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Variations of the Type-7 Shuttle
by
Jörg Hillebrand and Bernd Schneider

The sleek Type-7 shuttle frequently appeared during TNG's first four seasons and was eventually replaced after the Type 6 became available. Actually, the Type-7 shuttle existed as a miniature, as an exterior mock-up and as an interior set. Moreover, there are early sketches which have found their way into the episodes in some fashion or another. All these technically distinct incarnations (in real life) don't quite match with each other, and they were subject to modifications too over the seven-year run of TNG. This article investigates all appearances of the Type-7 shuttle as a picture, miniature, mock-up or interior set. It outlines design evolutions and points out inconsistencies.

The first thing to notice is that the Type-7 shuttle appeared only in TNG, and ever less frequently since the full-scale set of the Type-6 shuttle (based on the Galileo 5 from "Star Trek: The Final Frontier") was built for the fifth season. The real-world reason is that the curved surfaces of the Type-7 miniature turned out hard to reproduce faithfully in 1/1 scale, and especially the much too boxy mock-up described further below wound up as less than credible.

 

Shuttle Sketches

Paintings of streamlined shuttle Andrew Probert sketched up a streamlined shuttle for the upcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1986. This original design can be seen on an unused matte painting for TNG: "Home Soil" and supposedly inside Starbase 74 in TNG: "11001001". The Type-7 shuttle miniature eventually built for the series resembled his sketches but came out a bit boxier. Note that the preliminary design has a hatch between the two cockpit windows.


Probert shuttle in TNG: "Home Soil" (unused)

(The Art of Star Trek,
thanks to Pat Suwalski)

Probert shuttle at Starbase 74 in TNG: "11001001"

(The Art of Star Trek, full picture)

Graphics of long-windowed shuttle Aside from the version on the sketches and paintings, a shuttle which is closer to the final Type 7 is displayed on computer screens in a number of early TNG episodes, namely TNG: "The Naked Now", "Datalore", "The Last Outpost" and "Conspiracy". This shuttle with its characteristic long window band may be regarded as an inaccurate rendition of Type 7, or it could be a different yet related type of shuttles. Similar but apparently refined graphics are occasionally visible inside the Type-7 shuttles themselves on status displays, such as in TNG: "Unnatural Selection".


Display in various TNG episodes

(screen capture by Jörg)

Display in TNG: "Unnatural Selection"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Furthermore, in TNG: "Skin of Evil" there is a display showing how the shuttle with Deanna and the dead crew member is surrounded by solid rock. Even rather than the screens in the shuttles themselves, this one on the Enterprise-D may actually depict a generic or even false shape of the shuttlecraft. In any case the screen does not show how the shuttle in this episode really looks like which is an exceptional case among all Type-7 appearances anyway.


Display in TNG: "Skin of Evil"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Shuttle study model under construction

(TNG: The Continuing Mission,
thanks to Pat Suwalski)

A shuttle with accordingly long window bands was built for TNG, but it was either modified to the final Type 7 or a new Type-7 model was constructed from scratch. We only know that the very model with the prolonged windows was never visible on screen.

The shuttles on displays are apparently based on Probert's orthographic sketches. One of them illustrates the front door between the windows, as well as a big lateral cargo door which is still partially in the window band. Another one shows a possible seat arrangement (which was never seen like this though).


Shuttle sketch with door

(TNG: The Continuing Mission,
thanks to Pat Suwalski)

Shuttle sketch with seat plan

(TNG: The Continuing Mission,
thanks to Pat Suwalski)


Type-7 Concept Kit @ Probert Designs

 

Shuttle Interior

The interior of the Type-7 shuttle (or more precisely, of shuttles that look like Type 7 from the outside) is visible in the following episodes:

1. TNG: "Coming of Age"

2.  TNG: "Skin of Evil"

3. TNG: "Unnatural Selection"

4. TNG: "Q Who?"

5. TNG: "Samaritan Snare"

6. TNG: "Manhunt"

7. TNG: "Déjà Q"

8. TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"

9. TNG: "The Nth Degree"

10. TNG: "The Host"

11. TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I"

12. TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II"

13. TNG: "Ship in a Bottle"

14. TNG: "The Chase"

As will become apparent, we are not dealing with the same interior set in all of the above episodes.

