Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Wingsley, Jul 9, 2014.
Nope. Things kept changing after that.
They're changing still.
And to expand on it, that idea is perfectly in line with what is discussed in "Bread and Circuses", about the difference in caliber between a spaceship commander and a starship commander. In being so autonomous with so much power, a starship commander must meet a higher standard.
Welcome to the dystopian nightmare of Oceania in 1984 (by George Orwell). It's a book I'd recommend to anyone who still thinks Star Trek is a utopian vision - and our methodology to define canon (and it would help some fans to understand where the light counting in "Chain of Command" actually comes from).
Welcome to Oceania? You mean welcome to television, on which TOS aired from the get-go.
I read it about 40 years ago. How exactly does that relate to common practices of TV production? We are talking about a TV show, right?
Any how this is MA's take
So if we're counting pre production drawings as "evidence" we can count scripted references and "understandings" by production staffers, too.
Hey! It's my Memory Alpha entry! Hi, old friend!
Who knows? Who cares? Only the Constellation has an actual visible registry before the new effects. She's different enough to have belonged to another class. But... the other ships could have different internal configurations or specs and could be part of another class. Or they could have been refits from a previous design brought up to Constitution specs.
As much as you want it, this is a subject you'll never come away with a definitive "win" on (much like the Enterprise-C). You have your own views on the subject and other folks (me included) have theirs.
The do nothing to help people take your positions any more seriously.
Why assume the NCC number has any relation at all to the class? Since every ship (other than a few prototypes) seems to have an NCC number, how do we know that Constitution wasn't 1699 and that 1700 wasn't a space corvette begun (or completed) at a different shipyard the next day?
Uhhh, no. What was going on in 1984 was the Ministry of Truth was actively changing all reference material to match their propaganda and removing anything that contradicted their version of history. In this case, the reference material is widely available for people to make up their own minds.
Was it ever confirmed that USS Constitution was NCC-1700? It is assumed to be, but that was also when it was assumed all those ships had numbers in the 1700s, and Constellation was either a different number, or an older ship refit to fit with the 1700 ships.
However, hull registration usually follows when things were ordered, but can skip number if things were ordered and then cancelled. At least for the United States Navy.
Starfleet, though, happens to be all over the place with its numbers. By Star Trek III there what is assumed to be a relatively new survey ship with a registry number in the 600s, and the newest ship in the fleet has the number 2000. By TNG and beyond, there are ships of the same class with number all over the field from 1800s, to 21000s, to 43000, to 74000s. Plus Enterprise keeps the 1701 number in all forms.
My suggestion was that the numbers, instead of cruiser type 16, cruiser 17 type, cruiser type 18, is to have the system be shipyard/star system based. This provides information about where it was built and who registered the vessel. The 1700s are registered in the Sol system (both Enterprise (NCC-1701) and Defiant (NCC-1764) were built in the Sol system). The 1600s would be built and registered in another Federation world with a shipyard. The 1000s someplace else. The 1800s someplace else. The 2000s are registered in the Sol System, as that is where Excelsior is built. The 2500s I think were built in the Sol system (Stargazer). This would also allow for the 600s to be build after the 1700s, just in another star system. It also allows the 1600s and 1700s to be built in parallel for the same class while keeping the class ship as USS Constitution, but allowing USS Enterprise to be commissioned first. It also lets Constellation be of the same class, just built in a lesser used yard in yet another system. Imagine it being built in Denobula or Trill rather than one of the larger yards in Sol, or over Andoria, Vulcan, or Tellar.
As far as we know there is no contrary information about where certain ships were built until the later part of the 24th century, when it seems like the staff was assigning number to ships seeming based on time, with all the new ships having 74000s around the time Voyager was built, and 72000s around the time the Enterprise-D was built, regardless of the class, or location built.
I have no problems whatsoever if the original creators for whatever reasons make a premise change. It's their baby, their prerogative and privilege. The problem I'm having - obviously - is the apparent prominent methodology many Star Trek fans apply defining canon, i.e. it's not the revision (usually by others than the original creators) that requires rationalization (and can often be attributed to lackluster research efforts or bias or worse) but the original premise that has been altered.
The dystopian world of 1984 describes how people are systematically deprived of their knowledge of history by having that history constantly rewritten and altered. Captain Kirk is a kind of hero. Who's to say that the next production in "our" fictional universe doesn't turn him into a despicable child killer (that's what happened with Darth Vader): "The new supersedes the old"
Thus, considering Star Trek promotes utopian ethics, applying dystopian methodology in our pseudoscientific treknological rationalization efforts somehow doesn't look compatible to say the least.
