Squeezing the Enterprise-D into Spacedock

Footage from Star Trek III was reused in the Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “11001001” to represent an enormous spacedock. The Enterprise-D was simply superimposed over the motion-picture Enterprise, implying this facility was at least twice the size of the Earth Spacedock seen in the movies.

Andrew Probert, who was the show’s senior illustrator at the time, hated it.

He told Greg Taylor of Trekplace in 2005:

Going into the spacedock was ludicrous and I was fighting tooth and nail to get them to not do that. The producers simply shrugged their shoulders and said, “Well, we’ll say it’s a bigger spacedock,” but that logic really didn’t work for me. The system that I proposed was that the Enterprise to be serviced and docked on the existing space station exterior, because it has an umbrella-like rim — a mushroom head, if you will — under which the Enterprise could have been docked by connecting the dorsal replenishment systems, but… There’s a lot of things that sort of fell by the wayside and it is what it is.

Probert produced a matte painting for the docked Enterprise-D. A photographic matte was added to the shot in order to show people walking through a gangway tunnel.


I always hated that. I said to myself… so spacedock is really twice the size now?

Daryl Brown (Jul 8, 2017)

Was it just the doors that were the problem, or was the interior of spacedock not big enough to accommodate the Enterprise-D? The drawing of it docked outside makes it look like it could easily fit inside, so we could conceivably retcon there being a second, larger set of doors on the other side of the station.

At least I understand the practical, financial reasons for doing this, as opposed to doubling the size of the original Enterprise for the 2009 reboot for no reason other than they wanted to make it seem more impressive.

Oscar Fowler (Jul 9, 2017)

I think it’s mainly the doors and the shot of the Enterprise-D flying in being exactly the same as in the movies. For the doors to be the same size relative to the rest of the station, it’d have to be so much bigger to get the wider Enterprise-D in. In the movies we’ve seen several ships inside spacedock together (Enterprise/-A/Excelsior/Miranda) so there’s definately room for a Galaxy class, obviously just not with as much room to manoeuvre. If they’d have modified the entry shot to show a bigger door on the outside, it wouldn’t have been problem I don’t think.

By the way, the doors were already a problem in Star Trek III, as the stolen Enterprise exits the spacedock pursued by the wider Excelsior, but both mange to get though a door that was shown to be just wider than Enterprise.

Martin (Nov 4, 2019)

I justify it by thinking there is a larger bay on the opposite side where the smaller Enterprise entered. It is a circular shape after all.

James H. Dargie (Aug 30, 2019)

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