Watch Video Tour Of The ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Bridge

CBS has released another behind the scenes video for Star Trek: Discovery on Twitter. This time it is a tour of the bridge of the USS Discovery narrated by co-creator Alex Kurtzman.

(NOTE: A shortened region-free version of video is available on Instagram)

A closer look at the bridge

Here are some screenshots from the video.

The captains chair

Close up on screen on captain’s chair

Tactical display

Communications station

Engineering console

Another display, possibly navigation or sensors

Door to the the bridge

Wide shot of USS Discovery bridge

A look at turbolift

Co-executive producer Ted Sullivan is also using Twitter to share some behind the scenes images. He is promising multiple new images today and the first one he posted is from the turbolift of the USS Shenzhou.

Turbolift screen (Twitter/Karterhol)

We will update this article if/when Ted posts more images.


Star Trek: Discovery premieres on September 24th on CBS with all subsequent episodes on CBS All Access in the US.  In Canada Star Trek: Discovery will premiere  on Bell Media’s CTV and the Space Channel on the same night. Netflix will launch Star Trek: Discovery on Monday, September 25 to countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.


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Is it just an optical illusion or are there very weird armrests on the captain’s chair? One looks straight, the other kind of diagonal?

It does look like the right hand side is slanted away from the captain’s body. I assume so that he can operate that arm rest control easier…?

I think the chair looks symmetrical. I think it is just when you see the bridge from an angle not head on, the far side arm looks further out because of the forward slant both arms have.

Yup, you’re right. So weird. lol On the front shot, both are the same. In that iso shot, it really looks like the left arm rest is 90 degrees and the right is slanted. weird!

Is it possible that the arms move over the lap of the person sitting in it, a la TMP?

Wow, that is totally beautiful. I actually notice some of the KT influences there as well. I don’t get why its so blue lol but I guess most of the shows had a basic color for the bridge and stuck with it.

It still feels waaaaaay more updated than TOS obviously bu thats a good thing.

Yeah it really feels “right” to me too. It doesnt feel futuristic for the sake of it. Like the Captain’s chair, to me, looks like one you could see on the TOS Enterprise (minus the digial displays on the arm rests ofcourse lol)

And the combination of digital displays and real switches, buttons, knobs etc, looks really good.

It looks so much better than the Apple Bridge of the JJ Films Enterprise. It looks realistic, reasonable, lived in, worked in.

If TOS never existed and this was next in line after Franklin, Enterprise NX, Kelvin, it would fit perfectly.

YEs I never loved the KT Enterprise bridge but it did grow on me in time. But this one I instantly love at first glance. And as you said, it doesn’t look like it would fit in TOS Enterprise but it does follow past ships from the NX through the Kelvin.

I’m sure you watch Trekyards on Youtube and those guys do an amazing job analyzing the look of all the ships from past shows and they have been amazing on placing Discovery aesthetics in line with all the previous ships you mentioned.

I have not seen that…Ill check it out!

Be careful, and don’t read the comments. LoL Sometimes Trekyards does awesome analysis and then there are times where…well…the bias creeps out and gets heavy.

Thx! I’ll definitely need to check it out

For the most part, I really like this. My big complaint is that the chairs look like standard office chairs with wheels underneath. I picture the chairs rolling around when the ship gets attacked. I’d expect to see chairs attached to the floor. This sort of ruins my suspension of disbelief that this is in space.

My problem with Trek VI, whose bridge this somewhat resembles, as well.

Wow that is an amazing point, one I never thought of until you mentioned it. Yeah it seem like every chair would be bolted to the floor given how much these ships are being knocked around.

The TOS chairs were like that too. They weren’t on casters, but they definitely didn’t look bolted down.

This is a non issue. Look closer. The chairs are on groves or tracks in the floor. Stop complaining and start paying attention. :)

Luke is right, I was going to say from that TV guide bridge footage my jaw dropped as I loved the tracks in the floor that the chairs fit in. It gives you a controlled path to “slide” but it definitely wouldn’t fall over if the ship is rocked. I think Voyager’s chairs were like that maybe?

Pretty sure that turbolift is from the Shenzou.

Mike Wazowski to Randall: First of all: it is Trekkie, if you are going to labels us fans, do it right.

Actually in in the 70’s and 80’s fans fought to be called “Trekkers” and not “Trekkies”. It seems the tide has turned back to Trekkie? I personally don’t care since it’s pretty silly to be passionate about either label. Set looks great though.

Did Kurtzman use “Trekkers” in the video? I thought he said Truckers at first.

I always thought TOS fans were Trekkies and TNG fans were Trekkers. And then the latter became the new norm for all fans.

Trekkies are people who like Star Trek. Trekkers are people who like taking really really long walks.

And the argument rages on lol, I’ve heard many super fans use both.


