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» Flare Sci-Fi Forums » Star Trek » Starships & Technology » New shippy-ship confirmed in next week's Enterprise (minor $) (Page 3)

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Author Topic: New shippy-ship confirmed in next week's Enterprise (minor $)
TSN
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Of course, even w/ that, you can still use that "USS" arguement.

It's the TMP display that throws things off. But that can still be explained by saying that each picture could be changed, so there were more than just five ships displayed.


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Boris
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I agree that TMP is the easiest to explain, whatever rationalization we use, and TSN's explanation makes sense because we won't ever see that display again.

Let's enhance the discussion with some actual script quotes:

"Remember Me" (TNG):

CRUSHER: Computer, is there more than one U.S.S. Enterprise?

COMPUTER: "This vessel is the fifth starship to bear the name U.S.S. Enterprise."

Analysis: Fair enough, it's the fifth "U.S.S. Enterprise". Braga was clever not to use the "U.S.S." prefix. However, the computer *doesn't* confuse United Space Ship with United States Ship.

"Relics" (TNG):

Scotty asks computer to "show me my old ship". Then he specifies "the Bridge of the Enterprise."

COMPUTER: "There have been five Federation ships with that name."

Analysis: Again, B+B got out of the trap because there's no Federation yet. However, since the computer couldn't ID Scotty and narrow its answer down to two ships, it would present this same answer to anybody. This indicates that the computer has (or assumes that people want) only the bridges of Federation ships named Enterprise -- an interesting bias, indicating Archer's insignficance.

Or maybe the computer couldn't ID Scotty, yet thought it reasonable that nobody with a Scottish accent could live beyond 150, and presented him with the last five ships.

"Trials and Tribble-ations":

After "It's....the Enterprise", we go back to the office, where Dulmer asks:

"Be specific Captain. Which Enterprise? There've been five."

LUCSLY: Six.

SISKO: This was the first Enterprise. Constitution class.

Analysis: Why would Dulmer, a relatively smart guy, assume that Sisko had to meet a *Federation* Enterprise? Since they were in space, it could've been Archer's Enterprise, or the circular-warp-drive Enterprise.

One simple answer is that in the version of the story he heard, Sisko said "It's....the U.S.S. Enterprise." But since they kept going with "which Enterprise", not "which U.S.S. Enterprise", that seems unlikely, especially for such precise investigators. Also, Sisko says: "This was the first Enterprise.", not "This was the first U.S.S. Enterprise." So Archer's ship isn't an Enterprise? Ok, let's say Sisko was speaking within the "U.S.S." context, although we have no evidence he ever said "U.S.S.".

Still, we shouldn't be going through these kind of contorted explanations in a well-written story.

[ November 09, 2001: Message edited by: Phelps ]


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The_Tom
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Fine, let's call the exchange from "Trials..." a continuity error. There was a line that gave a strong indication that Archer's ship never existed. It's really not significantly worse than the "Lt. O'Brien" debacle, or the blown dating references to the Eugenics Wars, or James R. Kirk, or Vulcanians, or Sisko's father being dead, or the Mirror Universe having cloaking devices etc. etc.

But were we supposed to expect any producer, whether it be Berman or Braga or a fanboy god like JMS or ISB or RDM, to have allowed one line of dialogue to prevent a chunk of an entire series' premise from existing? The name "Enterprise" is thematically linked to the series and the franchise on the whole, not to mention incredibly financially lucrative. The adventures of the Spaceship Endeavour just wouldn't have cut it for the Paramount suits and probably wouldn't cut it for a large chunk of the general public, too.

Of course there were bound to be errors about Archer's Enterprise when you look back on previously made Trek. It's a simple fact of life that if a show is made for 30 years without a planned backstory, there're bound to be issues when you try to write in a new one. The very fact that the ship isn't named "USS Enterprise" and doesn't bear a 1701 registry shows a conscious decision on the part of the creators to try and get around most (but admittedly not all) of the possible dilemmas. As I see it, they could go ahead with the awareness that they were bound to scratch continuity here and there or just not make the show at all. I find it disturbing that some fan's near-religious obsession with canon is such that they'd prefer the second option.

