Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

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

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Eh, but NCC-1700 was shown on the status chart on screen. Unless it's the prototype, and unless Mr. Jefferies's comments allowed this out for the prototype, it's hard to reconcile.

    Better than the rationalization I've sometimes seen - such as it being the cadet class from the Enterprise. :rommie:

    Forgive me - do you mean to assert then that the TOS version of the ship is the 16th design, and the 17th design is how she appears in the movies? I must be missing something because that doesn't quite work.

    Agreed. I once presupposed that Class 16 was a design that looked almost like the Constitution class - so much so that you almost couldn't tell the difference with a simple swap of the nacelles and a couple other details. All supposition, of course. But ignoring the 16xx registries as Constitutions makes more sense IMO.

    You know, the extensive refit of the Enterprise as seen in TMP is kind of an oddball overall. Jefferies presupposed that the engines at least were modular and easily swapped.

    We know, of course, the real-world reason for the extensive external refit of the Enterprise... but it's really the only such refit we've seen; one where the ship's exterior changed dramatically. The only remotely similar cases I can think of are the three-nacelled D from "All Good Things" and the Enterprise-E from "Nemesis"... the former being in an anti-time future, the latter being so minute we might just ignore it and assume the ship looked one way or the other all along.

    We can presuppose that older designs seen in TNG onward utilized newer tech in a way that is not visually discernible other than the odd random nacelle glow here or there... or maybe they're really not that different internally than the were in the movies era. In any case, the TMP refit seems to be the only case we've seen where, again the design changed externally in a very dramatic way... which makes me lean towards thinking that such refits are uncommon, and the reasons for the Enterprise undergoing one are somewhat obscure.
     
  2. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    ^These cases of refit may have been instances of high profile politics trumping practicality. Of course, production wise it was a "have their cake and eat it too" compromise. They wanted it to be the same ship from TOS, but wanted freedom to update the design for the big screen. This idea would have been more credible with the initial Phase II design, but after all the changes by Andy Probert, it became much harder to see as the same ship. Likely the reason we didn't see that concept used much after is that Trek never had such a huge leap in quality and budget for effects as TOS to TMP. And when such changes did happen, they were with different ships or locations. Probably the next closest is probably Nemesis to Star Trek 2009, but we have an alternate reality to explain the differences.

    Though internally, we do see lots of the Excelsiors, Oberths, and Mirandas sporting the "TNG" aesthetic inside. And with the warp speed effect using the Q-flash instead of the cartoons streaks suggest substantial changes to their warp systems.

    In universe, one might suppose that in both the TMP and TNG timeframe, ENTERPRISE carries so much political weight that starfleet will undertake these impractical overhaul and space frame modifications simply so they can claim it is the same ship on paper. Though it is likely more cost effective (or as close to in a "moneyless" society) to simply build a new ship from ground up. We don't see much of the civilian sphere in TOS and TNG. But having one of those ship save earth from VGER and another save earth from the Borg, may have started a rabid fanaticism on Earth (the likes of which never seen on this website) that, short of her complete destruction, would not allow starfleet to ever retire the Enterprise. For all we know, one of the national holidays is Enterprise Day.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Alas, ENT then shows that the Q flash "always" was part of the warp technology. And then ST:NEM showed that warp engines can have contrails (this time of smoky nature) despite having the flash. And the alternate timeline sort of has the flash, even if it isn't of the exact shape of the Q finger-snap any more.

    Perhaps the difference in warp visuals is not a matter of technology (since we've seen Klingon and Jem'Hadar warp from "inside" and "outside", too, and it looks the same as contemporary Federation warp), but of vantage point? Perhaps you see TNG streaks when the camera is at a certain position vs. the warp field, but TOS/TOS-movie stars when it is at another position - and rainbow contrails when it's at standstill and the ship wooshes past, but no contrails when it follows alongside the ship?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Crap -- I forgot about Ent. Hmmm... maybe that an argument that Ent is a alternate future created by First Contact / pick your own point and reason of divergence. And so did the Phoenix in First Contact as I recall.