TNG: Coming of Age The set makes its debut in TNG: "Coming of Age" when the young Jake Kurland foolishly jeopardizes a Type-7 shuttle and his own life. According to the TNG Companion only a quarter of the shuttle interior was built for this episode; it was later gradually supplemented until the complete set appeared in TNG: "Unnatural Selection". In "Coming of Age" only the forward left part of the shuttle interior is visible, with the pilot's seat and the port window.


Cockpit in TNG: "Coming of Age", #1

(screen capture by Jörg)

Cockpit in TNG: "Coming of Age", #2

(screen capture by Jörg)

Screen capture #1 shows that there is a deepened area in the wall behind the seat which is illuminated with a flexible light chain as it was fashionable and may have looked futuristic in the 1980s. The door to the aft section is closed. It is surrounded with a light chain of the same type. The side window extends backward to a point some 20cm in front of the cockpit rear wall. It consists of two parts; a crossbar is just perceptible at the very right edge of screen cap #1 and more clearly on #2. The full-scale mockup has this strut too, while it is not visible on the shuttle miniature. There are several red Okuda-style labels above the window, enframed with white (adhesive tape) lines.

The shuttle interior includes a big screen in the gap between the two windscreen halves as seen at the very right edge of screen capture #2. The gap is obviously a remainder of Probert's original shuttle design with the front hatch. The pilot's controls are located on a console of the same kind used on the Enterprise-D bridge for the OPS and CONN consoles. As a peculiarity, there are two cavities in the console with additional LCARS elements (although the vertical buttons look anything but ergonomic). On screen cap #2 Jake Kurland is just stretching out his hand into the right cavity.

TNG: Skin of Evil Although "Skin of Evil" shows a desolate interior, we can see that a right cockpit seat was added and the rear wall is complete. The aft door, surrounded by white markings, is still shut. The silly flexible lights are missing, whereas the red alert light that is flashing all the time was already present in "Coming of Age". The deepening in the rear wall seems to be more detailed here, with some sort of slightly protruding hatch. Furthermore the seats are different (screen cap #2).

The forward part of the cockpit is now better visible, including the central screen. This screen can be seen above Deanna's head on screen cap #1. The windows are all dark, corresponding to the outside where we can see that half of the shuttle is buried in rock. There are now two consoles of which at least the left one (which is unlighted and hence quite obviously defunct) still has the cavities. The two consoles are not identical. There are four vertical parallel lighted lines on the left console, but only two lines on the right one.


Cockpit in TNG: "Skin of Evil", #1

(screen capture by Jörg)

Cockpit in TNG: "Skin of Evil", #2

(screen capture by Jörg)

Whilst the set is definitely essentially the same, it is not certain whether "Skin of Evil" can possibly show us a Type-7 shuttle at all, looking at the partial mock-up stuck in the rock built for this episode. There are considerable differences between this early version and the final shuttle (either the shuttle miniature or the boxy full mock-up). 

TNG: Unnatural Selection "Unnatural Selection" shows an undamaged cockpit again whose two halves are apparently largely symmetrical. It is also the first episode in which the aft compartment is visible.

One noticeable difference in the forward part of the shuttle is that there are some 50cm between the window and the wall as opposed to 20cm in the two preceding episodes. So either the wall was moved back or the window was shortened. It looks like the cockpit is really bigger now. The size and proportions of the forward part of the windows have remained the same. Here and in later episodes there is a vertical groove in the wall in place of the former hindmost part of the window (screen cap #1). It is possible that this modification was done to better reflect that the shuttle model, whose appearance has remained essentially unchanged since it was built, does not have the long windows of Andrew Probert's original design.

