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Author Topic: The U.S.S. Brattain and a Registry Nightmare
Dukhat
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Hey guys,

In my spare time I'm writing up a couple starship-related essays, such as an essay about the conjectural Starfleet ship classes, and another one about the appearance of each ship model on screen in TNG. For the latter, as I was writing the article on the Miranda class U.S.S. Brattain seen in "Night Terrors," I came upon some interesting (and frustrating) information about that ship that I'd like to share & get your opinions about. If any of my info is in error, please let me know.

Now before you all yell at me, understand that I'm going under three assumptions:

1. Starship registries are chronological (at least at the start of my essay),

2. Every registry number from 01 to 75227 (Data's scout, the ship with the highest known registry) has been assigned to an individual ship, and

3. All the information on the Brattain's dedication plaque was correct as written by Okuda (who I presume made the plaque).

OK? Here goes...


U.S.S. Brattain (Miranda Class)

In "Night Terrors," the Enterprise comes upon the U.S.S. Brattain adrift in space. The Reliant model was used, its second appearance since the Lantree. While the use of the Reliant model is not necessarily a bad choice, it's registry seems to be way too high for a ship of that age, NCC-21166. Registry-wise, that would put its construction around the same time as the Ambassador class ships, which would only make sense if the Brattain was the last Miranda class ship to be built, although we will see later that registries of the Mirandas will go as high as 3XXXX. However, the real problem arises with the ship's dedication plaque. It states that the ship was launched in 2345, only 19 years before the Enterprise-D in 2364! So not only does this mean that other Miranda class ships with the 3XXXX registries must have been launched after this date, but this also applies to the super-high 4XXXX registries of some of the Excelsior class ships! This would mean that both the outdated Miranda and Excelsior classes were still in production even while newer types of ships were being designed and built, and in even some cases retired (like the Ambassador class), which is preposterous. Additionally, this would also mean that registry-wise, all of the 3XXXX Mirandas, 4XXXX Excelsiors, 5XXXX Oberths, all of the 5XXXX, 6XXXX, and 7XXXX ships of the Galaxy class "family" AND the ships shown in ST: First Contact were built in only the 19 years between 2345 and 2364. And finally, to make matters worse, the New Orleans class U.S.S. Rutledge was operating only two years after the Brattain was commissioned, and her registry is NCC-57295. So within the span of only two years, starship registries went from 2XXXX to 5XXXX!

There are only two ways around this problem:

1.) Starship registries are not chronological, but that still wouldn't explain the late construction of a Miranda class ship; or

2.) The Cardassian War either started or was in full swing between 2345 and 2347, and in that span of time many, many Mirandas and Excelsiors could have been quickly mass-produced, along with newer designs which were produced only infrequently because there wasn't a lot of time for R&D. The Setlik III massacre in 2347 would seem to confirm this. Plus, just because there were so many registries used during this short time doesn't mean that large ships were being built. There's a precedence for small ships (like runabouts and Data's scout from Insurrection) to also have individual registry numbers. Perhaps all those Peregrine class fighters that the Maquis were using were built around this time, and had their own registries, if not individual names.


Plus, there's another problem registry-wise: In 2337, eight years before the Brattain was even launched, the last of the Renaissance class ships, the Hokkaido, was commissioned. Although the Hokkaido's registry number is unknown, it must be at least one number past the U.S.S. Hornet's registry of NCC-45231, the highest known Renaissance class registry. So let's for argument's sake say the Hokkaido's registry was NCC-45232. That's still 24,066 registry numbers higher than a ship that was produced eight years later! Again, the only option that would make sense of this fact is if registries were not chronological.

There is of course one more theory, one that makes the most sense: that the launch date on the dedication plaque was actually a "relaunch" date, after the Brattain had some kind of refit done (or if the Brattain was in fact another vessel that was rechristened, like the Enterprise-A), and the ship is actually much older than the plaque suggests. That would also explain the higher registries of previous Renaissance class ships, and wipe away the short production timespan theory of other ships. But why bother with such a convoluted idea like that for just one old ship in one forgettable episode? Okuda just should have made the launch date earlier.

