This week, Paramount+ held back their usual Thursday release of The Ready Room, the official Star Trek aftershow, to help protect fans from the big spoilers in the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard. They released the show today and it includes a set tour, guest star interview, and clip from the upcoming series finale. We also have more official pictures from the episode and behind-the-scenes details on what it took to make episode 9 happen.
Ready Room visits with some old friends
In the new episode of The Ready Room, host Wil Wheaton is joined by veteran designer Mike Okuda for a nostalgic tour of the rebuilt USS Enterprise-D bridge set featured in episode 9, “Vox.” The episode also features a joint interview with Jonathan Frakes (Riker) and guest star Elizabeth Dennehy (Admiral Shelby). There is also a package about how Frontier Day is tied to the mission of the NX-01 Enterprise from Star Trek: Enterprise. It wraps up with a clip from episode 10 (the season and series finale), which reveals just where the Borg are hiding out.
New “Vox” photos
Paramount also held the release of publicity images from episode 9 that featured the USS Enterprise-D until today.
Behind the scenes on the D
There are more details about bringing back the Enterprise-D in a feature from Variety, detailing how a team of 50 people spent 3 months building the physical set matching the original’s dimensions, and not using green screen or visual effects to fill it out. Mike Okuda and Dave Blass go into detail on all the research and work that went into making this happen. Blass pointed to the wood “horseshoe” as a particular challenge to get right.
It’s a complex curve that arches and changes thickness. You can only get so much information off a blueprint. The construction team printed out a full-size paper plan to lay it out and then used a number of templates to shape the final piece.
Okuda noted there were some upgrades:
We took advantage of the huge advances in real-world computer display technology to make a few subtle upgrades to the displays. In a scene where one of our officers is using the science equipment, if the director wanted to show the scan itself, we would have had to insert the animation in post-production, back in the day. Now, it’s easy to do the animation and have it play back on the set, so the cast could see it in real-time.
There is much more in the Variety article, including some exclusive photos of the cast.
More BTS details on the Enterprise-D
A few more fun bits have come out on social media about bringing back the Enterprise-D, like Dave Blass’ update from the Starfleet Museum.
OH…. I forgot one ship on my Starfleet Fleet Museum Thread. My mistake. The future highlight of the museum experience. The U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D #StarTrekPicard pic.twitter.com/8IpeZj2KhI
— Dave Blass (@DaveBlass) April 15, 2023
This morning Blass revealed the one item that was from the original was the dedication plaque. He also shared a nice photo of the new bridge with original TNG set designers Herman Zimmerman, Dan Curry, and Doug Drexler.
In order to move forward, you need to look back. I stand on the shoulders of these legends. Doug Drexler, Herman Zimmerman and Dan Curry once again on the USS Enterprise D.#StarTrekPicard pic.twitter.com/lrhDY7LTZe
— Dave Blass (@DaveBlass) April 15, 2023
Also this morning, Doug Drexler shared a nice behind-the-scenes photo of himself along with Jonathan Frakes, Terry Matalas, Mike and Denise Okuda, Dave Blass, and Liz Kloczkowski.
Paramount exec John Van Citters posted a Twitter thread this morning with some more details on the research done by art director Liz Kloczkowski.
From there, Liz sought out every photo and frame of film she could to determine accurate colors, textures, materials, etc. and sorted through the many changes and variations of the bridge. @DaveBlass will certainly have more to say on @lizklocz heroics to make this set sing.
— @jvancitters (@jvancitters) April 15, 2023
But Star Trek shows are the ultimate team sport. The research & design work is for nothing without an amazing crew of carpenters, electricians, painters, etc. that make it REAL. Not to mention @MikeOkuda and motion graphics team bringing old school and new school LCARS together!
— @jvancitters (@jvancitters) April 15, 2023
Some more on the Enterprise-F
“Vox” also featured the latest USS Enterprise, so Dave Blass also shared some details about the NCC-1701-F and its gaming origins from Star Trek Online.
Thank you to all of the folks who contributed to bring this amazing ship to the screen. Huge shout out to @jzvfx @shawnvfx Thank you to @thomasthecat for the collaboration and the update. He has created this great tech chart for fans. @trekonlinegame fans know the Odyssey Class… pic.twitter.com/3bIztscicW
— Dave Blass (@DaveBlass) April 15, 2023
Star Trek Online art director Thomas Marrone also pointed fans to this video they made a month ago talking about the Enterprise-F.
