Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by CharlieZardoz, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    No need to start making threats or bring in "the argument of authority" as heavy artillery. Okay, you still disagree, but I'm not exactly sure which parts you disagree with.

    Or do you seriously want to suggest that a Pan American pilot who actually flew the Connie and an aviator who created the Enterprise in the early 1960's would have ever referred to the Starship Enterprise as "Connie"?

    @ C.E. Evans

    Rewatched the scene from "The Naked Now" with (UK) DVD subtitles the other night which read "The Starship Enterprise, commanded by Captain James T. Kirk". Apparently, the subtitle editor also had issues with Constitution Class, as the correct quote refers, indeed, to "Constitution Class" (NCC-1701-A?). Sorry 'bout that.

    Yes, everyone else seems to accept it, but it is obvious there are other interpretations - and these are not without reason.

    Where you are mislead, IMO, is to think that "personal conjecture" has anything to with it, it is a question of respect for the people that created Star Trek.

    The dialogue from "Bread and Circuses" puts emphasis on the fact that "starships" are the top-of-the-line class of Federation vessels, hence "Starship Class". And according to Bob Justman and The Making of Star Trek apparently not just to "Starship Class" but to "Enterprise Starship Class".

    Just because this has been constantly ignored doesn't make it vanish into thin air. It's a coherent and continous red thread that began in The Making of Star Trek, continued with the official TMP Blueprints ("new Enterprise Class") and finally saw a visual proof in the form of the "Enterprise Class" bridge simulator in ST II.

    Apparently, this whole name class crazyness really started with TNG. For all I care they could have invented a Ukulele Class but for me that didn't overwrite what had been established before. I don't ignore canon, I just don't accept revisionism at the expense of the canon that came first, its original creators or any original artist for that matter. :)

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  2. Manticore

    Manticore Manticore, A moment ago Premium Member

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    The original vision of Trek is no more valid than what came later (or else the Federation wouldn't exist in favor of United Earth). It has the benefit of being first, but we should also weigh the preponderance of evidence more highly than First! and as such, the Enterprise is a Constitution class starship.

    I'm not sure how there is any other valid interpretation if you acknowledge everything in the 22nd and 24th centuries at all.
     
  3. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    I'm more used to "Connie" as Constitution than Constellation - and Sunday was my first day as a civilian in 20 years!
    OTOH, for me, there's TOS. then there's the bastard cousin TNG/DS9, then there's the fading VGR, and everything else is in a different universe.
     
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, that's where you're mislead. Star Trek is the result of many different creators, each one fleshing out its universe as it goes along. It's always been a collaborative and steadily unfolding effort, with sometimes later material supplanting earlier material (at times, by the same creators).

    It's been officially established that the original Enterprise, NCC-1701, was a Constitution-class starship. She may not have been referred to as such in actual dialogue in TOS, but even as far back as 1966's "Space Seed," that was the name that was ultimately given for her design and it was finally confirmed in dialogue a couple of decades later in both TNG and DS9.
     
  5. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Except that the creator of the Enterprise, Walter Matt Jefferies, stated in the early 2000's in books and interviews (BBC-online) the same as in his original pre-production sketch with the text annotations: That the TOS Enterprise was "the first bird" and the "first in the [17th] series".

    As the courteous gentleman he was, I'm confident he didn't want to offend anyone believing in "Constitution Class". Therefore he just stated as it was, leaving it to us to draw the proper conclusions from it - or not.

    The Making of Star Trek established the original NCC-1701 to be an "Enterprise-class starship". Since this is the account of Bob Justman and Gene Roddenberry/Stephen Whitfield, the TOS producers and creators, it can't get any more "official" than that, IMO.
    And, again, Khan is referring to multiple starship designs and Constiution Class is just one of these.

    Bottom line: My ongoing problem with retroactive continuity is that it doesn't mind "putting words into people's mouths" which these individuals never said or intended (e.g. Matt Jefferies).

    I think it's fair to assume that nobody reading this would like to have something like that happening to him and her, but when that happens to others it's okay because its an acceptable sacrifice for the Holy Cow G.U.T.?

    If something needs to be rationalized it's the flaws of retroactive continuity that contradict earlier canon whereever this is possible, which in this case I think it is:

    Starships like the Enterprise beginning with a "16" belong to the Constitution Starship Class, those beginning with a "17" to the Enterprise Starship Class. The refit NCC-1701 is ESC, NCC-1701-A is CSC.

