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Paramount Visit May Have Turned Up First True Image of Starship Design (UPDATE 6/29: Confirmations & Comparisons)

Posted: 15:20:13 on June 28 2001
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: Enterprise |

TrekWeb received the following image from visitor Luke Griffin from England, who tells us that he snapped it in and/or around Stage 18 at the Paramount lot last week while visiting. The larger image clearly appears to be somewhere around the lot, although obviously Luke's information is the only "validation" we have to go on.

Two signs, one labeled 'Star Trek: Voyager Special Effects' and one labeled 'Star Trek: Enterprise Special Effects', were plastered at this location and snapped by Luke. The 'Enterprise' sign includes what looks exactly like designer John Eaves has hinted at as well as this morning's earlier report from the Aint-It-Cool-News web site: a variation of the Akira Class starship, with no secondary hull, and an apparent upside-down version of the classic Enterprise design. The sign also appears to include a logo which may or may not be official signage for the series and could be the arm patch that we know is on the shoulder of the costumes.

TrekWeb has not confirmed independently that this is legitimate, but I figure the photo may speak for itself. Granted, it would probably be possible for someone to make this image from known information (it looks VERY close to an Akira design with TOS-era nacelles) and plaster it somewhere and claim that it was outside Stage 18, so take it as you will. Clearly, if this sign is indeed from the Paramount lot as Luke claims, it is most likely Copyright 2001 by Paramount Pictures.

UPDATE 6/29: A few additions to this story; first, long-time tipster 'Robnhud', whose sources are sufficiently away from 'Trek' these days to provide in-depth inside reports but still in and around the Paramount lot, indicate that this sign is indeed in existence. Similar sentiments were offered today by the Section 31 web site, which says a "very reliable source" also confirms the existence of the poster as well as the starship design itself, adding that the first real view of the new Enterprise may be contained in an upcoming issue of TV Guide.

Finally, TrekWeb reader 'Darth Brooks' sent us the picture below, which reveals that though this design is very reminiscient of the Akira Class, it has many differences and is most certainly a distinctly new design:


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It's definately a fake here is the reason why
By Jiat () at 23:39:26 on July 04
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Want to know why I believe that this is a fake? If Paramount did see this pic, they would have immediately demand that it be taken off the web or they'll sue. My theory is that this guy fake this photo by making a cardboard sign with the painted spaceship and just placed it on a moving truck or something similar. Then he had his pic taken (dumb move) so that everyone can see and enjoy. Next week we'll know if the ship is legit or not when TV GUIDE comes' out with the new ENTERPRISE cover. And if the pic is a fake, then this guy would be the laughing stock of his hometown and the web. Also AIN'T IT COOL NEWS are known to make up alot of BS and it's easy to tell that their findings don't make sense or just plain silly. I mean would a purple uniform look good on a tv show? It'll be a mistake if PARAMOUNT did allow that to happen. Also AICN said that their "best spy" caught a glimpse of the footage showing Scott in his costume. How can we be sure about that since most of these meetings require that you have some kind of ID to get in. Either that or this spy was sneaking around in the air ducts. And finally, they reported that they seen the script of the pilot episode. Isn't it obvious that they threw in a few things regarding STARFLEET and the ship number even though according to Rick Berman that the show takes' place before STARFLEET and the FEDERATION ? The registry NX did not apeared until in STAR TREK 3: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK. So who's to believe? So whatever you read from AICN, just remeber that everything they said is NEVER true and that is my two cents, peace.

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Shading and nacelle orientation
By Steve Krutzler ( at 23:57:58 on June 29
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After all this analysis, here's what I've been able to come up with: the shading is merely block shading and not represenatative of any true light source. The shading does not seem to be correct because how could the left side of the saucer be bright but the left nacelle be dark if the light source is sufficiently leftward to make the right side of the saucer dark...?

