The Galor class,
designed by Rick Sternbach, is the primary warship of the Cardassian fleet. The
ship design appeared on many occasions in three Star Trek series. While the
exterior of the Galor class (initially as a miniature, later as CGI) has
remained consistent, the interior and especially the bridge design was subject
to vary considerably. In some cases it consisted essentially just of a plain
wall and/or backlit panel with a chair in front of it. The real-life reason, of
course, is that no standing set was available for the bridge, and it was not always
possible and in some cases not even desired to reconstruct a previous look of
Our article analyzes the appearances of Galor-class
bridges episode by episode. We have included all possible appearances of
bridges, although in some cases we may not have seen the bridge but other rooms on the ship or even
on a planet. Furthermore, the fully developed bridge as it appeared in DS9:
"Emissary" was re-used three times in DS9's first season for the
interiors of other alien ships.
time that the Cardassians appear on Star Trek is also the first time that we see
the bridge of a Galor-class warship. As can be seen on the screen cap the bridge
is extraordinarily dark, even by Cardassian standards. We can see a massive
captain's chair, designed to match the shape and color of the original
Cardassian uniforms. There are at least four Cardassian crew members on the
bridge, all with helmets. Later on the bridge is relatively empty. There is
white lighting in the ceiling, while the side walls are illuminated red. Behind
Gul Macet we can make out two big bent supporting struts. Structures like these
will repeatedly appear in Cardassian design, also on the DS9 ops and in later
appearances of Galor-class bridges.
The next appearance of a Galor-class bridge is in
"Ensign Ro", one season later. We can see that the illumination is
noticeably brighter. The Cardassian uniform is still the same, only without the
helmet. Likewise, the captain's chair is still the same as well, only the
head-rest was obviously downsized. The whole bridge is painted green, which is
an unusual color for Cardassian interior design and which we would rather expect
from the Romulans or perhaps the Ferengi. Green Cardassian rooms are rare, and
we only see them on TNG (such as prominently in "Parallels"), and
maybe once more on DS9. Once again we have white illumination through a grate in
the ceiling, which is bluish in front of the room. The structure and position of
the grate is very different, however. In the background we can recognize the two
struts again, with similar shapes as the ones in "The Wounded" but not
quite the same. Overall, this is a different bridge set.
This year corresponds to TNG's 6th and DS9's 1st season.
It takes until
"Chain of Command" that we see the Galor bridge again, although in this episode
it could be the ship's ready room, judging from the lack of consoles or displays.
As we can see, the Cardassian uniform was
changed (in preparation of DS9 where the Cardassians would play a key role). The uniform now looks like the familiar style as it would remain consistent through seven seasons of DS9. Gul Lemec is sitting in a simple leather chair, on
a kind of table. Behind him there is a simple gray, slightly ribbed
"concrete" wall. In front of that wall there is a kind of grating with
the Cardassian emblem on it that we can see
for the very first time (aside from the single-color logo on the ship's hull
that is hard to recognize in the episodes).
This is the first appearance of the bridge in DS9.
"Emissary" a totally new bridge was developed. Odo was going to beam
over to a Cardassian ship some time in the middle of the episode, in order to
keep the Cardassians from detecting the runabout that would leave the station.
For this purpose the story needed a couple of corridors, as Odo would not be
beamed directly to the bridge.
The bridge as we can see it in the episode is a
fully developed set for the first time. It belongs to Gul Jasad's ship. We
can initially see the bridge only on the ops main viewer. Later in the
episode there are also scenes that take place on the bridge itself. This
bridge is not green any more. We can see the characteristic Cardassian
bent supporting struts on the walls, arranged in a radial fashion. They
have white illumination here. Between the struts there are Cardassian
interfaces as we can see the on the station Deep Space 9 too, and large
red illuminated fields. Gul Jasad is sitting in a quite simplistic
In the background we can see the Cardassian emblem
as already on Gul Lemec's ship in TNG: "Chain of Command, Part
II". Once again the emblem is on a grating, and is backlit. There are
a couple of officers on this very small bridge. We can also see the
entrance to the bridge and the corridor that is located behind it.
We can see more of the interior in the scenes when Odo beams over and
attempts to sabotage the ship. It is shown how some officers store their
gains in a closet, in a corridor as it seems, and Odo morphs out of this
closet. He then runs along the corridors and finds the right room. On a
side note, a painted corridor extension is used to make the set look
larger. Something else to notice is the first appearance of a
characteristic, green-red illuminated interface. It was already previously
visible in the entrance to the bridge but was partially covered by the
chair. This interface will repeatedly appear in the first season of DS9.
Another thing worth mentioning is that Odo finds the room he was looking
for, but it is actually a re-use of the bridge set.
screen cap shows the bridge of a second Galor-class vessel, the one of Gul
Dukat. This bridge is darker, almost as in the early appearances of TNG.
We can only see a characteristic orange illumination, in front of which
Dukat is sitting. For some reason the new bridge set was not used for this
take, although it was likely supposed to be the bridge of Dukat's ship.
Summarizing, a new bridge set was constructed for
"Emissary", including some corridors. This set will appear a few
more times in the first season of DS9.
We can see another ship of the Galor
class in this episode. But the bridge is not the one that was introduced in
"Emissary". Instead of that, there is a plain wall with illumination.
This illumination is akin to the one behind Gul Dukat in "Emissary".
But overall the bridge in "Past Prologue" is somewhat brighter. Gul
Danar, the commander of the ship, is sitting in a simple leather chair.
