VIDEO: Herman Zimmerman Talks Difficulties w/ Nemesis Director Baird, ST09’s Big Nacelles & More |
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VIDEO: Herman Zimmerman Talks Difficulties w/ Nemesis Director Baird, ST09’s Big Nacelles & More September 3, 2010

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Conventions/Events/Attractions,Feature Films (TMP-NEM),Interview,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

Last week at the showing of Star Trek: Nemesis at the Star Trek Summer Screening series at the Royal Theater in West LA, veteran production designer Herman Zimmerman spoke frankly about his career in Trek, issues with Nemesis director Stuart Baird, and gave his thoughts on the look of the new Star Trek. Watch vidoe of that below.


Zimmerman talks Star Trek: Nemesis and designing 2 decades of Trek

Veteran production designer Herman Zimmerman was the guest for last weekend’s screening of Star Trek: Nemesis at the Summer Star Trek screenings at the Royal Theater in West Los Angeles. Here are some highlights of the talk.



Updated schedule – Giacchino for Star Trek 2009

UPDATE: The series wraps up on Saturday the 4th. The guest for the 2009 Star Trek movie will be composer Michael Giacchino .

Date Film Guest
September 4 STAR TREK (2009) Michael Giacchino


What: Star Trek Movie Series

When: Saturdays at midnight in July-September (see above schedule)

Where: Laemmle’s Royal Theatre is located at 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, (310) 478-3836 

Tickets: $10 for general admission. You can buy tickets at the box office or online at



1. Imrahil - September 3, 2010

The hodgepodge, ancient station for DS9 would’ve been a lot cooler. I always hated the lighting in that show. Effing Cardassholes.

2. Future Guy - September 3, 2010

Interesting, would be cool seeing Michael Giacchino

3. jas_montreal - September 3, 2010

Nemesis would have been awesome, if Jonathon Frakes returned to direct !

4. old - September 3, 2010

always loved the artstyle of the series he was involved in.
carpet floors in tng and voy, awesome !

5. noirgwio - September 3, 2010

I remember being reminded a lot of a fancy hotel when seeing the decks and bridge of the 1701-D, before I’d ever even heard it compared to that! But no captain’s chair…? I dunno, I think it’s a staple of the series, a focal point sort of keeping the head guy steadily in view in some essence. So, to not have that might’ve been a bit odd.

With Nemesis’ director – I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone refer to his ‘work’ on that film in anything but a derogatory light… While I actually enjoyed the movie, as well as most of the ‘lesser liked’ Trek movies and series’, I also respect and admire those who had been with Trek a long time’s majority of opinions that he didn’t know what he was doing necessarily. As J.J. proved, you don’t absolutely need to come in with fore knowledge of Trek, but you sure need to respect it, as well he and the folks who put the 2009 flick seemed to.

6. STFU - September 3, 2010

Could he sound more bored???

7. Dan M - September 3, 2010

#3 – You’re absolutely correct!

8. Thorny - September 3, 2010

I don’t remember the bridge of the Scimitar at all, but the Romulan Senate was a very good set.

9. Rocket Scientist - September 3, 2010

I’d like to watch the video, but either the audio levels aren’t high enough or the guy is mumbling. Or both. Too bad because the first few minutes were interesting info that I’d never heard before. I just don’t think I have the stamina right now after a long work week. I might try again in a day or so.

10. That One Guy - September 3, 2010

I like big nacelles and I cannot lie
You otha’ brotha’s can’t deny
When a ship warps in with that itty bitty waste
With those round things in your face
You get sprung!

[Walks away in shame for having thought that up]

11. Phaser Guy - September 3, 2010

Zimmerman likes really big and round sets.

12. somethoughts - September 3, 2010

“Zimmerman’s notes some of his favorite movie sets as: Star Trek VI Klingon courtroom, Star Trek Nemesis Romulan Senate and Bridge of the Scimitar, particular proud that the ‘theleron device’ part of Scimitar was done with practical effects instead of CGI”

Yes, no, no and no

I wish Zimmerman was more epic in his favorite sets, the romulan senate was rather dull, the bridge of the scimitar had no imagination/very clunky and tv ish/low budget, theleron device lol umm nothing special, seen this type of effects better on television shows.

Zimmerman is behind in the times, this may have been good 30 years ago, but everything he likes here is way outdated and doesn’t even compare to the 70’s or 80s sci fi movies like star wars or star trek tmp


13. ScottDS - September 3, 2010

Interesting comments about Stuart Baird, especially in terms of his picky nature and not getting what he wanted from the art department. I’m reminded of the documentary on the Blade Runner Blu-Ray/DVD where the art director relates a story of pulling aside a set decorator and telling him or her, “Ridley is not going to want ten coffee mugs and a few pens. You go around town and find a hundred coffee mugs and a hundred pens!”

Of course, Stuart Baird is no Ridley Scott. And I doubt the money men at Paramount would let the Trek machine spiral out of control like Blade Runner almost did too many times to count. :-)

Having directed other films, I wonder if Baird could’ve brought in his own production designer. He brought in his own editor and costume designer… who knows?