Also, I think it is clear that the saucer and the apparatus on top of it, which attaches the nacelles, is a top view. This image, however, makes it a toss up with regard to the orientation of the nacelles--upward sweep or downward sweep. That said, I think it would make a lot more sense for them to be upward swept, since downward would look more like an early incarnation of the Reliant than the Enterprise; and the ommittion of any secondary hull would make it significantly indebted to the Akira design as well as a convincing "more primitive" version of Kirk's later vessel.


-Steve Krutzler
==V/-/== Rocks.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Opening credits
By Beamer () at 21:56:44 on June 29
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In light of the recent post that pointed out that the shade on the Pre-E demonstrates that the nacells (sp?) are upward not downward, this makes it much more in line with the design linage that would have given way to the TOS design (in the TOS books, only tugs had downward nacells [sp?]).

Taking that for what it's worth, it would be interesting the make the opening credits of ENTERPRISE similar to TOS. The slow moving ship giving way to the fast fly-bys. The image of seeing it similar in shot but not in ship design would remind people (i.e., the people who care) that this is retro-Trek.

Just a thought.

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  • Opps by Beamer @ 22:06:10 EDT on 29 Jun
In light of the new evidence...
By God's Media () at 18:25:34 on June 29
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As one who has expressed distrust for the image, I must concede that the reports of the legitimacy of this image is fascinating.

The reason why so many of us failed to trust this post is perhaps because there are so many glory-hounds among us. Every one of us wants to be the one that can say, "I told you so!," and so we assume that every one else is out to steal our chance at doing so.

Forums such as this one give us all a great outlet for views and opinions and speculations about a favorite topic like TREK, but let's not make a religion out of it and proclaim salvation or damanation without total evidence.

I still have doubts about the photo and the designs it shows, but let's be reasonable, there is just as much reason to believe as there is to doubt. In the end, the guy who posted the photo will be found out either way and he will face his own celebration or humiliation and so will each of us who chose to stand by the sacred scripts and uphold the holy continuity instead of allowing the truth to show itself on it's own.

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By Darth Brooks () at 17:42:54 on June 29
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I can attest to the relative ease with which one may wander the Paramount lot. Once, after a Voyager pitch, I decided to track down an acquaintance working in the Seven Days office. Not having much of an idea where the office was, and relishing my time on the lot, I walked around for the better part of an hour. In my travels, I walked past the Trek sound stages probably three or four times. Only once was I approached by Trek security, who were helpful in pointing me in the right direction. Other than that, I was not approached by another soul on the entire lot. It's a place of business, with far too many people wandering around trying to do their own jobs to worry about what you're doing there.

When people say that Enterprise is under tight security, what they really mean is that staff members are basically under a gag order not to release information about the show. This has nothing to do with the physical security surrounding the set, any more than any other Trek show. The set security surrounding Season 1 of Enterprise is no more or less than the security for Season 4 of Voyager.

The bottom line is, the world is not composed entirely of bristling fanboys yearning for every last nugget of information. While security may be such that you'd have a hard time getting onto a Trek set, beyond that it's really not the impenetrable juggernaut that some of you think it is. The writing, art, and FX departments have virtually no security. There aren't any security checkpoints or bomb-sniffing dogs or metal detectors at the doors to the Hart building. Hell, there isn't even a receptionist. And I think some of you are subconsciously exaggerating the tight security surrounding the set and the dissemination of information to encompass all of Star Trek and all of Paramount. It just ain't so, kids.


[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Paramount Lot Security
By MrNeutron () at 16:42:04 on June 29
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Admittedly, it's been over a decade since I was there, but unless things have changed, getting around the Paramount lot once you've gotten it used to be pretty easy.

In 1989 I was on the lot to interview Ron Moore for the ST:TNG magazine, and we walked out through one street facing building, meandered down the street to get lunch, and then walked right back in again without having to stop and show I.D. to anyone. I don't even remember seeing a security guard (redshirt or rent-a-cop).

