Was the Enterprise A actually the Yorktown?

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

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ They only did that (reuse the number NX-74205 onscreen) because of the 'stock footage' problem.
     
  2. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Sure. The question would be would they change it in future video releases? If not, then the new Defiant kept her old registry.
     
  3. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    I'd imagine if they ever do DS9-R like they might alter it. Though seeing as how they kept a lot of the problematic registry stuff in TOS-R I'm not convinced.
     
  4. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    In-universe, I would think that there were a number of years between the commissioning of the Enterprise and of the Defiant, and in the interim Starfleet decided to use the specific class name, rather than the generic "Starship Class". I personally had no problem with the Defiant's plaque reading "Constitution Class".

    I would hazard a guess that no disrespect was intended.

    Personally, I've always thought of the Constellation of a different, earlier class, since the use of the AMT model meant there were some differences between it and the Enterprise. And we didn't see many sets, but wasn't Constellation's auxiliary control different from Enterprise's as well? I was actually disappointed that the TOS-R team didn't play up the differences and make Constellation more visibly different, and instead just made her a standard Constitution class.

    (OT: pre-TNG, I used to refer to this as other class as Constellation class, since many of the early novels accidentally used this name when they meant Constitution. But then "The Battle" went and messed that up! ;) )

    Besides, I would have mourned the loss of the Kongo... ;)

    It completely bugged me that they used those stupid Jein numbers. If you're weren't going to use FJ, at least make new ones up that started with 17.

    Yeah, that was just dumb. It was unfortunate they didn't create any new footage for the final episode. I would think in-universe that the new Defiant was actually NCC-75633. Sadly the post-finale novel covers stuck with NX-74205 too. :(
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They're just numbers. What's so stupid about them? :confused:

    Why is that important? Franz Joseph was no more canon than any other printed work - that is to say, none. Why are his numbers suddenly more gospel than anything else?
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree, and I'm not saying we should call her Starship Class. I'm saying that the plaque showed Starship Class, so unless you want to foist one interpretation of a vague topic on the whole audience, it's kind of silly, and more importantly, inconsistent, to change it.

    That's precisely why it's a problem to my mind. TOS was a totally different animal to modern-day Trek, leaving a lot of room for filling-in-the blanks. Just because fans working in production have chosen to interpret things one way and fill in the blanks as they see fit, doesn't make it correct. The fact that we didn't see it is all the more reason to not show it (needlessly in the case of Intrepid, I might add) now.

    That's how I rationalize it too.

    Not very hazardous, I'm sure you're probably right.

    I'm not sure about the control room, but yeah, that would have been interesting - at least make her a different color, maybe some different detailing on the sensor dish and nacelle caps.

    Eh, was it accidental? If the earliest number resembling the configuration was called Constellation, given the low registry, then indeed Constellation class may be more correct.

    My whole problem with that isn't anything relating to FJ... it's simply that the Jein numbering scheme doesn't make sense because it's built on false premises. The thought that all Constitution class ships would be shown on a repair chart for a particular starbase is just silly. And, on top of that, there was no reason to show the Intrepid so clearly as far as the plot went. Just show another sihp of the class orbiting further back. And, again, it wasn't established in TOS, so it's just a few people interpreting events as they see fit.

    I think they kind of ran their FX budget into the ground there at the end.
     
  7. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Well, as I've said in another thread, "Starship Class" should go the way of self-decanonization like "Vulcanians" and "Time Warp Drive". If people stop referring to it, it loses its influence over common perception and the more solidly established canon ("Constitution Class", "Vulcans", "Warp Drive") will fully assert themselves, permanently.
     
  8. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed...but I think it is already naturally happening.

    To me, changing the Defiant's plaque is just another way of calling attention to it, though.
     
  9. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Is it fair or is not? Here are the facts and after appropriate examination everyone can make up his or her mind.

    Right from the very start Gene Roddenberry made it abundantly clear and insisted that USS stands for “United Space Ship” and not “United States Ship”. His vision was that of an international crew and to give his words gravity, he approved Matt Jefferies mixing Soviet naval designations into the registry number (“NCC”) and changed the ship’s name from “Yorktown” (definitely an American name) into “Enterprise” (a more suitable name for a multi-ethnic ship).
    What we could have concluded (had we seriously wanted it) from the actual onscreen dialogue is that alphabetic letters, much the way the Soviets did that, were used to differentiate what type of starship we are looking at (“The Menagerie”: “J-Class starship” and “F-Class shuttlecraft”, just as the series didn’t feature “Earth Class” or “Vulcan Class” planets).

