Enterprise-C Bridge Layout

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Bry_Sinclair, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Something has just come to mind concerning the Bridge layout and positions aboard the Enterprise-C.

    In "Yesturday's Enterprise", Castillo was constantly referred to as the Helm Officer (rather than Conn from TNG time), so would that mean that there is a separate Navigation Officer? Or rather that the posts have been merged into one but the old terminology still remains?

    It seems a little odd to have a Navigator as well as a Operations Officer, as much of the sensor work and that the Navigator did would go to Ops instead. Since there was never a Comm Officer mentioned I think its safe to assume that that position has since been removed in favour of Ops.

    Also, regarding the Bridge's actually layout. When Tasha comes aboard, she takes the forward console to the Captain's left (Ops on the E-D) which must be Tactical. When the BoP attacks, Castillo takes the console next to her, so that could be Helm. Then there is the console in front of those two, the function of which was never explained.

    Anyone got any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Since the forwardmost console, covered in rubble, is in practice the classic Helm/Navigation console from the TOS movies, it would seem natural to assign it this very role on the E-C as well.

    The two TNG-style pulpits have every excuse of being, say, Tactical and Executive. The bridge of the Hathaway featured such a standalone pulpit for XO Worf, after all, and all later starships have featured a special seat for the XO somewhere close to the CO - but the E-C has no other position for the XO.

    FWIW, all three pulpits featured a single corpse in the movie era jumpsuit (a second one at the forward console might in theory have been left outside our view, or the associated corpse for the putative second position at that console might have been thrown clear - indeed, might have been Lt Castillo, eventually found in that general direction). Only the CO seat was occupied by a person in a commissioned officer jacket. Should we deduce that the three forward pulpits were all of reduced importance; that all the commissioned officers normally crewing them had become casualties early on; or that the jumpsuits are valid clothing for commissioned officers, just like the DS9 jumpsuits are valid for commissioned officers from the era where others wear the TNG style? I'm sort of leaning towards the last one, seeing as to how Captain Picard in his ST:NEM photograph is seen wearing the full black-collared jumpsuit attire (not the red-collared one that backstage sources associate with cadets) at some unspecified early date in his career.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Bearing in mind the purpose with which those jumpsuits were designed for TWOK, not to mention how unreliable NEM should probably be considered, I'm leery of using them as "officer jumpsuits".

    I have no problem with considering the two consoles to be an amalgam of helm/nav on one side plus tactical on the other; and then the forward console could be just about anything -- after all, the rear console on the Ent-B looked like a helm/nav station, but we know it wasn't ;) I'm inclined to think of it simply as a multipurpose station reconfigurable for "guest civvie of the week" to make use of.

    (FWIW though, I usually consider the set we saw to be an auxiliary control centre -- since to be quite frank, it was cr^p! I much prefer seanr's CGI take on the main bridge, although sadly he's never gotten round to finishing it)
     
  4. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    Well, the Stargazer was lost eleven years after the E-C, and her center console featured prominent lettering for "HELM" and "NAV" for the two seats. So either at the time that class of ship, or ships in general had positions as such, or Picard didn't bother to relabel the seats...

    Mark
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    The Enterprise-C bridge always fascinated me. It was so utilitarian compared to any prior (or subsequent) Enterprise command centre. Add to that the reused TOS movie Space Mountie uniforms (minus belt and turtleneck) and Wrath of Khan phasers, and it always makes me envision an era where Starfleet was dealing with extreme budget cuts.

    As for the consoles, I doubt those preparing the set gave much thought to their functions. They just arranged a few generic consoles on their standard guest ship set. If that far forward console was meant to be manned, it'd block the view of the screen.

    Or maybe the bridge is supposed to be far bigger than the actual set? Imagine those rear consoles and upper level continuing all the way around. It'd be huge. A giant TNG/STXI-sized viewscreen wouldn't be so hampered by one or two crew at the far forward station so much as the Ent-D battle bridge viewer would.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The TOS movies never were that consistent with the uniforms to begin with - and every TV show era has featured parallel jumpsuits and "classier" uniforms for officers... The jumpsuits also being worn by the enlisted.

    Or then this particular ship from the Constellation class was behind the times, while sister ships such as the Hathaway had already received the newer blue-green graphics and the occasional TNG style control pulpit about the same time the E-C was built (refitted?) with such features.

    We have seen a great variety of Miranda bridges, with different styles of graphics (among the newer being Sisko's Saratoga, with the Brattain representing intriguing middle ground). Ships from classes already on their way to retirement might skip refits if they are particularly decrepit individuals to start with. Or perhaps exceptionally well aged ones, in such good condition that they don't need a refit to survive the last fifteen years of the career of the class, whereas sister ships have to be modernized if they are to see service until that retirement date...