The third and final season of Picard premiered on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., and Latin America, and on February 17 Paramount+ in Europe and elsewhere, with new episodes of the 10-episode-long season available to stream weekly. It also debuted on Friday, Feb. 17 internationally on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
Keep up with news about the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.
Wait a sec. Title of this article and the article itself is pointing at something Nostalgic. Isn’t Nostalgia a dirty word these days? Shouldn’t I slap my face when I get these feelings and instead crave something new and original?
I was going to crank out my Nintendo retro but thankfully I slapped my face and will try find a new hobby instead . All those online people reminding me about unnecessary fan service and nostalgia have thankfully set me straight. New feelings are better than good feelings. I have finally seen the light.
Excessive nostalgia is more to the point. It simply depends on how much they use and what tolerance people have for it, just like any other element of storytelling. There can also be too much talking, too much action, too many jokes, etc.
Me, I like a little mixed in with a lot of new. McCoy in “Encounter at Farpoint” is my go-to example. A nice, sweet, nostalgic, and, most importantly, short scene.
That’s also about how I feel. Also if the old serves an important purpose. Like the gamma quadrant show I keep mentioning that I want to see. Any returning legacy characters there would have an important role but I don’t want them carrying the entire thing, I want them mixed in with interesting new characters.
I’m reminded of the episode “The Bonding” where Picard tells the well-meaning alien that young Jeremy should cherish his past, not live in it, not surround himself with it, or words to that effect. I think nostalgia works along similar lines.
I absolutely agree with that.
Excessive nostalgia, and nostalgia in place of a good story. And I think that’s exactly what happened in episode 9, and why I don’t think it’s a great episode. The ending made people gloss over all of its flaws, such that it’s being hailed as one of the best episodes ever in the franchise.
I also get a kick out of the hypocrisy of some of the same fans here who always bitch about all the issues with J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies giving total free passes to this season because of the nostalgia and fan service — when I could point to numerous things happening in this season that are right on par with the issues so many bitch about in the Abrams movies.
Sorry, I don’t see these flaws and I think these “flaws” you mentioned, are not on par with issues on JJs movies. I think you have problems to accept different opinions. You have failed to convince me.
Also: I like ST09 and STID. And I like PIC.
I envy you then for not being able to see the flaws. I wish I could do that. Congrats!
While fan service, episodes one through five found a nice balance. It also helped that the cast and crew brought their ‘A’ game this season. Episode six, in my estimation crossed the line into pandering. It’s definitely taken me out of it a bit. Enough so that I’m now a hard no on any spin offs on this season.
No one has anything to apologize if they have enjoyed the entirety of the season. To each, their own.
episode 6 I was able to give a slight pass, because the look at the ships did lead to a nice character moment for Seven. Plus, they’d built up enough good will in the first 5 episodes.
One of the big problems I have with Episode 9 is that the previous 3 were pretty average-to-weak episodes, and the nostalgia was on overload, crossing well into pandering, and there wasn’t enough good story to have earned it.
Got Shoulder Chip?
Wow, what a great episode of the Ready Room. First of all, what a great job by Wil. He seemed a little uptight way back a few years ago when he started to host the aftershow, but I think he really has hit his stride the past year or two and as Frakes said… “Good Show!”
Second, what a great interview and bridge tour with Okuda. So much nostalgia and great to see how much care they have taken in rebuilding the Enterprise bridge set! Gene of course was not perfect (nobody is), but I thought it was cool to hear Michael say that it was Roddenberry who wanted to get rid of all the plastic coloured buttons from the TOS bridge set and that is why he created LECARS.
Third, I can’t say how great it was to hear Denehy say how much the fans have changed since the 1990s. When playing a strong willed ambitious woman like Shelby way back then, SOME fans apparently took exception to that and treated her with disdain. Today, she says there is none of that and I thought that was really good to hear and probably reflective on society. As Frakes said…. good guest!
One last thing, IMHO this Ready Room and the LeVar Burton episode were the finest of the season. One more to go for Picard and then it is onto SNW. Have a great weekend to All!
I just finished watching The Ready Room and yes it was great. Usually it’s a little too syrupy for me, but I felt it when Wheaton was walking around the bridge with Okuda and then Frakes and you can see how much it meant for him to be there. For all of them.
And I liked what Okuda said about Roddenberry’s take on TNG as well. It’s why I loved it out of the gate, it wasn’t trying to be TOS, it was trying to look and feel different. In so many ways this show should’ve fell flat on its face and yet here we are 35 years later and you see post after post of people crying over seeing the bridge again. It’s a great feeling to see not just TNG still matters to people today but obviously Star Trek as a whole.
