I completely agree with the claustrophobia, that's one reason I like the NX-01 so much. It feels like a real ship, with real limitations that is not always easy to live on, surrounded by overwhelming amounts of real space.
Yep, claustrophobia. And really, considering the canon sizes of the ships, even the larger ones probably should have appeared smaller on screen. After all, most of us live in rooms that are about 10 feet high, maybe 15 feet diagonally or so (small bedrooms are often 9 feet by 9 feet). 3 feet is a little less than a meter.
Even the 2009 Enterprise
is 610 - 910 meters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_Enterprise
), or around 1976 - 2948 feet. Even with standard small bedrooms, that's 220 - 327 of them on the entire ship (I can't recall how large that crew was, but there were more people than the 90 or so on the NX-01
), with no room whatsoever for engines, the bridge, sickbay, any recreational facilities, an armory, cargo storage, transporter room, etc. Doubling people up in such tiny spaces is possible but that would show even more claustrophobia.
It is possible to fit in everyone and everything, but even on a ship of that size, it should have seemed a helluva lot tighter. Enterprise
absolutely gets this feeling right, I feel.
The NX-01 really is a great ship, and I personally love the overall design and think it fits perfectly within the 22nd Century timeframe and aesthetic. I also like that it has a smaller 'feel' to it because, like everyone else, I think it makes things feel more 'real'.
Bad Thoughts wrote:
The NX-01 bridge was, IMO, the best designed. It felt like a functional workspace. From the outside, the ship was on the ugly side. However, it was entirely appropriate for what it was supposed to be: more like a USS Monitor than a USS Nimitz.
I think of all the things Enterprise got right, and in a realistic way, is the design and feel of the ship. First, I just love the exterior design of the ship: I felt they did a great job balancing the classic saucer\nacelle design. It both looks like a believable ship from the future with incredible detail, while still looking less advanced than the TOS NCC-1701.
The interior sets from the bridge, to the engine room, to the quarters were all great. Futuristic, yet still had a contemporary feel, that could have come straight out of an actual modern submarine or aircraft carrier.
In fact speaking of aircraft carriers, I have been on the USS Midway, a museum aircraft carrier from WWII, in San Diego. That ship is 296 meters long, compared to the NX-01 at 225meters, and the NCC1701 at 289 meters. That ship is unbelievably massive (but by today's standards, is puny as Aircraft Carriers go). Granted, you have to take in account that the layout is completely different, but the Midway was designed to house up to 5000 crew members, but for most of the crew things are TIGHT. For most of the crew, you literally had a small cubbyhole of a bed shared with sailors on other shifts, stacked 2 or 3 high like bunk beds (you used it while the others were on duty), and each room had several rows of these. No one had any personal space. Also, going through the engine room of the Midway, the NX-01's engine room seems all the more realistic for a ship of its size.
The NX-01 Enterprise has come closest to showing such cramped space like that, than any other Star Trek incarnation, thus making the feel of the ship all the more realistic. In space, personal space is a luxury: where the Enterprise-D or Voyager feels like a Carnival Cruise ship, the NX-01 feels like a utilitarian cross between a naval ship and a NASA capsule.