missions.

    One example that comes to mind is the ship from the fan film "Of Gods and Men". The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-M) museum ship. A Constitution-class vessel fitted out like Kirk's ship in the 2260s, but with later era safety features required by Federation law. Another example would be some sort of warp test hull used to preform experiments with a new drive engine for the Galaxy-class starships. Something like the NX-class in purpose, but not used for exploration work. Just for testing the engines and maybe some other systems that would later be fitted to USS Galaxy for more intensive field testing.

    Or something even more odd. Something like a captured Galor-class ship being used by Starfleet for some purpose renamed Enterprise by some Admiralty. The name being "unofficial" like HMS Bounty was an unofficial name for the captured Klingon Bird of Prey by Doctor McCoy.

    Or even something like a Federation survey ship that is not in Starfleet, but one of the other departments.

    EDIT:

    Additionally, on this same thought, what if the Enterprise-B was downgraded when the Ambassador-class was coming out. Someone on the Council or Admiralty wanted the newest exploration vessel to be the "Enterprise" but the Excelsior-class Enterprise was going strong. Someone decides to rename the Enterprise-B to something else so the name can go to the Enterprise-C. The older Enterprise-B remains in service is some capacity, but with a different name. And that does happen in history. The earlier mentioned USS Pennsylvania stayed in service as the USS Pittsburg until 1931. This overlaps with the service of the later battleship Pensylvania by almost 20 years.

    Now imagine if the Enterprise-B was still in Starfleet, but with a different name, when the Enterprise-C was destroyed in 2344? Would it be possible for them to rename the ship back to Enterprise, with its old registry number, until removing it again when the Galaxy-class Enterprise is ordered? Or is that basically impossible since depending on when the Enterprise-D was ordered. What if the USS Lakota is the Enterprise-B and only one of that style was built (note that is highly unlikely).
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  5. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    And he wanted to minimize the participation of Vulcans. I think it's fair to say that Spock and Sarek foiled such intentions, not to mention that the Romulans were sort of the new but prominent mystery race (and biologically Vulcans, too). ;)

    Bob
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Because I said before, not all Excelsior-class ships are subject to same wear and tear. You can have two identical ships from the same class, but one underwent a lot of punishment during its service life while the other didn't. The ship that had it much harder winds up being decommissioned before the other one. And also because not every ship from the same class is built simultaneously (regardless if they're just one year apart or fifty years apart), there's just bound to be differences between ships of the same class.
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But the existence of NX-01 already contradicts this fact, as does the Ringship Enterprise, whatever it happened to be. It's also hard to imagine that there were no ships named Enterprise between NX-01 and NCC-1701. Most likely they had different registry numbers and/or weren't major vessels and therefore nobody who isn't an expert historian knows or cares about them.

    We're sci-fi guys, we like evolution charts that look like this so we can say that CVN-65 is the 7th ship to be named "Enterprise." But it's not, the seventh, it's actually the sixteenth. The Seventeenth is currently in service with the Royal Navy. Fun fact: guess what its mission is?
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Not at all, because the Enterprise-D is the fifth Federation starship to bear the name. NX-01 and the Ringship Enterprise were pre-Federation vessels. It's just simply a case of referring to things since the founding of the Federation.

    I think it's most likely that when NX-01 was retired, so was the Enterprise name for awhile. During this time in history, the Enterprise name was probably more synonymous with NX-01 and the pre-Federation era in the public eye than anything else.
     
  9. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, I understand that, and I probably wasn't being clear. I simply would like to know what happened to the Enterprise-B. We know what happened to every single Enterprise other than the E (which I assume is still operational), but there's simply nothing canonical about this particular ship's fate. I was using the other two contemporaneous Excelsiors as examples of why the Ent-B was possibly not retired, but as you said that isn't concrete proof that it wasn't.

    I think this is more a matter of the context of those words on those plaques. Is it automatically assumed that because it's a dedication plaque for a Federation Starfleet vessel, that only Federation Starfleet ships with the name Enterprise are counted in that numerical order? (That seems to be the assumption to me, since we can't really retcon new plaque information after the fact once ENT debuted). Neither the NX-01 nor the ringship (to my knowledge) were Federation Starfleet vessels, but rather Earth vessels. *EDIT* C.E. Evans beat me to the punch ;)

    I have no problem with the possibility that there were more ships named Enterprise between the NX-01 and the NCC-1701, perhaps as other Earth ships or a "Coalition of Planets" holdover, etc., since the Enterprise "legacy" hadn't been established at that time. My problem is the idea that there might have been another Enterprise in the 20 year span between the C and the D. By that point in time I don't really see anyone using the Enteprise name for anything other than the progressive lineage of Federation Starfleet vessels (at least as far as the NCC-1701-x nomenclature goes). So having a Miranda class Enterprise NCC-31243 between the two really doesn't make much sense to me in that context.

