TNG Enterprise-D Deck Plans - THE UNTOLD STORY!

phase pistol

Master Member

This was mentioned on but I thought I'd cross post it over here too!

The guy who DESIGNED the Enterprise-D, Andy Probert, was contacted by Ed Whitefire, a guy with some ideas for the interior deck plans, but... we'll here's the story from

Phil Broad: "It was sometime during the first season of Next Generation's run on on TV that I mentioned in passing to Ed [Whitefire] that "someone" should see about doing plans of the new Enterprise, like the old Franz Joseph deck plans of the ship from the original series. Ed replied "that gives me an idea" and the rest is history."

Ed contacted Paramount Studios and eventually came in contact with Star Trek Art Department staff member Andrew Probert who listened to his idea. Andrew thought it was good and they agreed that Ed should do the "official" plans for eventual publication. It would be up to Ed to not only create the drawings but to find a publisher as well. This would prove to be no small task, the drawings would take two years of effort to design and draw and the search for publishers was not easy either. In the end the gaming publisher "FASA" was given the contract to publish and distribute the plans under their existing license with Paramount for Star Trek related products.

As Ed got going on the project some of his original pencil layouts would be displayed at the last Equicon science fiction convention held in Los Angeles and interest from the fans seemed reasonably high. After two years of effort and uncounted trips to the studio to confer with Andrew Probert, Rick Sternbach and Mike Okuda, the plans were finally ready for publishing. Ed had them duly copyrighted and all seemed well.

It was at this point that fate intervened when it was learned that FASA had let their license with Paramount expire and they could no longer publish the plans. Ed began to cast about for a new publishing house and it was during this process that he learned that Rick Sternbach had agreed to the Pocket Book offer to produce plans of the ship. Ed now had to watch as all his work was cast aside so someone else could publish the "official" plans. There proved to be little that Ed could do to stop the other project as by this time his friend Andrew Probert had left the Star Trek Art Department.

The new plans seemed to borrow heavily from Ed's work yet did not incorporate many of the design features that the ship's original designer (Andrew Probert) had intended. Only Ed's drawings do that.

phase pistol

Master Member
Here's a little comparison I whipped up to show how different the Probert/Whitefire concept is, from the familiar deck plan we see in that big display in Engineering...


The W/P cross section indicates several very large interior spaces, some many decks deep. One missed opportunity of TNG I think was that we viewers never got to explore such large spaces on the ship.

I recall reading in The Making of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry talking about how "on a ship as big as the (TOS) Enterprise, the viewers will be disappoined if we never showed them large rooms somewhere on the ship" (I'm paraphrasing)... and that was the justification for the large Engine Room in TOS.

In TNG we got the "holodeck", and its budget-saving "virtual spaces"... apparently much larger than the little yellow-gridded black room we saw when the projection was off....

And "Ten Forward" was supposed to be a big deal... but you know, I really would have liked to see that football field sized Hangar Deck on the 1701-D at some point. Or the huge "Mall".

Matte paintings, people!

- Karl

phase pistol

Master Member
Yeah, you have to keep those connected at all times...

Where in the plans is that?

Gotta rememember in the late '80s (when TNG was starting) anime was still a novelty, not on TV every day. And the TNG design crew were big anime fans!

- K


Well-Known Member
Those are cool.....though I was disappointed we never got to see the interior of the Captain's-Yatch....that was one I wish we could have seen

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