    Or slowly edging towards the austere shapes and vast open spaces of the TNG era...

    If anything, the late TNG and DS9 eras represented budget cuts, with cramped spaces full of exposed machinery. :)

    What screen? I doubt the set actually had one (as the director avoided those shooting angles like plague). The ship, in-universe, may have had a screen that would be easily visible from the CO's throne - or at most blocked to a degree equal to Kirk's TOS screen.

    I do like that idea a lot. The bridge dome is, well, a dome in classic TOS and TOS movie style, and TOS bridges did tend to be circular, in-universe, until the Constellation class introduced the cropped forward part.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think you may be misinterpreting the intent of subsequent series - not to mention their own lack of consistency. For example, you referred previously to the TNG and DS9 costumes being worn simultaneously. This is true, but the DS9 coveralls were never intended or shown as being primarily for enlisted use -- and neither were the 'formal' TNG unis intended solely for officers. The closest you'll get to that is the use of S1-3 spandex uniforms for background extras during the early switch to the newer style during that series. That was merely a real-life cost consideration... Furthermore the original dept-coloured overalls seen in TNG were used by officers and enlisted alike, as necessary.

    I'd say out of all the sources, the TOS movies were the most consistent; at least until that embarassing SNAFU over Valeris in TUC.

    Assuming the forward console would prohibit the view somewhat, this is why I tend to think of it as a standing-only station, designed for a specialist to lecture the regular cast about spatial-anomaly-of-the-week; or possibly even to be used by the main cast in conjunction with an overly-large viewscreen as a sort of early "astrometrics" station.

    (regardless, it's JUST THE BATTLE BRIDGE, I TELL YA!) :D
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    And the result was that they weren't "primarily" used by anybody, and we are forced to accept that Starfleet intended them to be worn in a mixed manner.

    But while the TOS movie coveralls had some offscreen intent behind them, this intent did not have any decisive onscreen result. It did not manage to establish that only enlisteds (and enlisted trainees, and perhaps cadets) could wear the coveralls, because how do you establish something like that? The audience might simply be failing to see those hundreds of officers who wear the thing, because they wear it outside the movies the audience sees and the camera records.

    So the TOS movie intent really counts for nothing. Even ST2, which is supposed to introduce the whole uniform system, makes a mess of who is a cadet and who is not. Spock supposedly trains cadets, and Spock supposedly trains Saavik, but Saavik is never addressed as Cadet and wears the officer tunic with commissioned Lieutenant insignia. So, are the jumpsuit people the cadets? Peter Preston is addressed as Midshipman, but while wearing the (red-collared) heavy protective suit, and we never see him in a regular jumpsuit.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Are there any images of that Bridge around? I'd love to have a looksee.

    I'm thinking I might do a little bit of retconning, and alter the Bridge slightly and just say that is how it was meant to be. I do agree though the set used was pretty poor.

    As for the uniforms, the jumpsuit were always used for enlisted crew so that how I will continue to see them. As for NEM, I take it with a handful of salt--with so many errors its had to really take seriously.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure I understand what was poor about the set. It was graphics-heavy, interestingly lit, full of classic Wrath of Khan props, had an ambitious aft ramp imitating that of the E-D, and was really littered with furniture (but of a pretty consistent style) in comparison with all the other TNG guest bridges.

    Something like the Brattain bridge I could easily see as "poor", because it had cheap-looking flat plywood walls basking in unflattering illumination, limited graphics and detail, and the only thing really going for it, the complicated layout, did not appear particularly functional or sensible. But the E-C seems like a lot of effort went into her, both workmanshipwise and in terms of conceptualizing.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^Agree.
     
  12. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    Bry: here, under "Bridgs_Ambassador" - http://www.webolutionary.com/truespace/gallery/seanr/temp/

    I see the E-C bridge as presented as acceptable - it shares a similar minimalist layout as the E-D bridge, with three aft stations, CO, plus two (or four if you believe that the forward console is manned - I'm not one of those :P) forward stations. All that's missing is flanking chairs for the CO and a tactical rail. Also, the Stargazer and Hathaway (and Lantree, if you want to go that far) had similar minimalist bridges. Hathaway is literally the same set piece, too.

    Mark
     
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Was the intent to have the E-C bridge be between the C and D in evolutionary design, or take after another ship's class design? Also was the C one of the first ships constructed?
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...But with exciting asymmetry. What do you think that emergency ladder pillar thingamabob was all about? Something that would descend from the ceiling for purposes of evacuation or maintenance, and be neatly stowed away in all but the most derelict ships? An intruder control system designed to knock out people who would assume the main entry door would be unobstructed?

