What did the Enterprise-C look like in the real TNG universe?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Robert Comsol, Feb 9, 2014.

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  1. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Captain Captain

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    The Picards are likely Changelings. After all,Jean-Luc changed his appearance quite a bit over the years!

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  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^What's funny is that the guy with the knife in his chest and mini-Picard look more like Patrick Stewart than Tom Hardy does.
     
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Hello everyone and thanks for the feedback. I would have liked to come back earlier, but it’s good to see new points and evidence have come up (and focus on the significance of the TNG sculpture walls for this moment) during my absence (Yes, I’m aware that apparently some would like to see my absence to be more of a permanent kind :rolleyes:).

    The one thing which counterproductively influences this kind of debate, IMHO, is that “Enterprise-C” and “Ambassador Class” are often discussed in a synonymous context (Enterprise-C = Ambassador Class). As far as I know Andrew Probert coined “Ambassador Class” for his design and that it was somewhat “hijacked” for the distinct Sternbach design (could they not have used another name, then?). Let’s just say it’s a revision and Sternbach’s design is the Ambassador Class of which we did see several representatives. What we see on the wall of the conference lounge is an Enterprise-C belonging to a different class, then, or maybe it’s the primary hull which foremost indicates the class a ship belongs to. :shrug:

    The TNG conference lounge sculpture wall
    was approved and authenticated by the original TOS & TNG producers/creators Gene Roddenberry and Bob Justman, so I think that accounts for quite a lot (especially given its onscreen exposure during the first four seasons - and beyond “Yesterday’s Enterprise”) and takes precedence over the sculpture walls of the Enterprise-E (just in case we intend to talk about intentions, I think “first comes, first served” is appropriate).

    The theme of the “D” sculpture wall is obviously clear (“large ships named Enterprise”) because of the presence of the aircraft carrier CVN-65 USS Enterprise.

    With the sculpture walls of the “E” it is not. CVN-65 is missing. Then the theme is “spaceships named Enterprise”? Apparently not, because the ringship XCV-330 is missing. Is it “warp drive spaceships named Enterprise”? Fans of ENT will notice that the Enterprise NX-01 is missing, so apparently that’s not the theme neither. So what is the theme?

    The one thing that is noticeable is the representation of a design lineage from the Constitution/Enterprise Starship Class to the latest Sovereign Starship Class, i.e. a vessel with a primary hull connected to a secondary hull to which the warp nacelles attach.

    The Probert design for the Enterprise-C is absent; instead we find a sculpture of an Ambassador Class Starship for which Dukhat provided an image. In post # 10 King Daniel provided a screencap from “The Nagus” which apparently shows a representation of the aforementioned design lineage. Probert’s “C” is not there, but neither is the “B” from ST VII.

    Apparently it’s a design variation (with “bumpers”) of which not that many were actually built (I don’t remember seeing many of these in TNG and DS9) and the same possibly applies for the Probert “C” (the aircraft carrier CVN-65 was the first and last carrier of its class, IIRC).

    On the other hand it’s entirely possible that Picard had simply become fed up listening to alien visitors (especially someone like Gul Macet or Dukhat) waiting in the conference lounge of the “D” wondering “Ain’t that the proud Enterprise that was defeated by the Romulans?!” – that could also be an in-universe explanation why the sculpture wall was removed at the beginning of Season Five and a new theme chosen for the “E”.

    That the “B” on the sculpture wall of NCC-1701-D does not look like the (retcon) “B” in ST VII is no proof whatsoever that the sculpture wall is not an accurate presentation because we do not know which point (and look of the ship) during her service time it’s supposed to represent.

    But I think it it’s unlikely that the sculpture wall shows the starships in their launch configuration because we did see the “B” in ST VII - which then was obviously retro-fitted at a later time and then looked a lot like your regular Excelsior (I never understood what these bumpers were supposed to be good for in the first place).

    The sculptures are admittedly raw and rough representations of the real thing but not “impressionistic”.