Whew!

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Shik
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
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Asymptotic stardate scaling. That's my answer & it's what I'll stick to.

(BTW, I have Brattain comissioning around 2311.)

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"I never agreed with Jefferson once—we have fought on like seventy-five different fronts. But when all is said & all is done...Jefferson HAS beliefs; Burr has none."

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Dukhat
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I got the stardate of commissioning (22519.5) from Memory Alpha, which was what was they said was printed on the actual plaque, which they also said translates to 2345. Are they wrong? And any particular reason why you chose 2311?

Either way, you've given me a third option: That the stardate scale changed between the commissioning of the Brattain and the launch of the Enterprise-D, and the plaque represents the older scale (or in reality, Okuda just pulled a random stardate out of his ass, although if anyone would know stardates the best, it'd be him). That certainly makes a hell of a lot more sense than anything I speculated above.

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"A film made in 2008 isn't going to look like a TV series from 1966 if it wants to make any money. As long as the characters act the same way, and the spirit of the story remains the same then it's "real" Star Trek. Everything else is window dressing." -StCoop

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Daniel Butler
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I always assumed the Excelsiors were still in production during the 24th century. It could still be a workhorse (indeed we saw several of them during TNG) as long as the new ones were built with current technology (newest phaser emitters, torpedoes, replicators, etc) and the ones in the field retrofitted to a degree. I don't have a huge problem with them building new Miranda class vessels for light-duty intra-Fed stuff like patrols and sensor sweeps and scientific investigation and diplomat-ferrying and so forth. I realize it's quite old indeed, but this isn't like oceanic vessels where 200 years ago ships were still wooden with sails - I'm willing to bet that 200 years from *now,* ships will still be made of metal and have engines.
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Shik
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
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He probably DID pull it out of his ass. And the scaling HAS to have changed. You've got 22 years between 7412 & 9523. And then the next real date we see is 41154 a whole 71 years after that...& now things are 1000 per year. I bet it gets rescaled again or the math is recomputed or whatever they do before they hit 100000 in 2423.

As for how I got 2311, well...I had to make a giant hull number per year chart for my project. I'd show you a copy, but I've yet to find a way to get a computer program to show the info I want how I need it, so I made it out of poster board.

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"I never agreed with Jefferson once—we have fought on like seventy-five different fronts. But when all is said & all is done...Jefferson HAS beliefs; Burr has none."

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Fabrux
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Its Brittain, fuckers. [Razz] I'mma have to take a picture of my street sign one of these days...

Also, the highest known registry is 75633 for the Sao Paulo/Defiant II.

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TSN
I'm... from Earth.
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You left out one of the options : Registry numbers are assigned chronologically, but there could be a long time between that assignation and the actual building/launch of the ship.
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Daniel Butler
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I don't know if I'd believe that Starfleet is assigning numbers that far in advance, though.
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Sean
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Well, the ship could have had it's name, class and maybe registry was assigned earlier, say before the start of the Cardassian wars, and for some reason, production was halted. I do believe that the Brattain was a science vessel, so maybe it's production was halted ( along with the majority of other non-combatant vessels, in favor of combat capable ships and supply ships) untill the war was over. I think that may at least explain the date of commissioning and registry. Then again, it could well be a refit, or Mike Okuda having a random screw up. Because at the time this ep was produced, I doubt TPTB thought that there would be fans like us disecting every single continuity mistake.

