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Ed Whitefire
(Interview conducted by Steven Szulecki via email in 2005)


I first heard about Ed Whitefire back in 2005 whilst searching the Net for reference material on the USS Enterprise-D. I was intrigued by his story and of his attempt to produce the first blueprints of the Enterprise-D. I took the plunge and asked Ed if he would consent to an interview, which he did. Below are the fruits of that labour.


Q1
Szulecki: Ed, thank you for agreeing to this interview. I would like to start off by asking if you could tell us a little of your background?
Whitefire: I am originally from Chicago, Illinois, USA (born and raised). In 1983 I moved to southern California where I currently reside. I have been married for going on nine years to a wonderful and supportive woman who is also heavily into sci-fi.
I am currently working in aerospace where I have derived some of my knowledge of various spacecraft components and mission prerogatives, which dictate design specifics. I have done any number of things in the science-fiction genre side of the house, most of which are only of marginal note (although I have won an occassional award for costuming at conventions, and I did run a science-fiction convention in Los Angeles one year).
Outside of that, I can tell you that I currently work in aerospace and have a background in architectural structural design, as well as a CONSIDERABLE interest in science fiction.
Q2
Szulecki: What is your view of the E-D as a ship design, and could it actually work from a "real-world" engineering viewpoint?
Whitefire: Not a chance in Hell! (OOPS, did I say that out loud?)
Actually, I obviously really like the Enterprise-D. I have always been fascinated with the possibility of something akin to a long range exploratory vessel that would not only support families, but also military, as well as have everything necessary to be a self sufficient island in space (basically, a colony ship), but with underlying alternate capabilities. Something like this would still have limitations and discrepancies throughout, but would need to be sufficiently large to handle most requirements of the stated mission. As this is the largest ship in the fleet -- volumetrically it is still at least 2-1/2 times larger than any other Starfleet vessel; it is not the longest ship; that is currently the Enterprise-E -- it lends itself to all kinds of possibilities.
As to whether or not it would work from an engineering standpoint, I would have to reserve judgement. Being that there are so many new materials and technologies being discovered every day (they have been growing exponentially since the '50s), who is to say what we will have that far in the future? There are far too many factors to consider that could sway opinion about it in either direction. However, I am biased in that I really like this ship, so HELL YES, it's possible!
Q3
Szulecki: You eventually made contact with Andrew Probert at Paramount. When was that? And how much assistance were you given in realising the drawings?
Whitefire: I first met Andrew in 1987, very soon after the premiere of ST:TNG season one. I got his name from some of the different publications available at the time, which highlighted some of his pre-production work on the show. When I saw his name in the credits, it occurred to me that maybe I could speak with him about my possible project. When we talked together, he was very receptive to the possibilities of the project, so we arranged to meet to discuss it further. When I outlined what I had in mind for the drawings, I got a very enthusiastic response from all the designers in the shop (Andrew, Mike Okuda and Rick Sternbach). Although they were fairly busy with the production at the time, they were very helpful by indicating specifics that they wanted incorporated into the design of the ship, many of which had not even been written into scripts yet, or, for that matter, ever made it to the screen. The four of us had numerous discussions regarding both large and small details of the D that we collectively imagined would be not only neat, but also logical to have on a spacecraft of this magnitude. We even discussed how it would be constructed (at the shipyard level).
After Andrew left Paramount, I continued a dialogue with him outside, as well as with Mike and Rick at the studio, to be certain I was getting all the details right that were being asked for. Mike and Rick continued to fill me in on ideas they were adding to upcoming scripts which they wanted somehow reflected in what I was designing. They also mentioned that some of my ideas were being used in upcoming episodes as technical asides that were needed for things to make sense.
Q4
Szulecki: How much did the sets that had been built for the show's first season influence you in the overall design of the Enterprise's internal spaces? And how much access did you have to relate those internal spaces with the exterior of the actual E-D studio models?
Whitefire: When I started this project I was told that I had to incorporate the set spaces into the designs wherever they occurred. This was not a difficult task as the spaces the sets represented only occupied about maybe 1/100th of the total volume of the ship. I was thus able to work around them pretty easily. However, it was necessary to get all the set plans in order to incorporate them. I was thus given numerous set blueprints, as well as given a few on-stage tours to understand some of the spatial relationships that were supposed to be happening. Most of the external-to-internal relationships were specified by Andrew, Mike and Rick as to what they wanted certain elements on the surface of the ship to be or do. With that in mind, I designed particular internal spaces to have certain types of external accesses to account for their instructions.
