Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Aldo, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    Somewhere Out there beneath the pale moonlight.
    For years I've always wondered where the Enterprise-A bridge that was featured briefly at the end of TVH came from. Granted I realize "they build it" is the obvious answer, but I can't believe they'd build a set that was used for only a few minutes of screen time.

    So I was talking with a friend today and he mentioned he'd heard it was a redress of the Excelsior bridge from part 3. I studied both pictures and it makes sense, seeing as they're both shot from the same angle (and I know the Excelsior bridge was only a small set that was built for what featured on screen).

    I'm sure there is someone out there who can say for certain where this interesting set came from, that's only featured for a few minutes onscreen.
     
  2. RyanKCR

    RyanKCR Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Location:
    RyanKCR is living here in Allentown
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    It is the original bridge from TMP and TWOK painted white and given flatscreen consoles.
     
  3. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    ^Good question! The Enterprise-A bridge is actually a redress of its predecessor's bridge rather than Excelsior. You can read more about it here in the Background section.

    --Sran
     
  4. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    Somewhere Out there beneath the pale moonlight.
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    That's interesting.

    But now it brings up an even bigger question. If they still had the bridge from the original films, and it was in good working order, than why did they go to the trouble of building a brand new bridge for TFF? Especially since money was a big issue for that film.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    Perhaps because TNG was using the original bridge set as its battle bridge and various other sets such as the Stargazer bridge, the science lab, and so forth. So it may not have been available for TFF.
     
  6. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    The text commentary for TFF explains TNG had had the TMP bridge stored outside and a tarp blew off, so it got rained on and ruined ... only structural elements and the helm/nav console got salvaged and reused.

    I'm very happy with the TFF/TUC/EXC/E-B bridge, as I always hated the other one, especially those idiotic round displays. Even putting all of those casette tape box holder molds on the walls in TWOK to busy things up didn't help much, and the coloration was such that the actor complexions were rarely seen in a good light in 1-3.

    Another way you could tell the TVH bridge was NOT EXCELSIOR was that it still had all the platforms, whereas the EXCELSIOR was a cheapo BUCK ROGERS season 2 like BRIDGE that looked like it could have been built in somebody's garage, w/o the elaborate levels.

    The TVH bridge anticipates Abrams in a major way, as it delivers a glarey, godawful looking set that is not just hard on the eyes, but would be difficult to work in, between the brightness and the bit of smoke on the set. Yucch!
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    ^Wow. All those years of enduring Klingon and Romulan fire, and what finally wrecked the bridge was an unsecured tarp.
     
  8. starburst

    starburst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    From what I have read 2 structural elements where the turbolift alcoves which survived for use in both the Enterprise A bridge (and then redressed as both the Excelsior and Ent B) before being pressed into service for the Enterprise E.

    The TFF/TUC Bridge is my favourite from the TOS movies, my ideal TOS bridge would have been TFF but with the mix of touch screens, switches and buttons from TUC. I actually liked the Bridge more in TMP than WOK/TSFS especially the chairs but never liked how uneven it looked with so many of the crew standing.

    The white looked so garish in TVH in a way that I personally dont see in the current Abrams version (but I know some do) and Im glad they changed it for the 5th installment.
     
  9. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    Even without the damage from the rain, the bridge set would have been a decade (at least, I'm not sure if any of it was built for Phase 2) old by the time of Star Trek V and had never been intended for long term use, chances are it would have needed something of a major revamp and refresh even if it had survived. Espcially factoring in the advances in computer and video technology over the 80's.

    To be honest, I wonder if it was starting to look a little worn before that, after the return to Earth at the start of III whenever we see the bridge it tends to either have very low lighting (a side affect of having to steal it seems to be they've set the cinematography to moody even before the Klingon's attack, plus it's use as the Saratoga in IV is all dark as well) or very carefully framed as the initial A bridge (where they could only afford/had the time to jazz up the bits you see on screen).

    oddly, I think it's use as the Grissom is the last time we see the original bridge set in all it's brightly lit glory on the big screen. And even it's TNG reuses tend to keep the lighting much lower than was normal for that series (the difference between the battle and regular bridges on the D is quite striking).
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    Actually the reason those sets endured for so long is because they were built for Phase II and thus were designed to be sturdy enough to hold up over the multiyear run of a TV series, as opposed to movie sets which are designed to be used for a couple of weeks and then torn down. The bridge, engineering, and other sets were built for P2 in 1978 and then redressed/upgraded for TMP. They were left continuously standing through the movie years, then were remodeled into the TNG sets and used for seven years in that incarnation, then were remodeled again into the Voyager sets and used for seven more years. By the time VGR ended in 2001, the 23-year-old superstructure of the sets was rotting and they had to be torn down. But at that point they had long since become the oldest continuously standing sets in Hollywood.