    Their individual features are sufficiently discernible to see it’s the aircraft carrier CVN-65 (cubical conning tower) and to distinct NCC-1701 from NCC-1701-A and so on.
    And it’s sufficiently discernible to realize that the Enterprise-C on display is most definitely not the Sternbach design we saw in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” but the (most) accurate reproduction of the side view guidance Andrew Probert provided the sculptor with which itself reflects his concept for the USS Fearless and that particular starship class.

    :lol: That’s a good one! I’ll make sure to pass that on to my grand-children!

    While my infatuation for Andrew Probert’s Enterprise-C is no secret, the core issue of this thread (and that’s what I wrote Bernd Schneider this weekend) is that I object the flippancy and apparent ease how Andrew Probert’s Enterprise-C on the conference lounge wall of the “D” (onscreen > canon) has been pushed over the cliff into the abyss of fanwank while the “evidence” (that his cannot be the “real” Enterprise-C) actually depends on how to interpret the enigmatic space anomaly and its effects and the events seen in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and what conclusions we can actually draw from it.

    Put simply: Before I discredit a starship design of a renowned member of Star Trek production (unless there is some jealousy I’m not aware of according to which no man should be allowed to design more than two Enterprise starships in his lifetime :rolleyes:) as non-canon, I better make sure I have solid evidence beyond a shred of doubt to make such kind of judgement…and in Part II we shall see and - if you like - discuss how “solid” the evidence actually is.

    Bob
     
  4. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    What's the difference between the ENT B on the ENT D wall and the ship we saw in "Generations?" I'm not seeing it. It's just an Excelsior class, isn't it?
     
  5. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wow. I'm really at a loss as to how someone can be so obsessive over one particular instance of something in the Trek universe being overwritten by something else. Do you also religiously think James Kirk's middle initial is "R?":lol:

    I really doubt there was all that much of a "malicious intent" to just forget the former design as you're making it out to be. They needed to build a model for the Ent-C. To build it the way Probert intended would have been cost-prohibitive. So they built it in a way to save time and money, but still based it off of the original design and tried to get it as close as they could. This drama you're alluding about shitting all over Probert's design is quite unwarranted.

    Also, you seem to have adopted the attitude that no matter what evidence we throw at you to counter your argument, you're just going to negate it with stuff like this:

    None of the above matters. The theme for FC was that the ships represented all the Enterprises. Why? Because John Eaves said so, and he trumps whatever some fan on the TrekBBS thinks. Plus, each of his models is named the Enterprise, as can clearly be seen here.

    But I gotta admire your chutzpah. You write up an extensive diatribe, to which not a single person who replied agreed with, and you still keep trucking with an even longer diatribe and make it sound like none of us know what we're talking about. Can't wait for "Part II."
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  6. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Seconded.
     
  7. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm for keeping it simple and consistent with the canon. We start with the original intent of ships named Enterprise, but the idea can be adjusted without distorting the spirit of the display. So they aren't necessarily ships named Enterprise, but they can still be breakthrough designs, most of which were used for an Enterprise because of the famous name. Probert's version was just such a breakthrough, but it never entered widespread production and the Enterprise-C was developed using Sternbach's version of the design. Likewise, the "Great Experiment" in that same display was not identical to the later Enterprise-B.
     
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The version of the Enterprise-B seen in Generations had added bits on the secondary hull.

    The reason that was done is because physical models were still used at that point (1994), and they needed to be able to depict battle damage without damaging the rest of the Excelsior-class model. So the added bits were placed there, where the Nexus damage would later occur.
     
  9. Jerikka Dawn

    Jerikka Dawn Commander Red Shirt

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    The discrepancy between the wall sculpture and what we saw in YE clearly has Section 31 written all over it. Just what was the Enterprise-C doing at Narendra III and were they in fact defending the outpost from Romulans or were they assisting the Romulans in the attack? We may never know for sure, but there was certainly a cover up. Could the Romulans have had orders from their TalShiar handlers, working with Section 31, to destroy Enterprise-C once the outpost was destroyed to get rid of the evidence? Perhaps then, Section 31 subsequently altered the records to make it look like the Enterprise-C was of a different class than the one seen at Narendra III attacking the outpost.