Q5
Szulecki: The blueprints you produced are, to me, reminiscent of the original Franz Joseph plans. Was this intentional or simply a coincidence of style?
Whitefire: Well, in truth, it was coincidence, but I have to tell you a little story that goes along with that: When I was fairly young and had first started dabbling in design, I had this great Idea - I had just been introduced to this great show called Star Trek with this really cool ship in it that was easily the size of an aircraft carrier. Wouldn't it be great to design the deck plans for something of that magnitude?
Imagine how crushed I was when, about a month later, the Franz Joseph plans hit the stands. I eventually bought a set to see what kind of things he had put into it and was moderately disappointed with what I saw. It occurred to me over time that, were I ever given a chance to do something like this in the future, I would design it with at least SOME real science in mind, as well as a better understanding of spatial relationships within large structures and, more importantly, large ships.
Any graphic treatments that are similar really ARE coincidental, because I had purposefully tried to emulate the on-screen visuals of the show (including font usage, leader lines and border treatment). The guys at Paramount seemed to like that idea.
Q6
Szulecki: In both your plans and the published blueprints, the interior of the warp nacelles is not detailed. Was this deliberate or an oversight?
Whitefire: Actually, this was not an oversight, but a postponement, at least on my part (I can't speak for Rick's reasons). I had every intention of doing a fourteenth page to the blueprints (and this was actually outlined at one point to all parties concerned) that would cover the warp engines, but it was decided early on that it would entirely depend on time constraints and deadlines. When the licensing problem began to rear its head, it became obvious that I should try and wrap things up as quickly as possible to, hopefully, still be able to go to press. Unfortunately, this was not the case and, as such, the fourteenth drawing still remains only in a rough pencil sketch.
Q7
Szulecki: You mentioned that the warp nacelles were to have been the "fourteenth sheet", Do you have any plans to complete this final part of the blueprints?
Whitefire: Currently I have no immediate plans regarding the warp nacelle drawing. I am hoping to get back to it after I have finished teaching myself some new software that will allow me to transfer the bulk of the drawings onto the computer. Mike Okuda has done a rather good job of a cross-section of the warp nacelles that I could scarcely improve on. When the time comes, I will make considerations as to what I may do with this drawing (maybe).
Q8
Szulecki: If I could touch on one or two matters you raised earlier, you mention that you looked at the design process of the Enterprise-D in relation to "real science" and the "spatial relationships within large structures and, more importantly, large ships." What real-world examples did you draw on for inspiration for the Enterprise's internal volumes and placing of major components?
Whitefire: Well, my primary inspiration for the Enterprise-D was an aircraft carrier, and, more specifically, an assault carrier. The reason for this is that an assault carrier is designed to facilitate a crew that is specifically collected for the purpose of landing on foreign shores. To that end they are equipped with various landing craft, surface craft and aircraft, as well as facilities for the upkeep of these vehicles and the crews that are needed for their use. They are also designed with hostile environments in mind, since they are equipped with rooms that can have their atmospheres altered for people to train in (temperature, altitude, humidity, etc.). Although an assault carrier is in reality a vessel of war, the general facilities on board ship could easily be swapped for a vessel of exploration in a future society, while still retaining a modicum of defensive capability.
Q9
Szulecki: You told us that it took 2-1/2 years to get the plans to the inking stage. Could you give us some insight into how much work really goes into making a project like the Enterprise-D blueprints a reality?
Whitefire: Oooh, well, that's a tough one. The design process of the E-D began with having to discover the actual cross sections of the spacecraft before I could start filling it in. This alone took over six months. After that I was able to separate the individual decks by their real contours, which probably took another three to four months. After this I was able to begin adding large details to the decks, which would eventually lead to smaller details, and finally to individual rooms and room functions. All in all, there are probably somewhere between 20 and 30 preliminary drawings that lead up to each of the finished drawings (that works out to between 250 and 400 drawings and sketches, give or take around 50, not including the final inkings).
Q10
Szulecki: A little mentioned feature of either blueprints, and never, to my recollection, seen on screen, is the stairways connecting the various decks. I know that some of the early designs by Andrew Probert show them, but, given a starship with turbolifts, Jefferies tubes and transporters, what was the thinking behind their eventual inclusion?