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"Kosh, I'd like to introduce you to our Resident schmuck and his side kick Kick Me."-Ritten

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity".
-George Carlin

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Daniel Butler
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I'm sure it was a random screwup; these things almost universally are. Still, if you're a geek with time on your hands, you *have* to retcon your favorite shows. Inconsistency grates.
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Dat
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My view is that the whole NX/NCC/NAR/NFT/whataver in the Federation and Starfleet is one whole massive numbering scheme and that as a new ship is built for Federation and Starfleet purposes (as well as ships being absorbed into the fleets from newly acquired Federation members) the next available sequential number is assigned. Cancelled ships whose construction is halted will retain the number already given and that number is not reused.

And the stardate system had changed during the 24th century... along with Okuda pulling a random stardate out or his ass. I mean just look at the stardates that were applied to events that were said to have happened some odd years ago like birthdates.

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Dukhat
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quote:
As for how I got 2311, well...I had to make a giant hull number per year chart for my project. I'd show you a copy, but I've yet to find a way to get a computer program to show the info I want how I need it, so I made it out of poster board.
That's too bad. I would like to see that chart.

quote:
You left out one of the options : Registry numbers are assigned chronologically, but there could be a long time between that assignation and the actual building/launch of the ship.
True, but...

quote:
I don't know if I'd believe that Starfleet is assigning numbers that far in advance, though.
I'd have to agree with Daniel.

quote:
Because at the time this ep was produced, I doubt TPTB thought that there would be fans like us disecting every single continuity mistake.
Ha! Little did they know... [Smile]

quote:
My view is that the whole NX/NCC/NAR/NFT/whataver in the Federation and Starfleet is one whole massive numbering scheme and that as a new ship is built for Federation and Starfleet purposes (as well as ships being absorbed into the fleets from newly acquired Federation members) the next available sequential number is assigned. Cancelled ships whose construction is halted will retain the number already given and that number is not reused.
Quite true, and very sensible. I just don't like that idea. [Smile]

--------------------
"A film made in 2008 isn't going to look like a TV series from 1966 if it wants to make any money. As long as the characters act the same way, and the spirit of the story remains the same then it's "real" Star Trek. Everything else is window dressing." -StCoop

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Mars Needs Women
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Feel free to get angry at me but, where exactly has it ever been stated that ships are numbered chronologically? Sure it may seem that way more often than not, but it gets kinda goofy when you take into account the Oberth class and Prometheus class as well as the dilemma we have on our hands right now.
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Ritten
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To keep the opposing forces, at the time say the Romulans, from knowing too much how about if they developed a numbering scheme based on confusing the enemy? Randomly assigned numbers with more added each year and perhaps used.

This could keep the Romulans, then the Klingons, confused as to the true force levels of Starfleet.

This could also be used to explain the multiple numbering/naming seen as a method of psyops. The intel they receive from Spy X has the same names and numbers for a different class as Spy Z you don't know which is what or how to believe.

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"You are a terrible human, Ritten." Magnus
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A leek too, pretty much a negi.....

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Shik
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
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quote:
Originally posted by Dukhat:
quote:
As for how I got 2311, well...I had to make a giant hull number per year chart for my project. I'd show you a copy, but I've yet to find a way to get a computer program to show the info I want how I need it, so I made it out of poster board.
That's too bad. I would like to see that chart.
I would very much like to show it to you, but I've yet to find a way to computer chart how & what I need; nothing but the hull number sequence is in any sort of regular order pattern. I have some of the information defined, & the rest is inferred & sussed out from that.

However, I have taken the moment to recreate in Photoshop a segment of the chart (albeit a lot less cluttered) so you can see how I laid it out. The actual chart has small vertical line tabs on the ends of each class run line to define it better from the mess, but I didn't bother adding them here.

quote:
Originally posted by Mars Needs Women:
Feel free to get angry at me but, where exactly has it ever been stated that ships are numbered chronologically?

It never has, & indeed there are some (like Jonah) who refuse to believe in that, either partly or completely.

--------------------
"I never agreed with Jefferson once—we have fought on like seventy-five different fronts. But when all is said & all is done...Jefferson HAS beliefs; Burr has none."

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