14. Desstruxion - September 3, 2010

D’s bridge was one of the worst. The “center seat” needs to be in the center and that bland color scheme was terrible. Enterprise A,B and Excelsior are my favorites in the bridge dept. Darker and more functional in appearance.

15. Scruffy, the vampire janitor - September 3, 2010

Read the “Art of Star trek” books and you’ll see the designs for Phase II and TNG were very over designed like a student would do it. The ultimate in design fantasy, not space opera fantasy.

Critics were complaining about the space hotel look for years. That’s why the old Enterprise was deliberately redesigned to look like a military ship for Trek 6.

The logic behind the fantasy is humans especially love comfort so the Big E should be a womb as much as possible. and the D was an exploration ship and a ship of peace much much moreso than the original 1701, designed as a capable frontier warship which also explored

16. Desstruxion - September 3, 2010

Speaking of Nemesis…..which ship would win in this fight and why? The Scimitar vs. Narada. Let the bickering begin.

17. johnny - September 3, 2010

Narada. Devestating weapons. Unless the Scimitar was able to power up its Thaleron delivery system while still cloaked. If Scimitar was able to instantly decloak and fire its Thaleron weapon at the Narada, there’d be nobody left alive on the Romulan ship to fire its devestating torpedoes.

However, if Scimitar had to decloak and deploy its Thaleron projector (and it took as long to do as it did in NEMESIS), Narada would pound it into dust long before Shinzon would be able to fire his weapon.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

18. Balok - September 3, 2010

Frakes could not have saved Nemesis, story was terrible rip-off.

19. Balok - September 3, 2010

TOS bridge by far the best

20. Will_H - September 3, 2010

Yes, #3 is dead on, and I think had Frakes returned to the director chair there might have been another TNG movie. Also I think what bugged me the most of the new E was the nacelles, too big and they looked almost curved and not too functional. I honestly think Zimmerman is still the best production designer in Trek history, even counting 09.

21. Red Dead Ryan - September 3, 2010


Matt Jeffries was pretty good as well!

The Star Trek franchise has been blessed with great production designers. Herman Zimmerman did an awesome job, even on “Nemesis” while having to work with an idiot like Stuart “I’m the boss and you’ll do it as I say it” Baird.

I’d like to thank him, Mike Okuda, Rick Sternbach (and all of the others) for their tremendous work which enriched the Star Trek universe.

And once again, thanks to Anthony for the well-done and imformative interview! I wish you had done a video for the “First Contact” showing.

22. JustBob - September 3, 2010

RE: Rocket Scientist

“I’d like to watch the video, but either the audio levels aren’t high enough or the guy is mumbling. Or both. Too bad because the first few minutes were interesting info that I’d never heard before. I just don’t think I have the stamina right now after a long work week. I might try again in a day or so.”

Same here, RS.

23. thebiggfrogg - September 3, 2010

DS9 also suffered from the space hotel look. B5 got it right. Down below looked like it was rundown (despite the budget constraints or maybe because of them). When O’Brien complained about the rattletrap that was DS9 it was disingenuous, because it looked like the frakkin’ Mall of America. The Ent D and E I could settle for the hotel look, but a supposedly rundown, frontier, left-for-dead and abandoned post-haste space station? I just didn’t buy it.

24. JohnWA - September 3, 2010


I liked the bird of prey above the doors.

But it was much smaller than the U.S. Senate, British House of Lords, or any “grand” legislative chamber I have ever seen. There was maybe enough seating for 25-30 people and a small viewscreen. And this was supposedly the nerve center of a vast interstellar empire?

Although I suppose that dovetails with the equally underwhelming Federation Council set from ST4. Star Trek has always suffered from budget problems. And the visuals in Nemesis never really match the vision. Everything has to be scaled down because they simply don’t have the money.


The alternate reality scaled up considerably, so the Narada model is absolutely huge compared to the Scimitar. The Narada is shown as anywhere from 8 to 11 km long (that’s as large as some of the Super Star Destroyers in Star Wars). The alternate reality Enterprise from 2258 is also larger than the Enterprise-E in the prime universe.

25. Phaser Guy - September 3, 2010

The sets for the Trek movies always felt a little cheap. Even in Trek 2009, Kirk is promoted to Captain in front of about 100 people. I liked it in the shows where they would have a wide effects shot of 1,000 people standing outside like when Archer landed back at Earth in Enterprise.

26. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - September 3, 2010

I agree Frakes would have made Nemesis better, if only because he respects his fellow actors (at that point, they were like a family), and has more respect for the characters and the overall tone than Baird obviously had. However, as others have pointed out, the story of Nemesis is flawed, and it would have been better if they had come up with something truer to the spirit of Star Trek. Ultimately, what Star Trek needed was a signature producer/director team, as is found in Bad Robot, and if Paramount had invested the resources to give the TNG crew that kind of talent, Star Trek X would have been a great film, say in the tradition of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

27. somethoughts - September 4, 2010


Borg modified romulan mining ship versus a Reman Warbird that was termed a predator. I got my money on the Reman Warbird.