    Or maybe it is purely cosmetic, just a little bit of bling chosen by starfleet as sort of an identifying beacon. Then warp really just looks like it did in TOS, with no particular light or streak effect, and these things are just added. Different styles of flashes and streaks go in and out of style depending on the era. Which could make sense if, you want to have a way to quickly identify yourself as soon as you enter or leave a sector.
     
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is a very succinct way of describing events more or less just as I've seen them too. :techman:

    It's interesting, we more or less "know" that swapping a bridge is an easy thing. Warp nacelles look modular, and corridors and room modules, at least according to backstage materials, are probably fairly modular too... OTOH most of what we saw for ship's innards was probably either aesthetic or coincidental. (The fact that the TUC ship interiors resemble the TNG era and the TFF interiors are nearly identical actually helps.) Further, it appears that the Enterprise-A and Excelsior had warp cores rather similar to the Enterprise-D, which may in and of itself be coincidental but may also signal the first appearance of a modern warp core.

    I've always leaned towards this notion too. But, let's be open-minded about it; it doesn't have to be the only possibility. Canonically, all we really know is that the Enterprise's appearance changed significantly when she was probably 25 years old, yet ships that are at least this old, on designs that we know to be older, were never seen to have changed so drastically.

    The way I see it there are these possibilities, not all of which are mutually exclusive:

    1. The Enterprise was so important, symbolism necessitated her refit/preservation
    2. The refit process as seen on the Enterprise is actually fairly common, and it's a coincidence that we haven't seen it
    3. The refit process is fairly easy, but the Federation generally chooses to simply build new ships instead
    4. Refits like this were once typical in the 23rd century, but technological progress changed somehow so that by the 24th century such drastic changes were rendered unnecessary
    January 17th, of course? ;)
     
  6. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Agree with all these. The fast is, we saw too few of the refit-style constitution type ships in the movies, and know even less about their backstories, to be able to conclude one way or another. Additionally, a problem with the political forces is that up until TMP, the only notable think we know that Enterprise did was make it back intact from the five year mission (not that there aren't some undocumented adventures that equaled or rivaled that feat). The refit happened before the VGER incident.

    Though I feel that there was some MAJOR political forces at work in the wake of the Genesis incident that combined with saving Earth in TVH, greatly affected the Federation for many years. Of course, that is just my own personal continuity -- we unfortunately are given comparatively little insight in the political machinations of the federation outside of the areas affecting our intrepid crew.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  7. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Since I have to assume that you visited the other two threads I recommended, I now assume that you merely want to test whether I still hold on to my "erroneous" and heretical belief that the TOS Enterprise is not a member of the Constitution Class. ;)

    We saw it on the starship status chart as the starship the farthest from being "complete"!
    Greg Jein himself eventually conceded at the end of his treatise that it might be a starship still under construction (perhaps the Defiant?).

    Since it hasn't yet been settled whether the last two digits refer to a construction contract (Jefferies' premise but apparently revised by "NCC-1697") or an arbitrarily assigned contact code, the "00" in "1700" could merely be a placeholder for a yet to be assigned contact number which can turn out to be "00" (Excelsior), "01" (Enterprise), "02" (Oberth) et cetera.

    No, I'm asserting that Greg Jein, Bjo Trimble and Mike Okuda can't have cake and eat it, too. They wanted us to have starships with a prefix beginning with "16" to be members of the Constitution Class and there these go.

    As the first bird and the first ship of the 17th series (Matt Jefferies in perfect sync with the statements of Bob Justman and Whitfield/Roddenberry in The Making of Star Trek) the TOS Enterprise therefore is the first ship of its class, the Enterprise Class.

    So the whole issue essentially comes down to the question who is the authority deciding such matters for us:

    3 fans of which none was ever involved with the actual production of TOS or the 3 men that created Star Trek and the Enterprise?!?!

    It still doesn't take a split second for me to decide which side I'm on and to whom I'm listening. ;)

    Quite the contrary as I tried to illustrate with the Constitution Class NCC-1701-A in contrast to the Enterprise Class NCC-1701.

