Enterprise E. What made it different than Enterprise D?

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

  1. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 11, 2014
    Annoyed by inappropriate use of the word "Need"
    I think it's more a matter of terminology as well as the differences that Sisko highlights. The Sovereign always struck me as in line with the Defiant, no family accommodations, but still have the science lab capability due to the increased size from the Defiant.

    To me, the biggest difference is simply the emphasis put in to the use of space.
  2. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 22, 2003
    Going back to the OP, I think Timo's right that the Sovereign was more of a replacement for the Excelsior than the Galaxy.

    For years fans have assumed the Sovereign was a replacement for the Galaxy, and the new top dog, presumably because the Enterprise is always the best, based mainly on Geordi's proud boast that she's "the most advanced ship in the fleet". But "advanced" doesn't have to mean "better". Just newer. And better at what?

    Given the size of the ship compared with the D, I think the E was less of an explorer and more of a troubleshooter. She's quick and strong, but isn't capable of the same kind of extended scientific missions the D was apparently designed for.

    But it doesn't mean it was a relegation for Picard after losing the D. How much exploration did Picard actually do? Most of his missions took place within the Federation's borders, or not far beyond. They patrolled the neutral zone, they went on archaeological digs and they took part in negotiations and diplomatic missions.

    In other words, exactly the kind of missions the E is conducting in the three films. I think Picard was given the D with the intention of doing some proper exploring, but the mission role changed more or less after the first year, when the Romulans reappeared.

    When the D was lost there was no point giving him another identical ship, so he got a more stripped-down ride befitting his missions. The E isn't necessarily a better ship than the D, but it's perhaps a better fit for Picard.
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  3. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    Whatever floats your boat, but they were 98% probably Enterprises.

    That’s both true and ironic.

    More kindling for the fire.

    That’s enough. I hadn’t thought “it’s because it’s the flagship” when I first saw that scene, but it makes perfect sense.

    That is not how the chain of command works. You don’t choose who to follow. I don’t buy fifty captains all thinking more or less the same thing here. Again, that is what the chain of command is for.

    It’s not ambiguous in the context of Star Trek’s use of the term. This is going back to what @Spaceship Jo said about coming up with wild ideas from straight forward dialogue.

    Perhaps the Federation president is merely one of many presidents. One of many Starfleet “Headquarters.” There are many HQ’s after all, and we’ve seen many different buildings for Starfleet Headquarters in Trek. ...nah.


    If we must...the next class of starship from which one is named Enterprise and made flagship. The Enterprise-B was a refitted Excelsior. Whatever the fanon might be in a minority of head canons alone (e.g. the Constitution Refit in TMP being Enterprise or American Class), it is Excelsior Class and TMP Enterprise is Constitution Class.

    Not so. If they chose promotion, very well, but the kinds of high level missions they send the Enterprise are reserved for ships of its type (compared to the Reliant’s) and namesake (compared to the Excelsior’s).

    They sent the E-E everywhere. Dominion, Sona, Romulans, Evora, brush fires, left and right. One instance they didn’t send Picard specifically to the Borg while he was commanding the Enterprise. And they learned to trust him and it all the more after.

    Nah. It’s the same reason it makes sense that the entire galaxy was grounded after dilithium exploded in DSC — all ships (including Romulan and everyone else) use dilithium because it’s synonymous in Trek to general audiences with warp. Quantum torpedoes, slipstream drive, et al confuse noobs, so they stuck with what everyone knew. They (we) come up with in-universe reasons after.

    I dunno. A lot of pretty amazing shit happened in TOS. (No, it wasn’t just “classified.”)
  4. Imaus

    Imaus Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 27, 2020
    I like the D as a massive workhouse. It's the Courser of the fleet.

    The E is the Destrier. It's the edge of the technology of the generation, while the D and Galaxies are mid-century. The Galaxies could take on anything known then, the E probably is just a sort of upgrade just to deal with the Breen, Dominion, and Borg 'better'. I would be surprised if more than 10 were ever built, if that, while Galaxies were pumped out more, especially as during the Dominion war they were easily the biggest ships Starfleet had, and if you remove the families, it was a capable warship.