Scimitar > Narada

Narada is good for drilling and launching borg missles
Scimitar is good for melting faces. End of Story.

28. Jim Nightshade - September 4, 2010

I wonder how many showed up–does anthony have any data-where all the movies sold out? which guests were most popular? Was Nemesis the least attended-or inurrection maybe?
Ideally in a movie the sets are not the stars–the actors/peoples story should be-jj got it right as the sets should be in the background in a fast paced good movie-and not as imporatant–

29. somethoughts - September 4, 2010


I am greedy, I want it all, cheap out on the sets and you cheap out on the viewers. It’s like milk and cereal, or a fine driver in a excellent race car at a great track, you need it all for it to be complete.

30. THX-1228 - September 4, 2010

pretty good guest you have for star trek 09, Giachchino is great to listen to when he talks about scoring for films

31. Phobos - September 4, 2010

What a fascinating interview. I had no idea Stuart Baird was like that with the cast. hmm

32. Phobos - September 4, 2010

After doing the TNG TV series and movies, Paramount should have chosen a director (and provided the $$) who would of respected Patrick Stewart. He and the cast did not deserve to finish on the terms they did.

If Stewart wanted to succeed or screw things up because he felt the character(s) should have been portrayed differently, then so be it.

Riveting interview. Special thanks to the man in purple who interviewed Mr Zimmerman.

33. somethoughts - September 4, 2010


I believe the conflict came from Stuart Baird who wanted a new direction vs the casts established positioning eg. where characters sat/stood. Also his stupid decision to cut out Data and Picards wine toasts which would have resonated at the end when SPOILER Data died and they toast Data one last time.

I think Stuart did the best he can considering his only other movie was Executive Decision? The problem as you can see was simply a aging crew trying to do action instead of sticking to what made TNG so good and that was exploring space and the human condition. You can get what you pay for, paramount was investing 75mil into TNG films at best?

If you are going to make a sci fi movie, go big or go home. If say Paramount gave the flagpole treatment they did with ST09 to TNG, TNG would have fared better than it did at the box office.

Imagine a epic sci fi story about humanity and exploration, with a fantastic A plus director and creative minds that wow us with sci fi set pieces and special effects.

We are so lucky to have JJ/Orci/Alex/Lind etc. as the new masters to Trek.

Everything is fresh and they have gained so many new Trek fans because of ST09.
Zimmerman got stale and so did Berman and the cast, it was like watching and smelling a retirement home.

Kinda sad how Best of Both Worlds episodes and All Good Things… was 1000x times better than the garbage they put on the big screen, except for maybe First Contact which was good.

34. Crispy - September 4, 2010

Zimmerman was great. He was a million times better than the stuff they did for JJTrek like the iBridge or Beer factory engineering. I agree with him JJ moves the camera far too much to let the set designs actually sink in. I suppose it has to do with the ADD generation always wanting things too fast and to look cool.

35. Crispy - September 4, 2010

Oh, I agree the audio levels were terrible. A lot of mumbling going on there.

36. Phobos - September 4, 2010

Well I stand by my feeling that everthing I watched of ST where Berman was in the credits was genius. The only ep. I found questionable was the last episode of Enterprise. It was fun and all to see Troi and Riker back in action, but it felt as if the original Ent cast was … forgotten, not real, something.

ST Future Begins is awesome, but personally I dont like the new Enterprise shape, not to mention the pulse phasers, and engineering. The thing that made ST FB great was the new cast. Also, the next enemy ship should have clear cut shaping, the Scimitar and Narada are too exotic in terms of shapes.

37. NX-03 - September 4, 2010

As Nemesis was touted as the last next generation film regardless of critical and finanical sucess, they really should have gone with a big epic ‘Q’ story imo as to me Q is more synonymous with TNG then that of the Romulans. I’ve always thought that NEM having a romulan plot line was mirroring TUC featuring a Klingon story, Klingons being synonymous with TOS crew and both films knowingly being the last adventure for both crews I mean, yeah, the Romulans featured in a lot of TNG but they weren’t as exculsive.They started with Q and should have ended with Q (again) If FC hadn’t be a Borg movie and VOY hadn’t pinched them then a Borg film would have been a good bowing out for them also. That said, perhaps they should have just stopped TNG at FC and gave DS9 and VOY a shot at the big screen.

38. Phobos - September 4, 2010

So Giaccino is the next interview huh? Could someone please ask him if he understands/agrees with various award shows giving him nominations/awards for his scores in the movie “UP” instead of Star Trek?

Seems to me his music was far more sophisticated and emotionally provocative in ST.

39. Phobos - September 4, 2010

I saw bring back Q and the Borg in the next movie, or TV show (please CBS please!)

