Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by bbjeg, Jul 12, 2013.
Was the Enterprise the only ship to have a letter following it (like Enterprise A, D, J, etc.)?
The Yamato in "Where Silence Has Lease" was NCC-1305-E, though that was an illusion generated by Nagilum. It checked out as far as Riker was concerned. The real Yamato was seen later with a different registry.
In practice, only Enterprises had the same registry with incrementing letters.
It may be the only one we ever heard about. But technically, the letter followed the registry number, not the name. The Enterprise-A, Enterprise-Z, etc., was just dramatic shorthand for the viewer's convenience. If we hadn't been watching, they would have just called them all Enterprise.
Could it be a 'flagship only' thing?
No. Only Picard's first Enterprise was ever referred to as a "flagship". Even his second one wasn't called that. And Kirk's ship was just one of the workhorses of the fleet, no more special than any other starship.
But, of course, NCC-1305-E was an original intention of the producers, they only changed their mind (unfortunately, I should add).
In my world the Galaxy Class USS Yamato is the fifth starship to bear this name, similar story with some of the ships they named Valiant.
The USS Excalibur-A in the New Frontier novels.
I heard that one of the writers thought the registry of ships had a new format in TNG. Since Enterprise was NCC-1701-D, the reasonable extrapolation was that all starships were four numbers and a letter. Furthermore, since Yamato was a sister ship of Enterprise, it might have made sense for their registries to be related. Whomever gave the Yamato its registry may have thought that all the Galaxy-class ships had letters in their registries. Hence -D would be followed by -E, and preceded by -C. Yamato may not have been intended to be the sixth of the name, but the fifth Galaxy-class ship with Enterprise the fourth.
Still vetted by the Trek copyright holders. If they had some sort of "only the Enterprise can have a letter" rule, it wouldn't have been allowed.
Starfleet commissioned a USS Saratoga-A in Michael Jan Friedman's Saratoga novel.
There have been multiple Lexingtons, Intrepids, Potemkins, and Excaliburs, so by the 24th century pretty much every ship should have a letter in its registry. Personally, I'd have dropped the letter on the registry for Enterprises after the -A. The Excelsior-class Enterprise and all the subsequent ships should've had a different number.
^^^ I agree, it is a bit silly.
IRL navies honor previous ships Yorktown, Lexington, Ark Royal, Essex, Bonhomme Richard and others by carrying on the legendary names. The hull numbers aren't passed on to subsequent vessels.
ST's use of 1701-A, B, and so on indicates an honorific to a particular hull number (Constitution class Enterprise only) rather than just the historic name Enterprise.
Is that necessary? Isn't the name Enterprise sufficient? Especially when it's reinforced that the historic tradition extends back centuries to sea-going Enterprise ships, not just starting with the Constitution-class starship.
I thing it's a shame that the uss Sao paolo in the seventh season of DS9 was renamed Defiant NCC-75633 ant not Defiant NX-74205-A
See, the thing is, we should assume that every ship in Starfleet has some kind of illustrious history that is worthy of preserving. Therefore, every ship would carry the registry of its namesake, with a letter. But then if every ship's name has some history behind it, why honor any of them? If they're all special, then they're all equal, too. Why give Enterprise or Defiant a special place in the books? How many times did the crew of the Farragut or the Intrepid save the universe? Maybe as many times as any Enterprise did.
Honoring the Enterprise name is a bone to the fans, but the general populace of the UFP or the top brass of Starfleet shouldn't think anything more of a hull with Enterprise painted on it than they should of a hull with Pansy painted on it.
If you recall, at the end of The Voyage Home, Kirk and Co. were "tried" in front of the Fed Council rather than a court martial (which one would typically expect.)
So my hand wave on the letter suffix is that the Fed Council legislated it to be so for all starships Enterprise, in honor of the ship and crew saving Earth twice in 15 years, and so Starfleet is stuck with it...
Yeah, that's a stretch. Legislatures never change laws over decades. Nope.
I think after the Enterprise-A, it just became a unique Starfleet tradition for subsequent starships with the name--nothing less and nothing more, IMO. Personally, I don't think it's a practice that should extend beyond the Enterprise, with the Yamato-E shown to be as fake as the Dauntless-A.
I like the idea that the Yamato has a similar tradition to the Enterprise. I don't think the big E would be the only one with a history.
Actually, Sao Paulo carries Defiant's original NX-74205 registry since pretty much everything we see it in is just stock footage. Indeed, the original intention was to give it the registry NCC-74205-A but they had no time or money to make the change.
Also, timeship Relativity's registry was NCV-474439-G and its dedication plaque says "seventh ship to bear the name." Unfortunately, this is actually rather sloppy, since if that truly is the seventh Relativity the first would be NCV-474439-A as opposed to plain ordinary NCV-474439.
Separate names with a comma.