Designing the Reliant

15 thoughts on “Designing the Reliant”

  1. OK….
    First of all, you don’t launch phasers; they’re pure energy. I believe the terminology used is “banks”. (You know, if they actually existed.)
    Secondly, the Reliant was hardly only the second Starfleet vessel to be seen on screen. Numerous vessels were seen on the Original Series, the Animated Series and in the Motion Picture.

  2. Phil, the original series and TMP only showed a few tiny Starfleet ships. Some small support vessels and shuttles. Unless I’m forgetting something? So maybe I should have written “major” ship there, but the Reliant was the first proper starship to be designed since the original Enterprise. Again, unless I forgot one here, in which case – do let me know, please.

    I’m not including TAS here, which was only recently “canonized”, as you may know.

  3. The Reliant was a much more powerful ship than the Enterprise or a Klingon Battle Cruiser. In addition to standard weapons, it had an enormous weapons pod with two large PHASER CANNONS which could fire fore and aft and two large torpedo launchers which could also fire fore and aft. It had two shuttlebays instead of one. The ship was more compact and more maneuverable. They inadvertently designed a much superior ship to the Enterprise without meaning to.

  4. I have to say someone missed his technical manuals. In the mid 1970’s a friend of my dad’s gave me two of the coolest things ever. One was a 12-sheet set of Enterprise blueprints. I wish I still had ’em. The other was a starfleet technical manual. I’m sure you can find a copy out there. The basic design of the Reliant was actually already seen in the “tug” that was shown in one of the sections of that book. I wish I could find a picture but essentially the moment that ship appeared in 1981-2 (?I was 12 I think) I knew where the design had come from because I’d been looking at it eagerly and even imagined taking apart one of the model kits to create it, for several years. It’s cool but they had to have taken a look at those manuals — I believe Matt Jeffries wrote them back in the early 1970’s.

  5. “In mid 2267 the Lexington led a fleet to Organia that included the USS Enterprise, USS Constitution, eight other unnamed Constitution-class starships, two Miranda-class ships, a few Icarus-class starships and various cargo and support vessels. (TOS episode: “Errand of Mercy”; \”


    The Intrepid (exterior), Constitution (interior only), and Enterprise (exterior) all appeared on screen in the ToS, “Court Martial.”

  6. There were plenty of other Constitution-class starships featured in the Original Series in addition to the Enterprise.

  7. Constitution class starships were the only large Starfleet vessels to be featured in the original series. Because of budget constraints, they were limited to using stock footage of the Enterprise for other ships, selecting only footage that did not show the hull registry numbers clearly.
    The only other Starfleet vessel shown in TOS was the Shuttlecraft. Again, stock footage of the Galileo was used. The full size Galileo prop/stage was finally renamed “Galileo II” in the 3rd season episode ‘The Way to Eden”. Even in that episode the Aurora that Dr Sevrin and his colleagues stole was the Tholian Web Spinner redressed with warp nacelles.
    there were no other starships aside from the Enterprise in ‘Court Martial’. The remastered TOS episodes gave the production team more liberty to show other vessels as CGI, all of which had their design origins in media other than TOS. I’m talking specifically about TAS, the Starfleet Reference Manual, and other (semi-canon) printed material.
    Nick is quite correct that the Reliant was the first non Constitution class starship to be designed and make it to the screen after the Enterprise Refit (TMP). It was followed by the Excelsior and the Grissom in Star Trek III. The Enterprise ‘Ring Ship’ appears as an illustration only in the Recreation deck of TMP Enterprise. The only model of that ship to appear on screen is the small desk model briefly shown in Star Trek: Into Darkness. A point worth noting is that recent discussions about the feasibility of FTL travel have posited a design not unlike the ring ship that would ‘stretch’ space in front of the ship and ‘squash’ it behind, creating a wave of accelerated space/time for the ship to travel in. Life imitating art, don’t you think?

    1. The USS Defiant appeared in the TOS episode ‘The Tholian Web’. Stock footage of the Enterprise model was used, overlayed with a green glowing effect.
      When the episode was remastered, the SFX team had the opportunity to add some close up shots displaying the hull registry (NCC-1764).

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