    The other Anti-Borg ships were useful as well, of course. But it was high time Starfleet phased out everything younger than Centaurs. Sovereigns just helped with that.
  5. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 22, 2003
    Is that why Captain Scrooge had all those children on board?
  6. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    In the future there are prisons and workhouses enough for all the children, everywhere.

    The D came out of more realistic thought as to what the human adventure might be in the vastness and emptiness of space. We brought our communities with us as we explored the distant reaches of the universe. The ranks are more job titles because there really won’t be much war as we’ve known it in Earth history. The scientists will “inherit the Earth.”

    The E came out of Rick Berman wanting a sexy ship for the action-packed TNG movies, completely different from the series. This was the Seven of Nine dressed in tin foil era too. One more movie, and the E would have had more armaments than the Scimitar.

    The D was too big for the new era. Smaller was in (Intrepid, Prometheus, Rhode Island), more fighter-like. The D’s hope and ambition was a liability.
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  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    That's the thing, though: when nobody ever says they would be, and it is blatantly obvious that many of them are not, it seems absurd to insist on the apparent falsehood. For what possible reason?

    It's just as possible that Picard would want a wall full of Stargazers, or that the dockyards would insist on ships named Galaxy. Or that Thomas Halloway would have wanted ships commanded by Halloways, but then Picard stepped in, and took his sweet time changing the decor...

    But Picard pisses on it there, so what possible worth could it be? If a chain of command exists, then somebody is in charge after Hayes' ship blows up. Picard never makes any attempt to contact that somebody. He doesn't give a flying fuck to expected formality and procedure. So when he acts and declares "I am taking command of the fleet", it's fait accompli, and we learn little from it.

    Picard isn't an expected replacement there. De facto he's an intruder and a potential threat force, but formally the thing we don't learn is that he would be flying the flagship. We have to make up that bit if we want it to be true.

    Well, you have to decide. If you want to model things after the real world, there are many flagships and one president. If you want to say real rules don't apply, you can have a single flagship and many presidents, both being equally likely.

    Trek tends to be a balance, with a bit from column A, a bit from column B. It's just that there is zero evidence for the idea that "Enterprises should be flagships". The fantasy would allow for it, just as it would allow for the flag going for the bluest captain in the fleet, or the oldest ship. But we aren't there. We're where only the E-D ever was a flagship.

    Umm, what? How do we get to the "made flagship" part? That is, how did you make that up?

    Enterprises being flagships is not a thing. One Enterprise per reality being a flagship of some sort is. If you want to claim that some other Enterprise would be a flagship, you have to establish that somehow. Such as, I dunno, quoting some reason to think the ship in question should be a flagship.

    No. They had her counting comets, and doing nothing else/better for a full year, as per the crew's words.

    That situation changed when Picard mutinied against his explicit orders and engaged the Borg. But at that point, the ship might have ceased to be a lemon, too.

    It never became flagship of any sort to our best knowledge, though.

    And, thanks to the many spinoffs, we know it happens to everybody and every ship. Saving the universe doesn't make you special: it means you don't get sidestepped for promotion in the next round of evaluations for being a slacker.

    Saving Earth from V'Ger might not mean much, either: to most onlookers, Kirk just made nothing happen there. But waving away the clouds from above the capital planet is a biblical-scale miracle that gets you to the history books, which are written by scholars on the capital planet... Although ironically, this had nothing at all to do with a ship named Enterprise!

    Timo Saloniemi
  8. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    I’m not sure what you mean. What’s blatantly obvious?

    It really isn’t. Why would the dockyards insist that all versions of another ship adorn the Enterprise? There was never a U.S.S Galaxy aircraft carrier, yet it’s on the wall.

    More to the point, it’s a tradition to include representations of previous ships of a name on the current one. That’s what we’re seeing in Trek, just as we’re seeing the continuing adventures of a ship named Enterprise, specifically.

    We learn that the flagship can take over. That it can be a flagship.

    The part we have to make up is that Trek tradition changes because reasons.

    Then come up with new ones for why we’re going back to the old ones, but just this once.