    I'm not saying this is what happened, I'm just asking questions. :rommie:
     
  10. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    Absolutely. There's a few extra flanges and such added to other parts of the both primary and secondary hulls as well.

    The idea was that it had to be an Excelsior class (because it'd already been established as such via the wall display on TNG), but the producers of the movie wanted it to look different enough, while still being instantly recognizable as an Excelsior, that it would give audiences something new. So the overall effect is that the 1701-B ends up looking like a "bigger and tougher" version of the other, regular Excelsior Class ships.** Whereas the TNG wall display is simply that of a regular Excelsior Class with no extra bits.

    ** At least, for shots where they filmed new effects. There are one or two shots where they simply recycled stock footage of the regular Excelsior and hoped no-one'd notice... but, of course, we did. ;)
     
  11. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The premise of one of TNG's best episodes vs. some obscure bit of wall art.

    Tough one.
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Tough indeed but I dare to say not impossible, and though it turned busy in my real life just as I started this thread I look forward to pull this through, especially that on February 6th something popped up on YouTube (and I have absolutely nothing to do with it!) which is the best kind of encouragement I could ever think of, but if I linked it here and now the BBS member going by the name of the Cardassian antagonist would probably pump up the volume of his scatological rants, which are neither appropriate, applicable or helpful.

    Although we have now seen nice close ups of these plastic ships from the conference lounge of the Enterprise-D and the intention is obvious, I hold the intentions of the original TOS & TNG producers (which I already mentioned anticipating Dukhat's "move) and the amount of screentime featuring the conference lounge of the "D" in four seasons of TNG versus the few moments of the conference lounge of the "E" in FC and NEM against that. Add to this that we never saw those plastic models close enough onscreen (I thought only that was the commonly agreed upon canon from which we should conclude our findings?) to actually read what the tags say.
    In summary: for an average viewer of the episodes and films the theme of the sculpture wall in the conference lounge of the "D" is obvious (because of the aircraft carrier CVN-65) while the one of the "E" is ambiguous.

    However, in the ongoing part of the treatise we will come across one interpretation that could rationalize the Probert "C" on one and the Sternbach "C" on the other sculpture display! (Remember the "Neutral Zone" and how long the Federation and the Romulans had not spoken to one another...)

    Interestingly, FKnight brought up an interesting re-interpretation of the events suggested by "Yesterday's Enterprise" (although Parts II and III of this treatise will not go his direction, they will offer an alternate point of view regarding events in the episode and their causes) while at the same time I was working on an analysis on what most likely actually happened at Narendra III. :)

    Intermission – The mission objective of the Enterprise-C

    The plot premise of “Yesterday’s Enterprise” revolves around the apparent necessity of the Enterprise-C to distract the Romulan warbirds attacking (and eventually destroying) the Klingon outpost at Narendra III long enough to ensure the escape of some Klingon survivors to be able to later tell what actually happened.