The seats are different, they are made of black leather with much shorter backrests here, maybe in order not to obstruct the view into the cockpit from the aft part. The deepened area behind the right seat seems to be plain again. Some small alterations were made to the labels above the window which were moved and whose number was reduced, as well as to the decoration of the consoles. The most obvious change to the console is that the two strange deepenings are missing now, as can be seen on screen capture #2. On the right side there is now a gray ball, apparently meant to steer the shuttle. There is also an additional amber screen in front of the left console. It may be the same box that Troi used as a backrest in "Skin of Evil".


Cockpit in TNG: "Unnatural Selection", #1

(screen capture by Jörg)

Cockpit in TNG: "Unnatural Selection", #2

(screen capture by Jörg)

The curved ceiling of the new aft compartment consists of ribbed plates with occasional red Okuda labels; the lower side walls look like they are manufactured from sound-absorbing foamed plastic (caps #3 and #4). The rear wall is quite simplistic (cap #4). It has labeled plates, but nothing that looks like the hatch which should be somewhere in the rear wall to enter and exit the shuttle. The only visible furniture or equipment  in this part of the vessel is the medical couch for the infant prodigy. Looking into the cockpit from the aft end, we can make out the big screen in the center (cap #3).


Aft section in TNG: "Unnatural Selection", #3

(screen capture by Jörg)

Aft section in TNG: "Unnatural Selection", #4

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: Q Who? The inside of the shuttle, the cockpit as well as the aft compartment, remains essentially the same in TNG: "Q Who". It is the first time that the screen in the gap between the forward window halves is fully visible (screen cap #1). We can catch sight of the spherical control device in the console again, now also on the starboard side of the cockpit (screen cap #2).


Aft & fore section in TNG: "Q Who?", #1

(screen capture by Jörg)

Cockpit in TNG: "Q Who?", #2

(screen capture by Jörg)

While the rest of the partition wall is still the same, the former red alert indicator is now a blue lamp (screen cap #3).


Fore & aft section in TNG: "Q Who?", #3

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: Samaritan Snare The forward portion of the Type-7 shuttle was hardly modified for this episode. Most obviously the seats were swapped once again; they are now black with high backrests. Furthermore, there are now LCARS surfaces in the deepened areas behind the seats (screen cap #1). It may also be worth mentioning that the former red lights which were blue in "Q Who?" are dark here.


Fore & aft section in TNG: "Samaritan Snare", #1

(screen capture by Jörg)

Fore & aft section in TNG: "Samaritan Snare", #2

(screen capture by Jörg)

The other changes take place in the aft compartment. The length of this room was overall shortened. On screen cap #1 it is clear that there is a door in the rear wall that probably leads into yet another room, rather than directly outside. The door is flanked by two locker-like installations integrated into the wall and adorned with the usual Okuda labels, and there is a lamp in the wall above it. On the port side, directly behind the wall as seen from the cockpit, there is now a seat with a desk mounted to the wall and a computer interface. This is where Picard sits down with a cup of tea (screen cap #2). On the opposite side, where Wesley will later take a seat, there is just a bench; nothing like a backrest or a table is visible. But Wesley also has an interface on his side. While the structure of the side walls and ceiling in the aft compartment has remained the same (with the ribbed rounded upper part and the "sound-absorbing" lower portion), there appears to be an angular closet just behind Picard. A silvery tube, perhaps a lamp, is protruding from one of the wall struts in the above Picard's head. 

TNG: Manhunt The ship in which Lwaxana Troi arrives is verbally identified as a "small transport vessel" in the dialogue. Nothing is shown of this vessel except the two brief shots of its cockpit. We can easily see that the set is that of the Type 7, unchanged since "Samaritan Snare" as it seems.


