Doug Drexler defends the NX-01/Akira differences on "Trekyards"

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by t_smitts, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

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    Doug has a LOT to say about this. The NX-01 was basically the first "hero" ship to be introduced in the internet age and that probably had a lot to do with it. I like that they show that while the two ships look similar from one angle, they're really very different from most others.

    I like to think I was NOT one of those people ripping the show or the ship on boards like this back in the day.

    (Doug is pretty much only in Part 2):



     
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  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't watch the vids yet, but from what I understand (based on what Drexler stated in his now-defunct blog), TPTB wanted him to use the actual Akira class starship as the NX-01...their rationale being that it was only seen in the background in ST:FC and DS9, so no one would recognize that it was the same ship. Setting aside for the moment how ridiculously stupid that idea was, Drexler basically implied that while being forced to use the basic design, he was able to make changes to it to make it look more like an older ship.

    How true any of that is, I don't know. Drexler's a cool guy and I feel that there'd be no reason why he'd make something like that up.
     
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  3. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Fleet Captain

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    The Akira and the NX are similar only when viewed from directly above. All other angles make those who claim the two are the same design sound like foolish children.
     
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  4. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Captain Captain

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    I think that the ships indeed looking very similar, but doesn't most Starfleet ships having similar designs?
    But I didn't dislike the show because of it
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
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  5. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No one was arguing that they were the same design. The argument was that one design was based off of the other, instead of the NX-01 being a truly unique design. It also didn't help that the ship it was based off of was from 200 years in the future.
     
  6. ihno

    ihno Captain Captain

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    Yes, Drexeler seems to be a nice guy but it got the name Akiraprise for a reason.

    It was very obvious that they took the Akira as a basis for the NX 01 and that was a kind of message "Don't worry, we won't take this Prequel thing seriously, we've got a ship that looks like one from Star Trek VIII!"

    I didn't mind the form in general but the texture of the hull and the form of the saucer. If that looked more like TOS I would accept all the "starfleet builds their ships like this and that", but with the Akiraprise it looked like the 1701 was the ship that didn't fit the rest.(it was kind of the same mistakes that Lucas did with his prequels, they didn't fit to the originals).

    It was too near to Star Trek VIII.
     
  7. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Fleet Captain

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    This says it all about the mentality behind the creation of Enterprise. Doug Drexler actually did an amazing job trying to disguise the fact and redesigning the Akira to look like an older (and quite different) ship.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Another comment from somebody who didn't yet have the chance to watch the video:

    The whole "TPTB told Drexler to use Akira as is" thing sounds highly dubious in the first place. All we have (or had) is one ambiguous phrase that actually lacks the "as is" bit altogether. TPTB saying "Akira looks good, use that" actually makes a lot of sense: why create a bad-looking ship when there's already hard data on what looks good?

    That the end result should "predate" the model is neither here nor there: obviously, the Akira would be the one designed after the Enterprise and not vice versa in-universe.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. urbandefault

    urbandefault Commodore Commodore

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    To me the NX-01 does look like an early design, and much better than the Akira thing. They did a great job converting it.

    That said, the NX isn't really one of my favorites. ;)
     
  10. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Having had a front-row seat right here to the whole debacle, I think it may have been avoided entirely if the first leaked image was the three-quarters view seen inside the issue of TV Guide previewing the series, rather than the top-down view that was put ont he cover. The fact that the dorsal view was also a low-res thumbnail (even for the time) played up the similarities in the gross shape and hid practically all of the differences aside from the nacelles (come to think of it, I'm not sure we'd even had official orthos of the Akira at that point, so even the most sharp-eyed shipwatchers wouldn't be able to see the proportional difference at a glance).

    But, the first thing we saw was the view that looks most like the Akira, at a size that hid all it's distinguishing characteristics. I remember my own reaction was, "What the hell, is that just an Akira with TOS nacelles?" followed by, when I saw the second picture a few days later, "Oh, I guess not. It's actually quite distinct." I think some people just never got past the first impression.
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Good lord, Drexler's butthurt about the Enterprise fan backlash. He's going off on fans as much as he's talking about his ship design. I imagine it hurts when people don't appreciate the effort you put into you work, but rise above it.

    The ship design stuff is fascinating. My takeaway quote: "I kept it 'cos it's cool!"
     
  12. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I paraphrased what Drexler said. As I said, you can believe him or not. I choose to believe him, based on the fact that UPN's other ideas (make the show "sexier;" have a boy-band of the week play on the ship, etc.) makes me think that using the Akira as-is was yet another of their bright ideas.

    Because the Akira class starship was from the late 24th century, not the mid-22nd.

    Perhaps if the Akira class came not long after the NX class. But 200 years, and the ships look largely identical? Nope. (Insert witty Benedict Cumberbatch pic here)
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    The story about TPTB wanting to just reuse the Akira is recited in part 2 (the only one with more than ten seconds of Drexler in it)
     
  14. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

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    Drexler's been on the show many times. They get along really well In fact they've had most of the major ship designers on multiple times, to talk about specific ships: John Eaves, Rick Sternbach, Andy Probert, and Rob Bonchune. The only two that I've yet to see are Jim Martin, (who did the Runabout, Defiant, and Jem'Hadar attack ship) and Alex Jaeger (Akira and the other First Contact fleet ships).

    I don't see Drexler as being "butthurt" here. I think he's as passionate about Trek as much as anyone here and is simply defending his position with the same passion.

    (And let's be real here: there's been a lot of nasty stuff written on boards like these attacking stuff related to the shows over the years, especially when Enterprise was still on).

    Also, yes, something looking cool is usually an important factor for the art department on a TV show.

    Lots of ships from different eras have similarities from certain angles. They point out the Daedalus and the Pasteur, for instance. TOS Connie and Enterprise-C are another. So is the Excelsior/Enterprise-B and Enterprise-E, or the Constellation and Cheyenne.
     
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  15. Csalem

    Csalem Commodore Commodore

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  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And THIS is why artists should avoid engaging too closely with fandom.:guffaw:

    OMFG is this still a thing??? Of course the ships look similar! ALL Federation ships look similar! NX-01 is to the Akira what the Enterprise-A is to the Ambassador class. If anything, we should find it strange that Federation starships have as much variation in shape as they currently do; one would expect that most Starfleet vessels would have the same basic SHAPE as the TOS ship, with only the components (and size) changing decade after decade.
     
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  17. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, Starfleet vessels look similar. They have a saucer, usually they have a secondary hull, and they have nacelles; sometimes one, three, or four, but mostly two.

    That's not the point.

    The point is that Drexler was told to use the Akira as the NX-01. Rightly realizing how stupid that would be, he took it upon himself to make changes to the design to make it look older (and flipping the nacelles upward) but still retaining the basic shape and several attributes of the Akira. Which is why it resembles the Akira...not because someone actually wanted to base a ship design on a background FC/DS9 ship from 200 years in the future.
     
  18. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oberth and Defiant and Olympic? ;)
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Funny you mention the Olympic:
    [​IMG]

    When two hundred years earlier there was...

    [​IMG]

    Daedelympic anyone?

    Simply put: I would expect MORE similarities between Federation starships, not less. Akiraprize is an example and IMO it's a good one.
     
  20. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

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    Indeed. Doug himself pointed out that aircraft carrier designs haven't really changed in decades. I would add that prop planes haven't changed much in that time either.

    If a configuration works, it works.