Enterprise E. What made it different than Enterprise D?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by urrutiap, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. urrutiap

    urrutiap Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Been a long time since I saw the First Contact movie and they didnt go into great details of Enterprise E, but wasnt there that one novel that took place between Generations and First Contact where Kelsey Grammer's Starfleeet captain character stole the Enterprise E for something?

    What weapons etc made Enterprise E different than what Enterprise D had?
     
  2. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Most notably, the E had quantum torpedoes equipped, which only the Defiant had prior. Assorted sources note that she also had stronger phasers and shields, and was at least in part designed to fight the Borg.

    The novel “Ship of The Line” is what you’re referring to, and it doesn’t really go into much detail on the E either. Really, aside from white torpedoes and most beyond just saying she was more advanced, there aren’t many on-screen metrics to go by. The nature of having only four action-focused movies to go on didn’t really help. :P

    Mark

    Mark
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Having the E-E or the Sovereign class be designed to fight the Borg is rather implausible, because this is the one ship type that Starfleet designed was superfluous in the fight against the Borg.

    Nebula, Steamrunner and Miranda classes would appear to be superior Borg-fighters in Starfleet's assessment, as seen in that battle. Those, and Defiant, which in a complete antithesis of the E-E was actually dragged from her usual static service at DS9 all the way to Typhon to conduct this battle.

    What we might surmise from the movies is that the Sovereign class was poorly designed originally, as Starfleet constantly tinkered with her (or at least the E-E) between all the movies. What is a q-torp turret first becomes a Captain's Yacht next; the pylons change shape; new torpedo tubes get installed; the secondary hull gets recontoured; the total number of decks is changed; etc.

    The E-E is quite a bit smaller than the E-D, and probably not intended as a direct replacement. Instead, apparently Picard gets downgraded to a smaller ship after having lost the Federation Flagship. We know little about the change in capabilities: the -E has more torpedo launchers than the -D, say, but all of them appear to fire single shots when the -D spat out a cluster of five torps at once when needed. Is one more a fighter than the other? Which one? The Sovereign class fails to appear in the Dominion War, too, possibly because there was something wrong with it (see LaForge bitching about a year-long shakedown), but possibly because it was unsuited to war by design intent instead.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    To me, the Sovereign-class was just a more "economical" version of the Galaxy-class that maybe could be built in slightly larger numbers than the former down the road. It probably had the benefit of having the latest tactical and sensor systems at the time. We also never saw any regular passengers (crew family members & civilian workers) aboard the Enterprise-E, so there might not have been any provisions for them as there were on the Enterprise-D. That alone could give credence to the long-standing fan idea that the Enterprise-E was more of a battle-oriented vessel than her predecessor, but it could also just mean that she wasn't intended for extremely long missions and didn't need to be something of a mobile starbase, IMO.
     
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  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Essentially, the thing is shaped and scaled like an Excelsior, and might be a direct successor to that design's Starfleet role - whatever that is. Possibly long nacelles and long and narrow secondary hulls are especially good for X while stubby nacelles to the sides of a shorter, broader hull work best for Y, which is why Starfleet goes for both.

    The "predecessor" concept is the one I'd like to do away with. There's no particular evidence that the E-E "succeeded" the E-D in any concrete fashion: Galaxy class ships continue to serve, and the Federation Flagship laurel doesn't get handed over to a Sovereign as far as we can tell. The E-D didn't succeed the E-C, either - there was even a gap of decades there to further make this evident. It's just that Starfleet sorta likes the name, and slaps it onto assorted ships. (And then at least twice chooses to move the command crew from one ship of that name to the next, both times arguably as a form of demotion and punishment for failures or offenses relating to the first ship...)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It’s not a demotion if we remember that the Galaxy class was by all standards massive overkill for what the Enterprise-D actually ended up doing, as opposed to going on decades’ long missions of exploration with all support and social infrastructure built in, including the ability to separate the saucer (and hide it somewhere) rather than presumably leave civilians on a starbase or even a deep-space station.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Predecessor could also just mean the last ship to bear the Enterprise name. When I used the term predecessor, it was just in reference to the Enterprise-D. Others may imply that the Sovereign-class was some sort of replacement for the Galaxy-class, but I never subscribed to that idea as Starfleet seems to favor having a variety of different designs in service.
     
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  8. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Provided a new Enterprise is longer by a certain percentage than the previous one, the remaining characteristics can vary.
     
  9. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Functionally in story, it's the same, as 90% of all Trek ships are. Just new sets and a new model for the movies.

    I mean, the quantum torpedoes are blue instead of red. There's that.
     
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  10. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Quantum torpedoes are blue and their invention could’ve been initiated (if not necessarily carried out in detail) by someone looking to distinguish the Defiant from ships that came before. That’s a story function. The viewer is reminded that Thomas Riker has stolen an experimental warship. The Cardassians are in danger.

    We also know the writers had technical primers and/or wall schematics that would inform their stories as needed, not just serve as reference for Rick Sternbach or Mike Okuda in TECH-ing out the scripts later. The saucer crash in Generations was inspired by similar TNGTM ideas.