    We do not know what actually does constitute a difference to distinct the 16th from the 17th design. As you suggested it might have been different warp nacelles or different internal arrangements.

    Since Bjo Trimble, Greg Jein and Mike Okuda (TOS-R) insist we saw starships of the 16th design in TOS I won't rule out the possibility these had more cargo container hatches on the engineering hull than the Enterprise. Such a feature wasn't discernible in the VFX footage but upon close examination it would have become very noticable - in-universe, that is.

    Bob
     
  8. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know me too well sir. That, and I can't help but play devil's advocate. ;)

    Ah, but who knows what "complete" means? Complete could mean repairs, refits, or any number of related in-betweens. It doesn't necessarily have to indicate construction status.

    Hm, I have to admit, that could indeed be possible.

    Reading TMoST, I do have to agree, that's the conclusion I'd draw.

    Ah, now I better understand. I still don't completely agree, but I do understand. If your point is to point out how tenuous the shaky ground connecting Constitution class to NCC-1700, then I do agree, it's shaky. But, Khan (and later Scotty) were both studying schematics for the Constitution class. It could just be coincidence.
     
  9. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Doesn't that also raise the problem of Constellation appearing to be a sister ship of Enterprise despite her 1017 registry?
     
  10. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Well there are a few variations of the TOS Enterprise-type ships.
    1. The TOS Enterprise herself, NCC-1701 as seen in Seasons 1-3.
    2. A line drawing of the Enterprise as seen on the displays in "The Enterprise Incident" that had a beveled saucer edge and warp nacelles in a different position. I like to call this the "Pre-(Captain) Pike" version.
    3. The USS Constellation, NCC-1017 which was based on the AMT? kit which had slightly different shapes for the hull.

    It could very well be that the Constellation is a different class, or the same class but not upgraded, or a variant of the base class, whatever that is. :D
     
  11. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Or to take a page from history, maybe the Enterprise is a one off of its own class, which was scuttled / revised into another class for additional production. Much like how the recently retired carrier Enterprise CVN-65 is the only of her class, and was so impractical to build and maintain that they developed the Nimetz class. In fact, the carrier was also an Enterprise class.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Enterprise_(CVN-65)
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, the infamous MK IX/01 long range primary phaser schematic of a "starship" of a "Constitution Class".

    Khan told Lt. McGivers that he had been studying "manuals" (i.e. more than one) of Federation starships. Apparently and to grasp the technological evolution that lead to the 17th starship design he also studied previous manuals and one did feature an older "Constitution Class".

    Scotty studied the same schematic in "The Trouble With Tribbles" as part of a technical journal (and not the Enterprise's manual!), but did not participate in any social rec room activities.
    If he's looking at the primary phaser of the Enterprise then I have to wonder why?
    Because it's like a teenager staring at a centerfold, while the real thing is down in the basement waiting to be examined! ;)

    But that's the essential fact: The whole assumption that the TOS Enterprise is a starship of the Constitution Class is based on a screen excerpt and a phaser schematic (indiscernible to read in the TOS footage) with no evidence that this phaser actually belongs to the Enterprise.
    While every ship of the Constitution Class is obviously a starship, not every starship is automatically one that belongs to the Constitution Class.

    @ Nob Akimoto

    The Constellation in "The Doomsday Machine" could just have been named and numbered to honor the achievements of a previous starship with that name and number, not too dissimilar what happened to the starship that became the Enterprise-A.

    Bob
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    .
    Well, rather fundamentally dissimilar - the E-A had a registry unique to that starship, as far as we can tell. Bureaucrats wouldn't allow for it being impossible to tell apart the Constellation from the Constellation!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or, it's a schematic of the refit phaser bank that he's managed to get his hands on... ;)

    Generally agreed.

    It provokes, though, a sort of philosophical discussion, not directed at you but just a general observation. Later Trek productions have assumed, at least as far as background materials are concerned, that the Enterprise was Constitution class, and as such it has crept into the production in various forms. This is similar to other assumptions, ranging from the time in which TMP was set to a ship called Yorktown being renamed Enterprise.