Whitefire: There are actually very few stairwells throughout the ship to speak of. I personally only recall the central stairway and corridor that runs down through the core of the saucer, then extends back to the dorsal and down into the engineering hull. This was meant to be a secondary access to the entire ship (the primary being the turbolifts, and the tertiary being the ladderways and Jefferies tubes). The stairwell(s) and open ladderways would be for simple access from deck to deck, as in any large scale building (i.e., Sears Tower, Empire State Building) where elevator access is uneccessary or impractical, or merely for exercise. As well, they serve as emergency access, alongside the Jefferies tubes, when the turbolift system is offline. Andrew and I both felt that the central stairway and corridor access were essential parts of the ship.
Q11
Szulecki: The E-D is an immense structure and necessarily, would have to be built to withstand unbelievable stresses. What were the constraints you faced in creating a logical and robust engineering structure whilst accommodating large, internal spaces to house such things as the warp and main computer cores, main shuttle bay and deuterium storage tank?
Whitefire: As you said, this ship is to withstand "unbelievable stresses," which basically says there is no real way of truly addressing something of that caliber in real life, so I decided it would be best to take what we were already given regarding technology in the Star Trek universe and work around that.
Bearing in mind that, even though the E-D is as large as it is, most of the vehicle is broken into sections which, although large, are still mobile enough to be built in varying locations and assembled as a whole in a final "dry dock." This is a very common practice in aerospace where large-scale aircraft parts are generally built by numerous sub-contractors and then shipped to a central location for final assembly. Andrew Probert and I discussed this early on and felt that it would be the best manner of construction for a starship.
Where the E-D is concerned, there are many existing examples of large-scale open structures built in modern society (e.g., cruise ships, tankers) that have vast open structures built with modern materials. Assuming the use of many of the futuristic materials already established in the varying Star Trek series (i.e., tritanium, various composites that I can't remember the names of), it would not be unfeasible that similar building techniques used in the modern day would still be workable, but with better efficiency, higher tolerances, better flexibility and stronger structural integrity than we have ever known.
Q12
Szulecki: How were the Enterprise-D's structural members taken into account in designing a layout for the ship?
Whitefire: Before anything else this ship is a large moving structure, a building in space that just happens to be shuttled around from place to place. Like any good building, you require a good foundation (or in this case a skeleton) to maintain the structure's integrity. This structure has to be able to withstand all the forces that the ship is anticipated to go through (e.g., acceleration, bending moments, torque from various angles, etc.) while still keeping the occupants safe and comfortable. Therefore the ship's structure is not only a basic necessity, but is highly critical in the case that all systems should fail.
Let me give you an example -- say that most onboard systems shut down, the mains went offline (warp drive), secondary power failed (the fusion reactors), and you were left only with the batteries of which a full half were destroyed in some catastrophe. One would think that in a situation like this, your main concern would be to first of all stop any forward motion, or at least get the ship into a stable descent toward a planet. Any and all systems outside of your thrusters (and MAYBE your inertial dampers) would be meaningless (this assumes your ship is still sealed enough to keep in an atmosphere, so life support would also be secondary). Your ship must now rely on its own structure to keep itself together in case of collision, crash, enemy fire and any number of outside forces that you come up against. Without this internal support structure, the slightest tap from a passing asteroid would cause the ship to crumple or disintegrate where it was hit, and would cause major damage to the surrounding structural members that would lead to further catastrophic failure.
As such, I integrated a simple, but thorough set of bulkheads throughout the E-D that formed its skeleton.
Q13
Szulecki: Decks 13 and 14 of the saucer section are given over, almost entirely, to a part of the crew complement that was never seen onscreen, namely Tursiops, better known as dolphins. What was the thinking behind their inclusion as part of the Enterprise crew, and were there any particular difficulties in accommodating them into the plans?
Whitefire: This is an interesting story. As I remember it, this was the brainchild of Mike Okuda who argued (and correctly, I might add) that aquatic mammals are the most efficient and effective navigators in the world and would, therefore, one day become the people who steer our ships through space.
When he told me this, I took it as a direct challenge to add quarters and operating areas for tursiops crew members. My thinking regarding their movement through the ship was that they would be individually fitted with some sort of low-gravity, high-moisture force field unit or suit that would allow them free movement while keeping their skin appropriately hydrated. Although they would be able to traverse the ship, the size of their spaces on Decks 13 and 14 would be used as their quarters and primary work spaces, in which they would have neutral bouyancy (low gravity) and high moisture content, thus negating the need for a huge on-board 'pool' for them to swim in. The size of the spaces would also allow for their measurably larger masses to move around more freely.