And lastly what Denehy said about how people reacted to her character now versus then was on point. There is definitely a cultural shift today of how people view women leaders or just being more career orientated not afraid to say it. Now THAT said, while I think what she said was 100% valid, I do think other people hated her because it was Riker she was being so abrasive to. He was very much a fan favorite by then and people just didn’t like how she talked to him specifically. The same thing happened with Captain Jellico. I read interviews from Ronny Cox back in the day where he said people used to give him so much hell for being so dismissive towards Riker in those episodes. But I imagine it was twice as worse for Denehy then.
Anyway yeah great show. You can tell how much love this season is getting because all these review channels and discussion about this season are getting crazy views and comments. I can usually read all of The Ready Room comments no problem. This week, not even close lol. Just too many.
Shouldn’t that be, the Enterprise-F, formally under the command of the late Admiral Shelby?
Maybe they’ll use a Borg sphere to open a time portal and erase the entire season.
This. Looks like a job. For the… NEXUS!!!
Dun Dun Duuun!!
Very briefly under the command of Admiral Elizabeth Shelby…
To be honest I wish they’d introduced the Enterprise D earlier in the season and then they end up escaping to it here at Episode 9. The actual emotion of the scene got in the way of the actual gravity of what’s supposed to be going on ‘out there’. I do have a fear that Episode 10 has way too much to do in resolving the situation and it’s just going to be a rapid ‘bow tie’ that makes everything OK in the last 15-20 minutes.
I do like this season like most others I’m just frustrated about certain things I guess. I can’t be alone on that. Maybe I am. I liked seeing the bridge. Its just the context or something.
They could have come up with some reason or other to need to be on that bridge beforehand I’m sure.
You’re absolutely not alone in that. I see a lot of people here feeling the same way. I personally was getting frustrated with it back as of episode 5 and 6 but I sure understand how everyone else feels.
I hear ya. I really liked seeing the Enterprise-D, but there was something about the way it was presented that made me feel like I was watching a big special Superbowl commercial that was supposed to air before Picard, if that makes sense. I dunno, sort of like watching an ad for the thing while watching the actual thing. Maybe “pandering” is the word I’m trying not to say, haha.
‘I do have a fear that Episode 10 has way too much to do in resolving the situation and it’s just going to be a rapid ‘bow tie’ that makes everything OK in the last 15-20 minutes”
Lol, dude it’s like you never watched the original episodes of TNG?. This is how they most often wind up a story — and we should expect technobabble in the solution. Like, Duh! :-)
Is next week the last episode? I didn’t read the article to avoid spoilers. I haven’t been watching in the last few weeks. I’m planning to binge watch when the last episode drops.
Yes, next week is the series finale. But I would be careful about coming to any one of these articles’ comment sections if you are trying to dodge spoilers…
Oh yeah I know. I half closed my eyes scrolling down to the comments. I don’t do social media so I’ve been pretty spoiler free so far. This site is pretty good also. Thanks for the info, I can’t wait to watch.
Two more 50 minute episodes, and then we get the two hour finale for the 12th and final episode.
No…just one more. 10 eps.
By the oddest of coincidences, the series finale drops on 4/20. Smoke ’em if you got ’em!
It was a fun episode, and I loved and teared up at the ending, but what really bothered me was that you could hear the fireworks exploding in space? WTF?
Sure I get it when they fire a phaser and other stuff happens that we hear that’s it’s not correct for us to be hearing the sound, but I can always spend my disbelief by assuming that the sound I’m hearing is from the POV of crew on the ship or in the vehicles, torpedos and other devices in space, etc. But showing me something so blatant as fireworks going off in space and making all of the firework sounds we would here on Earth just took me out of the episode completely for a bit. It was full-bore lower decks middle school-level BS and I couldn’t stand it (case-in-point, it reminded me of that horrible lower decks episode where a simple band playing music in the ships lounge shook the entire ship, and the Klingons in their ship could even hear it across the vacuum of space).
People criticize Gene Roddenberry a lot, but there’s no way he would’ve let this pass his review — that would be way too Star Wars-like for his taste. Matalas should’ve known better given he claims he’s a big prophet of classic Trek, but classic Star Trek had NASA freaking science advisers to correct this sort of extreme jump into fantasy from science fiction.
Epic Fail that sullied my opinion of this episode.
Starfleet was sending fireworks sounds to the ships by radio. No one would want to watch them without sound.