    Furthermore, according to Ron D. Moore, the Enterprise-E specifically wasn’t supposed to carry children:
    That can easily become a story point beyond a mere artifact of the setting.
     
  11. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's a sleeker TMP refit to me. Same design house? ;)
     
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  12. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There’s nothing inherently different between the two ships. The producers of the TNG films were sick of seeing the Enterprise-D and wanted a new ship. There was nothing the E did in the three movies it was featured in that the D couldn’t have done.
     
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  13. urrutiap

    urrutiap Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    well,Memory Alpha website says that Enterprise E had

    four additional phaser arrays

    five additional torpedo tubes
    deflector control

    stellar cartography
     
  14. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Enterprise-D had a more impressive Stellar Cartography lab than the E did. As for all that other stuff, it’s just weaponry that the D could easily have been upgraded with.
     
  15. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    It's entirely possible the -E had a planetarium, too (the Elite Force 2 video game assumed as much) and Picard and Data were just chatting in a subsidiary lab, like the ones we saw on the -D during the show.
     
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  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In terms of stuff we saw/didn't, the E-E wins by having a Captain's Yacht - something televised TNG not only utterly failed to show, but indeed indicated was absent by having the Captain always travel by standard shuttle, be the trip personal or official, diplomatic or bellicose.

    In terms of weapons, the -E has more, which probably means they are weaker: the output of the two ships appears to be the same, in terms of numbers of torps fired, or numbers of beams emitted. Since the two fight dissimilar enemies, we can't tell anything much about their firepower (although the -D digs a bigger pit per shot in a Borg Cube in "Q Who?" than the -E in ST:FC).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The E is lovely.

    The D has all the elegance, grace and charm of a donut.
     
  18. danellis

    danellis Commander Red Shirt

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    I thought the script made it abundantly clear they thought the Enterprise was the perfect ship for fighting the Borg, but Picard was too much of a liability to be anywhere near that cube.

    Have you read John Eaves article responding to the constant changes to the E-E? He compares this process with one of the major USN aircraft carrier.

    My interpretation of the bitching at the start of Insurrection to be because "our heroes," and presumably Enterprise herself, *had* been involved in the war effort, just not a part of it we ever saw.

    So the E-D crashing in Generations was a direct result of someone seeing - or at least hearing of - that section of the Tech Manual?!

    dJE
     
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  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, obviously not, since Starfleet stopped the ship from attending. Had it been just Picard, Starlfeet would have stopped Picard.

    Riker could have thrown Picard in the brig in chains and stunned him to be sure. Or vaporized him to be doubly sure. Or if (and when!) Starfleet didn't trust Riker, either, the entire bunch of traitorous officers could have been kicked out of polluting the bridge of a prime Borg-fighting asset, and a team from some other starship could have taken over. But no, Starfleet was perfectly happy to let the E-E keep counting comets.

    Note that the ship wasn't banished to the comet-counting assignment because of the Borg, because there were no Borg, not until the movie started. She had been doing stuff like that for a full year, because Starfleet strongly disagreed with LaForge on the "We are ready!" issue. The distrust relating to the Borg might be a relevant explanation for the final 2% of the team's humiliating banishment; the other 98% must be due to the ship being a dud. Or, you know, the team would simply have been given a garbage scow, and the non-dud ship would have gotten a trusted crew.

    It's pretty exceptional for Starfleet, no matter what the root cause.

    It's not all that exceptional for an Enterprise, though. NCC-1701 kept on changing, often radically so, basically once per decade. The E-C also looked rather different from ships supposed to be her sister designs, although we can't tell if she herself underwent any changes. But the E-E still takes the cake here, with changes between all three movies and well within a single decade.

    Strongly agreed with that. They had had their fill of fighting. Now the war was over and won, and there might be a chance to do some exploring again. But no, Starfleet sends them to draft new allies and put out bush fires.

    Did they fight aboard the E-E? Or aboard ships that actually worked? We don't know. But Starfleet probably wanted to get its act together as regarded the Sovereign class. It's just that they didn't manage to field a single working Sovereign in any of the battles we actually saw. Were those serving in some elite Fleet off camera, perhaps?

    More or less. The original Enterprise was also going to separate, in various versions of the first movie, simply because this was something "built into the ship" (read: mentioned in tech backstage musings) and the movie budget would finally allow this to be shown. These things are in the assorted tech manuals in the first place solely because they are cool, and the whole point of making Star Trek is to show cool things; the connection is pretty much hardwired.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
  20. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    According to Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion:

    The saucer crash sequence, inspired by a drawing from the ST:TNG Writer’s Technical Manual, had first been proposed as the cliff-hanger for Moore’s original version of “All Good Things…,” a proposed sixth-season-ender.​

    (I don’t know if anyone has the Fifth Season Edition to confirm this, but any drawings were most likely produced for the commercially-published Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, which expands upon technical memos and writers’ manuals developed in the years before.)
     
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