As I recall, there was actually one door on set that was permanently(?) labeled "Tursiops," that was only obvious in one or two episodes, and Geordi actually specifically mentions the tursiops crew members in one episode.
Q14
Szulecki: In a related question, in the forward, centreline area of Deck 14, identified later in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual as the saucer navigational deflector, the exterior shows a recessed "window" bay conprising 4 square panels which were often shown lit. What was this area originally identified as?
Whitefire: This was always meant to be a public space or, in may case, a two-level lounge. Its location on deck 14 was useful in that it was adjacent to the tursiops quarters and could be shared with them. My original idea for this room (though I had no way of showing it) was to have large transparent panels along the back wall for viewing by the tursiops crew. Andrew even did a painting that depicted people in those windows. Where they got any ideas for anything else in that space is beyond me.
Q15
Szulecki: How did you design the layouts of the turbolift shafts, corridors and Jefferies tubes?
Whitefire: The turbolifts were the easier part as they were primarily meant to access each section of the ship. The main lines of the system follow most of the primary bulkheads of the ship, and are therefore anchored very securely throughout. I later added extensions to this primary labyrinth where it seemed logical and available to do so.
The Jefferies tubes were also designed to follow the bulkhead system, but they had a much more extensive set of additions, as they are supposed to be the primary access trunks for all of the subsystems; I was therefore far more liberal with their placement, although I tried to be careful to put them where it made sense to be able to connect into the power grid.
The corridors were designed on both a radial and concentric pattern in both the saucer and engineering hulls. Again, the bulkhead placement had much to do with it, but since these were actually meant for common daily access throughout the ship, it was easier to spread them out in a manner that broke up major sections more logically.
Q16
Szulecki: In all the articles I have read, including actions onscreen, no mention is really made of how a starship, travelling at impulse speeds, actually stops. We know that "dropping out of warp" reduces the vessel to sublight velocities, but that seems to be the end of what is known. Was that process, of stopping a ship at relatavistic speeds, ever discussed during the development of the blueprints? And if so, what was the solution?
Whitefire: The impulse engines were supposed to have thrust reversers, much like conventional aircraft. How they were supposed to work was never really considered. As well, the ship has multiple high power thrusters for steering and three-dimensional movement. What type of propulsion was to be used by the thrusters was also something that was not really discussed.
Q17
Szulecki: In your blueprints, you seem to have taken on Gene Roddenberry's principle that this was a 30-year-mission, "multi-generational" vessel, in a literal fashion. You incorporate numerous areas that are identified as "Towns" and "Malls", "Education Centres" and the like, plus numerous decks that reflect a central, physical social hub. How much did the extended, and expected, period of occupation by the inhabitants of the E-D, influence and/or mitigate the requirements of the internal design of the E-D?
Whitefire: Andrew, Mike, Rick and I discussed this to some extent. You will notice that the maximum crew occupancy is listed at 18,000, but the actual crew stated at any given time is approximately 1,000; this was for evacuation purposes and in time of war, should the E-D be required to carry troops. As an exploration vessel, there had to be a certain sense of camaraderie within the crew at multiple levels (i.e., professional, personal, educational, militarily) which had to be accommodated for.
As an example, architectural students are generally given a design problem that involves creating an entire town in a one-mile square area. All things must be considered in such a situation including education, politics, commerce, housing, and numerous other factors that all play integral parts in the town. In fact, the E-D is no different, but far more interesting.
Q18
Szulecki: A variety of the ST:TNG "standing sets" for the Enterprise-D evolved over the course of the series. For example, in "Encounter at Farpoint," engineering intersects with a section of curved corridor, but in most subsequent episodes, the curved corridor is obscured from view with "wall plugs." Sickbay also underwent a change between seasons one and two. How did you approach evolving sets when you made your drawings?
Whitefire: Well, as you said, the sets evolved as the series matured, and this is actually not an uncommon event on real vessels. The standing sets were merely my jumping-off point, and what I was asked to do was to incorporate as much of the existing set(s) into my final layout. In the ensuing discussion, we all agreed that any changes made to the sets which were dynamic in nature would be explained as various and asundry refits that occurred to the ship.
