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Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old May 23 2012, 05:53 AM   #1
Lance
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The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

Has there ever been an explanation given for the changes made to the 1701-D bridge in Generations? An explanation given within the fictional universe, I mean. Has it ever been addressed in a spin-off novel or something? Was there a refit/replacement of the bridge module between the series and the movie?

I know that Set Designer Herman Zimmerman made the claim at the time that they changed it to make it look more cinematic, and that “we hope the viewers see it and say, that’s what I’ve been watching for seven years” or words to that effect. Which seems to imply that the intention behind the change was to try and say, hey, those alterations would have been on the television version if they could have afforded it. But for me, that explanation doesn’t really wash. IMO there were definitely storage lockers (or whatever they were) there on the sides of the bridge for seven seasons, and then suddenly there were all these new bridge terminals.

And on a related note, what were the functions of those new terminals anyway? We all know what each of the back terminals is supposed to represent (Science I, Science II, Engineering, etc), but I can’t imagine what the side terminals were actually supposed to be. What are they for? Or are they simply background set dressing, no more ‘important’ to the grand scheme of things than putting up some curtains?
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Old May 23 2012, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

I thought it was ugly. I don't care about the reason.
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Old May 23 2012, 10:29 AM   #3
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

I thought the extra consoles in the "Generations" bridge looked great. Ditto the "Yesterday's Enterprise" one. In fact, I think every variant we ever saw was an improvement on the regular, bland, mostly-empty TNG bridge.

If you really need an in-universe explanation, they simply added more consoles. Maybe those lockers were computer connections for a planned upgrade, which Starfleet took 7 years to implement.

As for what the new consoles do, I dont know what most of the ones at the back did, either! Data sometimes sat at the left one (science), Geordi sometimes on the right (engineering).

IIRC, the reason they didnt have more consoles usually was budgetary - more consoles = more background nobodies to man them.

Oh, and yay on Worf finally getting a chair! Standing there, leant over his panel for a 8 hour shift every day could NOT have been healthy!
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Old May 23 2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

I'd say the bridge looked very modular and reconfigurable from the get-go, with all those wall panels promising to reveal interesting functions, or sockets for such, if opened. The Helm and Ops stations also appear "loose" (just as in reality), as they are seen changing location between the pilot and the regular eps. The changes for ST:GEN thus don't surprise me at all.

What function they might serve, though... The back stations during the show were not used all that much, really. Perhaps the ship was prepared to take onboard a visiting party of researchers who would work directly under the watchful eyes of Picard?

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Old May 23 2012, 01:20 PM   #5
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

I thought it was ugly, and silly to chage the bridge that everyone knew and (mostly) loved for the past seven years only to destroy it. I hated the lighting too.
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Old May 23 2012, 07:47 PM   #6
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

Eh, I didn't care for the changes--the lighting or the set re-decoration.

It seemed a bit of change for the sake of change. We're doing a big movie now, so let's change the bridge because we're doing a big movie now. Especially nuts if they already knew that this bridge was gonna be trashed and tossed after this movie anyway.

Both in-universe and RL production, it still seems odd.
If they wanted to upgrade the bridge with elevated sections and a chair for Worf and a few side consoles, it would be within the series production budget to accommodate such things. But they never did.

Like I said, change for the sake of change.
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Old May 23 2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

I think the GEN layout was the better of the layouts we saw.

To do those updats might not have been within the shows budget. As money spent there would have to come from somwhere, some other set they need for a later episode or a FX or a guest star etc..
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Old May 23 2012, 11:37 PM   #8
Lance
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

Timo wrote: View Post
I'd say the bridge looked very modular and reconfigurable from the get-go, with all those wall panels promising to reveal interesting functions, or sockets for such, if opened. The Helm and Ops stations also appear "loose" (just as in reality), as they are seen changing location between the pilot and the regular eps. The changes for ST:GEN thus don't surprise me at all.

What function they might serve, though... The back stations during the show were not used all that much, really. Perhaps the ship was prepared to take onboard a visiting party of researchers who would work directly under the watchful eyes of Picard?

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I had thought something like this might be the case. If we hypothesise further, the Astrometrics/Stellar Cartography room in GENS was considerably different to the one we saw in the television series, so maybe all of those areas were given an upgrade for some specific mission that we never got to hear about? The additional bridge stations might be linked to those upgrades.
SchwEnt wrote: View Post
Eh, I didn't care for the changes--the lighting or the set re-decoration.

It seemed a bit of change for the sake of change. We're doing a big movie now, so let's change the bridge because we're doing a big movie now. Especially nuts if they already knew that this bridge was gonna be trashed and tossed after this movie anyway.

Both in-universe and RL production, it still seems odd.
If they wanted to upgrade the bridge with elevated sections and a chair for Worf and a few side consoles, it would be within the series production budget to accommodate such things. But they never did.


Like I said, change for the sake of change.
Some of the humour in RedLetterMedia's video reviews might be a bit suspect, but he was on the money when he commented pretty much this.

I used to be a fan of the GENS modifications (which I thought made the bridge look more 'busy', ergo making it cooler). But I've come aroung to the other way of thinking now: that some of the changes were unnecessary. Personally, I would still have lowered the lighting levels, but otherwise I'd have left the bridge 'as was'. The additional stations look kind of neat, but in some ways they stand out in a bad way. They don't really fir the bridge that we've all come to know and love for seven seasons.
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Old May 24 2012, 03:25 AM   #9
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

I never thought the changes to the bridge were that dramatic. I guess I need to watch Generations and play close attention to it.
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Old May 24 2012, 04:11 AM   #10
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

As i understand it the production staff had wanted to add additional consoles to the Bridge for years (and did so in Yesterday's Enterprise). The issue was never SHOULD they add more consoles...they all wanted to. The Issue was the fact that additional stations meant that they would need to pay extras to man them. The TNG bridge, compared to all of the others, had relatively few extras in most episodes. People tend to forget that that bridge was designed to DEEMPHASIZE its role as a command center...which is why it had so few stations. Imagine what fans might of thought if we'd gotten some of the other bridge concepts that featured even fewer stations but made up for them with things like couches and one even had what looked like a restaurant booth.