I do recall having been given a pass when I entered the lot, but I don't recall if I had to wear it.

After the interview was over I rang the TNG art dept. and told Mike Okuda (whom I'd spoke to before) that I was on the lot, and he told me to come on over. I then meandered, unescorted, across half the lot.

None of this is to say the photograph is genuine, but it sure ain't that impossible to wander Paramount lot once you get in.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Another design observation...
By GabrielCKoerner () at 13:00:12 on June 29
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As a graphic artist myself for a living, I noticed something interesting.

Look at the light source on the nacelle pylons. The light source indicates that the nacelles are angeled upwards, not downwards like the Akira.

This is confirmed by if you look at the "side by side" picture that Steve Krutzler linked to below. Next to the rumored Enterprise is the Akira top view lit from the same side, and the lighting shows the light is on opposite sides of the nacelle pylons than on the Enterprise sketch. This to me clearly indicates that the Enterprise's nacelles will be swept upward.

This somewhat reminds me if you took, say, the Enterprise-A and the Enterprise-E and put them top view next to eachother. They look EXTREMELY similar from top view profiles (one would say the E looks just like a stretched out A) but then you start looking at it compared from, say, the side profile or the front profile and a LOT of differences become aparent.

Just my two cents...

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

looks real to me
By Tad ( at 12:50:59 on June 29
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either this is real or somebody went to a lot of work! looks a lot like the akira class but after seeing the picture of them side by side, there is a quite a bit of difference. i can't wait until we get to see an official, high-quality picture of this ship!


helldamnfart - Bart Simpson

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By GabrielCKoerner () at 12:41:27 on June 29
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So everyone keeps saying, "This must be a fake because the on set special effects crew wouldn't be in trailers!"

Has anyone stopped to think that these are equipment trailers, marked to show what equipment belongs to which crew?

Food for thought,

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Fake or not fake; thats the question
By Grand Admiral Thrawn () at 12:26:38 on June 29
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There are marked differences if you observe the picture magnifeid. Its not as slick as Akira only resembles the general layout, and there appears to be a structure streching half-way across the suacer section possibly for accomdations that is not present in akira. Also saucer section is smaller, more round and less streamlined than akira. The roller-bar assembly appears to be smaller and less developed than akira. The wrap naccelles are quite different from akira which has the modern larger version similar to Soveriegn, while this design has smaller nacelles similar to ncc 1701. If its a fake, than someone has done a nice job, if its not, I will be quite impressed

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Did Paramount's Lot Change? -I saw its a fake
By EzriTiganDax () at 09:56:36 on June 29
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since when did the trailors turn silver again?

Look at this pic from TV Guide of Nikki deboer riding her bike on Paramount's lots. That's NEAR the filming location is it not?

Did alot change since then?

In case ya didn't read what I wrote before, here goes...could have been hidden in a reply.

What annoys me the most is respect. Geeze!

I just can't beleive this guy, with tight security, would bypass them all, take photos like its a tourist spot (it is but its also a respectable workplace) and then show us stuff Paramount may/may not wanted us to see.

I know let's go take photos of this guys workplace!

If they WERE filming around the time of him snapping the photo, you think they'd tighten security a little more! I mean they are on a tight schedule and any disruptions would throw them off.

SO can this guy tell us how he, left the tourgroup, bypassed security, took the photo, and convinced us that this is legit?

The guy in the picture had a silver trailor he's standing in front of. Quite dangerous for the pyrotechnics to have their equipment in. Also, as I agree with others, wouldn't they have an office building instead of a trailor?

Seems funny enough, that when Chase Masterson was doing "Sci-Fi Weekly" on the Sci Fi Channel, I think I recall at one time she showed us a room where they do the special effects by computer in a room. Also check out "TREKKIES" -The Paramount Star Trek businessmen are in an office!! *shocked* -sarcasism-

look at this picture from the TV taken of Nikki on her bike. Its "RV" type.


