State of the Fleet 1.0 / Patrol Combatants

Hey all……..I don’t normally post anything during the week, but I was so close to finishing up the introduction of sorts to my compilation–literally, less than a paragraph–that I figured I’d open it up and get it done.  Not only that, the rest of my week here is going to be busy cranking out this month’s freelance work – want to make sure and devote my full time to that so when I wake up at whatever time Saturday and get my coffee going, I can get the formatting and associated formalities (table of contents etc) out of the way and then get to work on the ship themselves.

That said, I wanted to put up my rough draft or, “v1.0” of my intro – the State of the Fleet – that gives the reader an extremely broad/high-level overview of the developments in Starfleet from the end of the Earth-Romulan War (2161), well into the 23rd Century and the TOS era.  I try not to get into too much detail and keep things as simple/vague as possible.  Not only does that make it easy for me, it’s also convenient if and when I have to make edits/modifications which will almost be assured as I move from class to class.

State of the Fleet 1.0

Also, I noticed I neglected to include a few notable classes in the recent listing I put up.  Well…..mainly it was just the Federation class Dreadnought I’m sure we all know, but I spotted the Proxima class BB over on Memory Beta (link here; orthos here and here) and decided to throw that in the mix as well.  Federation was Starfleet’s answer to the Klingon B-1/Jul’Kar…….with phaser weaponry (that I didn’t mention in the above document), they figured this would be more than enough.  However, after looking at Proxima, I decided to slip it in, Starfleet hedging its bets against the infamous battleship construction programs of the IKDF.  The ships I’m talking about come from the old Guide to the Klingon Fleet that I still have  up right here.  Their potential is obvious, however during this period, the Klingons were too slow to act, lacked the necessary technical & engineering knowledge and expertise and eventually succumbed to astro-political realities.  Starfleet didn’t know this though, to them the Klingons were wildly unpredictable still, thus they needed to take every possible precaution–hence, Proxima.

This might change how I approach/re-write certain classes when I get up into the TMP era, but for now, Proxima will be Starfleet’s ‘black project’, resting on the back burner, but ready just in case……

 

Jolan Tru

 

Modular/Pre-Fab Construction in the 23rd Century

Hey all, still plugging away here.  Was mentioning the Kepler/K-Type station and I had a random thought.  Pouring over images and screen caps of K7, all struck me as rather primitive/utilitarian.  If it weren’t for the conical pieces at the center and top of each of the three ‘hubs’, it would almost make good sense as a pre-fabricated structure of sorts.  So I was thinking, why not make it a ‘pre-fab station’ ??

 

Here’s my train of thought.  You have the massive Ticonderoga–1,888m in diameter, 2,406m in height (according to Kristian “Reverend” Trigwell) and taking 8.5 yrs to build (according to me).  Sure, they’re obviously capable, but for a Starfleet focused on expansion and having to deal with one or more existential threats, they obviously can’t wait that long .  What they need is a functional command and control facility that could also coordinate the manufacture/storage/distribution/transfer of supplies and serve as a basic ‘beachhead’ of sorts in frontier regions (think ‘island reclamation’ here…..).  Think of this like a massive Lego set.  Each major component–the conical towers with the windows, the long, utilitarian support pylons, the 4 rounded sections (the 3 smaller ones on the ends of the pylon + the 1 larger one) and others–would arrive on station disassembled.  They would be assembled separately and then hard-docked in place.  Once the assembly was complete, life-support systems and basic utilities would be installed, letting further interior proceed unhindered.

 

Given the overall size of the finished product–450m in diameter, 488m in height and featuring 163 levels *(scaled this relative to my interpretation of the Watchtower/J-Type)–I’ve come up with some rough estimates for construction time……2 weeks give or take for the separate component assembly, another 3 weeks to put them all together and then 2 months to fit out the interior.  Given that this is a station and not a starship, cutting out major components like propulsion and scaling back/down others like weapons, sensors and the like would drastically cut down the construction time I would think and while it might actually take more time to finish out the interior, the station would at least be functional and able to be used (assuming you started with command/control facilities + essential systems).

 

The only limiting factor as to how many of these you could deploy would be the number of freighters/transport containers available to move all the components–let’s say 2 support squadrons at the minimum (each consisting of 8 TT’s and 4 FG’s), plus 1-2 Light Carriers to carry the requisite workbees and provide defense/overwatch.

 

I don’t know…….maybe the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet (or maybe I’ve had too much…..)……

 

Peace and Long Life

 

Attention on Deck!

New Star Trek Series Premiers January 2017

Hey all, I apologize for my earlier post that just had a link here……..I posted this while at work, had several other things going on and didn’t have time to properly compose my thoughts.

 

It’s great to have Star Trek back on the small screen where it belongs, it really is.  Though if you search the net enough, you’ll come to find out that this is the ‘launch vehicle’ of sorts to get CBS’ streaming-only platform off the ground.  Now I’m a ‘cord cutter’ myself and despite reading through sites like Ars Technica and CNet, it’s still a struggle for me to keep abreast of all the changes in the US Cable TV landscape.

I can see why CBS would want to keep any such series exclusive (the same way ‘Gran Turismo’ is exclusive to Sony and the PlayStation) in order to build themselves a solid foundation for an alternative/web-only/streaming-only service or content portal, but my concern there is twofold.  The first issue is a big one and really, it’s outside the purview of this blog, but I’ll get into it anyways.

Keeping this exclusive makes sense for CBS from a financial standpoint, but with the proliferation of such web-only/streaming services………Hulu, Amazon, Netflix et al., the value proposition for your average consumer rapidly erodes after stacking up so many subscriptions.  Eventually, one would run into a brick wall at which point he/she would be forced to slim down their subscriptions and potentially miss out on content, or cut the cable altogether again, taking them all the way back to square one so to speak.

The other issue is equally obvious I think.  In using a new Star Trek series to build a web/streaming foundation, the issue of quality could (or will) eventually be sacrificed in order to achieve financial viability for said service.  I’m not a fan of ‘nu Trek’ or  JJ Abrams whatsoever.  His ‘alternate universe’ though is dumbed-down enough to the point where your stereotypical network executive just might take it and run with it.

Wait a minute though, let’s step back and take another look at this.  If they’re going to broadcast one, two or maybe three episodes on network/cable TV and then go streaming-only, you remove pretty much all the barriers that end up watering down promising film and TV projects.  The issues of universes and aesthetic conventions aside, the paramount issue becomes storytelling.  Getting away from what what we’ve seen already on the big and small screens, the richest and most diverse storytelling has come from the multitude of authors who make up what I like to call ‘TrekLit’ (this is what I mean).

TNG and VOY were alright, DS9 got better and ENT really started to show promise.  It was set in the right era and you even had Manny Coto who wanted to finally bring the Kzinti to the screen, but alas, said stereotypical execs were short sighted as usual and pulled the plug.

Now here we sit.  Really, whether you set this in the ‘prime’ or ‘alternate’ continuity, it doesn’t quite matter to me when all is said and done.  What will make or break a new series is the quality of a) the writing and b) the stories.  Look at some of the novels that have come out in since 2001-2002.  Vanguard, A Time To……, Destiny, Seekers……….not to mention the relaunches of both VOY and DS9 (refer to the above link for more).  With the freedom of not having to deal with network or studio executives and their ilk, there exists the opportunity to explore uncharted territory and tell stories like they haven’t been told before, just as they have been in those novels.  The question is, will the powers that be do so or not??