Speaking of weird set changes in Generations...the oddest one to reconcile for me was the change in engineering. In Encounter at Farpoint there are actually 4 corridors that run into engineering. After the pilot that number was reduced to 2 and the entrances were rather crudely covered up with large computer panels. They stayed that way for seven years. The amusing part about the change was that despite the addition of the computers they never bothered to change the carpet to reflect the fact that the opening was now a wall. So if you look closely at set pictures, you se the beige border on the carpet, that usually curves with the walls, just turn and go straight into a wall for no reason.

For some reason in Generations they removed ONE of the computer panels, so that there were now 3 corridors running into Engineering. There does not seem to be a good reason for them to do this, and it does beg the question as to why Starfleet specifically built a new corridor for engineering. You cannot even use the excuse that the corridor was always there since All Good Things shows us engineering from before the pilot and the computer walls are in place just as they had been the rest of the series. (I'd always just ammued that they were supposed to have been there from the start and that the Early engineering set in the Pilot was just a work in progress. I don't think that they had originally planned to spend much time there anyway, so the early set was pretty bare)
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Old May 24 2012, 08:23 AM   #11
Timo
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

If we hypothesise further, the Astrometrics/Stellar Cartography room in GENS was considerably different to the one we saw in the television series, so maybe all of those areas were given an upgrade for some specific mission that we never got to hear about?
Why would the Stellar Cartography Department only have one room available? The ship is gigantic - there would probably be a laboratory complex with two dozen rooms for the department, including a big show-and-tell facility that the scientists themselves would have little use for. It would come in handy when impressing visitors, though.

In Encounter at Farpoint there are actually 4 corridors that run into engineering.
To be exact, the forward two weren't just "corridors". They were doorways, seen closed - with the doors set at differing depths in the corridor at different times. "The Naked Now" had fairly deeply inset doors:

http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albu...akednow072.jpg

The pilot presumably had almost flush doors, as per this publicity photo, even though this area was not filmed.

http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/ga...gineering1.jpg

You cannot even use the excuse that the corridor was always there since All Good Things shows us engineering from before the pilot and the computer walls are in place just as they had been the rest of the series.
Considering they kept the telltale carpet, it should be simple enough to believe that the computer walls were indeed temporary, movable things even in the Star Trek universe. That is, they could be installed or removed at a moment's notice.

That sort of thing might actually make some sense. Remember the first-season runabouts in DS9? Access to the supposed amidship and rear facilities was blocked by a glowing green wall where a doorway would later exist. A clever fan once suggested this green thing was a big computer cube on rails, something that could be pushed back for access to the middle space and then further to the container midsection and the stern lounge, but would typically lie flush with the cockpit wall because this piece of modular survey equipment was of great and regular use to Sisko's team - greater than the aft spaces, which really only were needed on long trips which Sisko seldom made. Or the sliding cube might be the interface for a midsection payload that wasn't crew-accessible.

The computer walls on the E-D could well slide out on the flat floor and be rolled away along the spacious corridors at the "bow" part of the set. At least if they were no deeper than the depth at which the doors are inset in "The Naked Now". "Modular" works fine there, too. And is all the more plausible if only one of the modules is removed...

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Old May 24 2012, 10:22 AM   #12
StewMc
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

Lance wrote: View Post
And on a related note, what were the functions of those new terminals anyway? We all know what each of the back terminals is supposed to represent (Science I, Science II, Engineering, etc), but I can’t imagine what the side terminals were actually supposed to be. What are they for? Or are they simply background set dressing, no more ‘important’ to the grand scheme of things than putting up some curtains?
This screencap reveals that the port terminals were Communications I, II and III, not sure if there was ever a clear shot of the other side though.
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Old May 24 2012, 11:34 AM   #13
Timo
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

Funny how the contours for those pull-out chairs are still there below the console surfaces, yet separate stools are provided. Of course, it wouldn't have been practical to pull out a chair on that narrow ledge...

A "communications station", let alone three, oddly goes against the one new and distinguishing thing about the TNG bridge - the total and noticeable lack of a Communications Officer. Then again, we can assume that there still exists a Communications Department in the TNG era, and Picard just didn't need a representative of that department up on the bridge, just like he didn't need a Sciences rep; he preferred to relay his wishes and possible displeasure to the departments through Data. Perhaps he had a change of (artificial) heart in that respect?

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Old May 24 2012, 02:51 PM   #14
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

I liked the changes. I thought it worked well for the big screen and gave the bridge more a sense of depth and being a busy command center. But IIRC, I think one of the ideas about its more sparse look during the TV series was an initial thought that 24th-Century technology could do more with fewer consoles (or at least, the bridge didn't need to be totally filled with consoles anyway).

In-universe, my theory is that the Enterprise-D was only in the first phase of her operational life during the TV series and was now about to embark on her second phase--perhaps finally embarking on a 10-15 year mission of exploration.
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Old May 24 2012, 03:54 PM   #15
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Re: The changes in the Enterprise-D bridge in Generations...

I'll buy that. And also sell it forward whenever I can.

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