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Star Trek Misc Ideas/Discussion on Lost Era Star Trek and Early TNG

Captain X

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So I found a pretty cool site where a guy has used Blender to create both canon and fan sets, including very recently the Enterprise-C's bridge.

His comments about the size of the bridge has made me think about a few different things, and I'm kind of interested about the ideas other people might have on them. I guess first and foremost, what would you have done with the Enterprise-C's bridge? I recognize that the reason we got what we got had mostly to do with budget, just as the version of the Enterprise-C we got had to do with budget, as this model based on designer Andrew Probert's original design for it demonstrates.

Another thing is, whenever TNG depicted anything from this "Lost Era" between Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and the beginning of TNG, they basically re-used the TOS Movie Era uniforms with different undershirts, or removing them entirely (along with the belt, apparently).



So, basically Starfleet used the same uniform, more or less, for something like 80 years, which is kind of hilarious when you realize how quickly they changed uniforms in the TNG era. So this brings up another question - what uniform(s) would you have come up with to depict this era?

Speaking of TNG and uniforms, if you could go back in time and run TNG, would you still do the uniforms they used in the first couple of seasons, or would you skip right to the version they used in later seasons (and which became iconic), or would you do something else entirely?
 

gral

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The original one is better-looking, the one who got into the series looks more convincing as an intermediate step between the Enterprise-A and the Enterprise-D(the original one looks more like a contemporary of the Galaxy-class).
 

Val the Moofia Boss

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The Enterprise-C bridge reminds me of a submarine. It looks very narrow compared to the TOS and TNG bridges (ofcourse, it's actually rather spacious so that the camera can move around, but onscreen it felt small). It's sorta got that wartime submarine movie feel to it. Maybe it was also the Wrath of Khan uniforms that made me feel that way

what uniform(s) would you have come up with to depict this era?
I don't think there needs to be constant uniform swaps. The Wrath of Khan uniforms were mighty fine, and they fit the war time feel of the story so they work.

As DS9 became more about the war, the designers tried minimizing the colorfulness of the uniforms (and eventually covered up the pajamas with grey suits), but it just didn't have the same effect as the Wrath of Khan uniforms and the DS9 uniforms just looked dull. If they wanted a war time feel, I think they should have just reused the Wrath of Khan uniforms. Don't fix what isn't broken.

Speaking of TNG and uniforms, if you could go back in time and run TNG, would you still do the uniforms they used in the first couple of seasons, or would you skip right to the version they used in later seasons (and which became iconic), or would you do something else entirely?
Hm... when watching All Good Things, there is a nostalgia to seeing everyone in the old uniforms. The past uniforms are also one of the key ways that the show was able to immediately communicate the time jumps to the audience (since the actors can't de-age). So I might keep the old uniforms as is just for the impact of the final episode.

Out of curiosity, which version of the Ambassador class do people prefer?
I think that the original concept art is cooler, it feels like a sister ship to the Enterprise-D, not it's predecessor. Like I'd expect it to be a ship that would show up in the present day of TNG alongside the Nebula. The design that made into the actual show actually feels like it came from before Picard's time.
 

S'task

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So this brings up another question - what uniform(s) would you have come up with to depict this era?
I think sticking with the Movie era uniforms is fine for the era. There's no need to fix what isn't broken, and of all the uniforms I think the TOS Movie uniform is by far the best looking uniform in the series.

Speaking of TNG and uniforms, if you could go back in time and run TNG, would you still do the uniforms they used in the first couple of seasons, or would you skip right to the version they used in later seasons (and which became iconic), or would you do something else entirely?
I'd just use the TOS Movie uniforms. :p But given what I know of the issues with production and injuries that were caused by those early TNG uniforms, I'd switch to the later version ASAP. It's a meta reason, I'll grant, but an important one.

Out of curiosity, which version of the Ambassador class do people prefer?
I'm going to buck the trend and say I like the version we got onscreen. I feel it fits in the design lineage better, as others have said, but it also eschews the TNG era deign paradigm of fat ovals, and considering that I think the Galaxy-class is by far the WORST looking starship in all of Trek, and that the entire design was a dumpster fire of bad aesthetics and function, anything that goes away from it is a positive to me. It's of note that the next Enterprise, E, a Sovereign class, draws much more of its design lineage from the Excelsior class than from the Galaxy class...
 

Battlegrinder

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So this brings up another question - what uniform(s) would you have come up with to depict this era?
I'd actually say the TNG style or something like it (the lower decks one is actually an ok intermediary between TNG and Voyager uniforms, even though it's canonical a replacement for the DS9 one). I've never quite like the movie uniforms, the design is fine but they're all red and it's too hard to tell which depart wears what (DS9 had that problem to an extent, but not quite as bad).

Speaking of TNG and uniforms, if you could go back in time and run TNG, would you still do the uniforms they used in the first couple of seasons, or would you skip right to the version they used in later seasons (and which became iconic), or would you do something else entirely?
Isn't the late season TNG uniform the same as the early season one, with the main difference being the costumes were better made?

Well, that in late seasons they stopped using the skants.

Out of curiosity, which version of the Ambassador class do people prefer?
I think the show version. The concept is beautiful.....when viewed in 3/4 profile, every other angle looks wrong somehow. The show one isn't quite as pretty, but it's also never hideous.