    • The Romulans probably made a stealth attack with the intention to destroy the outpost, first took out the outpost’s long range communications (which wouldn’t be without historic precedent) and next any potential eye-witnesses, hoping then to somehow frame the UFP (possible with the help of the Duras family)
    • The Enterprise-C responded to the distress call (short range communications) from the Klingon outpost (during peace treaty negotiations between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingons). Starfleet, however, and apparently the Klingon High Command never learned what was going on (“other” Riker: “There's no record of the Romulans ever assaulting the Enterprise-C”)
    • The Enterprise-C arrived and engaged the four warbirds, but was crippled by a “fierce volley of photon torpedoes” and then disappeared into the future. Apparently the “C” didn’t destroy one warbird (“other” Riker: “Captain Garrett says there were four Romulan warbirds. The Enterprise-C would be outmanned and outgunned.”)
    • The Enterprise-C returned to the battle, patched up, recharged and with Tasha Yar’s tactical competence (but with just as much chances as a snowball in hell according to realistic expectations) – and must have distracted the warbirds long enough and thus enable one or some Klingon survivors to escape unnoticed by the Romulans and to tell what really happened: “Enterprise-C? She was lost at the Battle of Narendra III, defending a Klingon outpost from the Romulans.” (Picard in “Redemption, Part II”).
    • The “C” and the Klingon outpost were destroyed by one or some of the Romulan warbirds. The survivors of the Enterprise-C were abducted to Romulus (“other” Picard: “The Narendra Three outpost was destroyed. It is regrettable that you did not succeed. A Federation starship rescuing a Klingon outpost might have averted twenty years of war.” Unlike Picard, the “other” Riker correctly grasps the situation: “That won't accomplish anything, sir. There's no way they can save Narendra III.”)
    This is not explicitly what the episode suggests but the summary of bringing all the information we can get from the two episodes into a reasonable and coherent context, which answers questions instead of raising new ones (and hopefully demonstrates that I’m not exploiting what seem to be plotholes to discredit these parts of the episode on behalf of my theory). ;)

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  13. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    More drama, Bob?:rolleyes: I'm not stopping you from posting anything, so stop insinuating that I am. And if you didn't want any criticism about your post, you should have made that clear in the OP. But because this is an effort to sway our opinions toward what you personally believe, I have every right to speak my mind and provide proof to the contrary, no matter how much you dislike having to hear it.

    What you don't seem to grasp is that it doesn't matter who made or approved the sculptures, or how much screentime some background artwork got. Once that ship appeared in YE, that artwork was invalidated just like that. If you want to convince yourself otherwise, that's fine. But don't expect many people to agree with you, especially when you say things like "I thought only that was the commonly agreed upon canon from which we should conclude our findings?" as if there was any kind of consensus about that with the other responders.

    As for your other "speculations," I'm going to take the high road here and gracefully bow out of further discussion with you, since it really serves no purpose, and let the other forum members judge for themselves what they think of your opinions.

    But before I go, let me leave you all with an interesting analogy: When I was in high school, one of my physics teachers wrote this incredibly convoluted mathematical formula on the chalkboard in order to prove that 1 + 1 = 3. Once you sorted through all the complicated equations, the numbers did seem to prove what he said.

    But you know what? One plus one doesn't equal three. It equals two. And no student who left class that day was convinced otherwise. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I think the Probert-designed Ambassador-class looks a little to close to the Galaxy-class. So I think it was a wise move to give it a bit of a redesign. :shrug:
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not the one using scatology for drama and I was definitely not implying what you are suggesting.

    You do but so do I if you please would stop minding. On the contrary - believe it or not - I appreciate someone like you arguing against my interpretations (like the Oberth Class age) so I can see whether it could stand a test or not. One of my best friends always plays devil's advocate when I confront him with a new idea, but he doesn't adopt his manners.

    Exactly.

    Fascinating that you mention this, because Part II of my treatise features exactly this analogy in the context of the contradicting time travel scenarios presented in Star Trek, i.e. whether we should accept that 2+2=5 or whether we rather stick with 2+2=4.
    Since you seem to favor 2+2=4 you might want to hang in just a little more.

    @ BillJ

    Personally I think that what you suggest is exactly what was going on in the minds of the TNG producers.

    I believe they were just afraid that because of the similarities between Probert's Ambassador and Galaxy Class audiences might have mistaken one for the other, considering the small TV screens of the late 1980's.

    Putting the Enterprise-D next to an Excelsior Class starship definitely created the contrast to distinct one from the other but so we ended up with all these Excelsior Class starships, instead.

    It may have been a good thing for general audiences, then, but from a fannish point of view I think it's lame - and would like to look forward to a "special" or "artists" edition of TNG in the future where it should be easy on any HD screen to distinct Probert's [Ambassador Class] starship design from the Enterprise-D.

    Bob
     
  16. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    You mean like remastered episodes in high definition on blueray where they update any effects they felt necessary? I direct you to the stickied threads in this very forum. I guess the powers that be felt it unnecessary to make such a change.
     
