Veteran Star Trek designer Doug Drexler has released a couple of new "Drex File" videos revealing rare behind the scenes glimpses of the sets from both Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise. Doug also offers some thoughts on DS9 (and JJ Abrams Trek). Get the details and videos below.
Home movies of DS9 Promenade + Discusses DS9 and new Star Trek
Doug Drexler’s "Drex Files" site is no more, but he is now posting new videos on his Vimeo page, including two new behind-the-scenes videos from his time working on Star Trek. In the first one Drexler explains how DS9 holds a special place as it is where he moved from the make-up department to art department, where Mike Okuda ‘took a chance’ on him, and the rest is history. He describes this as ‘home movies’ from the DS9 Promenade set (note some of the crew names on panels).
DS9 Promenade from Doug Drexler on Vimeo.
In the description of the video, Drexler also ponders how Deep Space Nine was a different kind of Trek and initially caused controversy with fans…
DS9 has come to be respected and admired, by many, as the best of the various shows. The most textured and complex. A real tapestry. But DS9 is a good example of how suspicious hardcore Trek fans are of anything they perceive as taking the place of their beloved series. In the beginning of DS9, it was sneered at by many. Now it’s considered one of the most interesting. I remembered when TNG premiered, and many fans turned their nose up at Captain Picard. I understand, sorta.
The video also contains voiceover from the pilot of show ("Emissary") where Sisko describes exploration as the most "most important thing about humans." Drexler notes that he was (at least in part) making a point about new Trek…
At the end of the bit I voice over a wonderful speech by Avery Brooks as Ben Sisko, and it occurs to me that this is what is missing from JJ’s Star Trek.
Watch Enterprise Engineering come to life
The second new video from Doug shows the workers at the "Marathon Mill" on the Paramount lot building the engineering set for Star Trek: Enterprise.
NX Engineering and The Marathon MIll from Doug Drexler on Vimeo.
Drexler offers the following for context and background…
One of the most thrilling things about working on Star Trek was watching the construction gang in the Marathon Mill take our sketches and blueprints and make them real… and like magic, sets would seemingly coalesce from thin air.
A rough and tumble world of pneumatic nail guns, saber saws and testosterone. The “Marathon Mill” was a wild and woolly pirate ship that demanded a thick skin and a sense of humor to successfully navigate. Working with construction was one of the funnest, coolest and most satisfying experiences of my widely varied life in Hollywood. Our Star Trek machine was well oiled, and in it’s veins flowed trust, affection, and admiration. I don’t believe that I have ever worked on another show where cooperation between departments was so powerful.
Drexler describes the Enterprise video as the "first installment" so hopefully more will be coming.
Doug’s work rocks! I miss DrexFiles tremendously.
MORE SHIPS!!!! Wherever you post ’em…
FYI, Doug and I have recently started working to restore the Drex Files posts, and add new ones. We’re calling it Drex Files in Exile: http://www.thetrekcollective.com/p/drex-files-in-exile.html
Will be a while before everything is back, Doug posted so much back on the original Drex Files!
Tom Servo’s Used Robots… Forbin Project… and a few others.
The ships on the outside of 2009 trek looked different, I really liked the Kelvin, The Enterprise from certain angles. The inside sets did not match with all the pipes and supports, it made me think they were in a building. And the Molson Engineering set in 2009 and the super giant warp core in the next movie. The sets have to make you think you are in a Star ship. If they would have used a boiler room for the engineering section of the Death Star, I don’t think people would imagine they are on the Death Star. Doug Drexler was very good at taking the viewers to DS9 or NX 01 Enterprise. Looking back I appreciate it more than I did before. They made it seem easy, and perhaps it wasn’t. Thanks Doug for your part in Star Trek. Robert Orci could do well for Trek if he sought out advice from Mr. Doug Drexler.
Oh, damn, I miss DS9 and Enterprise.
Absolutely amazing Doug. All the best.
I love the dig he threw in about the Abrams-Trek. Heh
But wow, oh, wow, do I miss DS9. I started watching it in college and it really inspired and entertained me like no other show I ever watched as it aired.
To me, it’s right up there with Breaking Bad as the best shows of all time, IMHO.
STID did have Scotty’s line about being explorers, and I nearly jumped up in the theater and shouted, “YES! Do some of that! Please!”
DS9 was great series. Ahead of its time in some ways.
was A great series. Darn typos.
Can someone fill me in, what happened to the drex files, did the host go down?
and also with doug, he’s living proof that if you keep a good attitude and an open mind that good things will happen to you.
and with JJ’s Trek it all comes back to the writing, as Steve Shives, a youtuber who’ve I’ve stopped watching on account of his beliefs with the constitution and his lack of respect for the most important one that insures that the others are upheld, namely the second.
made a good point, that namely the problem with trek 09 and 12′ was that the writers tried too hard to accommodate for the fans
and think about this logically, if spock had been removed from ST09 and it was written purely as a pure reboot with no ties to our primary universe, imagine how much tighter and better the story could have been.
and hell you could have set it in the post Enterprise A period with a new crew, the enterprise C of a new universe for instance in the new era that we never saw between next gen and the old movies
but instead we got a mess of a story that sounds like it pretty much killed our universe in its making.
same thing with the second one, imagine if the villain had just been someone else who was a Vulcan, it would have made much more sense.
even from a motivation standpoint considering what happened in the first film.
and while I agree with Mr Drexler about what he says regarding that and the need to making it about exploring and new ideas, there is also that.
and I’m worried that having a fan in control of the next movie will cause us to have another remix of a greatest hit so to speak.
and this is all not touching on the design and look of the films too, which outside of the Kelvin and the really well done redesign of the old uniforms looks like a bad mess.
plus under navy and military law if a ship is more than 65% damaged it has to be scrapped, so writers of the next one, please use that to give us this:
Just remove and move the torpedo launcher to a less noticeable area on the saucer and throw the anorexic USS Frisby in the bin please.