    There is nothing to decide. There is one “flagship of the fleet.” Not the sixth fleet or the first fleet or what have you. But you can go down that path too for another twenty years till a random line of dialogue clarifies it further if you like. What we see in FC makes perfect sense if we stick to continuity and the Enterprise is the flagship.

    When you bestow a title upon something, you make it such.

    If you’re indulging a pet theory that the Enterprise isn’t the flagship. Both Picard’s and Pine Kirk’s are flagships. The implication being that Shatner Kirk’s is also, that all Starfleet Enterprises are. You could maybe have said that Shatner Kirk’s wasn’t, as it might not have been intended originally (when it ran on lithium crystals and used lasers, too, for that matter), but Pine Kirk’s line tells us of the TPTB’s thought in the matter.

    Per the crew’s words because the ship was new and undergoing shakedown.

    Saving the universe does make you special.

    Saving the Earth does mean something.

    The Enterprise was the ship that made that happen. Its crew made contact with the threat, analyzed it, mounted a strategy, and succeeded in neutralizing it. At the cost of crew lives.
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    That at least three of the ships there aren't shaped the way known Enterprises are - and that with starships Enterprise, there is no room for "unknown" ships or "missing" ones.

    It's a statistically poor showing, for any attempt to show the known five starships and failing with two.

    For all we know, there was. The USN has no problem naming a carrier the Shangri-La; a sister ship to CVN-65 could well have been named Galaxy.

    But we are seeing one thing, and this is not it. If we must stop believing our eyes in favor of, dunno, fancy ideas that don't stem from us believing our ears, either, then there's not much point in watcing or listening.

    Again, how would you make that up? Nobody says that "the flagship can take over" in any bit of Trek.

    It sure "can", even when all evidence for it is absent (for all we know, Picard's Yacht "could" be the current flagship). But it's absurd. Why is Starfleet utilizing its flagship (and possibly even a dedicated Borg-fighter!) as a floating brig for an untrustworthy officer at the very hour when having her in the fight would matter?

    Bullshit. Since there is no tradition of the Enterprise being the flagship, we don't have to pretend this unique once that there would be, either.

    Yes, and that's the E-D. Not any other ship we'd have heard of. She also happens to be the "flagship of the Federation", and again only her, not any other ship we'd have heard of.

    The other type of flagship title is cheap, and we hear it applied on all sorts of ships. Although, interestingy enough, never on an Enterprise!

    And conversely, since you never do on any ship other than the E-D...

    It doesn't work like that. "This cat is brown. Your cat is brown, too. All cats are brown. Every animal is brown. All matter is brown." Crazy people deduce that way. And the odds of them being right nevertheless... Tend to be zero.

    With them aboard. So yes, she was serving as a brig for them, in addition to counting comets.

    Assuming, that is, that LaForge was right and there was nothing wrong with the ship. But the more likely scenario is that the ship was a dud for the first year.

    From that preferable model it follows that nobody is an idiot (even though LaForge and Picard both have bloated egos).

    - A ship that doesn't quite work yet is best kept out of action
    - A mildly untrustworthy officer can be put on a ship like that as a mild slap on his fingers
    - The ship doesn't assume flagship status at a time when nobody attributes such to her, and Starfleet doesn't keep its flagship (in any sense of the word) counting comets
    - When the ship does defy orders, she doesn't demonstrate superior Borg-fighting abilities
    - No terminology is at odds with what we actually hear
    - We don't have to make up anything (except the idea that it's LaForge's pride speaking when he attributes to his bosses what rightfully is just the fault of the ship)

    The opposite model has everything wrong, detail by detail.

    - A working ship is kept out of action
    - A Borg-fighter is placed under the command of a potential Borg
    - The Flagship is being ill employed
    - Indeed, she is being employed for jailing a traitor and his yes-men, even when Starfleet has better jails (or worse ships)
    - When engaging the Borg, she fails to perform for unexplained reasons
    - And never mind that nobody ever calls her either a flagship or a Borg-fighter yet somehow we're assumed to think so anyway

    Only in the sense that every Trek hero is special. Apparently, it's got nothing particular to do with ships named Enterprise.

