That’s right, mister! I hate it when a command center is treated like “science fiction”. You know what I mean? I remember that on the original series the network gave Roddenberry some static about taking too much time designing the ship’s bridge. Their attitude was, it’s science fiction! Get some flashy lights and some chairs, and let’s get going! Gene Roddenberry would have loved the NX-01 bridge. It lives, breathes, and eats functional. Why do you think the defense department has contracted Herman over the years to design real world command centers?
Helm\Navigation – Be still my heart. Look at this helm! Doesn’t it just make you want to jump in, and jump out? We’ve had real astronauts sit here like giddy little kids! Before the major design work for the NX got into a swing, Herman visited US Navy fast attack subs. The influence is evident thru out the NX, especially here at the helm.
Weapons and Defense – Again, the lion’s share of credit goes to Herman Zimmerman, John Eaves, and Mike Okuda, along with the set designers who translate the concepts into blueprints for the mill. That alone is a huge undertaking. Imagine having to nail down every square inch… every corner, every crease, every color, and every surface?
Science Station – Clean and direct. Nothing fanciful. No one in our art department would ever settle for “make believe”. You can see the TOS influence starting to creep into the video playback. As the series moved on, Mike Okuda began adding more and more.
Engineering & Environmental Subsystems - Another thing that floats my boat is the ”airy” quality the consoles have. I dislike consoles that are built like the ice cream freezers at Baskin & Robbin. Heavy and solid right to the floor. By the way, the bronzy look was supposed to have been integrated into the ships exterior. It’s the one thing that got lost in the shuffle.
The “Big Chair”. One of the concepts which made it into the NX bridge fromm TOS, was the multi-leveled command “island” that the captain’s chair and helm were perched on. I’m a great believer in the captain’s chair being treated “special”. It should not be like anyone else chair. It should be the visual focus of the bridge. I think a platform is imperative. The one exception being the TNG bridge (another classic) where the center seat was emphasized in it’s own original way.
(Below) A striking view emphasizing the loneliness of command. Bridge overheads are an art unto themselves.