Celebrating SNW Production Design

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' started by Michael, Mar 29, 2024.

  1. Michael

    Michael Good Bad Influence Moderator

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    A discussion in General Trek led me to spend some time today going through Strange New Worlds and finding those instances where the production designers of the show went out of their way to update something that we’ve seen on the original series.

    And even thought I already knew just how much thought, dedication and love they are putting into creating an aesthetic that’s not merely copying what we’ve seen on the 60s show but carefully updating it with their own artistic sensibilities, I honestly had no idea just how many of these nods there already were.

    So here’s an updated overview of all the design references and tributes to sets, props, graphics, costumes and ships from the original series I have found. Mind you, this isn’t an exhaustive list, as I’m sure there’s many more of these to find. I just thought I’d share this again here and take that as an opportunity to celebrate the work the design team is putting into the show.

    What more nods and references like these come to your mind? And what’s your personal favorite set, prop or costume update?

    [​IMG]

    By the way, these have probably been shared before, but here’s a bunch of image-heavy articles/showcases about the production design of Strange New Worlds that are pretty interesting:

    Film and Furniture: The ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Enterprise fuses midcentury design with SciFi futurism – Part 1
    Film and Furniture: The ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Enterprise blends midcentury design with SciFi futurism – Part 2
    Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1 - Engineering Room
    Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1 - Veleo Beta
    Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1 - Sacred Chamber
     
  2. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All those things are great, but I fear a storm of "Memberberries!!" forming on the horizon :D
     
  3. Michael

    Michael Good Bad Influence Moderator

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    Oh, sure. All of these are practically glazed in sweet nostalgia. But one also has to recognize how the show rarely draws attention to these kinds of things and is never just copying something directly. The designers seem to see their mission as looking at what they did on the original show and creating their own take on it with a modern (retro) futuristic approach. The show isn’t really “about” the visuals and making it look like the original show; the visuals are but one aspect of it. And I personally wouldn’t want for this to be all that Trek is from now on — a look back. But the way they are doing it on Strange New Worlds feels fresh to me, so I kind of just go with it and indulge myself.
     
  4. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I think it speaks to how the background details can exist within a show without screaming for attention. They just are. And it looks nice.
    Exactly. SNW doesn't "look back" and say "This ship was way better." It looks at designs and updates them based upon current knowledge of technology. It fits in seamlessly with the environment without calling attention to it.
     
  5. Michael

    Michael Good Bad Influence Moderator

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    ^ 100% agreed, yes.

    I feel it’s also worth pointing out that the production designers on Strange New Worlds don’t only deserve to be celebrated because of these various nods and references, but because they’ve created and continue to create a beautiful aesthetic for the show, even if you take out all the homages. Looking at screenshots all day made me realize just how insanely detailed and beautiful the sets for sickbay and Pike’s quarters are, for example. The whole ship interior is gorgeous, but sickbay and Pike’s room are the ones I’d love to spend some time in and discover all the details. Sickbay just looks so clean, functional and futuristic and Pike’s quarters so homely and personalized!

    The other one would probably be the rec room we got in season two. It’s so warm and cozy. By the way, does anyone know if the repeating 3D pattern on the wall is referencing something or is that completely original? I feel like I've seen that somewhere before.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Vice Admiral Admiral

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  7. Michael

    Michael Good Bad Influence Moderator

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  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So, I can't find a picture to show the idea of what I am thinking of, but I recall seeing wall partitions in 50s and 60s era living rooms that had a similar pattern, kind of shell type repeating pattern.
     
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  9. Michael

    Michael Good Bad Influence Moderator

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    You are right! It definitely looks like another midcentury design reference. I’m not able to find the exact same pattern either, but there are some that are similar …

    [​IMG]

    I also found a couple other midcentury wall design elements that you’ll also see on the SNW Enterprise …

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Firebird

    Firebird Commodore Commodore

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    I legitimately love the show's production design and the re-invigoration of the Enterprise into the 2020's, while still maintaining an echo of the mid-century feel from Matt Jefferies' original designs.

    Some of the costume work, though, feels a bit over-designed (like the green wraparound). The standard-duty uniforms are aces, though - absolutely adore them!
     
  11. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm almost certain we have.
     
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  12. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They also added quarters, mess hall, sickbay to the TOSerprise on OTOY, and more rooms on the D as well ;)
     
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  13. Tosk

    Tosk Admiral Admiral

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    This was the kind of thing I said I wanted way back when Disco first premiered. Some people insist that you can't go back to the look of the original show again, that it has to be changed. My stance is that you can still embrace the style. The aesthetics. You don't have to literally make everything out of "cardboard" (as naysayers often describe it) ...you just have to pay respect to the design approach. SNW hits the sweet spot much more often than not.

    And the monster maroon. Their attempt to make their mark on it really just made it a worse version, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2024
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  14. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And many of the same people who insisted you gotta change everything "because it's (insert current year)!" now love SNW :D
     
  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You can.

    But, the strength of SNW is that it isn't the focus of the show. It just adds to the world building. Discovery did it too buy in a different way.

    Ultimately, the designs serve the story.
     
  16. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk A Spock and a smile Premium Member

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    Nice take on the classic scoop neck in "Quality of Mercy"
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Thanks for this topic. The production design for the show should be appreciated and celebrated.

    The design of the outer space effects, ships and all, are the most beautiful and evocative of all the TV series without exception.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2024
  18. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Whether there are nostalgic or callback elements to the stories is one issue having to do with narrative choices.

    Whether there are callbacks in visual design is a wholly separable question - you can have them without the story callbacks, or you can have the story callbacks without visual homage, or you can have both together.

    Whether you like any of it is a matter of preference. What can't be sustained logically is to insist on the one hand that Trek should reflect its history and "canon" to be true to the original vision of the people who created it in the sixties yet complain on the other when a lot of art design in the current version of the TOS era is deliberately made to resemble the original.
     
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  19. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    While not SNW, Discovery Season 1 did have a couple locations when Lorca is showing off what the spore drive can do that look like recreations, or at least inspired by TOS Matte paintings.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Often it’s the little details I love. Right now my favourite is Spock’s ‘hazmat’ suit retaining the gold ringed pattern in the fabric.

    Thanks for this, Michael!
     
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