    Timo Saloniemi
  10. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 22, 2003
    The Enterprise is a flagship not in the traditional, literal, naval sense, but in the generally accepted metaphorical sense.

    The NX-01 sets the precedent, and Discovery confirms that the NCC-1701 was a big deal way before Jim Kirk. She was even held back from the fighting in the Klingon war in order to preserve an example of the best of the Federation if the worst happened (paraphrasing Admiral Cornwell). An interesting precedent for those wondering what part the Enterprise-E might have played in the Dominion War.

    The Enterprise-A was the epitome of a PR move, and the Enterprise-B was launched with a full press pack on board! We don't know much about the Enterprise-C, but her tragic end apparently led to a respectful wait for the next ship to carry the name, plus a lasting peace treaty with the Federation's longstanding foes.

    That's enough for me to be satisfied that the Enterprise-D was seen as more than just another ship when she was launched. She's probably featured on Starfleet recruiting campaigns. In modern commercial parlance, she's a Federation and Starfleet Flagship.

    Whether that extends to any operational meaning isn't entirely clear. Picard seizing command of the fleet in First Contact may simply be an example of the rule Janeway cited to Ransom - in multi-ship combat situations (with no obvious flag officer) the captain of the ship with tactical superiority takes command. He's also likely to be one of Starfleet's senior captains through service, having taken command of the Stargazer some 40 years previously.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Some things above are fan hearsay, though. We have zero idea on when Picard took command of the Stargazer, say (although he's an old man in ST:FC and never described as a slacker when it comes to climbing the rank ladder).

    Pike certainly didn't feel that him standing back during the Klingon war was a compliment or a privilege. Might be Cornwell is merely trying to placate the man for the slight by making the claim, really. As in, "We sent you out to deepest space for a reason - and no, I'm not going to be honest about that reason, because I don't want to hurt you". Pike did appear to be flying the most ancient-looking crate in Starfleet arsenal of the day, a ship that broke down on crucial approach to the first Red Sign for no good reason - and felt threatened by 'em new-fangled holograms and whatnot...

    Timo Saloniemi
  12. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

    Jun 15, 2009
    Well, even the Defiant participated in Scientific missions in the Gamma Quadrant for probably months at a time, Yes its a "Warship" but that doesn't mean it doesn't have sensors, and some areas that could have been converted to labs. It was probably a "First Look" type of mission where you go into a system, scan it, see what type of star, how many planets/moons, anything worthwhile to look at, catalog it for further study by a science ship if necessary, then move on.
    The Galaxy IS a science ship, that went out to the frontier, but also followed up on the First Looks ships because it had ALOT of labs, better sensors, and could stay in a system for weeks at a time to fully catalog the system, make first contact if necessary, etc.
    The E-E had the ability to do the sit for weeks scientific study, but I think was more inline with frontier, pushing the borders exploration, going where only probes have been with the ability to stay for a bit, but usually take a few days to study then move on.
  13. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 22, 2003
    But Burnham speaks of the Enterprise in glowing terms to Tilly, like it's the plumb assignment for any aspiring cadet on the command programme. Perhaps it's just because her brother is on board, but Pike is also in the list of legendary captains that the computer provides to Saru.

    It seems like there is some kind of cachet associated with Constitution class ships and the Enterprise in particular, even if they are old.

    Maybe it's like owning a classic car or being assigned to HMS Victory/USS Constitution.

    Re: Picard, we know he has been a captain for at least 22 years, so I'm not quite sure what you mean.
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Not the Enterprise, but the Constitution class.

    Possibly because on rust buckets like that, moving up is simpler than on more modern ships where cadets who don't have mentors as clever as Burnham end up working... :devil:

    And April, who also commanded that specific ship. And Decker, who commanded another Constitution - possibly an even older relic.

    Which oddly goes unmentioned in TOS. So perhaps their heyday was slightly before DSC.

    There's that. But would it be good for a cadet hungry for advancement?

    No, we don't know that.

    Picard's first starship, the one where he first served, was the Stargazer. Then came at least the Reliant. And at some point, Picard became the CO of the good old Stargazer. But no years are attached to this in any piece of dialogue.