    What was ruined, then, would've been the surface elements of the bridge only, the walls and consoles and seats and such. The underlying framework of the set endured through TNG, though it seemed to be gone by VGR.

    http://pat.suwalski.net/film/st-stages/stage9.php
     
  11. Leto_II

    Leto_II Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Location:
    Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    If you check out a copy of Shane Johnson's Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise (written during the production of TVH, predating TFF), there is an excellent section on the Enterprise-A, and particularly its bridge, with in-universe flavor-text detailing the "new" console-technology employed aboard the NCC-1701-A that was different from its predecessor -- touchpad controls, more advanced viewscreen technology, etc.

    There are a number of close-up stills of the Voyage Home bridge, which makes for an interesting contrast with how the bridge evolved between the productions of TVH and TFF.


    Only the "rear" arc of the bridge (meaning from the Science station, to the turbolift, and over to Uhura's console, plus the helm and the captain's chair) were actually built for TVH, in order to save money -- the "forward"-facing arc of the bridge was left unmade, with no viewscreen constructed for the Ent-A until Herman Zimmerman did so for TFF.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    You mean unmodified, as the set had long since been built.

    It's also demonstrably false that only those few stations were redressed. In the film we only see the edge of the starboard turbolift stop, the wall behind Kirks chair, and the port turbolift stop to Uhura's console, plus Kirk's chair and the helm. We don't see Spock's station at all, but in this photo you see that the bridge was revamped well past Spock's station, which, added to the bits we see in the film, is nearly half the set.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  13. Mycroft Maxwell

    Mycroft Maxwell Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Location:
    Tennessee USA
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    I think the set was really ruined by TNG. Afterall, even during the production of TFF, the set was being revamped and used as various ships on TNG. I am glad also that they just decided to build a whole new set.

    That set took a lot of punishment. TMP, then the repaint and redress for STII, The explosions of the bridge simulator, explosions on the enterprise, and explosions on the reliant all in STII, The repaint and redress for STIII, then redress for the USS Grissom, then the big auto destruct explosions of the Enterprise In III, Then the redress for the uss saratoga and Yorktown in star trek IV, then the redress and repaint for Enterprise A in STIV, then there is the BAttle Bridge in TNG which a large portion of the set was redressed for then it was later redressed for stargazer, hatheway, Enterprise C, all the way to parts of it being used as the Pastuer in All Good Things. The Alcoves were still being used as the alcoves on the Enterprise E set all the way up to Nemesis in 2002. So I imagine by time it was over, that set was very very very very overused and worn.

    Also, Is it me or is that design thing behind the bar in Ten Forward framed with the viewscreen frames from the TMP bridge set?
     
  14. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    On a slight tangent, is the bridge set in VI definitely a redress of the V one? It looks huge in V but cramped in VI. Is that really just an effect of the lighting and colour scheme?
    Although I see how cheaply it was made now, I still love the STIII Excelsior bridge. It looked absolutely huge and supremely advanced over the push-buttons and monitor screens of the Enterprise. The first time I saw STV, I thought, "oh cool, they've got Excelsior tech"

    It's a shame that in VI the set was so obviously a slightly modified Enterprise. They didn't even change the colour scheme, and as a result it looked cramped and tiny. Add to that the bunk beds and removal of the quirky computer voice from III, and it didn't seem at all like the same mammoth supership we'd seen before.
     
  15. Mycroft Maxwell

    Mycroft Maxwell Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Location:
    Tennessee USA
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    I am pretty sure its the same set with modifications. (Mainly position of pieces and paint colors). Herman Zimmerman was designer for both setups.

    Actually, its more of a shame that the Ent-D was only a slight redress of the sets. (If you are referring to the corridores). If you will notice, the TMP corridores have always been cramped. TNG widened them, and when Nick Meyer came in, he wanted to make the wide corridores look cramped. He understood that the Enterprise IS NOT THAT BIG (hah i keep throwing that line at you lol) . If Anything can be said about Nick Meyer, he's very nautical.
     
  16. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    I was under impression that enough was salvageable from the bridge set that they were later able to use it for the Enterprise-D battle bridge and Stargazer bridge - although, it's interesting that the next time we should see this bridge, as the Hathaway, it's a mostly or entirely new set that I think started life as the courtroom in "The Measure of a Man."

    Does anyone know when the tarp incident occurred? Perhaps it was between Season One and Two of TNG, and that'd explain why the set suddenly changes.