    Simple, elegant and easy to understand because it answers most of the questions, IMO. ;)

    Bob
     
  6. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    Well put :techman: I see it the same way and for the same reasons.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the end, she's still a Constitution-class starship. Personal sentiment might be important to you, but that's about it.
    Doesn't really change anything. It's just what you personally believe, but it goes against canon. I think I'll stick with canon, and I doubt I'm alone in that.
    :)
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    To me it looks like our interpretation of "canon" is incompatible.

    The way I see it "canon" is foremost "first comes, first serves", also to ensure respect for the intentions of the original creators. I think we all owe them that much, at least.

    It seems that according to your interpretation of "canon" what is said last and alters, revises or overwrites previous canon is the neo-canon. Thus neo-canon prospers at the expense of previous canon and therefore has a somewhat ungrateful and parasitical nature, IMHO.

    Most assuredly you're not alone as I can immediately think of 4-5 other BBS members that interpret "canon" the way you do.

    But it's Star Trek and IDIC, so we can agree to disagree. :)

    Bob
     
  9. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not even later TOS adhered to this system, much less the films and the sequels. So as much as you personally adhere to it, it's invalid as far as the actual show is concerned.

    So you can think for Jefferies as well?

    No, what is established on screen always takes precedence over what was written in a book. Even the current franchise-holders adhere to that.

    Well, I'm sorry but that's too bad, because like C.E. Evans said, Star Trek isn't just the property of one guy.

    You're being overly dramatic. These people were being paid to make a TV show in the '60's. I seriously doubt that they (including Jefferies) took this shit anywhere near as seriously as you are.

    And as I said to you before, if it helps you sleep at night to believe this, then good for you. Just don't expect others to think the same way.

    Canon is, and has always been, whatever the person currently in charge of the franchise says it is (or isn't). What anyone personally thinks is meaningless as far as that is concerned.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's totally your own thing, but it really has no bearing at all to what canon actually is.
    No, canon is always what is currently official material. That was true back in 1966.

    That's a purist viewpoint, and a rather extreme one at that. It calls for the rejection of official material that doesn't meet a personal preference or belief.
    The way canon actually is. And we're probably among millions that do.
     
  11. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    You are not talking about a single work by one author, but about a long-standing commercial property that has been and continues to be produced by many different people. It has been and will be updated, modified, or altered in any way the owners or their designated representatives see fit, including possible contraction of what came before. And this was true almost right from the beginning: In TMoST, Gene Roddenberry was already contradicting TOS while it was still on the air.

    The results are not always satisfying to me, personally, but to expect otherwise is not realistic.
     
  12. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    (Not that anyone cares about my two cents... but I'll toss 'em in here anyhow...)

    The fact is that any work of fiction is a continual process of editing. What I mean to say is that if you, let's say, read a novel, you are reading the final-est version of the story which the the author sent to press. Along the way, the setting, the characters, the events and the order they happen in are massaged continually until they finally arrive where the author feels they best serve the story. But, in a sense, what you are reading is really just a snap-shot of the story in a given editorial phase.

    Sometimes even the author isn't happy with it and wants to go back and fiddle with it a bit more. George Lucas is a prime example of this. For better or worse, this guy just can't seem to let his vision of Star Wars alone. There have been, what, three or four different editions of the trilogy with stuff added or deleted or otherwise edited in some fashion?

    A weekly television show, like Star Trek is a different animal. The author (or in this case, Executive Producer supported by a number of individual authors) doesn't really get the chance to go back and monkey with it in hopes of refining it to a "better" post-release edit. But, they do get to edit themselves and refine ideas as the show progresses. As has been pointed out, Star Trek began with the Enterprise flying under EUSPA authority, then after a while became under Star Fleet command (while assuming that it was under SFC the whole time) and much later going from being an Earth ship to working for the UFP, again, with the assumption that it had always been working for the UFP. Also, the ship's power: In seasons one and two, most references seem to indicate strongly that the generation happens in the nacelles, yet many third season plots seem to indicate a backstage assumption that the generator was indeed in the hull at least near-ish the Main Engineering room.