    All we really know is that Picard was CO in 2353-55 or so, during two known incidents: losing Jack Crusher, and losing the ship at Maxia. ("Running from Cardassians" is an undated event that probably also happened around this time, and Picard describes it in terms that at least suggest he was the CO at the time.) And for all we really know, he first got the CO position in 2353.

    At the other end of that saga, we have every reason to think that Picard first boarded the Stargazer in 2329, at the conclusion of the Starbase Earhart episode described in the "Tapestry" flashback. All his subsequent adventures are undated, and most of them aren't even related to the Stargazer in any particular way.

    One incident has him assume command when the regular CO crocks it. This is an undated incident, not related to the year 2333 in any known way. Nor is it indicated that Picard would have reached the rank of Captain or the position of Stargazer CO at that point. It's just a heroic act that may get rewarded further down the line. Probably young Lieutenant (or whatever) Picard at that point just got a pat on the shoulder, a medal on the chest, and a new CO...

    Timo Saloniemi
  15. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    Which ones? The B and the C, okay, what’s the third?

    They are all Enterprises though. It’s the pesky real world creeping in, but that is the intent. In my head canon, I like to imagine that the C is as it was initially launched before a late-era refit. Probert’s design is far superior.

    You’re suggesting that we conjure up a fake future US aircraft carrier named USS Galaxy that looks like the old US aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, so that all those models on the Enterprise-D (that follow a real world tradition) can be of a different ship, because of the interior design predilections of someone at Utopia Planitia and Picard being a procrastinator. It’s genuinely impressive how contorted that is. Worth the price of admission right there.

    See the above point. You have to want to believe fanciful conjecture over straightforward reality.

    Flagships lead fleets. The admiral’s ship was destroyed. The flagship was on the scene. Picard took over. That’s the movie.

    I’m not sure what you’re replying to here. But you’re being specious so I’m moving on.

    That is your standpoint. Okay. For reasons already stated but ignored, I don’t think it’s accurate.

    You’re not deducing. You’re denying reality because it doesn’t fit with your preconceived ideas. Since this is a TV show and we all have our head canons, it doesn’t matter and you can. I know I do. At times with the entirety of whole series and movies.

    Working on the Enterprise is the most prestigious assignment in the fleet. It’s like working at the White House. You want to be there, and it takes excellence to do it well. Before Shelby takes your chair.

    Oh there’s idiocy in the movie that we can talk about. Maybe we will in another thread.

    Picard reassumed command of the flagship, with all its honors and massive arsenal, at the end of “Best of Both Worlds, Part II.”

    Ships need shakedowns. The more complex the tech, the more so. There’s no problem there.

    You’re making this up. You don’t know that it doesn’t demonstrate superior Borg-fighting abilities than previous ships. The Borg could have been “givin’ her all they’ve got” to defend themselves here unlike at Wolf 359 when they might have barely tried.

    Right. You have to read more into what’s plainly there.

    That’s the movie.

    The flagship was placed under the same the moment he was unassimilated.

    That’s, what, outrageous slander?

    You mean because the ship didn’t zap the Borg with its Borg beam and blast them back to the Delta Quadrant? It had upgraded capabilities from those the fleet had before, but they’re, alas, still the Borg.

    ....Okay, we get it, you need a 1200 paragraph Star Wars crawl at the beginning of the movie to state the obvious. Not even that. Just to address the parts you don’t want to observe.

    Actually, that’s in regard to the flagship comment. But it’s amazing how you can swallow the part about the Sovereign being a Borg-fighter without a word of dialogue to that effect yet the Enterprise being the flagship is a bridge too far. You you will go no further!

    In that same sense you have to play a game of half-disregarding what they did the previous week or be forced to reckon with the absurdity of how much happens to these people and why they haven’t yet taken a phaser to themselves like Riker did in “Frame of Mind” to escape the Matrix.
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    I'm not quite sure how to put this more clearly, really.

    1) "Only the E-D was said to be a flagship" is a true statement, without an ounce of speculation to it. That's the reality of it, both ours and Trek's.

