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The Trek Nation - A Visit To The 'Enterprise' Set

A Visit To The 'Enterprise' Set

By idrivex
Posted at January 28, 2002 - 2:55 AM GMT

idrivex was recently lucky enough to visit the set of Enterprise whilst filming was in progress. He met the cast, toured the set and found out some closely-guarded secrets - the ship is powered by Macintosh computers and a light switch.

The following report is © idrivex. Do not reproduce without permission.


I was on the set of Enterprise recently and first off I have to say one thing - I respect what actors and actresses do so much more than I used to. You have to be insanely patient on the set of a television show. So many takes, redo the lighting, it's crazy. But I got to see so much. I guess I'll try to organise my thoughts as best as possible.

I got there around 10 a.m and it was pretty crazy, I got a tour of the set and found out that the Executive Producer actually toured a Nuclear Submarine (US Navy) and had the sets designed after that. Most of the things you see actually work. In the Armory, the torpedo plungers actually work. You can actually get into the Shuttle Crafts. In fact, the shuttle crafts are actually outfitted with Porche seats as the pilot and co-pilots seats. The shuttles are moveable and they take them out of the shuttle bay to take them on site for when they do on site work. Each episode costs approximately 1.5 million dollars to produce in set and labour alone.

I got to go into the 'famous' decontamination chamber. I saw the transporter and Engineering. The warp drive turns on with a light switch - kinda funny. But all the doors are on cables and there is a cable guy that pulls them when they press a button. I even got to sit in Archer's chair before anyone came on the set. It was very, very cushy.

Then the shooting started. First we started in Archer's ready room. Archer, Tucker, and Reed were talking about a female named [...]. My God. We must have done about 6 takes from every angle imaginable. But what is weird is that when they know that a certain part of the ready room isn't going to be in a shot, there are people's danishes and Dr. Peppers everywhere. If you watch Enterprise you'll see that every time a person talks the camera is looking at them. You would be led to believe that there are multiple cameras. This is not the case. There is only one and they do it from every angle and splice together in post production.

Then we did the bridge scene with everyone. It was really funny. They were always flubbing their lines and I was surprised to see someone like Jolene [Blalock] (T'Pol) and Scott [Bakula] (Jonathan Archer) say the F-word so much. It just seemed unnatural. I don't know if Jolene was just cold or if she is self conscious, but anything they weren't shooting and just rehearsing she'd be wearing a pink fluffy pink bathrobe over her skin-tight outfit. Many of you probably already know this but I was surprised to find out that Jolene's Vulcan haircut is actually a wig. It's amazing how they get all her real hair under there. All the actors/actresses were very fun to be around and were great conversationalists.

They interrupted shooting around 1 p.m. because there was a boy that was terminally ill that had come on the set to see it via the Make a Wish Foundation. Scott took the little boy with Connor [Trinneer] ('Trip' Tucker) and Dominic [Keating] (Malcom Reed) and they took a bunch of pictures - it was very moving. The little boy was so incredibly happy just to see the set and the actors. Puts a lot of trivial stuff in perspective. It's so great that they do that sort of stuff.

Scott Bakula has a very strong, hard, solid hand shake. Connor really does have a thick southern accent and Dominic kept messing up his lines. In fact he walked up to me and apologised for his "piss poor performance this morning." I just told him that he was probably having a bad morning and he went in a corner by himself and read his lines over and over.

There were a couple of funny parts on the set. There was a time when Archer was supposed to say "Mayweather you're driving, let's go" but he totally forgot Anthony's character's name and he just said "Anthony, join me in the turbolift 'cause I forgot my line" and everyone burst out laughing. It was kind of a serious moment since they were so far into the shot but everyone laughed.

Also there was a time when they were rehearsing and Archer said "Reed you have the bridge" and it was just Reed and Hoshi on the bridge. Reed looks over to her and says "You hear that? I'm the boss, you're gonna listen to what I say - it's just me and you girl." Then Hoshi said in a whiny voice "You're not the boss of me, you're not the boss of me," to which Reed replied in a childish manner "Yeah- huh! Captain said so!" It was really funny.

So after seeing all this stuff, it kind of got boring watching the same scene over and over and over so I decided to go exploring. That's where I found the Sys-Admin guy [Michael Okuda] that runs all the displays on the ship. Well we got talking (about Macs of course) and he was a really great guy. We exchanged cards and everything and I took some photos of what drives all the displays on the ships. Guess what? It's 16 G4 Cubes. I have the photos on my web page.

It was pretty incredible to see. They use Macromedia Director for the animations of all the "diagnostics" you see running all over the ship. And from that room he can make the ship go to "alert" mode where the diagnostics start changing colours and then he can have it go into "being attacked mode" where the screens blink intermittently.

All in all a very great time was had and it was a wonderful experience. If you have any questions please ask and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

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idrivex is a developer for Apple. He lived in Texas for 7 years before moving to California where he became a Solutions Provider, met the director of Enterprise and was invited onto the set. He has some authentic blueprints used to manufacture a Klingon bird of prey in the show. Anyone interested in purchasing these is encouraged to contact him.