Fans finally get a look at the bridge of Star Trek: Discovery‘s U.S.S. Enterprise – and it’s amazing how close the CBS All-Access prequel got to duplicating the famous starship’s interior while simultaneously upgrading it to suit the series’ modern aesthetics.
The Starship Enterprise – the classic NCC-1701 version, of course – first appeared in Star Trek: Discovery‘s season 1 finale when it came nose-to-nose with the Disco. However, once Captain Christopher Pike transferred aboard the Discovery, fans were disappointed that the only glimpse they saw of its interior was the doorway and interior of Spock’s quarters when Commander Michael Burnham beamed aboard to investigate the disappearance of her adoptive brother. The tidbits of info season 2 provided about the Enterprise mostly came from Number One‘s guest appearance in episode 4, “An Obol for Charon,” when she informed Pike about the Enterprise’s refits after the ship’s holographic array caused system-wide damage (Pike then ordered the holograms removed permanently).
In part 1 of Star Trek: Discovery season 2 finale, “Such Sweet Sorrow,” fans finally got a grand tour of the Enterprise. In order to keep the sphere data from Control, which had taken over Section 31‘s fleet and was en route to attack, Pike and Burnham decided to destroy the Discovery and the Enterprise arrived to save the Discovery’s crew. Both starships docked parallel to each other so Discovery’s crew could board Pike’s original ship and fans got to see Enterprise’s upgraded corridors with their shiny red trim and mesh panels, similar to how it appeared in The Original Series. The Captain escorted Burnham and First Officer Saru himself via turbolift (with the handle grip controls) onto the bridge, which was strikingly recreated to resemble what fans remember from TOS, but was also stunningly updated.
Star Trek: Discovery‘s U.S.S. Enterprise’s bridge has the red turbolift door that leads into the command center, with its classic square-ish captain’s chair prominently raised behind the white and red-painted ops and conn stations, all facing a viewscreen. There’s a red railway surrounding the center and behind them are the various control stations, with monitor screens and schematics of the Enterprise, as well as TOS‘ blinking colored lights. Behind the captain’s chair is the Communications station (the future perch of Lieutenant Uhura) and to the left of that is the Science station – Spock’s workplace as Science Officer.
Along with eliminating the holographic array “forever” – which keeps Star Trek canon intact – the overhauls Number One oversaw must have included a new paint job. The bright primary colors (which Emperor Georgiou loathed) must be part of the refit; in the original Star Trek pilot, “The Cage”, the bridge was monochrome and featured lamps with curved necks (which have been removed). Thankfully, the Enterprise still has all of the same sounds as in TOS, including the whooshing sound the turbolift doors make, the naval-like whistles, the computer’s distinctive beeps, and even the sounds of photon torpedoes launched.
The Enterprise’s bridge, which has two more stations to the left of the Science station that are rarely seen in TOS, is considerably more cramped than the Discovery’s expansive command area. This is odd because, as a deep space cruiser, the Constitution-class Enterprise is supposed to be bigger than the Crossfield-class Discovery, which is a science vessel; the Enterprise’s crew complement is 400 while the Discovery’s was 131 in season 1 and grew to approximately 200 in season 2. And yet, the Discovery’s interiors are definitely roomier than the Enterprise’s.
J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movies maintained the basic layout of TOS‘ Enterprise but made everything bigger, shinier, and more futuristic – the discrepancies are waved away by those films being set in the alternate Kelvin timeline. But because Star Trek: Discovery established Anson Mount’s Pike is the same character played by Jeffrey Hunter, the Enterprise has to be the same ship that James T. Kirk will inherit. While they still maintain the starship’s retro feel, the upgrades Star Trek: Discovery made to the Starship Enterprise lets the CBS All-Access series have the best of both worlds.
Star Trek: Discovery‘s season 2 finale streams Thursday, April 18 on CBS All-Access and the next day internationally on Netflix