Star Trek: the new Enterprise revealed

Martin talks about some of the production designs he saw at yesterday's preview screening, as the new Enterprise is unveiled...

Here it is at last...
The new Enterprise

Hot on the heels of today’s new footage, EW have posted an exclusive pic of the new Enterprise from J.J. Abrams Star Trek. I certainly recognise the distinctive nacelle heads, production designs for which were on a rolling display at video-screens for the preview showing with Abrams and Simon Pegg.

A classic look has been retained by conceptual illustrator John Eaves and production designer Scott Chambliss. Also on display in the slide-show were military transports and other distinct versions on the classic shuttlecraft chassis design, as well as impressive pictures of a huge extruded oval hanger containing hundreds of shuttlecraft, some in flight.

The hangar also featured in candid set photographs in the slideshow and is absolutely enormous, so I’m guessing that Abrams dressed an existing location; these pictures really give you a sense of the scale and reality of the movie.

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Other art on display included Kirk’s BMW motorbike, which had a spokeless design that his bike in the movie was not able to match, and some really way-out bike sketches for the Iowa state police, which were toned down for the single vehicle that we saw when Kirk was rescued by them in the trailer.

Also on display were the new Jaeger-class Klingon ships, which are the most classic design of all, a comfortable meld of the sixties, TMP and TNG versions. It was a great look to begin with, so why mess with it?

More shocking were the designs for the new Romulan ships, which really owe nothing to anything previously seen on Star Trek, and are best described as a curved hammerhead blade attached to a completely spherical central portion. It looks more like some kind of wierd knife, and we only got very fleeting glimpses of it in the footage itself.

There was also a bizarre production sketch from October of 2007 depicting a view down a corridor with a very familiar TOS profile, kind of like the odd angles of the Krell corridors in Forbidden Planet, but narrower. It may have just been a trick of perception, but the indistinct figure running away from the viewer down the corridor appears to have bumped huge chunks out of the concrete as he runs, and it’s rather Looney Toons in style.

Another production sketch seen was a photograph looking down onto the auditorium at Starfleet academy. Where the speaker’s lectern was, a huge screen displayed a pair of eyes, and two figures vaguely resembling a uniformed Spock and Kirk were seen chatting in front of it in the otherwise empty theatre. The auditorium has enormous glass windows above the lectern, through which you can see a panoramic view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge.

Other pictures depicted: the explosion of a planet; a photo of the new transporter room on the Enterprise with a red floor that looks very in line with the original series; a glowing fireball with distinct boundaries that rather resembles the time-capsule that the Terminators arrive in; someone in a really heavy NASA-style spacesuit floating down a beautifully designed and curved warp nacelle (I’m guessing here); the warp core of the Enterprise, now a very enclosed space with the shut-in and shielded look of a nuclear facility and aforementioned (unidentified) astronaut standing next to the warp core; a redesign of the hangar doors of the ‘Sweet Judy’, with notes indicating that the redesign had turned the slats from straight to curved; loads of costume design sketches featuring classic Star Trek-style costumes and really retro mini-skirts; a red ‘orbital drop suit’, the same featured in scene 4 shown yesterday; a planet of fiery lava rather resembling the Genesis planet in its death-throes from Star Trek III; a med-evac shuttle along familiar lines by John Eaves, with red trim; and a cut-through design of the Aliens-style drop-ship.

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