40. Crispy - September 4, 2010


Nope. “Up” was the supremely better score. That’s why it won an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

41. Captain Rickover - September 4, 2010

# 17 Johnny and # 27 somethoughts:

The borgified Narada is not canon. With all the canon information, the Narada fire ordonary Romulan Rockets. Of course 24th century weapons would do great damage on 23rd century ship. And the size of the Alternate-Enterprise doesn’t really matter, nor does the Narada’s size (oil tankers are bigger as aircraft carriers. Gues who would win?). The Narada rockets could even be shot down by the Enterprise’s phaser-cannons. Enterprise-E would have easily handeld the Narada and destroyed it (it’s still a mining ship, not a warship). So, the Scimitar would have destroyed Nero’s Narada within seconds, because it even could fire in cloaked-mode. The use of the Thalaran-weapon wouldn’t be needed. Narada is no match for Scimitar – in no way.

So much from Captain Rickover, the starship-nerd.

And about Nemesis: It isn’t so bad, but for 2002-movie it was really outdated. The movie was too static, too slow and every surprise-moment was foreshadowed too soon (beside all the stuipid stuff like the useless turtle-face-aliens). I guess it would have been cooler, if Paramount and Berman would have hired a younger director and not such an old stubborn one as Baird. I dare say, even Frakes would have been the wrong director for Nemesis.

42. Philip Dunlop - September 4, 2010

I was disappointed with the Scimitar’s interior design. All those steps? Really, in a warship, would that be a good idea? Star Trek’s bridge designs always made a certain amount of ergonomic sense – to the point where various militaries have even taken some of the ideas and applied them in the real world. For that reason, I think it would’ve been nice to revisit the TOS Romulan Bird of Prey bridge design from Balance of Terror for Nemesis.

43. Chantelle Maguire - September 4, 2010

The Picard/Shinzon and Riker/Reman Viceroy fights were much more satisfying to watch than any of the fights in Star Trek (2009).

The fight between Kirk and Nero was pointless and anticlimactic. A wasted opportunity for an amazing and action-packed fight which would have made Kirk’s triumph at the end all the more emotional and uplifting. He didn’t seem to care about avenging his father. After shooting Ayel, it would have been good to have done something similar to Get Carter (2000) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). In Get Carter, Sylvester Stallone has a vicious fight with Mickey Rourke, losing at first only to find him on the dancefloor, say the classic line “You should finish what you start” and beat Rourke to a pulp in front of everyone. They should have had Kirk go to the Narada bridge like Picard went to the Scimitar bridge and shot the remaining Romulan henchmen before fighting and overpowering Nero.

I hope that J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman will improve on this in Star Trek 12.

44. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - September 4, 2010

In the Enterprise ep in a Mirror Darkly we do get to see what happens when a 23rd century Vessel like the U.S.S Defiant fires on a Nx Class Ship and other Ships from the 22nd century. Just like the Narada being in the 24th firing on the U.S.S Kelvin. Not much of a match. Now when the Enterprise took on the narada almost the same but the Big E had better Shields and Weapens. That is why after the first volly from the Narada the Enterprise shilds were at 30%.

45. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - September 4, 2010

Nemises was a good Movie But it should have been a lot better. I agree that a better Director and Writer should have been brought in and let loose. The Clone Story was to close to Star Wars Attack of the Clones. I think if Frakes had been allowed to Direct or dare I say J.J Abrams then nemises would have been a lot better.

46. Terran_Guy - September 4, 2010


It is SOFT canon

AS for your size comparison, the Narada was 5 miles long (or 8,047 Meters), while the Enterprise-E was about 685 meters long. I have yet to see a fuel tanker that is about 14 times longer than an aircraft carrier and much taller.

And I have yet to see a fuel tanker that well armed or with that much empty space inside.


Except that was a battleship not a modified mining ship.

47. CmdrR - September 4, 2010

Picard and the Enterprise-D crew look pensive as they deal with an incoming Romulan warbird.

Picard: Raise shields, and my aren’t these scones delicious! (passes plate of snacks around the bridge command table.)

Riker: Yes, I’m glad you have them on Tuesdays at the morning meeting. Lock phasers, Ensign.

Worf: No prune danish… again!

Troi: I’m sensing increased tension on the ship, Captain. Maybe we should have a conference call.

Data: The warbird is firing. Now, if you’ll all check the handout Geordi and I have prepared, you’ll see where we’re wasting time and energy that could go to the shields, and —


*end of series*

48. Magic_Al - September 4, 2010

The TNG design succeeded in saying that more advanced technology would be less in-your-face. There are fewer control panels because the computer is smarter. They went backwards from this idea with subsequent bridges so there would be more blinking and beeping, switches, lights, and knobs (to paraphrase Shatner’s great scene in Airplane II). Why does the Voyager bridge look more complicated than the bridge of the Enterprise? Doesn’t really make sense.

49. Jo Jo - September 4, 2010

Nemesis: Really good script – flat direction – better film than people assume.

Zimmerman Vs. JJ: Yes, Zimmerman’s designs were better than what a whole team came up w. for ST-2009.

50. Jason - September 4, 2010

I still want to know how Baird even got hired, was he having lunch at the same restaurant and Rick Berman was, so they bumped into each other and that’s how he got the job. Would have been a lot better if Jonathan Frakes or LeVar Burton was at the helm.

