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Old January 19 2013, 05:10 PM   #8
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Re: Is the NX 01 one of the better ships (aesthetically)?

I'm not crazy about the overall Akira-influenced shape of NX-01; it looks kind of unbalanced to me, too flat and without anything extending downward to balance the nacelles angling upward. There are a lot of angles it just doesn't look that good from.

But other than that (which was the result of executive fiat), I think the ENT design team did an absolutely stellar job. The shape of the ship is imperfect, but the details of its exterior and interior design are fantastic from an aesthetic and functional standpoint alike. I love the attention to detail and the realistic touches that help make it feel like a practical, working spacecraft. Like the way the bridge and corridors have handholds everywhere as a backup in case of gravity failure, or the way the consoles have cooling fans in them, or the way sickbay has such everyday paraphernalia as a sink and a paper towel dispenser.

I don't understand the objection that the E-D was "too much" like a luxury cruiser. I think you have to consider its intended function. The original intent of the show's creators, which unfortunately was largely abandoned by their successors in later seasons, was that the E-D would be on an extended deep-space exploration mission which would keep the crew away from their home territory for as much as 15 years. So it had to be more than just a working environment -- it had to be a home, a community, a place where people could spend a huge chunk of their lives without going stir-crazy. So naturally comfort would have to be a higher priority on that kind of ship than on something designed for missions of shorter duration. (And of course that's also why the ship's complement included families -- you couldn't get that many people to make a 15-year commitment if they had to leave their families behind.)
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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