Hmm, that’s not bad. Thx
All this over some fireworks!?
Some people are just desperate to remain in the echo chamber and will find anything to complain about. You’re perfectly okay with hearing phasers and torpedoes but you draw the line at fireworks? I cannot fathom why anyone would get so up-in-arms about something so unimportant. As if brief sounds could spoil a whole episode for you. I literally cannot imagine being so determined to hate something that I would write a miniature essay about something as inconsequential as a few fireworks in space.
And let’s not beat around the bush. DS9 showed fireworks in space at the end of “Explorers” but we will just gloss over that so you can have your angry fan moment. Yikes.
I can’t help it if this takes me out of the ep. — I work in an eng field so this stuff I notice. And I still enjoyed the ep —this just made it not the best ep of the season for me.
And I still hope that someday space will be silent in Trek — what Ron Moore did in BSG was genius, and it actually make the scenes more impactful, even though at first glance that might seem counterintuitive
Feel free to sue me though, lol
I do think it’s a bit of a funny comment in a world where it’s really just Firefly and BSG which have ever taken the “space=silence” rule to heart, but it did make me laugh in the moment – just as it did in “Explorers.”
Yeah, this episode has REAL problems, the fireworks that appear for a few seconds aren’t one of them.
Yes, it’s only the problems that YOU identify…lol
Funny, because I “literally” can’t imagine what it’s like to come out of my little burrow every few weeks to snap at people who I think are too negative. You seriously need to chill out because your apoplectic hysterics have become pathological and carry no weight anymore.
Good Q it was heartwarming to see them revisit their old home. I’m pretty much over the memberberry thing in series and films now it’s relied on too much (reliance on past often better greatness), but this had me pretty much tearing up very suddenly. It felt like a relief after the modern dark lighting and (sorry, my opinion only) utterly terrible fussy design and stupidly dark lighting of most modern Trek bridges. It felt optimistic and like a return to a Safe Space. It felt far more futuristic too, even with the carpet ;) I HATE the trend for shiny bridges with millions of lights reflecting everywhere. Not practical to work at. You’d get a migraine within a few hours. They don’t look cool, just a mass of stuff! No reason behind it except to look KEWL. Compare that with the D bridge which feels you could genuinely work there all ‘day’ and feel comfortable. Thought went into its design (google it, it’s fascinating). After all the astonishing effort – which needs to be applauded whole-heartedly to everyone involved – to actually recreate the D bridge, I do hope this means it’ll be used again in further Treks… A proper research vessel again.
So much love for all of this. I cried seeing the D again. Like a baby. I had been on the bridge set of the E in First Contact while they were filming, sat in the Captian’s chair of the Defiant and wondered around DS9’s promenade back in the day, but the Enterprise D will always be “home.” I had actually been in the art dept talking to Mike Okuda back before the 30th anniversary episode of DS9 and he was working on the panels for the original series bridge. I sat there playing with the button thinking nothing of it because he told me it was a recreation for a museum exhibit. Everything was top secret and it was only when the episode aired that I realized I had been playing with the control panels for the Enterprise bridge! So happy to Mike back in his element and doing what he loves, and we love him doing. This was a true gift.
Wow those are some great experiences Luke! I’ve actually been on the original E-D bridge as well back in the late 90s. Then it was part of the Hollywood museum. I remember how small it felt but that was still a great moment for me.
But I’m so happy so many people got so much joy seeing this ship again. Yes, it really does feel like ‘home’ to me as well. Thank you to everyone who made this happen!
Yes, they were great experiences. I got to walk the halls of D and go in Picard’s quarters and 10 Forward. This is right before it was all torn down as I was there during filming of Generations. Bonus stuff: I also was on the Klingon bridge from Generations and in Stellar Cartography and later at the exterior of the E deflector dish and the cockpit on Cochrane’s Phoenix. Lots of great memories on the lot… and a bunch of Voyager too. It was an era.
I really really envy you man! :;)
I would’ve paid a lot of money just to see any of that. I think every fan would lol.
Oh and I read somewhere that Dave Blass said they DIDN’T destroy the new Enterprise D bridge after wrapping the show. They seem to recognize what they have and how important it is for fans so who knows what they will do with it. Maybe we’ll see it again in future production?
Picard season 3 has been excellent.
I’m loving Picard Season 3, but I don’t see how you can see the bridge in Strange New Worlds and then see the bridge in TNG and want to see a show set on the TNG bridge.