The S/FX group can do amazing and wonderful talent with their work in Star Trek and they have this cheap fan art drawing taped to the side of their trailor??


I say its a fake. As I heard you can't get into Paramount and snap photos unless your invited!!

I agree with what someone said earlier about the security being ultimately tight and here it is all TOP Secret and all and its out in the blue on Paramounts lot??

I think this guy went to a empty parking lot, got an old trailor (that trailor looks PRETTY old compared to the new and recent trailors I've seen on Paramount's lot w/nicer looking RV's)

He then stuck some fan art on and a piece of tape and tried to get a claim to fame or a ENTERPRISE Acto/media's attention.

While Enterprise was shooting he did this??Um...Some they are on a VERY VERY tight schedule and what did he do, run off from the tour group?

I read in the book "Making of Voyager" that a couple of fans got away from the tour group, toured the sets and they were immediately placed out of the Paramount lot. This guy and his camera buddy, would give the usual fans a bad name (even if he didn't do anything) b/c fans already are associated with stalking the actors, now we can't even behave ourselves and stay with a tour group or listen to the rules of the Paramount lot?

If this guy is Legit...I still dislike the fact that he went away from his tour group, to give himself true/false publicity, trying to fool fans or make himself known to the Star Trek world by capturing photos (we fans aren't supposed to see or known)

One word of this notice for this guy: If Paramount meant for us to see it, then they would have shown it to us! What you did was entirely wrong!
Next time, stay with the tour group!
(I doubt the tour group leader would approve of such things! and I'm sorry but people who do this discust me.)

Paramount knows the 1st chance we get, we're going to post ANYTHING new on the net' that isn't supposed to be seen!
That's why I think there's secracy. But let's leave it to them to uncover what we are to see.

My overall judgement of this: FAKE

If its NOT a fake: I totally dislike the behavior this guy displayed by disobeying the rules of Paramount's lot and snapping photos of things we are NOT to see!
(Its their home, respect it as we would in your home!)

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Wow, so much speculation!
By Steve Krutzler ( at 08:35:36 on June 29
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I received some more info from Luke, who said that he was there on June 18th and they were shooting that day. He said the sets were closed but there was a trailer thing near Stage 18 with this sign on it and it's that simple. He says it could be an unofficial mock-up, but asserts the photo is legit.

Also, 'Robnhud', most of you will remember him, says that his old sources who still are around the studio (but not working in ST anymore I assume) have seen this sign around the lot as well.

If it turns out to be inaccurate, it's much more likely that it's just a mock-up using a random ship picture because at this point I think it is definitely a real photo of a sign on the lot.

Also, check out this link for a picture that someone sent me to demonstrate that this design is actually quite different from the Akira: link


-Steve Krutzler
==V/-/== Rocks.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Consider This
By God's Media () at 01:00:22 on June 29
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With so much security surrounding ENTERPRISE, why would anyone post even an unofficial logo and risk their jobs? I mean, if this is real, official or not, and this guy managed to get a photo of it in spite of some of the security measures mentioned here, don't you think someone's head is gonna role?

Furthermore, if the logo is unofficial, then why take the time to make it look so official? Only someone whose goal is to present something that is expected to be accepted as official would prepare something this elaborate.

And, another thing, look at the other logo on the trailer, the so-called Voyager Special Effects sign, it doesn't look at all like the official Voyager logo. Even if this is a real special effects trailer at Paramount, we can't trust the logo because of the fact that the Voyager logo isn't correct.

Maybe a whole bunch of us will be eating our words when the truth comes out, but I believe that the evidence appears to be mounting against the legitimacy of this photo. I'm sure an answer to our doubts is coming soom.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Point of View
By Captain Scarlett () at 00:52:25 on June 29
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Somewhere below a poster comments asking why the image of the ship would be of the bottom. I don't think it is.

The view is looking down on the top of the ship.

The inside structures that appear to be tubes on the saucer section may be impulse type engines.