Cockpit in TNG: "Manhunt"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: Déjà Q The Type-7 interior makes just one appearance in the third season, in TNG: "Déjà Q". Some details were altered for this episode. Here the two consoles of the shuttle have balls on both sides, not only on the right. The balls are now transparent and they are lighted in LCARS-ish amber, as can be seen on screen capture #1. The back room is well-lit as opposed to "Samaritan Snare". We can make out a room behind the now opened door in the rear wall (screen cap #2). The rest of the room is identical to "Samaritan Snare".


Cockpit in TNG: "Déjà Q", #1

(screen capture by Jörg)

Fore & aft section in TNG: "Déjà Q", #2

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II As far as we can see, everything is still the same in the cockpit section of the Type-7 shuttlecraft (cap #1). The new transparent control globes can be found on both consoles, port and starboard. The back room is mostly unchanged too. We can see the two already mentioned LCARS terminals on either side of the door behind the dividing wall for the first time (cap #2). The most noticeable modification is the addition of an emergency transporter platform which includes an overhead LCARS control panel.


Cockpit in TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds", #1

(screen capture by Jörg)

Aft section in TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds", #2

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: The Nth Degree The set remains unchanged in TNG: "The Nth Degree", including the consoles and chairs. The door at the very aft end is closed again, and the lamp above it it is unlighted.


Cockpit in TNG: "The Nth Degree"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: The Host "The Host" is the last episode taking advantage of the genuine Type-7 interior set. No modifications are observable. The aft door is closed once again, everything else looks identical to the pervious couple of appearances.


Cockpit in TNG: "The Host"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Type-6 cockpits in Type-7 shuttles Beginning with TNG: "Darmok", just a few episodes after "The Host", the Type-6 shuttle was available as a fully-fledged 1/1-scale set (which would later appear as well as Type 8 on Voyager, causing additional confusion there). Most probably the old Type-7 cockpit was scrapped in favor of the new Type 6. Nonetheless there are a couple of later episodes still using shots of the Type-7 shuttle, mostly stock footage. In some cases the interior was shown as well. In other words, the much more angular Type-6 interior was "misused" for a shuttle which was definitely Type 7 from the outside.


Type-6 cockpit in TNG: "Chain of Command I"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Type-6 cockpit in TNG: "Chain of Command II"

(screen capture by Jörg)

The first two occurrences are the Feynman in TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I" and the Sakharov  in "Part II", respectively. The next one is in "Ship in a Bottle". In these three cases all external views of the shuttles are stock footage of Type 7, apparently to save costs, so this explains why they were combined with the present shuttlecraft set regardless of how exactly it looked. The alternative would have been to create one of the two from scratch. However, in "Ship in a Bottle" we can even see Moriarty and Countess Bartholomew enter the shuttle whose outside gives away that it must be a Type-6 set, whereas on its departure from the shuttlebay it is represented by stock footage of the Type-7 mock-up.

In TNG: "The Chase" Professor Galen definitely flies a Type-7 shuttle as we can see on the outside. We are shown its cockpit on a viewscreen where it seems to be just a wall with some random LCARS stuff, as it is obviously not necessary here to use a full three-dimensional set. This is the last occasion on which we can glimpse into any version of a Type-7 shuttle.


Type-6 set in TNG: "Ship in a Bottle"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Cockpit backdrop in TNG: "The Chase"

(screen capture by Jörg)

The hatch dilemma As it looks on the miniature screen caps, the Type-7 shuttle has at least one aft hatch which appears to be just an auxiliary entrance or a maintenance hatch, owing to its small size and the fact that the impulse engine is inside the door! On the other hand, a front door and two very large cargo doors are parts of Probert's design. As seen from the inside it is well possible to have a hatch between the windows, although it doesn't seem to be very practical to move the big screen up each time someone enters or exits. The ribbed part below the viewscreen look a lot like a doorstep that can be folded out. A possible problem is that on the miniature there is apparently no seam in the window band where this door should be. Yet, the aforementioned struts in the side part of the windows are not visible either, so the same may apply to the door. A black seal in a black-toned window might be almost invisible from outside.