Regarding the Memory Alpha quote you provided, it has been written by Memory Alpha contributors / fans which is as relevant as Greg Jein's original treatise where the Enterprise became a Constitution Class starship to make his pet theory work.
The phaser schematic remains inconclusive. This is the part these fans use to arrive at their conclusion:
KHAN: Captain, I wonder if I could have something to read during my convalescence. I was once an engineer of sorts. I would be most interested in studying the technical manuals on your vessel.
And here is the scene (featuring the phaser schematic!) these fans prefer to ignore:
KHAN: I've been reading up on starships, but they have one luxury not mentioned in the manuals.
Khan is studying more than just the manual of the Enterprise, he is reading the manuals of other starships as well (obviously including the Constitution Class).
And how do we know that Enterprise doesn't belong to the Constitution Class? Because the creators refer in The Making of Star Trek - written after "Space Seed" - twice to the "Enterprise [Starship] Class" and not to a "Constitution Class".
I don't need to assume what the first two registry digits stand for, because the creator of the Enterprise, Walter Matt Jefferies made that obvious in his TOS pre-production sketch, IMHO:
And for the context of TOS and into the first films it works perfectly (Constellation notwithstanding, plausible rationalizations possible):
17th design series - Enterprise Class
18th design series - Miranda Class
19h design series - Soyuz Class
20th design series - Excelsior Class
From the starship status chart in "Court-Martial" we also know there are starships with a "16" prefix belonging to the 16th design series.
And we have several of these "16" prefixes attributed to Constitution Class starships. This obviously suggests that the 16th design series would be the Constitution Class (hence my BillJ obviously finds fault with).
Do you really believe I'm aiming for a definitive "win"? In a Star Trek forum? Here at the BBS?
No, I'm presenting an solution to a riddle which I believe answers the most questions and doesn't give raise to new ones.
You are free to regard this with approval, disapproval, or indifference.
No. It simply happened that Greg Jein and Franz Joseph, for reasons I'm unaware of, both felt that NCC-1700 should be the registration of the Constitution.
Frankly, that reminds me of the analogy that in the land of the blind the one-eyed-man is king. But even if two one-eyed-men see the same thing, it still doesn't mean their vision is accurate.
Was "J-class" shown on any display? If not, maybe Mendez was using a common 'nickname' for the class. Perhaps it was a "Jester class", or a "Jackal class," or a "Juan-Carlos class," or a "Juniper class," or a "Jiffy-Pop class," etc.....
He's an Admiral, after all, and his time is precious. Maybe they edited out a scene where he talked about the "C-class Enterprise," or the "E-class transwarp ship, currently in R&D...".
A sense of perspective is a good thing to develop.
What do you suppose the creators of Yesterday's Enterprise intended the Enterprise-C to look like?
It sure would be a shame to have that vision superceded by a stray remark in a later episode.
No, actually by the interpretation decades later of a viewer who was never involved at all.
So what say we apply the same standards to ideas that we don't like that we do to ideas we're attached to.
There is no real "riddle" here. It's a TV production, things change.
I recommend that using the "Ship design series + number" is not used, simply because it restricts the numbers a lot. We know very few ships like Enterprise were built by what Kirk tells people. "12 ships like her". This would imply that there ships from NCC-1701 to NCC-1713, as there should be no zero vessel in a system like that. The first ship is listed as xx01, thus there shouldn't be a xx00 ship registry number. We clearly know this is false just by the existence of USS Excelsior (NCC-2000) and the registry number NCC-1700 existing. But also the number for USS Defiant (NCC-1764) would logically make it the 64th ship of the 17th cruiser design, of which there shouldn't be that many by Kirk's words, unless it isn't like Enterprise at all.
Having them be numbered in a row from lowest to highest doesn't seem to work either as there are ships that are probably newer than Enterprise that have lower registry numbers, and gaps within individual classes were number just go up.
If that proposed system was correct, USS Reliant (NCC-1864) would be the 64th vessel of the 18th cruiser type while USS Saratoga (NCC-1887) would be the 87th ship of that type and USS Lantree (NCC-1837) would be the 37th ship. Yet later ships of that class would be what? What would USS Majestic be? (NCC-31060)
The shipyard proposal is just that, a proposal. It also leave gaps in the numbering system, and allows for ships of different classes to have similar number sets. Yet it does provide, in theory, useful information just by the number.