The nacelles are definitely round as the orignal 1701 from TOS.

A little reminiscent of the New Orleans Class Kyushu.

If this really is the ship, may be a good.

If this is a hoax, my hats off to the hoaxer doing a great job yanking our chains.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Well, that's very, very interesting...
By Strategerie ( at 00:01:36 on June 29
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But the design looks too good and clean and more advanced than the E-1701. My first thoughts are:

1) It's a fake using available fan-art from the web
2) It's a quickly conceived unofficial logo by the sfx dept at paramount and not the official design at all
3) It's official

My leaning is 1 and 2. I just have a hard time believing this one. With all the lack of info, why plaster a sign like this on the lot? Wouldn't Berman have a cow?

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

and you know what else...
By Data311 ( at 23:31:11 on June 28
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The Guy in the pic isn't all that cute :)

J/k... personally i think it's Fake... but... It does get are attention awfully Fast doesn't it :

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Closed Sets For Enterprise
By New User () at 23:01:41 on June 28
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Wouldn't the Enteprise sets be top secret and closed to visitors ? So how could anyone get a photo of the Enteprise ?

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Enterprise Sets Closed To The Public ?
By New User () at 22:58:14 on June 28
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Wouldn't the Enterprise sets be top secret and off limits to the public during filming. So how could this person get that photo. So how could that person get that photo ?

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

By Defiant () at 22:48:17 on June 28
URL: http:// | User Info
Mark my words: It's a fake.
This doesn't look "like" the Akira class, this IS the Akira.

I'm personally hate it. It's a badly designed ship. The one that has that cool triangle on the top is the best! you know! the one at the end of "Generations", the Faragot or something like that!....ah!

Or the Defiant! and Voyager!


[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

yeah, right...
By Capt. D () at 20:38:49 on June 28
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I don't buy it, not for a moment. Besides the well-made observations others have made on here, I have several solid reasons for strongly suspecting this as a hoax.

1) Not too terribly long ago I was on the Paramount lot when both Voyager and DS9 were still shooting, and I saw the Trek stages up close, including Stage 18. There were no "special effects" trailers anywhere to be seen. The special effects departments were housed in their own building space and also had locations inside the stage area, not outside.

2) There are no palm trees anywhere to be seen around Stage 18. There are palm trees near the Paramount entrance, yes, and in some areas around the outside perimeter of the lot, but not anywhere around the Trek sound stages. So, as the previous poster pointed out, the shadow of the palm tree casts doubt rather than legitimacy.

3) Paramount enforces very strict, tight security within the sound stage area. They do not allow visitors to take photos or videotape. They do not even allow you to carry a camera around, and if you pull one out, they confiscate it from you. Trust me. I was able to take pictures around the famous Paramount gate entrance, but inside the lot, a camera is a big no-no, and a person could not get away with "sneaking" a picture.

4) I never saw any little 8 1/2 X 11 signs or posters of any kind--ANYWHERE, not just in the Trek shooting area.

Ho hum--the things people will do!

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

About the sign...
By Praetorian Guard ( at 17:05:13 on June 28
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If you look through the "Making of Deep Space Nine" book, you'll notice some pre-production work with "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" done in the TNG-style font, so its use here doesn't really mean much. This sign may have simply been put up before they formally decided to call the show just "Enterprise" and before the official logo was unveiled.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Looking for clues...
By sxottlan () at 16:56:02 on June 28
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It's possible that the physical special effects department (probably responsible for sparks and explosions) would have a trailer on the lot near the sets and not their own office. That would explain the mailbox set up next to it, suggesting that it was a permanent set up in the trailer.

However, there is the fact that the sign says "Star Trek: Enterprise" when they are dumping the title "Star Trek". Also, why would they still have Voyager's sign up when the show has been done since April? The font is also from TNG. The ship itself looks like an Akira-class, but just with TOS-style nacelles.