    It seems to me that this thread is mainly a few guys passionately arguing their opinions (dare I say evangelizing!). Depending on your assumptions, either position could be valid. I enjoy following Robert Comsol's mental gymnastics, but, if I have one criticism, it's that one need not be so violent about where one draws the G.U.T. line. You, sir, rail against Unified Theory attempting to tie together the entire franchise, yet embrace a Unified Theory tying together the original 80 hours, even though the evidence for an evolving backstage concept is readily demonstrable no matter where one draws the G.U.T. line.

    Now, without going to re-read TMoST before I type this, my recollection of all the "Enterprise Class Starship" business is that this was mainly mentioned in memos written as the show was getting its "space-legs" so-to-speak in the formative times before "Star Fleet" or "the Federation" were nailed down.

    I think it's fair to say that Gene Roddenberry and co. were probably on-board with the Constitution-class nomenclature from early on and that Kahn's viewer graphic, later recycled as Scotty's Tech Journal were intended to indicate a class for our intrepid hero's starship--other logical assumptions be damned. My reason for thinking such is that the original Star Trek Concordance which was made while the show was still on air states as much, and it was written my Bjo Trimble, who seems to have had extraordinary access to cast and crew while assembling her references. Also, GR's use of the term in his TMP novelization and in "The Naked Now" (the first production episode of TNG, when GR was still very much involved with the show) suggest to me that he was perfectly fine the Enterprise being a Constitution-class starship.

    My take? I figure the Enterprise was built as a Constitution-class Cruiser. At this point it would be considered a "CRUISER-CLASS." After Kirk's first mission to the galactic rim, she was refit for a larger crew and a longer (read: 5 year) exploration mission and thus received the much coveted "STARSHIP-CLASS" status and got a shiny new dedication plaque to tell you about it. After that, it was decided to use Enterprise as a test-bed for basically everything and she was refit like mad (TMP) thus making her a unique vessel and identified as Enterprise-class (TWOK). Lessons were learned, other ships were built using the resulting technology. By the time of TUC, Enterprise had been destroyed over Genesis and all other Constitution-class ships had either been mothballed or refit to a common new standard (like the 1701-A in TFF and TUC), so they retained the Constitution-class designation, since all were the same now. Imagine some bureaucratic bookkeeping logic to make this all work and it makes sense to me, while still fitting all the on-screen evidence.

    Your mileage may freely vary.

    I'm going to bed. Later.

    --Alex
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I do because you're open-minded and usually don't cling on conjectural assumptions that turned into dogma, so thanks for your feedback.

    Yes, because of different interpretations of "canon". I'm not aware that Gene Roddenberry left us with a Rosetta Stone how to interpret canon one way or the other.

    This must be a misunderstanding. I do not rail against G.U.T. in general. On the contrary I love to see gaps filled and back stories provided which constitute threads to weave a larger tapestry of the vision that is Star Trek.

    I only rebel when I see threads introduced which deliberately or accidentally remove already existing "threads". Usually the result of inadequate research and/or lack of interest ("It's just a Show") and/or personal bias (e.g. Romulan Star Empire crest featured in "The Enterprise Incident") or a combination of either three.

    To me that is essentially bad and/or unethical behavior and I for one can't possibly accept this as a "truth". I do not try to find fault. On the contrary I look for solutions how to rationalize such latest revisions and alterations but, and again, it's these revisions and alterations that require a rationalization, then, but not the source material.

    Sorry, but I think the exact contrary is the case here. D.C. Fontana said they should establish the names of the "Starship Class" sister ships of Enterprise. Bob Justman wrote back "Enterprise Starship Class". In the other threads it was suggested he didn't mean it (how can we be sure?), but then he could simply spared himself the letters and just say "Enterprise starships" (just as many here spare themselves the typing when they use "Connie").
    And the description of the mission and men clearly reads "Enterprise-class starships".

    Had the Producers seriously accepted Constitution Class they would have never made any statements such as this because these definitely suggest otherwise!

    And, again, the schematic of "Constitution Class" just popped up in the context of one of several "starship manuals" in "Space Seed".

    In the other threads the possibility was suggested that Bjo was deliberately replacing "Starship Class" references with "Constitution Class" and that she simply adopted Greg Jein's NCC registries (I had always wondered where these had come from until I finally read Greg Jein's treatise. It is a must-read to understand where "Constitution Class" came from and especially how! :rolleyes:).