[ November 09, 2001: Message edited by: The_Tom ]



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Boris
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For one, I've read about 80% of JMS's posts online, and I also know quite well how Ron D. Moore thinks, also, since he's a fan and has posted online as well. Since "fanboy" usually refers to stupid beginners who religiously swallow anything handed to them, I can't exactly see what you mean. These guys are rather gods of good TV storytelling, gods of those who think all TV should be as well written as The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Babylon 5, the Twillight Zone, the original Star Trek etc, etc. The genre doesn't matter.

JMS would not have gone with the name "Enterprise" as a publicity gimmick because he's not a sellout. That's why Babylon 5 is almost dead in bookstores and videostores, and long gone from regular TV. For him, a story has to be good drama, and good storytelling. That means not confusing viewers even a little, unless that confusion will eventually be explained in the story. If he thought the name "Enterprise" is essential to the story, then the ship would've been similar or identical to the circular TMP ship. No problem with the weird shape -- if there's one thing JMS repeats constantly, and has proven through his B5 incarnations as well as his desire to write in a whole bunch of media, than that's a need for experimentation. Just look at the various shapes of B5 ships.

Most probably, however, he wouldn't have made this particular show.

Ron D. Moore, on the other hand, is a fan. There is a long fandom tradition of five starships named Enterprise, and he probably hates this insertion of something that's identical to a Federation starship in everything but name, something that's so important and should've been mentioned or shown somewhere. He would've gone a similar route as JMS, using the circular ship or something of that nature also. After all, DS9 was about experimentation as well.

I don't know about Ira Stephen Behr, but he made DS9, so he's used to being the "forgotten child", rather than a franchise keeper.

[ November 09, 2001: Message edited by: Phelps ]


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The Mighty Monkey of Mim
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quote:
Fine, let's call the exchange from "Trials..." a continuity error.

Umm...Pardon me, but I don't think you call the line that was spoken first a continuity error. You call the stuff that comes after it the error.

But, you're right about this not being a really big deal.


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Boris
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Ok, what *would* be a big deal?
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Raw Cadet
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Some posters seem to be using the absence of Archer's "Enterprise" from later ship displays (and dialogue) as evidence of an inconsistency (and poor planning on the part of the producers). The absence actually seems fairly consistent with whatever conventions the decorators of the starships "Enterprise" use to determine which ships will make their display.

The (decorators of the) first "U.S.S. Enterprise" seemingly did not acknowledge any previous vessel of the same name, at least not until it was redecorated during the refit. With the refit we got the infamous five ship display. But which aircraft carrier was shown, and why? Assuming the rest of her career (barring her current service) is relatively uneventful, the second aircraft carrier "Enterprise" is arguably less historically important than the first.

We did not see another ship display until "Enterprise" "D," the decorators of "Enterprise" "A" opting to decorate with portraits, and "inconsistencies" abounded. Again, which aircraft carrier are they displaying, and why? What happened to the "hoop ship?" Did it fall out of favor with Galaxy Class interior decorators? Why are the third and fourth starships "Enterprise" of a version never seen onscreen?

The latest ship display, on "Enterprise" "E," seems relatively harmless; it only showed Starfleet ships named "Enterprise," if I recall correctly.

Now, can the inconsistencies mentioned here be rationlized? Absolutely. Can the absence of Archer's "Enterprise" be rationlized, as well? Of course. Or, one could appreciate the fact that the producers of "Star Trek" incarnations try to show starships that are "decorated," at all, as opposed to the sterile ships of so many other science fiction shows, rather than bashing them for not including ships they did not know about.

(Who once posted a link to a website with information on almost every ship named "Enterprise?" What a large room that display would require.)


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The_Tom
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Phelps: I was referring to JMS, RDM and ISB as "fanboy gods" in the sense that they tend to recieve near-worship from the stereotypical online fanboy hordes. This isn't to say everyone who appeciates their work is one or that people who don't aren't. There is, however, a widespread view online that those three are Nobel laureates who'd never dream of offending the hardest of the hardcore fans even if it meant severely comprimising the Hollywood side of things. I dispute that view. You seem to corroborate it.