My mission was to fit in the major elements of the sets as accurately as possible while not going overboard on additions or deletions that might need to occur. Any variations that people would see in any given area could be explained as having happened in a different part of the ship. Bear in mind that the ship has over 11-1/2 million square feet [Editor's Note: 11,500,000 ft2 is about 0.413 mi2, or about 1,070,000 m2] of deck space, and there is a huge amount of duplication in the shapes of many of the areas (due to the restrictions of the standing sets). As an example, the cargo holds as depicted in season one are supposed to be similar throughout the ship (however, in my estimation they would be far too small to actually acccommodate real on-board stores as would be necessary for a ship this size, which is why I only used them on certain decks), and are also roughly the same shape and size as the secondary shuttle bays in the neck of the ship.
Q19
Szulecki: In your plan view of engineering, the angle of separation between the twin power transfer conduits from the warp core is noticably less than 90 degrees, whereas on the actual set, the angle of separation appears to be exactly 90 degrees. Why is there a discrepancy between the engine room plan in the blueprints and the actual set plan?
Whitefire: This was out of necessity due to the facts that were outlined to me regarding the placement of the warp core, the central engineering deck, and how the engine conduits were supposed to connect to the nacelles. Although there was some discussion about the angle that ended up between the conduits, the general feeling was that it could be explained as being a perspective of the set that would not (with any luck) be too obvious. (I realize this was hoping for a bit much, but based on the given information, this was the only really good solution.) At one point I had considered putting in curved conduits leading away from the engine room that would allow for the 90 degree angle, but we all felt there was no good rationalization for it.
Q20
Szulecki: Were any areas of the Enterprise especially challenging to design or depict in the blueprints? What are some examples, and why were they so challenging?
Whitefire: Yes. The most difficult part of the design was the intersection of the saucer and the battle-head section of the engineering hull. Both the positive form of the battle-head and the negative form of the indentation in the saucer are complex, three-dimensional, compound-curved shapes that I had a devil of a time plotting. Once the external shapes were hammered out, and the external details were added, I was then able to begin figuring out what the deck shapes would work out to be through those sections. I think that this part of the design alone took nearly 1/4 of the design time of the drawings. Among the things that went into this were the latch locations and how they would interact with the different decks, since the latches were three-dimensionally flush to the battle-head (this was a MAJOR headache, believe me!). However, I was able to exploit all of the minute details that were included on the "battle-head" that were not obviously used. Whenever you would see the saucer separate from the engineering hull, the only thing that was obvious was the retracting latches, but it would only make sense that numerous other links between the sections would already have been closed off and sealed before the latches were ever exposed.
Secondly were some of the major machinery areas of the ship. Based on the specs layed out by Andrew (Probert), Mike (Okuda) and Rick (Sternbach), there were a number of elements that I had to allow room for, which in many cases included the movement of these elements, which made for some interesting design allowances.
Q21
Szulecki: How were contradictions between the starship interiors and the starship exterior resolved? For example, Ten Forward presents a scale problem, and Shuttlebays 2 and 3 have vertical hull-facing walls and doors, while the actual outer hull is angled.
Whitefire: Shuttlebays 2 and 3 were actually not that bad. The vertical walls fit neatly into my drawings, even using the basic set layouts that were given to me to use. The slant of the exterior outer walls gave me a nice additional space that I could use for other purposes. I actually was able to add a few neat little details that rounded them out better. The vertical door situation was something that was only attributable to the set designers and their budget, and was generally accepted as something that we (Andrew, Mike, Rick and myself) would all ignore.
Ten Forward... Andrew and I still complain about this area of the ship, but I managed to hammer it into place (although I'm not very pleased with how I did it). Let's leave it at that for the moment.... Most other exteriors fit in rather well, so you would need to give me a few more specifics or examples on this question for me to add anything else.
Q22
Szulecki: In the aft area of Deck 7, what is the large feature that is to starboard of the "Computer Link to Secondary Hull" and to port of the "Emergency Turbolift to Battle Bridge" - essentially in the corresponding location of the emergency generators that are on the port side of the deck? (The large, tapering helical structure)

Deck 6 of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D

Whitefire: Well, as it happens, it really wasn't meant to be helical, but was a large horizontal extension of the computer that would act as a primary data transfer interface between the engineering hull computer core and the saucer computer cores. The fact that it looked helical didn't even occur to me until after I had shown it to the guys at Paramount. Part of what you see in this unusual area are a series of Jefferies tubes that extend into the transfer bus equipment, which is what gives it the helical appearance. The actual shape of the equipment was sort of a flattened half cone that was attached to the computer link channel, with a series of holes in it for access (kind of like taking a simple wooden flute, making it taper, cutting it in half and squashing it); unfortunately, I had no real good way of depicting this, so what I ended up with is the helix looking shape. Were I to redo this area (which I may still do), I think that I might actually use the idea of a helically shaped piece of machinery that would extend above and below a few decks. Maybe.