    The TMP bridge was great, but in hindsight feels very primitive to me, for some reason even moreso than the TOS bridge. I can accept the TOS bridge being very low-fi but the TMP bridge just feels very... dated. I really liked the redesign that came about for TFF, although I like the TUC color scheme more. (I dislike that they moved the turbolift stops, though. Not quite sure why they did that.) The thing about the TNG sets being used in TFF that bothers me is that they're so painfully, obviously the TNG sets with no modification. I'm aware that Mr. Shatner liked the aesthetic and hence the bridge was created to match, but TUC proves that some refitting can nicely help distinguish them so it's not so painfully obvious. As I recall most of the "widening" that took place for the TNG corridors consisted or removing the angled braces, in addition to altering the paint and lighting.

    Of course, the warp core was still painfully the same, but I guess you can't win em all. :rommie:
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    As I said, there are two different aspects of a "set" -- the underlying wooden superstructure and the surface facades/dressings. The latter are often far more flimsy and ephemeral than they appear. When we talk about redressing a set, sometimes that means stripping it down to the bare structure and building new facades onto it. That's what they did when they revamped the TMP sets for TNG and then VGR. So it can look completely different to the viewer's eye but still be the same set in that it's still the same underlying framework at the same location within the same soundstage.

    And yes, the "Measure" courtroom was another redress of the TMP bridge set. The visible details, the facades and dressings, were different, but they were built within the same framework on Stage 9 and had the same dimensions. Data's cybernetics lab in "The Offspring" and "The Best of Both Worlds" was also a redress of the bridge set.

    But of course some redresses are more wholesale than others. For instance, since they made the surface elements for the "Measure" courtroom, it was useful to recycle them for the Hathaway bridge. Just as the Stargazer bridge before it had been just a fairly light redress of the battle bridge set, with different consoles and seats but the same shape and structure, essentially just the back half of the set with a new, closer front wall put in.


    That's a surprising comment, because to me it's precisely the other way around. TFF had a bunch of new sets -- the bridge, the maintenance corridors (which were then recycled in TNG: "The Hunted" as the Jefferies tubes), the brig, the turboshaft (much as we try to ignore it), and a hangar deck that was basically a full-scale recreation of the TOS hangar. The transporter alcove is unchanged from TNG, but the rest of the transporter room is redressed back to TMP specs. The officer's lounge was probably a Ten Forward redress, but extensively enough that it isn't obvious. The corridors look the same, but they'd looked pretty much the same since TMP. Sickbay does have some TNG-style Okudagrams on the wall display, but we barely get a glimpse of it. And the engine room isn't seen at all. I'd say that they mostly did a good job hiding the reuse of TNG sets.

    Conversely, in TUC, engineering is obviously the TNG engine room with its distinctive warp core and 24th-century Okudagrams. There's a blatant TNG-style replicator alcove in the crew-quarters set. The transporter room has the TFF-style console and shielding, but otherwise it's essentially in its TNG configuration. The officer's lounge is obviously the TNG lounge with its distinctively shaped windows; only the walls and table are redressed, plus the fancy light fixture above the table. The President's office is recognizably a Ten Forward redress, with the same doors and with the shape of the windows concealed only by curtains, while the TFF lounge had different windows and doors. Sickbay has movie-era beds but the overall room is clearly the TNG set. The use of redressed TNG sets is far, far more blatant in TUC.
     
  18. Mycroft Maxwell

    Mycroft Maxwell Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Location:
    Tennessee USA
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    It all comes down to one word "Budget"
     
  19. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    Great points. On this topic, do you suppose that it was redressed/refurbished the way it was with the intention that it could eventually be used as another bridge, battle bridge et al? I've always thought it was a strange layout for a courtroom, what with the raised section and the obvious viewscreen behind the judge.

    I admit that TFF has a good amount of new sets, but when they are reusing TNG sets it seems so obvious because of the lack of redressing. The scene with Sybok's armed men running down the corridor comes to mind - it was just so blatantly obvious that it was the TNG corridor set. There were no changes to color, lighting, or anything. The orange doors even had their TNG-style labels on them. And I'm pretty sure they just used the TNG sickbay - I think Scotty was in the main bed under the circular ceiling piece. IIRC you can even see the ceiling piece at one point.

    Other than the warp core, in TUC, they actually made an effort to redress, re-color and differently light the sets. The warp core would have been a hard one to work around... frankly since it was relatively unnecessary for the plot I'd almost rather they just left it out or shot it from such an angle as to not show the core. I guess though, the effort put forth is why I can be more forgiving.

    Different strokes, I guess.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: Was the Star Trek 4 Ent-A bridge a redress of the Excelsior bridge

    That doesn't bother me much, since the TNG corridors were barely altered from the TMP corridors to begin with. And like I said, we barely saw sickbay. It wasn't a featured set like the reused ones in TUC.

    Although as I've said, they redressed the transporter room less than TFF did. And if the TFF lounge was a Ten Forward redress, it was more substantially altered than the President's office was. So I can't agree that TUC made more of an effort to change the sets than TFF did, not on the whole.
     

Share This Page