The lateral cargo doors occupy almost a third of the shuttle's length which would allow very comfortable access to the inside. The damaged shuttle at Wolf 359, albeit never seen like this on screen, demonstrates how the opened side hatch should look like (more precisely it is not opened but simply blown away on this model). But inside the shuttle, just behind the partition wall where the hatches would have to be, there is not the slightest sign of a door in any of the various above variations of the set. The doors would be partially obstructed by the table and the bench established in TNG: "Samaritan Snare", but it doesn't look like the whole curved wall with its structural reinforcements and the different materials could be a hatch - at least not a hatch like any other we have seen on Star Trek.

TNG: All Good Things The series finale partially takes place at the time of TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint" in 2364. We can see how Tasha pilots what is unquestionably a Type-6 shuttle, from the outside as well as from the inside. However, we know that this shuttle type never appeared until four years later and that in the later seasons the Type-6 set repeatedly replaced the destroyed Type-7 set. Fundamentally, there is no problem with Type 6 existing as soon as 2364, but the particular shuttle of "All Good Things" is assigned to the Enterprise-D. Why should all shuttles of this type consequently stay in the shuttlebay for four years, only to be used exclusively after that time? Shouldn't the shuttle in question rather be of Type 7?


Type-6 set in TNG: "All Good Things I"

(screen capture by Jörg)

There are still some possible explanations that wouldn't ignore the visual evidence though. Maybe there were initially only few shuttles of Type 6 aboard the Enterprise, or they were not deemed the best choice for the missions in the first four seasons. Anyway, this shuttle problem is rather insignificant compared to the bigger problems why we could see the supposedly impulse-only shuttlepod Type 15 on interplanetary missions or why the ship's big Shuttlebay 1 was almost never used (the real-life cause being that the visual effects would have been too expensive or the sets too large).

 

Shuttle Miniature

The Type-7 shuttle miniature appears on the following occasions, sometimes only in the form of stock footage:

1. TNG: "Coming of Age"

2. TNG: "The Child"

3. TNG: "Unnatural Selection"

4. TNG: "Q Who?"

5. TNG: "Samaritan Snare"

6. TNG: "Déjà Q"

7. TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"

8. TNG: "Identity Crisis"

9. TNG: "The Nth Degree"

10. TNG: "The Host"

11. TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I"

12. TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II"

13. TNG: "The Chase"

14. "Star Trek Generations"

TNG: Coming of Age This is the first appearance of the Type-7 shuttlecraft model. The episode includes a launch sequence, as seen from the Enterprise-D, and a planetary approach. All hull details, like the position lights and the hatch with impulse engine in it (a very strange combination!) are already present and will remain consistent through the whole series. At least, they will remain consistent on the miniature. Only the hull labeling seems to be either missing or different here, at least on the aft hatch where it can be customarily found on the later variants.


Type-7 launch in TNG: "Coming of Age"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Type-7 rear view in TNG: "Coming of Age"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Interestingly the DVD special features of TNG season 4 show us a lettering variant of the Type-7 miniature as Shuttlecraft 03 Copernicus. It may be a different model than the below D'Alison and has a rod mounted on top, allowing it to be filmed from the bottom. We take for granted that it is an early version because of the similarity to the "Skin of Evil" shuttle with its characteristic curved red stripes. Also note the Starfleet arrowhead which looks like a makeshift decal. The shuttle appeared on screen, as the visible rod and wiring insinuate, but it was not clearly identifiable. Nonetheless we are positive that it was in "Coming of Age" because this is the only episode in which the shuttle could have still different labels than the ones described in the following, and also because it is the only time it is filmed from below. Moreover, Larry Nemecek writes in the TNG Companion: "The tale of this first appearance of the shuttlecraft, initially named the Copernicus III by Probert, is another uncanny echo of the original Trek."