Q23
Szulecki: You are quoted on www.cloudster.com as saying the E-D plans took two years to complete. When you found out that your intended publisher, FASA, had let their licence with Paramount lapse, what were your feelings at this setback, and how did you feel, after all your hard work, when you learned that Rick Sternbach was to publish the E-D blueprints through Pocket Books?
Whitefire: Let me start with a small correction: it took 2-1/2 years of straight design work to get the drawings to where they were ready to be inked.
Unfortunately, I was never given the specifics of why FASA lost its license. I was told about two months prior to my completing the project that their contract was back under negotiation due to a misunderstanding and that I should not worry about that. FASA was fairly certain of regaining the license, so I was told to continue to completion, which I did. In later discussions with Paramount, I found this was not to be the case any time soon.
Admittedly, for the second time in my life regarding Star Trek, I was crushed. I tried numerous alternative avenues to get my drawings to see the light of day, but with no positive results. Pocket Books was approached at least three times about possibly printing my drawings, and each time they gave an excuse as to why they were not interested. (I know the third time they were even offered the drawings when they were completed, inked, and ready for a two-color press run!)
When I heard that Rick was doing his own version, I was deeply saddened by the fact that he was doing this on his own and had chosen not to include my input on any of his work. The fact that Pocket Books was involved didn't surprise me as they had the exclusive license on all Star Trek related material at the time.
Q24
Szulecki: Have you seen the Enterprise-D blueprints published by Pocket Books? Are there items in those drawings that you like better than those in your drawings? What are some examples of items in your drawings that you like better than their counterparts in the drawings published by Pocket Books?
Whitefire: In all truth I have not studied the Pocket Books drawings with a fine-toothed comb. Those parts of it that I have looked at have nothing that immediately stands out as anything that I would incorporate into mine. I did notice that Rick (Sternbach) put in a lot of extra detail into his crews quarters by means of creating a standard set of "rub-down" transfers that he used over and over to fill out some of the spaces; I purposefully left this type of detail out, as I felt that each set of quarters would be individualized and not need that type of minutiae based on the scale of the drawing (besides, it not would only clutter the drawing further, and would make it more difficult to place callouts as needed, although this could be argued).
As for things that I like better in my drawings, I feel that the list is extensive and could easily fill a few pages that I won't go into. A few of the immediate things that stand out are the basic structural elements that I have running throughout the ship, the connections between the saucer and engineering hulls which were conspicuously missing in the Pocket Books version, and the fact that every detail on the exterior of the ship has a corresponding function on the interior of the ship. I would go on, but as I said, the list would get veeery long.
Q25
Szulecki: Were you involved in the creation of any other FASA products, such as the Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual?
Whitefire: Yes. In fact, the Officer's Manual was near completion when I was brought on board, and I was asked to do an edit on the final manuscript. One or two of the drawings in the manual are mine (I don't remember how many were actually in there), but I did do a moderate amount of changes to the text to bring it current to the Writer's Bibles that were out at the time, and also to the existing proposals I had in on the blueprints.
I was also involved on a few other non-Trek related FASA publications doing drawings for maps and general illustrations.
Q26
Szulecki: Do you think of your time spent making the E-D blueprints in a positive or negative light, or is it one of mixed emotions? If you had the opportunity to do other blueprints for Star Trek, say, for example, the Voyager starship or DS9 - or indeed, rework the original Enterprise 1701 plans, would you be tempted?
Whitefire: First, I look at every drawing or sketch I do as a learning experience, and thus a positive one. My only disappointment in the whole thing was in the amount of red tape that ended up going along with the project. I would have been even happier with the project if I had been allowed to finish the 14th drawing at my leisure, rather than having to postpone it indefinitely (reference my red tape comment). Second, I would gladly tackle another set of blueprints were the opportunity "afforded" me.

I would like to thank Ed Whitefire for taking the time to talk to me and for sharing his unique, behind-the-scenes story of the creaton of the original Enterprise-D plans.

I would also like to thank Greg Tyler at Trekplace for his invaluable assistance in bringing this article to fruition, and for providing some of the questions in the above interview.

Interview copyright 2005 by Steven Szulecki and Ed Whitefire. Published here with the permission of Steven Szulecki and Ed Whitefire.


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