There's also the fact of the shadow of the palm tree on the trailer door. Do they have palm trees in the middle of the Paramount lot?

I'm confused as to what they mean by the ship being upside down. Does this mean that it will essentially look like an Akira-class ship, but with the bridge in the place of the deflector and vice versa? That does sound interesting. So if that were true, why would the picture show the underbelly of the ship and not the top? The more one thinks about it, the more it looks like an elaborate hoax. Took me a while to catch the errors. It's like looking for Waldo.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

By AntonyF () at 16:55:51 on June 28
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Although it might be genunine... it might not be real. By that I mean the special effects people might have just made a spiffy thing for their trailer, so people can find them, but it's not an official release. If they chose a ship for it, it could be based upon the new design, or present clip-art type stuff.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Hmph, looks like...
By Mr. Peabody () at 16:31:23 on June 28
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...something I'd do with Photoshop, an ass-stencil & the side of a Goodwill trailer in Brentwood.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

IS it real?
By Eric ( at 16:25:17 on June 28
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The one reason why this might not be real, is that the picture says "Star Trek Enterprise; not just "Enterprise". The name "Star Trek" has been dropped for the new series, remember?

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Hero or Fool!
By Beamer () at 16:19:50 on June 28
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Either this guy is our new hero for the hour in that he snagged the first "public" Pre-E, or he is the biggest fool in the Trek world for putting his face on a gag (or maybe he just dusted a friendship). Let's hope that he is the first, becuase if he is the later, then he should be taken out to the village square and flogged until he likes B-5. (hey, it's only a joke, kids)

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

By Grand Admiral Thrawn () at 16:16:41 on June 28
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If this is true and not yet another hoax I'm impressed. It does resemble Akira class more than I thought it would, but I doubt you can keep cannon with the 1960 designed ships and look kick-ass. I sincerely hopes its true and in case its, I am ready for Enterprise.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

If real, then the Enterprise "logo" seen here...
By Praetorian Guard ( at 16:13:54 on June 28
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is probably the patch that was described as appearing on the uniforms.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Wait a cotton-picking minute...
By Rat Boy () at 16:09:03 on June 28
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That looks way too much like the Akira-class, the "sign" is merely a piece of paper attached to the side of a trailer and it contains the words "Star Trek", something that previous reports have stated is not in the title of the show. And why would the FX people be in a TRAILER on the PARAMOUNT lot; don't these guys have their own offices somewhere else?

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

One Opinion
By Darth Brooks () at 15:40:34 on June 28
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If this is legitimate (and I suspect that it might be), I have to say that it looks great! I can't wait to see more.


[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

If this is legit, then woohoo!
By Steve Krutzler ( at 15:35:12 on June 28
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As I indicated in the story, it is possible that this photo is manufactured, but I think it looks legit, unless someone can point something out that makes it look otherwise.

The design is pretty cool and I wonder if they'll make some funny remark about how "i wonder how it would look upside down..." Of course I've personally always wished Trek would show us ships in different planes or perspectives, since in space there can really be no upside down.

FED SHIP:"Klingon Cruiser... why are you aproaching us upside down?"

KLINGON:"You patagh... you're the upside down one you twit!"


-Steve Krutzler
==V/-/== Rocks.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

That looks sweet!
By rolsen ( at 15:32:07 on June 28
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I'm a big fan of the Akira class, so this new Enterprise design sure does look sweet to me!

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]


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ENTERPRISE has been revealed this week and we'd like to know how you would rate the show so far based on the new Enterprise NX-01, the interior set design, the new costumes, and any other info that you may already possess!
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(C) Uninteresting! The photos I've seen so far reveal a series that lacks serious originality in artistic design and I am open-minded yet skeptical of its potential!
(D) Horrifying! What we've been shown so far is unoriginal and unexciting, revealing a series unexcuseably violative of continuity and poorly developed; Paramount will be lucky if I tune in!
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