Type-7 model labeled "Copernicus"

(screen capture by Tobias Weimann)

TNG: The Child The shuttle was given complete hull labels for the first time, here for the "D'Alison, Shuttle 10, USS Repulse NCC-2544". A shot of this miniature was inserted into the full-scale shuttlebay set of the Enterprise-D. Note that on this version the red stripes with the Starfleet arrowhead are located on the nacelle struts just above the engines. The registry of the shuttlecraft is printed in big letters on the lateral hatch. The mother ship's registry, in italics, includes the prefix "NCC".


Type-7 inside the shuttlebay in TNG: "The Child"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Type-7 model labeled "D'Alison"

(screen capture by Tobias Weimann)

TNG: Unnatural Selection The shuttle model with the number "01" and the name "Sakharov" makes its debut. The same applies to the mock-up which is visible a bit earlier in the same episode and with a corresponding lettering. Most of the shots with the miniature in space and above the planet are new, while a part of the shuttle launch is stock footage of the still unlabeled shuttle from "Coming of Age".


Shuttle launch in TNG: "Unnatural Selection"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Landing approach in TNG: "Unnatural Selection"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: Q Who? There is no noteworthy appearance of the outside of the shuttlecraft, only a somewhat unnatural looking still from TNG: "Unnatural Selection", with the Enterprise-D removed from the picture (compare the cap from "Q Who?" with the first screen cap of the paragraph above). Hence, the shuttle is the Sakharov with the number "01" once again, although it is verbally identified as "No. 06" in the episode.


Type-7 shuttle in TNG: "Q Who?"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: Samaritan Snare We can see the shuttle Sakharov once again, mostly in the form of stock footage from "Coming of Age" (the launch once more) and "Unnatural Selection" (rear view). Wesley says that he is aboard Shuttle 02, so he must have been mistaken, as the "01" on the hull is clearly legible.


Type-7 shuttle in TNG: "Samaritan Snare"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: Déjà Q The launch sequence of the shuttle from "Coming of Age" reappears yet another time in "Déjà Q", only left-right reversed. Also, there is some stock footage from "Unnatural Selection" in the episode.


Shuttle launch in TNG: "Déjà Q"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: Best of Both Worlds, Part II A Type-7 miniature was heavily damaged to act as a part of the wreckage in TNG: "Best of Both Worlds, Part II". Although we went to great lengths to identify every vessel at Wolf 359, we still couldn't spot the shuttle there (which raises the question whether it was worth the effort building and/or destroying this model, even with dead crew members inside).  But assuming it was indeed present, we have another appearance of the shuttle model. The shuttle is named "Kotoi NCC-67016 USS Liberator". It is still labeled following the pattern established in "The Child".


Type-7 shuttle at Wolf 359

(The Art of Star Trek)

Type-7 in its final configuration

(photo by Bernd Schneider)

The other Type-7 shuttle of "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" is not only clearly identifiable as such, it is also labeled in a different way than the Type-7 shuttles so far. The arrowhead and red lines were moved up behind the cockpit windows. Also, the ship registry was shortened from "NCC-1701-D" to "1701-D", now with a straight outlined instead of an italic font. This is the pattern according to which the shuttle in all of its remaining appearances will be labeled, including the mock-up in "The Host" but unsurprisingly excluding stock footage. The shuttle model shown on exhibitions like the Star Trek World Tour in the late 1990s appeared in this final configuration. For some reason the name of the ship and of the shuttle were obscured with black tape.


Type-7 shuttle in TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds II"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: Identity Crisis A new sequence was filmed for "Identity Crisis", now with the modified labels and without the big shuttle registry in the lateral door.


Planetary approach in TNG: "Identity Crisis"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: The Nth Degree In TNG: "The Nth Degree" there are still more new shots with the slightly altered miniature.


Type-7 shuttle in TNG: "The Nth Degree"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: The Host TNG: "The Host" has new shots with the model as well. It is not certain whether the model, at this point, is labeled as "Hawking", in order to correspond with the mock-up which was re-erected one last time for the same episode, with this name clearly readable on the hull.