  17. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Yes. There had been some uncertainties how to proceed with TNG-R in the beginning but I think the powers that be made the right choice to present the remastering in the original aspect ratio and to recreate the VFX as faithfully as possibly to match the original presentation (and, of course, keep the option for an alternate approach in the future).
    Revisiting my old TNG magazines it's interesting to often read what the artists would have liked to present, but couldn't because of time and budget restraints (and I'm not just having the issue in mind we are discussing)!
    I would find it interesting to see many of those unrealized ideas come to live in a future re-release (hence I suggested some while ago to already create some "database" to be prepared when the time Comes, but this idea didn't generate a lot of interest, unfortunately).

    Bob
     
  18. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Part II – Alternate Realities

    Is “Yesterday’s Enterprise” alternate reality just an altered time line?

    “Yesterday’s Enterprise” begins in “our” familiar TNG reality. The crew discovers a strange phenomenon, and suddenly and unexpectedly the uniforms and the bridge arrangement transform, Worf vanishes and Tasha Yar is back from the dead.
    Our protagonists have kept their defining personalities and characteristics, yet only remember a history of two decades of war with the Klingon Empire (and Wesley looks cool wearing a regular kind of Starfleet uniform) with only [the] Guinan, familiar with Tasha Yar for a long time and therefore “genuine” to this reality, realizing that things are somehow not the way they are supposed to be.

    The (or an) Enterprise-C has travelled into the future which is a “universe at war” and where the Sternbach design is known to be the “immediate predecessor” of the “Battleship Enterprise” “1701-D”.

    The Enterprise-D protagonists in both realities are unable to define what kind anomaly they are dealing with exactly and what effects it has on spacetime.
    “Our” Data observes “most unusual gravimetric fluctuations”. He can’t say whether it is a wormhole or not: “Like a time displacement, but it does not have a discernible event horizon. The phenomenon does not have a definable centre or outer edge.” It seems “it is and yet it isn't there”.
    The “other” Data, replying to Picard’s theory that the Enterprise-C has travelled from the past to the future, suggests: “If that hypothesis is correct, the phenomenon we just encountered would be a temporal rift in space. Possibly the formation of a Kerr loop from superstring material. It would require high-energy interactions occurring in the vicinity for such a structure to be formed. The rift is certainly not stable, Captain. It could collapse at any time.”

    The one thing that’s obvious and clear is that the anomaly has characteristics of a gateway connecting the past and the future to enable the Enterprise-C to arrive from the past (and later return to it). Other possible characteristics of the anomaly remain unknown and unexplored (we see a ship of war, not scientific exploration).



    But already early on it seems that the screenplay writers (too many?) were confused, unless they deliberately wanted to portray a battle-weary, fatigued and exhausted “other” Picard, considering his erratic statements in this episode:
    • “Commander, if that ship has travelled into the future, we could be dealing with variables that will alter the flow of our history.” How comes? While the ship could shed some light on the story of her disappearance, a look back into history would hardly “alter the flow of [current] history” (unless Picard won’t exclude the possibility it came from an alternate universe. Learning from an alternate universe was one concern in “In A Mirror, Darkly”)
    • “The Narendra Three outpost was destroyed. It is regrettable that you did not succeed. A Federation starship rescuing a Klingon outpost might have averted twenty years of war.” Riker: “That won't accomplish anything, sir. There's no way they can save Narendra III.” (and to assume they did would raise some hard-to-answer and hard-to-rationalize questions)
    • Riker: “But that's what you're talking about anyway, isn't it? Altering the past.”
      Picard: “We're talking about restoring the past.

      Picard: “Even their deaths might have prevented this war. If the Enterprise-C returns to the battle and its mission is a success, history will be irrevocably changed. This time line will cease to exist and a new future will have been created.”
    And this is where the headaches begin, and we have a contradiction at our hands. If Picard were seriously talking about “restoring” the past and not altering or changing it, the Novikov self-consistency principle must have been on his mind, according to which the Enterprise-C either did defend the Klingon outpost to buy Klingon refuges the time to escape or it did not. It is as simple as binary language (Yes or No) or 2+2=4.