The Galor-class bridge set from
"Emissary" is re-used in "A Man Alone", but this time as the
interior of a Bajoran transport.
The first thing to notice is that the red-green
console is re-used as well. The set consists of two rooms, the one with the
console and some plastic chairs is in place of the Cardassian corridor in
"Emissary". Once again we can see painted corridor extensions. The
Cardassian bridge was transformed into a bedroom. We can still recognize the
supporting struts, which are not illuminated here though.
It becomes clear that
it is still the same set, although many details were changed; bunks were
inserted and the illumination is new. In addition, a Bajoran console was added.
The central area is distinctively Bajoran, even adorned by the Bajoran emblem.
Only the two triangular consoles on both sides somehow look Cardassian.
A few episodes later we can see the set again, and once again in a different
role. In "The Passenger" the bridge set appears on the Kobliad ship
Once again the set was modified to some extent. The red-green console is
visible again. The shape of the narrow door is the same as in the previous
appearances. A new door with an oval shape was added as the bridge entrance, but
we can make out the familiar struts yet again. Comparing the Kobliad bridge with
the Bajoran bedroom, we can see that the new door is located where the bunks
used to be. Even the lighting above the door is still the same.
time that we know of the bridge was redressed for the Wadi ship. But we can only
see the corridor part in this episode.
Comparing the Wadi interior with the corridor of the
Kobliad ship in "The Passenger" it becomes clear that about the same
part of the set was filmed. We can see the red-green console again, but this
time without lighting. The structure of the embossed wall above and below the
lighted area is identical. Even the door is still the same as on the Kobliad
ship and on the Cardassian version in "Emissary". We can also see the
thin and slightly sloping columns that were already in the Cardassian corridor.
The narrow doors have remained the same as well, they were only modified with a
somewhat more detailed surface and yellow Wadi stickers.
We can see a room on a Galor-class
vessel, but not necessarily the bridge in this episode. This room consists of a
plain green wall, in front of which Gul Ocett is sitting in a wide black leather
chair. There is not more to be said about this possible variant of a Cardassian
bridge. The DS9 Galor bridge set already existed when this TNG episode was being
filmed, but it may not have been available or may not have been deemed necessary
for this brief appearance.
The last time in the TNG season 6 or DS9
season 1 we can see a Cardassian room in "Duet". In this episode Odo
contacts Dukat to acquire information pertaining to Marritza. It does not become
clear, however, whether Dukat is on his ship or on Cardassia. The screen cap
showing Dukat in his room insinuates that it is intended to be the bridge. We
can see the green color on the walls as in some TNG episodes, the red
illumination and the Cardassian emblem, inclined, as already in
"Emissary". This is why we presume that Dukat is on his ship, as
opposed to his later appearances on monitors, especially in the second season.
This year corresponds to TNG's 7th season and DS9's 2nd
Dukat appears a few
times on monitors in this season. The dialogues establish that he is on
Cardassia and not on his ship. We can see a characteristic wall ornament with
red illumination behind him that will return in later episodes.
TNG shows a large Galor-class bridge for
the last time in TNG: "Parallels". It is green again and has the bent
struts again, as they have become characteristic of Cardassian architecture. We
can see the fan-like Cardassian interfaces as we know them from DS9, and also a
nice MSD of a Galor class. Gul Nador is sitting in a big leather chair. Other
than that, the bridge is rather empty.
This year corresponds to DS9's 3rd and Voyager's 1st
This is the only time we see a Galor
bridge in Voyager. We can see Gul Evek on his bridge. It is reasonable to assume
that no new set was built for the brief appearance in this episode. Our
impression is that Sisko's office serves as the bridge.
Dukat is aboard a Galor-class vessel in
the end, to greet Ben and Jake Sisko, who have traveled from Bajor to Cardassia
on their sailing ship, with fireworks. We can see him at the beginning of the
episode and towards the end. The first time he appears in front of the
decoration from season 2, this time with green illumination. He could still be
on Cardassia. Behind Dukat there is a desk and chair, however, the same he is
sitting on later in the episode, when he is definitely on the ship. The wall
decoration is the same too, only that we see a different portion of it that is
We can see Dukat one last time
on the bridge of a Galor class. Sisko and the Defiant save Dukat and the Detapa
Council, who are on a Galor-class vessel, from a Klingon attack. The colors of the
set are all the same as in the design of the station Deep Space 9, so we
presume that for this brief scene an existing set, perhaps the science lab, was
only slightly redressed to serve as the Galor bridge.
Other Cardassian Bridges
Fore the sake of completeness, here is a look at other
Cardassian bridge designs that could be seen on Star Trek.
As a standing set of the series the ops of Deep Space 9
is more spacious than any of the Galor-class bridges, and
considerably more complex with its different levels, oddly shaped consoles and
sophisticated displays. There is nothing like a command chair on the ops. The
station's commander has a separate office one level higher, from where he
commands the station. The colors are different shades of gray-brown, with
several accents accomplished by colorful lighting.
While we can't see any further Galor-class bridges in the
second DS9 season, DS9: "Tribunal" shows us the bridge of a
Hideki-class vessel. But all we can see is a colorful backlit panel, with
structures that do not look particularly Cardassian.
The dominating colors on the Groumall are red and gray, and
there is no trace of green. It is interesting to note that the doors to Dukat's
quarters bear a resemblance to the doors on the Galor in "Emissary".