I do like what Scott Chambliss did with the new film, but have to agree we need to see more of it in the next film.

As for next week, Giacchino at ST09, that would be an AWESOME birthday present if I could be there (his work on that film was the best any composer has done for Trek since Goldsmith on TMP).

51. Paul - September 4, 2010

#10, hilarious!

Star Trek sets have always set the series beneath the epic scale of Star Wars. Every “big” set in Star Trek, the Klingon Courtroom, the Romulan Senate, really look small and cheap compared to sets like the Galactic Senate in Star Wars. It is a question of budgets, of course, but even with a tent pole budget, we got the distillery engine room. Let’s have some more imagination!

52. OneBuckFilms - September 4, 2010

#47 – LOL !!!!!

That sounds like so many of the Conference Calls I’ve been dumped on with 15-20 unnecessary chiefs, when I could work with the 1-2 relevent guys to resolve the issue in 15 minutes :)

Sounds like you work for an “enterprise” :P

53. ScottDS - September 4, 2010

^50 Jason –

The scuttlebutt is that Stuart Baird helped out with last-minute post-production work on Tomb Raider and Mission: Impossible II and Paramount owed him a film after that.

He’s a very good editor (he edited The Omen, Superman, Outland, the first two Lethal Weapons, and more… and post-Nemesis, he edited Casino Royale, Vantage Point, and Salt)…

…but as a director, he’s strictly a hired gun. He’s not any kind of directorial visionary (like Spielberg or Cameron) or storyteller (like Nick Meyer). He only had two other more or less forgettable films under his belt: U.S. Marshals which was merely okay and Executive Decision which I admit is a huge guilty pleasure of mine. :-)

54. Allen Williams - September 4, 2010

I think it would have helped if they consulted Herman Zimmerman on the new film. They ran out of money and as a result had to use budwiser for engineering. I think Zimmerman could have helped them cut enough corners to have built the engineering set that they originally envisioned.

55. Thorny - September 4, 2010

50. Jason… “I still want to know how Baird even got hired, was he having lunch at the same restaurant and Rick Berman was,”

Almost certainly, he was the only one to accept Paramount’s offer, which wasn’t enough to hire a “name” director, and Paramount very much wanted someone from outside the Trek franchise to bring in a “fresh take”. Those were Mr. Baird’s marching orders, and explains why he absolutely ignored the input from the entire cast and crew.

I think Paramount was hoping for a Nicholas Meyer, a relative unknown. But Mr. Baird is no a Nicholas Meyer.

56. Phaser Guy - September 4, 2010

lol, JJ moves the camera too much. That’s a pretty funny complaint. Did the camera move at all in the last 2 TNG films?

57. Mr.Scotty - September 4, 2010

Frakes was as bad as Baird, dumb humor, weird pacing. No thanks.

58. CmdrR - September 4, 2010

Baird could have made a dumb film, or an empty-headed action film. In fact, he could have made dozens of blatant mistakes (not unlike a certain sci-fi flick that came out in May 2009) and had a hit. Even overlooking the cynical disregard for continuity (we deal with B4 but get no mention of Lore) or common sense (sensors can now find android heads dozens of lightyears away) the film just lumbers from one forced plot point (I was made to hate all humans, so I’ll take over my planet just so I can get ONE ship to attack Earth) to another forced plot point (I’m a clone with a thanatos-gene so I’ll just swipe blood from the 1.0 model.)
What Baird put in front of our eyes was best summed up in the theatre by my then-11 year old daughter: “This is boring.”

59. AJ - September 4, 2010

One has to approach the 1701-D bridge from the perspective of the impression it made in 1987.

The Writers’ Guide was quite specific in its assertion that mankind has advanced to the level where a high level of comfort was standard, even on Starfleet vessels, hence the “Hyatt Regency” look of the Bridge. Compare it to the Battle Bridge in “Farpoint,” and the differences are quite clear.

For sure, the “D”‘s Bridge has not aged well, but it sure looked impressive when TNG was in first run.

60. Author of "The Vulcan Neck Pinch For Fathers" - September 4, 2010

I had always likened the Next Generation “Enterprise” to a Flying Marriott. I used the term sarcastically; I didn’t realize the effect was intentional.

I recall reading Trek’s original set designer hated it.

I always thought Enterprise-E’s bridge was just too darned big, too much wasted space, and much of the spirit of the highly efficent, centralized TOS Enterprise bridge was lost. Oh, well, opinions, as they say….

61. Captain Rickover - September 4, 2010

# 46 Terran_Guy

I never heard from any offical source the comic-stuff is considered canon or partly canon. The involvement of Bob & Alex doesn’t mean it’s canon.

As I said, size doesn’t matter. A fuel tanker can’t even hold up against a torpedo boat! I only wanted to mention, that warships not allways the biggest ships. Fact is, Alternate-Enterprise could easily destroy the romulan rockets. Why should they be any danger for the Enterprise-E? Because they destroyed the Kelvin and 8 other starfleet ships (still from the 23rd century, even it’s an alternate one )?

