Look at the image above, carefully, and try to tell me why this isn’t the best bridge ever designed. Cool helm console, dark colour scheme, metal floor (what’s with carpet?), excellent computer graphics and one of the most comfortable captain’s chairs in all Starfleet.
I simply love the Enterprise-A bridge from The Undiscovered Country, also my fav TOS movie after The Wrath Of Khan. The first time we see the Enterprise-A was just at the end of The Voyage Home, as a gift if you will, to Captain James T Kirk for his efforts in saving Earth from the Whale Probe.
For the brief period we see this ship in 2286, it’s bridge is nothing remarkable, just the same bridge as before but painted white. In fact that white was just too…white. I don’t know about you, but I felt it was too bright, too happy, too familiar. I guess it reflected the mood of the crew, getting a new ship, a new adventure, where everyone is all smiles (except Spock of course).
In 2287, it had been drastically upgraded to reflect the advances made in computer control technology, the turbo lift doors are farther apart, giving more room to those consoles behind the Captain, and upgraded science and communications consoles. The only thing to survive the upgrade was the helm and nav station (oh, and now we have carpet). Also the whiteness has been lowered a shade or two, giving the bridge a warm feeling, a feeling of family and comfort.
Now for me, this is the birth of the Okudagram, the name given to the monitor displays designed by sceneic artist Michael Okuda. These designs were to mirror the more advanced LCARS systems on the Enterprise-D, a bridge (pardon the pun) between the antiquated technology of the 23rd century moving into the 24th.
In 2293, the bridge was once more upgraded, this time in a more darker, militarisic fashion. Again the turbo lift doors were seperated slightly, extending the back wall of monitors from two distinct sections to three, but mostly the changes were slight, mainly in the colour scheme. The bridge has now reverted back to a metal floor, the colours lean more to the gun-metal gray and black, with a deep maroon red for the turbo lift doors, matching the uniforms of the crew. The lighting is a little lower, making those cool screens standout even more from there black recessed wall, and the barred lighting around the circumference of the bridge give a nice warming glow.
The bridge seems very practicle, clean, ordered, and warm, giving the feel of a real naval vessel such as a submarine or aircraft carrier. The technology is state-of-the-art, providing access to weopans, sensors and tactical efficiently.
Below are some images of the set construction and behind-the-scenes shots of Kirk and Spock.