Visual TOS References in Modern Star Trek

by Jörg Hillebrand and Bernd Schneider

Ship Miniatures and DepictionsTOS Items on DisplaysProps and Symbols


Post-2017 Trek is full of visual TOS cues. Updating the article every week would be insane, so it remains in archive mode for now.
The three Star Trek series set in the 24th century and Star Trek Enterprise include many references to The Original Series, the one that started it all. The verbal references are almost too numerous to list. Some episodes feature characters from TOS or even time travels such as "Trials and Tribble-ations" and "In a Mirror, Darkly" and are naturally full of references. Our small article, however, spotlights casual appearances of props and graphics from TOS in the later series. In other words, this is about homages rather than TOS style that was recreated for continuity's sake.


Ship Miniatures and Depictions

Constitution class (original)

In TNG: "Datalore" we can briefly see two views of an original Constitution class on an LCARS display, among many other items. The depictions are from the Star Fleet Technical Manual.

An earlier episode, "The Naked Now", originally showed the refitted Enterprise, although it was supposed to illustrate an incident that took place on the original ship in TOS: "The Naked Time". This was fixed for the remastered version of the episode.

Besides the relief in the observation lounge of the Enterprise-D, a model of the original Enterprise as it appeared in TOS can be seen in Wesley's quarters on Earth in TNG: "The First Duty" and in Admiral Leyton's office in Starfleet Headquarters in DS9: "Paradise Lost", the latter among other starship models.

An original Constitution class is also depicted on the "Starship Chronology" chart in Keiko's class room on Deep Space 9.


We can see a model of the Galileo shuttlecraft in Commander Riker's quarters in TNG: "Lonely Among Us".

Daedalus class

The design of the Daedalus is based on sketches by Matt Jefferies. Although the ship never appeared in TOS, Greg Jein built a miniature with characteristic details as they are found on the original Enterprise. We can first see the model in Keiko's classroom in DS9: "The Nagus". Since DS9: "Progress" it can be found in Sisko's office. The name "Horizon" indicates that it is supposed to be the very ship that visited Sigma Iotia II in TOS: "A Piece of the Action".

Botany Bay

A ship of the DY-100 class such as Khan's Botany Bay from TOS: "Space Seed", together with so far unseen booster rockets, is visible in Rain Robinson's office in VOY: "Future's End". A photo of this configuration can be seen in the bar in ENT: "First Flight" and "Home".


Ensign Mayweather has a model of the space probe Nomad in his quarters, as is visible in ENT: "Dead Stop". This miniature is based on the original appearance of the probe, as it was shown on a diagram in TOS: "The Changeling".


TOS Items on Displays

TOS planet names

Mike Okuda created a star chart for TNG: "Conspiracy" that comprised all planets seen and mentioned in TOS and TAS. This chart can be seen again in several more episodes, such as "The Emissary", "The Measure of a Man", "The Game" and "The Mind's Eye". It also appears in the classroom aboard Deep Space 9, featuring the heading "The Explored Galaxy", in "In the Hands of the Prophets" and "Cardassians". In addition to episodic Star Trek, we can glimpse it in Captain Kirk's quarters aboard the USS Enterprise-A in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country".

TOS planet surfaces

Since the second season, the monitors of the promenade deck on Deep Space 9 shows advertisements for several planets that we know from TOS. Each ad includes a picture of the planet and a brief text. The video that is shown in an infinite loop depicts Eminiar VII ("A Taste of Armageddon"), Rigel VII ("The Cage"), Stratos ("The Cloud Minders") and Pollux IV ("Who Mourns for Adonais?"). We can see the ads in "Whispers", "Rapture", "A Simple Investigation" and "Chrysalis", for example.

TOS lifeforms

For DS9: "A Man Alone", Doug Drexler created a graphic display with several non-humanoid lifeforms from TOS. All depictions are based on drawings that he made for the Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual from 1977. On the big chart the following lifeforms are depicted: Denebian slime devils, Regulan bloodworms (both never shown but mentioned in "The Trouble with Tribbles"), Tribbles, Excalbians ("The Savage Curtain"), the Horta ("Devil in the Dark"), neural parasites ("Operation - Annihilate!"), Korob's and Sylvia's species ("Catspaw"). We can also read the names of the home planets of the creatures. The Latin name "polygeminus grex" and the home planet Iota Geminorum IV of the Tribbles have earned canon status thanks to this chart.

The same school chart can be seen again in DS9: "The Nagus". On some more occasions we can see depictions of single species. Korob's and Sylvia's species is visible on PADDs in DS9: "The Nagus" and "If Wishes Were Horses". Neural parasites and Regulan bloodworms repeatedly appear on monitors in Bashir's infirmary in the first season. The depiction of the Tribbles shows up in "Star Trek Generations" in an exploding lab.

TOS illnesses

On the monitors of Cold Station 12 in the ENT episode of the same name we can see several references to illnesses from TOS, such as Rigelian fever ("Requiem for Methuselah"), synthococcus novae ("The Way to Eden") and xenopolycythemia ("For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky").

Handbook of Exobiology

This book, as it is visible in ENT: "Strange New World", cites Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Development (TOS: "Bread and Circuses"). It shows a Kaferian apple (from "Where No Man Has Gone Before") and a Talosian singing plant (from "The Cage") on its cover, which is not visible in the episode. The book was created by Geoff Mandel, with creature illustrations by Jim Martin.


Props and Symbols

TOS-style interfaces

Three episodes of modern Trek series and movies feature interfaces or consoles as they could be found on the bridge of the original starship Enterprise.

In "Generations", the interior of the Amargosa station is amazingly TOS-like, although the station is probably meant to be a design of the 24th century. We can see consoles with colorful transparent buttons as in TOS, and screens with blue frames and with star charts just as the ones in TOS. Furthermore, the station has intercoms and door signs that look like the ones on the original Enterprise.

The Xhosa, the ship of Kasidy Yates, too has TOS-style interfaces in red, yellow and green and screens with blue frames, as can be seen in DS9: "For the Cause". Finally, two of Giger's consoles are TOS-like in DS9: "In the Cards".

Chicago Mobs of the Twenties

Another edition of the infamous book from TOS: "A Piece of the Action" can be seen on a shelf in ENT: "Horizon". Only that the Mayweathers' copy is named "Chicago Gangs". This begs the question which one of the two is a rip-off.

Saurian brandy

The characteristic bottles from TOS episodes such as "Charlie X", "Journey to Babel" and "By Any Other Name" show up in DS9 as well. They are visible, with different labels, in "Facets", "Behind the Lines", "Who Mourns for Mourn?" and "Prodigal Daughter".

Triskelion logo

The characteristic logo from TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion" appears as a freight label in various DS9 episodes, such as "Necessary Evil", "Family Business", "Favor the Bold" and "Resurrection".


See Also

Spotting the Ships from the Star Fleet Technical Manual - as seen in "Star Trek II" and "Star Trek III"

Daedalus Class Problems - about its canon status, the design, the size and other issues

The Tribbles - appearances of fur balls with and without trouble

Re-Used Graphics - still images, animated sequences

Visual In-Jokes - deliberate in-jokes on displays and props



Some screen caps from TrekCore and TrekCaps.


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