    Valid Points. Of course we need to consider that Gene Roddenberry personally and with his signature authenticated the official TMP blueprints which said "new Enterprise Class" which is also the designation that ended up on the bridge simulator door sign.
    It's possible that Constitution Class starships (16th design) are stronger than Enterprise Class starships, so in the context of the TMP novelization you'd wonder how your strongest starships would cope with the latest Klingon Battlecruisers.

    Maybe I'm the only one to see a pattern in the M-5 attack on the other starships in "The Ultimate Computer". The M-5 didn't take out the lead ship but first and foremost a stronger one of the Constitution Class (USS Excalibur, NCC-1664). ;)

    As for the original scene in "The Naked Now", as blssdwlf has repeatedly noted, we do only see an Enterprise refit shape which Picard comments with "Constitution Class" (which NCC-1701-A obviously is). Here they could have used the erroneous screen graphic from ST III but still they didn't.

    If the Constitution Class had been the first design series resembling the later NCC-1701 and the last to undergo a refit (NCC-1701-A) it stands to reason, IMHO, that 80 years later people in the 24th Century no longer make a Vulcan-style differentiation but refer to a particular line that's remembered best, i.e. the Constitution Class (which is my personal rationalization for "Relics" and the subsequent DS9 Episode with the erroneous deck numbering).

    And I've presented a simple G.U.T. rationalization without convolution (and which has the advantage that it doesn't work at the expense of the original creators). :)

    Bob
     
  14. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :guffaw:
     
  15. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I think this is my main objection to your proposal. We get the idea throughout TOS that Enterprise (of series 17) is the top-of-the-line A-number-one type of vessel. Now, in princible, I have no problem with a subsequent design being in some ways inferior to its predecessor, (for example, the series 18 ship, like Reliant would seem less capable in some ways than the series 17 ships... more so in others) but I'm left with from viewing the show that NCC-17:01 is supposedly the hotness all the time. I would think that should rule out the possibility that series 16 would be the liklier match against a new Klingon ship. Since Enterprise was the best-in-show for Star Fleet, and it was series 17, then we must conclude that Kirk was wondering how the new Klingon ship would fair against the current best Star Fleet had to offer, which, seems to me would be a series 17 ship, as those have already outclassed series 16. Therefore, it seems very unlikely to me that the Constitution-class of Roddenberry's TMP novelization refers to the series 16 ships.

    Anyway, I'm goofing off at work right now typing this, so I better get back to business.

    --Alex
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed, but what exactly defines top-of-the-line? Armament or other qualities like versatility, improved sensor equipment, faster warp engines, third M/AM reactor, capability to perform independent long range missions ("5-year-mission") without fuel stops etc.?

    There are several indications that the pre-TOS era saw its fill of armed conflict (e.g. Donatu V) and starships with better firepower might have been the preference of these days (i.e. 16th starship series).

    At the beginning of TOS (starting with "The Cage") we see an era of relative peace, so the Enterprise might have been designed at a period were superior firepower was a lesser concern and other capabilities mattered (before tensions with the Klingons and Romulans became a major issue, again).

    And if the Enterprise had been the strongest ship in Starfleet, why choose her for the M-5 test and send two "inferior" starships of the 16th design (Excalibur and Potemkin) against her?

    Since the other four starships were prepared only for a simulation, why didn't that smart M-5 computer take out the lead ship Lexington (17th design) first and go after the other starships in the following confusion and chaos? To destroy the "inferior" starship first while you still got "bigger fish to fry" doesn't seem that smart, but if the if the M-5 considered the Excalibur to be a bigger threat its actions would make more sense to me.

    Bob
     
  17. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    What? None of the ships in the task force had visible registries in the original version of the episode. As far as the original intent of the episode goes, Enterprise and M-5 were going up against four other ships that were each the same as Enterprise. Potemkin and Excalibur didn't get associated with 16xx registries until after the fact. So the order in which M-5 took out the other ships doesn't really matter, since they were all intended to be equal strength.

    And even if we assume that Excalibur and Potemkin are inferior to Enterprise, why would that invalidate the M-5 test choice? They're still pitting the Enterprise against four "enemy" ships... on paper Enterprise should always lose that engagement, even if two of the ships are from the previous class of ship.

