Re: Kirk's status, new timeline- Really so far off? (Contains spoilers Not at all. He based the idea of Starfleet's situation on Hornblower's navy, but modeled the actual service on the US Navy of the 60's, going so far as to consult research organisations for information, which is why Kirk was an admiral in TMP - the US Navy had discontinued commodore as a rank, the research company reported that detail, and the script was revised to make him an admiral, rather than a commodore. That's the Hornblower influence. Roddenberry wanted to make Trek's universe like Hornblower's in those respects, but used the modern organisation as a way of making it more familiar to viewers. creative license. Roddenberry explicitly cites Hornblower in The Making of ST. No mention of O'Brian. Only because they don't have a military consultant, and they no longer follow the once-standard practice of vetting scripts through researchers, so the writers make up what they think sounds good, not caring that the viewers are smart enough to notice their stupidity.