Even when FJ's work was new it wasn't above criticism. Perceptive fans soon began to note where FJ was apparently inconsistent with what could be seen on television. That can't be argued.
Which is not too surprising once you read his interviews (at www.trekplace.com
) and look into the possibility that the bulk of his work is entirely based on The Making of Star Trek
and not that much else. Of course, he should have also taken into account the studio set blueprints illustrated in this book, but since he didn’t, I wonder if Roddenberry’s assistance on his projects would have really changed things for the better.
But equally it can't be argued that he inspired legions of devoted fans and even an entertainment industry to follow and build on what he'd started.
The commercial success of his work revealed there was huge fan interest and market potential (something Gene Roddenberry did not expect) and inspired many fans to become equally creative, too. Definitely a good thing, though I feel Franz Joseph Schnaubelt would have rather wanted to encourage fans to actively participate in their local and hometown communities.
My biggest criticism (for which FJ is not to be blamed but what “fandom” made his conjectural designs into) is the subsequent conditioning up to this day how certain internal components of Kirk’s television Enterprise should look like.
Instead of a vertical main power line connecting engineering and saucer hull (Jefferies’ TOS bridge schematic) almost everybody believes this to be a vertical turbo shaft (according to Jefferies’s TOS bridge schematic the bridge would then have to be a turbo lift depot
And regarding his conjectural deck level numbering it’s mostly assumed that the saucer’s deck level numbering continues all the way down to the engineering hull – which makes Kirk’s cabin on (Engineering) Deck 12 in “Mudd’s Women” look like a production screwup which it isn’t, once the engineering decks start counting from the top of the dorsal down (and we’d have a Deck 2 there to rationalize the long turbo lift ride of Spock and the Romulan Commander in “The Enterprise Incident”).
In my deck plan thread (definitely “inspired” by Franz Joseph
) I’m taking these issues into account and I get to hear my approach is “radical”, while I’m just trying to be accurate and onscreen-compatible. That tells me a thing or two how good or bad the influence of the works of Franz Joseph is up until this day.