    2) "All Enterprises are flagships" is a false statement in all realities unless some sort of proof can be introduced, and I'm not seeing any yet.

    3) "All Enterprises are flagships" is logically equivalent with "All Kirks are starship captains". In both cases, we have one piece of evidence in the main timeline, and an additional honorary mention in the Kelvinverse. Neither claim seems reasonable based on just that single piece, in particular because it should warrant mention if flagshipness or captainhood were somehow mandatory for the parties involved, and there is no such mention.

    4) Flagships and taking command of a fight don't work the way you think in reality. Whether they would work that way in Star Trek reality is merely debatable.

    5) Flagships don't get shakedowns in reality. Instead, the role of flagship is imposed on a vessel that is already serviceworthy, and can be taken away, too. (Typically, flagships in wars have been rather ad hoc; in peacetime, only the biggest navies have had dedicated command ships, which only become flagships if the corresponding flag officer breaks his flag there, and those generally aren't fighting vessels but mere floating telephone exchanges, repurposed from transports, jeep carriers, amphibious attack ships and whatnot. Yet that's reality fer ya - Starfleet might do things differently. Only, you need some sort of proof to postulate that.)

    6) Absolute agreement that Probert's sleek "predecessor to E-D" is the superior design. Only, it might better serve as a design in between the E-C and the E-D. You know, since there's plenty of room there for such a design, as long as we don't have an irrational fixation with the name Enterprise.

    7) The ships that are clearly wrong on Picard's wall are the two starships and the carrier, which is different from what we saw in ST4:TVH. But we can always plead "refit" with the carrier, since we have seen the "incorrect" art in many other places, complete with the Enterprise name and the CVN-65 registry. This opens the possibility that the E-B got a refit as well - and, analogously to the carrier, she got sleeker by ditching extra appendages! The possibility that the E-C might have been refitted is slim to none in comparison, especially as the refit would have to go from the sleek ship seen in the relief to the clunkier ship seen in the flesh, rather than the other way around.

    That's it, really. (Except that no, I don't see any reason to think the E-E had special Borg-fighting abilities - that was mere thought experiment in absurdity, since those seem to be on the table here. The ST:FC fight where every ship class save perhaps for the Defiant demonstrates equal prowess is definite enough.)

    Timo Saloniemi
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  17. Spaceship Jo

    Spaceship Jo Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 30, 2018
    @Timo, your last post is the most salient here and really sums up the issue. Enterprises aren't automatic flagships, nor are they automatically special (at least no more so than their sister-ships). The E-D was whatever Trek wants to label as a flagship, which seems to be a general status/standard-bearer, rather than any specific real-world (current or historical) Earth use of the term. And indeed, the E-E would never be a flagship (by our terms) while still on shakedown.

    Likewise, the E-E doesn't have any on-screen status as being special at Borg-fighting. There's a level of inference that is reasonable: quantum torpedoes are in some way superior to photon torpedoes. Exactly how they are superior is never stated. For all we know, they are just easier to make, or less dangerous to store, or have more precision in their explosions, etc. They may or may not be capable of bigger booms than photon torpedoes. We just don't know (from canonical, in-universe sources). But we do know that they've highlighted Quantum in dialogue, so there's something positive or impressive about that, even if their booms are smaller, so to speak.

    And yet, there's nothing to indicate that the E-E is a lemon. The arguments you use involve just as much "what we don't see" as "what we do see" and are just as much supposition as "all Enterprises are Flagships."

    The E-E might be a lemon in the same way the E-B might have been a Flagship: selective presence and absence of data, regardless of a clear intent from the creators. In fact, the E-B is much more likely to be a Flagship than the E-E is to be a lemon, insofar as there is no clear creator intent that makes the E-B fact true or false, whereas there is quite clear creative intent that the E-E is at least no worse than a Galaxy class, and is notably better for Picard insofar as the lack of visible children.
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  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    The one reason why I am fond of the "E-E was designed wrong" idea is that the ship keeps changing between all three of her appearances. No other ship achieves quite that, save for the very original - that is, the one with Pike and Kirk in command - and that one would have been getting treatment for advanced age, rather than for having been reared wrong.