I get that we were kids and had that bridge, but now all I see is carpet and wood that would light on fire and the boring idea that space travel will become so routine your starship is a hotel.
The TNG characters are sooo much better in an exciting action packed universe.. just imagine if they got a real bridge.
Meanwhile, James Cawley has been building his own Enterprise-D Bridge for HOW LONG?
Seems like he was wasting his time.
I’m guessing because he doesn’t have professional Hollywood production crews whose job requires them to put up sets in a very speedy time to meet production deadlines.
Pretty much this, plus according to a Facebook post, Cawley was already in the know about the D coming back.
I watched the episode for the second time last night and I almost cried again lol. It’s such an overwhelming experience to see this bridge again in almost every way it was originally created. We’ve seen it recreated on both Prodigy and LDS, but it’s still not quite the level of seeing the real thing. To know people built this beautiful set with their own hands. This felt like being back on the show again. And this was always my favorite bridge personally (but generally love them all).
That said, everything about being back on the D is utterly preposterous lol. But it doesn’t matter, they wanted to do this for the millions of fans out there. And considering all the posts I’ve read of people saying how much it made them cry (me included) it was the right thing to do. It’s just fiction at the end of the day and designed to bring us some joy to our lives. This has brought me tremendous joy and another reminder why I love Star Trek as much as I do.
Why are there no credits to Andrew Probert who designed the bridge? Shouldn’t he be in the publicity shots as well? He wasn’t even mentioned. A pity since he was the main designer of the Enterprise D and the main bridge.
Someone made a nice little tribute video returning to the Enterprise again and thought I share it:
It truly does feel like coming home. :)
This is what’s wrong with fans today.
Let me see if I get this straight. You spend all your time here complaining about the complainers when they don’t like something and point it out. But, shocker, now you’re spending all your time complaining about people that are enjoying something TOO much in your opinion? Can you be anymore of a joyless imp and a hypocrite of someone who ironically spends just as much time complaining about everything you accuse others of doing?
People like you are the real problem with fandom today and your constant negativity about everything and everyone. Look in a mirror please. You’re very annoying, please go away.
Lol. People first said I was being too positive — to the point where I was accused of working for Paramount — now it’s too negative! Hysterical. Keep on keepin on.
It’s not just about being ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ it’s about how you treat and talk to others here. You come off like an absolute prick as others have constantly told you and that you conveniently ignored.
So please, I’m asking nicely, I don’t like talking to people like you, so can you just ignore my posts? I’ve asked you this many times and you, once again, just ignore the question. Because talking to someone like you is totally draining to have conversations with. You been this way since you showed up. You obviously have no idea how to talk to people on the internet, especially when you disagree with them.
wow. thats a great video. shared it with friends
Glad you enjoyed it Luke! :)
I am astounded not only by the fact that the ship has been painstakingly restored both in front of the camera and behind – 3 months of intensive work to build a set for 1.17 episodes? The accounting dept. at Paramount must of fainted after seeing the bill for this show;) Hats off to all involved, stellar work!
One nit to pick…Datas and the cons chairs are not as rounded on top and do not have that “accordion” type “bunting” around the edge:) But hey, maybe Geordi was not quite finished with the restoration yet.
Perhaps, like in Discovery, a bridge was built for Pikes 1701 and a series came out of that, we can expect the same again???
Again, great work for all involved!
Like Enterprise’s decision to explain Klingon ridges, I fear this episode will prove to be a turning point in the franchise and fandom, for the worse. Creating a new expectation and a new subset of fans who want something very specific, rather than a good story.
You make a good point there. That enterprise two-parter is an example of what happens when fan service goes way too far… what an embarrassing cluster-F of an episode that was.
The Star Trek Online Enterprise F video has trouble threading the needle when it comes to its own continuity versus the ever changing one Picard is laying out. I assume the line of thinking is that the game is in an alternate universe that diverged some time after Nemesis?
It’s more to do with the fact that STO was conceived while the franchise was in stasis (for lack of a better term); Cryptic always knew there was a chance that the events in the game would be invalidated by any future TV series or movies; that’s how it is with all Trek games. The 30 year gap from Nemesis to 2409 was likely chosen so that they could just rewrite the game’s backstory as opposed to completely redoing the story players experience.
Thankfully, Paramount has mostly allowed STO to keep doing its own thing, aside from occasional attempts to shoehorn in stuff from DIS and PIC.
The Odyssey Class is far better than the ugly Sovereign Class. I hope we’ll see more of the Enterprise-F in the future.