As I recall, back in the day as the Trimbles started putting together conventions Bjo was disturbed to discover that there was a small minority of Trek fans that thought it was all about them and argued every little thing but never contributed or pitched in when their fellows needed aid and assistance. She intended to ostracize this minority sort of non-participatory fan along the lines of the popular children’s program ROMPER ROOM. She called the Don’t Bee fans Trekkies and the Do Bee fans Trekkers.

This didn’t set well with Roddenberry who preferred Trekkies, after all it was coined first, for all Trek fans.

And ever since there’s been confusion over which is the proper term and which is a pejorative. I believe it was somewhere along the the first Creation TNG cons long after the Trimbles got out of cons, that people started not caring so much which term people used to call themselves and just focused on the fact that people showed up.

I could totally see Bjo doing something like that. Very nice lady, but not one to suffer fools or selfish people gladly. I remember her ripping a fan a new one in the Equicon ’76 newsletter, and I’ll bet it stings to this day.

Ok then……..Trekheads. There,that’s the new term,lol! It’s only for casual Trekkers though,lol! Actually never liked the term Trekkies,for some reason.

So freaking cool! I love it!

Why are they doing a video tour of the Vengance, Into Darkness was years ago?

I actually liked the Vengeance bridge much better than that of the JJ-Prise, truth be told. But there’s only a superficial resemblance between that set and this one, in any case.

The Vengeance set was a (seriously big) redress of the JJ Enterprise bridge. I think they modified it so much they couldn’t reuse it, if I remember correctly. The bridge in Beyond was built from scratch on the soundstages in Vancouver. I have to say the Vengeance bridge did a great job conveying the “warship” vibe overall “angular, lean, mean, dark” look – and its captains’ chair elevated like a throne… with some interesting touches like circular screens / gauges to break things up a bit.

I don’t get Vengeance so much as nods to 1970s sci-fi design. Outlined shapes feel continuous with 2001, old-school BSG and the look of the Empire in Star Wars; with a strong theme of triangular / hexagonal cross section to doors and hallways. (Remember the hexagonal doors from Space Academy?) And it was a theme in industrial design of the 70s as well – lots of wedge-shaped European sports cars (Bond’s submarine Lotus!) and materials like smoked glass (in the transporter room console).

To continue on that note, although the big flat screens are very ‘today’, the typography on them is also kinda 1970s – they use Mark Simonson’s Changeling the angular-rounded sans serif, which you also saw all over the JJPrise displays. Changeling is an update of a 1970s typeface called China, which was made famous in the titles for The Terminator.

You’re a very observant guy. Great post, thanks.

I believe the font you’re referring to is called “Bank Gothic” and it’s used for the NCC 1701 / ENTERPRISE on the JJ-prise. It’s also incredibly overused today, and has been for the better part of the past 5-7 years. My worry is the font, like many before it, will wind up feeling and looking dated in 10-15 years. Bank Gothic will scream 2010’s.

The main hull numbers are in Eurostile (aka Microgramma), as they have been since ST:TMP. Most of the onscreen displays on the Discovery seem to use Changeling, and the turbolift diagram from the Shenzhou uses Eurostile for the large ‘Deck 7’ text at bottom, but the rest of the text is neither Eurostile nor Bank Gothic – whatever font they are using has a distinctively different R and it’s not stretched horizontally – it looks a lot like FF QType. Bank Gothic is used for the end credits of the first two JJ films, and I agree, it’s overused. Justin Lin switched back to Corporate URW (the font from The Wrath Of Khan titles!) for his end credits.

Is that the old version of the U.S.S. Discovery (with the shorter nacelles) on the monitors? Beautiful set. Love the spherical bridge module idea.

Hmmm the display nacelles DO look shorter…and a lot better IMO.

Meni, I don’t think that’s the Discovery’s turbolift or MSD. Too few decks, and the nacelles, as you pointed out, are all wrong. I think that was a photo of a USS Shenzhou turbolift.

Yup that’s the Shenzhou. The bridge is on Deck 7. That’s the deck they have selected. You can see its at the bottom of the saucer section.

I bet they extend when warp drive is engaged

Only in the graphic, I hope. I hated the moving nacelles on Voyager (and nu-BSG); it really detracts from the scale of the ship.

Seems to been an early video walkthrough. The graphics appear to have been updated as seen in the set visit video here:

With apologies to Cadet Tilly and Jonboc, I happen to think this is very, very cool. One thing’s for certain: you won’t be seeing any fan-built recreations in the foreseeable future. That’s some serious money.

The detail is almost too much. Unnecessary. I wonder what screen resolution will be needed to pick it up and do it justice?

Probably shooting at least 4K. I would be surprised if it wasn’t available to purchase in a 4K version from iTunes, now that the new Apple TV and many iPads / iMacs / laptops essentially have 4K displays on them.