    And then Gene L. Coon joined the production team. I don’t know the political agenda he had but obviously the Klingons became an analogy for totalitarian Stalinists and apparently he wanted to see traditional American name classes established for Starfleet vessels (e.g. “Constitution Class” in “Space Seed” script) instead of these Commy alphabetic distinctions.
    But “Constitution Class” remained a footnote of a monitor display (!) and this shouldn’t come as a surprise. It would have constituted (pun) a contradiction to what Gene Roddenberry, Matt Jefferies (and Bob Justman?) had intended from the beginning on. Sounds like a wild guess but that doesn’t really seem to be the case:

    On August 8, 1967, Dorotha Fontana suggests to establish the names for the 12 ships of the Starship Class and provides a list with suggestions (Constitution is not on it). The next day ‘chief nitpicker’ Bob Justman responded, considered some of the proposed names, added a few of his own and insisted to have a Japanese name (at least we know where Kongo came from). And still the Constitution is not on his list…but Bob Justman refers to “Enterprise Starship Class”.
    How this correspondence continued we do not learn from The Making of Star Trek, but at some point the Constitution was established to be among those 12 ships, too.

    Fast forward to 1975 and Greg Jein’s influential treatise “The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship”. Greg Jein, just a Star Trek fan, then, published a theory how to match the official starship names with the numbers of the starship status display featured in “Court Martial”.

    And he concluded from a passage in The Making of Star Trek that the Valiant mentioned among the 12 names, couldn’t refer to the USS Valiant (Oberth Class?) from “A Taste of Armageddon” because that had happened 50 years before TOS while the ships like the Enterprise were no older than 40 years. Now where did he get that from?

    “The Enterprise-class starships have been in existence for about forty years…”

    It is impossible that Mr. Jein missed “Enterprise Class Starship”. And, of course, it stands to reason that the “01” of Enterprise’s NCC registry indicated her to be the first ship of her class and therefore the name giver (equally suggested by Matt Jefferies).

    But of course, this didn’t work for his weird theory, and rather than to make a theory based on facts, he “twisted” the facts to fit his theory and therefore didn’t even mention the “Enterprise Starship Class” reference/s.
    In doing so he disrespected the apparent intentions of the series’ creators, especially since he didn’t even bother to discuss what the creators could have meant with “Enterprise Starship Class” to try finding an excuse.

    In the case of Franz Joseph Schnaubelt and considering how much he obviously based his work on The Making of Star Trek we cannot exclude the possibility that he missed those two “Enterprise Starship Class” references but this is highly improbable. It may or may not have been an act of disrespect, but it was definitely inadequate research.

    Greg Jein’s weird theory was then adopted by (his friend) Bjo Trimble for her Star Trek Concordance and subsequently for Mike Okuda for his Star Trek Encyclopedia. Here I have to be blunt: If you remotely consider yourself to be some kind of Star Trek TOS expert, the reading of The Making of Star Trek is mandatory, IMO.

    If you do not or don’t pay attention the result is (and has been) inadequate research. And as a result of that we’re still stuck with this conjectural and/or erroneous “Constitution Class” for the TOS Enterprise.

    And here is a fresh thought coming out of my writing as an effort to appease the “Starship Class” haters. :)

    The bridge plaque aboard the TOS Enterprise correctly indicates “(USS) Enterprise - Starship Class” (i.e. the name giver and a starship of the Enterprise Class).
    The correct bridge plaque of the USS Miranda would have read “USS Miranda - Starship Class” while for the Reliant it would have probably read “USS Reliant - Miranda Class” or “USS Reliant - Miranda Starship Class”
    And Defiant’s (NCC-1764) would have been “USS Defiant – Enterprise Class” or “USS Defiant – Enterprise Starship Class”

    In simpler words: A person of the 23rd Century would immediately understand that she or he is on the bridge of an Enterprise Class Starship because all it says is “USS Enterprise – Starship Class” and not “USS Enterprise – Enterprise Starship Class” (the latter one sounds redundant and odd, doesn’t it?)

    So contrary to some claims I had to read in some posts here the producers, again, probably exactly knew what they were doing, but we were simply to blind and biased (myself included) not to consider this option. :rolleyes:

    Bob
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    So you see a master plan in one episode using letter-coded class names and fail to notice that no other episode ever used them?

    You're just being delusional again. There's no master plan. There's no agreement between the people who worked on Star Trek on what various things mean, if anything. The people who wrote Star Trek did not read TMoST. The people who wrote Star Trek did no listen to Matt Jeffries. Hell, the people who wrote TMoST didn't listen to Matt Jeffries!