    I guess the ultimate question is this: if an assumption with a false premise is used to create visuals and other such materials which may later make the premise appear true, which conclusion should we draw? If the false premise has been validated by later evidence, even if we know it to originally be false, even if the evidence of truth stems from the false assumption, does that in fact make it true?
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Tell us something we don't know! If the original Constellation was a starship of the 10th (and therefore older) design, chances are high that the ship was lost in action, decommissioned, donated to the Starfleet museum or whatever.
    Chances are high that by the time Matt Decker's Constellation is on active duty (16th or 17th design?) the original one no longer is.

    @ Praetor

    You are finally the second (as far as I've been able to learn) who understands the essential, philosophical and ethical purpose of the debate! :luvlove:

    My viewpoint is clear: Not to acknowledge he original intentions of the creators would be an act of ingratitude and disrespect, to acknowledge the retcon revisions of the subsequent producers would be like rewarding them for bad behaviour (i.e. inaccurate and lackluster research).

    The worst offender here is undoubtedly the bridge plaque of the USS Defiant in "In a Mirror, Darkly". The producers knew that it said "Starship Class" on the original bridge plaque in "The Tholian Web" (in a manner of reading "... Enterprise Starship Class"). To have that altered into "Constitution Class" was clearly an act of arrogance and disrespect at the expense of the original producers.

    Bob
     
  16. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    I think it's largely a matter of perspective. I don't think it's fair to say that the premise followed by later producers in order to flesh out the series, namely deciding that the TOS Enterprise is specifically a Constitution class cruiser, was done because of disrespect or inadequate research. No more than the fact that the Klingon culture in TNG was shown to have a concept of honor (which they didn't always follow, just like humans :D) is inherently at odds (or has to be at odds) with the entry given when TMoST was published. That's why the Defiant plaque was changed when "In A Mirror Darkly" was made, because the franchise had evolved since then and it didn't make sense to use "Starship class" in the vein that might have been contemplated in the 1960s. That's my two cents anyway.
     
  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Eh, I kinda agree with both of you. I disliked the change to the plaque, primarily because it was inconsistent with TOS. But, I can see where Bob is coming from by calling it disrespectful, too.

    I guess where I come from is trying to use all the clues provided to interpret a realistic look at a fictional universe, warts and all. There are some things that are hard to explain and some things that are annoying.

    I have often wondered how fans (including myself) would have reacted had the TOS-R team changed the Constellation's registry to NCC-1710. I don't think I'd have minded. OTOH, I disliked that they showed the Intrepid's registry in "Court Martial" and in some ways I disliked that they so clearly showed Mudd's stolen ship. In the TNG vein, the differences between the six-foot and four-foot Enterprise models but me... yet I can accept they're the same ship. Then there's the changing scale of the Defiant.

    I suppose what really bothers me more than anything else is inconsistency - but I also agree that respecting creative intent is rather paramount. I suppose, though, the fact that some of these false assumptions have been taken and ran with means, though, that if we're to take a hollistic look at the Trekverse, we do indeed have to accept those annoying warts, 1017 and all :rommie:
     
  18. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the question is whether the Relics or Trial and Tribulations dedication plaque has this revision as well. It is one thing to fill in the blanks retroactively with what is now known, but if those three depictions of the plaque are not consistent, its problematic to make conclusion from IAMD. I suspect they say "Starship Class" but I cannot find a clear enough picture. Anyone have insight on this?
     
  19. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I much prefer 'starship' as TYPE rather than class. I always just viewed a ship's class as the name of the first ship of that design to be built. Thus I couldn't shake the feeling that "Starship class" would require a USS Starship. :lol:

    This may be revisionism, but it's one I can live with. Constitution CLASS; Starship TYPE. No biggie. :shrug:

    And why is it a problem to show registry numbers for ships like the Intrepid? Those were never given numbers onscreen in the original broadcasts. So giving them some now is hardly earth shattering. Just filling in details we didn't previously know.
     
  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    That would make sense. I think the only "exception" is with the Sao Paolo being renamed to the Defiant in DS9. Although the dialogue doesn't specify it, the later FX show the new Defiant with her old registry number.