(written from a Production point of view)
The article had apparently been circulating among fans for some time prior to that date, as it was sent in to the magazine by several people, including Jein himself, as a response to a reader question in an earlier issue of the magazine.
Determining starship registries
In the article, Jein attempts to create a list of starships with their respective registry numbers. Since no such lists existed at the time, he chose to use the registries seen in TOS: "Court Martial" as a basis for his list. However, as he explains, he "combined confusion, circumstance, and innuendo to produce illogic, but it relatively (in the loosest possible sense) forms a semi-cohesive pattern."
- USS Constellation
- USS Constitution
- USS Defiant
- USS Eagle
- USS Endeavour
- USS Enterprise
- USS Essex
- USS Excalibur
- USS Exeter
- USS Farragut
- USS Hood
- USS Intrepid
- USS Kongo
- USS Lexington
- USS Potemkin
- USS Republic
- USS Valiant
- USS Yorktown
He then claims that the Constellation, Defiant, Farragut, Kongo, Republic and Valiant are unlikely to have appeared on the Starbase 11 chart, due to them being either not yet constructed or no longer in active service. Removing these ships leaves twelve, exactly the number of starships mentioned by Kirk in "Tomorrow is Yesterday".
Jein then matches these 12 names to the 10 numbers on the chart by using a reverse alphabetical ordering, arriving at the following matches:
|NCC number||Starship name|
1. The actual chart seems to read NCC-1831, but Greg Jein may have misread it as 1631. Okuda's list, based on Jein's, corrects this to 1831. This was re-corrected in the remastered TOS to 1631.
Although he himself admits there is little logical reasoning behind this ordering, it does lead to several interesting matches. The 1701 is correctly assigned to the Enterprise, and the 1700 is very conveniently matched to the USS Constitution, the presumed first ship of the Constitution-class. Furthermore, the Intrepid has the longest bar on the chart, perhaps indicating it has finished repairs, as the plot for "Court Martial" suggests.
In conclusion, Greg Jein presents a "projected list" of starships, including registry numbers not seen in "Court Martial" and a number of vessels never mentioned in any official works.
|NCC number||Starship name||Class|
|NCC-1700||USS Constitution||Mk. IX deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1017||USS Constellation||Mk. VII interstellar cruiser|
|NCC-1764||USS Defiant||Mk. IX deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1685||USS Eagle||Mk. VIII interstellar cruiser|
|NCC-1719||USS Endeavor||Mk. IX deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1701||USS Enterprise||Mk. IX deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1697||USS Essex||Mk. VIII interstellar cruiser|
|NCC-1664||USS Excalibur||Mk. VIII interstellar cruiser|
|NCC-1672||USS Exeter||Mk. VIII interstellar cruiser|
|NCC-1647||USS Farragut||Mk. VIII space cruiser|
|NCC-1703||USS Hood||Mk. IX deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1868||USS Hornet||Mk. X deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1631||USS Intrepid||Mk. VII instellar cruiser|
|NCC-1732||USS Kongo||Mk. IX deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1866||USS Lafayette||Mk. X deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1709||USS Lexington||Mk. IX deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1702||USS Potemkin||Mk. IX deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1371||USS Republic||Mk. VI space cruiser|
|NCC-1865||USS Tashik-Sotra||Mk. X deep space cruiser|
|NCC-1623||USS Valiant||Mk. VII interstellar cruiser|
|NCC-1717||USS Yorktown||Mk. IX deep space cruiser|
PRIMARY PHASER L, R STAR SHIP MK IX/01 CONSTITUTION CLASS
Jein interpreted 'Mk. IX/01' as meaning that the Enterprise was the first ship (after the prototype) of the 'Mk IX' class, called Constitution class.
The various classes in the above diagram may or may not have a similar appearance to the Enterprise.
Acceptance of Greg Jein's numbers
These registry numbers, and in some cases, the ships in this list that were not actually seen on Star Trek, have made their way into official works. The first major adoption of these numbers was by the FASA role-playing game in the early 1980s, which at the time was an officially licensed product.
In the 1990s, official reference works by Michael Okuda, such as the Star Trek Encyclopedia, started using these numbers as a tip-of-the-hat to Greg Jein who was a model-builder for Star Trek at this time, as Okuda himself stated on a later occasion, "I might note that some of the ship registry numbers came from Greg Jein's interpretation of the starship chart in Commodore Stone's office in "Shore Leave" (TOS)."
Memory Alpha deems these numbers conjectural, and not part of the established canon. However, the producers do seem to regard these numbers as the official ones. The 2007 remastered episodes of TOS feature several of the original vessels with visible registry numbers, and they are all based on the list as it was published in the Encyclopedia.
On screen references
- USS Defiant (NCC-1764) in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly"
- USS Exeter (NCC-1672) in TOS: "The Omega Glory" (remastered)
- USS Intrepid (NCC-1631) in TOS: "Court Martial" (remastered)
- USS Excalibur (NCC-1664) in TOS: "The Ultimate Computer" (remastered)
- USS Hood (NCC-1703) in TOS: "The Ultimate Computer" (remastered)
- USS Lexington (NCC-1709) in TOS: "The Ultimate Computer" (remastered)
A major perceived inconsistency with the scheme presented by Greg Jein is the apparent existence of ships with registry numbers lower than the number of the class ship (the Constitution's NCC-1700). Furthermore, and Greg Jein repeatedly reminds the reader of this, the above scheme is not particularly scientific or logical, and is mostly derived from conjecture and random chance. It is also possible that the Constitution NCC-1700 was not the first ship of its class, but its replacement. (Much like the Original Enterprise and the Enterprise-A.) If this is the case then there could very well be yet another, much older Constitution with a lower registry number that was either destroyed or decommissioned prior to 2245.
A major 'competitor' on the subject of Constitution-class registries is the Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph, published in 1975. In his book, Franz Joseph lists the Constitution-class starships, sometimes as member of some sub-class, with much more consistent registry numbers ranging from NCC-1700 to NCC-1843. Franz Joseph also uses a variation of the 'Mk IX' notation.
To add to the confusion, the Star Fleet Technical Manual was at one time also regarded as official, just like the later FASA material. There were on screen references to the Technical Manual ships in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, with the USS Merrimack (NCC-1715) as an example of a starship with a Franz Joseph-derived registry number.
For these reasons, many fans prefer Joseph's list above Jein's, although there is no clear consensus on the issue.
Apart from these two major lists, there have been a few cases in which on screen references to Constitution-class starships have ignored any of the systems. Notable examples are the USS Constellation (NCC-1017) which, although introduced before any of these lists were set up, sets a precedent for starships using registry numbers lower than that of their class lead ship; and the USS Potemkin, which is given the registry NCC-1657 in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.