    Of course, if there was a well-articulated reason why there was a mystery Enteprise between the C and the D that nobody knew about (like how there was a War Doctor between the 8th and 9th incarnations), then I'd be cool with that too ;)
     
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, ships are kind of like people--you never know how some of them will turn out. We'll likely never know canonically what happened to the Enterprise-B, so it will probably always be subject to speculation. Most like to think the ship was destroyed or lost, and while I'm not dismissing those as possibilities, I'm also not dismissing the possibility that the ship was just retired after decades of service. I think that's just as likely an outcome as the ship meeting an unfortunate end.
     
  11. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Again it is possible that they renamed the Enterprise-B to something else to free up the name for the Enterprise-C. If the Excelsiors are as long lived and hardy as they seem, than the old NCC-1701-B would still be a viable hull for at least 50 years, if not 60 or more years. Thus maybe sometime in the 2320s or 2330s, someone decides the old Enterprise is past her prime and they need a new Explorer type ship to bare the name. But the old Enterprise is still in good shape even with her rocky beginning and other incidents. She's in better shape that the original NCC-1701 was when she was going to be decommissioned, and possibly more viable as a modern starship than the NCC-1701-A was when she was decommissioned.

    So what does Starfleet do? They can't justify retiring a perfectly good staship, but the Council wants a new Enterprise to push the frontiers with their new Ambassador-class starships. The option is to rename the old Enterprise to something else to free up the name. NCC-1701-B gets a new name, and the NCC-1701-C is laid down with the name Enterprise.

    Skip forward to 2344. The NCC-1701-C USS Enterprise is destroyed suddenly. Starfleet knows it will be a long time until they can get the just started Galaxy-class Project up and running. But, they technically do still have an Enterprise in the fleet. The old NCC-1701-B is around, just renamed. Come along with a special order and thus Starfleet again has the old girl renamed "Enterprise" until such time as the new Galaxy-class ship is ready to be laid down. At which point she gets renamed again to free up the name for the new NCC-1701-D. The old Excelsior-class hull continues on with her new name until she finally is too worn out to continue and gets retired like any other ship. Or if they keep her around longer, she serves into the Dominion War or one of those other conflicts and goes down fighting, with only a relatively small number of people remembering that she was in fact, the old USS Enterprise, outliving both of her replacements.

    If fact it would be funny if the Enterprise-B was not only the longest serving Enterprise, but also surviving past two of her successors.

    It is also possible tha Starfleet doesn't assign official names to starships under construction, so that ships in service don't have to be decommissioned until that new ship is finished, rather than having to pull them from the books when the new ship is laid down (which is the practise in the US Navy, hense the need to rename the old Pennsylvania to Pittsburg when the new ship was ordered, rather than four years later when it was commissioned into the fleet). This would allow for things like the two USS Melbourne and the USS Enterprise-A being whatever it was before being called Enterprise. Or even the potenal two USS Prometheus is a close period of time.

    (Also means that could be a fate of the USS Enterprise-A. Decommissioned as the Enterprise and then renamed so they could free up the name for the Enterprise-B. All this while leaving a perfectly viable Constitution-class ship in the fleet for 20 or 30 years after said decommissioning.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  12. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    Since the Enterprise B is still the Enterprise, I imagine it has gone through some rough times.

    Was the Treaty of Algeron during the B's time? If so, it could have been damaged in the events that lead to the treaty.


    An Excelsior class SHOULD be able to last 100 years...but not if it gets roughed up too much.

    it was probably decommissioned, but still "alive" as perhaps a museum.
     
  13. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Tomed Incident is suppose to be 2311. If the novels are correct, the Enterprise-B was involved with that, but if the novels are correct, it was also a great lie to get the Romulans to back off.
     
  14. yenny

    yenny Captain Captain

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    We really don't know what had happen to the Enterprise-B. If it was destroyed or decommission? If it was decommission? It was most likely recommission after the Enterprise-C was lost. But if it was lost? Then the Enterprise-A was recommission after the lost of the Enterprise-C. We know that the Enterprise-A had never been destroy. Also there at lease two or more TNG episodes showing a model of a Constitution starship with updated nacelles.
     