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Boris
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Yeah, I quite agree. Archer's ship should only be shown if we have a large room, 'cause otherwise it only takes up space next to the the Ent-B, Ent-C, or the aircraft carrier intended for battle, not exploration. Starfleet must be hiring a lot of weird artists for these displays, since none of them seem to understand which ships are the most important for Starfleet, but rather make choices based on such trivialties as their prefices, or whether or not they were in the Federation.

I wonder what the captains of these ships think about this. Picard probably had the display removed in later seasons because of its inconsistencies, and because Commander Riker was staring at it too much during briefings. I personally would expect Archer, being a Cochrane and Earth ships fan, to complain that the ring-ship named Enterprise wasn't included in *his* display.

The_Tom: I wasn't being absolutist when I said "gods". I used the word in the same good-natured sense people sometimes take with experts in a field that were their inspirations, etc. JMS would offend a hard-core fan if he thought the fan wanted to impose on him what B5 should be about. However, did you know that explorer ships were invented because a fan asked how the jump gates are transported there in the first place? He's partly online for fans to ask questions that can flesh out his shows, make them more real.

Television business is about making money. There are two ways to do it -- come up with something innovative that will catch the audience, or come up with ripoffs that you know are artistic ripoffs, but simply work well because they rip off other, successful shows. It's part of being in television business -- you play it safe or you risk, whichever works best for you. Braga and Berman are in the first category, JMS, Matt Groening, David Chase, Chris Carter are in the other. I don't think anyone disputes that.

By innovating, these guys don't go against Hollywood. JMS never said that because Hollywood helped him get to where he is now. It's just there are people in the world who think that if they prove themselves in writing, and take risks and try to get better every day, that's the way to succeed. So they gravitate towards doing new shows, rather than ripping off other shows for money. Other people have a different idea of innovation, or an interest in not taking risks, so they choose to shepherd a franchise that is ripping off itself. That's a perfectly understandable thing in TV. Makes business sense.

However, it usually turns out that the innovative shows, *if they succeed*, capture more audience than shows that are not as innovative. It is believed by JMS and other writers who work on TV that Star Trek could afford to take chances because it's has a strong fan base and a huge budget. It might be the way to go since Star Trek no longer captures the average viewer, the uninvited viewer. I was stunned at how many people watch "Sopranos" around here, and it's certainly not because it has an everyday format. Hence it wouldn't matter that Star Trek is science fiction, as long as it's done right. What about X-Files? Buffy?

[ November 09, 2001: Message edited by: Phelps ]


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OnToMars
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quote:
the second aircraft carrier "Enterprise" is arguably less historically important than the first.

First nuclear powered aircraft carrier - quite historically important, as a matter of fact.

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Boris
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But it's not on a peaceful mission of exploration. And didn't the Warp Five engine actually allow people to make contact with other civilizations? Isn't that more important than nuclear power on an aircraft carrier?
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Ryan McReynolds
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Which is why it's more logical to assume that the "ring ship" never existed and the display really showed Archer's Enterprise.

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Enterprise: An Online Companion

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." --Phillip K. Dick

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Ryan McReynolds
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Scratch that, I changed my mind. I'm now firmly back in the "configurable display" camp.

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Enterprise: An Online Companion

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." --Phillip K. Dick

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Boris
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Darn, I almost had you admitting the first continuity violation ever!

All right, so Archer's ship would've been on TMP if it lasted another week (god forbid!), it would've been on TNG if the artist hadn't screwed up, and it would've been on FC if the artist wasn't so picky. Oh, and the ring ship would've been on Archer's display if Archer had something to say about it.

I didn't think I'd ever feel sorry for Archer.

[ November 10, 2001: Message edited by: Phelps ]


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Sol System
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One thing to keep in mind, I think, is that the people talking about starships named Enterprise have been Federation citizens in a world where the Federation has been around a long time. Perhaps I'm letting my Federation bias shine through here. But, to use an Earth-bound example, I am far more likely to know about events that have occured since the U.S. Constitution was adopted than I am those that came before. Even though those prior events were vital to those that came after.

Again, maybe I'm letting my personal inclinations here (Namely, to think of the UFP as a unified entity whose citizens are more likely to respond "I'm a Fed citizen" than "I am a Truncated Reticulan III-ite.) Still, something to think about.


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