In 2268, the Excalibur was assigned to a fleet war games exercise pitting four starships against the USS Enterprise, which was controlled by the revolutionary (but still experimental) M-5 computer. However, when the M-5 malfunctioned, it caused the Enterprise to fire phasers on the Excalibur at full power, when the ship's deflector shields were at minimum intensity. The Excalibur was severely damaged, with all hands lost. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")
|USS Ahwahnee • USS Constellation • USS Defiant • USS Eagle • USS Emden • USS Endeavour • USS Enterprise • USS Enterprise-A • USS Excalibur • USS Exeter • USS Hood • USS Intrepid • USS Korolev • USS Lexington • USS Potemkin • NCC-1700 • NCC-1707 • Unnamed|
|Mirror universe: ISS Enterprise|
|Alternate reality: USS Enterprise • USS Enterprise-A|
Background information Edit
While the death of its entire crew is established, the status of the Excalibur itself is somewhat unclear. The Star Trek Chronology (2nd ed., p. 88) stated that the ship was destroyed, whereas the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd. ed., p. 144) stated that the ship was severely damaged, but not destroyed. Both reference works were co-authored by Michael Okuda and was one of the few instances the author allowed for a discrepancy. However, subsequent reference works all proceeded from the latter. The episode itself provided no firm confirmation either way.
The registry of the Excalibur was not confirmed until it was seen on the CGI model in the 2008 remastered version of "The Ultimate Computer". The registry was first connected with the starship in Greg Jein's influential "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship" article, published in the April 1973 issue 27 of the T-Negative fanzine. In the article, Jein had made an attempt to "logically" couple the registry numbers as seen in "Court Martial" with the names listed in the reference book The Making of Star Trek. His conjectural ship's registry has been subsequently propagated in the Star Trek Concordance and the Encyclopedia, the latter co-authored by future remastering project Visual Effects Producer Michael Okuda, who made use of the remastering opportunity to elevate Jein's until then conjectural ship's registry to canon. With the high definition version of "Court Martial", the registry, which had been read as NCC-1664, was determined to be NCC-1864. This registry was that of the USS Reliant.
The name of the ship had already been established by the producers at the start of second season of Star Trek: The Original Series, when they composed a list of fourteen ships belonging to the Constitution-class, still referred to as "Starship-class" by them at the time, including the Excalibur. The Excalibur has been a consideration from the start. (The Making of Star Trek, pp. 164-165) Excalibur is the name of King Arthur's mythical sword.
According to the Star Fleet Technical Manual the registry of the Excalibur was NCC-1705.