Type-7 shuttle in TNG: "The Host"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: Chain of Command, Parts I & II As already mentioned, whilst the interiors of the two shuttles Feynman and Sakharov in this double feature are represented by sets of Type-6 shuttles, their exteriors clearly tell us that the shuttle types have to be Type 7 in both cases. Moreover, we can recognize the number "01" on the aft hatch of the shuttlecraft inside the nebula in the second part, so this is definitely another appearance of the sturdy Sakharov. In fact, all external shots with the Sakharov in "Part II" are stock footage from TNG: "Unnatural Selection" with a nebula effect added. The Feynman is even represented by two differently labeled shuttles, one from "The Nth Degree" with the red stripes moved up, and one from "Unnatural Selection" before this alteration happened. The markings are hardly recognizable on the latter, however.


Feynman in TNG: "Chain of Command I"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Sakharov in TNG: "Chain of Command II"

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: The Chase We can briefly see the shuttle in front of a newly created background. No details are recognizable.


Type-7 shuttle in TNG: "The Chase"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Star Trek Generations This is the last appearance of Type-7 shuttles in a any form. We can see two or three of them on the hull of the Enterprise-D saucer on Veridian III. No details are recognizable. It is not certain how the smalls shuttles were actually created; they look like CGI.


Type-7 shuttles on saucer in "Generations"

(screen capture by Jörg)

 

Shuttle Mock-up

We can see a Type-7 shuttle mock-up or partial model in the following episodes:

1. TNG: "Skin of Evil"

2. TNG: "Unnatural Selection"

3. TNG: "Samaritan Snare"

4. TNG: "Ship in a Bottle"

5. TNG: "The Host"

A full-scale mock-up of Type 7 appeared in just a few episodes and mostly as stock footage. The reason is not only that a mock-up is unwieldy and mostly rather expensive to build. In addition, the particular mock-up created on the occasion of TNG: "Unnatural Selection" for the Type 7 in its final configuration looked quite clumsy and overall little authentic.

TNG: Skin of Evil This is not yet the mock-up that will debut in "Unnatural Selection". The exterior of the shuttle in "Skin of Evil" is a partial build of the aft end, built in an uncertain scale, but apparently larger than the above miniature. We can observe that not only the lettering is unlike on any of the later Type-7 shuttles, but that the overall shape as well as several details are different. Most noticeably the aft end of the main body is much more rounded. It looks like the more angular superstructure covering the aft end of the normal Type 7 is not in place, leaving just the basic round shape of the shuttle hull. Also, some of the familiar details such as the red/green position lights, thrusters or the impulse engine are missing. The curved hatch does not look credible. But to be fair, the later mock-up does not even show this side of the shuttle, and against all reason the interior set, as shown above, does not include an aft hatch either, at least not one that looks like on the miniature. Finally, we need to wonder how the nacelles were affixed to the hull, as no remains of the struts are visible in the episode, while the nacelles have been torn off.

It seems odd that the shuttle in "Skin of Evil" would sport such an unfinished look, a few weeks after the miniature was established in TNG: "Coming of Age". However, it is well possible that the mock-up was done and even shot before the model was available. Moreover, the shuttle model is not quite complete either at this point, as it is devoid any lettering.


Mock-up/model in TNG: "Skin of Evil"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Mock-up in TNG: "Unnatural Selection" etc.

(screen capture by Jörg)

TNG: Unnatural Selection The ship we see is the Sakharov, Shuttle 01. Stock footage of the mock-up shown here will be re-used in TNG: "Samaritan Snare" and "Ship in a Bottle". We can see that while the set designers have done their best to get all the details of the miniature right, the proportions of the shuttle are way off. It is overall much too boxy. Something interesting to note is that the crossbar between the forward and the side window as seen in the interior (initially in "Coming of Age") is visible from outside too. This is remarkable, since the miniature (otherwise the most faithful version of the shuttle) is lacking any such strut.

In "Ship in a Bottle", as already mentioned, Moriarty and Countess Bartholomew board a Type-6 shuttle set which then somehow morphs into the Type-7 mock-up. We may excuse that as a glitch of the overstressed holodeck system though (and in this case the holodeck malfunction could even explain away the distortion of the Type-7 shuttle).