    All we can do is make lemonade of rather thoroughly rotten apples. And since most of the rot is due to people believing they can divine the intentions of people who never put those intentions to action, that's the first thing that ought to go.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    I do like the idea about the Starship Class indicating that the name above IS the class and not that the class is Starship. I do need to read TMOST -- there was another book I had called The World of Star Trek that I liked so I will check this out.

    However, production wise, I imagine that wasn't a consideration. At the time, they were just beginning to build this universe and introduce it to the audience. One MAJOR detail that would need to be accurately conveyed to the 1960's audience is that this spaceship travels to worlds in other star systems, not just to the moon or planets in our solar system. To help drive this point, a major emphasis was made on using the word STARSHIP instead of SPACESHIP or ROCKETSHIP (caps for emphasis, not for yelling). So I can this being the main driver at the time that plaque setpiece was made. This is a Starship. Different classes came later as the producers figured out the universe, and the audience became more familiar with it.
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Since no other classification alternative (except for the small print on a display on a small monitor) was ever presented in TOS this is obviously what had been intended. I can't see what quantity has to with it.

    Look who's talking. That's not your usual style, Timo, debasing someone like you just did. Are you running out of arguments? Are you starting to realize that once we sever the conjectural connection between "Constitution Class" and the TOS Enterprise there are more answers and solutions than questions and discrepancies?

    :rofl: Apparently Bob Justman and Whitfield/Roddenberry did listen to Matt Jefferies, hence "Enterprise Starship Class" or "Enterprise Class Starship".

    I'm well aware that the worshippers of G.U.T. and desciples of Retcon use this kind of reasoning as the standard excuse for revisionism, poor research efforts and lack of interest to figure out what the original creators may have intended to tell us.

    Agreed, there's some post-TOS stuff that is rather rotten because of inadequate research efforts. Now you can either pass me the salt shaker or we enjoy the lemonade. :beer:
    Bob
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I think you may perhaps find pages 24 ("Cruiser Class"), 165 ("Enterprise Starship Class") and 203 ("Enterprise Class Starship") interesting.

    I shamefully admit I never read The World of Star Trek. Should you re-read it and find interesting stuff regarding Trek Tech related issues, please feel free to share it with us. Thanks!

    Bob
     
  14. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    I haven't heard of NCC being a Soviet influence or Enterprise being a more multi-ethnic name (as opposed to one of primarily English origin, which is why the U.S. has also used it) before. Can you provide more details on this?

    I agree, and personally I think this approach is still valid. Many naval ships are classified this way, with a specific type/class name and a model number or letter to designate specific variants.

    I'm not familiar with Coon's political leanings either, as I've never looked into that, but are you sure that Roddenberry or another member of the staff wouldn't have chosen to use the Klingons that way?

    Or perhaps he just chose to interpret that differently than you or others might choose to. I happen to disagree with Greg's theory for the Court Martial chart myself, with no disrespect intended towards his theory. But perhaps we can agree to disagree here, because I have trouble believing it's so black and white. I think some of the more influential fans are also human and prone to making mistakes too, as Bjo's Star Trek Concordance often referred to the Enterprise as being a Constellation class ship, because it had a lower registry number.

    Again, we might have to agree to disagree here. I think, given what I've read about some of the design processes that went into FJ's work, some of his resources weren't ideal or adequate. But although a lot of fans have pointed out that his deck plans in the TM aren't perfectly accurate, some of that was intentional on his part and not out of disrespect for Gene or anyone else working on the show. It was based on his real life experience as a draftsman who worked on actual blueprints, and his attempts to make the deck layouts make a degree of sense even if stuff was never seen on screen, or might have been planned when TMoST was published but ultimately not used.

    TNG is a good example of this. A common criticism, especially in eps where the Enterprise-D goes into a fight, is that there are plenty of children onboard whose presence doesn't seem to fully mesh with the nature of the ship's missions. This is because when the TNG Bible was originally written, the ship was supposed to stay on the outer fringe of known space and not return to port for months or years at a time. Having families on board makes a lot more sense in that context, and the role that became the ship's counselor was intended to be a Federation representative instead. Their job was to advise the captain and command crew on how to resolve potential Prime Directive issues and other matters that their Starfleet training might not give them. To be the Federation's voice on policy. Of course, once the show was in production they realized this concept was harder to pull off as intended because it limited what kinds of scripts would work and how many familiar elements could be included.

