This is a frustrating ship, because it bucks my usual trend. Normally, I am happy to make up specs for a Federation ship since the Daystrom Institute should know these facts about Starships - yes detailed systems information like shield modulations would be classified, but general construction and performance details should be fairly freely available in the Federation much as it is for many countries today.

With the Wells class, this is a more confusing prospect. Does Temporal Investigations in the 24th century have detailed information about its future self? In a sense, they should. Certainly they have the ability to travel through a few centuries of time, and to send messages through similar 'distances'. If we accept this, then I can write up a set of specs as normal.

On the other hand, if Temporal Investigations does go around communicating with itself on a regular basis, then all sorts of bizarre things should happen. Since technology is going to continue advancing, it would make sense for our own Temporal Investigations to never get involved in correcting timelines - just leave it to the guys in the future who are better equipped! Ultimately, this would mean that all temporal situations would be handled by some god-like version of Temporal Investigations from the year ten million or something, which is hardly a very satisfactory conclusion.

Then there is the temporal prime directive to think about. We don't know just how strict or wide ranging this is, but it clearly does put limits on what you can share with your forebears. So with some regret I conclude that technological details do not get passed around, and hence we don't have any solid details on this ship. Hey ho...

So, what do we know? Well, the ships sizes are fairly speculative and are based off of visual inspection and a troll through a few web sites on the ship. Ex Astris Scientia (which you can find on my links page) is a truly excellent resource for this kind of basic information and is where the size comparison image, amongst many others on this site, is from. The ships name, class and registry are all from its dedication plaque, which isn't terribly visible in the episode but has been published since. That the ship carries phaser arrays comes from the strips visible in the images on this entry. I've qualified this remark because there's no way to know that those things aren't sensor arrays or something since they don't fire in the episode.

For whatever it's worth, here are some guesses as to what the holes in the specs would be.

Unit Run - difficult to say, but I would have guessed several hundred of these ships in service as an absolute minimum. If the Federation is going to survive the next five hundred years, it should have spread across a good portion of the galaxy. I'd guess Starfleet to consist of several hundred thousand ships at the very minimum, if not a million plus, if they're going to cover that sort of volume. Incidentally, a six digit registry number such as the Relativity's allows for one million ships, while if letter suffixes are common by this time you can multiply that up to twenty six million total.

Crew - I would guess at a crew of around 20 or 30. This is based on the trend we have seen since the very first days of Starfleet towards lower population densities on successive generations of Starship. While the Constitution had a crew of about 430, the Galaxy class which is well over six times the size has about two and a half times the number of people, even including family members.

Armament - those things certainly do look like phaser arrays, so I would say that they are. Subspace jacketing for firing across light minutes or light hours would be likely. Some form of torpedo is probably also still in service, with torps that would be warp capable and have ranges of a few light years. If that sounds over-optimistic, think again - such technology is already available and has been seen in use in the 24th century, it's simply a matter of putting it together and using it.

Defensive systems - temporal shielding is the likeliest candidate for protecting the ship from timeline changes, but normal shields are probably still in service. Armour is possible but this doesn't strike me as a warship so I doubt it's heavily armoured by the standards of its own time. That isn't to say it isn't heavily armoured by 24th century standards, though.

Warp speeds - I think we have to assume that the Federation will have transwarp drives long before the 24th century. Transgalactic travel should be common, and even intergalactic travel should be working in some form. A slight bit of supporting evidence for this is in the episode - when targeting the ships temporal transporter, the guy working it specifies the Delta Quadrant when he gives Voyagers co-ordinates. This makes me think that the thing works over very long ranges, although I'd be the first to admit that it's about as thin a bit of evidence as one could imagine. (I can think of at least four other ways to interpret it right off the top of my head.) However, if transporters did work over these kinds of distances then Starships would have to be fast indeed to still be viable against that kind of technology.

So, there's what I would have done if I'd thought I could justify giving the ship proper specs.

Last updated : 4th June 2000.
This page is Copyright Graham Kennedy 1998.

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