TNG: The Host Here we can spot the mock-up from "Unnatural Selection" once more, now labeled as "Hawking". This time the shuttle is filmed close up, in a way to suppress the impression of the wrong proportions when it was previously seen in its entirety. The window crossbar is visible again. Looking more closely, not only the name but also the painting scheme of the hull was modified since "Unnatural Selection". The red stripes and the arrowhead were moved up, and the ship's registry now reads "1701-D" instead of "NCC-1701-D". It also looks like there is no shuttle number on the starboard door. In other words, these are the same modifications as on the shuttle miniature.


Mock-up in TNG: "The Host", #1

(screen capture by Jörg)

Mock-up in TNG: "The Host", #2

(screen capture by Jörg)

 

Conclusion

Summarizing, the different incarnations (graphics, interiors, miniature, mock-ups) of the Type-7 shuttle may be rated and classified as follows:

The matte painting from TNG: "11001001" depicts a different, more streamlined shuttle type. It is a matter of taste whether the tiny vessel which is perceptible only on the reproduction of the painting in The Art of Star Trek can be classified as a different type than Type 7, or as a specific type at all.

Computer displays of long-windowed Probert shuttles may be discounted if they are superseded by visual evidence of the shuttles themselves. But the one graphical reproduction that repeatedly appears in TNG's first season beginning in TNG: "The Naked Now" may be indeed a variant of Type 7.

The possible move or resizing of the cockpit window of the Type-7 shuttle interior as it happened prior to "Unnatural Selection" is not really a big deal, as the wall to the previously unseen aft compartment may have been moved instead. Overall, the extent of modifications to the Type-7 interior is still credible, even though we would not expect a standard shuttle to spawn so many variants in such a short time. The only real dilemma is how crew members customarily enter and exit the shuttle. Although there is the front door as the best option, this has never been mentioned in any fashion, much less was it shown.

Beginning in season 5 the Type-7 shuttle interior was probably demolished and replaced with that of Type 6, taking into account that stock footage may still show the Type 7 in some cases. Although the more angular Type-6 interior does not look at all like the previous genuine Type-7 set, the visual evidence of the shuttle exterior overrules the impression of the inside. We know that the interior is subject to change much rather than the outward appearance. Moreover, Type 7 is somewhat bigger, so the Type 6 interior may fit in, rather than in an opposite case.

The Type-7 shuttle miniature remains largely consistent over the course of TNG. The model can be seen in two basic lettering variants, one with the stripes just above the nacelles and one on which they were raised. There are two or three registry inconsistencies owing to the use of stock footage of older or incorrectly labeled shuttles.

The mock-up in TNG: "Skin of Evil" is a special case, as it does not correspond with any other variant of a Type-7 shuttle. The cockpit is the same though. If anything, the shuttle in this episode is a close relative to Type 7.

The boxy mock-up of TNG: "Unnatural Selection" and other episodes has to be unreal, not only as it is butt-ugly, but also because we can see the very shuttles in space with what must be their true shape and proportions.

 

Addendum

A display in the Enterprise-D shuttlebay lists the available shuttles, which at that time were apparently all meant to be Type 7. It was never readable but is serious enough to qualify as close to canon. Some names and numbers on the list are of Type-7 shuttles that we actually saw on the show, some are new. The names on the list are: 

 

More about the Type-7 Shuttle

Federation Shuttlecraft - and other small auxiliary vehicles

Starship Gallery - Shuttlecraft - and other vessels carried aboard starships

 

Credits

Thanks to Pat Suwalski who provided the scans of Probert's preliminary designs. Thanks to D.J. Creighton for pointing me to the shuttles in the DVD special features and to Tobias Weimann for capturing them.

 


The Evolution of The Next Generation's Shuttlecraft @ Forgotten Trek

 


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Last modified: 06.07.14  
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