Building the Earth Spacedock model

Designing Earth Spacedock

Earth Spacedock concept art
Earth Spacedock concept art

Earth Spacedock was designed by David Carson and Nilo Rodis and first seen in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. The model was built at Industrial Light and Magic.

The interior of Spacedock was represented by a large set. The original from The Search for Spock was destroyed after the end of filming. The production crew for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home had to rebuild the entire set from scratch.

Earth Spacedock model under construction
Earth Spacedock model under construction

Footage of Spacedock from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was reused for several Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, notably in “11001001.” The Enterprise-D was simply superimposed over the motion picture Enterprise for scenes in that episode.

In a 2005 interview with Trekplace‘s Greg Taylor, Andrew Probert, senior illustrator for The Next Generation‘s first season, remarked about the Enterprise‘s entry into Spacedock:

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.

2 thoughts on “Designing Earth Spacedock

  1. I entirely agree with Andrew Probert, the Enterprise being a very large and formidable spaceship would have no logical reason to go inside the “Space Dock” space station. That feature of the “Space Dock” in basic engineering terms would be an extreme waste. That idea is as bad as building the Enterprise on the ground instead of space where in a space faring era it would be easier and more economical, as it was in JJ’s movie.

  2. Every Sci-fi movie I ever saw chose theatricality over the more interesting real features of space as a home away from home. I’m hoping one day I can watch real space in a movie as depicted in Arthur C.Clarks and Stanley Kubricks 2001.

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