    (And yes, I understand that your theory is that Excalibur and Potemkin were actually superior to Enterprise, but I'm addressing the question of why SF would send two "inferior" ships in the first quoted paragraph. If the 16th design was superior, sending one 17 against two 17s and two 16s would be even more unbalanced than if the 17th design was superior to the 16th. If they were even intended to be two different designs in the first place. Which they weren't. ;))
     
  18. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I won't bother quoting the whole post, but I gotta side with Avro Arrow on this one. I really don't think an argument can be drawn from the M-5 experiment.

    However, you may have a point regarding superior firepower in a series 16 ship over a series 17. At least in principle.

    And, while I grant that you do indeed have a valid point, I'm still not sure it's a point that needs to be made. See my last paragraph in post #212 for an equally valid series of assumptions where the name Constitution still ends up on the series 17 ships. It also allows us to have our "Enterprise-class" cake and eat it too.

    I must admit, you're about to inspire me to break out TMoST and try to suss out exactly when in the production timeline the Enterprise-class business happened and if it remained persistent after the "Space Seed" pre-production.

    At any rate, I respect your right to hold your own opinion and I thank you for sharing it. It's been some interesting food for thought.

    --Alex
     
  19. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed. But IMO, we can't have cake and eat it, too, i.e. accept Greg Jein's conjectural "Constitution Class" but disregard his conjectural registries.

    Let's not kid ourselves. Greg Jein's treatise is obviously the reason why "Constitution Class" made it into the Star Trek Concordance along with the registries in the first place which was adopted by the Okuda's Encyclopedia and therefore constitutes the "dogma" Dukhat found so funny (good, I'd rather be the reason for fun than agony).

    "Millions" of fans accepted the content of these publications as canon and in good faith assuming that the "experts" had performed accurate research and would be able to provide evidence if ever asked for.

    I can't possibly find fault with Jein's interpretation of the text in The Making of Star Trek that let him conclude there were only 12 starships in Starfleet and therefore the registries in the starship status chart from "Court Martial" belonged to these 12. Though I equally don't think that's what the producers had really wanted, my personal preference here is irrelevant.

    The similar look of the 16th and 17th starship design would conveniently serve to explain the "Enterprise Class" (NCC-1701) vs. "Constitution Class" (NCC-1701-A) and be a historic precedent enabling the rationalization of the similar look of the 18th design (Miranda) vs. the 19th (Soyuz).

    However, once we closely look for canon references on behalf of "Constitution Class" (and regardless of our interpretation of "canon"!), we will have to acknowledge that the only reliable one that suggests the TOS Enterprise to have been a Constitution Class starship is Sisko's remark in the DS9 episode "Trials and Tribble-ations".

    Bob

    P.S. Belay my "Trials and Trible-ations" assumption. I just realized we might be looking at a delicious inside joke only hardcore trekkers can understand and appreciate. More later, stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Remember that M-5 did target Lexington (lead ship) first. When Lexington changed course, M-5 likely went after the next closest ship which was the Excalibur. After delivering a direct hit, she again turned on the Lexington. Potemkin and Hood were already withdrawing leaving the remaining ships at the mercy of M-5. Lexington was hit again and then Excalibur (the fatal hit). And then Potemkin.

    All total, Lexington suffered at least 3 hits while the Excalibur 2 and Potemkin 1. M-5 was apparently putting more effort on the lead ship, the Lexington, but Excalibur was clearly the most unlucky when it came to receiving damage.


    As to the "Constitution Class" issue, what's the problem again? Why can we not consider that the Enterprise when first built was a Constitution Class and then was modified to become a Starship Class and then later her own Enterprise Class? And then her sister ships were re-classified back to Constitution Class? Depending on when you describe the Enterprise, "Constitution Class" could be valid as a general class and "Starship/Enterprise" classes a sub-class.

    If we look at the cruisers USS Boston and USS Canberra, they were originally Baltimore Class and then Boston was modified and became the lead ship of her own class (or subclass) which the Canberra joined. Both ships were then reclassified back to their original Baltimore class. And Starship Class isn't that odd when you think about the 18 ships and some classes named for "Cruiser Class" (as in HMS Cruiser).
     

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