Mind you that in todays world, number are based on ship type and not class for the most part. Destroyers had the same numbering pattern since 1902 and were in the 900s by the 1980s. The next destroyer class (as oppose to missile destroyer class) will skip a small amount of number to get to 1000. But guided missiles destroyers, battleships, cruisers, carriers, tugs...they all have separate numbering systems.
Starfleet was probably suppose to have a separate numbering system for Starships, Destroyers, Scouts, and whatnot, but that never happened, as NCC remained the only set used, and the number don't vary enough to be separate systems. Everything is a Starship from Runabouts to Explorers and everything in between. Thus there must be something else that doesn't limit quite as much as the ship type plus number of ship built, system.
Disclaimer: I had no intention and no idea to bring the Trek ship with the third later of the alphabet into this thread!
It's well reported that the episode was produced under tremendous time presure. I don't think Ronald D. Moore (final screenplay) or David Carson (director) paid any consideration to what the Enterprise-C would look like as long as it didn't look like the TOS or TMP Enterprise.
The Ambassador Class design by Rick Sternbach / built by Greg Jein made appearances throughout several other episodes in the TNG primeverse and thus contributed to the diversity of Starfleet ships. I fail to see what's so catastrophic if she were the Enterprice-C only in a parallel universe (which is what made some fans go ballistic).
Incorrect. Right after "Redemption II" David Carson referred to events in "Yesterday's Enterprise" as a "parallel timeline" and by 2008 as a "parallel universe". That's not my interpretation, that's a fact. He was involved with the production and also took part in the YE screenplay writer meetings.
Let me use the occasion to salute your ongoing and constructive rationalization proposals, I find these inspiring and thought-provoking.
Yes, the starship status display in "Court Martial" apparently constitutes a premise change regarding the use of the last two digits Matt Jefferies intended, your reasoning is flawless.
But what do the last two digits (for the TOS era) represent then?
NCC-1664 USS Excalibur destroyed by the M-5 computer > NCC-1764 USS Defiant considered lost/destroyed in Tholian interphase > NCC-1864 USS Reliant.
It would appear that the last two digits are merely a (naval) contact code which ships can "inherit".
Thus the class leaders could be an NCC-1701 (USS Enterprise), NCC-602 (USS Oberth) or else.
For all we know, the USS Constitution could have been one of the registries on that starship status chart beginning with any "16" prefix. YMMV.
As another example of why the idea of using the ship type plus number built is not viable.
Take a class of ships that is limited production like the Galaxy-class. There are supposedly only 12 built (eventually, with perhaps more later built to replace loses).
USS Galaxy has a registry number in the 70000s. One would assume this would be farther refined to the 70600s, this making the Galaxy-class cruiser design 706. If the mentality remained from 1964 to 1987, then the Galaxy-class ships should be numbered NCC-70601 to NCC-70612, possibly keeping one out for the placement of USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. Its number being either added into the order later, or its number replacing what would have been NCC-70603 in the order. That number either being deleted from the registry books, or taken by some other ship while Enterprise manages to be special. This could also be farther interrupted by USS Yamato if she kept her 1300s number instead of getting a new one.
The problem here is that Starfleet has assigned the production number for the 706th class of cruiser to a limited run class, and thus now after the last ship is finished (a war replacement ship for USS Enterprise listed as NCC-70615) the next ship to have a registry number would be NCC-70701 of the next class of starship. This gets even worse if a design fails or is cancelled after two ships. Image there being just an NCC-45001 and a NCC-45002 followed by NCC-45101.
It also limits in another way. What if the ship type has more than 99 ships? The Miranda are all over the freaking Federation, as are the Excelsiors.
Of course the Galaxy-class ships do not have these numbers. Aside from Galaxy and Enterprise, the others are in the 71000s, with three in the 71800s. But still widely spaced.
So you have a problem with Greg Jein supposedly being the one that changed the class of the Enterprise but no issue with David Carson saying that "Yesterday's Enterprise" is an alternate timeline?
Seems like there is no rhyme or reason to how you judge information beyond how it fits your pet theories.
Oh for Pete's sake... can we effing stop dragging the damned Enterprise-C into every other discussion about starships?
Maybe NCC-xx64 (or NCC-xxx64 later on) is the new cursed ship number for Starfleet. Like 13 is in some countries and 4 and 40 are in some Asian countries.
Separate names with a comma.