Situation room aboard the Enterprise NX-01

The situation room was a small section located at the rear of the bridge aboard some NX-class starships in the 22nd century. The room was a precursor to the briefing room aboard Federation vessels, where senior officers could hold discussions on subjects such as the progress of a mission. (ENT: "Broken Bow", et al.) When it was not used for briefings, the situation room was often manned by several crew members. (ENT: "Zero Hour")


The senior crew around the display table

Entryway leading to situation room

The situation room was marked by several computer displays and stations (including the environmental controls), with the monitors projecting status displays, and a small table with swing-out chairs built into its structure. A table graphic was displayed on the table and a plasma screen was used as a back wall monitor in the room. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Rogue Planet", "Chosen Realm", et al.) The monitors in the situation room could be turned off remotely, from the science station. (ENT: "Rogue Planet")

The situation room was additionally accessible through a door located on the port bulkhead, through which there was an entryway equipped with an intercom. (ENT: "Acquisition", "In a Mirror, Darkly") This area was easily accessible from the command center. (ENT: "Impulse") Forward of the door on the port bulkhead was the ship's environment station, with a hand hold on either side. (ENT: "Chosen Realm")

In a deleted scene from ENT: "Unexpected", Charles Tucker III vomits in the area located on the other side of this door. (ENT Season 1 DVD) That episode's script doesn't establish what is on the other side of the door from the situation room, though the script of "Acquisition" defines the area as an "entryway". However, that teleplay doesn't specify the inclusion of an intercom there, even though one is clearly shown in the episode itself.
The terms "table graphic" and "back wall monitor" come from script sources (the former used frequently and the latter from the script of "Terra Nova", though it is referred to as "the rear wall monitor" in the script of "Acquisition" and the script of "Vanishing Point"). The aft display unit is identified as a plasma screen in the script for "Shadows of P'Jem".


In the mirror universe, the NX-class ISS Avenger did not have a situation room, but a wall and a bank of computer monitors in its place. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II") NX-class starships that did have a situation room include Enterprise NX-01, Columbia NX-02, and, in the mirror universe, the ISS Enterprise NX-01. (Star Trek: Enterprise)

While Captain Archer visited Columbia in 2154, a worker wearing a faceplate was welding the central support column of the situation room's table onto the deck, and the bulkheads were hidden behind plastic drapes. (ENT: "Home")

In 2155 of the mirror universe, the situation room of the aforementioned ISS Enterprise was almost identical to the equivalent rooms of the prime reality, although the port-side door was emblazoned with the emblem of the Terran Empire. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")

History of a situation room

While Enterprise NX-01 was in battle against three Mazarite ships in February 2152, a panel in the ship's situation room suddenly sparked. (ENT: "Fallen Hero")

In the final draft script of "Fallen Hero", the location of this sparking panel was not specified.

In 2152, the table in the situation room was used by Charles Tucker III to detach a section of Enterprise's outer hull. (ENT: "Minefield")

In the final draft script of "Minefield", a few more scenes were set in the situation room than in the final version of the episode; clearly, these scenes were ultimately moved to the bridge, instead.
In the teaser of "Vanishing Point", the rear wall monitor was scripted to be used for observing diamagnetic storms and no mention was made of the table graphic being used for the same purpose. However, both are used in the final edit of the episode, with the table graphic actually highlighted more.
In the final draft script of "Future Tense", a discussion between Archer, Tucker, Phlox, Reed and T'Pol was described as taking place entirely in the situation room, though it is divided in two sections in the final version of that episode, with the former four characters firstly conversing at the aft of the bridge while T'Pol works in the situation room in the background, before they all congregate in that area.

The situation room aboard Enterprise was visited, later that year, by an Enolian official who spoke with T'Pol and Reed there. (ENT: "Canamar")

En route from Enterprise's command center in 2153, Archer, T'Pol, and Tucker traversed the situation room to access the bridge, rather than using the turbolift on the bridge. (ENT: "Impulse") Archer and T'Pol again used the situation room to journey from the command center to the bridge later that year. (ENT: "Chosen Realm")

In the final draft scripts of "Impulse" and "Chosen Realm", the situation room wasn't described as being used in this way, with a usage of the turbolift scripted in either teleplay instead.

Later the same year, a spatial anomaly passed through the situation room, suddenly creating some sparking overhead and causing a crewman who was in the room to stumble. (ENT: "Exile")

Background information

In the script for "Broken Bow", the situation room was said to be included as part of the NX-class bridge, within sight of the bridge stations. It was also described as "a tactical center off the Main Bridge, filled with various read-outs and a large table graphic." [1]

The design for the situation room obviously took cues from the aft section of the USS Defiant from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, also designed by Herman Zimmerman. He, however, likened it to such comfortable retiring rooms located off the bridge as the observation lounge on the Galaxy-class USS Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. "By putting it in the bridge itself it gives you the opportunity to have quiet officer meetings close to the center of command," Zimmerman stated. "And it also gives extreme depth to the look of the set: you can shoot both from the viewscreen through the bridge to the Situation Room, and from the back of the Situation Room all the way to the viewscreen." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 61)

The situation room's plotting table was designed by illustrator John Eaves, who described it as "a really cool piece" and "really a great project to work on." Recounting the table's genesis, Eaves exclaimed, "Herman just said: make us a nifty table to have meetings at!!!" Though this item of furniture is slightly similar to another table – used in engineering of TNG's Enterprise-D, an item often nicknamed the "pool table" – Eaves took no inspiration from that table in coming up with the design of the NX-class plotting table.

John Eaves initially sketched two variations of the table, a pair of drawings that described the item of furniture as a "conference table". Whereas the first of these illustrations had a raised plotting surface, this area was flat and recessed in the second picture. Once the first suggestion was approved, Eaves produced a final drawing that took cues from this image while also adding more detail. The table underwent more alterations between this couple of similar illustrations and the final product. Explained Eaves, "The early ideas were of the same layout [as the final table] except the rounded table top had plotting rules and sliding scales that would be able to move and plot across the entire surface. The curved surface would be made of milk plex and the images would be projected from underneath so it would act like a big hands-on cartographer’s mapping system. This was axed to be instead a clear covering with a flat screen system under glass, and the sliding scales were thought of as too out of date." Eaves also clarified that the evolution away from the idea of the table incorporating a projection setup was due to the amount of flat screens used elsewhere aboard the NX-class.

The plotting table was built by Construction Coordinator Thomas J. Arp's set construction team and was detailed by Michael Okuda and Anthony Fredrickson. The size of the table was dictated by how big its screen was, so it turned out smaller than originally conceived. Ultimately being of the opinion that the table "has a definite sub feel," John Eaves found the building of the table to have been "beautifully" achieved and thought the process of Okuda and Frederickson adding their finishing touches was "stylishly" done. Eaves was disappointed, though, that he couldn't take the actual table home with him as a keepsake, after the making of Star Trek: Enterprise ended.

The situation room's rear screen was designed by Michael Okuda and James Van Over. Eaves described their collaboration on this screen as "awesome work". [2] Footage of Van Over designing a computer readout to be displayed on the screen can be seen in the documentary On the Set, available in the ENT Season 1 DVD and Blu-ray.

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