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TrekToday - Okuda Describes Recreating Old Trek Props

Okuda Describes Recreating Old Trek Props

By Michelle
May 18, 2005 - 7:37 PM

Michael Okuda, the scenic art supervisor and technical consultant for Star Trek: Enterprise, described how the Enterprise-D was recreated for series finale "These Are the Voyages..." and admitted that he found jarring the use of a movie turbolift in place of an original Star Trek: The Next Generation turbolift, the sets for which were not saved and would have been very expensive to reproduce.

In a post at the TrekBBS, Okuda explained that the corridor and holodeck door was a new set, built from the original blueprints. "The only CGI set in that part of the episode was the holodeck grid," he added. The Ten Forward set, which, like the turbolift, was not saved when The Next Generation went off the air, also had to be partially rebuilt, though some of the furniture and lamps were from the original set.

"The Observation Lounge set was actually slightly larger than it was in TNG," he continued. "The table was the original table from TNG, as were the window walls. Both had been slightly modified for use in the Enterprise-E."

In another TrekBBS thread, Okuda objected to hearing fans describe the set designers as "lazy" for imperfections in the recreation of the Enterprise-D. "Our producers fought for - and got - much higher than usual budgets for numerous episodes during the season," he wrote. "I couldn't begin to tell you the number of times we went back to the studio and asked for 'just a little more money' for yet another upgrade or feature. As usual, our producers and the studio were remarkably supportive, but there are limits."

Okuda also reminded viewers that the crews often worked seven days a week leading up to the finale. "Their dedication and hard work was incredible, especially considering that they knew they'd be out of a job in just a few days. In this particular case, there literally was no time to ask them to do even one more thing to those sets." He noted in the earlier thread that he understood that most of the frustration was expressed "because people really do love Star Trek" and insisted that so did the people who worked on Enterprise.

As for something fans seemed to appreciate - the "colored cubes of goo" eaten by the crew on the USS Defiant, which resembled food shown on the original series - Okuda said in this TrekBBS thread, "The food in the TOS Defiant rec room was the handiwork of Star Trek's food stylist, Dorothy Duder. Dorothy (who was responsible for most of the food seen onscreen in Enterprise) managed to make something that looked tasty, yet it definitely fit in with the style of that colored stuff we saw in the original series."

There is a photo further in the thread of T'Pol and Phlox sharing a meal of colored cubes and unusual-looking leaves. However, Okuda said that he did not try any, "for fear of incurring the wrath of the prop department!"

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