Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Noddy, Aug 31, 2013.
An interesting theory if not for the fact that it's based on a faulty premise.
CHEKOV: I was making a little joke, sir.
SPOCK: Extremely little, Ensign.
Well, TOS has all sorts of inconsistencies when it comes to terminology, especially first season. What stuck out in my mind more were the times that people would ooh and ahh over the fact that the Enterprise wasn't just any ol' ship, it was a STARSHIP.
Regardless of whether the term was unique to the specific model of ship that the TOS Enterprise was, it's still a working theory that in this case, "Starship class" was being used as a generic term, e.g. "aircraft carrier", "battleship", etc., as opposed to the name of that specific class, e.g. "Nimitz-class aircraft carrier".
^I think the idea in TOS was that "starship" was analogous to "capital ship" or "ship of the line" -- a large, powerful vessel rather than a small private craft.
And no, we can't take the "Starship Class" plaque too literally because they were making it up as they went. There's a lot of sloppy and contradictory terminology in the early episodes -- it took them a long time to decide whether the crew worked for Earth, UESPA, Space Central, or whatever, the Federation wasn't even established until roughly halfway through the first season, Vulcans were Vulcanians at first, dilithium was lithium, etc. It should be obvious that it's foolish to take every detail literally at that early stage. These are rough drafts of a universe in progress. If you're writing a novel, you can go back and rewrite your early ideas in favor of the better ones you had later; but in an ongoing series like a TV show or a comic book, you're stuck with your early ideas, so the best you can do is retcon them and ignore them and hope your audience will suspend disbelief and accept the revised version as the "true" one.
People put way too much stock in set decoration. It's there to give the set a certain weight not to be taken as hard fact. Even when its when it is a clear hard fact like Kirk's tombstone in WNMHGB, it can be brushed away on a creative whim or two little words: "I forgot". What ever the current "fact" is what's "true" even when it disagrees with the previous "fact".
That's not correct. The original classification according to The Making of Star Trek was "Cruiser Class" which evolved into "Starship Class" which remained and stayed.
Instead "cruiser" apparently became a type according to this Jefferies sketch (funny, looks like "space cruiser" suggests there are still naval cruisers around, hence the differentiation).
I seem to remember the term "Heavy Cruiser" used to describe the Enterprise. I don't know if I got this from the series, a movie or one of the novels.
"Heavy Cruiser" comes from Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual, pages of which were used as display graphics in movies I - III. "Heavy Cruiser" is particularly visible in STIII, when Chekov reports the break-in to Spock's quarters.
Now, do we assume that "Heavy Cruiser" refers to the refit Enterprise in ST III (IIRC, the TMP blueprints mentioned that, too) or to the TOS Enterprise shown on the screen Display?
Suffice to say I'm inclined to take the Klingon definition in ST III ("Federation Battlecruiser") with grains of salt.
A Constitution-class starship can destroy the entire habitable surface of a planet. I don't think it is a stretch to classify it as a battle cruiser.
Off on a tangent, but...
I never interpreted that line from Carol ("there can't be so much as a microbe or the show's off") to indicate that she had an ethical objection to killing a microbe. I always took it to mean that for the Genesis experiment to mean something, the planet had to be absolutely, completely lifeless. If there were any form of life there, even as insignificant as a microbe, it could cast doubts on the ability of Genesis to truly produce "something from nothing."
^Probably a mix of both. Yes, she didn't want to contaminate the experiment with existing life, since then the origins of the resulting life would be unclear. But also, if they find a single microbe, that proves that the planet has a biosphere, that there must be other life somewhere on the planet even if they haven't found it yet. Her concern is not about destroying one microbe, but about destroying an entire alien ecosystem, one that might have the potential to develop higher forms of life billions of years in the future.
I sort of liked the term 'star cruiser' used by Anan 7 in TOS: A Taste of Armageddon
Thanks. I had that FJ Tech Manual back in the day and most likely noticed that screen in ST III as well. Hence my confusion as to what source I had first seen that term.
Agreed. Gotta love those Klingons. They call a spade a spade. No political correctness with them.
^The sad fact is, a shuttlecraft could destroy the entire habitable surface of a planet -- all it'd have to do is use its impulse engines to accelerate to relativistic speed and then crash into the planet. The kinetic energy of the impact would be comparable to that of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.
Alternatively, any ship with a tractor beam could divert an asteroid onto a collision course with a planet and have the same effect. The disturbing thing about space travel is how easy it would be to destroy an entire planet if one were so motivated. Heck, a single drunk driver with an impulse engine could wipe out a civilization.
And this is one thing Trek usually gets wrong, because any planet in a spacefaring civilization would need one hell of a good orbital defense network to guard against such cataclysms, accidental or intentional. And yet there's rarely any mention of Earth or any other Federation world having any kind of orbital defenses, except in TMP (where V'Ger got the shutdown codes for the defense grid from the Enterprise computer) and ST'09 (when Nero tortured the codes out of Pike).
Lol! Good find.
The term "battle cruiser" would indicate "a cruiser built for battle" - as our real world battle cruisers were. Since the main mission of the Enterprise and her sister ships is peaceful exploration, armed only for self-defense, Starfleet would definitely not classify her as a battle cruiser! And that regardless of the firepower she possesses.
How the Klingons designate Starfleet vessels doesn´t necessarily have anything nothing to do with their "real" classifications. The Klingons will have different designations for their vessels, especially since the purpose of the Klingon fleet is obviously battle, war and conquest.
^^ Thanks for the reminder that there was something in the good old days that set Star Trek and Star Wars apart! (and therefore I loved both, just as I love apples and oranges...).
Is that a fact? IIRC the asteroid that caused the nuclear winter 65 million years ago had the size of New York City's Central Park.
But haven't we seen that is nearly impossible to successfully divert an asteroid both in the 23rd ("The Paradise Syndrome") and the 24th Century ("Deja Q")?
Just because it hasn't been mentioned doesn't mean it's not there, and where it would have played a role you just delivered proof for ist existence.
I think the speed of the object plays a factor. Christopher mentioned a shuttle traveling at "relativistic speed" could do that much damage.
Once it is fairly close to the planet it is extremely hard, but the further away an asteroid is the easier it would be to direct one into a certain planet.
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