TNG era deign paradigm of fat ovals
Fat ovals?

It's of note that the next Enterprise, E, a Sovereign class, draws much more of its design lineage from the Excelsior class than from the Galaxy class...
I think that's why I've never liked the Sovereign class, or it's decendant designs like the Odyssey. That thing where they just keep sticking the saucer section direct to the engineering hull instead of having a neck just doesn't work for some reason.
 

S'task

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I think that's why I've never liked the Sovereign class, or it's decendant designs like the Odyssey. That thing where they just keep sticking the saucer section direct to the engineering hull instead of having a neck just doesn't work for some reason.
. . .

That design aspect is the ONE thing they took from the TNG era design language, the Excelsior had a VERY visible neck separating the engineering section from the saucer:


The merging of the saucer and engineering hull is really first seen with the Nebula class:


Though that is a design more in line with the Miranda given the placement of the nacelles. That said, you then do see the merging of the saucer and engineering hull with the Intrepid class, which is still well within the TNG design frame:


The Sovereign fits very much in with the Intrepid when you note the shape of the saucer and the lack of neck. That said, the length of nacelles and the navigational deflector clearly harken back to the Excelsior class, though the warp engine pylons are a throwback to the Constitution-Refit style:


Fat ovals?
As to this, when you look at TNG designs, especially the Galaxy and Intrepid, they're just a collection of ovals. This is in contrast to earlier designs which had ovals, circles, and even straight lines.
 

Battlegrinder

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That design aspect is the ONE thing they took from the TNG era design language, the Excelsior had a VERY visible neck separating the engineering section from the saucer:
it's not just that, they also took the thin, angled nacelles struts, post TNG designs have nacelle struts that are just straight bars, rather the curved ones the Excelsior, Galaxy, and Ambassador have. That said, I should have more clear about the excelsior thing. to me, the two big things that stick out with the excelsior that got carried over to the sovereign are it's general proportions, and the rough shape of the engineering hull.

The excelsior is a longer and shorter ship, where the Constitution, Galaxy, and Ambassador are a bit more balanced, they have a lot of vertical space the the Excelsior lacks. There's also something a bit different about the excelsior's saucer size when compared to the engineering hull as well, it seems like the saucer isn't quite as oversized as it is on the more Constitution style ships.

Speaking of the engineering hull, the excelsior has that big inward curve from the very base of the ship arching toward the aft. Most starfleet ships have that, but on the excelsior and sovereign it's a much larger, more exaggerated curve than it is on other ships.

The merging of the saucer and engineering hull is really first seen with the Nebula class
And it's fine there, or for other classes. I really like the look of the Nova class, for example, and that's practically a case study of the post TNG Starfleet design language. I just don't like it on the big cruisers, it looks weird.
 

Captain X

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Oh, if anyone was wondering, I kind of like both the original concept and the TV version. If I have any real complaint about the Probert version, it's that I think it would look better to have pylons which start out flat and curve upwards as on the Excelsior and Galaxy class.

I'd actually say the TNG style or something like it (the lower decks one is actually an ok intermediary between TNG and Voyager uniforms, even though it's canonical a replacement for the DS9 one). I've never quite like the movie uniforms, the design is fine but they're all red and it's too hard to tell which depart wears what (DS9 had that problem to an extent, but not quite as bad).
I mean, since I'm thinking in terms of a reboot, or really just day-dreaming about if I could somehow go back in time to make these changes anyway, I'm cool with pretending LD doesn't exist. Well, to be fair, I'm cool with pretending it doesn't exist anyway. :)

Isn't the late season TNG uniform the same as the early season one, with the main difference being the costumes were better made?
The early ones lacked a collar and had extra piping on the shoulders. They actually stuck around for a while on extras. Later on as they were phased out, it just became an easy way of showing something took place in the past, or that someone was from that era as in the case of Thomas Riker and later all the corpses on the Pegasus.

You can see both examples here:
 

bullethead

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The Enterprise-C bridge is weird because it's the same old TMP bridge set hastily redressed, and because they whipped up Yesterday's Enterprise at literally the last minute, they hadn't had the time to work up a Lost Era aesthetic.

My favorite hypothetical Lost Era uniform design is basically this, but with the top being the various division colors instead of gray (I have a pic of that saved to a different PC):
 

Captain X

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Actually I believe the front part, command chair, and conn/ops are from the first season battle bridge set, and the back part with the consoles is from a set they made for the Hathaway, which was seen in the second season episode "Peak Performance." You know, the one where they tried to pretend Starfleet isn't a military and is the episode everyone who thinks that likes to point to for quote mining purposes. ;) I think those consoles actually also ended up being part of the back wall of the E-D's battle bridge as well, after BoBW.

Those are kind of nice uniforms. Reminds me of that vest that had Kirk wear in Generations.
 

bullethead

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Those are kind of nice uniforms. Reminds me of that vest that had Kirk wear in Generations.
I believe that was the inspiration.
Actually I believe the front part, command chair, and conn/ops are from the first season battle bridge set, and the back part with the consoles is from a set they made for the Hathaway, which was seen in the second season episode "Peak Performance."
I wouldn't be surprised, since those sets are literally all the same TOS movie bridge set, just with various parts moved around and changed.
 
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