No, Narada has not the smallest chance against the Scimitar.

62. Meni - September 4, 2010

I’m thinking of swinging by Star Trek Saturdays tonight to catch Giacchino speak. I don’t wanna stay for the whole film as I’ve seen it twice just cast month. Anyone know if the Q&A happens before the film?

63. Terran_Guy - September 4, 2010


For your analogy to make sense, it would mean a fuel tanker could easily take on 8 pre- WWI battleships, a ridiculous assumption.

Secondly, where have you ever seen a simple “fuel tanker/mining ship” that well armed.

And why such an odd and completely non functional design?

Lastly, I’m pretty sure it is SOFT canon since it does not contradict any other source, is intertwined in other soft canon, and was published with Paramounts permission.

64. Khan was Framed! - September 4, 2010

It’s not that the nacelles are too big; it’s that the secondary hull is too small in comparison to them & the saucer section.

Also the pylons that hold them up are placed too close together & too far to the rear of the secondary hull.

The overall effect makes them look oversized & out of proportion with the rest of the ship.

It diminishes the feeling that this could be a real, functioning vehicle because were used to seeing greater esthetic balance in real vehicles & in previous Enterprise designs.

Plus it’s still the ugliest design in Trek history. I contend that it looks like Bootsy Collins sketched it on a napkin, during a four day LSD bender.


65. rm10019 - September 4, 2010

Anthony, thanks again for another great Trek discussion with one of the core production team!

66. skyjedi - September 4, 2010

Stuart Baird was the problem, now that is interesting. He was a good editor but a terrible Trek director.

Still Frakes worked with the crew well and Insurrection sucked.

Not sure they would have been better suited with him at the helm.

Also no ILM,on Nemesis huge mistake.

Every Trek film they have worked on has been successful. The ones they did not do V and Nemesis, bombed.

67. Dom - September 4, 2010

Let’s not forget that the Trek series was still firmly under the thumb of Rick Berman. I remember stories leaking before Nemesis came out that Berman had locked himself in the edit suite with Stuart Baird insisting on cutting great swathes of material from the film.

I get the impression that they’d tried to be edgy by getting in a non-‘family’ writer (who turned in an abortion of a screenplay, handcuffing the director before he had even started filming) then, having hired a non-‘family’ director, the cast and crew balked at working with a guy who had a different method of working and were, from the sound of things, uncooperative.

And let’s not forget Berman blaming the audience for not liking the film. Stuart Baird was not the problem with the film: he was a hired hand who did his best, but the franchise, as was, had already run out of steam. Berman likely didn’t use Jonathan Frakes as director in fear that, like Leonard Nimoy, he’d become a substantial enough creative force along with Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner, that he (Berman) could be sidelined. Remember, he notoriously flexed his producing muscles a good deal more on Insurrection than on First Contact. And which is the better, more imaginative, more exciting film?

TNG belonged on TV anyway: it wasn’t particularly suited to the cinema and is a perfect demonstration that a TV show shifting to the cinema shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a ‘promotion.’ TOS worked, but is one of the very few TV shows to make the difficult transition to screen. On the whole, they tend to be parodies, like Starsky & Hutch, greatest hits collections like The X-Files, in-name-only adaptations, such as Mission: Impossible or failed attempts to be something else, which is the category TNG fell into.

People were sick of the 80s-2000s Treks by the time Nemesis came out to the extent that one bad movie would be enough to kill the saga stone dead. The best thing about Nemesis is that the old guard was ousted (something people had been clamouring for since Voyager) and we got a fresh approach.

After all, Berman’s Trek was locked in a 1980s TV time warp, a bubble of limited vision and creativity. The discussion was always more about what you mustn’t do in Star Trek, rather than what you can.

Was ST09 informed by Battlestar Galactica? Possibly, but, given the 2000s’ BSG is the most important show to TV scifi since the original Star Trek, that’s no bad thing.

68. Gary - September 4, 2010

Can someone transcribe this interview? I can’t understand Mr. Zimmerman.

69. sean - September 4, 2010

Zimmerman was a great designer but his strengths were as a TV designer, much like Harve Bennett’s strengths were in TV. It meant he could stretch a budget like nobody’s business, but neither of them ever had much to work with. Zimmerman did his best, and surely would have made some amazing sets with more money, but as it was he just wasn’t given the financial resources necessary to make the movies look like movies.

Instead we got sets that they admittedly couldn’t have afforded on the TV show but that still didn’t hold up on the silver screen. The Romulan Senate might have been pretty, but it was absolutely absurd given what it was supposed to represent. The Scimitar was awful, just an endless series or repetitive corridors other than the bridge, which made little design sense. Not only did they place stairs in there, but they were narrow stairs! I remember him mentioning that the Scimitar Bridge was actually the same size as the Enterprise E bridge, so in one sense I admire what he was able to do with the space, but at the same time it demonstrates the limitations that were place on him.

70. captain_neill - September 4, 2010

The nacelles of the new Enterprise I hated, it does not have the beauty of the Original Constitution class and her refit.