What I noticed: On those displays, the Discovery had short nacelles again.

I think they changed the design of Discovery after the UI for the bridge was done…. so the bridge may have Ortho of the older design now… Prob won’t be fixed until season 2. xD

Could this be one of the reasons why we still haven’t seen a full outside shot of the Discovery yet, bar the bad one last year? That the design somehow changed along the way?

Still the same problem as with Shenzhou bridge: it looks good, but is it effective – or even usable at all – as an actual workplace? I surely wouldn’t want to work that comm panel… having arms in the air all the time can be extremely painful.

Surely hiring an ergonomist consultant and an UI designer couldn’t be all that costly?

More a UX problem than UI. 😛

The user interface needs some serious work too. The controls seem to be all over the place, one would have to be an octopus to work it without harming themselves. ;)

I’m guessing the large displays are more for density of information. Rather than fixed controls I would put the controls wherever the person touches the screen. Guessing there will be more ‘macros and shortcuts’ than menu diving. :)

I have to say… I love it! Despite all the complaining about Discovery looking too advanced for the pre-TOS time period, I think they’ve worked hard at merging old with new, and quite reasonably.

A question, though: What is the alcove with blinking lights all over it?

I want to say its computer access.

Yeah, this is reminiscent of the ‘bridge computer server rack’ behind the captains’ chair on the JJPrise.

Also, have we still only had that one shot of the Discovery? With it going to warp. I think the final look might still be a bit different from what we’ve seen (though probably more along the lines of lighting and texturing changes rather than changing the model itself). They’re certainly playing it close to the vest with the external look of the ship.

Maybe they have a “beauty shot” in the premiere so don’t want to release too many random images. Something akin to the enterprise fly by in TMP

Naw, it’s a cover-up. These days, what isn’t?

@ Michael: It’s because they know that the ship looks crap and want to keep it a secret as long as possible. [Yes, that was sarcasm]

Personally, I’d rather be a crewmember in the brightly-lit TOS Enterprise bridge with it’s splashes of colour, than be stuck in the much darker surroundings of this particular bridge.

Sure, this latest design looks ‘futuristic’ enough to be gong on with…but it certainly has a far more drably-lit, oppresive-looking feel to it. And I just wonder how that will come across when viewing it regularly. If the crew uniforms had included even a hint of the color that the TOS show uniforms had, they would have contrasted nicely against the blandness of this darkened bridge. As it is, the new crew costumes are equally devoid of color overall, and just kinda blend into the colors of this new bridge.

It’s a small thing, but just another little facet which will make it easier for me to separate this from the TOS universe…as I know I’ll be yearning for some actual COLOR whenever we’re focused on scenes on this bridge!

Did you see the thread where the producers indicated they’d be moving towards a more TOS-style of graphics as the show progresses? Might be interesting and nostalgic, but I like the set just fine as-is.

It’s possible they held back some ideas on purpose. Such as The Cage era unis. So that they could sprinkle things on to show a transition.

Maybe some colour was one of those things.

The producers have said they’ll transition to more colorful TOS graphics as the show progresses.

That Communications Station ship graphic actually shows the early Discovery design’s short rectangular engines. Are these old graphics or have they not been updated?

If the nacelles are indeed longer now, either the graphics haven’t been updated, or the video was shot early in production when the design hadn’t been finalized.

Seems to have been shot early on. The graphics appear to have been updated as seen in the set visit video here:

The production values on this show are awesome! This is an off-topic question, but has there been any news about the “after show” that was announced a while back? I don’t think I’ve heard any details and would have assumed we would have by now since its only a few days until the premier!

The bridge looks great, just needs more light. If nothing else Discovery sure has good production values.

Still don’t care for the obsession with blue. From a practical sense, I would hate staring into the uniform blue-ness of those displays all day long. From a cinematic aesthetic, it’s kinda boring without splashes of other colors. Blue everywhere my eyes turn to, on that bridge, is annoying as JJ’s lens flares.
Getting past the color scheme, I like the layout…though I question why they want the length of a football field between the captain and helm and navigation. Ever try to have a casual conversation with someone across the room. Not the best idea, especially in stressful tense situations. But the camera angles will be able to cheat that some if they want. The stand alone, transparent tactical displays are still ridiculous, I don’t care what timeline you’re in. But plenty of room for some nice staging and with the right directors (unlike that static boring shots of Orville) they should be able to set up some nice cinematic camera movement with all that room. I hope they take advantage of it. And a nice nod to Lost in Space’s flight deck of the Jupiter 2 with the lit beams…if you area fan of the show and the great set design by Robert Kinoshita, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

That’s my major gripe: the captain’s chair pushed all the way to the back (is he being punished for something?), rather than in the well of the bridge, which now looks wasteful of space.

Still–a beautiful, beautiful set. I can’t wait to see it on film.