    There's one TNG pulpit up on the central pedestal, next to the CO chair, and one down to port, only barely glimpsed. Would there be another to starboard, perhaps? And how big is the viewscreen, with our heroes looking rather high up at it in some scenes, but down from Riker's eye level in others?

    She sports the hemispherical ramscoops also witnessed on USS Excalibur (because of stock footage reuse) but not on USS Zhukov. She also has a slightly differently positioned saucer, apparently because the stagehands or whomever weren't able to put the model back together properly after first disassembly. So if we believe in the (somewhat disputable) registries of these other two vessels, we can see the Enterprise is a closer match to the one with the lower registry, designwise. So, yes, quite possibly one of the first ships of the class constructed!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No, that was the production intent. The DS9 unis were created specifically as part of the "rougher, tougher" edge-of-the-frontier feel of the show. It was not some sort of unintentional result as you infer.

    Let me get this straight: You refuted my comment on the original production intent (which is documented) on the basis that it was offscreen. And then you conjecture that hundreds of officers may be wearing enlisted jumpsuits offscreen, but we 'never saw them' to validate your viewpoint? Do you see what's wrong with that?? :cardie:

    The generally accepted thought on this is that Saavik was a pre-graduated Lt, who if I'm not mistaken had returned to the Academy for command training. Why else do you think she was taking the Kobayashi Maru test?

    The element of the uniform which denotes being a cadet is the bright red department undertunic, for both enlisted and officer cadets. Normal enlisted crewmembers wear a black undertunic, while officers of course have the appropriate dept colour.

    Whether Preston has a regular jumpsuit or not is completely besides the point - he was in engineering, of course he had an environmental suit on! Again, you note he wears a red-collar engineering suit. This is because he's a cadet. Regular personnel feature a black collared suit.
     
  16. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yep, that's the one! Thanks for finding it. :) I always felt this to be a much more logical representation of a step between Enterprises B and D...

    Stargazer and Hathaway, being older vessels by probably a further 40 years over the Ent-C, I had no problem with using that bridge layout. But for the forerunner to the Galaxy class it's a little too limited by budgetary constraints IMO.

    I do like the idea of the rear stations continuing round the circumference of the bridge though, to give a full-sized module. That could have been interesting. :cool:
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    What I'm saying is that intent may manifest, or then not. If it does not, then it is meaningless. (And, OTOH, manifestation counts even if there is no intent behind it.)

    And manifesting creates the key asymmetry here, through the fact that you can't prove a negative. Intent of officers wearing jumpsuits was manifest in DS9 and VOY, and officers wore jumpsuits, without particular intent, in TOS and TNG. That was a positive, and proved the mixed use paradigm, regardless of whether it was intentional or not.

    Nothing could ever prove that officers would not be entitled to wear a jumpsuit, though - nothing short of actual dialogue to that effect, that is. There would always linger the possibility that the evidence simply went unseen, the negative that cannot be proven.

    The concept of a pre-graduated Lt is a fictional one, although we do have "Acting Ensign Crusher". "Returning to the Academy", OTOH, is a valid concept in the real world, too, possibly even the very same thing as the "Advanced Tactical Training" that Ensign/Lieutenant Ro took prior to "Preemptive Strike". That somebody returning to Academy after graduation would be considered a "cadet" is again a fictional concept, and something the movie certainly does not require us to believe in, as Saavik is never addressed as Cadet.

    Here we again run into odd fictional constructs: "enlisted cadet" doesn't exist for real. But the movie used the term "trainee" and Scotty said "the trainees ran" when we saw several of the jumpsuit people flee. So far, so good. This even creates a distinction between "trainees" and Midshipman Preston, which again is very welcome from the real-world viewpoint.

    That red would denote student status is not explicit in this movie or others, though. Red reappears for Valeris (perhaps denoting instructor rather than student), while Picard in ST:NEM wears the black collar with the jumpsuit but in "Tapestry" the white collar with the tunic. And in the first movie, red had more or less the same meaning as in TOS, and was worn by Scotty; in the second movie, it is worn by Scotty's students, offering a possible alternate interpretation.

    The intent of costume designer Bob Fletcher here is known, but there's no good reason to have it override the evidence of our own eyes, as Fletcher's thinking was never turned into dialogue, whereas some elements contrary to it were.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    There's a lot that can be inferred from the Hathaway design - I'm anxiously awaiting the blu-ray aps on Trekcore, to see all sorts of new details we havne't been able to before!

    The ladder thingy I always thought was an emergency support strut to keep the roof up (or the floor down). I can't remember is it was labeled at all... Still, it could be somethign that comes up or down for emergency egress.