    If it did not, the future looks like the “universe at war” and any attempt to change the past will somehow fail (IMHO “The [original] Twilight Zone” had a couple of very good episodes to illustrate this).

    If the Enterprise-C moved forward in time and space, but “our” TNG universe is a result of her defending the outpost, she would be eventually going back in time one way or the other to ensure history will happen as it did.
    The beginning of the episode shortly suggested that this was about to be happening, but probably would have only made a mediocre episode in terms of drama in contrast to the good Tasha Yarn we got instead (Maybe the appearance of this Enterprise-C in “our” reality would have constituted some kind of paradox and therefore we witnessed some cosmological self-correction process or the like?). ;)

    Wikipedia lists the TNG episode “Time’s Arrow” (canon) as a good “Novikov” example where things always happened the way they did happen (and if you’re involved you just ensure to “make it did happen” which is essentially what we saw in the TOS episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”, despite the Guardian’s “Your vessel, your beginning, all that you knew is gone”, apparently a plot device to scare Kirk, Spock and the audience and to highlight the importance that they do not fail).
    The mere presence of Samuel Clemens (“Mark Twain”) in this particular time travel episode is a brilliant hint of irony, because he was the culprit (possibly for personal reasons) who gave birth to the “You could change the past” idea in 1889 before Igor Dmitriyevich Novikov replied a 100 years later “You won’t”.

    While these erasing-the-present-because-the-past-has-been-changed time travel stories admittedly make good drama and entertainment (e.g. “Back to the Future”), logical sense these make not – despite claims to the contrary by Spock in TOS (my personal candidate for “the most irreconcilable plot errors in Star Trek” thread we recently saw). :vulcan:

    The sudden transformation of solid materials, Tasha Yarn’s return from the dead, a completely new history with 22 years of events preceding the episode (unless the protagonists’ memories were implanted), it’s brief and short-lived existence in spacetime (apparently ending the moment the Enterprise-C had returned to its time) would imply the existence of some cosmological mechanism with some form of awareness capable of intelligent design which is usually attributed to our definition of God or an omnipotent being like Q.

    Summary: Simply put, and as a rebuttal to Spock’s line in “The Conscience of the King” (“Even in this corner of the galaxy, Captain, two plus two equals four.”), there are corners in the Star Trek universe where 2+2 = 4 (“Time’s Arrow”) and there are those where 2+2 equals something else than 4 (especially in Cardassian interrogation centers :lol:) as apparently suggested in “Yesterday’s Enterprise”.

    One (2+2=4) is a child of logic and reason, the other (2+2=?) one of ignorance and fantasy, but is the context from where the belief has arisen that only the Enterprise-C seen in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” has to be the real thing while the one on the conference lounge wall of the Enterprise-D can’t be it.
    IMHO, performing what seems to be a logical deduction (how the Enterprise-C supposedly looked in “our” universe) based on an illogical concept and/or context should be questionable and isn't really solid evidence.

    Still, changing the past is possible in Star Trek but if the future departure point into the past vanishes because the past has changed, the inevitable conclusion would be a shift or whatever one may call it of the “new” past into some kind of alternate universe where a new time line unfolds.

    Indeed, the distinction between alternate time line, alternate reality and alternate universe is difficult to determine and essentially they could be one and the same, “a rose by any other name”.

    To be continued in Part III (Alternate Universes)…stay tuned

    Bob
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I like the Ambassador-class that we saw on screen. I thought it looked like something that should've came between the Excelsior- and Galaxy-classes from a design evolution point-of-view.
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Bringing this from a thread where it was getting off topic.

    Yeah. Still not seeing any substance. The mental contortions are impressively sad though. You're manufacturing complexity to fit "evidence" together. Occam and Sherlock are facepalming. You should listen to Bernd.
     
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