    I think TMoST is a good read and I'd consider it recommended reading too, but I also think anyone who reads it should keep in mind what it actually is: a book that was published while TOS was still in production and with a lot of details still in flux, not only for TOS as a series but for many of later details that make up the modern franchise. I think it would be a mistake to interpret it as the end-all and be-all for what the production team wanted to do and how they felt the series should be interpreted, because a lot of stuff changed over time.

    It's kind of like looking at some of the early concept art for Star Wars, and seeing ideas that got changed or discarded along the way. Originally lightsabers weren't unique to the Jedi or Sith, but were common weapons. The unused concept for the Millenium Falcon was modified to become the basis for the blockade runner model.

    To this day, there are SW fans who insist that Geoffrey Mandel's 1979 set of blueprints for the Star Destroyer, which describe an "Imperator class" ship, are the authentic set and that's the correct name for the design. The problem is, those blueprints don't match a lot of the details for the model and are inconsistent with the set of basic statistics that are considered canonical (i.e. an Imperial Star Destroyer has both turbolasers and ion cannons, while the Imperator design has no ion cannons. This is because they weren't introduced until Empire Strikes Back). The Imperator design doesn't carry the same range of small craft and is far smaller (about 600-700 meters versus the canonical length of 1,600 meters). Strangely, most of the sites I've seen arguing for "Imperator class" ships don't use the specs from the blueprints, but instead use the canonical stats that came from later sources.

    The way I see it, there are two ways to interpret Mandel's work. Either the Imperator could be considered a separate design that is a smaller Star Destroyer with the specific capabilities described, or it's an early description of the Imperial Class Star Destroyer that's been superseded by later work. Lucasfilm has confirmed that "Imperial Class" is the right designation while also acknowledging Mandel's work by saying the design was conceived as the Imperator class prototype and the name changed before construction started. Both explanations work for me as viable solutions.
     
  15. yenny

    yenny Captain Captain

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    I don't understand why people keep arguing about what class the Enterprise suppose to be? When I myself had known that she was a Constitution class starship when I was a kid back in the 70s. And I haven't read anything about the Enterprise until the late 80s and early 90s

    Also, I had a friend in Job Corp that said that he was from the future, whom himself had a blue print of the refitted Enterprise which had Constitution class written on it.
     
  16. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We do know that Gene used U.S.S. but changed it to "United Space Ship" and later "United Star Ship," and that it was a "united service." Combined with Mr. Jefferies' notions about NCC, it does indeed seem to create a realistic impression of a United Earth spaceship. (UESPA, anyone?)

    An interesting notion, to be sure, that happens to fit. I think it might be a stretch to assume this was another intentional effort of internationalism, but it certainly doesn't hurt the cause.

    You mean to suggest then that Mr. Coon's allegorical use of UFP as USA, Klingons as Soviets, and Romulans as Chinese was an intentional political agenda contrary to that of Roddenberry?

    I don't think it was quite as deep as that. I think it was more likely he and the other writers wanted to do something relevant to the current political situation, and that's why this was done. Moreover, it was something familiar to viewers, and likely to illicit their viewership. Also, I would say that while Constitution is overtly American, other nations have had constitution documents too. ;)

    I'm with you so far....

    I don't think this one's that complicated either, nor do I think it's intentional disrespect. I think it's more likely that he knew about the Constitution class line/diagram, and possibly ever about the registry schema of Mr. Jefferies. He also realized that if flipped upside down, the list from "Court Martial" corresponded to an alphabetic listing which would, conveniently, begin with Constitution. I think it's a case where a series of coincidences lined up so well that he concluded that was how it was meant to be.

    That said, I do agree with you that the registries derived from that list using this method are flat wrong.

    Here again, I think the FJ thing is more easily explained. We know, as you said, that Bjo went with Greg's assertions, as did Okuda. We also know that FJ was writing his works with the aid his daughter and her fan friends. It's entirely likely that FJ's daughter red the concordance and concluded that Jein was right, and TMoST was incomplete and in some ways inaccurate. (Consider for example the issue of deck counts in the saucer versus those in Jefferies' diagram.)

    That almost makes too much sense to be wrong and is one of the first original thoughts to explain the topic I've heard in a long time. I would argue that the other ships of the class wouldn't say "Enterprise Starship Class" but rather just have "Enterprise" in place of "Starship," both for simplicity and given the size of the plaque.

    But yeah, that actually makes a crapton of sense, whether or not it was the intent. :techman:

    I think this, more than anything else, is probably why the distinction was made. Consider that Pike once referred to it as United Space Ship Enterprise in "The Cage" but this was later revised.