71. ScottDS - September 4, 2010

I read this on IMDb. I take it with a HUGE grain of salt.

“Nicholas Meyer was approached to direct the film by Rick Berman, but told Berman that he would want to do a rewrite of the screenplay. Berman was forced to refuse, as he had already promised John Logan full control over the screenplay, and so Meyer respectfully turned the offer down. Berman next considered offering LeVar Burton the chance to direct, but was then ordered by the studio to hire Stuart Baird. ”

Ordered by the studio? You’d think after fifteen years, Berman would have a little more clout with the higher-ups. The studio also forced them to do that Temporal Cold War arc on Enterprise. Even Brannon Braga admitted it would’ve been better suited to another show.

72. Dr. Image - September 4, 2010

Defiant bridge: Most well balanced and logical next to Classic.
ENT bridge a close second, actually.
TNGs and VOYs? Absurd.

73. BringBackTrek - September 4, 2010

First scene in the next movie: NCC-1701 is in spacedock undergoing a major refit – especially in engineering and the ship’s exterior. Make it so!

74. somethoughts - September 4, 2010



75. somethoughts - September 4, 2010

Adventure, Mystery, Exploration, Monsters, Puzzle, Friendship, Lost Love, Anger, Jealously, Betrayal, Fantastic Sci Fi, ILM, silence in space scenes, matrix/inception/avatar type special effects, fast paced version of TMP, re imagine Klingons, show future earth cities, moon, mars, ship yard, Starfleet/Federation as grand scale/epic size space stations in Milky Way, Epic Up music. He’s dead jim, I’m a doctor not a…,red shirt dies, fascinating, that’s illogical captain, fire…., shields buckling captain, vessel, hellloooooo, incoming transmission,

Combine, The Departed, Inception, The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones, LOTR and make it happen in space under the Title Star Trek 2.0

Investment 250million, Return on Investment 1Billion.
5 Academy Awards
Critically Acclaimed
Best Star Trek evers

76. trekkie - September 5, 2010


“But it was much smaller than the U.S. Senate, British House of Lords, or any “grand” legislative chamber I have ever seen.”

And the British House of Lords already is damn small compared to other chambers (just look at the Reichstag)

On the other hand the USA, UK … are democracies and the Romulan Empire is not. Democracies need a lot of Member of Parliament, the Romulan Senat not, the Empire is controlled by only a few senators.

Lets put it this way: The design of the senate was great, but the size was too small. (like many sets in many Star Trek movies)

77. kmart - September 5, 2010

I think it’s pretty much a given that Baird got NEMESIS as a ‘thank you’ (backhanded compliment at best) for saving Paramount’s bacon on the first TOMB RAIDER, which was supposedly unreleasable till he helped recut it. The thing is so bad anyway, I wonder how bad it was BEFORE he ‘helped.’

If you look at all three of his directorial tries, they all have the best crutch possibile in the form of Jerry Goldsmith, and regardless of that, they all still absolutely SUCK. I can’t think of anybody who got three decent-to-big-budget studio pics to learn on who delivered such uniformly uninteresting crap as Baird did with US MARSHALS and this and EXECUTIVE DECISION.

I think he is overrated as a cutter for that matter, but he is linked with very successful properties, so that is part of his track record that puts him in higher echelons than he probably deserves.

I don’t know about studio demanding Logan script being kept, but didn’t Spiner pretty much demand that, having known Logan and arranged him to come and pitch his idea in the first place?

It kills me that when TREK finally had some money to spend on art direction with this Abrams Joke, that the result is an incomprehensible hodgepodge, between the retro-beer-sewer lower deck and the lighting/graphisc nightmare that is the bridge. Zimmerman did pretty well with his pics, but wasted a lot of money on the village in INS and spent too much on Paradise City on TFF (which really needed the bread elsewhere.)

78. somethoughts - September 5, 2010

Insurrection village and rifle fights is lol swear it was a made for tv movie.

If you look at Avatar that just shows you the difference between shopping in Beverly hills vs Walmart.

79. sonarman - September 6, 2010

To me the blame for the complete failure of Nemesis lies entirely at the door of the highy overrated John Logan who also penned the disasterous “Time Machine” remake. Of all of the Trek films Nemesis is the only one I have troulble staying awake through the plot is leaden, the jokes recycled and the denoument rediculous. Yes, Stuart Baird may be responsible to a degree for failing to inject more life into the film and not bringing the best from the characters but the rot had set in much earlier when John Logan first put to put pen to paper and given carte blanche to create this monstrocity.

In truth whilst STNG was great on TV not one of the next gen films come close to matching 2,4, or 6 in the original series not bringing back the production team from those films to work on the next gen movies was a huge error on the part of the studio & Rick Berman.

80. somethoughts - September 6, 2010


Rick Berman is a television producer not a movie producer. Blame is with Paramount, hire James Cameron or Christopher Nolan to do a reboot of TNG. Get rid of the Enterprise E and the war bullshit and stick with the Galaxy Class exploration ship.