  15. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While I don't necessarily have a problem with Starfleet retiring the Enterprise-B in order to promote the Ent-C, I really don't see them bringing the B back into service after the C was destroyed, if only because by that point Starfleet already had thousands of ships in operation, so it wasn't really necessary to do that. But is it possible? Sure, why not. Heck, for all we know the Lakota was actually the former Enterprise-B since we never actually saw another Excelsior refit other than her.;)

    The novels aren't canon, but that aside, "Serpents in the Ruins" was nothing short of preposterous. I certainly hope the Tomed Incident didn't actually happen the way it was described in that book.
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    That doesn't make sense to me. Based on our assumptions that the Enterprise-A might have been originally a starship with a different name, I then would have expected it to be the Lakota-A or something. Unless the Enterprise-B was such a disgrace to Starfleet that somebody felt it necessary to give her a paint job / new name. :rolleyes:

    If we could dispense with the bias towards the conference lounge display of the Enterprise-D and consider the fact that except for the Lakota we never saw another Excelsior Class Starship with bumpers in the 24th Century, it would be fair to assume that these added-on bumpers and other stuff were part of an ill-fated technological experiment where the advantages were outnumbered by the disadvantages.

    Quite possible that Starfleet arrived at such a conclusion during the time the Enterprise-B was back in drydock after her GEN damages, and decided not to repair the inflicted damage but instead to remove the damaged components.

    Bob
     
  17. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The NX-01 may have been significant to Earth, but to the Early Federation why would Enterprise be more important than Kumari for the Andorians etc. Maybe the new organization wanted new ships to have names distinct from the previous individual fleets?
     
  18. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Remember that the USS San Palo was renamed USS Defiant without an -A or anything. (mostly just so they could reuse footage).

    On the case of the Enterprise-B possibly becoming the Lakota, it would not be that there was a pervious USS Lakota that was lost that needed a new ship to have the name, it would be that someone high up wanted to use the name "Enterprise" for one of their new prestige explorer type starships. It could have even been a requirement to get the funding past the Council. So to free up the name, if you don't plan on retiring the ship, you have to rename the old Enterprise-B to something else. "Lakota" is as good a name as any other. It also probably wasn't an existing famous name, so it wouldn't have been on the reserve list for new starships. (Because last I checked, Native American nation names were reserved for fleet tugs in the US Navy. Generally Starfleet uses a mix of international capital ship names, famous Earth warships ship names from all nations (if not capital ships) and famous scientists from around the world for their starships. Then then starts to use famous names from other member worlds).

    As for between the NX-01 and NCC-1701. What about the name Enterprise being used by one of the other departments of the Federation? Just not a ship attached to UESPA or Starfleet. What about a Vulcan Starship Enterprise, or an Andorian starship Enterprise during that timeframe?
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This isn't always specified in the dialog though. It could easily be that the statement mainly refers to ships named USS Enterprise or to ships with one of the 1701 honorary registries (and would therefore exclude the two runabouts, a transport ship, a fleet tender and a warp-capable space shuttle replica which may or may not have been registered to Starfleet). That also explains why it would exclude NX-01, which ostensibly -- and according to the novels, DEFINITELY -- became a Federation starship upon founding, but never had a USS identifier. Ringship Enterprise probably isn't pre-federation either, but again, wouldn't have a USS identifier since it probably isn't a Starfleet vessel.

    There's also the fact that we have never had a clear understanding of the nature of Federation membership or the sovereignty of its individual members, so it is not totally clear what the difference is between "Federation starship" and "Earth Starship" especially since the two terms are used interchangeably in TOS.

    The thing is, at this point in history it would still be the public of United Earth more than anything. Enterprise was, if nothing else, instrumental in the founding of the Federation, the hero of the Xindi Crisis and the slayer of Terra Prime. It's actually just as likely if not more so to get a replacement than the original 1701, which passed quietly into retirement and wound up being scuttled by its own crew. If nothing else, they would have named a new Enterprise in honor of John Archer's presidency.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  20. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Actually it was.

    In TNG's "Relics," when Scotty asked to see a holodeck recreation of the Enterprise, the ship's computer wanted to know which one and specifically said:
    "There have been five Federation starships with that name."

    Can't get much simpler than that, really.

    That's really my point.
    Not necessarily. Retiring the ship and moving it to a museum was probably enough of an honor. And for several decades, when most people thought of the Enterprise, they thought of NX-01 and none other.