    The idea of an exceptionally long and tedious shakedown would tie well into this idea. Picard indicated he was shaking down the E-D (and her crew!) for basically the whole first season of TNG, too, but that was through active duty and excitement.

    We then see the ship deployed without half her eventual torpedo tubes. Yet there is already a slot for the ventral aft ones in ST:FC, into which twin tubes are then installed for ST:INS. Not a mere decision to upgun in face of threats, then, but more like an initial choice to postpone...

    The ship next changes shape, getting new pylons and extra bracing between the two hulls. Issues with old gear? The gear as such stays the same; perhaps the calculated performance was not reached in practice, and Starfleet thus felt the need to fiddle. Or then there simply was room for improvement, rather than something specifically wrong.

    Intriguingly, the E-C model also gets this "existing components slightly moved" treatment. That is, the E-C does not change, but other Ambassadors portrayed by the same model have their nacelles and saucer repositioned for whatever reason, possibly even by accident. Plus a host of deliberate "mission gear" changes, such as different ramscoops, different lifeboats and an extra shuttlebay door. No doubt a case of two production batches in-universe! But the E-C might have been of the former, "inferior" batch and for that reason got no successors. Or then she was the "improved" batch, and her mystery loss at Narendra meant Starfleet lost confidence in the modifications.

    There is fairly little reason to believe in the flagshipness of the -C, since the ship gets discussed a lot in the relevant episode and this never crops up. The E-B is much fairer game, supposedly being among the biggest ships of her day, an all-new modification of a recent design, etc. But curiously enough, she, too, gets a real in-depth look, with nosy reporters filling her bridge. The F word is never uttered...

    Timo Saloniemi
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  19. Spaceship Jo

    Spaceship Jo Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 30, 2018
    I'm all for in-universe parsing of details like the Ambassadors having different mission gear or variants.

    But we do get stuck in the weeds when it comes to changes that are quite literally meant to not be noticed.

    If the E-E got refits between the films that we are supposed to acknowledge as looking different without analyzing orthographic views and freeze frames, then we are likely also meant to acknowledge that the E-D had a major refit during it's time, and that it continued to swap back and forth between the 'bumpy and thick enough for Ten Forward to exist' refit and the 'smooth but no Ten Forward' original for the remainder of its life.

    Which, you know... no. It's just the one E-D. The thick paneled surface doesn't grow and retract. The saucer edge doesn't thicken and shrink back. It's meant to be the same ship, no refits or defits at all to the exterior.

    John Eaves had to go and muddy the waters by drawing up an actual refit of the E-E... that no one outside this forum would be able to tell was any different. And then later we got the ever-changing JJ-prise that was then replaced by a JJ-A that wasn't substantially different as far as general audiences were concerned.

    Likewise was the original 1701 refit and defit repeatedly?

    Again, I absolutely love the in-universe parsing of details. If someone wants to come up with reasons for those changes, or stories of how they make sense, that's super cool! There are some great animations of retracting nacelle spikes and compound deflector dishes! If someone wants to make a story where the E-B was a flagship, neat! Despite the distinctly different levels of accuracy to the original material, one is just as much fanon as the other.

    All I'm saying is that it's one heck of a hard argument to sell as the pure, incontrovertible historical facts of the situation. You're going to lose even the most die-hard fans that frequent forums like these, and it comes across like the pedantic trolls we Trek fans are so often accused of being.

    But you aren't wrong.
    David cgc likes this.
  20. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 14, 2010
    You know, I’m looking at this, and… why not both? All Enterprises could’ve been flagships just because, and in each case the captain would’ve fought the visibility mission: Archer’s test flight circumscribed by Vulcans, Kirk’s patrol of a part of the galaxy (see the format and the writers’ guide), the schoolship mission, the post-whale tour, the Gorkon ferry, Harryman’s “run around the block”. Nobody ever says that’s what these are, everyone repeats the famous Captain’s Oath, but they all know it’s fiction. Other ships do that and then it takes a century to find them, but the flagship stays safe and famous unless something goes wrong, and Star Trek is about the times when it does.