    As for the odd placement of the consoles, I figured two options:

    1) It's just the way it was designed or configured for the last mission. There may or may not be another console on the other side of the bridge. Production suggests no, since the forward console props are usually made in pairs and there were probably only two made as a set (previously seen on the E-D battle bridge and various guest starship bridges - these are the oler ones with the severely-reclining chairs), with Worf's featuring an added greeblie glued on top and spraypainted to match. I certainly like the idea of an asymetrical bridge layout, but Bridge designs to tend to make a crazy sort of sense in the Trek context, and that sense usually includes a symmetrical bridge. OTOH< a "clean layout as depicted here does look kinda cool:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fadmvulcan/sets/72157604354548317/detail/

    2) The whole bridge module was cobbled together from whatever was lying around the supply depot or wherever the ship was sitting before (Qualor II? Strange how the Zakdorn are involved in two episodes featuring decommissioned Federation starships) for wargame purposes. The Hathaway bridge certainly doesn't seem like it was recently decommissioned. It's possible she'd been languishing in a supply depot for years, then when it came time to get a subject for a MacGyver exercise, Klim Dokachim selected a barely flightworthy hull from his list and made sure it had the bare essentials for it.

    Someone could have been sent to take some crated old consoles and seats (the originals having long-since been removed to keep other Constellation-class or similar starships going), bolt them in place for a makeshift tactical and con/ops stations (we know a captain's chair can have backup con/ops controls in the armrests per Wesley, and the chair has the same popout armrest consoles as Picard's first one), and put a support strut in place to make sure the bulkheads didn't cave in (or fly off) for the duration. Someone else got some surplus seats to put at the aft consoles (they look like stripped-down USAF ejection seats from the Paramount prop stores) and they left everything else in place for the wargames crew to use as-is. Maybe they even left the matching console to Worf's seat pushed up in the corner in case someone could put it in play (it wasn't covered up, but all the other freestanding consoles were tarped over). One warp speed tow later, and there you have it.

    Mark
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I recall an "EMERGENCY USE ONLY" sticker, the only legible piece of text on the set, being more or less in focus when our heroes first enter.

    Which is too bad, because the bridge dome of the ship is of a somewhat exotic type in comparison with the Constitution or Miranda ones, and might warrant regular access to an upper level...

    I'm not sure I'd let production concerns influence this, as production also dictates the set had no forward half but we still have to postulate one for the "actual" bridge. But point taken: the set probably did not feature a third such pulpit.

    There are rather few chairs there: even the TOS bridge had two seats in addition to the CO chair and the sextet (here just a duo?) of background chairs. An additional one would be rather welcome, assuming the ship still required Helm and Navigation specialists, or even if only assuming the ship had Conn but also Ops and Worf was neither. Only one of the background consoles appears properly crewed during the wargames...

    Makes some sense: we already have reason to suspect that, in-universe, these TNG pulpits are modular units that can move around between episodes and aren't attached to the floor particularly firmly even during a given single adventure. Slap some in place of a lost or destroyed Helm/Nav console, and voila.

    Incidentally, is this the reason the two chairs on the background appear so infernally uncomfortable? Were their cushions ripped out or eaten by Berellian Styrofoamworms? Them being original gear or off-the-shelf antiques in their normal condition, in-universe, is a bit dubious...

    ...As is them being actual furniture ITRW. The ejection seat observation sounds very plausible!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Or, you can be a little more rational, accept that the production teams on the various series and movies were only human, and therefore made mistakes; and move on -- rather than trying to twist them into some semblance of a personal canon.

    Personally I think I'll stick with what was a well thought out and comprehensive design guide - most of which made it onscreen - and ignore the minor production flubs which arose later down the line.

    On this we agree, but then I never stated otherwise.

    Indeed she is not, however her status during said mission is that of a student -- hence the red undertunic. Call it command school, call it whatever you want, but this does make sense; it's clear she is under some form of instruction/tutoring at that time. For all we know she may have been a junior science officer prior to this. Or a botanist...

    Agreed. I don't recall if there were any officer cadets on the Bridge Simulator when Spock uttered "Trainees, to the briefing room," was that blond kid playing navigator at the time?

    Why are you twisting yourself up in knots trying to shoehorn production errors in again?

    And yet it's quite clear that between the two movies dept colours have been reassigned somewhat -- just as they were between TOS and TMP, TUC and TNG, etc. I fail to see why you're reaching so much here? Scotty by TWOK is wearing gold as his uniform undershirt, which from then on and into TNG onwards, is apparently considered an Engineering/services/operations dept colour.

    On the contrary, good old fashioned common-sense would be better applied: We know that the subsequent production teams can and did make mistakes, either through lack of reference materials, time, money, or possibly even willpower in some cases. Why is that so hard to accept?

    And furthermore, with regards how it pertains to your thoughts on the Ent-C bridge stations: Who's to say the regular bridge crew weren't already dead or injured prior to enlisted crew taking over? :rommie:
     

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