Those inception hotel scenes floating would have been a nice touch in a Star Trek movie, why can’t Star Trek movies get that treatment? Why do all aliens have to be in plastic makeup and have ridges.

I would have loved to have seen a epic sci fi Q movie, something along the lines of All Good Things…but a theatrical version, big sets, props, ILM, something any avid movie goer or sci fi buff would want to see. You check the movies at the theater playing and there is only 1 movie worth watching and that is Star Trek 2.

81. Vultan - September 6, 2010


“Those inception hotel scenes floating would have been a nice touch in a Star Trek movie, why can’t Star Trek movies get that treatment?”

Well, it did in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”… sort of. The zero-g scenes on the Klingon ship were far from the complex set pieces in “Inception,” but it was nice to finally see a ship in Trek lose its gravity. And I agree it would be nice to see something like that again in the upcoming Trek sequel. I’m reminded of an IDW comic book cover from a few years ago that had Kirk and Chekov floating in zero-g and firing their hand phasers—now something like that in the sequel would be great!

82. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - September 6, 2010

One of the major blundors was having baird as director. should have been frakes or Nimoy

83. Damian - September 6, 2010

Herman Zimmerman was the one guy from the old regime I would have liked Abrams to keep on board (well, I would have kept Jerry Goldsmith too, but he is unfortunately no longer with us). I never had an issue with his set design and he tried hard maintain some consistency over the various series.

84. somethoughts - September 6, 2010


That would be awesome.


Zimmerman is a great tv set guy.

85. somethoughts - September 6, 2010

Yea a slow motion sequence of floating in the corridors of the enterprise with slow motion phaser dodging special effects because of some temporal device lol

86. Damian - September 7, 2010

Nemesis was a movie with missed potential. It finally brought the Romulans into the movie (I was getting sick of Klingons all the time). The Romulans were one of the major villains Star Trek and I was always shocked they were not a major force in any of the prior movies. However, they were in a quandry with Nemesis because during the Dominion War, they became allies of the Federation. How do you make them a villain again? Unfortunately, what happened in Nemesis is the Romulans still became secondary characters. It probably would have worked better to have Schinzon be a Romulan and drop the clone plot (admittedly, this would remove a major plot point of why he wanted Picard and all of humanity dead). The B-4 plot really only served to show a possibility of Data continuing on through B-4 (Bob Orci actually used that in the comic prequel to the 2009 movie). I agree, some mention of Lore should have been made, though in “Datalore”, Data did mention prototypes were made, indicating others were made. As for the ease at which B-4 came up on sensors, Schinzon wanted them to find the android, so it stands to reason he would make it easier for them.

For it’s faults, I found Nemesis to be an enjoyable Star Trek film. Not a blockbuster, but I was generally satisfied. Though ILM was not involved (I think that was by their choice, not Paramounts–I’ll have to check it on Memory Alpha), the special effects were competent enough. I actually liked the Scimitar (absolutely deadly looking from the outside and creepy on the inside). I noted before some similarities with the Narada, sharp and pointy on the outside, dark and forboding inside. The music, as always from Goldsmith, was top notch. Also, I noticed the full cast seemed to get more screentime in this movie compared to the last 3 which seemed to focus more on Picard, Data and Worf. I also enjoyed Insurrection, which gets a lot of flack here. I was kind of hoping for a war movie, since the Dominion War was going on at that time, but Insurrection was fun to watch.

87. ML31 - September 7, 2010

Funny to hear that Roddenberry’s idea was to make the Enterprise D look like a hotel. That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the Ent-D back in ’87. I felt the ship should have been called the USS Hilton!

88. Steve - September 7, 2010

They can all blame Stuart as much as they want but the writing was really bad too. No one seems to talk about that!

89. David - September 7, 2010

are there videos posted for Generations, First Contact and Insurrection yet???

90. Chain of Command - September 7, 2010

I enjoyed Nemesis. Never had much of a problem with it, but I can see why many fans and critics did (and do). At it’s core there is a Star Trek story, but it needed more development time (AKA a rewrite).

91. OMNI - September 9, 2010

Zimmerman is an interior decorator compared to Wah Chang! Chang designed the original Time Machine and the Communicator, for God’s sake! When it comes to art direction, his work is really substandard. Hated the secondary hull and nacelles on the new Enterprise. The TOS ship fits the golden ratio—-the new one looks unbalanced and ungainly compared with the TOS and STTMP vessels.

92. Malcontent - September 20, 2010

I have mixed feelings about his work. He designed the Enterprise E, which is too swoopy and space-fantasy looking for my taste. To me, his designs, both ships and interiors, often don’t evoke a sense of realism, but maybe that’s budget, and Enterprise was much better in that (singular) respect.

Personally though, I thought ST 09 kicked Zimmerman’s ass. The ship exteriors alone are a level of magnitude better than the source material. The Kelvin looks better and more real to me than any ship he ever designed. The New Enterprise certainly looks more like the Enterprise than the E. But then again, it might not have been either of their choices to make it look that way. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.