    I can fill you in on this one. According to "The Art of Star Trek" and a few other sources, when Mr. Jefferies was coming up with the registry of the Enterprise, he used an NC because it traditionally represented a plane registered in the US, and added an extra C to be different. He then realized the USSR was called the CCCP, so he thought it gave it a nice international flair.

    Great point there. I suspect the reason why Jein didn't use Constellation on the chart was the diagram/line from "Space Seed," plus the wacky 1017 registry.

    I've read about that too - and you bring up another good point, I think quite simply he was trying to take a set of models and a collection of sets and try to make them make sense as a "real" starship, regardless of what we think we saw on screen.

    Agreed, I would again mention the deck count in the description section versus Mr. Jefferies cutaway. One is right, the other is not. There are other instances of this - such as the descriptions of Romulans as honorable and Klingons as (essentially) loathesome, cruel, honorless monsters.

    I think there was overall some overarching thought given to all this stuff, but obviously they did not try to overthink it and purposefully left it in flux so they could do whatever best suited the story. I think the problem is, when it comes to things like "Starship Class" we really don't know how planned that all was. Bob's idea though certainly makes sense if the Enterprise is her class ship.

    You know... who's to say, as I think someone else mentioned, that she's not the only member of a Starfleet Enterprise class, not unlike CVN-65 in real life? This explains both the plaque (and the Defiant one) and the simulator sign in TWOK. All along, from TOS until her destruction in TSFS, she was the sole member of the Enterprise class. Then, the A was a member of the Constitution refit class. Further, the Enterprise class might make use of Constitution class phaser banks...

    I actually think this might be the simplest solution to the whole thing, although I don't for a moment pretend that it's original intent. The sad facts are we really don't know how much of it was original intent, nor do I think we are really able to reliable discern it for certain.
     
  17. yenny

    yenny Captain Captain

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    There's already a Enterprise class. And it's a Aircraft Carrier.
     
  18. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    Praetor already mentioned this, but since you asked: I find their provenance unlikely. Jein basically assumed all the ships in the "Court Martial" chart were Constitution class ships. Since it would appear that the chart was intended to represent ships that were currently at Starbase 11, it just doesn't make sense to me that all the Constitution class ships would be at the same starbase at the same time. I know people have tried to rationalize it by saying that maybe the chart represents mission completion status across the Connie fleet no matter where they are, but since Stone appeared to consult the chart to determine which ship to pull repair crews from, that rationalization doesn't sit well with me.

    Well, I just mentioned FJ's numbers because they were a pre-existing list that was already used in a licensed publication. But no, they are not gospel, which is why I suggested that if you weren't going to use the list that already existed, they should have just made up new numbers. In all fairness, FJ's list can't be entirely right, since his assignment for Intrepid (1708) doesn't appear on the "Court Martial" chart. (In my own "personal continuity", I modify the FJ list to switch Intrepid to 1709, which is on the chart, then give Valiant 1708.)

    Hmm, good point. But we still couldn't use Constellation class to refer to Enterprise and her sisters, because the name still got used for a different class in TNG.

    Yeah, completely agreed.

    OK, based on the way this sentence is written, I'm fairly sure I'm opening myself up to a whole world of hurt just for asking... but what exactly is this G.U.T. you keep mentioning in every thread?

    Um, what?

    I'm pretty sure the fact that the 20th-century USN had an Enterprise class wouldn't preclude the 23rd-century UFP Starfleet from also having a class with the same name.
     
  19. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not sure if anybody has brought it up in the thread already (though I'd be surprised if it hasn't been), but the other thing to consider is that in STIV the new Enterprise is seen with a moderately updated version of the TMP bridge design, whereas in STV and STVI it uses a new module. It seems plausible to me, if Ent-A really was Yorktown in a previous life, then the final scene of STIV must see it in effectively its former glory.

    We might further theorize that the hiccups and issues Scotty faces in STV come out of a little 'pet project' of getting it refitted up to a newer Starfleet spec (the Excelsior spec?). So we've got a new bridge module, new corridor fittings, new duotronics, all transplanted over the top of an existing framework, and no doubt creating clashes and incompatabilities everywhere. Not as extensive a refit as was carried out in 2271, and it could explain why the Enterprise is clearly not 'service ready' in that movie. The team put in charge of the refit has had to reverse-engineer everything to try and solve some of the incompatability issues with the old hardware, and the call to duty comes before Scotty can put it all back together again! :)
     
  20. Manticore

    Manticore Manticore, A moment ago Premium Member

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    Based on what appears to be his interests, I'd guess he rejects trying to mold TOS and last-gen Trek into one cohesive whole.