Hello again dear readers. I’m discussing with you all Modes Of Transportation In Television & Film for the A-Z Blogging Challenge 2013. Now this can be anything from a car or spaceship to the likes of jumping through time and space via wormholes or even a phone booth! I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and feel free to comment on them with your memories and likes about each one. Its time to call Scotty down in engineering and hit Warp Speed as we discuss one of the most famous modes of transport in cinema history…
Gene Roddenberry was a science fiction genius. I don’t think you can put it any other way. From the very beginnings of Star Trek, the ship was one of the main stars of the show. Its shape has elements of most of the UFO sightings pictures that we have seen over the years all rolled into one; the saucer, the cigar shapes, the flashing lights. And what you get in 1966 is the original NCC-1701 Federation Starship Enterprise.
I can only imagine what viewers thought the very first time they saw that floating across their TV sets, but over the years, the Starship Enterprise has undergone some major changes and refits, crashes and resurrections and indeed just a whole new version. From its use in the original series until its destruction in the movie Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, its probably the longest serving Enterprise as regards screen time. Captained by April, Pike, Kirk, Decker and Spock. It does look pretty basic doesn’t it?
Next we have the NCC-1701-A which was a refit and we see this version of the ship in the movies Star Trek: The Voyage Home, The Final Frontier until its decommissioning in The Undiscovered Country. Kirk is the only captain of this incarnation of the Enterprise which although is exactly the same shape, is a little more advanced in its look and just a little more polished.
The NCC-1701-B makes its only appearance in the movie Star Trek: Generations. Captained by John Harriman (played by Alan Ruck) it takes on the might of the Nexus ribbon. Here we have a distinct change in size. This version is evidently bigger, much more advanced with the passage of time and basically just much more grand. It of course gets severely damaged by the ribbon with the loss of James T. Kirk who is aboard at the time during its maiden voyage.
It’s not until an episode during the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation that we see the NCC-1701-C. With a female captain, Rachel Garrett, it has been sent through a temporal anomoly. To be honest there doesn’t appear to be much difference between the “B” and the “C” versions of the ship except that the base of the ship is quite small here. A small continuity error I feel there between the TV series and the movie versions of the ships. The shape of the engines is moving more towards the flat design rather than the pointy horn type styling, so the evolution of the ship is carefully looked at for the most part.
We now move onto one of the versions of the ship that made Star Trek all the more popular. When the show was rebooted in 1987, many were sceptical of how it would look and in particular its captain, Jean-Luc Picard. The ship of course would play an integral part in how the show would be received and I believe that its the first Enterprise where the saucer section was able to separate from the rest of the ship. The overall design of the ship is much sleeker and flatter to emphasise the speeds that the ship is capable of. Star Trek: TNG was definitely my favourite version of the show although I did enjoy DS9, but we are only talking Enterprise versions here. The NCC-1701-D had many adventures and time travel and encountered many anomolies, but together with its chief engineer Geordi La Forge they always managed to find a way out of the problem. I really must re-watch the show.
Following the destruction of the NCC-1701-D, in the movies First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis, there is a new Starship Enterprise, the NCC-1701-E. A truly massive ship and we see here a move back towards the old style engines although you can see the technology has advanced hugely which of course enables it to destroy a Borg Cube in the Battle of Sector 001 in the film First Contact. A magnificent looking ship and to captain it would have been a huge honour I would say.
Our final major Enterprise is the ISS Enterprise, serial number NX-01. Now I always had a problem with show. It is supposed to be set between the events of First Contact and the original 1960s show. Yet, the technology appears to be much more advanced than the original show’s Enterprise, there are far more species aboard and encountered. The theme song was also appaling, but I do like Scott Bakula and perhaps I will try to block out the cons and give the 4 seasons the show lasted another chance just to see if it was any good in the end. As a ship though, it looks pretty nice although only manages Warp 5 at a push.
Honourable mentions – NCC-1701-D Refit which was a triple nacelle version of Picard’s ship and appeared in an alternate future episode of the show and also to the NCC-1701-J which appeared in a alternate future episode of Enterprise. In 2009 of course the film franchise was rebooted and we see Chris Pine take on the role of James Kirk and learn of how he becomes the hero we all know and love in the TV show and subsequent films. This version of the Enterprise is more or less the same as the old ones which ensure the continuity for me. The movie was also excellent which helps things. Here is that version of the Starship Enterprise. Feel free to comment on your favourite version of this legendary mode of transportation from one of the most famous television and film franchises ever developed. Thanks for reading.