So as a Star Trek nerd I’ve always been a fiend for the different variations of the Starship Enterprise. I think this comes from my first real memory of Star Trek being seeing Star Trek: The Motion Picture when I was like, 5. That movie, famous for its nearly 10 minute long pan of the refitted Enterprise, cemented in me the love for the ship’s design. Because like Firefly, the ship itself was a character in the soul of the mythos.

Weirdly, my two favorite designs of the Enterprise are the one we know the most about, the refitted NCC-1701 (from Star Trek 1, Star Trek 2, and destroyed in Star Trek 3) and the one we know least about, the NCC-1701-E (from First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis). These are known respectively as the "Modified Constitution Class" and "Sovereign Class" starships. But I’ll stick with their starfleet designations.

I like them mostly for aesthetic reasons. I never liked that the nacelles in the Next Generation Enterprise (The Galaxy class NCC-1701-D) were below the dish. It struck me as a less feminine design for some reason, most likely because the saucer dish was so damn wide. It looked like someone had taken the design and smashed it flat so it lost a lot of its linear aspect in the vertical view.

The refitted NCC-1701 design always struck me as regal. A naval ship worthy of the word "she" to describe it. The dish was perfectly circular and the nacelles set high and along diagonal struts.

The B and C designs are both really just throwaway designs because they each have an accumulated screen time of like 3 minutes (the "B" in Star Trek: Generations, basically a modfied Excelsior design, and the "C" in the TNG episode "Yesterday’s Enterprise" Great episode, but the ship was only really glimpsed.) You never really see enough of them to get a sense of their design.

The "E" model represented a return to the more sleek and sexy lines of the entire ship design. The nacelles are higher, the dish is stretched out from the oval shape of the "D" and the circular shape of the 1701 or "A" model. If the NCC-1701 refit is regal, the "E" is Angelina Jolie. The design evokes an impression the ship is in high speed motion, and its squat body design implies a sense of power or menace.


Anyways. Several years ago I found a really nice detailed model of the "E". It’s proudly sat on my desk for years. As a Christmas present from Lance Bubo (or more accurately a hanukkah present) He got me the same type of model of the NCC-1701:

My God Bones.  What have I done.

Here’s the two side by side:

Not to scale, weirdly the E design is roughly 2x the size of the NCC-1701

So I’m kinda geeking out right now.

Leave a Reply