I forgot something, bottom line with my comment accommodate the fans with the look and design of the star ships, but not the writing, as that leads to disaster.
and using the enterprise as your test bed for the next millennium Falcon or big flying triangle, I forgot what they were called lol in starwars.
yeah not a good idea, not to mention how high maintenance and out of wack the interior of the ships look along with the fact that you’d need to wear sunglasses to look at the consoles without getting eye strain.
as bright white is not a very pleasing color to be stuck around, light grey like here
they chose it for a reason back then.
Is there a possiblity of Doug Drexler being hired for Orci-Trek 2016?
I do have a feeling that this next movie will be much closer to what Star Trek is about, but could that be reflected in the designs as well?
I do hope so.
BTW: Yes, the interiors of the Enterprise from Abrams-Trek were just stupid and annoying. BUT: I did really like the interiors of other Abrams-Trek spaceships like: the Kelvin bridge, cockpit of the civilian Mudd-ship that Kirk, Spock and Uhura took to Qo’Nos, and the Vengence. Why can’t the Enterprise look more like those?
Speaking of Qo’Nos, that set was awesome! It looked alien, foreboding, and make for a great battle scene. I’m not sure if it looked Klingon per se, but maybe it was some Klingon area that was destroyed and since deserted.
I think that Drexler could help match the designs of the interior to the exterior of the Enterprise. AND make an engineering set that actually looks like the engineering section of a starship instead of a factory! Even the NIV looks low-tech on screen, not of a 23rd century starship.
Very cool! Haven’t heard the DS9 theme in about a decade! Made me nostalgic! Well at least there’s good fan fic series out there for TOS Trek. Would be nice if someone did a TNG, or ENT Fan series. I think DS9 would be impossible, given the size and complexity of that set.
I liked engineering in Trek ’09. Just sayin’
Nothing against TNG etc., but those sets with the flashing lights looked fake as heck.
@14. The engineering in 09 does look like something that evolved from the NX engineering in Enterprise. Why some fans seem to want to insist that future tech is nothing more then physics defying magic boxes is beyond me…
@14 and 15
Sorry, but giant boilers, hoppers, and CONCRETE WALLS do not look like things you’d find in a spaceship. It just takes me right out of the movie.
Thought they did a little better with engineering in STID. Looked more techy and less diesel punky. Still a bit of a cluttered mess though.
Technology usually gets cleaner, less cluttered, smaller, thinner as it progresses. That’s what made the glowing conduits and touch screens more plausible to me.
When you look at an engine room from a WWII vessel, in comparison to a modern navy ship, while the differences in tech are very visible to the naked eye, the basic concepts remain the same. Current Trek looks very high tech, but even Trek canon establishes that the sublight propulsion systems still burn fuel, which means it needs to be stored, transported, and because a deep space starship is an enclosed ecosystem, heat and waste products will be captured and reused. Previous Trek really didn’t spend much time showing us what, if anything, was under the hood of a starship. BR’s Trek did – the aesthetics are certainly open for debate, but for someone to suggest that a starship would not have storage tanks strains credibility a bit….
Yeah, I see your point. It is a matter of taste in a lot of respects. And it’s not always the case for simplification. Pop the hood of a car from 1954 and it’s very simple with lots of room to work. Pop the hood of a car from 2014 and… there’s not so much room. You can barely get a wrench in there.
“The more they over think the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.”
Thanks for sharing these, Doug.
A Del Floria’s Tailor Shop on DS9, huh? U.N.C.L.E. lives!
I’m fairly certain the Vengeance bridge is a re-dress of the Enterprise bridge.
Its a redress of the same space but they pretty much changed everything giving us a completely different set, a much more drastic change than the Enteprise/Reliant/Grissom/Saratoga, Enteprise-A/Excelsiot/Enteprise-B or even the Enteprise-E/Valdore.
I really liked the look of the Vengeance helm/nav console… Didnt like the Captains chair though
Loved the NX-01 Enterprise. Great to see this timelapse of her set construction.
They haven’t stopped doing that level of craft on the new movies, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss a real engineering set. Just a main central control room, mixed in with all that location filming.
@ 8of9, that is great news, I really missed Doug Drexler’s site. Hopefully someone will do a Trek series soon and will bring the old gang back to do it.
is it me or is the scale way off on DS9’s closing shot.
Don’t mean to open a can of worms here, but the scale of the DS9 was never really too thought out.
But still a nice closing shot. Kera and Zack. Who would of thought that would happen?