I think its pushed back so the captain can easily see what is going without doing a cool spin in the chair or glance over his shoulder (Kirk-style) or having to get up and glare across the tactical arch at someone who just barged on the bridge Picard style.

That’s a good point about tng. Picard couldn’t see anything behind him unless he stood up and turned around. If he wanted to look at the tactical station he had to walk all the way around and up.

We have to find a balance between real world and on screen. I like the bridge and can’t say anymore until I see it in action.

I think you’re right: it’s really for freedom of camera moves and to offer greater depth of field for cinematic rack focus, or to have multiple people in focus without it seeming cramped. They are shooting it in a 2:1 aspect ratio so it should look pretty amazing.

Call me perverse, but as these use older more primitive tech, the turbolifts should be SLOWER and I’d enjoy a running gag that they still use music to try to make the trip less tedious.

Turbolift = oxymoron ?

Thoughts.. bridge is ok. Like the consoles. That being said a) I think the Captain’s chair should be closer to the middle. The TOS bridge was practical in that the Captain could talk to anyone on the bridge quickly and check out any computer read out. Now he is way back in the bridge, not sure what he can make out from there. 2) Now we all get to stare at some guy and three doors. Ugh, not fun to watch at all. We aren’t going to get to see those awesome consoles or that cool tactical map. Why not put that behind the Captain? 3) Helm and navigation separate, too bad. No cool scenes of the Captain standing up while we look on some tense helm and navigation officers, computers in the background, etc. The flashing red alert light and the “sensor” screen between the helm/navigation could have been cool and added to the tension. Oh well. 4) Empty space. The more empty space.. the more empty space. What a waste. I wish the props guy had done the bridge (and they had fired everyone that worked on TNG / VOY, the empty space, the divided helm and navigation all seem TNG to me).

As yourself and others have pointed out, I think this particular bridge design would have been a lot better if the Captain’s chair had been positioned in a more central position.

I have a feeling that we’re gonna end up getting a lot of shots from behind the perspective of the Captain’s back, just so that we can see some of the more interesting activity in front of where the DISCOVERY’s Captain’s chair is situated!

Considering our main character is the FIRST OFFICER and not the Captain (and not a true ensemble) as other shows, the design of the bridge likely took into account who would need to be focused on, what provides good opportunities for camera angles, camera movement, and interesting scene compositions.

This is not a 90s TV series, this is far more like a feature film. The flat, even, TV cinematography we saw on shows like TNG will no longer cut it. With a massive budget, I’m sure the bridge was designed not just with what looked cool or what was functional in-universe, but what created the most dramatic visual opportunities for storytelling and interesting camera work.

Contrary to what you’re saying, we may actually see a lot of shots looking back at the Captain (and I assume 1st officer) BECAUSE of that big open space, which allows for large cameras to be situated and moved around between the Captain and the Conn positions.

The only other bridge design that featured that much acreage between the Captain’s chair and navigation was Voyager and when you think about, Voyager’s bridge was a huge departure from the bridge designs that proceeded it. Voyager’s bridge, incidentally, also featured a lot of blue and gray.

It wasn’t that huge a departure–certainly no more than the jump from TOS to TMP, which eliminated the unified look of the bridge stations altogether. All of the designs, including this one, share the same DNA and core concepts, and would be instantly recognizable by Pato Guzman and Matt Jeffries, who would no doubt be thrilled and honored that their work lives on to this day, augmented by the very latest in display and graphics technologies.

The reason the bridges got bigger was because the budgets did too. TOS’ bridge was small and cramped, by comparison to TNG’s wide open layout. Voyager did have many departures, including the steps and split levels, the rear stations with separate consoles (where Tuvok and Kim stood) and the forward side stations (where sometimes B’lenna or an unnamed ensign would stand).

TNG’s bridge was actually only two feet bigger than that of TOS, and that only along its long axis. It appears bigger mainly because it’s a lot less busy, and required fewer extras to make it look fully manned. Andy Probert’s original designs were a lot more grandiose, but got stripped down because there just wasn’t room to accommodate them on Paramount’s stage 9.

The TOS bridge was certainly seen as large and impressive in its time.

One can surmise that these professional production people took all this into account and went through many draft designs.

Let’s see how it’s shot before we criticize how it will look on screen.

Caveats aside I think it’ll look great onscreen, especially with the wide aspect ratio they’re shooting in.

First episode is called The Vulcan Hello

Why is the original design of the ship on the displays?

A grand conspiracy.

I think the configuration of the chairs arms – the angles they’re at – echo the lines of the ship itself, especially the nacelles and all. But the back reminds me a lot of the TOS bridge chair when they would redress it with that extra cushion to portray another ship (for example, Commodore Wesley’s USS Lexington).

The aesthetic and designs are amazing. That being said however it looks post-Nemesis instead of pre-TOS. So many continuity errors.